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  1. #1
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    How did you learn to fly?

    Simple question, but would be nice to know how you all learnt to fly your aircraft of choice?

    There are hundreds and hundreds of Boeing / Airbus simmers on here, and the majority have built a simulator based on their aircraft of choice.

    But how did you learn to fly that 737 or whatever aircraft you fly, did you learn through flying the GA first, or doing tutorials in FS? Or are you dead lucky have have real world experience learning to fly!

    Basically...to build a 737 you need to know EVERYTHING about flying it (so you know what to build) and it seems very technical.

    So where did you start?

  2. #2
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    Boeing Re: How did you learn to fly?

    I started of in FS98 with the 737. I had no concept of proper speeds, takeoff and landing configurations etc. It was a game to me and just some fun. Then I started to try landing without crashing and did some reading online and at the library on principles of flight. With that understanding I became a much smoother pilot and managed to land consistantly from then on.
    I then bought FS Nav and started doing small European routes in the 737, learning to navigate and to plan for fuel etc.
    Then by the time FS2002 came in I was introduced to the realistic weather and ATC which I again studied and read about online, then applied that knowledge in the sim. I soon started using checklists (as I attempted landing without gear down a few times). That got me introduced to cockpit procedures which I learned for the 737.
    Then with FS2004 and me going away to university I found that I wanted more of a challenge so bought the level-D 767. I relearned the different checklists and procedures for that, and then started to learn how to navigate and fly using an FMC, which in turn got me into performance calculations.
    Again more reading online and in the library at Uni got me some pretty good ideas on aircraft performance calculations. Plus ITVV videos helped with some details, especially the Virgin 747 and Concorde ones.
    After that I stayed with the 767, practicing procedures, cockpit flows, manouevers and such until I was competent at flying her properly, every time!
    With the 767 I had been doing larger European routes but then decided that I should extend from Heathrow to the USA, down to Africa and accross to the far east, so I learned NATS navigation and ETOPS rules.
    In 2007 I graduated university and got a job programming aircraft maintenance systems which got me interested in all the paperwork that pilots have to fill in (such as tech logs and load sheets) which enhanced my level of realism.
    In november of that year I was invited to take part in World Flight 2007 as one of the Simfest crew, which I did again in 2008 and hope to do later this year. Simfest taught me how to interact with more than one person in the cockpit (multi-crew operations) because although I had read the theory I had never applied it in practice (things such as calling out speeds and monitoring the PFs flying, along with proper checklist use).

    So over the last 11 years it has taken a LOT of reading and pratice to keep evolving and getting better. I am still studying the 767 now as I design and build my flightdeck. Its a 10 year project so Im in no rush to complete it!

    Tom.

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  4. #3
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    Re: How did you learn to fly?

    Wow....

    You sure have learnt your stuff.....

    I started with Flight Sim 95 and has been hooked ever since but never really touched the jets, I found so much pleasure in flying VFR and now Instrument flying, that maybe I may venture into ME flying but within GA still.

    I would love to get into 737 flying one day but I don't know if I love the 737 that much that I am willing to spend the multi-thousands building a 737 sim. I am worried that I will regret not spending that money on PPL training and become a real pilot but for pleasure and private flying....

    Although I am studying A-Level Travel & Tourism now, I hope to become a Passenger Service Agent or cabin crew member so if I get to work with aircraft or at any airport I think I will still be able to admire the jets!

    But as for learning to fly.....I cant get enough of it....it is one long learning curve for me and a bug!

  5. #4
    75+ Posting Member Stijn's Avatar
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    Re: How did you learn to fly?

    Well how i started with FS (1,5 year ago) is a strange story.
    We had a assignment for school to plan a trip. We took as transport a plane. A friend said he had flight simulator so we did a simulation of the flight. It was awesome! The day after that I started planning the build of a 737-800 cockpit (without even knowing that there were other guys doing that) and i diden't even had FS!!!
    When I had the game i started with my mouse trying to land and take-off a beech baron 58 and later bombardier crj 700 and 737-800. I did it all by my self. After a month flying i found out what flaps where and used them as speedbrakes so i came in way to fast and when i retracted the flaps the plane was taking off again because of the lift:P
    When i could normaly land a plane i started foccusing on the sim again. First 737-800 (desktop sim), 727-200 (desktop sim) ,A320 (single seater), 747-400(full cockpit) and i'm thinking about turning back to 727.



    Stijn

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  7. #5
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    Re: How did you learn to fly?

