View Full Version : MS FS dead? Could this be the end of PPRuNe as we know it?

24th Jan 2009, 12:40
From Gamasutra: "Redmond, Washington-based ACES Studio, the Microsoft-owned internal group behind the venerable Microsoft Flight Simulator series, has been heavily affected by Microsoft's ongoing job cuts.

Development sources have told Gamasutra that a large portion of the dev house's staff has been let go - with multiple reports indicating that the entire Flight Simulator team has been axed."

Microsoft Makes Big Cuts At Flight Sim Studio (http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=21981)

24th Jan 2009, 15:01
woww, never expected to see this happen.

24th Jan 2009, 15:23
As Microsnot drops the baton and the customers turn against it, just as IBM did a computer generation ago and let the baton transfer to Microsnot, so Linux will take over from Microsnot. The first pangs of pain are felt in the Flightsim world (of Microsnot). Will this be the death knell of Flightsim, or the birth of a new era in Flightsim unemcumbered by that thing called Windows? - (b) I think! Will this make any difference to a Professional Pilots Forum? Not a jot?

24th Jan 2009, 15:55
Someone will take over the whole FS market, buy it off MS probably. But failing that there's always X-plane. Which is probably better anyway particularly if it's developed.

Loose rivets
24th Jan 2009, 16:40
A small company, I think it was ATP - or the box was labeled thus - made rather a sad statement in the handbook. They claimed that The Flight Simulator program was started by them, and that they had never been compensated or even recognised as the authors.

It was quite a good little program, and I used it to keep my hand in while running another company. Certainly, this and then the other FS made a huge difference on going back to flying in my dotage.

24th Jan 2009, 16:52
Some prefer to play with the real things.

24th Jan 2009, 22:25
And getting paid while doing it.

24th Jan 2009, 23:23
All Hail and Praise ye the Skygods!! :rolleyes: :suspect:

24th Jan 2009, 23:55
Rolling, can I have your autograph? Pleeeeeze say you will.:rolleyes:

Howard Hughes
25th Jan 2009, 00:10
It'll certainly be the downfall of R&N, where will we get our 'experts' now? As for JB, I don't think it'll make a cracker of difference...:}

25th Jan 2009, 00:54
Okay, I guess this is a good of a time as any.

Due to popular demand, and seeing I received no unpopular demands, I have decided to tell the tale of the computer game pilot versus myself on operating aircraft in and out of Aspen.

First a brief history about Aspen and me, in fact I do believe that I shall title this story:


For nearly fourteen years I flew for a man that lived in Aspen the majority of the time. He had other homes in London, Oklahoma City and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. During this fourteen year period there was an eleven year break when he got poor and had to sell all of his aircraft, which at one time his fleet consisted of a Jet Commander, Westwind II, DC-3, Sabre 40-8 and a Bell 222 helicopter. It would be understandable at this time if one became rather curious as to why one man would need a Jet Commander, a Westwind II, a DC-3, a Sabre 40-8 and a Bell 222? Very simple really, we had the Jet Commander first and replaced it with a new Westwind II, however, we decided to keep the Jet Commander as a backup to the Westwind II for when it was down for maintenance. The DC-3 was just because he wanted the lowest time DC-3 that was still flying in the world. The Bell 222, because all of his friends had helicopters, which is good enough I guess. As for the Sabre 40, I was never really too sure just why we got the Sabre. He called me one day and told me that he just bought a Sabre 40, for us to go to school and learn how to fly the thing. When he started to get poor we sold all the aircraft but the Sabre 40. Except the helicopter, it crashed and we never replaced it. We actually joked about how poor the boss was, the poor guy was down to one 100 foot yacht, four houses, four Mercedes and one jet. Then he really got poor and had to sell the jet (Sabre 40) and the yacht and was now down to four houses and four Mercedes, poor guy.

Eleven years later he got rich again, hired me away from the Government and we were back in business. First we bought a Sabre 65 and then a few years later a new Falcon 900EX, of course we kept the Sabre 65 as a backup for the Falcon. Then he got poor again and we sold the Falcon 900EX and bought a new Falcon 50EX, of course we still had the Sabre for a backup. Now, in all the years that I flew for him we averaged flying to Aspen about once a week, year around. You need to understand that he primarily lived in Aspen and the aircraft were based in Oklahoma City. Why is that you ask? Well I’ll tell you. Because that is the way he wanted to operate. Therefore, if you do the math; average one trip per week, 52 weeks a year, times 14 years, well that’s a bunch. So, I can say, without fear of contradiction, that I am really, really, really experienced in matters involving flying in and out of Aspen. To be sure there are more experienced Aspen pilots around than little ole me, but not many.

