Mike Turner doesn’t recall exactly how he first discovered X-Plane, but believes it was because he always admired the idea of Austin tackling the megabucks of Microsoft virtually alone. He guessed it was about 2003 when he started using version 7 on his Linux.
Greater realism compared to other sims is what attracted Mike to X-Plane. He stated, “I like how it is scalable to whatever CPU or graphics card you have, enhancing the involved flying experiences.”
Mike averages flying X-Plane two or three times a week. He exclaims that at 65 years old he envisions having increased flight time after his recent retirement from Keele University Medical School, Staffordshire, England in administration. In 1976, he graduated as a Ceramic Technologist, then started a successful giftware business which he ran for 30 years with wife Sarah. They have two sons, a daughter, and a beautiful granddaughter.
“I have flown an airplane for real just twice but perhaps I may have time to do a little more now! As a matter of fact, I was terrified of flying for many years. I forced myself to fly to Malta with Sarah for our honeymoon and did not fly for another 8 years or so. It was not until I discovered flight simulation that I finally overcame that fear and began to enjoy being in the air. So I owe people like Austin a lot! I do miss the days when you could go “up front” during the longer flights and chat to the pilots,” Mike reflects.
He prefers to maximize the settings to the point the sim remains consistent with a reasonable frame rate. He enjoys short flights, mostly between UK airports, using photorealistic scenery and airports from OpenScenery X. He uses the real time weather feature and recently enjoyed a sim flight home from a wonderful holiday on the Greek island of Kephallonia. The flight took him across the Ionian Sea, up the east coast of Italy, over the Alps, then across France and the Channel Isles. He knows this part of the UK from flying as a passenger on the airlines, which added to the joy of repeating his experience in X-Plane. He declared, “The only difference this time was that I was at the controls and I didn’t get an inflight meal. I had to even make my own coffee!
He likes to run the latest stable version and the latest beta in separate folders in Linux and the latest stable version only in windows. He says this allows only one instance of Symlink, the scenery folders, to be loaded in Linux. He adds that this is a bit tougher to do in Windows and doesn’t own a Macintosh. Currently Mike runs the latest release of 10.2 64-bit.
Mike candidly stated that the key word describing how he feels flying X-Plane is “immersion,” adding that he hopes to live long enough to see a fully immersive 3-D version! He concludes with, “I would simply say keep up the good work. You bring so much pleasure to those of us who for all sorts of reasons cannot fly ourselves.”