Exhibit: Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002
OK, having got my sim-postcard snaps and feeling pretty happy about it... and perhaps intoxicated by my run under the Harbour Bridge... I decided to land at Sydney International.
I had heard a little about the Air Traffic Control module built into Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 and really didn't anticipate using it. I generally prefer zooming and booming to simulating the "hard work" side of things. It's all relative I guess.
Anyway the booklet had what I presumed was a cut-down list of keystrokes on the back two pages. The tilde key ~ apparently activated ATC. Taking a deep breath I pressed the key and transparent menu appeared.
OK - no need to tune the radio (you can do that if you prefer) - just press 1. My pilot voice contacted the tower and was asked to squawk an ident, which was accomplished by another keypress. The menu pops up and adapts to the interactions - only presenting you with valid choices. I then asked for landing permission (you can opt for touch'n'go's and other optiosn I've forgotten just now) and the pleasant controller issued me instructions along the lines of:
"Enter right hand pattern and land runway 34 left"..
After a moment's thought, this made sense. I was coming south down the coast (see the map) and to turn right into the circuit would keep aircraft noise out to sea. Just for the the hell of it I selected the "say again" option.. he he he. The atmosphere was building. Looking right I could see the airport - hey it looked pretty real!
Downwind approaching Sydmey International.
Sydney International - known as Mascot to the locals - is on the North side of Botany Bay where the flight plan ends.