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Fly To Hawaii Now Upgraded for Flight Simulator 2002

By Cap Mason, Flight Simulation Editor (31 March 2003) from

Fly to Hawaii has been recently upgraded to Flight Simulator 2002 with some amazing new features. Without a doubt, it is now one of the most exciting and visually stunning FS2002 payware add-ons I have seen in a very long time. The original version for Flight Simulator 2000 was more than two years in the making and widely acclaimed as a ground-breaking new product. The new version for FS2002 is a completely immersive ATC experience for both beginners and experienced flightsimmers. But that's just the tip of the iceberg. The design team at FlightSoft has gone to amazing lengths to bring exacting and authentic detail to every aspect of the aircraft, scenery and in-flight experience. The new FS2002 edition provides:

  • 13 DC10 Widebody Jetliners including Hawaiian Airlines and their 70th year Special Anniversary Livery plus a USAF KC10 Extender.

  • DC10 Photo-realistic cockpit environment including a working overhead panel, a working Global Positioning System and INS plus many other gauges and controls.

  • DC10 real sounds from inside and outside the cockpit that were music to my ears.

  • Real World ATC audio recorded from actual Hawaiian DC10 flights to Hawaii is incorporated into flights and approaches.

  • 65 easy automated approach flights to the Islands of Hawaii plus Aruba, Bermuda, Bahamas, Jamaica, Cancun, Miami, LA, Boston and other exciting destinations around the world.

  • Flight Handling qualities that make full use of the  flight model achievements for Flight Simulator 2002.

  • Real World 150 Flight Plans to exotic destinations all around the world.

Use the links above to dig deeper into the details. 

Inside the box you get an excellent printed  manual that makes it easy to install the software and get started on your flight experience. The manual is highly detailed and walks you step-by-step through several adventures. There are even more goodies on the CD that get installed on your hard drive.

The Test System

I  flew to Hawaii on our newest Dell 8250 Pentium 4 screamer. This system has proven to be an absolute flightsimmers dream machine and includes

  • Pentium 4 2.8 GHz CPU running Windows XP Pro
  • 512MB RDRAM
  • ATI Radeon 9700 Pro 128MB 8X AGP with TV out and DVI
  • 120GB 7200 RPM Ultra ATA 100 Hard Drive
  • 19" Dell UltraSharp flat panel display
  • Audigy 2 sound card
  • Harman/Kardon MK945 speaker system with subwoofer
  • DVD and CD-RW drives
  • For the test flights I used CH Products USB Yoke and Pro Pedals

Fly To Hawaii was wonderful to use and this awesome Dell 8250 was the reason why. Allow me to rhapsodize this computer because I am usually cursing my PC instead. Nothing to curse with this Dell. I will be giving you an in-depth look at it in a later article. Suffice to say for now that I know the answer to the question, "Can you fall in love with a monitor?" This 19" flat panel display is mind-boggling. Combine that with the blazing speed and smooth performance of a 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 processor, this Sierra Hotel Radeon 9700 Pro video card and the power of Flight Simulator 2002 really "takes off" with Fly To Hawaii aircraft, scenery and adventures. OK, rhapsody over. Let's fly to Hawaii.

Installation is a Breeze

Inserting the CD in the drive triggers autorun and from there the installation is very straightforward. Be sure to keep the jewel case because it has your product key code on it. You need the code to install or upgrade Fly To Hawaii. 

Excellent Added-value Goodies

When I restarted Flight Simulator, in addition to the aircraft and adventures, I found two new folders on the hard drive. One contains complete documentation for Fly To Hawaii  and the other contains 150 flight plans, several check lists and instructions for many of the adventures.  These two folders contain enough added-value goodies to keep you busy for a week just perusing them and cherry-picking which adventures to fly first. I was simply blown away by the exquisite detail of the flight plans and the consummate skill and love of flight simulation exhibited by the FlightSoft team in their creation. FlightSoft president, Pat Zoffreo and his design team thought of everything. You have both Microsoft Word and Adobe Acrobat formats for every document. There are enough flight plans to cover every cool, exotic, challenging and fun place you ever wanted to fly to. In addition to going to Hawaii from many starting points around the world, you have flight plans for scores of other cool flights  from Amsterdam to Timbuktu (literally), JFK to Phuket, and lots of points in between. There is simply not enough room here to list them all. 