Now for what few readers that are left, the ones that have not been bored to tears and have stopped reading the story, I will continue about the computer game pilot that told me I knew nothing about flying in and out of Aspen.

We, Mrs. C-P and I, were at one of those artsy, fartsy Art/Benefit/Charity things. You know the type of event, where you get all dressed up (black tie), stand around acting important (not me, I stay near the bar) and pretend that you could actually afford to buy the art that is up for auction. Personally I go for the free booze and all the food, but some people actually take these things seriously, why I don’t have a clue. To be honest I hate going to these things, but when I protest, I get the ‘look’ from Mrs. C-P, so I go. Oh, one very important note about attending these things, always take a lot of one dollar bills with you to these things to tip the bartenders, that way you never have to wait in line for a drink. Outside the US, take whatever you need to take, Pound coins, Euros or whatever. It works, trust me.

Okay, now where was I, ah yes, the story. I was standing behind one of those fake Palm trees that always seem to be at these things next to the bar talking to a friend who owned a Beech Baron (58 model if anyone really wants to know). He was planning to fly his Baron into Aspen for the first time in a couple of weeks, in fact it would be the first time he ever flew into Aspen on his own, and I was telling him the best time of day (summer) to fly in the mountains, best routing and other things that I knew about mountain flying, Aspen in particular. We moved around from behind the fake Palm tree to the bar to get some more Scotch. As we did so he asked me if I had ever flown a piston engine aircraft into Aspen? I ordered us a couple of drinks, dropped a couple of dollars in the tip jar and turned back around and said, “Yeah, I took a DC-3 in there once and only once. The boss wanted to take the DC-3 in there, and then after we got there he decided that the flight took too long, for us to go back home and pick him back up in one of the jets the next week.”

Just then my friend noticed his wife bid on a painting, (I think it was a painting of a two headed pregnant purple duck sitting on a bald headed guy, but I could be wrong) he left mumbling something stopping her or he would not own the Baron much longer. As I was now left out in the open I started to make a hasty retreat to resume my position behind the fake palm tree. Before I made two steps I was accosted by this, er, gentleman. The following is the conversation, as best as I can recall, kind of.

CGG (Computer Game Guy), “So, you’re a pilot huh?” said with a skeptical tone of voice and look on his face.

Me (uh, Me), ‘Dam’ I think, ‘didn’t move fast enough’, “Yes, guilty as charged.” I reply with a friendly smile on my face; should have told him no, but that I was a bartender on break.

“I just heard you tell that guy that you flew a DC-3 into Aspen, you can’t do that you know.”

“I can’t?”

“No, it’s not safe, anybody that knows anything about flying knows that.”

“They do, do they. Now, if you don’t mind me asking you, are you a pilot or are you with the FAA?” Hey, you can’t be too careful now days, the FAA is everywhere.

“No, I’m a Doctor.”

My brain is screaming run, run away now and fast. Unfortunately, as is the norm, my mouth opens prior to full brain engagement. “A Doctor huh, then just what is your expertise in aviation that gives you the justification to make such a statement about DC-3s and Aspen?”

“I have a condo in Aspen and I go there all the time on the airlines.”

“Well, there you go then, you obviously have much more knowledge about flying in and out of Aspen than I. My God, to think after all those years of flying jet aircraft, and a DC-3 once, in and out of Aspen that I could have learned so much more by ridding in the back end of some blasted airliner sipping Martinis and looking out the side window. You stupid, imbecilic jerk, what kind of conceded arse are you anyway……………….of course I did not say that. Blast my dear departed mother for teaching me good manners. What I did say was.

“You have a condo in Aspen, that’s nice. However, did you know that Aspen Airlines flew DC-3s into Aspen on regular passenger flights back in the 1970s?”

“There is no such thing as Aspen Airlines. Even if there was the government would not let them fly DC-3s, too dangerous and they’re underpowered.”

‘Well, yes there is no longer an Aspen Airlines, they were bought out by another company, however, they did operate DC-3s for many years before replacing them with Convair 580s.” I guess it was my frigging imagination seeing all those DC-3s fly in and out of Aspen.

“My wife’s cousin’s husband is a ‘real’ pilot. He told me that jet powered airliners are the safest airplanes to fly in Aspen. Besides that, I have the Microsoft Superdooper Upside Down Pineapple Cake Ultra You Can Be a Real Pilot computer game with all the attachments. I fly the simulations quite often to relax from my high stress work of being a Doctor. I am in the expert level you know.”

