I went back to the airport I visited yesterday:Hollywood International Airport in Second Life, eager to actually fly a plane. I even had a passenger with me: Reiner a good friend of mine. Poor guy, if what happened later would have been for real, he would have died this afternoon – and me too!
The first challenge was to actually get a plane, but for that there was a simple solution: On the airport are several stores selling aircrafts. One of them actually offers free temporary demo-planes to try before you buy. Good idea this! I rezed one of those free demo planes and jumped on the pilot seat.
I knew from a video tutorial some basic commands, which should get me up in the air. For example if you type S in chat, the engine starts and throttle you do with the page up/down keys. Flaps are controlled by arrow keys and so are directions. What else do you need to know? Boy was I wrong!
My first two attempts ended up in a disaster. We crashed twice over the sea. The reason being was me flying into the corner of a region. That is a no go, as the simulators get confused about where the plane actually is and makes it flying around in circles on the edge of 4 attached regions which eventually makes you crash.
So first lesson learned: Avoid region corners!
Third try. I got the plane on the runway, or what I believed to be the runway. I was just about to get it going when I received an IM from some kind of flight surveillance officer saying:
“Lady , this is NOT the runway”.
Oh yeah, suddenly I realized this big sign indicating that I should not take off here. It was the part reserved for LANDING aircrafts. Oh my god, how silly of me, I could have easily caused a crash with a landing plane.
So I tried to move my little aircraft to the runway. For some reason I got stuck and the damn thing would not move anymore. Hence I gave it more throttle, and a little more, and even more whilst I had flaps in take off position, as I thought that might help to get this thing moving forward.
What happened then could have easily earned me the nick name “Captain Kangaroo”, the plane jumped up, down and up again and finally crashed into a helicopter that was about to take off, on what for some reason they call the taxi driveway (there are no taxies, I checked!) .
“Pleeeease”, was the reaction of the man in the tower. Actually he wasn’t in a tower, but I thought it to be a cute idea to believe he was, the immersion is better that way.
So the officer comes to the crime scene.
German speaking dressed in this very cool white uniform and wearing pilot style sunglasses, he looked like if he had just jumped out of the movie top gun – a virtual version of Tom Cruise as Maverick. I am sure you remember.
In fact I had all the time the soundtrack of that movie in my head. Did I mention my imagination grows wings sometimes? For a second the thought of the bathroom scene in top gun crossed my mind, and the background music in my head changed suddenly from “danger zone” to “take my breath awaaaaay”.
I explained that I am total noob at this, which calmed down the whole scenario a little. He even offered me classes. That was nice of him. First he showed us a shop on the airport that offers freebie aircrafts. Hurray, freebies, that sorted out the problem of not being able to afford those rather expensive aircrafts.
SLOWLY, was the word most used by my new teacher. Yes, I know, I am a bit hyperactive and impatient at times. This free plane came with a hud, which makes this stuff much easier. So, we jumped on the plane all three of us, me in the pilot seat, Reiner next to me and my new flying instructor in the back. Step by step he explained what I have got to do (”SLOWLY Caroline”)…and we took off smoothly – well ish.
It didn’t take me too long to crash this plane as well.
But at least I had a chance to make a pretty screenshot of my plane flying towards the sunset – it’s the featured image of this article. Maybe I should have paid attention to the instruments in the hud instead, because shortly after, we had a spectacular dive into the sea right between two ships.
Back at the airport, he suggested that I should start with a helicopter first to get a feel for this. They are easier to maneuver, he said. Said and done! Got myself a freebie helicopter and we took off again. Now that was much easier! Every step on the way he told me what do to, which speed is appropriate, what height to take and so on. We flew to another island, not too far away, with an airport on it. I even managed to land the helicopter without a spectacular accident.
I enquired about jets. He was laughing and said I would not stay a single minute in the air. Ha! He doesn’t know Carol. Give me a couple of months and I fight you in a F14 Tomcat. Yeah – you bet!
I wonder if there is a bathroom at the airport’s club & restaurant.