Exquisite Aircraft Details 

I was in a hurry to see if this add-on was as good as promised so I cranked up the approach to Honolulu adventure and let the copilot fly the plane while I checked out my new flight office on the DC10 Widebody. With FS2002's graphics cranked to the max (thanks to my new Dell 8250 screamer and Radeon 9700 Pro video card), everything looked so real I was simply mesmerized. The visual models on the aircraft are highly detailed and very smooth. I could practically count the rivets on the Hawaiian Airline silverside livery. There is plenty of animation, including rotating fans, landing gear, flaps, slats, spoilers, rudder, elevators, ailerons and more. The Spot View revealed a gorgeous DCq10 Widebody visual model that looks exactly like the DC10.  The spectacular 3D engines with rotating fan blades and cone were a very nice touch. The transparent cockpit glass, night textures with illuminated passenger windows, lights, and tail logos; plus 32 bit photo-realistic textures for almost every part of the DC10 and a nice round fuselage, engines and tires -- made for a pleasingly realistic visual experience. For those of you with low-powered computers, everything still looks good and you can get great frame rates with the graphics dialed down to accommodate the limitations of your PC.

Highly Accurate Flight Model

This is what separates the best from the rest and what separates the Fly To Hawaii widebody from other DC10 designs. I'm not a DC10 pilot so I won't pretend that I know what it like to actually fly one. The real widebody pilots know the best feature of an entire product like this is the aircraft handling characteristics and how close it can simulate the real aircraft. FlightSoft employed the real world experiences and skills of airliner pilots and flight engineers including Tony Vallillo (Senior Captain of a major US Airline) Berrett Doman (pilot) and Dwayne Van Meerten (flight engineer) to make the DC10 flight model as accurate as possible for Fly To Hawaii. You can choose to let the copilot fly some of the pre-programmed approaches while you sit back and take it the marvelous sights and sounds or switch off the autopilot and go to work yourself handling this giant bird.

The Last of the Great Analog Cockpits

The DC10 was built at the tail end of the analog cockpit era, and after reviewing all the recent Boeing simulations, it makes a refreshing change to fly an airliner that lacks any kind of glass instruments at all and which uses an Inertial Navigation System rather than a Flight Management Computer. Once you get your head around this plane, and particularly if you learn to use the INS, you will appreciate why glass panels became so popular. With INS, on some of the flights you will have your work cut out just working out where you are.

While the INS was the last word in navigation gear when the DC10 was built, it will relieve many readers to hear from Pat Zoffreo, FlightSoft's President, that airlines which still fly the plane also use the GPS, and in some cases have even retro-fitted FMCs. "In carriers that still utilize the INS, the GPS is still there so both navigation systems are used to provide as much information to the pilot as possible," Pat told me. "So it is possible to use the moving map mode of the FS2000 GPS and work the INS Computer at the same time for the advanced and expert adventures ... this is what I do and it helps a great deal in spatial orientation."

The cockpit interior is based on photographs that have been suitably enhanced. The cockpit works well, the instruments are all readable. Once again, it doesn't hammer frame rates. Don't be fooled into thinking that the age of the plane makes the cockpit any simpler, by the way, this is just as complex a panel as you can find in any of the Boeing simulations available today. The photos below give you callout for the working instruments:

1. Display toggle switches 10. Brake Hydraulic Pressure 19. Reverse thrust indicator
2. Clock 11. Altimeter 20. Engine instruments
3. Airspeed Indicator 12. OMI 21. Throttle handles
4. DME 13. Autopilot 22. Flap/Slat handle
5. RMI 14. ADI (secondary) 23. Flap Handle Indicator
6. ADI 15. Altimeter (secondary) 24. Surface Position Indicator
7. HSI 16. Airspeed (secondary) 25. Speedbrake light
8. Radio Altimeter 17. TAS/SAT Indicator 26. Slat/Reset switch
9. Vertical Speed Indicator 18. Speed brake handle 27. Landing gear

1.Display Toggle Switches

These switches bring up into view other panel components such as the Overhead or Throttle console.


