1 January 10

Virtual Airsickness

We spent New Year’s Eve lying nauseous in bed — this was following a dinner of pasta with a squash and arrugula sauce and some holiday champagne. Our leading theory is was the perhaps undercooked arrugula that laid us low. (Happily we are feeling much better this New Year’s Day).

Or maybe it was virtual airsickness. Not long after getting this new laptop, I installed the open source flight simulator FlightGear and have been addictively learning to pilot its simulated Cessna 172P since. Right now my game is going on an airport-hopping trip of short flights, having left University Airport in Davis a couple miles from our house a few days ago. Last night’s segment, made just after dinner, was flying from Arcata to Crescent City along the northwest coast of California, with Pica virtually riding along in the co-pilot’s seat.

To make things more interesting, I fly with the real weather conditions fetched from the Internet. Last night’s conditions were the diciest I’ve been in yet. There was a 25 to 35 knot wind aloft from the south-southwest with a good bit of turbulence. I worried about how I was going to land the plane just as my real-life nausea was kicking in. Fortunately the landing wasn’t as tricky as I feared. Below the clouds at 1500 feet the air was smoother. I flew past the airport as far as the Smith River, and then made a 180-degree turn so as to land into the wind. Thanks to the crossed pair of runways at Crescent City, I was able to land with pretty much a straight headwind (I’m not sure I’m up for landing in a 25-knot crosswind).

The wind conditions are pretty similar up there right now. I think I’ll wait before going on my next leg up to Coos Bay in Oregon.

Posted by at 11:13 AM in Games | Link |
  1. :-) it sounds marvelous! (The simulator, not the nausea.)

    dale    1. January 2010, 18:54    Link
  2. Well at least you’re minimising your carbon footprint this way – happy flying and a very happy 2010 to you both.

    Natalie d'Arbeloff    2. January 2010, 18:19    Link

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