Welcome Aboard KPHX to KLAS

SnapShot_aal777 Hello and thank you for stopping by.  For several years I have wanted to produce more cinematic flight sim productions.  However, the amount of time required hasn’t always been something I’ve had a lot of.  But times are different now.  Of course I love flying and this video was a lot of fun to put together.  There will be more soon….

Welcome Aboard to American Airlines flight 777 with non-stop service between Phoenix Sky Harbor International
Airport and Las Vegas McCarran International Airport.  Your captain for this flight is JT.  Please sit back,
relax and enjoy the flight.

Addons used:

Aircraft:
PMDG Boeing 737-800 (NGXu)
American Airlines Livery

Simulator:
Lockheed Martin Prepar3D v5

Scenery:
(1) ORBX FTX GLOBAL
(2) ORBX OpenLC North America
(3) Flightbeam Studios KPHX
(4) FlyTampa KLAS
(5) FSDreamTeam GSX Lvl 2
 
Camera Effect:
Chaseplane

Weather:
ActiveSky 

I hope you enjoy watching my videos.  If you do, please hit that “Like” button!  Also, if you are new to the channel, please SUBSCRIBE.  It really does help!

Please visit my blog site https://grizzlybearsims.com  You’ll find my complete mod list and various articles and reviews on many of the simulation based games I enjoy playing.

Thank you for watching!

J

MUSIC CREDITS
________________

Inflight Music
Dreaming in 432Hz by Unicorn Heads (YouTube Music Library)

Why Consider Payware Airports

It’s sometimes funny how articles are born here on my blog site.  I began the framework to a “My Top 10 Payware Airport Scenery” article which more or less started off with a question as to why we purchase payware airport scenery and showing examples.  I realized this would become a seriously long article, so I decided to split them into two different writings.   So let’s get the why out of the way first, then in a few days I’ll release my top 10 list.

Why purchase payware airport scenery?

If you are new to the hobby of flight simulation or perhaps a complete stranger to it, you might wonder why we spend additional money on airport scenery.  After all, this is both a valid question and a very good question. 

Unlike other simulation based games in my library (FS19, ATS, ETS2) Flight Sim (and this includes FSX, FSX: Steam Edition, All versions of Prepar3D and even XPlane) does include the entire map of the world.  As is the case with American Truck Simulator where we either have to wait for SCS to release a new US state DLC or rely on a mod developer, Flight Sim includes an open world to explore.  This means that out-of-the-box, you can start up at just about any default airport in the world and fly to just about any other default airport in the world.  Most default airports will include all runways, taxiways and buildings which exist in real life.  Some of the buildings may even very closely resemble their real-life counterparts.  However, as is the case with FSX/P3D…these airports (including runways, taxiways and terminal buildings) are seriously outdated.  Let me give you an example of just how outdated some are.

Example – Chicago O Hare International Airport – KORD

As you can see from the chart below which is dated 2006 versus the second image which is more recent, a lot has changed.  By default, even in Prepar3D v4, KORD is outdated by over 10 years. 

image

As you can see, Chicago O Hare looks much, much different with some runways removed and others added. 

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But by default, if you fly into KORD you’ll be landing on runways which may not exist today and this truly confuses things when you are flying online with other pilots and ATC.

To overcome these obstacles, many of us will purchase add-on airport scenery which will update the airport based on what it looked like at the time the add-on was developed.  Of course, even these add-on airports can become outdated rather quickly as KORD is once again due to make changes in 2020.  So as you can see, it’s almost a never ending struggle to stay 100% current. 

Unfortunately, as is the case with Chicago O Hare…the FSX/P3D community finds itself in a holding pattern awaiting an updated version of this awesome airport.  The best current add-on version available today for KORD is based on what the airport looked like in 2011 timeframe.

Maximum Immersion and Eye-Candy

While the main reason to update might be to ensure airport accuracy, another reason is what I refer to as maximum immersion and eye-candy.   Denver International Airport (KDEN) by default is modeled based on what the airport looked like around 2006.  It’s recognizable in FSX/P3D by its iconic tent looking main terminal.  But DIA has undergone some radical changes since it first opened in 1995, replacing the old Stapleton Airport.

