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Iâ€™m on the back 9 of an Instrument Rating and use FS2002 to help augment my situational awareness aloft. I have a great scenery pack for my home location, and I find flight sim helps take the edge of. Anyone else use this tool to accompany there flight training? Has it helped there learning curve? I think itâ€™s a great tool for piston fixed pitch training, but falls and falters when constant speed props and their associated systems are incorporated.
I fly procedures at home, before my dual training and have a perfect idea of what is expected of me. I truly think it should be incorporated into the Private & Instrument syllabus. Any others saving time & money using a Flight Simulator at home?
I have been using Microsoft Flight Simulator since it was originally made, and will agree with you that it is a great way to "practice" IFR and any flight training. It save time and and money.
As a side note, check out
MS Flight Simulator 2002 is incredibly educational, although it doesn't replace the real experience, it certainly does prepare for what is expected. I urge all MSFS users to visit http://www.simviation.com to search for and download the plane of their choice (they usually have what you're looking for). I've collected an incredible hanger full of great military and civilian aircraft, including the Moller Skycar, which you can see at http://www.moller.com. These installs are pretty easy to do. If you need help, email me. Warning! do not let MSFS satisfy your flying needs.
I am a professional sim flyer and I belong to a VA (Virtual Airline) and I think that if you want a better ATC experience than the regualar FS 2002 visit www.eskyworld.com. They have Sessions that you can fly in with different Centers/Towers
Hawaiian Connection VA
I'm nearing the end of my VFR training and I figure I'm saving between $1''000 and $1,500 by having FS2002. I've been playing around with sims since Bruce Artwick's release of FS2 waybackwhen. But the sims are a good place to start for anyone wanting to fly. Even the early FS2 would teach you the defference between an altimeter and a DME and VOR.
Uhhhhh.... A bit of caution/disagreement/wariness/whathaveyou. Yes, FS in all it's iterations is a good tool that can teach some basics. However, you'll notice that every version has a disclaimer that says that it does NOT substitute for flight training with a qualified instructor. No, this is not a commercial for instructors - this is a commercial for experiencing the real thing. FS cannot include the motion, control feedback, etc. that actual flight provides. In fact, one of the complaints that IFR students have about our Frasca 142 is that "turbulence mode" isn't really that helpful is because all it does is wiggle the instrument indications, whereas real turbulence subjects you to acceleration forces in all three axis.
Having said the above, I am not putting down the use of Flight Simulator - just be aware that it can be best used as a procedures trainer (and, besides, where would a humble combination management/CFII combination-type person like me get unlimited access to a 747 any other way?).
"Warning! do not let MSFS satisfy your flying needs."
Buckster, unfortunately with my medical in an indefinate holding pattern, FS2002 is the *only* flying I'm doing lately. Wish I could ''slip the surly bonds'and take wing once again. :(
FLIGHTSIM2002 VS "THE REAL THING"
from my experience flightsim 2002 is lacking in realism compared to the real flying. okay maybe you're thinking computer game on screen aeroplane = money. for example. when whilst i fly warriors at lilydale a/p (http://www.lilydaleairport.com.au). in the game it's absolutely impossible to line the aircraft up on a semingly tiny runway. but okay going into the real world flying a real aircraft how much easier is it to line the aicraft up turning onto finals. does anyone find flying in the real world easier than in flight sim?
one of the best ways flight sim i've found can compensate for actual flying hours is in VOR/NDB tracking. intercepting inbound and outbound tracks challenging but highly rewarding. at my current flying school it isn't recognised as a supplement for real training. but basic experince in the flightsim will prepare you for the real thing.
in my opinion it'll prepare you but in no way be give you the experience in the cockpit
i agree with you that the csu element of the game is limited. even on full realism and failures at maximum you can see the game was made by programmers and not by pilots. but flightsim in nothing compared to the experience/fun of being free at 5000ft
I don't want to start a flight simulator row here; they are all very good in their own (different) ways.