  1. Overhead panel
  2. Throttle console
  3. GPS panel
  4. INS System
  5. Radio Panel
  6. NAV 2 Panel
  7. Pitotheat Panel

4. DME (Distance Measuring Equipment)

This instrument will give you the distance in miles from the selected VOR/DME in the NAV1 and NAV2 radios.

6. Attitude Director Indicator (ADI)

  adi.jpg (12011 bytes)

  1. FD Light

    Inoperative in Version 1.0

  2. DH Light

    Inoperative in Version 1.0

  3. Fast/Slow Indicator

    Indicates airplane airspeed deviation from speed selected with autothrottle speed selector.

  4. Glide Slope and Scale

    Indicates airplane displacement from glide slope.

  5. Runway Symbol

    Indicates airplane position with respect to the localizer. At 200 ft., the runway symbol begins to
    extend to indicate airplane altitude until, at touchdown, it touches the bottom of the airplane symbol.

  6. Test Button

    Inoperative in Version 1.0

  7. Slip Indicator
    Indicates a slip or skid

11. Altimeter

altimeter.jpg (13794 bytes)

  1. Altitude Advisory Light

    STEADY - Indicates that aircraft has approached within 750 ft. above or below the altitude select knob in the autopilot.
    Goes off when within 250 ft. of selected altitude and remains off while within that range.

    FLASHING - Indicates more than 250 ft deviation above or below the altitude selected with the altitude select knob.
    Aural tone also sounds momentarily.

  2. Altitude Reference Bug

    Reminds pilot of specified altitude.

  3. Altitude indicator

    Indicates corrected altitude in increments of 20 ft. Below 10,000 ft, the extreme left digit space is solid green.
    A NEG flag covers the digits to indicate altitudes below sea level. OFF flag appears to indicate a failure.

  4. BARO Knob

    Adjusts altimeter setting.

  5. Altimeter Setting Indicators

    Indicate selected altimeter setting in millibars and inches of mercury.

  6. Reference Bug Set Knob

    Sets altitude reference bug.

Throttle Panel

throttle.jpg (32247 bytes)

1. Parking brake handle 7. Thrust reverse handles
2. Parking brake light 8. Fuel levers
3. Longitudinal trim handles 9. Flap/Slat handle
4. Longitudinal trim indicator 10. Gear horn off button
5. Speed brake handle 11. Flap T.O. Sel Window
6. Throttle handles 12. Flap Wheel

Overhead Panel

overhead.jpg (62718 bytes)

  1. Yaw damper switches
  2. INS battery
  3. HF radio
  4. Engine start buttons
  5. No smoking, seat belt switches
  6. Light control panel

 Radio Panel

radio.jpg (56497 bytes)

  1. VHF Comm
  2. Transponder
  3. Aileron Trim
  4. Pushback control

 Inertial Navigation System (INS)

inspanel.jpg (22628 bytes)

  1. INS Computer Left CDU Display
  2. INS Computer Right CDU Display
  3. Waypoint Change CDU Display
  4. INS Automatic or Manual Selector
  5. INS Computer Selector
  6. Thumbwheel CDU Display


autopilot.jpg (33460 bytes)

  1. FD � Flight Director Switch
  2. BACK CRS � Back Course Selector
  3. TURB � Turbulence Mode
  4. NAV 1 radio
  5. NAV 1 radio course
  6. HSI Switch
  7. ATC ON OFF � AutoThrottle Switch ON or OFF
  8. SPD Window
  9. HDG Window
  10. HEADING KNOB with 2 modes of operation
  11. RAD/INS Switch
  12. ILS Switch
  13. ALTITUDE Window
  14. ALTITUDE Knob
  15. IAS Indicated Airspeed Switch
  16. MACH Speed Switch
  17. AP or AUTOPILOT Levers CMD or Command Mode or OFF

On Final to Honolulu International

The approach to Honolulu had me spellbound, because it had an atmosphere of realism that I can't recall in a Flight Simulator adventure before - it really did make me feel as if I might really be there.

