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YS FLIGHT SIMULATOR Ver. 20110207 (for Windows, Mac, and Linux)


YSFLIGHT Progress Update

I finished primitive implementation of user-controlling ground objects.  (Read more...)


Fall Semester Ended

I was teaching an introductory C++ programming course to the graduate students this semester.  This time some students from Civil and Environmental Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering department also took my course, to my surprise.  I thought this course was going to be too easy for ECE students.  I hope they learned something from my course.  This time, I showed more live programming in class than last year.  If I pre-program sample codes before the class and just explain what's already written, it's boring, and everyone falls asleep.  In fact, everyone would just download the course note later time.  What's the point to come to the class?  Rather, because I write C++ programs live, I can show how I think and in what order I construct a program.  I also make typos and mistakes.  If I get an error, I let my students find errors.  So, I can make a good reason for them to pay attention.  I thought it's far better than just showing a pre-programmed samples and explain.  I'll see what my students are going to say about live programming in the Faculty Course Evaluation.

By the way, as for the bowling leagues, I bowled in two different leagues in this season and made almost top individual score in both two leagues, although there was no prize for individual score.  My final average in the Saturday-night league was 198, and Monday-night league 192.  However, my teams lost miserably in the play off, sadly due to my poor performance.  In the Monday-night league play off, I made 211 and won the first game.  But, I didn't have practice shots before the second game although I had to change the lane.  I struggled to get strikes.  I managed to get 178, 24 points below my average, and my teammate got better score than his average, but the game was tied.  In the 2-frame tie-breaker, we lost just by one pin.  That was a good game.  I wish I could read the lane condition better, but it was nothing miserable compared to the result from the Saturday-night league.

My play off game of the Saturday-night league ended with total frustration and desperation.  During the practice shots, I noticed the lane condition was way drier than the regular season games.  My ball hooked like crazy.  My ball was making a sharp turn, too sharp, just before hitting the head pin and my ball went too deep.  The results were leaving one pin or splits.  I countered the dry condition by adjusting my standing position, but after shifting my position to the left by six boards, I ran out of my options.  If I moved to the farther left, my ball simply made a sharper turn and ended up hitting the head pin too deep anyway.  I had no more option for that condition.  We needed to win two of the three games to go up a level.  But, because my performance was so poor, we lost the first and the third game.  I was getting like 160s and 150s.

We had to bowl three more games to decide the third place, and we lost miserably again because of my continued poor performance.  My last game was 145.  The lowest score of this season.  "Nothing works" was what I was feeling in the last game.  I was in the total helplessness, and there was no fun.  I was solely responsible for the miserable loss of the team.  My best bowling season ended with the worst ending in misery and despair.  Why the hell did I have to deal with such a utterly different lane condition in the play off games!

Anyways, many things are settling down.  I resumed YSFLIGHT programming.  I think I wrote a few weeks ago that I'm trying to implement user-controllable ground objects.  In fact, I want to make it possible to change a vehicle during the game.  It will enable a mission like, you fly a fighter jet to penetrate through the enemy air defense line, and then land at a forward base to change to the attack helicopter and go for the ground-attack mission, and then board a tank, and so on.  This way, the Scenery Editor can become a mission (an operation rather?) editor.

I also resumed my study of GLSL (OpenGL Shader Language).  Rather I should say I am making a set of functions that let me use GLSL with comfort.  When it is done, I should be able to make more visual effects in YSFLIGHT.  A Shader Language is an interesting concept to learn, but I have a feeling that it is just a transient technology.  In five or ten years, CPU may be integrated with the graphics chip (or the other way), and then shader programs will be just a call-back function written in C or C++.

By the way, I was supposed to fly 2 hours to reach 400 total flying hours today.  I went to Beaver County airport, but the weather forecast was utterly wrong.  It was calling overcast 3500ft by 10am, which was supposed to be good enough for VFR flight.  The reality was overcast 800ft.  I couldn't even do touch & goes!  On top of that, nobody bothered to clear the snow on the runway and taxiways.  I walked on the ramp, but I could only vaguely see the markings.  It was not safe to taxi, take off, or land.  So, I gave up and just came back.

Beaver County airport covered by snow.

I could barely see the threshold of taxiway A.

I guess these foot (and tail) prints are of the fox living in the airport.


Experienced engine roughness at 8500ft, but was able to recover by recalling what I studied for the private pilot knowledge test.

It's already December.  I flew 49.8 hours in 2009, 47.9 hours in 2010.  But, I have flown only 32.2 hours this year so far.  It's getting difficult to reach 40 hours per year mark.  If I fly 4.2 hours, I reach 400 total flying hour.  I hope at least I can get there before the end of the year.

I flew with my teaching assistant a few weeks ago.  Once I climbed up to 8,500ft, but the EGT (Exhaust Gas Temperature) gauge was behaving strange.  The EGT was supposed to come up as I lean mixture.  I am supposed to keep EGT at some level.  There has been decades-long controversy where exactly this EGT needle should be kept to get the best engine efficiency, but at least I can say it must not be at lower end or higher end.  But, on that day, the needle stayed at the bottom.  I thought because I was climbing up to 8,500ft.  So, I kept leaning mixture.  But, it stayed at the bottom.  I got suspicious about the EGT gauge, and looked at the RPM instead of EGT to adjust mixture.  So, I climbed up to 8,500ft.  I like to be high.  That was a nice view.  (Read more...)

From 8,500ft near Lake Arthur


Renewed My Bowling 3-Game Total High

I have been abnormally busy.  I think I was saying something similar this time last year, too.  But, this time, it is really unusual.  I feel as if I were always working except when I am flying, I am bowling, and I am eating.  In reality, I'm doing some other stuffs also.  But my point is I feel that much busy now.

So, my YSFLIGHT development has been stuck.  I'm determined to add user-controllable ground object in the next release, but that project has not been moving since a few months ago.  I cannot believe I could add UNICODE support to the GUI module this summer.  Well, that time my teaching hasn't started yet.  Maybe that's why.  I'm teaching 60+ graduate students.  I can re-use course note from last year, but I need to make new assignment and exam questions.  My dependable teaching assistants grade homework, but I grade exams.

And, I was given a relatively difficult assignment from my startup company.  I came up with the solution and will experiment with it this week.  I don't know what else I can do if it doesn't work.  In theory, it works.  I am hoping it works as theory tells.

