This was one of my favorite flights, to the Pacific coast from Bremerton. I use the Saratoga (FS2004) to recreate the 60-mile flight. When I appear on the runway, I look at the instruments only to see black holes where the gauges should be. There is an autopilot and ADF, but no nav radios. In the virtual cockpit, there is a full array of instruments and radios, but they are static and somewhat out of focus, for looks only. However, â€œaltâ€ and â€œwâ€ give me a panoramic view to the front, with instruments along the bottom of the screen. No nav radios, but the basic six (Attitude Indicator, Turn Coordinator, Artificial Horizon, Directional Gyro, Altimeter, and Vertical Speed Indicator) allow me to follow the planned route. Engine controls can be monitored by sound and performance. So, off I go to the southwest.
Soon after takeoff I get the power settings and trim wheel stable. I see the bottom of the Hood Canal slide under the plane, while the Olympic Mountains parallel to the right, getting smaller and further away. The terrain is all green in the Evergreen State. Soon, I see an inlet and then the Pacific. In the inlet, in the water, is a runway: Hoquiam. I fly beyond the airport, out over the ocean. I turn back inland, and there, on the beach, is the Ocean Shores runway. A few more miles, and I enter the pattern for Hoquiam. It is a beautiful final approach, with water on both sides of the runway. I land, ready for a virtual hamburger.
PA32-301 N18ST (FS2004)
From: KPWT (Bremerton, WA) To: KHQM (Hoquiam, WA)
September 17, 1996
From: PWT (Bremerton, WA) To: HQM (Hoquiam, WA) To: PWT