Personally I find Fly! 11 to be about the best for realism in the cockpit.
It does lose ground in other areas but this thread concerns cockpit procedures and for that it is very good.
I recently ended a 12 year layoff from flying (for real). I used every version of flight sim, all the way back to the original on the apple II. There are some things that it is very useful for, and other things that it cannot reproduce. I discovered that I had lost my touch for doing a good landing flare, even though my landings in the sim had been very good. There are two things missing here: 1) you don't have the feel of the real airplane, with control pressures and motion, and 2) the aerodynamics of the sim are good, but not precisely the same.
As far as procedures, like IFR, approaches and navigation, it's very good. The sim helped me a lot, and I wouldn't have been as far along with retraining without it. But nothing can be a true substitute for the real thing.
I use MS2004 regularly. I find it a great aid when planning for a flight. I will either fly the route I intend to actually fly or if I just want to fly the approaches at the destination, I will take off at a nearby location and put myself in the position of where I would be coming from and entering the IFR pattern. I find this a fantastic aid.
I am a retired USAF C-130 Driver (HC and WC-130), with an ATP, Commercial, MEL and SEL certificates. And yet I am always learning something new when flying general aviation aircraft.
Good luck on your instrument ticket.
Hey Dan Charles how much do the pay a professional sim pilot?
Hey cruiser I found it pretty tough to get the aproach right on them goofy sims too until I started doing the proper square patterns I was told to do in training.
Be one tousand feet above the runway altitude, be parallel with the runway (fly the exact reciprical heading to the runway number, or if you're lazy like me put the runway number on the bottom of the direction finder) look out the back/side window using the 45 degree view when the threshold is 45 degrees from your position bring back the power to around 1700rpm(c-172 I think the warrior is pretty close been too long since I drove one) trim the plane turn base (to make it square I put that runway number on the side of the DF there's handy lines there like they were made for that). Lower a notch of flap maintain your indicated aproach speed look out the side for your cue to turn final and you should be set up pretty good for a change.
Funny how them instructors were right, I guess I just got sloppy in the real world being able to look outside and eyeball it making constant corrections on my funny shaped patterns.
And like it's been stated they're great for proceedure, navigation practice and play flying but clearly someone thinking they are staying current flying any non-full motion sim without proper instruction/supervision should probably save tons of money (and danger) and stay far away from real aircraft.
I'll add a little more to this. My medical is still on hold, so I'm still not flying the real thing, but for those of you are interested in doing some 'practical' training, there are a few Add Ons. Jay Hopkins talked about in the current issue of FLYING his experience with the latest version of MSFS, 2004.
I sent him an e-mail extolling the virtues of three companies that make add ons for Flight Simulator.
The first is Reality-XP. Reality-XP is in the simulated avionics business. Right now, they have designed and are selling the UPS-AT line of avionics, a version of the GNS-530 which is based on Garmin's own simulation system, a radar which looks and operates like the RDR-160, as well as some 'glass' instruments. They are set to soon release an updated version of the Garmins, which will also have a GNS-430. There will be crossfill between twin 430s, or a 530/430 install. They also produce a Garmin GTX 327 transponder. All of this stands head and shoulders above what Microsoft includes in their simulator, and can be used as a training aid for both instructors, and people transitioning to the Garmin GNS avionics.
Flight1 designs aircraft for simulator. If you've ever wanted to get into a Meridian, and fly that, you've got to check out Flight1's Meridian. You will have a hard time believing you aren't sitting in it. About the only thing missing is the smell of kerosene and leather. It has Meggitt MAGIC, twin GNS-530s (all designed and provided by Reality-XP), and photo quality panels. You can even turn the A/C on! No cold drafts over the feet, though.