Nonetheless, I at least have time to spare for bowling and flying.  I'm not good at sports in general.  But, only one sport I can do better than other people is bowling.  I can say I am good at skiing, too, since I was born in northern Japan.  But, I'm not as good as other people in my home city.  I have JUDO black belt, well, but you don't have to be super good to get the first-grade black belt, and mine is first-grade.  Anyway, I'm bowling in Young Adult League on every Saturday and Monday Night Doubles on every Monday in this fall season.  On the Saturday before this weekend, I was able to renew my 3-game total high.  I made 231, 268, and 214 and which add up to 713.  I forgot what my previous 3-game total high was, but this was my first time to break 700.  My bowl blasted pins as if it was carrying all my frustration.  In fact, if you look at my score from Young Adult League only, I made 9 consecutive 200+ games, and on Monday following my 700 series, I made 256 in the second game of Monday Night Doubles.  I didn't do too good yesterday though.  I always hate lane 7 of that bowling alley.  There are pillars left of lane 7, and I am always distracted by the pillars.  In fact, I was getting a lot of strikes from Lane 8 and a lot of splits from Lane 7   :-P  I made 202 in the third game, but the other two were one hundred sixty something.

As for YSFLIGHT development, I can resume as soon as the company work and teaching duty calms down.  Well, maybe it will not be until winter holidays.

By the way, following pictures are from the second game of my 3-game total high series and the Honor Roll board of the Forward Lanes.  They reset the Honor Roll once every a few months.  My 289 was on the board early this year, but that was erased when they reset the board.  I was able to come back in with my 268 and 713.


Uploaded "Paris Trip of an Airplane Fan"

I have been to Paris France recently.  If you think about France, probably what comes to your mind first is a Rafale fighter or a Mirage 2000 fighter.  Or, the Airbus industry may come to your mind first.  (Is there any disagreement?)  To me, France is a country of Concorde along with United Kingdom.  I wish I had enough time to visit Toulouse, where Airbus is based, but I had only a few days and could not afford it.  Instead, according to my search, Museum of Air and Space at Le Bourget has a Concorde and is close enough from Paris.  I really looked for seeing another Air France Concorde there.

(Read more)


Uploaded Photos from Wings Over Pittsburgh air show 2011

Annual Wings Over Pittsburgh air show was held on September 10th and 11th at the Pittsburgh International Airport.  The air show was hosted by 911th airlift wing based at the airport.  This air show used to be in June or July, but last year and this year, they chose 9/11 weekend.  It happened to be the 10th anniversary of the terror attack.  Holding an air show on this day sends a clear message to the cowardly terrorists.  No matter how bad purposes terrorists use airplanes for, we never stop flying.  We appreciate aviation rather than be scared of it.  One of the purposes of the terrorists who hijacked the four airliners on September 11th 2001 was to destroy the public confidence in aviation.  By cerebrating aviation on the 10th anniversary of the terror attack, we are defeating one of the goals of the cowardly terrorists. (Read more)


Burning through the Sky Fall Semester! (About 1/3 done)

I am teaching C++ programming to Mechanical Engineering graduate students since last year, only in the fall semester.  I was teaching the same course as a co-instructor two years ago, and I am an instructor (with no co-) since last year.  What's special in this semester is my boss (advisor) is taking sabbatical and not teaching a course.  I end up with teaching 68 graduate students.  Half of them probably wanted to take his course this semester, but since he was not offering a course this semester, they came to my course.  Maybe I'll have less students next year.  I'm enjoying a lecture in front of big audience, but my teaching assistants need to grade 34 assignments each every week.

In this course, I give three quizzes in total.  A student needs to write some short programs and submit through the web.  Quizzes are open note, open book, open internet, but talking to someone else is not allowed.  Last year I asked everyone to carry an own laptop, but this time two students didn't have a laptop.  I had to run around to get a C++ compiler installed on Mechanical Engineering cluster PCs.  It looks like a trend.  Several years ago, everyone in the MechE department had a Windows laptop.  If you had a Macbook then, you would have been looked with curious eyes saying "are you really in engineering?"  But, the ratio of Macbooks rapidly increased in the past a few years.  Now I guess the new trend is a transition from laptops to tablets.  Still many students would carry a laptop, but soon some will carry only tablets and use cheaper desktop computers at home or at school for homework and research.  Last decade was really a strange time.  There is absolutely no reason that a PC capable of research and engineering needs to be in each household.  But, the price of PCs were so cheap and everyone had an equally powerful PC as an engineering workstations.  Probably such excessively-powerful PCs will disappear from homes and be replaced with reasonably powerful and cheap computers like tablets.  One thing I learned is next time I should ask C++ compiler installed to the cluster PCs before the semester starts.  I expect more students without a laptop to take my class next year.

But, this current trend of PC to tablet transition is a problem for me because PC manufacturers are interested in making non-PC (powerless) tablets, but they lost interest in developing a light-weight and reasonably powerful tablet PCs.  I've been using Dell Latitude XT for 3.5 years.  But its CPU cooling fan started making loud noise, and it can break any time.  I'm looking for a tablet PC that is less than 3.5lb (no heavier than Latitude XT), at least 750GB HDD, Core i5 or faster, and equipped with eSATA, ExpressCard slot, or multiple USB 3.0 ports.  I often think by drawing diagrams because my research area is highly geometry oriented.  I also need to be able to write programs in C++.  Also I care about OpenGL performance.  I often walk from home to CMU or ride a bus, and I don't want to carry a heavy laptop.  None of the current models satisfy all those requirements.  The closest model is Panasonic Toughbook C1.  If only it had an ExpressCard slot instead of PC card slot, I would have replaced my 3.5 years old Latitude XT with Toughbook C1.  I could have just forgiven that three Panasonic laptops that I purchased in a row died within a year.  If I carry both a very light laptop and a tablet, probably the total weight is heavier than 3.5lb.  And, I don't have a luxury of desk space to open up both laptop and a tablet together.  I am hoping someone sells a tablet PC that is light weight and reasonably powerful.

I'm trying to follow how I learned programming in this course.  I think it is difficult for a new computer-science student to learn programming nowadays.  I am confident that I wouldn't understand the value of object-oriented programming if I was told to use it when I had no idea about programming.  When I was first exposed to programming, I had to use BASIC (not Visual BASIC.  Very old-style BASIC with infamous line numbers.) and assembly language.  There was no structured programming, object-oriented programming.  There was no such thing called event-driven programming, either.  I was thinking it would be nice if I could use a local variable, which stays local within a sub-routine.  Therefore, when I saw C language, I thought: "How great!  I can use local variables!"  Then I learned structured programming.  That allowed me to write longer programs and relatively complex data structures.  But, soon I encountered a problem that when I fix somewhere I mess up somewhere else.  Then I was told about the concept of Data Encapsulation.  I thought "It's great!  By limiting data access from outside, I can fix something somewhere without breaking consistency of the data structure!"  But, that time I didn't have a C++ compiler.  And, I could encapsulate data structure within a C source file.  So, I was doing something similar to object-oriented programming in C.  I don't remember why I got serious about C++.  Maybe that was when I got Visual C++ 1.1 for Windows 3.1.  As I studied forward, I thought "C++ is incredible!  C++ class gives so much flexible control of data encapsulation!  I don't have to be one source code per object any more!"  That's what I felt fore sure.  Also I was impressed by C++ template, too.  Some people say C++ template is part of the object-oriented feature of C++.  Maybe, but to me, C++ template is more than that.  It gives solutions to whole lot of things that I wanted to do but couldn't do in C.  But, I rather was interested in making my own class library than using a library made by someone else.  And C++ standard template library was absolutely a mess then.  A sample code that I could compile with a compiler often didn't work with another compiler.  So, I ended up with making my own class library and using ever since.  So, I learned all of my programming techniques bottom up.  Always I had something I wanted to do and learned the way to achieve it.  Java never interested me because it didn't help me write a flight simulator.  But, I know how valuable those concepts of structured programming and object-oriented programming paradigms from through my own experience.