Dang, now I’m in trouble, my glass is empty, there is a crowd of about ten people around us and Mrs. C-P is nowhere in sight, where is that blasted woman when I need her, she could get me another drink. Then I notice that two of the people in the crowd were passengers of mine that I fly to Aspen. Ah ha, I have back up, victory is mine!

“In fact your ‘real’ pilot acquaintance is correct, jet powered aircraft are the safest type of aircraft that can be flown anywhere, let alone Aspen. However, very light piston powered aircraft can be safely flown in Aspen and in fact do all the time, winter and summer.” Now, for those who do not know me they would have a tendency to think that I am shouting at this point, this is untrue, despite what Mrs. C-P would tell you, I never shout. I am just firmly asserting the facts. “However, you got me this time, yes sir, even though I have an Airline Transport Pilot License, over 20,000 hours of flying time, have been flying for over 40 years, have flown more jet aircraft than you have ridden in as passenger, have flown around the world and have operate well over a 500 times safely in and out of Aspen, including once in a DC-3, I cannot compete against your vast experience and knowledge derived from sitting on your butt in your condo in Aspen playing a computer game. No sir, I beg forgiveness for even sharing the same space in time with your exalted presence. The fact that I have been breathing the same air humbles me to a mere unwashed ignorant serf.”

Now the CGG is slowly backing up and looking a bit frightened, why I don’t have the slightest clue, I was just trying to get close to him so he could hear me clearly, as I was not shouting, I never shout. I am sure the fact that I am well over six feet tall and weigh 220 pounds and that he was a short little sucker had nothing to him looking as he did, I never use my height to intimidate anyone. As my height has never intimidated my wife, so I couldn't see how it would bother this guy.

“My God, how could I be so mentally deranged as to disagree with a person such as yourself, a Doctor and someone who plays at the ‘expert’ level of a computer airplane game, I’ll never know. I shall proceed to the closest FAA office and immediately turn in my license and throw myself on an old rusty propeller blade and end my miserable, unworthy life. But first, I need another Scotch.” As I was just getting started with this guy and figured that one more Scotch would just enough to see me through this nice conversation we were having.

I turn around and before I could request the Scotch, it was handed to me by one of the bartenders. I turned back around the guy was gone, the crowd was still there, most of whom were laughing. Never did see that guy again for some reason, I really wanted to continue the conversation; he seemed like a nice guy, a bit nervous at the end though. When I finally found my wife she asked me if I had a good time. I replied.

“Why yes, in fact I had a great time, we need to do these things more often.”

She stopped, looked up at me, held her hand out and said, “Give me the car keys, I’m driving.”

Howard Hughes
25th Jan 2009, 01:01
Geez Con, can I get that 5 minutes of my life back?:E

Personally I wouldn't give someone who obviously gave you the shits, so much bandwidth!;)

25th Jan 2009, 02:43
(ONE PARAGRAPH DUE TO OBSCURE BROWSER PROBLEM.) Well said C-P, these idiot computer gamers are a pestilence upon the earth. Every once in a while one of them (expert level of course) gets drunk/stupid enough to steal a real airplane and try out their so-called flight skills. Result is one dead moron, one crashed airplane. Waste of a good airplane, too. Every so often we get beginning student pilots who have been practicing in advance on these games before they come to learn on real airplanes. It hurts them, we have to un-teach them everything they think they know before we can teach them what they really do need to know. Professional grade simulators are a slightly different story - they are used to practice procedures by people who already know how to fly. Rule of thumb, if it comes in a shrink wrapped box at WalMart, or is widely sold on the internet, it is a GAME, period, nothing more. Best Regards. Echo Mike

25th Jan 2009, 03:09
haha, great story!

I have nowhere near the level of expertise... I merely putt-putt around in a Beech Sundowner (and have great fun while doing so). But I can relate to the "cocktail party vs pilot" thing.

When I was a young stud hotshot PPL with an ink-is-still-not-dry license, I used to like to pull of the pilot thing at parties.

Then I realized that at every party I was repeating the same basic nonsense over and over again (it has 4 seats... I typically fly at 3000 ft or so... it goes 110 knots... er... in km/h? I think about 200 or so...) and so forth. So I stopped telling people I was a pilot. Except that my dear wife, picked up on how annoyed I was getting having to repeat the same information over and over again. Dear Mrs Beechnut thinks that to own a Beech, you have to be nuts. Or any other aircraft for that matter... hence the handle on this forum.

