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#4385806 - 10/19/17 03:59 PM Flight Time  
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 540
CaptSopwith Offline
Barmy WingNut
CaptSopwith  Offline
Barmy WingNut
Member

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 540
United States
Morning Chaps!

Here I am, cup of tea in hand, with a fleeting bit of spare time today, so I wanted to share another story with my fellow fliers.

I haven't had a lot of time to fly WOFF:UE lately, but I am happy to say that for the first time in years, I've had just enough time to progress my pilot careers. I have an intrepid flier in 1915 who just finished flight school in England and who is now flying daily sorties over the Western Front in the much maligned Morane Parasol. Another is wrestling with the recalcitrant Fokker EI. Another still is about to enter Bloody April in a SPAD VII after having won the Military Cross for downing a second balloon in two weeks. And my high-action German fliers in 1917 and 1918 keep me busy as well.

For me though, flight time is about more than progressing pilots or attempting to survive this digital recreation of the First World War, or even just about gaming at its most basic enjoyment. For me, getting in flight time is a massive form of therapy - one that started nineteen years ago this fall. Growing up in a dysfunctional home, gaming was an escape. Games like Gran Turismo, Grand Prix 3, Medal of Honor, and flight sims like European Air War and Red Baron II were an outlet for me to find relief. In 1999 my family got connected to the internet and I found the Delphi Flight Sim boards and not long after, SimHQ. I've yet to meet a better community than those who fly the old wooden kites. Here there's very little ego, lots of encouragement, and even being the youngest kid on the boards by quite some margin back then - always a warm welcome - even after a prolonged absence.

When my life gets busy my mind tends to get quite noisy. I can't stop thinking about all of the stresses, challenges, and sometimes - heartbreak - that we all deal with. Cycling helps a lot, but in the evening, or on a gorgeous fall weekend, I love to open up the windows and return to the skies over the Western Front. When I was a kid, our computer was in the loft of the house - and I have fond memories of smelling the wood furniture and the crisp fall air outside as I built up my hours in Red Baron 3D. It's odd to think of it now - but I've been flying Camels and SPADs and Fokkers for almost twenty years - that's five times the length of the actual war we simulate. The gear has improved a lot - from CRT's to flat panel monitors, head tracking devices, surround sound headphones, (still the same Sidewinder joystick, though), but the experience still gets me as much in my mid-thirties as it did in my teens. It quiets my brain, takes me out of the stress I'm processing, and puts me someplace else.

Maybe it's the realization that I'm not actually in a war - that the chaos in the sky is an order of magnitude more severe than anything I face in real life - that helps me recenter myself. Maybe it's just the process of it all: check my gauges, look around, check your six, look for your flight leader, check the map, and repeat, that help break the thought cycles that I can't otherwise stop. Whatever it is, it works and there have been times in my life when it's been a lifesaver - when it's pulled me back from the brink of darkness so immense I never thought I'd get out.

Today, I have an amazing life: I love my work, I love my hobbies, and I have a wonderful, loving partner who will look at me when I'm stressed and say, "why don't you go play some OFF?" She's always right - and I always feel better when I do.

Just sitting down to my desk, clipping the trackIR to my headphones, and pulling out the same old flight stick I've used since I was a kid, everything starts to feel better. Clicking through my career, re-familiarizing myself with the intelligence at the front, looking at the gorgeous renderings of the machines I'll fly and fight, and taking in the lovely soundtrack, everything slows down. By the time I tick over the engine and hear "Contact!" and the faint barking of a dog or the echo of a phonograph, I'm back again. I can't tell what age I am - just that I'm completely immersed in a hobby that I've genuinely loved for more than half of my life. And when things get stressful once more, I'm always grateful to have one more sortie.

So thanks - to the community for making me feel so welcome almost two decades ago - for OBD for starting this idea and creating the best WWI flight sim I've ever played, and for helping keep this passion of mine - something that I can't get enough of and which helps keep me sane in a world that is often anything but - going for so many years. I hope the ride never ends.