So, I'm trying to re-create how I learned programming from 11-years to 22-years old in just three months.  I was trying to give an experience of how messy the program becomes without object-oriented programming for the first month of the semester.  From next week, I gradually show how such a program can be cleaned up with object-oriented programming.  But, the quantity of coding will increase because class definitions need to be written upfront.  I cannot imagine an ordinary student can understand the benefit of object-oriented programming unless he/she once suffers from non-object-oriented programming (of course unless he/she is super smart).


Is the theory of relativity wrong?

Scientists of CERN revealed that they observed neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light.  Some news sources were reporting with sensational captions like "End of the Theory of Relativity?"  According to the theory of relativity, if we are able to accelerate to the speed of light, we are able to go to the next galaxy before we die, no matter how far the galaxy is.  As we accelerate, the destination galaxy comes close to us.  For a stationary person, the next galaxy can be billions of light-years away, but as we accelerate to almost the speed of light, the next galaxy will be a few feet away.  Therefore, we will get there within seconds, from the crew and passenger point of view.  However, when we come back to the home galaxy at the speed of light, we can come back.  But, the time at home will be two times the billions of years after we left home.  It's not good.  We just want to spend weekend to look around in another galaxy.  We don't want to miss our friends and families.  This limitation comes from the theory of relativity.  So, if the theory of relativity is proven wrong, we can hope that someday we can travel through the universe and come back home in a few days.

But, a not-so-exciting conclusion from this observation can simply be that the speed of light we knew was not quite correct, and the correct speed of light is actually what we saw from the traveling neutrinos.  In fact there have been a lot of evidence that supports the theory of relativity, including nuclear energy.  Dr. Stephen Hawking said in his book that the time delay of a faster-moving clock can be observed by putting a very accurate timer on an airplane and fly it over the years.  The new observation would change some predictions of how the universe grow from here and how it looked like before.  But, maybe the theory of relativity  stays the same.  With slightly faster c.

Personally, I want scientists to conclude that the theory of relativity needs major overhaul and that we are able to go to Andromeda galaxy over the weekend and come home on Monday.


I went to annual Cleveland Air Show during the labor day weekend.  Cleveland Burke Lakefront airport is within 2.5 hours by car from Pittsburgh.  It is easy to make it a one-day trip.  What was special this year was F-4 Phantom II flight demonstration.  F-4 Phantom II had already retired from the front line of the U.S. Air Force and is becoming rare to see it flying.  I saw F-4 Phantom II flying for the last time in 2007 Dayton Air ShowThat airplane was owned by the Collings foundation.  I was using Pentax *ist DS2, which was a 6 mega pixel camera.  Now I am using Olympus E-30.  It has 12 mega pixel sensor, and the performance of the camera is magnitude better than *ist DS2.  I couldn't miss this opportunity.  My primary goal in this air show was to take a definitive shot of F-4 Phantom II.  (Read more)


Approaching through the cloud

I was trying to to practice IFR approaches at least once a month since I received my instrument rating.  In reality, however, I haven't been able to practice as often as I wanted.  This time I haven't practiced approaches for four months since May.  I finally had chance to fly from PFTC for practice approaches last Monday morning.

I reserved N430U.  When I tried to open the cockpit door, it was locked from inside.  The door-lock lever was not supposed to drop when the door was closed from outside.  But, the spring that holds the door-lock lever was broken, and when someone closed the door for the last time, the lever dropped and locked the door from inside.  I crawled in from the baggage door to open the cockpit door.  Also this airplane wanted to turn left even at the level-flight attitude.  I had to keep right-rudder pressure all the time, or the heading drifted to the left.  I wanted PFTC to do better job in maintenance. (Read more)

YouTube Video


Reno Air Race accident

We saw many airplane accidents this year (although this year is not over yet).  But, the P-51D crashing into the spectator seating area in Reno Air Race was the most shocking accident to me.  On the day of accident, high-speed stall theory and mechanical trouble theory seemed to be outstanding.  But, to me, it seems to be a mechanical failure, more specifically aileron failure.  Videos and a still picture that captured fraction of second before the crash implied that the airplane was rolling out from the final turn and then the roll didn't stop.  The airplane became inverted, and the pilot tried a desperate half loopl to get out of the inverted flight.  He didn't have altitude to complete the half loop and crashed.

The video implied that the airplane inverted and then wobbled left and right.  My guess is the pilot was trying to use aileron to put the airplane back to upright attitude but the aileron was little effective.  The pilot may have decided the only option to recover was making a half loop.  The airplane was flying slight right to left from the spectators, but the debris flew from left to right.  The airplane was able to invert the horizontal flight path, but didn't complete the half loop.

The airplane must have completely destroyed.  It may be impossible to assemble the airplane again to see the cause of the crash.  Maybe all we can gather is videos, pictures, and the debris distribution.  I have been to Reno once for an unrelated conference.  I have been wanting to visit Reno Air Race one day.  This was really a shocking accident.

I play for the repose of the pilots and those who lost life in the accident.

Update 9/19: Corrected typo.  I mistyped the aircraft type.  It is P-51D, not P-15D.  Also, it was determined that a part of elevator trim tab was torn away in flight.  The videos implied that the airplane made a barrel roll before the half loop into the ground.  Probably NTSB is looking into the last maneuver of the airplane and may have already re-constructed the flight path of final moment of the airplane.  We will see more of these in the coming weeks.


Captain YS's Flight Logbook

Uploaded a new article "So, how much altitude do I lose during power-off, 30-degree bank, 360 degree turn in a Cessna 172?"  I did some experiments on how much altitude I lose during one round of power-off, 30-degree bank descending turn.  And from those experiments, I calculated right altitude to start turn on short approaches and tried it at Beaver County airport.  (Read more)


Bird (and Animals) around Carnegie Mellon - 2011 Hummingbird Special

All aviation pioneers, including Wright brothers, had one goal: flying freely through the sky like a bird.  Souls of humans dreaming of the sky to conquer gave us wings ever to soar.  This phrase is from the lyric of the U.S. Air Force song with slight modification, by the way.  But, one aviation pioneers, Igor Sikorsky - a.k.a. the father of helicopters, may have been dreaming of flying like a Hummingbird.  All other birds looks like the origin of airplanes.  But, this particular bird, a Hummingbird, gives me an impression of the origin of helicopters.  Of course, the way it flies only looks similar to the helicopters.  It hovers and even flies backward.  The mechanism of flying is totally different from rotor wings though.  (Read more...)