Is the image below real or a screenshot from P3D?  Hard to tell the difference huh?  It’s a screenshot compliments of FlightBeam who developed the most recent version of my home airport.  This image is from the vantage point of just north of terminal A.  Overlooking the international arrival/departure gates used by Lufthansa and British Airways.  You can see the iconic tent roof structure over the main Jeppesen Terminal building and directly in front of that the newly opened Westin Denver International Airport Hotel.  Maximum immersion – CHECK!  Eye-Candy – CHECK!

Image result for FSX KDEN default images

Photo Credit: FlightBeam KDEN

More than just the airport

Sometimes payware airports come with a little and some with a lot of additional features other than just a detailed airport.  As is the case with the brand new Las Vegas McCarran Airport (KLAS) which was recently released by FlyTampa.  In this example, not only do we get a highly detailed representation of the Las Vegas airport, but we also get bonus bling of the Vegas Strip.  I personally can’t wait to do a nighttime approach into KLAS with this beautiful scenery.  Can you say “Viva Las Vegas”?

Photo Credit: FlyTampa KLAS

Photo Credit: FlyTampa KLAS

Photo Credit: FlyTampa KLAS

In Summary

I recently read a Facebook comment from someone who said something along the lines of “This isn’t airport scenery simulator” when commenting on a post regarding payware scenery.  The great thing about this hobby is there’s literally something for everyone.  One can simply purchase the flight simulator platform of their choosing and have a ton of fun flying around in the vanilla or default state.  Or you can enhance the immersion and take it to a completely different level.  The flight sim world is big enough and welcoming enough for all types of individuals.  Enjoy the hobby on your terms.

Until next time…

Thank you….Thank you very much (read this in an Elvis accent).

Jerry

A Pilot’s Life Storyteller Series–S1, E8

Our new San Francisco adventure starts now and I’m really excited about this new opportunity.  My first flight out of SFO will be a trip over to Vegas and back in the 737-800.  I’ve flown into and out of SFO many times, but there’s something a little different about this first flight out, as now I’m based here.  The good news is I’ve been really made to feel welcome by all the SFO based team and I’m starting to settle into my new home. 

Flight Details

Today I’m serving as Sr. First Officer on Alaska flight 1932 with service to Las Vegas.  Our flight today is in the Boeing 737-800.  Our block time for this trip is 1 hour, 40 minutes and we require 14, 650 lbs. of fuel and our take-off weight is just over 148,000 lbs.  This is a late afternoon flight and will be arriving into Vegas just around sunset. 

Route:  WESLA4 NTELL Q162 ESSAA DCT BTY SUNST4

1

Let’s Go Already

Our 738 is at the gate and being prepped for the flight.  As Sr. First Officer, it’s my job to perform the walk around. 

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We start at the front and make our way around. 

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Inspecting the engine and control surfaces.

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Making sure all lights are working as they should.

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Then to the rear of the aircraft.

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Tires and gear all look good.  It’s time to head back inside.

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Some things are still branded with Virgin America, but that will soon change I’m sure.  Time for push-back.

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Push-back and two successful engine starts.  It’s time to taxi out to 01L.  Don’t worry…it’s a short taxi. 

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Line up and wait.  We’re waiting on a United B788 landing on 28L. 

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Blasting off 01L at KSFO on our way to Vegas.

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Making our left turn to circle around SFO and join the departure out of the Bay area.

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Climbing up to FL370. 

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The sun is setting and the moon is rising as we enter our cruise phase. 

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Beginning our descent on the Las Vegas SUNST4 Arrival.

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The view from my office window.

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Beautiful sunset

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The Vegas strip just off our left side.

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On final approach.

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Cleared to land

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Parked at the gate and deboarding.  We’re set to return to SFO tonight.

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Credits

If you are interested in experiencing your own “A Pilot’s Life”, I highly recommend the A Pilot’s Life, by SimBitWorld add-on for Prepar3D, FSX and X-Plane.  You can learn more about the A Pilot’s Life by visiting the SimBitWorld website and/or purchase APL at SimMarket.  Also, please read my full review of A Pilot’s LIfe here.