Lastly is Dreamfleet. Dreamfleet does both 'heavy metal', regional air, and GA aircraft. Their newest product is a new generation A-36. It can be configured with radar and tip tanks, has the new Garmin 430's, a model of the Sandel 3308HSI, and looks and sounds correct. About the only thing missing, and something I've been pushing for, is the Tornado Alley Whirlwind II Turbonormalizing feature. If it gets that, it'll be the ultimate single engine flight sim aircraft.
For those of you who prefer a more aerobatic aircraft, Real Air Simulations makes a wonderful SF-260, and to date, the only aircraft that you can actually spin in FS. So, if you want to practice spins and how to get into them and out of them, the SF-260 is the way to go.
Look up these companies and see how much closer you can get to 'as real as it gets!'
I got my instrument rating about a year ago. I am fortunate to be able to fly a pressurized twin (P337) in the "real world."
I find flight simulator 2004 very handy when it comes to keeping your scan up and practicing instrument approaches.
I can tell a big difference in the "real" airplane, if I have been slacking on my simming.
The best things I did to make the sim more realistic was to add the CH Products yoke, rudder pedals, and twin throttle quadrant. This really makes it seem a lot more "real."
I use FS2004, and it improves on the realism somewhat over 2002.
Make sure you check out FSD-International and their add on aircraft. Particularly, make sure you look at the Upcoming Products. I think you'll be pleased.
Equipped with the latest Reality-XP Garmins, and weather radar, you should find a fine training environment.
FS2004 Rocks, but it would be real nice if some of these manufactures and schools would offer "real" flight simulator time for simmers. I think that it would be worth a weeks pay to spend an afternoon or evening to try out skills on the type of simulators pilot's train on. Not only could they make a fortune, but it could lead many others to pursuing a pilotâ€™s license.
There are many different kinds of simulators with various costs out there.
For GA, Frasca makes a number of simulator models that you can get time in at a very reasonable cost (compared to an actual aircraft). Even with an instructor to operate the IOS (Instructor/Operator Station), it usually adds up to being less than an hour of time in a newer Cessna 172. Mind you, these are instrument trainer simulators, not the kind that usually have a viewscreen associated with them. The kind with visual displays adds a lot more $$$ per hour to the cost. For example, back in 1987 I flew a Saberliner Saberjet flight simulator for about a half hour (as a side benefit for having had a Saberjet instructor in my Civil Air Patrol unit). It was a full motion, full visual, commercial simulator like you see the airline pilots train with. Had I had to pay for it myself, well... let's just say it wouldn't have happened. Even back then, at those prices, we were talking about 10x the cost of the simpler "instrument only" sim trainers.
I can't remember the exact dollar figures for back then, but I believe it would easily have cost me several hundred dollars for just the short stint I had in that one mentioned above... and that would have been splitting costs between myself, and the other pilot that was flying right seat for me in it.
Simulators now are getting away from the full-motion style for a lot of the work, but do include visuals for the higher end systems. Boeing makes one system that literally can be hauled around in an 18 wheeler and uses a visual system called VIDS. Very portable, and far lower cost than the full-motion sims that require special buildings, hydraulics, and heavy maintenance costs to support them.
I had a little bit of trouble with NDB's in my instrument training. I believe it was because my CFII wasn't doing a very good job of teaching them because I got on Flight Sim and spent an hour and had everything about them nailed. Its a great tool for instrument procedures
I whish I had as many real world hours as I have in the various versions of FlightSim, Xplane, FlightUnlimited ...you name
the sim I have it and plenty of logged hours.
I landed the P28-161 on my first lesson...not because I am some kind of natural talent but because the real thing came after
many hours flying a very good sim version on FS2004. Once I finally had the right combination of available time and money
and decided to start real world flight training I did nothing more on the sim than to fly around the pattern to get used to
the sightpicture. Once in the real airplane the feel was certainly different but the basic look of things was very close.
Now I am not saying you could replace real flight training with time spent flying on a PC based game. But if used in conjunction
with the real world the sim will save you a lot of time, frustration and money.