Uploaded pictures from Latrobe Air Show.


Flying to Niagara Falls (through Canadian air space!)

One of my friends recently got his private airman certificate.  He intends to go for instrument rating next, but he needs to build 50 hours of cross country time as pilot in command.  In my time, I made a lot of round trips from Allegheny County airport (KAGC) to Franklin Venango Regional airport (KFKL).  But, visiting many other airports is much more fun compared to flying to the same airport over and over again just for building cross-country time.

This time, we planned a trip to Niagara Falls.  There is an airport called Niagara Falls airport (KIAG) near the falls.  I have visited this airport for an air show twice before.  The plan was I was going to fly Beaver County airport (KBVI) to KIAG and he was going to fly back to KBVI.  Since we had an airplane, we also planned to fly a sight-seeing flight over the falls.  (Read more....)

By the way, I flew IFR and flew through a cloud several times on the way to Niagara falls.

(YouTube video)


Uploaded YSFLIGHT Progress Report.


Dayton Air Show - Thunderbirds brought real thunder to the show

What summer means might be different for a person to person.  But, to me, the summer means Hummingbirds and air shows.  We have visited Dayton air show 07/23 and 07/24. (Read more...)


Hummingbirds coming with the summer

What summer means must be different from person to person.  But, for me, the summer means air shows and Hummingbirds.  Now it is the season that you can see Hummingbirds in Shenley park.  (Read more...)


Power-Off Stall video (with instrument overlay)

I have uploaded a video of a power-off stall from one of the previous flights.  (Click here to read more.)

YouTube video


Steep Turn video (with instrument overlay)

I have uploaded a video of a steep turn from the last flight on YouTube.  (Click here to read more.)

YouTube video


Moving YSFLIGHT.COM Web Server

I suppose some of you have already noticed, I am moving files little by little from the current web server under @Homepage server to Lacoocan server.  @Homepage service charges about $6 per month for 300MB web space with unlimited transaction, but there was no way of increasing the capacity beyond that.  The new service, Lacoocan, is also offered by the same ISP, and gives me 1GB with unlimited transaction for $1.20 per month.  I had to scatter my contents in separate web servers until now, but I'll be able to consolidate everything in the new server.  In case I need to move again, I'll just have to transfer all the files to the new server and won't have to re-connecting internal links.  That will make it a lot more maintainable.

I'm trying my best to automatically redirect an access to the web pages in @Homepage came from a direct link to the new URL, but some pages will not be visible from a direct link from the outside after the files are transferred to the new location.  And, if you are linking to a picture, zip file, or anything other than a .HTML file, your link will no longer be valid.  If you have such direct links (although I don't recommend) please re-link to the new URL.

At least if you are linking to the top page, http://www.ysflight.com, this URL will be valid, and you are safe.  Also there are some aliases:

I'll keep above link active even after moving the web server.


Captain YS's Flight Logbook

Added videos from the flight on the last Sunday.  In one of the touch & goes, I leveled off, and the airplane sank almost immediately and settled on the ground, just like I experienced last month.  I couldn't tell much why that happened, but this time I had a camera taking a video of the instrument panel.  I was able to have a lot better idea on what was going on this time. (Click here to read the rest.)


Young Blue Jays taking to the sky!

This year, I found a nest in Flagstaff Hill.  There was a twist on the day after the young Blue Jays finally left the perimeter of Flagstaff hill.  I really thought one of them was eaten by a hawk.  But, luckily, that was my mistake.  As of June 9, 2011 I believe they are now training to be a good flier.  (Click here to read the rest.)


Home-Made Flight Data Recorder

The cause of my last not-so-good landing is still unknown.  I don't have data to analyze what went wrong.  I want to know what gone wrong if something similar happens in the next flight.  I made a camera mount that I can attach on the side window and record an instrument video.  The video below is from my practice ILS 28 approach to Allegheny County yesterday.  (Click here to read more)

Updated Birds and Animals around Carnegie Mellon (Added Baltimore Oriole and Scarlet Tanager)


Ups and Downs of Landings

I made a really nice cross-wind landing when I flew for flower-watching flight, which made me feel good.  But, in the next flight, I ended up with making two not-so-good landings.

First, the following video is from one of my best cross-wind landings taken when I came back from flower-watching flight.  You can see that the right main landing gear touched the surface followed by the left gear with roughly one second separation.  In this video, you can see that the right main landing gear touched the surface roughly 14 seconds after I leveled off.  I used partial flaps (20-degree flaps) setting and kept 10kt faster than usual approach speed.  When I approach in normal configuration (30-degree flaps and 65-70kt), it takes about 12 seconds from my past video analysis.

(Click here to read more)

Video from 04/21 one of my best cross-wind landings


Found a nest of Blue Jays & Photos of a Red-Bellied Woodpecker

I found a nest of Blue Jays in Flaggstaff Hill near CMU.  I am expecting to see baby Blue Jays in a week or so.  Also, I was able to take some very good pictures of a Red-Bellied Woodpecker.  (This bird is called "Red-Bellied" although it has a red head and white belly)

(Bird and Animals around Carnegie Mellon)


I have renamed "Mac OSX Programming for Minimalists" to "Programming Random Memo", and added "Sample codes for generating bitmap images from a UNICODE string for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux (Plus UTF8 <-> WChar conversion functions)"

I plan to add more programming topics not limited to Mac OSX programming in there.


Watching Cherry Blossoms from the Air

When I flew for aerial photography over the cherry-tree planting ceremony, I didn't see any blossoms.  It was a little too early.  I thought I should fly again later this month to see cherry blossoms from the air.  However, the day after the ceremony, it was warm like a summer in Pittsburgh.  Almost all of the cherry trees around Carnegie Mellon blossomed then.  I thought cherry trees in the North Park may open their buds in a few days.  I decided to fly again on Thursday of the same week  (Click here to read more.).


YSFLIGHT Scenery Editor Status

I was originally planning to make Scenery Editor official version by the end of March.  But, I made a big progress in my research in February and had to spend time to write up the document.  Then, the earthquake hit Japan, and the nuclear plant exploded.  I knew whatever idea I came up with would not be implemented anyway.  But, as an engineer, I couldn't stop thinking what should be done to contain the plant, and I ended up with leaving Scenery Editor completely unattended for a while.

I re-started looking at the code a few days ago.  I was thinking to support localization bitmaps in Scenery Editor just like YSFLIGHT.  I was making bitmaps manually by Paint Brush, but it was taking too long.  I started writing a short Win32 program that reads a text file and creates localization bitmaps.  I'll make this program available so that you can make your own localization bitmaps.

