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Just Flight Rescue Pilot Mission Pack for FSX
By Nigel C Martin
September 2008

Overview

Some of you may remember the Rescue Pilot playable demo for FSX that Just Flight released providing us with a great opportunity to experience the life of the Rescue Pilot? I had great fun with it. 

Flying in FSX it can be a little, well bland, OK, you have the additional detail and amazing effects on the land, water, ground and aircraft detail, but, no interactive ATC or real time map ( I appreciate we have the default GPS, but not as good as FS Navigator)

This programme potentially offers that ‘something’ a bit extra, 12 new missions to get to grips with.

This offering you will out of your airliner or fighter skimming the surface at mach 2.  Now this is real business, the business of rescuing people.

So, who are we flying for? You will be a part of a private air rescue service operating out of Caernarfon Bay in Wales, very close to RAF Valley, with the Irish Sea to the north and St Georges Channel to the south. To the south east, the foothills of the Cambrian Mountains and the Snowdonia National Park, these mark the south-eastern boundaries of the operating area.

The aircraft in the fleet include:-

    * Helicopter: Bell 206 Jet Ranger
    * Single-engined propeller aircraft: C172
    * Multi-engined propeller aircraft: King Air
    * Multi-engined jet aircraft: Learjet

Ok, these are all default aircraft but they come with a choice of Rescue colour scheme applied.

If you have seen the promo shots on the Just Flight website I am sure you will agree with me the programme, or rather the screen shots looks great. 

So, with map in hand and a desire to get some medals for outstanding flying, I am off to the airfield.

Installation

This process is effortless, after removing the DVD form the sturdy plastic case. READ the instructions, they provide you with some invaluable information.

Typically with all Just Flight’s DVD’s they auto-run (You can download this product if you wish) and all you have to do is follow the clear on-screen instructions, lean back and hey presto you are installed and ready to go!

Do seek out a section in the instructions called "Mission Tips" they are precisely that, offering constructive tips for the missions. I had several "Oh, now I know how to do that"  moments, so my brethren it's well worth a read before you embark on that mission.

In Use

To start you off in the wonderful world of being a rescue pilot, you have to access the mission list and you will see all the Rescue Pilot flights are now visible in the mission list within the beginner, intermediate and expert level choices. You can if you wish select the JF Rescue Missions only so all 12 are on easy view.

I know we all tend to jump straight to expert, because we are all experts and do not need to go to the beginner level right?  Ok,  I guess it’s a man thing! Well resist! Take your time, in fact work through all 12 missions in sequence. Not only does allow you to get accustomed to the instructions and get to grips with the aircraft on offer in the rescue fleet, but also allows you get to grips with the navigation aids, and the co-pilot’s interactive conversation.

Some of the missions make reference to one of the previous missions flown, so please start at the beginning and all will make perfect sense.

You will notice that the aircraft are shown in a rescue style livery, well actually I did not particularly like the first colour scheme, so, from the Select a Paint Scheme/Create A Company Sign option, I was able to change the colour schemes of the aircraft and the font for my rescue company name.

There are a set of standard options on offer, but if you are particularly creative, you can ‘magic’ up a scheme, why not a bespoke company sign as well? All can be achieved within this very handy and easy to use facility.

I opted for one of the colour schemes presented, a striking white and red scheme, I felt more indicative of the emergency nature of the fleet.

Heart transplant on the ground ready for the off

At the hold as another Angel flight is landing

So, ready for the off, but first make a mission selection. I decided to work through the mission list sequentially with the first one being in the beginner selection, "Car Crash".

I stood outside the main crew building being informed from the invisible co-pilot that the helo was the most suitable for this rescue. At this point I am, ingeniously, another aircraft made up to be a pilot on foot.  So using the throttle I started to walk and increasing the throttle increased my pace to a run aiming for the helo on the pad.  As you get within a metre or so you are given an option to fly the helo, select yes, you then appear in the helo hot, all running ready for the off. (I would have preferred the co-pilot starts the aircraft, so you hear the engines run up).

The co-pilot then gets the clearance for you, and provides directional information, direction etc, FAB!

To further assist you, you have the option of a pointer on view over the ‘target’, I thought this was a great feature. You have the also have the option to remove the visual identification if you wish, relying on your own navigation.

A really great feature is you can part complete a mission and save it and when you return, you can continue, without adverse effects.  Nice, also, if the postman arrives or you need to cut the lawn, by pressing ‘P’ you can pause the action, press ‘P’ again and rejoin the mission, again a useful and nice touch.

Once you compete a mission successfully you are rewarded by a medal in the record of achievement option and of course you get a verbal congratulations message for a job well done.

At the various airports you visit, take notice of the traffic, including the base airport, you will witness a mass of traffic both static and moving, both on the ground and airborne really adding to the realism. The attention to the various buildings is also worthy of note.

The ATC will also make reference to this aircraft traffic which does give you the impression you are sharing the skies with other people.

The keen of eye will realise I have not covered any of the 12 missions in depth, if I did this review end up the length of a set of encyclopaedias! So I have tried to provide an overview.

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