Certain aspects of flight can obviously not be reproduced in a home pc system. No matter how much one invests in peripheral gizzmos such as Flight Controls, 3D goggles with head tracking and on and on...flying even on a PC can get quite expensive ;-)
But the feel of g-forces in a steep bank, the suptle change of windnoise over the aircraft as speed is bled off and many other
sensory inputs seemingly too insignificant to simulate are not going to be there.
But especially in the last MS version everything else is right there...."real as it gets" to use their slogan. The airports, the navaids, the terrain features....even ATC has been improved to the point where it can be helpful for future real world aviators
by getting used to the "new" language.
Getting used to flying VOR radials and NDB bearings on the sim is probably the easiest way save some time and money using the
sim. The best part is that the sim will allow a couple of things that you just can't do in the real world.
For one you can control the weather, especially the winds so that you can truely understand the reasons and how-to of compensating. You can save a position and immediately go back to that starting location without having to waste 20 minutes of CFI time in circling back.
Currently I am working on my IFR ticket and again the sim proves very valuable in addition to working with my CFI. I can practice approaches to minimums when ever I want..and since there are no foggles...just simulated weather there is no cheating.
After an approach is completed I can look at the flight review and compare my track to the perfect one on the Jepp Chart.
And again I can save the flight right at the IAF and do it over as often as I like without driving those poor folks in SoCal ATC
into a different line of work...Thanks ladies and gentlemen at this time for your help during those actual flying days. You are the best.
Tired of flying the ILS or VOR approach into CNO or CCB....no problem reset to what ever region strikes my fancy...if needed get the appropriate plates from AOPA.org or Http://www.airnav.com and I can try my hand at new challenges. If I run into something I don't get quite right or don't understand....I make notes and take them to my CFI and we'll talk about it or recreate it in a lesson.
Some other approaches are just not very efficient use of CFI time...like a 13 nm DME arch into VCV...why waste a whole hour of flying time on that when it can be done for free and with better review on the sim.
Again the sim can not replace the real world feel of the airplane and the first hour in actual IFR was still an eye-opener even with literally hundreds of hours of simulator actual. Surprisingly the only time I felt a slight disorientation was while my CFI was flying an approach from the right seat and I just sat there as an observer...as soon as I concentrated on the instruments again i was fine.
I have a networked second PC that runs a simulated version of FlightMax and either a G430 or G530 GPS. After some time flying the G430 on the sim, my partner and I installed one in our real world Archer and again the simulator hours are paying off nicely.
Lastly when real world Santa Ana winds make real flying either unproductive or unsafe ...the PC is right there to keep the scan up and the skills sharp.
OH yes ....one other benefit is that almost any dream airplane can be added to my hangar. Some for a few dollars thanks to a worldwide community of entuthiasts most for free...Flightsim.com is my favorite airport on the WWW.
Since this topic has been sitting on the back burner for a while, make sure you check out Jay Hopkin's follow up article to his previous Flight Sim article a couple of months ago.
FS2004 isn't all that realistic out of the box. You generally need to grab some addons for it to be more realistic. The first and most important thing to do is to buy a quality addon aircraft. These handle and look far more realistically - well worth the price.
Next you should get some addon terrain. For flying in Canada I highly recommend Flight1's Ultimate Terrain - Canada and Alaska ( http://www.flight1.com ). It adds every single road in Canada, plus 3d night lighting, very accurate coastlines and lakes, and is far far more detailed than the terrain that comes with FS2004. Combine that with high resolution mesh (determines terrain height) from FSGenesis ( http://www.fsgenesis.net ) With those two you can fly VFR using a sectional / VFR Navigation Chart quite easily. Ultimate Terrain USA should be released sometime soon. (I should note that I was a beta tester for the Ultimate Terrain software, which may make me somewhat biased however I did not get paid, or any financial reward for it).
