Computer Hardware and Simulation Gaming for Aviation Safety Considered

Modern day computer hardware is getting quite robust, and there is about 10 times the computing power in a smart phone as was used to fly the first Space Shuttle, maybe more. Still, when it comes to operating today’s aircraft simulators the computer hardware is intense, and these simulators can cost a ton of money. Because they cost so much the time to use them becomes very valuable, therefore most airlines only use them as required to check out their pilots, or train them for certification on the next aircraft that pilot needs to fly so he or she can get their type rating and satisfactorily prove they are safe.

The other day, I was speaking with an expert in computer online gaming communities, Troy Laclaire, about the use of simulators in aviation, and how great these tools were for complying with safety standards and preventing mistakes in the real world, carrying real passengers, when it really mattered most. One question we pondered was should airline pilots, commercial pilots, charter pilots, and fractional jet pilots be required to fly with another pilot to an airport first prior to going there as the pilot in command for the first time.

If such an onerous rule were to be made by the FAA, what about simulators, couldn’t a pilot merely fly the last 5-10 minutes on approach and take-off to each airport that the airline generally went too? Maybe, but in the case of a charter jet, that might mean they’d spend 100s of hours in a simulator and that costs a lot of money right? Okay so is there a solution to all this? Troy has come up with one potential solution, so lets’ talk about this shall we. First, Troy notes:

The only problem with this is that simulators are not exactly cheap to run and each simulation takes a fair amount of time, and far as I understand simulators are mostly used to get pilots comfortable with flying a particular plane type. However, since the pilots are generally already familiar with flying their planes (at least I should hope so) and nearly everyone has computers these days, it is possible that you could have a DVD series created to cover the routes, based around actual flights, and then have the pilots use their computers to run these so that they can get some familiarity with the airports.

Now then, this is a good idea, and it makes sense, a perfect solution, plus it also stands to reason that a gaming expert would come up with this concept. Okay so, Troy also suggests that we “provide the pilots with a take home DVD, basic flight-sim gaming controls, and they can use these to get some muscle memory.” This too makes sense, keeping it simple, and perfect for a last-minute booking for a fractional jet, or charter flight, as the pilot can merely practice a couple of ILS approaches, missed approach, take-off, and navigating the taxi ways, etc.

Troy, being a computer hardware engineer, and quite the prudent safety advisor also states; “Alternatively, have a “pilots room” setup where a pilot can run through a video/basic simulator of a previous flight that has already flown that route, letting them get a rough idea of what to expect when going to an airport they are not yet familiar with.”

Okay so that’s pretty easy, it can be set up in the break room of the local Jet Center, or at an FBO etc. Perhaps, for $10-20 they can shoot a couple of landings at the desired future airport that they will be flying too? Perhaps, it might also be available to ALL general aviation pilots, the DVDs and a flight simulator room at the local FBO, etc. May as well keep the system busy and paying for itself, perhaps it might also spit out certificates of completion and aviation insurance companies may consider lowering rates too? Indeed, I hope you will consider all this and think on it.

Get Online With a Flight Simulator Game

Almost everyone has a game that they enjoy playing. Before video games, many people played board games like Monopoly or Life. Beginning with the development of arcade video games in the 1970’s, there have been unbelievable improvements, including huge advances with the flight simulator game.

Early flight simulation was used for military purposes and didn’t become popular with the general public until the 1970s when programs like Airfight were developed as an educational flight simulator game. You were able to choose a military jet loaded with fuel and weapons and shoot down other player’s aircraft.

Soon arcade games became popular such as Pong and Pac Man, but they were rather inferior to the games of today, as were the flight simulation games. At the time, though, they seemed highly advanced and they created the baseline for future games.

Finally, in the early 1980’s, video game consoles started to gain popularity and games like Donkey Kong and Zelda were big hits. Other games were created that ushered in the modern style of 3D graphics, but most visual effects still looked pretty 2D and movement was not very natural.

The games consoles were soon followed by gaming computers with sounds cards. Game controllers and joysticks began to be sold with the systems to allow for more realistic action. As computer graphics continued to improve, the flight simulator game manufacturers were able to replicate the detailing of both the inside and outside of the various planes that were available.

Soon there were developments in the ability to provide a distant focus point for the pilot of the flight simulator game. With the use of a curved mirror and wide angle display equipment, a distant focal point representing the horizon made the view much more life like.

One issue that was resolved soon after was the fact that most computers didn’t have enough memory to allow the movement of objects to flow smoothly. The improvements in graphics forced computer companies to find a way to increase the computing power. The increase of band width offered by internet providers helped to avoid the jerky motion with video delivery.

As video gaming has become more and more popular, controllers have been added to give more realism. Joysticks, yokes and rudder pedals offered a whole new challenge to the flight simulator game, but it also made it much more enjoyable. The good thing is that you can still just use your computer keyboard to play a game too, if you can’t afford to buy other controllers.

Online play opened up a new way to hook up with other pilots playing the same game, and fly in formation. It also allows you to update software and add new downloads more quickly and easily.

With technology constantly changing, the realism of the flight simulator game will no doubt keep improving along with it. Soon, you will not be able to tell the difference between what is virtual reality and what is real.

Playing Deer Hunting Games To Keep You in the Sport During the Off-Season

If you’re avid deer hunter and you’re into video games, deer hunting games could be a fun source of entertainment during the off season. Or if you’re not able to go hunting for real due to time constraints or any other number of reasons, going virtual hunting may get you through the season with at least some of the virtual challenge of the sport.

With the technological advancements of the 21st century, you can find some very challenging and realistic types of games that you can play right in the comfort of your home on your Wii or Xbox or any other video game system. Or you can find some interactive online settings where you can challenge other online hunters to simulation games.

Whichever format you choose, there are a variety of deer hunting games depending on what level of challenge you want and how realistic you want it to feel. And most of these virtual reality games come with a range of themes as well, like different settings for the hunt or different types of weapons depending on the season.

For instance, you may pick a forest environment theme or a guided hunt theme, and then choose the deer hunting season where you’re using either a muzzle-loader or flintlock, bow, rifle or shotgun.

Some of these games may have a theme where you’re only allowed to shoot certain types of deer, for instance, buck season or doe season. Or maybe your challenge is to get a buck with a specific amount of points or you have to bring home a button buck. And the game will be made so realistic that you’ll feel like you’re actually out there hunting, trying to find just that particular type of deer.

Some deer hunting games may even include challenges like coming up on the occasion wild and dangerous animals that you have to avoid while on your hunt, like bear, snakes and other wild creatures that will really test your quick thinking and fast acting skills to keep your virtual hunter alive as well as add to the excitement of the game.

There are also some games that have additional features to give you some realistic challenges in a variety of outdoor hunting and fishing sports that virtually put you in real-life scenarios where you’ll hunt some pretty realistic animals programmed with advanced artificial intelligence.

Whatever format or level of challenge you decide on, there are a lot of deer hunting games to choose from. Ask your friends for their opinions or read the online reviews before deciding. Or pick up a couple so you have a nice variety to keep you busy during the off-season.