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  1. #1
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    FS Flying Benefits to Real Flying?

    Hi all,

    apologies if this was covered before but I am intrigued to know of your opinions (especially any real life pilots out there, either commercial or private).

    What kind of Flight Sim flying have you done that you consider beneficial to your real flying?

    I am asking because I am working towards my PPL at present and at least as far as GA flying is concerned, being able to rehearse or practice some aspects of flying at home would be a great training aid as well as cutting down on flying costs.

    What do you think?

    thanks,
    Ryan.

  2. #2
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor Tomlin's Avatar
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    I am a huge advocate of using FS for real world flying as long as the hidden dangers are uncovered and the pilot is aware of them when flying in the real world. You should look up Geoff over at the Avsim forums- he's a big advocate too, and own his own Baron.

    Although I am not a rated pilot, I have had the chance to fly several times with friends who own their own aircraft or rent them.

    Just a few off the top of my head (issues):

    1) Keep your head OUT of the cockpit. When using FS, even when it's VFR, most desktop pilots are still using the instruments and the nature of a single monitor (or limited visual system) limit your out the window views. Also, because we come to realise that there are no chances of getting hurt flying into another aircraft in FS, it can be easy to forget it is catastrophic in the real world. Case in point: More than once I have been flying for real and the pilot give me a heading/altitude and I proceed without ever looking out the window for traffic. Yes- the real pilot was looking for traffic, but once it was 'my plane' I overlooked that all too important step.

    2) Ive been told that I have the ability to fly instruments almost better than some of the rated pilots Ive flown with, simply because again, in FS, you have limited outside view so you get used to instruments. However, in FS you dont have the movement and G forces so I actually almost made myself sick when told to climb from our cruise to a higher altitude, because I wasnt used to the FEELING of going from level to a relatively high rate of climb. I knew what LOOKED like, but not what it FELT like.

    3) Real story- Im in the backseat of a piper dakota at KORL, and we're taxiing across the airport over to the active. The instructor and student up front (both acquaintances) were not very familiar with the airport. I was- VIA FS2002. The two up front (and I dont know how they didnt notice the red RWY 7-25 sign in front of them, ALMOST crossed the active runway before we were cleared. I saw this coming and once I said 'wait, this is the Active' the instructor hit the brakes, and said, 'Oh, yeah...'. Scarey! So, FS can really help in knowing the airport layout (to a degree).
    Eric Tomlin-
    Learjet 45 Builder
    www.flightlevel180.org

  3. #3
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim Michael Carter's Avatar
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    I'll second what Eric said. You are missing that feeling in FS unless you're lucky or rich enough for a 6DOF platform.

    FS can help with instrument proficiency, but it cannot help with the constant struggle of disregarding what your brain is trying to tell you and get you to do, and paying strict attention and heed what your instruments are telling you.
    Boeing Skunk Works
    Remember...140, 250, and REALLY FAST!

    We don't need no stinkin' ETOPS!



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  4. #4
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor AndyT's Avatar
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    I use it to keep myself familiar with all the housekeeping chores in the cockpit between real flights. Tuning radios, adjusting AP, GPS and the host of other little things that you are constantly doing in various phases of flight.

    Knowing your airport is a great benefit as Eric pointed out above.

    The biggest thing for a practicing VFR PPL is working your checklist. Even if you can not physicaly get out and do a per-flight of the aircraft, you should still go over it in your head in detail. Doing all your checklist steps everytime without fail is one of the best benefits you will get from FS.

    And when you go for your Instrument rating, FS is going to be your major practice tool.

    I could go on for a long time on this but instead let me reccomend this book...
    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Flight-Simulator-Training-Aid/dp/1560276703/ref=cm_lmf_img_7_rsrsrs0"]Amazon.com: Microsoft Flight Simulator as a Training Aid: A Guide for Pilots, Instructors, and Virtual Aviators: Bruce Williams: Books[/ame]

    You would do well to read and use it.
    God's in command, I'm just the Pilot.
    http://www.geocities.com/andytulenko/

  5. #5
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    After 6 years of simming I solo'd a C150 Aerobat at 7.2hours and got my restricted area licence (GFPT) at 21 hours. It was a breeze, real flying is a lot easier with the great views and sensations of inertia. FS definately helps!