So what does Mrs. Beechnut do now at a party? She happily drops into the conversation that I am a pilot and own my own aircraft. Then she f.cks off to talk to her lady friends and leaves me saying "it has 4 seats, I typically fly at 3000 ft or so, it goes 110 knots... er... in km/h? I think about 200 or so..."

So I too like to hide behind the palm tree and befriend the bartenders...


25th Jan 2009, 04:25
I'd be in a state of constant iniberation if I had a beer for every time I've been told at such functions (when some other guest has been told I'm a pilot - not by me!) that "You really don't do anything but just sit there, do you? It's all done by computers now."

25th Jan 2009, 05:40

"Does your car have cruise control & a GPS navigator?"
"So when you drive you really don't do anything but just sit there, do you? It's all done by computers, isn't it?"

Loose rivets
25th Jan 2009, 08:40
con, you really shouldn't have frightened the doctor so...what if one day you rush into a surgery shouting...Er, talking assertively, doctor! doctor! I've just split my transverse, polycyclic, thrombi!!!! Help!! and out comes our FS Friend.

Strangers often reacted with a smiling 'Do you?', when it was mentioned that I was a pilot, but after a few moments in my company, my zany mad-cap humor, and often the slurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd speech, tend to make then look a tad concerned. Then come the standard questions.

"You don't fly large planes do you?" The 'Do you' was always said in a Please-don't-say-yes, sort of way.

"Yes, large-ish anyway."

Long frown. "But not passengers, right? Not people?"

"Yes, sometimes people, sometimes freight...hardly tell the difference."

Frown-furrows get deeper.

"But you only fly locally don't you?"

"Oh, yes." Looks of relief. "Spain, Italy, France, Portugal etc., oh, and the Canary Islands."

I watch closely, their reaction shows their next destination. The wife bites her lower lip and that's my cue to get into really silly mode.

"Oh, you're going to the Canary Islands then? Maybe I'll be flying you...probably will."

I do my best impersonation of Inspector Clouseau, and let my hand slip off a supporting chair or some-such, and depart at high speed stage left. It's hard to keep a straight face on the return, but the fun is too good to miss, so I remain deadly serious...apart from the involuntary Quasimodo stance.

"That's if the medics will pass me again....been having these..............."

Long pause.

"These what?"

"What? These what, what?"

It's about this time that the Rivetess comes to rescue them, but despite assurances, they still talk of possibly going to Brighton instead.

I've done a lot to promote aviation, me. :E

25th Jan 2009, 13:03
Some prefer to play with the real things.
Yeah, but you don't get to land the real thing at Kai Tak with half the engines out and no flaps - not if you're lucky, that is.

25th Jan 2009, 13:29
Jeez Con, I'm impressed!

I tell people I'm either a morticians assistant or a golf ball dimple maker :ok:

25th Jan 2009, 13:53
"Traveller in aluminium tubing" used to be my (not totally dishonest) answer... until the chick I tried it on one turned out to be the daughter of the CEO of Comalco!! Busted!

Solid Rust Twotter
25th Jan 2009, 14:02
What Haughtney said. I usually claim to be an undertaker. The eyes begin to glaze and the audience drifts off around the time I describe the point where the dearly departed ceases being a stiff and just becomes runny.

Leaves me plenty of time to hide behind the plastic palm and semaphore the bar tender for a refill.

25th Jan 2009, 14:06
I once met an aerodynamicist at a party who worked for one of the big golf ball makers. He and his team redesigned the dimple so that the ball flew further and straighter. It was taken off the market because fewer of them were being lost and it was hurting the bottom line.
The Ancient Mariner

Oh, and there was the sewage diver who was relining the main sewer in Valetta in Malta wihout the service stopping.........

25th Jan 2009, 14:19
Wiley, I have a very similar one - "I work in alumunium tube transportation, moving them from one part of my workplace to another".

My workplace being the sky :ok:

25th Jan 2009, 23:39
I'm sure more than one Airbus pilot has replied at parties "I'm a bus driver"...

That would be a great line at a fancy schmancy party where everyone was a snob.

"They let a BUS driver in here?"

26th Jan 2009, 00:00
Was once chatting to our B757 Fleet Technical Captain about something technical and we decided to try it in the simulator. At that point MS FltSim somehow came into it. "I can't fly MSFS" he said, "I always crash".

His real B757 landings were smooth enough though... ;)

26th Jan 2009, 16:59


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