Ah, Freeware A/C...

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UAL124 Joel Wolk
Posts: 52
Joined: March 4th, 2018, 6:30 pm
Location: Bolingbrook, IL

Ah, Freeware A/C...

Post by UAL124 Joel Wolk » October 13th, 2018, 10:26 am

I'm one of those bare-bones virtual pilots... "still" on FS9 and flying mostly freeware a/c... I don't even use any type of flight control hardware... that's right, it's "keyboard and mouse" for me...

Recently, I was on a routine (read: boring) flight from Columbus, OH to Chicago O'Hare. Flying freeware Embraer 170.

Everything's normal but as soon as I take off, the plane starts banking hard to the left on it's own. Hmmm. What's going on? In my years of virtual piloting, never seen this before. Level the plane as I climb, see what happens. Again- hard bank left. Weather is nothing out of the ordinary, so it can't be that. Engines? Nope... all engine gauges (if working correctly) show normal engine operation.

Quickly calculate that successful landing with this condition is fairly unlikely... not a good outcome for my 69 virtual PAX. I consider just quitting the flight... but what's the point of that? Anytime something adverse happens I'm just going to walk away- then why bother flying in the first place? So I'll stick it out and try to logic through it...

I can get the plane to fly in about the direction I want relatively stable using autopilot. Okay that helps. I figure about the only thing left is aileron and/or rudder trim. Something either glitched, or (more likely) I accidentally and unknowingly goofed it up before taking off. And it's a freeware aircraft... after checking all the instrument views I find there's nothing for me to visually inspect rudder and aileron trim to see if they're centered or not (just guessing/assuming I would be able to see it in payware a/c). I don't even know the key combinations to adjust trim off the top of my head so I look them up. Call up ATC and request a lower cruise altitude figuring that will give me more time enroute to troubleshoot. So I just start a series of "trial and error". Estimate I've got 30-35 minutes before getting into Chicago airspace. Change trim slightly level the plane, see what it does. Then go back and continue making further adjustments and evaluate the results. ATC not happy that I can't hold assigned altitude. Oh well. By the time I'm descending into Chicago, it's not perfect but plane feels stable enough I can shoot the approach and try to get it down.

At this point, I'll take anything that's actually on the runway and doesn't register as a crash in FS. On localizer. Feeling kind of jittery. Disconnect autopilot to hand-fly the rest of the way. Somehow I end up below the glideslope. Dammit! Missed approach? No- think I've got it. And...yes... main gear touchdown... thrust reversers... brakes... just get the plane stopped. Whew.. made it. Taxi to gate. Don't forget to breathe.

Ah- another day as a VA pilot. "Thanks for flying Virtual United Airlines and we hope to see you again, soon!" :lol:
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UAL044 Kevin Finch
Posts: 181
Joined: April 25th, 2016, 11:52 pm
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
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Re: Ah, Freeware A/C...

Post by UAL044 Kevin Finch » October 16th, 2018, 9:53 pm

I've had similar banking issues, usually during taxi and it turned out to be a controller that needed calibration but you're not using controllers.. Hopefully, a one-time glitch.

Good recovery on your part, though.
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UAL124 Joel Wolk
Posts: 52
Joined: March 4th, 2018, 6:30 pm
Location: Bolingbrook, IL

Re: Ah, Freeware A/C...

Post by UAL124 Joel Wolk » October 23rd, 2018, 8:35 pm

Thanks Kevin... definitely a one-timer, whatever it was.

Have flown the same a/c twice since this incident and in both flights everything was perfectly normal. Go figure... :)
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