Control Tower May 1998

Stupid Simulator Tricks.

New Stuff

Once again the website has a few new additions for your enjoyment.  This month marks the official debut of our event calendar and new, improved discussion area.   Please take a look.  I'm sure you'll find them to be worthwhile additions to the site.

Our new discussion forum can be found at:

Our on-line event calendar can be found at:

Both of these services can be successful if you use them.  They are free so why not take a moment to bookmark them on your browser?


Where is Dr. Spark?

Last month we debuted a column by Dr. Spark, the helpful advice columnist.  Unfortunately, one of Dr. Sparks experiments has gone horribly wrong and he is currently unable to type without considerable pain.  His column will return next month.  In the meantime please continue to send your questions to drspark(at)

A lot of people have written me to ask who Dr. Spark actually is. This is a secret that I cannot share, except to say that it isn't me.  Really.  Honest.


Stupid Simulator Tricks

At this year's Toledo show (see article this issue), I got to play with the Realflight simulator for the first time.  This is a graphically impressive simulator for high-end PCs.  The visual effect is simply stunning when compared to some of the other simulators out there.  Ok, its stunning when compared to any of the other simulators out there.  It is in a class by itself.

For the most part it felt pretty realistic too.  I have always liked the general feel of the Dave Brown Sim, though, and part of the reason isn't because of realism or anything like that.  One of the things I like about the Dave Brown sim is the quirks.   No matter what happens with simulator technology I'm always going to keep my trusty metal tan Kraft-look-a-like box and accompanying software just so I can have fun.

A couple of things to try on version 4 of the Dave Brown Sim:

Lomcevaks- This is really more than a Lomcevak because no plane on earth can do tumbles like these.  Select the fun fly plane (other planes can do this but the Fun Fly is the best) and give it full power.  Point the nose up at about a 75 degree angle.  At a comfortable height (like 10 feet), continue holding in full throttle while pushing full right rudder, right aileron, and up elevator. The plane will snap roll, naturally.  Now, immediately slam full left rudder, right aileron, and full down elevator.  The left stick just slides to the left while the right stick slides forward.  You should see the plane tumble about 10 times a second.  Wish my planes could do that.

Flat Spins - These are completely unrecoverable in most cases. Start off like you are doing a Lomcevak but take off the throttle after a few tumbles.  The plane will enter an inverted spin.  You should be holding in full right aileron, down elevator, left rudder, and zero throttle.  Let the spin continue for a couple of revolutions.  Now give the transmitter full throttle.  About 2/3 of the time the plane will enter an unrecoverable inverted flat spin.

The 170 mph Touch and Go - Select the pylon racer and give it full throttle.  Amaze your friends by repeatedly flying the plane into the ground only to have it bounce back into the air.  As long as the angle is shallow it doesn't matter how fast you are going when you hit.  Try to do bump-and-go loops.

The Splash and Go - See that lake?  Its actually blue concrete.   Do a touch and go on it sometime to prove it.

Ok, so what am I missing?  Does your sim have any quirks?  Is there a favorite game you play?  How many touch and goes can you do in a minute?  Email me at jbourke(at) and tell me your Stupid Simulator Tricks.


More Info on Pacemakers

Last month's column had a section on pacemakers and computer radios.  Several helpful readers have written in to share their experiences.  I think that one response in particular summed up the general feelings on the subject so I am reproducing it below:

emaillab.gif (1621 bytes)

From: Azarr - Sp400racer(at)
Date: Tue, 14 Apr 1998 06:17:43 EDT
To: jbourke(at)
Subject: stuff

Pacemakers. I responded to this when it was brought up on the EFLIGHT mailing list. It is of particular interest to me since I have a pacemaker and have NOTHING BUT computer radios. I've seen this warning on rec.rc and mentioned in several other venues and I consider it about equal to the "don't open this e mail or your head will explode" messages. I also use a cell phone regularly.

There is one important piece of data missing from the article and that is the age of the pacemaker. My projected battery life, which is checked every 3 months by a phone call and a modem is 21.7 years. It is also reprogrammable by telephone. Its possible that I will never need my pacemaker looked at again or until I'm very old. The first ones were the size of a transistor radio, mine is the size of a half dollar. Like all things, they have improved significantly through the years and one of the improvements have been the addition of shielding to eliminate the problems that had been asscoiated with things like microwave ovens, cell phones, etc.

Right after my pacemaker was implanted, (Mar 96) I recieved my Owner's Manual (with a heart stopping 90 day warranty by the way). And a briefing from my physician. The manual basically says to keep 18 inches away from items that create a strong electrical field. for example, weed wackers, TIG welders, soldering guns, running automobile engines etc. as an aside the doctor said "by the way, you don't fly R/C planes do you?" It turns out that there was an update issued by the maker of my pacemaker (Medtronics, probably the best know maker) about a patient operating a R/C transmitter. It turned out that because of some other complications the patient's pacemaker was implanted in his abdomen and when he ran his r/c car, he rested his transmitter on his stomach, right on top of his pacemaker.

In my particular case, I got as many transmitter's as I could carry, took them to my first checkup. A medtronics rep connected me to a diagnostic computer, and we turned on every transmitter, computer, non computer, narrow band, wide band. and could NOT induce any pacemaker malfunction.

So, while I agree that anyone with a pacemaker should be cautious, we should not be making blanket assumptions. Each individual needs to check with his/her cardiologist concerning their particular brand and model of pacemaker.



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