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I've never flown a Cub. But I always assumed it was a really easy to fly plane. Very simple...used as a trainer and the heart of aviation clubs before the ubiquitous Cessnas, right?
What I found, though, in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 -- with all the realism cranked up -- is that the J-3 Cub is pretty tricky to take off and land. In the simulation, at least, there's so much torque that it's hard to keep it moving in a straight line and tricky to keep it level as it lifts off.
Once it's flying, it seems like a great plane. But starting and stopping, it seems like a bear. Anybody know if that's realistic?
I haven't flown a J-3, Cub since sometime in the mid 60's, and not a lot then, just a few hours. I don't remember it being exceptionally difficult to fly. It did have fairly narrow gear, so gound looping was always a posibility. It was actually a fun airplane to fly, especially in the summer with the window folded down. The tail dragger Cessna 140's with wide, spring steel landing gear and hydraulic brakes were more goof proof. I personally have never been able to successfully land any of those things in Flight Simulator. I gave up on it.
Two years ago, I definitely did not endear myself to the MS FlightSim folks at their booth at OSH. I "flew" around the pattern for runway 9 at OSH in FS using their version of a 172SP. After "landing", the MS reps, knowing that I'm an instructor, eagerly asked my opinion. I told them that the depth perception seemed off, the controls didn't feel like a 172, and it was a bear to land.
Oh, well - they asked.
I know - I'm going incur the wrath of everyone who uses the product. If you like it and use it, then great. I like sushi - some people don't.
How about no depth perception, and almost impossible to land. At least that was my experience. Of course all my kids could beat me at every video game that came along, starting with Pong! Now my grandkids are beating me. Hell, I can't even figure out most of the games. I did find that FS was kind of intersting for some IFR stuff, if you used the autopilot only. The damn thing was too unstable to hand fly.
I will say one thing - I really want the sound card and speakers they had installed up there! I'd ditch my stereo (although they were running too much bass - made a Lycoming IO360 sound like what I imagine a B36 must have been like).
I have had the same issues with MS Flight Simulator. Depth perception and the lack of ease of looking around are huge factors. Part of it is the amount of "real estate" available on a monitor. If you're lucky, and have two monitors, you can dedicate one to the outside view, and the other to the cockpit instrumentation. Even then, it's a matter of not really having that "wrap around" sensation which aids with depth perception and better simulation.
It's not bad for what it does, but it's a much better procedure's trainer than a true flight simulator per-se.
The default Piper Cub in FS2004 has a very poor flight model. Most of the aircraft that come with the sim are actually pretty bad. You're best bet is to spend a little money on a payware aircraft addon - they are far more realistic. I recommend Flight1 ( http://www.flight1.com ) or Realair simulations (their Siai Merchetti SF-260 flies very convincingly - fairly hard aircraft to fly though - the stalls are quite violent, which this aircraft models well http://www.realairsimulations.com )
I've been away from real flying for so long that I don't have a depth perception issue with FS. I agree that the aircraft aren't all they're cracked up to be, and definately agree that the Flight1 and Real Air stuff is great. Dreamfleet (sold through Flight1) is another awesome company, and their new A-36 is probably the most realistic FS aircraft available for GA.
Having said that, plus my comments to Jay Hopkins, FS is not a real flight simulator, nor is it intended to be. That isn't to say, however, that you can't gain a lot of training from using it, especially in conjunction with an instructor.
Even if Microsoft's FS team took all the greatest and best aftermarket stuff, and incorporated it into FS, it still wouldn't be a true training system. But, you can still learn from it.
Now, on to my *Good* news. Several years ago, I sustained a huge electrical discharge across my body. Fortunately, the current was low enough not to do too much damage, but it did some. After that, I started have seizures, a form of epilepsy. Even though at that time I couldn't afford to fly, and did not have a current medical, all hopes and dreams of ever flying again as PIC were dashed. I wrote Gordon Baxter about it, and he was able to commiserate, due to his issues.