Through the process, I realize that I can make an off-screen bitmap buffer (DIB: Device Independent Bitmap) without creating a window.  If I remember it correctly, when DIB was WinG (when Windows was 3.1) I could not give a NULL pointer to CreateCompatibleDC, or the program had crashed.  But, now apparently I can give a NULL pointer to this function.  It means that I am able to create an off-screen GDI Device Context without having a window.  I should be able to make a wrapper class that creates a bitmap from a Unicode string for Windows, Linux, and Mac OSX, and make localization bitmaps unnecessary.  Just a Unicode text file would be good enough for localization.  I wrote a test program in Mac OSX (Cocoa API) yesterday, and it worked.  It is still very primitive, and I don't think I can put this feature in YSFLIGHT and Scenery Editor in the near future, but I probably will put it in by next year.

For the next official release of the Scenery Editor, I would go with localization bitmaps.  I hope I can release it by mid May.


Aerial Photography of Cherry-Tree Planting Ceremony

There is a NPO called Pittsburgh Sakura Project, which has been planting cherry trees in North Park of Pittsburgh.  I have been volunteering for aerial-photography flights of the planting ceremonies.  They had a spring planting ceremony on April 9th this year, and I flew for taking aerial photography of the event.  For this mission, I flew a practice flight without my wife (photographer) once, then I flew once with my wife on the back seat, and prepared for the real run.  (Click here to read more)


For the past few days, news media reported that some Plutonium was found nearby the power plant, and the highly-radioactive water is filling the underground compartment of the plant, as if the situation was deteriorating.  Is it so?  I think the situation is slowly getting better.

As for the Plutonium, reactor #3 exploded.  The explosion should have blown some amount of Plutonium included in the spent nuclear fuel rod.  I thought everyone already knew about it.  Plutonium is harmful, but it is as harmful as other radioactive materials.  So, I think we should look at the radioactivity measurement rather than what kind of substance.

As for the radioactive water leak, after observing this much of the radiation leak, if the government, Tokyo Electric, and other groups were really thinking the reactor vessel was completely undamaged, they must be a historically dumb optimist.  Maybe they are.  We already know that they critically lack situation awareness.  But, those idiots are now out of the loop, and those who are working on containing the reactors should have already taken into account the damage to the reactor vessel.

So, to me, nothing new about the Plutonium and the water leak.

The #1 reactor once was cooled to 200 degree C.  If my understanding is correct, they reduced the pace of water injection after they found radioactive water leak.  Then the temperature jumped up to 320 degree C.  They again increased the amount of water injected to the vessel, and now it is around 280 to 300 degree C.  It means that they can quickly cool it to 200 degree C if they find a way to transfer leaked radioactive water to a temporary tank.  I'm not saying it is easy, but it seems more realistic than fixing the damaged cooling system.  It is clear by now that the particles of damaged nuclear fuel is in the water.  Even if they repair the cooling system, the pipe may quickly be clogged by those particles.

And, I was wondering what they were going to do when the reactor vessel was pressurized and they could no longer pump water into the vessel.  But, if the water is leaking, they can just pump water as they are doing right now, and let the hot water leak to the outside, and essentially make an external circulation for cooling.  They need to come up with a way to collect and process the contaminated radioactive water, but I think it is more realistic.

Now, U.S. military and IAEA are independently measuring the radiation level around the plant.  So, Japanese government cannot lie about it, and we can trust the number.  Since the number is slowly but constantly decreasing, we can safely assume that the radiation leak from the plant is a lot lower than a few days ago.  In fact, most of the leak must be from the explosion that took place in the first week of the crisis.  As long as a reactor doesn't explode again, there wouldn't be the same level of radioactive-material leak.  And, in fact, if the reactor vessel has a leak, the pressure inside the vessel cannot go up beyond some level, and vessel may never explode again.  Now, I suppose the focus is minimizing the ocean and land contamination.

So, no matter what mews media say, I think the situation is slowly improving.  Though, it could take months to stabilize the facility, and years to clean up the contamination.


Glimmering Hope

I have just confirmed that a friend of mine who I couldn't contact since the quake and his family are all ok!  I couldn't contact him simply because he had changed his E-Mail address.

NHK (Japanese National Broadcast) has reported that now Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force is commanding the operation at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant.  Also, there is a rumor that the JGSDF is directly talking with the U.S. military regarding the support for the nuclear disaster.  If I understand it right, now the prime minister is out of the loop, which is a great progress.  It should have happened earlier.  JGSDF crews who are working at the site should be able to make a lot better decision than the prime minister.  I feel I am seeing a small hope.  I hope it is not too late.

I've been feeling the biggest fury I have ever felt in my life.  People were suffering, the U.S. was offering help, and the prime minister was messing up.  Now, every expert expects that Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will not become the second Chelnobyl.  I am hoping it is true.  But, even if it is true, this isn't a good-enough news.  Japan is a small country.  Even if the uninhabitable area is smaller than that of Chelnobyl, the ratio of the uninhabitable area vs. total land will be substantial.  Around that uninhabitable area, agriculture and fishing will be banned.  It would be a enormous damage to Japan.

A big accident like this nuclear-plant explosion does not happen unless an unfortunate chain of events are all connected.  If only one of the event was prevented, the accident would not have become this catastrophe.  The evaluation and research on this catastrophic accident will begin when the situation is stabilized.  But, what we will see will be stupid decisions that ended up with connecting the chain of events.  We would find that there had been multiple missed opportunities that could have prevented this catastrophe even after the power plant totally lost electricity.  Japanese people will also witness the largest injustice in the Japanese history.  The prime minister apparently is a coward, and he wouldn't take responsibility for the disaster.  Tokyo Electric Power Company executives should be prosecuted for at least manslaughter.  I hope they will be charged for the mass murder though.  But, probably they will pay some money and escape.  And, they are now trying to get that money from the tax-payer money.

There is a town called Cranberry about 45 minutes drive to the north from Pittsburgh.  Toshiba was supposed to build a facility for the nuclear-energy business.  But, this Fukushima accident may substantially reduce the plan, and the growth of Cranberry may stall.  Losing business is nothing compared to the grief of losing family, friends, or hometown.  Nonetheless, small economic damagesfrom this irresponsible Tokyo Electric Power Company executives and the Japanese government might be all over the world in addition to the deep grieving sadness.

But, such a disaster reminds me of how happy it is to be able to live a usual, often seemingly boring, life.  I rented and flew a Cessna from Beaver County airport this Sunday.  I flew a practice flight for the aerial photography for the cherry-tree planting ceremony planned for April 9th.  The air was super clear.  I could see Pittsburgh downtown as soon as I took off.  I followed a same course I have flown over and over again at the same 3000ft altitude.  Nonetheless, I appreciated that I was able to fly as usual so much.  On my far right were two nuclear-reactor buildings of the Shippingport power plant.  This plant has been providing power to the area for long time.  I believe the human needs to learn to control nuclear energy.  Someday human should explore and emigrate to the outer space.  As long as we are staying close enough to the sun, solar energy will supply more than enough energy, but beyond that, nuclear power will be a crucial energy source.  One of the huge crime of the Tokyo Electric Power Company is that they cast a fear of the nuclear energy through the world.  It is a crime against human kind.