    Stijn I really admire your enthusiasm...you sure are a get up and build simmer!

  8. #6
    75+ Posting Member ran56's Avatar
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    Re: How did you learn to fly?

    As I see it, my learning to "fly" is split in to 3 major time indexes.
    The fist one, from about age of 12, got my first AT PC, with a sort of
    space ship arcade game.
    That thing hooked me in to flying.
    Then got Falcon, and was able to take of, land dog fight all through the keyboard (I don't think I'm able to replicate it now )
    As time went by, FS5,98, 2000 came by, learned to fly with a stick.
    Can't say I knew what I was doing, but ****, was able to take off LLBG
    and land at EDDF DCT on a GPS, but hey we got there.
    Then FS9 arrived, started those training and test that came with it.
    Learned more and more, but then on Sep 2003 a friend of mine told
    me that there is a VA call IAL, Israel Airlines that simulates ELAL, Israir and Arkia all together.
    Joined them and from there the route to VATIL and VATSIM was direct.
    Now started the second phase of my learning to fly.
    Scraped everything but the basics and learned again, how to plan a flight, take consideration of weather, rules of flight like RVSM etc.
    After about 2 year, VATIL started a joint project with ELAL air lines.
    That's were the third chapter of me learning to fly.
    At about that time I got "lucky" and got fired from my job.
    Lucky enough to be part of this great cooperation project, where
    I learned to fly B737 B767 and the mother of all airplanes, B742 which I become to love and hate and was the chief pilot of the B742 fleet for VATIL.
    In that project we assisted new trainee pilots getting the grip with B737NG and the B767.
    We build 2 Sims, one based on the PMDG 73NG , MCP + EFIS +CDU and 5 displays.
    The 76 is based on the LDS 767. with MCP + CDU and 4 monitors.
    There I learned how to really fly those A/C with Normal and abnormal procedures.

    Now one of the best stories I have from that time is on one of the times I've
    assisted the B742 trainee, they didn't have a FE to help them.
    So they asked me to help.
    Got in to a 1:1 mock-up they have at ELAL for the B742, and the CP tells me,
    OK start APU.
    I say hey no problem, shift 5 FE upper panel, the APU start switch (RFP V2).
    Look up the FE 1:1 panels and my jaw drop like a stone
    Holly ****, where the **** is that switch ... ok found it ...
    OK now iso valves ... damn that panel is much easier in the RFP

    Two days later one of the trainees was sick, so they ask me to assit them and take his place , and this time as the captain in a pilot monitoring job.
    The fastest promotion from FE to Captain in two weeks
    So the trainee is asking for checklist this and that, I do the PM job,
    we ware taking off EHAM on Arnem 1S, Raw data takeoff, with very high
    load of, setting the power + changing frq to intercept radial etc.
    I the middle of the takeoff one of the fleet captains comes in and watch us work our asses and at the debrief, his telling me, you did a good job for a trainee and I'm all smiles
    I think I was hovering all the way home

    After that I think I joined at least 3 ground schools of the B737NG and one on the B76, B744 and B742 and each time I learned some thing new.
    That's why I love this hobby, it's a non stop learning.

    Well that about it , 27 years of "flying"
    Ran Finkels
    Former B763 Builder - FS9 Simvionics. LDS, FDS OC etc.

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  10. #7
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim Trevor Hale's Avatar
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    Re: How did you learn to fly?

    This is a very interesting forum topic, and will be neat to see how it grows. I thought I would add my $0.02

    When I was 13 my brother started working towards his Glider pilots license. We were both what we call in Canada "Air Cadets" its kind of a cub scout organization but Militarized "AirForce" the concept is great, do what your told and you can get a free Pilots License. At any rate, I watched my Brother Achieve his glider license and his PPL shortley there after, and Before I got the chance we ended up moving and I never got to attempt either, nevertheless Watching him soar, and taking my first trip with him I was in awe.

    I mean we both had FS since the "Monochrome" Orange and Black screen. But until you could compare it to being in a real aircraft it was to me just a game.

    The entire Simulator craze for me came when my wife bought me a copy of FS2000 in 1999. I started hanging out with MSN Kiddies on the Gaming zone, and met quite am amazing bunch of people with Roger Wilco. <-- some of you long haulers will know what that software is.

