Erik “EinsteinEP” Pierce
“The superior pilot uses his superior judgment to avoid situations regarding superior skill.” – Frank Borman
My entry into the world of simulation began when I stumbled across Flight Simulator on our local library’s public computer. After my first few obligatory hours of buzzing buildings and flying 747s upside down under bridges, I experienced the thrill of my first successful landing. This gateway drug led me to traffic patterns, instrument flight, radio navigation, and eventually cross-countries that were long enough that I had to request an extended timeslot on the computer from the librarian. Microprose F-19 was my next trade-up: the first sim I purchased with my own money (e.g., begged my mom to buy for me). As I plotted infiltration courses around enemy radar stations, I had no idea that my fascination with technical specifications, tactics, and an appreciation for flight planning would last for the rest of my life.
Since then, I’ve received my private pilot’s certificate, although, unlike Chris, I have only logged a smidgeon over a hundred hours and haven’t even flown as pilot-in-command since December of 2003. Embracing my inner geek, I earned my degree in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott in 1999 and started a career that has, so far, spanned the build-up of a liquid-fueled rocket test stand, research and development of unmanned underwater vehicle projects, and getting to play with a number of high-tech defense industry toys. I have a wife, two kids (Wingman #1 and Winggirl #2), and the proverbial two and a half cars. With a busy career and a demanding yet fulfilling family life, I don’t get to game quite as much as my inner geek would like, but I’ve flown thousands of hours on sims like Combat Flight Simulator 3, Falcon 4.0 Allied Force, IL2: 1946, Rise of Flight, Digital Combat Simulator, and IL2: Battle of Sturmovik. I’m very much looking forward to introducing my children to this hobby, and then shooting them down. ~S!~
My obsession with learning is pervasive – I need to know the how’s and why’s of just about everything. If it has a button, I want to know what it does, and why it does what it does. A lever, a control tab, a blinking dot on the HUD – it doesn’t matter, I won’t rest until I understand it. I’ve found that trying to explain a very complicated topic helps improve my own understanding, which is why I truly enjoy sharing what I’ve learned with whomever will listen to me. I hope to continue that with you here at Mudspike.