Vondelmolen balloon

Flying overhead Vlassenbroek we spotted one of the Vondelmolen balloons on sunday 26/12/2004 in the afternoon. To fly along in one of their balloons, visit the propeller website!
Some technical information: you can see the pitot tube under the wing (looks like a gun), a device to measure the airspeed of the aircraft. To the left of it, slightly behind the wing strut, you can see a vent tube. This tube is connected with the fuel tank. The forward speed of the aircraft creates a positive air pressure inside the fuel tank which helps the fuel supply to the engine fuel pump.

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Cock's Vleeswaren balloon

OO-BXS spotted where Dender and Schelde meet... (picture taken on sunday 26/12/2004, afternoon)

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This picture was taken approaching Temse, enroute to Sint-Niklaas. You can see the bridge over the Schelde (N16), which is called "Tango" in aviation terms. It is used as an entry point for aircraft flying under "visual flight rules" who want to enter or exit the controlled area that surrounds the Antwerp-Deurne airport.
A bit further down the river, where the Schelde meets the river Rupel, is another reporting point, called "Rupel".

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Lebbeke sport sites

A closer view on the sport sites of Lebbeke. The top soccer field is KSK Lebbeke, the lower one Rapide Lebbeke. In the middle the site for athletics. The big building in the lower left corner is an indoor site with swimming pool.

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Pilot's view

This is what you get to see from the pilot's seat. It's not an exact picture, since the pilot's head is lower than the camera (I simply put the camera on top of my head to take this picture). The instrument in the top right corner, attached to the windshield, is the compass.
In the center, slightly to the right, you can see the industrial site near Dendermonde (the aircraft is exactly overhead Lebbeke). The road starting at the left, then curving away, is the N41. It passes over the railroad between Brussels and Dendermonde. If you look closely, you can see a "cloud" rising slightly to the left of the compass. This is the nuclear powerplant Doel near Antwerp. Ah yes, on a day with good visibility there's a lot to spot!

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Multi-Engine training

This is a 2' video showing the highlight of every multi-engine training: the real engine shutdown. To see the video, click here (movie removed to save webspace, sorry!). I apologise for the choice of music and the interaction with the images, I simply couldn't resist trying to create a "wow!" effect ;-).
Engine failures are normally practiced with "simulated" engine failure: the engine is not shut down, but it is put in a "zero-thrust" setting when the student simulates the feather action. When feathering an engine, the propeller blades are rotated parallel to the airflow to create minimal drag. It also creates maximum drag in the direction of rotation of the propeller and the engine immediatly stops rotating. This is what you see during the shutdown. During normal training however, the student calls out the feathering action, but does not "do" it. Instead, the instructor uses the throttle to simulate a similar aerodynamic effect (zero thrust). The engine is still working though. But a real engine shutdown and restart is also a requirement and it's a thrill for every student!
This training flight was flown under instrument flight rules, starting with a blind takeoff. You can see the instructor putting the visor down, with a paper attached to it, to obstruct the forward view of the pilot. The pilot may only use his instruments, not the outside view. It's pretty scary for a takeoff...
After the shutdown, notice the engine controls in the cockpit. The left controls (black = throttle, blue = propeller rpm, red = fuel mixture) all down for the left engine, the right ones all forward. The camera shows the engine instruments. The electronic display is called the DDMP (Digital Data Monitoring Panel). It shows, from top to bottom: Manifold pressure (MAP), engine RPM and TIT (turbine or turbo inlet temperature I think... I don't fly this aircraft anymore). The round gauges below the digital system show the same data: MAP, RPM and TIT. Always left for the left engine, right for the right engine.

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The "office" of OO-BET. Standard equipment with the addition of a GPS (King KLN35).

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You have to admit... the new paint scheme of Vliegclub Grimbergen is beautiful! OO-BET was the first aircraft to be painted this way. Then OO-DKM got a similar jacket to wear (we've already posted some pictures of this PA-28, take a look at the postings of june 2004). Today there are three aircraft in total with this paint scheme, the third one is OO-VCR, with a white/red color scheme.
Like OO-VCL (see postings of last month), this Cessna 152 also has long-range tanks and a GPS which makes it ideal for navigation flights.

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Elite Jet MD-81

We've just finished a few test flights, basically standard departures and ILS approaches at Brussels Airport. This screenshot shows the aircraft on final runway 25R at night.
For more information on the simulator: website of Elite.

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Elite Jet MD-81

The Elite simulator is probably the best Instrument Procedures trainer on the market today. It used to be very pricy, but the system has changed, now you can choose which aircraft you want. So no need to buy the C172 if you only need the Seneca III. 
Even though the world of home flight simulators is growing every day, finding a good and affordable jet simulator has been a big problem. The world's best selling Flight Simulator (Microsoft Flight Simulator) offers stunning visuals but lacks several important characteristics. It seems impossible to trim the aircraft in pitch, hence setting a correct attitude in all phases of flight is difficult. If you consider the most basic rule in flying is "pitch + power = performance", you know you can't be dealing with the best possible solution. Especially since the prop modelling lacks accuracy as well...
Any others sims around? Airline Simulator 2 - AS2 - had the first "realistic" jet aircraft model (also MD-81). But the simulator itself, the core of the program, was a brushed up version of the ancient ATP... this is FS4 era if some of you might remember that one. I've used it up to a few days ago, but it's annoying you can't assign your yoke buttons. Ie trimming and engine control is a keyboard issue.
Let's not forget Aerowinx Precision Simulator, a piece of art! Excellent flight model, excellent engine model, the best 747-400 systems simulator, all in one piece! But... you can imagine, if it's a 747-400 SYSTEMS simulator, it's not very efficient as a basic jet IFR trainer. This simulator is for me the number 1 on the charts of home flight simulators, but the combination of glass cockpit and complex systems makes it unefficient for my personal goals: get myself prepared for simchecks in old-fashioned, analog style cockpits.
There was one other jet simulator on the market: Elite. The problem with this sim was that it was initially designed as a basic IFR trainer like On Top and Jeppesen Flitepro. It was/is the best in this class but... you payed big bucks for quality like this. Then they added the MD-81, and this was what we needed although... even more expensive! Aouch. You needed to buy the core version of the sim (including almighty C172 and the likes). If you wanted a bigger one, you needed to buy the smaller ones to.
But finally, finally they changed the system. Now you can buy the core version, without any aircraft, and simply request the MD-81. The result is a excellent priced high quality Jet Instrument flight trainer.
This first picture shows the quality of the visual system. Notice the slope of runway 25L at Brussels National Airport. This is something I've never seen before in any sim for home use...

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This little fella' became my flying mascotte... My nephew decided to put him on a transatlantic flight, to assist me while I was in Scottsdale, Arizona for my flight training. When he arrived at my place, he told me he enjoyed the flight across the ocean soooooo much, he wanted to be up there as much as possible. I understood this perfectly off course... "So do I, dude!" I said. So we decided he could make my headset bag his home. This way he could join me on all my flights, and he loves it! 
So here he is saying hi to all of you, waiting anxiously for another flight. Oh yes, he's seen it all. The sweat during training, the beauty of different landscapes, the thrill of a perfect landing and... Just a second he has something to add... what do you say? "The mess you get when you screw up!"...aaaah...shhh boy!!!
A true mascotte don't you think?

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