Your connection with the sky

Simulation Meets Aviation

A leader in the flight simulator community discusses the real life aviation benefits of flight "simming." About FrancoisD

Flight Simulation Conference in Munich, Germany

March 27th, 2012

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This past weekend saw me hop on a regional jet from Amsterdam to Munich in Germany, to attend the Aerosoft Conference held in the city's wonderful aviation museum, the Flugtwerft. Aerosoft is one of the world's foremost developers and distributors of flight simulation (add-on) software and organizes this conference every year, now  for the 10th time already. Although it is not as big and famous as the 'Dutch FS Weekend', it is surely worth visiting. If not for finding out news about the 'hobby' then at least to meet with some of the major companies in the industry and meet with developers and other enthusiasts face to face.

And as I have explained many times before, aviation and flightsimming IS the same for many people. The passion is the same, the goal is pretty much the same too. Read More >>

Simulation in Paris

October 28th, 2011

Maybe not your everyday's title when reading an aviation column in a largely US centered publication. On the other hand, who doesn't have some or other fantasy with the word 'Paris'? Not only is it still one of the most wonderful and special cities in the world, it is also home to a lot of aviation history! And although Let's Go Flying may be focusing on getting NEW people to fly, it all started with 'them old folks' way back when. They not only invented these 'flying machines' - and they were exactly that! - but they also had the incredible courage of mounting them and taking off where nobody had ever gone before...... up into the sky !

(Maybe) fortunately that is not how things go anymore. Nowadays you typically go to a small airfield, enter the flying school and start taking lessons, maybe after a trial lesson. And those lessons are done in perfectly safe and thoroughly tested aircraft, with well trained instructors, in a very much regulated world of aviation, technology and science. Read More >>

A Simguy goes to Alaska

March 14th, 2011
Flying the Misty Fjords, Alaska

By François A. ‘Navman’ Dumas
Owner, publisher and photographer
Silver Cloud Publishing

I think it doesn’t happen often to us; dreams coming true. Once in awhile you get lucky though. I know I did, on our recent trip to the US. And as is often the case in such situations, a few wonderful people were instrumental in making things happen.

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Let me start right off with mentioning them by name, because that’s the least they deserve!

First of all there’s Barry Copeland, Sr. Captain at Alaska Airlines, a good friend since 2007 and just a wonderful person in so many respects! And let’s not forget his understanding and equally kind wife, our friend Della! Nina and I met Della and Barry 3 years ago in Seattle and it was as if we’d known each other for ever. That hasn’t changed. On the contrary, that feeling has only been reinforced during our subsequent reciprocal visits. Read More >>

Why Fly and Why Sim?

August 4th, 2010

francois3Armchair pilot?

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By Francois A. ‘Navman’ Dumas – August 2010

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Dear AOPA members, I know I have been AWOL for some time. The reason being a very hectic and sometimes even dramatic life over the past year. But I'm back and blogging again, in various places! One such place is right HERE at Let's Go Flying, and another one is Why Fly Inc., of which I am co-owner and the tech wizard now, as well as contributor.

And we need READERS! So come and have a look when you have a passion for flying, or just want to know why OTHERS have a passion for it. It is totally FREE!

That's what Why Fly is all about. And in that sense it is really complementary to organizations such as AOPA and EAA, aiming for the exact same goal: getting people to love flying!

Back to flight simming.........

So what’s an armchair pilot?

Or, come to think of it, why would I want to write about that?

‘Armchair Pilots’ are what many flightsimmers call themselves. They ‘fly’ on a monitor (TV screen) attached to a desktop computer. Using, predominantly, Microsoft’s Flight Simulator, they can mimic real flight, learn manoeuvres, practice, or just fantasize about being a pilot … from the chair at their desk … and, sometimes, from a more-than-real, home-built-cockpit!! Read More >>

Passion for Flying

February 1st, 2010

Basically, isn't that what brings YOU here too? We are all passionate about flying, aviation and/or airplanes in one way or other. I have been away for awhile. I guess that happens to many of us from time to time. Life is difficult on many and it takes more time these days to scrape a living together. But that just leaves even a larger NEED for a passion.

And that's why I think you will just LOVE the short video about the Tiger Boys and Girl that's available from the website that was recently opened. Check out the Tiger Boys and Girl article here and DO run that video. There are lots more interesting stories by interesting people there and I think a subscription is more than worth it. Give them a try and click here for more information.

The people writing on that site can REALLY tell you what flying is about and especially WHY we... and YOU!?.... do it and so it is a great complement to the Let's go Flying initiative and this blog here!

Mountain flying in France

May 29th, 2009

Here's an interesting little movie by a fellow pilot landing at my 'home' airfield, Altiport de Méribel (LFKX).

He first flies over the runway to announce his arrival, then heads east towards Courchevel, turning north, west and then south again on final.

You'll notice how difficult the short runway is to spot. Actually the fairway of the golf course running down from the runway is a good indicator to line up with the runway. Read More >>

Help save a Skyraider !!!

May 21st, 2009

.... from US Homeland Security paranoia, no less!

Yes, you know me from posting about flight simulator topics, but real aviation is also close to my heart, and more in specific the history of it, old planes and old airfields. Here's a story you have to hear if you have any fuel running through your veines..... and why else would you read an AOPA blog !!?? Read More >>

International Flight Simulator Consortium

May 1st, 2009

As some of you may know, Microsoft closed its long-running development of Flight Simulator and sacked the entire team developing and maintaining it. They thereby delivered a powerful blow to REAL aviation as well, since FS is and always has been an important platform to get people informed about flying and aviation in general. Read More >>

When our heroes die…..

March 20th, 2009


I was afraid this would happen when I reported of the missing aircraft (Cessna 180) of Sparky Imeson yesterday. Search crews found the wreckage of it and Sparky died in the crash. So really really sad.First of all my condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Sparky. It is always sad when someone dies, even more when it is one of our pilot friends, even when he's doing what he loves best: flying!


….. but (sim)life continues….

January 28th, 2009

I hope you have read my previous post, titled 'A Monumental Error', about the demise of the Flight Simulator development group at Microsoft aka ACES Studio. There you can read about the 'state of shock' most veteran flightsimmers are in. And as I already alluded to, many of those people are pilots in real life as well, and quite a number of them only started thinking about flying a real aircraft after having met aviation through their PC and MS Flight Simulator. Read More >>