It took me three years, though, for me to find out what had happened after that initial discharge, and to find out I was having seizures. That was about 9 years ago. Three years later, I was off meds, and have been seizure free since
About 16 months ago, I got downsized, and haven't been able to find a job. Three weeks ago, I moved to the west coast, looking for work. Today, I needed to get some prescriptions (I have asthma, too) refilled, and needed a new doc. My mom's doc was who I chose. He's also an AME!!!
So, when I talked to him, we talked about getting my medical back. He thinks that since I've been off meds for six years, and no seizures, I *should* be able to get either a second or third class medical back without any problem!
Now, where *is* that winning lottery ticket!!??!!
I'm sure you already know about AOPA, but I did want to remind you that they have a wonderful group of people in their Medical area that can answer questions for you about what the FAA and CAMI folks will look for regarding your conditions, treatment history, and exam results that you'll need to provide. They also have an excellent online library with references for medications that the FAA considers acceptable, or not, and other tools. They have a great team of people too.
I went through my own medical situation with a heart attack some 7 years ago. The folks at AOPA helped me out with getting the folks in Oklahoma to review my case, and went to bat for me when, through a clerical error, the CAMI folks were going to require that I go through a series of exams I had already complied with.
Keep in mind that the folks at CAMI are backlogged, and anything you can do to prepare your file for submission with the needed exams, history write-ups, and so forth ahead of time will expedite your case review.
Too many forget that AOPA has such wonderful resources and wonderful people working for them, even AOPA members!
Just thought I'd pass this along.
Good luck to you! Glad to hear you have had a good recovery!
This should probably be the subject of a new thread, but I would also endorse AOPA as a help in obtaining a medical. My 2nd Class is now issued on a waiver because of controlled hypertension and a history of kidney cancer,from which I have had no evidence of disease since removal of a kidney 7 years ago. When the feds see cancer on the medical questionairre red flags go up. I believe that the main concern is that you are not undergoing any kind of chemo or radiation therapy. Be prepared for a long wait. Since the AME cannot initially issue the certificate, it has to go to Kansas City. The first time I applied after the cancer, I applied in November and finally received the certificate the following April, and that was after an inquiry by my US Senator. After the first issuance it is relatively easy. They will send a letter of authorization with the certificate outlining just what you need to take to the AME for the next issuance. In my case my 2nd class carries the notation that it is not good for any class after 12 calendar months. AOPA was a big help in steering me through the process, and also has means of contacting the Medical Branch that are not open to the public.
I thank you greatly for all of your input. Even if I could get the medical tomorrow, I suspect it'll be a while yet until I get the finances to get back in the groove. I've been out of work for almost a year and a half now, but have moved across country in search of the elusive employment. I'm hoping that I'll be able to order up a King or Sporty's PPL Ground school course, to relearn all I've forgotten, and all the new stuff I've never learned. Then, hopefully, I'll be able to brush the rust off, and get current and signed off in about 10-15 hours of flight time.
I did take a 30 minute ''Discovery Flight'a few months ago, and talked to the instructor before we left, so he was aware of the situation I was in.
When we got back on the ground, his comment was ''You haven't lost it!'' That's a positive sign, I guess. A lot of that credit may actually go to MS Flight Sim, but I don't really know.
However, I'll keep the people here posted on my progress.
Thanks for the input and support!
Good luck, and I hope you get back to it. It is worth it.
I don't find MSFS's 172 too hard to land on a straight-in approach, but if you try to fly a circuit/pattern, it's next to impossible. I just can't see enough to figure out when to turn onto final.
I've done it, but the ground track looks bad. Too many keystrokes to "look" out the side windows. As I've said, I really didn't endear myself to the MS folks at OSH... (''course, you should hear my ranting about the way Access communicates with a real DB engine, but that's another post at another website...).
Make it a habit to check your fuel gauges to ensure the tanks are even.
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