Flight Simulator:  Prepar3D v4.5 (hotfix 1)
Aircraft:  PMDG 737-800
Airline: Alaska Airlines (ASA)
ATC:  VATSIM
Airport Scenery: KSFO Flightbeam, FlyTampa KLAS
Terrain Scenery: Orbx Global Base, Orbx Vector, Orbx openLC North America, Orbx Northern California, Orbx Southern California
Sky/Cloud Textures: REX 5 SkyForce and REX 5 Environment Force
Weather Generation: ActiveSky (ASP4)
Flight Planning: SimBrief, Navigraph, FlightAware, FlightRadar24

Note:  If you are interested in any of the above mentioned add-ons.  Visit my P3D Add-ons directory for links.

A Pilot’s Life Storyteller Series–S1, E6

Hello and welcome back to another installment of my “A Pilot’s Life Storyteller Series”.  As you might recall when we were last together, we landed in Las Vegas (Alaska Flight 634) and were due to return back to Seattle that afternoon/evening.  Let’s get right into the action.

Present Day

I’m still contemplating my options as it relates to my career with Alaska.  I will admit that a change of scenery will do well for me.  My contract with Alaska is up and in reviewing the job offers out there, I do have options. 

As you can see below, Alaska has offered me the option to move to San Francisco and work in what was the old Virgin America division.  The pay is a step forward as my current pay rate is $39.39 per hour and Alaska is offering me $39.55.  The next best choice for me would be to leave Alaska and of that list, Southwest Airlines is the most attractive.  Southwest has offered me a job before and each time they up the ante.  So I’d rather keep moving up if at all possible.  Decisions…decisions.

4

Flight Details

This is the return flight from Las Vegas back to Seattle, Alaska flight 635.  Our planned fuel for this trip back to Seattle is 19,640 lbs and our TOW is 161,731.  Our cruising altitude will be 34,000 with a total block time of 2 hours and 36 minutes. 

Flight Plan: SHEAD1 OAL LOMIA LKV HAWKZ7

Are you Ready?

We’re running slightly late as we had a passenger who hadn’t boarded, so their bags had to be removed from the aircraft as standard procedure.  The ground crew needs to move a cart out of the way and then bring the tug around.  We’ll be pushing back in just a few minutes. 

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Push back underway and along with that is engine start. 

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Tug disconnected and we’re given the all clear. 

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Leaving Las Vegas

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Climbing out on our departure SID. 

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A noticeable Washington landmark just above the clouds off the right wing.  (Mount Rainer)

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Typical cloudy afternoon as we make our way along the arrival route.

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The view from my office window.

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Almost home as we fly near downtown Seattle. 

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Hello Boeing…..

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Safely back where we started about 6 hours earlier.

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I’m not scheduled to fly for a few days and need to give Alaska Airlines my decision by end of the week if I want to consider the move to SFO.  I’ll admit, I’m certainly leaning in that direction. 

Credits

If you are interested in experiencing your own “A Pilot’s Life”, I highly recommend the A Pilot’s Life, by SimBitWorld add-on for Prepar3D, FSX and X-Plane.  You can learn more about the A Pilot’s Life by visiting the SimBitWorld website and/or purchase APL at SimMarket.  Also, please read my full review of A Pilot’s LIfe here.

Flight Simulator:  Prepar3D v4.5 (hotfix 1)
Aircraft:  PMDG 737-900
Airline: Alaska Airlines (ASA)
ATC:  VATSIM
Airport Scenery: KSEA Drzewiecki Design, KLAS FlyTampa
Terrain Scenery: Orbx Global Base, Orbx Vector, Orbx openLC North America, Orbx NA Pacific Northwest, Orbx Northern California, Orbx Southern California
Sky/Cloud Textures: REX 5 SkyForce and REX 5 Environment Force
Weather Generation: ActiveSky (ASP4)
Flight Planning: SimBrief, Navigraph, FlightAware, FlightRadar24

Note:  If you are interested in any of the above mentioned add-ons.  Visit my P3D Add-ons directory for links.