Hawaii is the locale for some extraordinary Approach Adventures utilizing the actual ATC from the DC10 flights into the Islands. One very cool feature is the moderator option with detailed discussion of my flight profile. The moderator discussion as a lot of fun and very informative at the same time. Since this was the first time I flew a DC10 in FS2002, I appreciated the moderator taking me through the steps required  to safely fly the widebody jetliner. felt something like a check ride with an instructor. The  in-flight moderator told me which buttons to push in the cockpit and how to comply with all the Air Traffic Control directives.

The beginner adventures - approaches to Honolulu, Maui and Kona airports, sit you in the left hand seat, being talked down by the co-pilot, who flies the plane right onto short final, before he lets you drop the gear and flaps and take her in, so there isn't anything that can go wrong. These adventures are pretty much flawless and a beginner would learn a great deal from just listening in. None of the landings are tricky, and they make a great introduction to flying the DC10. From there, you can either go on to the more advanced adventures, or you can fly any one of the scores of  approach situations (and videos) that FlightSoft included with the package, or you can choose to have a go at one of the 150 real-world flight plans for the aircraft. In many ways, this is the heart of the package. While the beginner adventures and approaches aren't too challenging, some of the long over-water flight plans require a high degree of competence to execute. If you flew every single flight and adventure in here, it would keep you going just about forever.

Honolulu International Airport Runway 8L

My first flight vectored me in on  Honolulu International Airport. Runway 8L. That's the runway used most often by the Jumbos and widebody jetliners. The flight begins on the approach phase just as Approach Control contacts my DC10 Jetliner. Fly To Hawaii includes three different versions of the approach adventure to Honolulu International Airport�s runway 8L. The first approach adventure is targeted at flightsim newbies and starts on base turn with detailed moderator discussions on what to do every step of the way. There was no guessing or confusion. The moderator told me when to decrease airspeed, lower the landing gear and adjust the flaps. It was very cool to work in that flight office and bring  my widebody jetliner in for a smooth landing. I must admit, there was a high pucker moment on my first approach when I disengaged autopilot and took control of the beast manually. I brought her in right down the center of the runway, engaged thrust reversers too late and burned through the brakes on my way to a splash down in the water as I ran out of runway. I think my landing speed was a tad too fast! 

The second newbie's version is an approach positioned just prior to Bambo Intersection. The co-pilot automatically tuned the nav instruments, initiated changes in heading, changes in altitude, and even activated the Auto-Approach features of the Auto-Pilot just as directed by Air Traffic Control. That was very cool. I just sat back in the Hot Seat and watched the aircraft move forward, descend, turn to various headings while I checked out the entire simulated approach from the comfort of  my armchair. This truly was realistic -- just let the First Officer do most of  the work! But not all of it. Once on short final the co-pilot disconnected the Auto-Approach mode and I took control. This time, I  flew her down safely and taxied right up to the arrival gate. 

The third and fourth versions of the approach adventure to Honolulu International Airport�s 8L provide medium skilled and advanced students of flight simulation with very rare and highly realistic re-enactments of the approach phase. For more on this and all the other approach adventures, go to FlightSoft's website for complete details.

Awesome ATC

Click here to listen to a sample of actual ATC

One of the very best features of Fly To Hawaii that impressed me the most was the highly realistic, and accurate, atc. The intermediate and advanced adventures are longer than the "beginner" versions. Typical of them is the DENNS intersection to Honolulu flight, which allows you to fly the entire arrival route, complete with ATC audio, without the tedium of navigating the four hour over water segment necessary to reach the start point from the US. The flight begins with the copilot contacting Honolulu Center, after which you are cleared to fly direct to Bambo Intersection and follow the Maggi 2 Arrival route, before you are vectored in. The whole flight takes about fifty minutes and includes realistic ATC all the way -- including some hard-to-decipher transmissions. Pat Zoffreo personally edited around thirty days of complete ATC recordings to compile these adventures.