A moron is bad enough.  But, the worst moron is a moron who doesn't call for help.  Such a moron waits until the situation becomes as bad as it can get and then calls for help.  The current Japanese prime minister, Naoto Kan, is the textbook example of the worst moron.

Now thousands of people living within 30 kilometers radius of the blown nuclear power plant are told to stay inside.  They are living in the fear of radiation exposure.  The words "help is coming" would substantially lighten their hope.  The U.S. Department of Defense is ready to deploy up to 450 nuclear-accident response experts to Japan.  Why the hell this prime minister is not asking immediate full-scale deployment?

This prime minister cannot say one sentence: "Please help Japan from the fear of radiation with all the knowledge, expertise, and equipments of the U.S. military."  This proves that the current prime minister is classified as "a moron who doesn't call for help."

Such a proof doesn't help people in Fukushima at all.  Thousands of people are told to stay inside, and they don't have fuel and means of transportation to escape farther away from the plant.  I don't know how many days I would be able to stay without being freaked out if I were put in such a situation.  The words "help is coming" would significantly encourage them.

I wish I could spread this message to larger population.  If you read this message, please, please send a message to the white house from http://www.whitehouse.gov/contact and tell the president Obama to deploy the nuclear-accident response team immediately in full scale without waiting for the request from the Japanese government.  My message may not be read.  And, if I send a lot of messages by myself, it would be considered a spam, and will not be read anyway.  So, please help us by sending this message to the president.


My friend is now flying a rescue helicopter on the Japan-sea side, which is away from the nuclear power plant.  I'm glad he is not flying near the power plant.

The power plant seemed to be somewhat stabilized yesterday after the heroic effort of Tokyo fire-fighting department, Police, and Japanese Ground Self-Defense force.  However, news media are reporting black smoke is coming out from the plant #4, and white smoke from the plant #3.  The situation is still volatile.

And, the prime minister hadn't asked officially to the U.S. to send nuclear-accident response team.  Even after the situation is stabilized, people who are affected by the radiation need treatment, radioactive materials need to be cleaned, and they need to take damaged nuclear fuel out of the cooling pools and reactors and bring them to the safe location.  Japan needs full support from the nuclear-accident response team.

Why the hell this Japanese prime minister keeps declining the offer of support from the U.S.?  What is he protecting?  Clearly, not life, health, and happiness of the people.  Is he trying to protect Tokyo Electric Power Company?  His reputation?  Political power?  Money?  Japanese people must remember this guy is committing a crime against the Japanese people.  This guy should be removed.  This guy's political career must be taken away permanently.

Multiple news sources reported that the Japanese government forced Tokyo fire-fighter department crews to the plant.  They were told that they went to the plant, or they would be punishment.  This report is a confirmed fact since the prime minister apologized to the Tokyo governor.  Initially, the government was saying it was a voluntary act.  The government said so because they didn't want to be held responsible.  Responsible!?  They are responsible for the disaster already.  They are accumulating the crime for the humanity.  Japanese government failed, and is falling apart.

People are suffering.  Suffering deeply.  And the Japanese government is blocking the help from reaching the suffering people.  This prime minister is betraying the Japanese people.

I have sent another message to the White House.  I wrote that the Japanese prime minister is in panic and cannot make a right decision, therefore, please send the nuclear-accident response team without waiting for the prime minister's request.

You can also send a message to the U.S. government from the following URL.


My message should be buried under the thousands of messages.  I appreciate if you could send a similar message to the president so that he decides to deploy the nuclear-accident response team in full scale.


The department of defense is going to send 450 nuclear-accident response experts.


All Japanese people, including myself, thank the United States for all the help.  This help has been much needed.

Japanese prime minister SHOULD HAVE asked this help days earlier.  He is incapable of thinking what is needed next and take action ahead of the event.  Before this nuclear disaster, I felt this Japanese prime minister was an idiot, but I never hated him.  Now I hate him.  I am cordially disgusted from the bottom of my heart.  How many hundred thousands people's happiness was taken away by this moron?

Since I am a researcher, I cannot stop thinking about the potential solutions for containing Fukushima Daiichi (#1) nuclear power plant.  I know I must stop.  Unless I really stop, I might get depressed.  But, I just cannot stop.  When I have a free time, I find myself thinking about the solutions.

Heroic Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force helicopter crews told two important things.  One is that tungsten is somewhat effective for shielding radiation from the reactors.  The other is the high radiation from reactor buildings #3 and #4 are most likely to be from the direct radiation from the spent fuel rods.  Why?  If it was from the radioactive materials floating in the air, shielding one side of the helicopter doesn't work.

Now, Japanese government should immediately order to build a heavy truck that has a thick metal plate that can shield the workers from the direct radiation from the spent fuel rods.  Such shielding vehicle may allow workers come closer to the facility and restore power and whatever pumps survived the quake and tsunami and blasts.  Also, there is a high probability that the pipe to the spent-fuel pool is destroyed by the blasts, and it may become necessary to continuously shoot water to the spent-fuel pool from the outside.  Then, instead of sending people there over and over again, a few custom-made trucks that has a strong pump and water cannon as high as the reactor building must be put beside the reactor buildings #3 and #4, and put pipelines and power lines that can supply water and electricity to the water cannon from the safer distance.  First, some water-cannon trucks should be built quickly so that it can give an immediate relief to the police officers, fire fighters, and Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force crews.  Then, more strong and sturdy ones should be built and brought in so that the truck withstands future earthquakes and typhoons.

I know, this message will not reach the prime minister.  He seems to really be incapable of thinking what could happen next and what should be prepared.  He cannot think plans A, B, and C.  It is apparent from the fact that he never tried UAV before sending JGSDF helicopters in harms way.

And, he probably cannot think a drastic idea.  Using cruise missiles should sound outlandish.  I know.  I still believe it could be effective for reactor #4 if cruise missiles are used by the massive number though.  But, there is another value of an seemingly outlandish idea.  If you talk about your outlandish idea to the expert, the expert may say it is impossible, but the expert could come up withl something else that is possible.  It cost nothing to consult with the U.S. military about whatever possible way of injecting coolant to the spent-fuel pool no matter how outlandish the idea is.  The current Japanese prime minister cannot do it.

OK.  So, thinking about what should be done only makes me feel powerless.  I should really stop thinking about it.  I hope the U.S. nuclear-accident response team saves JGSDF crews, workers, fire fighters, police officers, and millions of people.  Only thing I can do is to pray.


One good news was my parents house had internet connection restored.  My home town was shaken by the quake, but didn't have much damage.  But, due to the logistics problem, still they cannot buy gasoline.  But, in this situation, I should be happy to have my family spared.

