40 More Great Flight Simulator Adventures

by Charles Gulick



North Position: 17191 Rudder: 32767
East Position: 16671 Ailerons: 32767
Altitude: 591 Flaps: 0
Pitch: 0 Elevators: 32767
Bank: 0 Time: 9:00
Heading: 180 Season: 1-Winter
Airspeed: 0 Wind: 0 Kts, 0
Throttle: 0

Important: Change Slew to 1 for this mode.

When we finish slewing in this mode, you can change Slew back to 0, add some kind of wind from the south, and use it as a Meigs tie-down.

    Northerly Island, which is the island where Meigs is located, is so narrow that there's no other reasonable tie-down here. Add or subtract one from the East Position and you're floating in, respectively, Lake Michigan or Burnham Park Harbor.



If, as usual, the simulator hasn't picked up on your heading as established in the editor, slew until you're looking 180-181 degrees. (Did you ever, but ever achieve a heading of exactly 180 in the Piper? If so, you're a better navigator than I am.)

    That's runway 18, of course, just ahead to the right.

    Go into radar and zoom to see the island and its connection to central Chicago, which is behind your airplane. The little bulge to your left rear is the site of Adler Planetarium, and there's a beach this side of that known as 12th Street Beach. A road leading to the mainland is called Achsah Bond Drive, which leads to the Field Museum of Natural History on Chicago's Lake Shore Drive. Just south of the museum is Soldier Field, home of the Bears, and to the northeast of it, Shedd Aquarium.

    I've often thought how funny it will be, for those of us who know airports like Meigs only as they're represented in the simulator, to see them in reality one day. We'll expect them to be just landing strips surrounded by lots of green earth, with no people, no telephone poles, not even another airplane. We're in for future shock, I guess.

    Well, I've discovered something strange in the more or less empty part of the world of the simulator-the world beyond the charts. Something-or plural, somethings-growing up or sticking up out of the everlasting grass way out in no man's land.

    At slew speeds, these things are not very far from Meigs, but they're certainly far from any civilization we know. Come along and I'll show them to you. Maybe you can figure them out.


These things are to the north, so first of all, exit radar and slew to a heading of 000. Then slew up to an altitude of about 2000 feet. Next slew north, setting up a rate of about a digit per second.

    In case you didn't realize it, you can pause during a slew by pressing the P key. When you unpause, the rate you've previously set up resumes. So pause for reading anytime during this journey.

    You'll zip over Lake Michigan and then what must be Lake Superior at a pretty nice speed. You'll be somewhere in Ontario. There's no telling where, once you're over land. Because you're also somewhere south of Willard and all that other stuff which is far south of Meigs, though of course you're heading north. But don't be concerned.

    You can look behind you and watch the somewhat familiar world recede if you want to. And you can speed up to any slew rate you like for a while. But keep a regular watch on your North Position, and when it gets to about 19150, freeze and set up a digit per second rate again. Watch straight ahead out your windshield.

    When you see what appears to be a pair of dots straight ahead, freeze the slew. Then start it up again, noting that the dots don't seem to change aspect for quite a while. They must be very far away indeed.

    Control the slew rate now so as to approach the dots at a brisk speed, but not so fast as to pass them right by. When North Position is in the 19900's, the dots will start to be animated. They'll take on various shapes, independent of one another, from fat to flat.

Attention! When the dots start to move quite rapidly toward you from their position close to the horizon and begin to spread apart, freeze again.

    Now slew so that the dots approach you slowly.

    Before the first of the right pair of dots, which now appear to be posts, leaves your field of view, freeze again.

    Study the right pair a moment. The left grouping apparently consists of many more, but similar, posts. We'll examine them more closely.

    Slew west now, at a not too rapid rate, until the main group of posts is in the center of your screen. Then freeze.

    Take a look out the right front. The two posts we're leaving in favor of a closer examination of the cluster are there where we'd expect them to be. They are, certainly, things of substance.

    Return to your front view. Again slew north cautiously, freezing before the nearest of the posts goes out of your field of view.

    Slew you altitude now to descend to the ground, if ground this is.

    There the posts are-ahead of you, fat and real, arranged in a not quite orderly rank or file. Take a view to the right rear to check on the earlier two posts. There they are. Return to the out-front view.

    Now slew forward slowly, right toward the posts.

    They are posts aren't they? But what kind of posts? Guideposts? Listening posts? Outposts? Last Outposts?

    At least one of them will be directly in your path. Continue forward and see if your aircraft will knock them down, or they'll crumple your wings or fuselage. Watch them go by you, marching like stilted wooden soldiers.

    And if you think you don't pass right through them, or they through you, look out the rear and see them align themselves behind you. When you've passed the last of them, slew around to head 180 or thereabouts. There they are again.

    Slew south now to approach them from this side, and slew east or west to get one of them directly ahead of you-close up and right off your nose.

    Seems to vanish inside the plane, or inside something, doesn't it? You can't actually make contact. Slew very slowly in the opposite direction, and it appears again, like a Jack in the Beanstalk vine.

    If you're flying the Cessna, there's just one more anomaly way up here in northern Canada. Go into the editor and change the time to 23:00.

    Aha! No posts. And also no darkness.

    But look at your wings and your fin. That's where the darkness went, perhaps. Shades of the twilight zone we explored in the first of these books.

    Go back into the editor and change the time to 12:00. We'll get the posts back, so we can study them some more.

    I said, get the posts back, so we can...

    I said, get the posts....

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