Carrier LandingsGerry from New-Brunswick, Canadawrote:
"I just saw your web-page, and I noticed the picture with the Cessna going to land on the carrier. Did you actually did it in Microsoft Flight Simulator 98?"
... I only managed a "touch-n-go" - MiGMan
Gerry managed it after about 500 attempts!
"About 2 years ago, when I first got my Microsoft Flight Simulator 98 , I had never before tried a flight-sim. Boy, had I missed some fun! Back then, I didn't even had a joystick and was using the keyboard only.
After the (usual) crashes on my first takeoff tries with the Cessna on Meigs Field, I finally got the "hang" of it. Got better and better at flying, real fast!
After a few days of regular flying, I got kinda bored. Even with landings on the aircraft carriers. Yep, landed on BOTH carriers. The one on the "Aircraft Carrier Fly-By" flight, where you fly throught "red squares" was difficult, as it is SMALLER in size, like 2/3 scale. When on it, the F-18s are only slightly bigger than the Cessna! LOL!
Anyway, I also noticed that on the "Carrier Approach" flight, when you fly just above the sea-level alongside the carrier, if you look at its side, you can see that the "garage-doors" are opened on the rearmost elevators, so you can see THROUGH them... Yep, you can FLY throught them too! I did!
A bit difficult with a side-wind (by default settings) bu do-able with some practice. Yep, you can fly UNDER the carrier deck, throught the rearmost garage doors. But, I got bored with that too....
So, one day, I decided to see if I could land the Cessna from the FRONT of the carrier, with a tail-wind! (default settings). A friend of mine who is also a flight-sim enthusiast told me that it was impossible. One more reason to try! Well, after AT LEAST 300 tries during the same day, I WAS SUCCESSFUL!!!!
Yep, must have spent around 15 straight hours on my computer trying! And remember, I was only using the keyboard, with all the settings at "default". But I gotta say, the first time I was successful, it happened by accident. You see,
the real difficulty with that manoeuver is not to land on the carrier, it is to STOP before going overboard! Well, after having landed, I watched instant replays from all availables angles for at least 3 hours! LOL! The Cessna stopped about 20 feet from the rear of the carrier, and about 5 feets from the side, facing toward the front of the carrier, left wing extending past the deck over the water!
Here's how I did it: Like I said, the main difficulty here is stopping. So I did my approach with engine OFF, so as to get no proppeler pulling. Yep, gliding. Nose down, full flaps, so as to touch the carrier deck right at its begining. Just above stall-speed, of course. As soon as the wheels touch-down, apply the brakes!
But as you'll soon discover, you'll still go too fast, by about 30 knots and go overboard each time. The ""secret-manoeuver" here is; land a bit nearest the carrier's island or control tower side, and once you pass it, turn right as sharp as you can. Going sideway seems to improve braking A LOT! And with the effect of the wind, you should now came to a stop looking toward the front of the carrier. Kinda a ""U-Turn" manoeuver.
I'll ALWAYS remember the next day: I had to drive a car for a 1-hour ride to a nearby town, and I had been sooooo much into the game a few hours before, that when I was going up and down hills, I ALWAYS had the tendency to pull and push on the steering wheel!! LOL!! Talk about a weird feeling!
: - )
Now, each time I see my flight-sim friends, I always ask first: ""Do you want my autograph?" LOL. Since then, I only could successfully do that manoeuver one other time. That's a really hard manoeuver to do indeed!
That was about 2 years ago. Since then, I got a joystick, and discovered the marvelous world of Fighters Anthology (1998). Really weird to land a B-52 or 747 on aircraft carriers...
Another "unconventional" manoeuver that I have been thinking about, is landing a Cessna on top of a skyscraper in Microsoft Flight Simulator 98- kinda like doing a "hammer-head"manoeuver, and with the right timing, it should be doable.
Gerry from New-Brunswick, Canada