I stopped watching real-time news.  The scene of Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (I pay tribute to them by calling them by their official name.  I no longer call them Japanese Army.) helicopters dropping water over the nuclear reactor was too painful to watch.  Later I heard the pilots and crews received radiation that was far less than the amount that could cause health risks.  I hope they really were ok.

But, the current prime minister ordered this Kamikaze mission.  Even without trying a UAV.  This man ordered the first Kamikaze mission since the World-War II.  This man has just become the worst commander-in-chief in Japanese history.  It was extremely unfortunate for Japan to have this idiot prime minister at the time of the most difficult crisis that the Japan has ever experienced.  I think this prime minister is now already a substantial part of the crisis.

But, the scene of the power plant was beyond my imagination.  Reactor building #3 did no longer had the wall.  I was thinking that the cruise missile could fly at its slowest speed slightly above the reactor building and release the coolant packed in soft capsules, then the capsule would hit the wall, and the coolant will seep down to the used-nuclear-fuel pool.  But, if the wall doesn't exist, this doesn't work.  It requires a lot slower delivery system.  I think a cruise missile could still be used for reactor #4 and for scattering boric acid over the reactors.

It doesn't have to be a cruise missile.  Delivering coolant to the reactors from outside the high-radiation zone is similar to the long-range precision bombing.  It doesn't have to pierce through the reactor core.  We are talking about used nuclear fuel that is exposed.  There must be some precision weapon-delivery techniques that helps the situation.  I desperately sent messages to Japanese government, Japanese Liberal Democratic party, and the Whitehouse.  I hope it catches someone's attention.

I still haven't heard from one of my friends....


I came to my office at CMU.  But, clearly I cannot concentrate.  Japan is about to lose 1/3 of the land due to the nuclear disaster.  I have many friends in the affected area.  One still missing.  Even those who survived the quake and tsunami is experiencing lack of food, fuel, and everything.  Unless the reactors are contained, they also need to fear the radiation exposure.

According to the news media, the reactor #4 is the current main concern because workers cannot come close to other reactors due to the radiation leak from #4.  It needs to be cooled by the massive amount of coolant but nobody can come close to that.  At this point, I think only way to deliver the coolant is cruise missiles.  The reactor #4 has a hole on the exterior wall, and the nuclear material that needs to be cooled is in the room accessible from the hole.  Tomahawk missile must have a mode that releases the cluster bomb at the programmed timing.  This program can be modified so that the missile releases the coolant at the best timing and then fly above the reactor.  Coolant can be separately packed in the plastic capsules so that the cluster-bomb unit can be used as is, or they should be able to design and make a special container for the coolant.

Can anyone suggest this idea to the idiot Japanese prime minister?  Unfortunately the current prime minister seems to have no idea on what the military can do and cannot do.  He doesn't know what to ask to the U.S. military.  At least he should immediately ask the U.S. government to fly a UAV over the plant for 24 hour surveillance.

I'm wearing a jacket with "T-4 Blue Impulse" logo today.  Seven T-4s of the Japanese Air Force's aerobatic team was saved to fly again as a symbol of re-construction.  The day will come.


Doesn't the U.S. Army have a special operations unit for responding to a nuclear attack?  The situation at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant #1 is almost becoming a nuclear attack.  Isn't it possible for the U.S. government to send the unit there?

My important friend is flying a rescue helicopter in the vicinity.  I missed him this January because I was sick.  I don't want to see him in the hospital next time I visit Japan....


Earthquake in Japan

If you are able to understand Japanese, the following two Japanese TV stations are giving live internet broadcasting on UStream.

NHK    http://www.ustream.tv/user/NHK-TV

TBS    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/tbstv

I have been continuously monitoring the Internet broadcast of NHK.

My family is ok, and I was able to confirm most of my friends by E-Mail, twitter, or their blog.  But, I am not able to contact two of my friends who were living on the Pacific coast line.  One of them was living very close to the Matsushima air base, which is now under water.  I hope they just evacuated to the high ground and temporarily cannot access the internet.

One of my friends apparently is flying UH-60J for the rescue mission now.  In fact, Japanese Air Force mobilized substantial amount of rescue helicopters to the area.  I wish him the best of luck!



I've been using TurboTax for preparing federal income tax return for the past several years.  When my income was simpler, I was able to fill out all the forms by myself.  But, now I have no idea what I should put in each column of form 1040.  And, actually I am not confident at all in my answers to the questions that TurboTax asked either.  It often asks like "Did you have XYZ during the tax year 2010?"  But, I often have no idea what XYZ is.  I make my best guess to answer those questions, and so far, IRS hasn't sent me a hit man.

So, I was thinking to do the same this year.  I installed TurboTax and followed instructions one by one, and I reached the section of Interests and Dividends.  Last year I purchased for the first time in my life some mutual fund, which gave me small amount of dividend.  And, the financial institution I'm using sent me form 1099-DIV, which showed the amount of dividend I received, and also showed small amount of tax paid to the foreign country.  I just entered all the numbers in the form to TurboTax.  Then, the next question was a big problem.  TurboTax asked "You entered $X.YZ foreign taxes paid.  Now enter the portion of the $ABC.EF dividends and distributions that was from a foreign country."

It was not a kind of question that I could answer by my best guess.  This amount was not reported on my 1099-DIV form from my financial institution.  I called my financial institution and asked how much dividends came from a foreign country, but the person who took the call didn't know.  He finally became an answering machine.  He didn't say anything but "We cannot help your tax return.  You should call your tax assistant."  I said to him they were supposed to know how much money came from where.  Again, he, the robot, repeated "We cannot help your tax return.  You should call your tax assistant."  That quite bothered me.  I'm thinking about changing my financial institution.  If they don't know how much money came from where, how can they manage our money and give us good return?  The reality was, they didn't care since my dividends were too small for them.  If I were much richer and had a lot more money in my investment account, I would most likely receive additional forms that tells exactly how much money came from where.  But, I'm not that rich.

I searched on Google only to find that many people were having the same problem, but nobody was giving an answer.  Most popular answer to this problem was ask your financial institution.  But, I did, and it didn't help.  I was really stuck.

I had been stuck there for a few days, and finally I came up with the solution.  If you are having the same problem, this may or may not help.  If it doesn't work for you, unfortunately TurboTax doesn't seem to help you.  And, try it on your own risks.  I cannot guarantee what's going to happen because you use my method.

The thing is, I am not supposed to tell a false information to IRS, but I can tell a false information to TurboTax.  Let's say I paid $5 to the foreign country as dividend tax, and my total dividends were $100.  If the foreign country to which I paid tax was a brutal country and tax 100% of the dividends, my foreign-earned dividends is exactly same as the foreign tax paid, which is in this example $5.  Or, the other extreme is all of my dividends are from foreign countries.  In that case, my foreign-earned dividends is same as the total amount of dividends reported on 1099-DIV.  So, the actual number in this example must be somewhere in between $5 and $100.

