Seattle Plane Thief Said He Had Trained on Flight Simulator

Megalith

24-bit/48kHz
Staff member
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Aug 20, 2006
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Last Friday, Horizon Air ground worker Richard “Beebo” Russel, who was allegedly suicidal, stole a twin-engine airliner and crashed it after flying over Washington’s Puget Sound. An unofficial audio recording of Russell’s radio communication with controllers suggests he learned how to fly with the help of videogames, which has sparked discussion on just how much one could learn from a flight simulator.

“I think it would be difficult for anyone to buy a flight simulator for their PC or their Mac and be able to safely land an aircraft,” Gibbs said. “But to take off, to maintain altitude, to turn and bank…there are lessons in those flight simulators specifically to teach those aviation skills.” Even flight simulators for home computers have become sophisticated enough to give users highly-realistic flight lessons.
 

d8lock

Gawd
Joined
Feb 12, 2012
Messages
684
So did my cousin, he's a Navy fighter pilot. Although he also had training from the Navy...
 

Elios

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Aug 12, 2004
Messages
7,250
ugg HE SAID A VIDEO GAME it could of been GTA for fuck sakes

but ahh yeah with VR one could learn to fly with out ever being in real aircraft mind you not well but you could get up and down in good weather
 

capt_cope

Gawd
Joined
Apr 12, 2009
Messages
945
Who's going to be stuck with the bill for that plane? I mean that's got to cost a few million at least, and I'm sure insurance will be fighting tooth and nail to avoid paying on any claim.

*edit* Just looked up the list price... 32.2 million usd?! DAMN planes are expensive!
 

motomonkey

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jan 17, 2009
Messages
1,489
This isn't exactly a big secret. home Computer flight sims coupled with simulator hardware have been training pilots for years.

You can complete fully half of your instrument rating on MSFS or X-plane.
 

EODetroit

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Oct 20, 2004
Messages
1,485
As long as they pretend it can't help you to learn to land too. It can. But lets let them think it can't.
 

Elios

Supreme [H]ardness
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Aug 12, 2004
Messages
7,250
That is an ugly sonofabitch
you should see what pilots think of the Q lol

