Rice Terraces and Flight Simulators

Longsheng Travel Blog

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Little hillside village of Ping An is dominated by the Zhuang minority.

This morning I woke to the sound of dripping on my backpack ... then it became a torrent ... I think the family owning the hotel sleep in the loft and baby did a wee wee ... or hopefully a glass of water fell over.  Fortunately I managed to leap out of bed to move my pack before it became a torrent.

I had breakfast overlooking the roofs of the other houses, the hills and the terraces.  Nice.  A hunched old lady had two buckets, one at each end of a long pole carried over her shoulders.  She skillfully scooped the manure over her tiny vege patch on the side of hillside path ... all without putting down the buckets or spilling it.  Like I said it was a pretty rural scene but I'll cross salads off the menu for today.

I went for a couple of walks today .

Rice terraces looking a bit dry.
.. this morning I walked to the neighbouring village and back, a journey of three hours.  Then in the afternoon I took a shorter walk to a lookout point ... more views of the rice terraces and village.

Over dinner I got talking with a couple from Europe ... he works for a major airline specialising in flight simulations.  I thought ... what do you have to do with flight simulations ... you just buy the simulator, right?  Well apparently not ...

When you buy a flight simulator for a few hundred million bucks, they don't always display the characteristics of the aircraft it is meant to simulate (damn it!)... it may not produce the right shudders or noises.  Eg. a lopsided landing may only have two thuds when it should have three.  

Besides that, he also has to load and maintain terrain information especially for new airports as the simulators are only preloaded with basics like long-lat, runway length etc.

Rice terraces ... as wet as it gets in November.

Somehow my new friend thinks I should get into this simulator programming career ... I need to learn C++ first (well, after I find out what it is).  Here's a few snippets from the conversation for the pilots amongst you (yawn for the rest of you):

  1. He's very pro-Airbus as he thinks their logic is very consistent with a good workflow and ergonomics for the pilots.  He said on some Boeing aircraft the trim alarm sounds the same as failed pressurisation alarm ... causing a very bad accident with loss of life.
  2. He's also very proud of his airline ... they don't employ any ex-Airforce pilots (presumed to be too reckless) ... and unlike some airlines, Airbus and Boeing pilots are quite strictly segregated due to their differing philosophies.  He couldn't believe when I told him one budget Asian airline allows dual rating of A320 and B737 pilots as long as they don't fly the other aircraft on the same day.
  3. He also has access to the flight simulator training results ... there's a captain of XYZ airline who loses orientation completely in the dark. 


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Little hillside village of Ping An…
Little hillside village of Ping A…
Rice terraces looking a bit dry.
Rice terraces looking a bit dry.
Rice terraces ... as wet as it get…
Rice terraces ... as wet as it ge…
Corn being dried.
Corn being dried.
Off to work he goes.
Off to work he goes.
Near by village within walking dis…
Near by village within walking di…
photo by: alexchan