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Lock-down Flying – Virtual but Lekker

So here we are a few days into the nationwide lock-down and the boredom is starting to gain pace. The aviation withdraw has now set in and the poor people closest to you have to endure your constant unhappiness with the situation. I was getting close to being locked out for the rest of the lock-down, that’s until I decided to download Flight Sim X Steam Edition.

Caravan approaching Durban

The Steam Edition of Flight Sim X is easily accessible from the Steam website and at only R269 it was definitely a very good buy. I contacted a few friends and we quickly set up an online gaming hub through JoinFS, this process was also pretty simple. Before we could wash our hands again we were flying formation all over South Africa.

Fly-past at Kitty Hawk in a C172

The standard scenery on FSX is functional but nowhere resembles the landmarks we are used to seeing when flying around SA. A few Google searches revealed that there is an abundance of free and paid scenery which is almost picture perfect. Its always fun to fly in a very familiar area with recognisable landmarks. Installing the scenery was a lot simpler than I thought it would be and if it poses a problem there are plenty Y-Tube videos that will take you through the process.

Dak over Table Bay

I spent a few hours downloading and Installing most of the airports regularly used in South Africa. I also managed to download a few aircraft, some brilliant and some not so good, when it comes to aircraft the pay-ware aircraft are definitely the cream of the crop.

Extra in Pretoria

When you plan to fly on FSX it’s advisable to have a frequency chart handy as the VOR’s, NDB’s and ILS frequencies are pretty much as they are in the real world, so if you feel the need to practice your VOR approaches or old school radio navigation it is very possible in the comfort of your own home. For those who prefer to fly by the magenta line each aircraft is equipped with a fully functional GPS.

Dak at Rand Airport

When flying with friends it is advisable to set up the Discord App this allows the group to chat to one another in real time voice while you are in the air together. The chatter can get pretty intense when flying three Boeing 737-800 in very close formation.

Getting Airborne at Swartkops in a Grumman F7F Tigercat

The group of guys I “fly” with have set a standing date for six every evening and we have gone as far as setting up flight plans that are distributed earlier in the day so everyone knows where and when to meet up.

F18 out of Waterkloof

Guys, this is not the real thing but its the closest we can get at the moment and it definitely helps to pass the time in a very fun and safe manner.

C130 over Cape Town

Please be safe out there stay home so we as a nation can get past this invisible enemy and get back into the real sky. Look after yourself and make the best of this nasty situation, hopefully everything will be back to normal soon.



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