from Reddit r/flying
Congratulations on picking a great big fucking turd to fly! Make no mistake, the Q400 is just a god awful airplane. I think what I hate most about it is the air conditioning - When the bleeds aren't sending smoke from burning oil into the cabin (this is an alarmingly regular occurrence), the ACMs simply do a terrible job regulating the temperature in automatic mode, and if you put them in manual, moving the knob the width of a hair will roast you or freeze you. Every time you change power settings down in the 10-40% torque range the bleeds change from 2.2 - 2.7 - 3.0 making the airflow erratic and noisy and very distracting and very very fucking irritating. Also, if you shut the airplane down without the pack knobs in the 12 o'clock position, wherever you left them will become the new "12 o'clock" next time you turn them on. Obviously this is a huge fucking annoyance and it usually requires you to completely shut off the packs to reset the ECS, which unless you want to lose pressurization, you had better do on the ground and if you forget, have fun being either freezing or sweltering for the whole flight. My second least favorite part of this POS is the brakes... Holy. Shit. Stopping this airplane is frustrating at best from the cockpit, and downright traumatizing as a passenger. Don't make the mistake of assuming that like other airplanes, when you apply a normal amount of pressure to the tops of the pedals, something will happen. This is not the case. Instead, you will have to use almost the ENTIRE WEIGHT OF YOUR BODY on the pedals, and then wait several seconds, and then you will feel yourself slowing. This, of course, is just to slow down from a normal 15-20kt taxi, so plan ahead when you're taxiing. In order to slow down on landing, you will need to apply the brakes immediately; whatever you do, don't wait until you need them because they need to heat up in order to do anything (I am aware that this is the case with most airplanes with carbon brakes, but the q400's brakes are an EXTRA special case). So after applying a significant amount of pressure, that you are hoping isn't enough to lock them up, you will wait several seconds and feel no deceleration due to the brakes. You will then apply a tiny bit more pressure, only to find that that was WAY TOO MUCH AND NOW THEY ARE GRABBING ASYMMETRICALLY AND YOU ARE LURCHING BACK AND FORTH AND EVERYONE IN THE BACK IS PULLING THEIR CRUSHED FACES OUT OF THE SEATBACKS IN FRONT OF THEM AND LOOKING AROUND AT THE OTHERS, SILENTLY BUT FRANTICALLY EXCHANGING "oh my god holy shitfuck is this normal or are we mere seconds away from perishing in a smoldering heap?" GLANCES and then it's finally over and you can breathe again. After a few months on the airplane I realized that I had no idea how to give a braking action report anymore because it is literally "poor" every single time a Q400 lands, so now I just say fair every time I'm asked because that's the most conservative thing to do and it's probably actually at least fair to every other transport category aircraft that has ever been produced. The logic in the cockpit layout is really shitty too... I'm sure you've noticed that there is only ONE set of controls for TWO MFD's. Who the fuck thought of that, huh? Granted, most of the time there's no need to have the doors page and the fuel page up simultaneously, and it's a damn good thing because YOU FUCKING CAN'T unless you cycle through the pages in just the right way (think solving a rubix cube) because the DIPSHIT that designed this airplane was a lazy fucking cunt and only put one set of buttons on the pedestal. And what other airplane makes you specifically ask it to level off at the altitude you spun into the window? WHY THE FUCK ELSE DID I PUT THAT ALTITUDE THERE IF IT WASN'T BECAUSE I WANTED TO STOP THERE? There is NO reason for the ALT SEL button but at least if you're not a moron it's not a big deal. Oh and did you know that there isn't actually a yaw damper on this airplane? I know there is a button on the FGC to engage it but did you know that it's not actually connected to anything? Just kidding. I have been told that there is in fact a yaw damper on the Q400 and you can't use the autopilot if it doesn't work, but you sure could have fooled me because it doesn't do a FUCKING thing. You're gonna love swinging the tail back and forth trying to keep the brick centered Every. Single. Time. you change power or pitch. Most people just fly around uncoordinated and some people use differential power to keep it coordinated so they don't have to touch the EXTREMELY sensitive rudder pedals/trim, but your airline may not like that because supposedly splitting the power like that wreaks havoc on the ANVS and makes it fail a lot faster. This thing is awful in turbulence. And guess what? Since you can't go above FL250, you are gonna feel all of it hahahaha. And don't even think about asking how the ride ahead is, because nobody else is flying at your altitude! Don't keep your feet on the floor when it gets bumpy because as soon as you hit a nasty one they will fly up and you will bust the fuck out of your shins on the sharp lower edge of the panel. The corners of the pedestal are sharp too, so especially watch out for your knee by the FMS because that fucking hurts too if you bump it. Guess what else? Probably the very same STUPID DIPSHIT that designed the rest of the cockpit thought it'd be really smart to house the windshield wipers horizontally, instead of vertically like every other fucking airplane. So now, thanks to that ASSCLOWN, you get to hear every single knot of wind over the wiper blades and this airplane is loud as shit to begin with (admit it: you thought the Q stood for quiet didn't you. It's ok, I thought so too. It actually stands for "quite motherfucking loud still despite what we've told you so bring a good headset bitch"). Luckily, you can park them vertically with the wiper control but this is officially "frowned upon" at my airline so some crews may not feel "comfortable" doing it. I feel much more uncomfortable listening to the torrent of wind hitting the blades than breaking a silly rule that nobody will ever find out about, but some people are different. Oh, and the clamshell door. Nothing quite like sitting around not getting paid for 10 minutes after you hand out the paperwork because you're waiting for the rampers to move the jet bridge so you can close the door. On the other hand, if you want to make up that 10 minutes and more, just start the APU with the batteries off. Then you can sit for 20min- a half hour with the door closed waiting for the loads to come down to .10. Want to cancel a flight and go home? Spin the baro knob all the way down as far as it will go. That will break the CPC for some reason and make it show "FAULT." That's a gamble though because you don't want them to just end up deferring the CPC and making you do it yourself in manual mode because that's a great big nuisance. Good luck and enjoy missing commute after commute because these things are held together by spit!
 

P4B

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 28, 2012
Messages
336
thats about what i did on FS years ago. got it in the air did some stunts and crashed a few times then back to cod
 

Drakeniir

Weaksauce
Joined
May 27, 2011
Messages
103
obviously now, for public safety, you understand, we now need to ban, A) Planes b) games with planes.
 

Dick Johnson

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Sep 27, 2016
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