    Anyway I became part of an organization organization, called "FSTower", and Joined Virtual Air Canada at the same time. We Hosted a flight server "Before FS Host Existed" and Although the Virtual airline got put on the back burner, I started learning from these people (And My brother) on how to use the instruments of the cockpit. I would always see instruments and as soon as I wondered what it was, I had to ask questions on how to figure it out.

    Anyway, What I realized is that every aircraft has the same Fundamentals. and instruments. they are just laid out differently. Be it the Autopilot in the Barron or the Lear Jet and although they look different they do operate the same functions.

    Anyway, moving on.. FSNavigator came out and we changed form Hosting a FS Server to Hosting Air Traffic Control sessions "Mostly" between KPHX, KLAX, and KLAS.

    At some point we were introduced to the Creator of FS Host, who at the time wrote little programs that paid for the chocolate to give his wife so he could keep flight simming. He intern wrote FSHost Primarily for our group, and he released it to the public at the same time and then there were Flight servers everywhere. it was so stable compared to the Zone, and it wasn't limited to the number of connections like FS was limited to.

    At this point I had a server and was learning how the instruments worked, so I started a website that allowed me to teach people one on one how to fly Approaches, and use their instruments.

    Everyone teaches someone else a little at a time. even if you are reading it in a forum, or hearing it when you are listening to Vatsim (Which back then was very freeking scary) LOL.


    Anyway, To summarize.... I don't need to get into how I ended up here, just the point of the matter is that, we all learn something just about every time we fly. I learned from Air Cadets "the why and how things fly" My brother (and strangers) were there to help answer my questions, and forums like this all contribute to the "Total learning experience" As long as you continue to meet friendly people in this Simulator world, the circle of learning will never stop.

    I just look at every aircraft as the same thing, only buttons are just located in different places, I personally found I picked it up way faster.

    Enough of me using up the worlds oxygen supply... I hope I wasn't just rambling, but for the record, My Brother is now a Chief Corporate pilot Flying some pretty big Tin, and he sits in my 737, and hasn't got a clue where to start LOL.

    Trev
    ________________________
    Trevor Hale

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  12. #8
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    Re: How did you learn to fly?

    That's a very good account of your experience, and it just shows the diversity of how people learn and take FS into their own hands!

    Trev: I bet your wife wished she'd never bought you FS! LOL

    Lets hope that more people add to this topic because it is always a pleasure listening to members learning experiences, and especially learning the big jets!

  13. #9
    2000+ Poster - Never Leaves the Sim Trevor Hale's Avatar
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    Re: How did you learn to fly?

    Quote Originally Posted by alexpilot2008 View Post

    Trev: I bet your wife wished she'd never bought you FS! LOL

    You have no idea! LOL
    ________________________
    Trevor Hale

  14. #10
    Executive Assistant Geremy Britton's Avatar
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    Re: How did you learn to fly?

    I'm inspired by the long posts of your 'roots' into the FS hobby.

    I too found the hidden depths of flight simulation through an old copy of Flight sim. None of my familly or friends are interested in flight simulation which means it was entirely me. My first FS was 1995 i think it was. Maybe not as far back as the two colour flight sims, although i'm not as old as some of the others here

    Anyway the improvement has been key to attracting more and more people into the endless realms of flight simulation. I was talking to my dad, Have you got any good games i asked. I picked up FS, i said can i play this. (Being a kid at the time) Getting my own way and proving it's not to difficult to do as my dad insisted, i was up and flying in no time. I loved it and that was over 10 years ago.

    That was the top of the slippery slope down to where i am now if you like. I played, and desktop simmed for about 5 years, but wanted more. It was seeing the web which made me see what people could do. Particular inspirations at the time were Kev Saker and James Price. Half a year into my reaseach i found Mycockpit. And i've never left since. Been with the team since ou, it'll have been at least a couple of years now and it's great to see others following in our footsteps.

    A big help is owed to members here, not for cockpit building but for the real pilots and experienced amoungst you all who have uploaded video tutorials onto the net, posted pictures, etc etc. I needed others to be where i am now.

    I've now been building 2 years almost and i have to say you learn along the way as well as building but in the time you are flying too. As Like Tom said, you make the transition from a game to a serious simulation and from a desktop flyer to a 'airline pilot'

    However make no mistake, effort is needed. Reading, watching, learning is crucial to fly your chosen planes like the pros do. Which at the end of the day we want to be as realistic as possible.
    Geremy Britton
    Executive Assistant, MyCockpit Inc
    Head of GLB Flight Products
    www.geremy.co.uk

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