Tuesday, April 6, 2010

LOMAC Flaming Cliffs 2.0: Grooming All My Cockpit Vices

Ideally, a pilot should have some visual routines (when and where to look at) that became so ingrained into him he doesn't need to think about them. Checking the "six pack" is one of those.

With DCS A-10 in the horizon, I'm trying to learn as much as I can about the A-10 by flying it in LOMAC Flaming Cliffs 2.0 (FC2). Alas, I'm finding out that besides learning, I have to get rid of many vices/habits. The operation of the A-10 in FC2 is quite simplified and I wonder what's going to be of me when I sit my butt in the detailed virtual cockpit of DCS A-10. :)

Anyway, let's talk a bit about weapons delivery, specifically the AGM-65D. For the time being let's forget about low-high/high-low tactical approaches to the target area. I edited a mission just for practice: a couple of Shilkas near a bridge. I will just fly high out of their reach and try to find and destroy them.

The visual routine for finding the target, locking and firing an AGM-65 is quite different than what I thought. I am supposed to spend most of the time looking out, not staring at the TV monitor to the right. Ideally, acquire the target visually, ground stabilize the EO-aiming reticle near the target and make final adjustments by looking at the TV monitor. In this case I couldn't acquire the Shilkas visually, so I just ground stabilized the EO-aiming reticle in the general target area and made the final adjustments with the TV monitor.

Look up more. Note the tiny little white speckles in the cross-hairs of the TV monitor. Two Shilkas are about to be bagged.

The problem with fixing one's attention in the TV monitor while flying into a hot area is that one develops tunnel vision, looses situational awareness to threats, tends to fly straight (a sure treat for AAA gunners) and (in severe cases) stops flying.

 During night missions, you have an extra enemy: the lack of external visual cues. The temptation of using the IR seeker of the AGM-65D as a FLIR is just too much.

Survivor to all the surrounding destruction, a Shilka takes aim at our flight.

Gah! In top of all this crap I'm supposed to perform approach tactics ...



Shelldrake said...

If you are interested, BeachAV8R has posted some good AARs from FC2 over at SimHQ.


Shelldrake said...

Sorry, address got cut off.


JC said...

Ey Shelldrake,

Thanks for the link. I'm following those with close attention. I'm a big fan of BeachAV8R. :)


Anonymous said...

Man, you're making me want to fire up LOMAC again. It's been a while since I've done more than take a joy ride. Good tips just for guys like me who can't really play as often as we'd like.

JC said...

Thanks for your comment.

LOMAC is a great flight sim. The editor allows you to throw a simple mission and try it just for kicks in no more than 30 minutes total. Perfect for todays' busy schedule.