Thanks for the tip on Ultimate Terrain. I may have to look into that. My biggest complaint about FS is that you can't do VFR navigation with it. (And, according to my instructors and the examiner, map reading was my weakest skill while I was getting my license.) Maybe this will help.
It should help - it adds all the roads, much more accurate rivers and lakes, improves the landclass for cities and towns, it also adds accurate parks, golf courses, cemetaries etc. in their proper shape and location. You won't be able to see your house with it, but you'll be able to see your street, and the area will have housing in it. The current product only covers Canada and Alaska.
Flight1 offers 30 day refunds - so if you really don't like the product you can get your money back.
Date: 5/24/2005 7:00:27 PM
... The current product only covers Canada and Alaska. ...
No problem. I fly out of CYBW.
Date: 5/24/2005 8:10:50 AM
... you should get some addon terrain. ... Combine that with high resolution mesh (determines terrain height) from FSGenesis ( http://www.fsgenesis.net ) ...
Ouch, I just looked at the download sizes for the mesh. Do I really need that in addition to the terrain? What if I just get the add-on terrain? What am I missing?
The ''mesh'adds the elevation data for the terrain. The roads, lakes, rivers, towns and so forth may be accurate, but without the terrain data, it's all flat land.
Now, of course, Flight Simulator has a terrain mesh, but it's very wide spread, and it doesn't work real well. The difference between a good terrain mesh, and the standard is phenomenal, believe me. Now I can fly in the mountains, and feel like I'm in the mountains, instead of rolling hills. Things really come to life that way.
You can also order seperate terrain meshes. I did. It came on a DVD and was 3 GIGABYTES! Just for the U.S. :D
I just wanted to add something. For those of you who wish that you could fly behind the Sandel EHSI, Reality-XP has released a new Sandel 3308 EHSI guage for Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004.
It offers you moving map, simulated Stormscope lightning detection, interfaces with Reality-XP's Garmin GPS units, and appears to me to be very realistic. For another $20, it's a worthwhile addition to your flight sim setup.
Given my experience with past MS products, I wouldn't think that ANYTHING stained with the word "MICROSOFT" on it, would come CLOSE to simulating anything in the real world--except perhaps a "crash"!!!!!
(Crash, get it?!?! That's a joke, son!!!!)
My fellow Aviators,
Everyone has mentioned many types of flight sims. Some are good, and others are just not.
I've been simming since the early 1980's and have flown many of the sims mentioned. To tell you the truth, they all help in some way or an other. Ofcourse, nothing beats the real thing.
When simming with whatever product you choose, you must personally know what you're using it for, and why. Yes, in order to have the most realistic experience, you should have a quality yoke, throttle quad, and pedals.
I have an FAA approved PCATD (PC Aviation Training Device) at home for keeping my IFR skills sharp. It's an ELITE PI-135 that comes with a superior yoke that feels like melted butter when you move it. Also, I have interchangeable throttle quadrants, SE, ME, and the King Air. A full size digital avionics stack modeled after the Bendix/King Silver Crown series, completes the set-up. Not to mention the software containing high resolution instrument panels designed with accurate flight dynamics, must be flown for yourself in order to know what I'm "talking" about.
You don't have to get all the fancy hardware in order to experience quality PC flight simulation, but you should get at least the important software. ELITE is a little pricey. If you're serious about IFR flight, and it's associated procedures, this is not the only way to go, but the best.
Check-out WWW.FLYELITE.COM and give it a shot. You won't be sorry.
P.S. I DO NOT HOLD STOCK IN ELITE... I'm just another satisfied customer.
Enjoy you're flight,
COMM, IFR, Multi
Wow its been a long time since I posted that huh?
I fly for a living now, and my spelling has greatly improved too :p
FS helped take the edge of a lot of my awareness training and basic procedure dry runs in the primary IFR trainer. Sadly I donâ€™t own a powerful enough pc to run the latest version of FS so I donâ€™t know what the new versions are like.
Anyway interesting to read how others use the tool :)
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