And, the next question was, did the amount really matter?  Since it was such a small number, entering $5 or $100 to the "foreign-earned dividends" may not make a single-penny difference in the tax return.  So, I did an experiment.  I replied to TurboTax's foreign-earned dividends question with three different numbers, minimum possible, maximum possible, and in the middle.  And, I saved three PDFs of a tax return form from the three cases, and compared the contents.  Yes!  I was right.  The number I gave to TurboTax as foreign-earned dividends really didn't matter.  Although I entered three different numbers to TurboTax, the final form stayed the same.  All I submit to the IRS are the final forms, and if those forms doesn't change, it doesn't matter!

So, you can try the same.  If your total dividends and foreign tax paid are both small, say like total is around $100 and the foreign tax paid is $5 or so, you have a good chance that the answer to "Now enter the portion of  the $ABC.EF dividends and distributions that was from a foreign country" doesn't change the final tax-return forms at all.  If you try different numbers to this question, and if you see your tax form changes depending on the number you enter there, unfortunately you cannot go with my method.  Maybe you need to talk to H&R Block.

And, in fact, at this time, I don't know whether my method really works.  I hope IRS will not send a hit man to me  :-)


Captain YS's Flight Logbook

I flew twice this month.  The first of the two was on 15th Tuesday.  I took the morning off, and flew from Beaver County Airport.  The weather was clear with little wind.  I talked to some friends if they were interested in flying, but none was able to make it.  (Or, was my flying skill not trusted?)

(Read more...)


YSFLIGHT Network Server

I have started a network server for YSFLIGHT Ver. 20110207.  The address is:

It's on my desk in CMU.  If you are accessing from far away, you may experience some time lag.

The server is running on Toshiba Dynabook T4-495CME, which is, I believe, nine years old.  I was able to run the console server despite its age.  Its optical drive is already broken, and it may break any time.  If it breaks, the server will be suspended until I find a spare (and that I can use freely) PC.  The server resets every six hours, and changes a field.

It is open to everyone.  Enjoy!


YSFLIGHT Version 20110207 Ready for Download!

The new version of YSFLIGHT is ready for download!

By the way, I realized that if I compile the program with Visual Studio 2008, the program no longer runs on Windows 98.  But, my primary developing environment is now based on VS2008.  So, I compiled the program in a virtual machine using VS2005 separately.  If you want to use YSFLIGHT on Windows 98, please try this executables.  I was not able to test this, but I hope it works.

Thank you very much for your help during the test period.  With all of your help, I believe I was able to make YSFLIGHT more stable and fun!

I'm still working on the Scenery Editor.  I appreciate your feed back in the Scenery Editor, too!


New Freeware "Move Mouse One Pixel at a Time with Key"

I do almost every operation on my PC with keyboard.  When I use a mouse, I need to look, point, and click.  But, if I do something with keyboard, I press some keys and done.  I don't have to look at the monitor.  It substantially reduces my eye fatigue.  But, certain operations need to be done by a mouse.  Especially, when I am drawing a technical drawing or cropping a screen shot, I need to use a mouse rather than typing a coordinate by keyboard.

But, a mouse has a serious weakness.  It is so hard to point an exact pixel that I want to click on.  If I slow down the mouse-speed setting, it makes it easier to pin point an exact pixel, but it takes longer time to move the mouse cursor across the screen.  If I increase the mouse-speed setting, I can move mouse across the screen faster, but when the cursor comes close to the exact target pixel, even if I move my mouse slowly and diligently, my mouse cursor overruns by a few pixels, and it very difficult to move it to the target pixel and stop right there.  After a few seconds of struggle (just a few seconds, but imagine you need to do it hundred times) I finally move my cursor to the target pixel and am ready to click, and I sneeze, or a cat jumps on to my mouse, or an earthquake hit, and all my effort is jeopardized, and I need to do it all over again.  I feel like to crush my mouse with a hammer when it happens.

To reduce such a frustration, I made this program.  If you download, install, and run, the program will stay in the task bar, and while it is in the taskbar, you can move your mouse cursor by a key, 1 pixel at a time.  You can use your mouse to move your cursor close enough to your target, and you can use your key for final adjustment.  You can select which key to move your mouse cursor from a few selections in the configuration dialog, which pops up when you click on the task-bar icon.

In fact, I found this program to be very useful.  I have been using it for drawing technical drawing in Microsoft Word and Power Point, and it is a lot easier than before.  I should have written this program before writing my Ph.D thesis (nine years too late :-P)  In particular, Power Point 2007 has a bug that "free hand" does not snap to the grid.  And, Microsoft apparently has no intention of fixing it.  It was very difficult to draw a perfectly vertical or horizontal line in Power Point 2007, but with this program, I now can easily make perfectly horizontal and vertical lines in Power Point 2007.

So, if you are having a similar frustration day to day basis, please download this program and try!  It is free, but donations are welcome.  You can donate $5 via PayPal from the following link.  Thank you for your support!

Donate $5 via PayPal!


Added YSFLIGHT HEADQUARTERS in the YSFLIGHT Related Sites links.


Congratulations, Packers!  Steelers will win the Super Bowl next year.



(Sorry Packers fans.  I'm living in Pittsburgh  :-)


YSFLIGHT Test Version server is up and running.

I am running a server for YSFLIGHT Test Version.  Please feel free to log on and use it.  It helps debugging the program.


(* This server accepts connections from YSFLIGHT Test version only.  I'm thinking to make it a permanent server after I make it an official version.)


A pair of clear glasses for night IFR training

I have uploaded "pair of clear glasses for night IFR training" in CaptainYS's Flight Logbook.


First flight of the year, and logging 1000th landing.

Bad weather around Pittsburgh was preventing me from flying for a while, but finally I was able to fly today.  (Click here to read more.)


Uploaded Japan Tour of an Airplane Fan 2011

I was visiting Japan with my wife from late December to early January.  Main purpose of the trip was to attend a wedding party of my cousin.  Her wedding ceremony was back in October.  This time was a more casual party.  If I visit Japan, I also wanted to see over-the-field training flight of Japanese air force's aerobatic team, the Blue Impulse, and wanted to see Japanese Navy's YS-11, which is expected to retire in a few years.  However, the wedding party was scheduled for December 29.  Both Japanese air force and Navy was in the new year's recess around that time, and all regular training flights were on hold.  Earliest possible date that I could see those airplane flying was January 4th.  I had to make a difficult travel plan.

(Click here to read more.)


Happy new year!

I was visiting Japan from late December to early January.  I suffered from severe cold, but I made trips to Atsugi Naval Air Facility and Matsushima Air Base for taking pictures of airplanes.  I'll upload pictures soon.

I'm still recovering from jet lag and left-over cold, but I'll resume addressing issues of YSFLIGHT test version as soon as I fully recover.

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