    Gwyn

    737NG using Prosim737, Immersive Calibration Pro, Aerosim Solutions motorized TQ & cockpit hardware, CP Flight MCP & FDS SYS1X, SYS2X & SYS4X, FDS PRO FMCs, AFDS units & Glarewings, Matrix Orbital ELEC display, Pokeys Landing & Cruise alt display, Buttkicker Gamers, 3 x BenqMW811ST projectors with a Matrox Th2Go
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  6. #6
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    Thanks guys for the helpful replies.

    I have that "Flight Sim as a training aid" book and did find it very useful but I wanted to get a broader sample of opinions on it.

    I can definitely appreciate how FS can help with IFR practice but I was unsure about the PPL training benefits. However, as well as building an A320 sim, I have a more simple setup with a PFC flight console and multi-monitor setup with FS which I have been using lately to practice circuits on a C152 (which is what I am training on).

    I actually found it to be good practice, mostly in getting the procedures and checklists right (as you mentioned) but also in getting the numbers right i.e. holding correct headings, heights, speed and using the right power and flap configs.

    Also, to my surprise, I found it useful in practicing the round-out and flare. Of course there is no seat of the pants sensation which is very important in the hold-off but it was still helpful in teaching me to avoid ballooning by pitching up prematurely.

    cheers,
    Ryan.

  7. #7
    300+ Forum Addict luisgordo's Avatar
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    I agree with Eric. FS does help on instrument proficiency, but getting the hang on what's going on OUTSIDE the a/c, ie. monitoring for other traffic, etc. ... Another world (talking about VFR, of course).

    Otherwise, it sometimes feels easier to fly a real bird than in FS... almost got the plane to land on my first flight (of course, wouldn't have been able to, and the instructor took over when we were about to touch the rwy, but still... nice!)
    Luis Gordo
    Instructor StationTM - www.iStationGordo.com

  8. #8
    1000+ Poster - Fantastic Contributor Jackpilot's Avatar
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    My 2 cents in a nutshell:
    Flying is easier with a real airplane as long as you get proper instruction.
    After that FS can help you keep current and practice navigation.
    Not the other way around

    Note: Steam gauge Navigation is more and more a lost art...see all these posts on pushbutton VNAV and LNAV...whether it is a 150, an A3XX or a 7XX, all of them can be flown manual ...but mostly on Sims, no airline would recommend it.
    Rehearsing a real flight on FS before actually doing it can be a good and useful preflight initiative.
    Both are immensly enjoyable.
    Jackpilot
    B737-700 Posky
    FS9/P.Magenta
    without PMSystem

  9. #9
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim Michael Carter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackpilot View Post
    Note: Steam gauge Navigation is more and more a lost art...

    Some of us are trying to keep it alive awhile longer...
    Boeing Skunk Works
    Remember...140, 250, and REALLY FAST!

    We don't need no stinkin' ETOPS!



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  10. #10
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    My mate who is a real 737NG Captain said the windscreen is there to stop you banging into the terminal! It's always head down on the instruments. He regularly uses FS for practice and encourages the F.O.s he instructs to do so aswel.

    Gwyn

    737NG using Prosim737, Immersive Calibration Pro, Aerosim Solutions motorized TQ & cockpit hardware, CP Flight MCP & FDS SYS1X, SYS2X & SYS4X, FDS PRO FMCs, AFDS units & Glarewings, Matrix Orbital ELEC display, Pokeys Landing & Cruise alt display, Buttkicker Gamers, 3 x BenqMW811ST projectors with a Matrox Th2Go
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