I hope all of you are able to get in some good flight time this fall. I can't wait to read about your exploits here.

Cheers

#4385817 - 10/19/17 04:30 PM Re: Flight Time [Re: CaptSopwith]  
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,072
Robert_Wiggins Online smile
BWOC Survivor!...So Far!!
Robert_Wiggins  Online Smile
BWOC Survivor!...So Far!!
Hotshot

Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,072
Lindsay, Ontario, Canada
Cap'n, it's always good to see you posting again! Welcome back, for however long it may be.

That was a very thoughtful post that contains many things I can relate to also. I particularly took note of your reference to "Sidewinder stick" as I too have one (MS FFB2). It amazes me that these sticks are still going and that is in no small part, likely due to the robustness that was put into the product back then. I pray mine will never break as It would be like loosing a favorite pet.

Hope to see more of your posts in the near future and that you get lots more stick time!

Best Regards;


(System_Specs)
Case: Cooler Master Storm Trooper
Pwr Sup: OCZ, GameXStream,1000-Watt
MB: Asus Maximus VI Extreme
Mem: Corsair Vengeance (2x 8GB), PC3-12800, DDR3-1600MHz, Unbuffered
CPU: Intel i7-4770K, OC to 4.427Ghz
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Seidon 240M Liquid CPU Cooler
Vid Card: ASUS GTX 980Ti STRIX 6GB
OS and Games on separate: Samsung 840 Series 250GB SSD
Monitor: Samsung SyncMaster BX2450L
Periphs: MS Sidewinder FFB2 Pro, TrackIR 4

#4385829 - 10/19/17 06:05 PM Re: Flight Time [Re: CaptSopwith]  
Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,627
carrick58 Offline
Senior Member
carrick58  Offline
Senior Member

Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,627
Well said, Capt Sopwith. biggrin

#4385862 - 10/19/17 08:59 PM Re: Flight Time [Re: CaptSopwith]  
Joined: May 2016
Posts: 303
BuckeyeBob Online content
Member
BuckeyeBob  Online Content
Member

Joined: May 2016
Posts: 303
Ohio, USA
Hear, hear! Very well said, Capt. Sopwith!

I too, remember you from the Delphi Flight Sim forum, although I was strictly a forum lurker, back then. There were some classic flame-wars over the FM for the Dr1 in RB3D, as I recall. Good times. Hard to believe it was almost 20 years ago! old_simmer

#4385865 - 10/19/17 09:31 PM Re: Flight Time [Re: CaptSopwith]  
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 173
Bohemond Offline
Member
Bohemond  Offline
Member

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 173
Colonie, NY
Amazing post!
<s>

#4385891 - 10/20/17 01:58 AM Re: Flight Time [Re: CaptSopwith]  
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 763
HumanDrone Offline
Just shoot me...
HumanDrone  Offline
Just shoot me...
Member

Joined: May 2012
Posts: 763
Near Pittsburgh, PA USA
Nice post, Captain! Glad to hear you are getting 'way more stick time than I am!

You are right about the community. Best bunch I've ever dealt with!


Box: Win7 Pro 64 bit / I72600K @4.1 GHz / EVGA GTX580 OC'd / 16GB RAM / Corsair 240 GB SSD / WD 600 GB Velociraptor / 1050W Power
FS Stuff: Saitek X52 Pro Stick/Throttle & Combat Rudder Pedals, TrackIR 5
Sims: FSX Gold, REX 2.0 OD, UTX-NA, FSGenesis 10m mesh/ CFS3 ETO 1.40/Wings Over Flanders Fields Ultimate Edition (more gorgeous than ever!)
Proud BOC inductee 4/30/12!
#4387083 - 10/28/17 03:12 PM Re: Flight Time [Re: CaptSopwith]  
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 164
ARUP Offline
Member
ARUP  Offline
Member

Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 164
Kentucky
+1
Sometimes I feel as if I were born in the wrong time.


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