A Pilot’s Life Storyteller Series–S1, E5

Good morning, good afternoon and/or good evening and thank you for returning to our 5th installment in this Storyteller series focusing on A Pilot’s Life.  A few things to catch you up on.  In the last installment, we traveled from Ketchikan back to Seattle.  This was the last flight of the month as I completed it on 31 May. As I get paid monthly, I received a nice paycheck on 1 June and have already made a few strategic purchases which will assist me in gaining more XP per flight.  As you can see from the screenshot below of the main APL program screen, my bank account has had a nice $2,253.60 in it.

1

After purchasing two items in the APL Shop which consisted of a mobile phone and a flight bag, I now only have $983.60.  These two purchases will earn me an additional 15% XP per each flight and help me to gain my promotion to the rank of Captain just a little quicker. 

While I could have purchased the headset instead of the mobile phone and gained a total of 20% XP, I’m trying to be somewhat practical with these purchases.  After all, who doesn’t own a cell phone in this day and age.  Next month I’ll make additional purchases.

2

Present Day

I’m hearing about an opportunity I may soon have to transfer down to San Francisco.  As a Sr. First Officer who will soon be moving up and over to the left seat as Captain, I suppose Alaska is looking to ensure I stay both motivated as well keep from burning out by flying back and forth from Sea-Tac.  I must admit that I do like the idea of a change of scenery.  SFO was the main hub for Virgin America and after the merger, Alaska kept SFO as a hub. I’ll be sure and keep you informed if this move becomes reality. 

Flight Details

Today we’re operating Alaska flight 634 with service from Seattle down to Las Vegas.  Our flight departs at 10:30 AM.  Our planned fuel for this trip is 31,335 lbs and our take off weight is 162,046 lbs. with a cruising altitude of 35,000 feet.  Our block time is 2 hours and 38 minutes. 

Flight Plan: SUMMA1 LKV RYANN J92 BTY SUNST4

3

Let’s Get Going

This will be a turnaround flight for me.  While I enjoy the overnight stays in Vegas, my bank account can do without the possible gambling losses which might be incurred if I were to not have the best of luck.  Let’s face it, my luck in Vegas the past few trips hasn’t been the best.  I lost BIG TIME at the roulette table and ended up falling off the mechanical bull.  But as they say….what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.

Today we’re flying the Boeing 737-900 with the special 100th year Boeing livery.  ServAir is stocking up the aircraft galley.

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Next of course comes the bags.  We’re set for an on-time departure. 

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A little help from our friends…

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Holding short at 16L

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Blasting off and on the way to Vegas.

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Just a little hazy this morning.  We’re now above the clouds of the Seattle area.  Nothing but clear skies to Vegas.

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Ladies and gentlemen, if you direct your attention to the left side of the aircraft you’ll see the Vegas strip where I’m sure all of your hard earned money will be left.  Welcome to Vegas Baby!

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Typical Vegas weather has us landing on the 26’s. 

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Lake Mead in the background. 

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Easy does it.  I personally love this photo.  The sky, the shadows. 

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Some Southwest aircraft parked at LAS.

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At our gate and shutting down.  The ground crew needs to get us turned around in less than an hour. 

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That’s all for now.  Tune back in next time for the flight back to Seattle. 

Credits

If you are interested in experiencing your own “A Pilot’s Life”, I highly recommend the A Pilot’s Life, by SimBitWorld add-on for Prepar3D, FSX and X-Plane.  You can learn more about the A Pilot’s Life by visiting the SimBitWorld website and/or purchase APL at SimMarket.  Also, please read my full review of A Pilot’s LIfe here.

Flight Simulator:  Prepar3D v4.5 (hotfix 1)
Aircraft:  PMDG 737-900
Airline: Alaska Airlines (ASA)
ATC:  VATSIM
Airport Scenery: KSEA Drzewiecki Design, KLAS FlyTampa
Terrain Scenery: Orbx Global Base, Orbx Vector, Orbx openLC North America, Orbx NA Pacific Northwest, Orbx Northern California, Orbx Southern California
Sky/Cloud Textures: REX 5 SkyForce and REX 5 Environment Force
Weather Generation: ActiveSky (ASP4)
Flight Planning: SimBrief, Navigraph, FlightAware, FlightRadar24

Note:  If you are interested in any of the above mentioned add-ons.  Visit my P3D Add-ons directory for links.

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