According to Pat, one of his aims was, " provide folks with a taste of what reality is like ... difficult transmissions and one must be constantly alert almost every moment." And he is right, Fly to Hawaii definitely does convey what it is like to listen to ATC, which at times gives you the urge to shout, "OK guys, you got me beat, can you throw away the toilet roll you're speaking through, now, and give it to me straight?"

On the other hand, the LAX departure and most of the others have crystal-clear ATC. Beginners might want to try the LAX-DINTY adventure early on, if only to see another side of Fly to Hawaii. Make sure you get the map of the airport fixed in your head first - then sit back and listen to the hard pressed controller trying to get you off the stand, a process which takes him nearly fifteen minutes, by the end of which time he is having to ask the pilots which stands they are on. Definitely a bad day.

If you want the most realistic Fly to Hawaii experience, it helps to use the pullout card with the airspeed settings for the different stages of flight because departure from expected behavior will put the plane in the wrong place at the wrong time.  I cannot stress enough the need to observe the airspeeds, climb and descent rates and other instructions. Go to bed with the speed reference card, and do not get out again until you know it by heart. The most vital document is the Los Angeles - Hawaii ATC Flight description, which takes you step by step through the adventure, beginning with starting the aircraft, and most importantly, programming the INS. Make sure you read this one, even if you never fly the adventure, because this is where the meat of the instructions are, and it must be some of the most exhaustive documentation for FS2000 I have ever seen, period. If you don't do this, and you fly free and easy, you will get used to hearing the co-pilot tell ATC that he has the runway in sight, when all you can see is blue water.

Instantly Immersive

The approach adventures  got up-close and personal right from the start. The approaches put me instantly right in the thick of things. There was no doubting that I was Pilot in Command of a widebody jetliner. Once the adventure approach starts I was immersed with Air Traffic Control and the cockpit filled with the sights and sounds of Hawaii. The same was true for the other adventures on approach to other exotic locales including Aruba, Bermuda, Bahamas, Jamaica, Cancun, Miami, LA, Boston and more. I was exposed to the complete range ATC experience including extensive Approach Control, Tower Control and all the Ground Control ATC.

Real Weather Approaches

FS2002 brought us some amazing innovations in real weather simulation. Fly To Hawaii incorporates real weather into the approach flights. Here are just a few examples of the real weather flights I took that were based on actual historical weather situations:

    This is a high-pucker approach to Rio De Janeiro�s Galeos International Airport�s ILS runway 15R with very low visibility conditions, low clouds, dense fog. And great big, airplane killing mountains all around me!

    Another high-pucker moment, this approach recreated the infamous Radar Control blackout for a real seat-of-my-pants landing. 

    ATC vectors for a perfect intercept of the localizer for an approach in mist and fog to La Guardia Airport�s ILS runway 22. 

    Misty and cloudy conditions. 

    This approach is unusual because of the extraordinary mist and fog in San Diego, California.

    This real weather approach hit me with unusual crosswind and windshear effects on short final very close to the ground. Passengers and crew will rest in peace as I blew it on the first try.

    Crosswinds and slight windshear, plus lots of rain and low clouds made me appreciate what real pilots go through arriving at this famous airport.

Fly To Hawaii gets a Top Rating from Cap Mason


I like Fly to Hawaii. It is so chock full of cool features, interactive adventures, stunning visuals that it keeps calling me back. That's what visitors also say about those enchanting Hawaiian Islands -- they keep calling you back to them. Good thing, too, because it will take me a very long time to tire of all the approach situations. One thing stands out clearly here and that's the amazing attention to detail and realism that FlightSoft has put into this software add-on. It is definitely on of my top choices for flight simulation entertainment value. The FS2002 version of Fly To Hawaii lives up to its FS2000 predecessor and takes you much farther into the real world of widebody flying.

Cap Mason