Back in the air (sorta)

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Well, it’s been a while.

According to my logbook, the last time I flew a plane was 4 Aug 2003. I made two sorties with friends. I logged 1.9hrs in the Diamond Katana and, when I pushed the aircraft back into the hangar, I had no inkling that would be the last time.

The Katana

I’m not going to bore you with the (somewhat personal) details of why I stopped flying, other than to say that it was a tough decision, one I regretted (but which I now can’t go back on) and it made me averse to all things aeronautical for a long while.

But something’s changed. Maybe it’s the fact that I can’t fly any more, rather than it just being difficult to restart, that has allowed me to rediscover my love of aviation without too much regret. I mean, it’s still there – the longing to strap on a real aeroplane and soar into the sky – but I can deal with it now.

Over on my geek blog, Machina Speculatrix, I wrote about how I recently built a PC. One of the motivations for doing so was to try out some games – and, of course, some flight simulators.

I was flying Microsoft Flight Simulator 2.0, on the PC and Atari ST, before I got my pilot’s licence. And Aviator on the BBC Micro before that. Playing with flight sims again, I’m astonished how they’ve progressed – and how, in some ways, they haven’t.

So, with the passion rekindled, I figured I might as well blog about it. I mean, that’s what you do these days, right?

I created this blog two years ago with the intention of using it to talk about my aviation memorabilia collection, which I’d planned to sell on Ebay. Instead, I’m going to use this space to natter about all things to do with aviation. Subjects will include:

  • Flight simming – I’ll log my journey into this rich & complex world.
  • My aviation collection.
  • Some of my favourite aviation photos (I’m a professional photographer and, back in the 1980s, was the author/photographer of three aviation books).
  • Perhaps a few (not many) recollections of flights past. I logged only just over 200 hours during the 13 years I was an active pilot. But there were a few memorable flights – and I may recreate some of them in X-Plane 11.

So, if that sounds interesting, I’d be glad to have you along for the ride.

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