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Three Years, A Thousand Posts Later, What Avsim Means To Me.

Aug 03 2014 09:41 PM | This article has been viewed 2898 times.
submitted by: Wendall
This was posted this evening in the Hangar Forum and we thought the wider community might enjoy the read. Thank you Jackson for posting it.


Hi everyone,


One thousand posts on an internet forum is not a massive deal, however I decided to do a little write-up on Avsim and the role, to whatever extent, it has played in my life.


I stumbled upon Avsim in the build-up to the PMDG NGX release. As a 13 year old with a budding passion for hardcore simming, I had been buying tubeliner add-ons in attempt to learn the incredibly complex systems of modern airliners, and the NGX looked to be the next step up. I lurked for a long time, a tad scared at the idea of posting anything to a public forum that could be deconstructed and criticized by hundreds of simmers more knowledgeable than I, but sooner or later I started to post, usually staying in the PMDG forums just to keep up with the latest product news and offering help to anyone I could.


But you can only do so much in a small space, right?


I started to read around different sub-forums, learning more things and discovering more aviation history than I ever could've imagined. FSX went from a mystical beast that never really responded to anything I tried to a program that could be understood with a few software/hardware guides. I learned IFR rules and SID/STAR procedures, and started to research flying lessons in the real world, as I was starting to think that aviation was something I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Aviation just stood out to me like a green thumb, and the best way to get into it at the time was to fly from my desktop, and there was no better place to discuss my hobby than this site.


I got into different sorts of add-ons, discovering what parts of aviation appealed to me more, whether it be rotorcraft, light-twin GA ops, bush flying, or heavy iron. Products from A2A, Aerosoft, and many more kept my passion for learning fueled, and there was no stopping it. I started doing more and more complex procedures with less-automated aircraft, and got into serious pre-flight planning. Transoceanic routes in older equipment such as the A2A Boeing 377 were something I particularly enjoyed doing. 


Where am I headed with this? Well, after a while, it seemed like I couldn't learn any more. I got bored with it. Sure I could do a bunch of stuff, but there wasn't any "spark". So I just kept myself doing patterns in my spare time, just to stay current. With the stress of school and social life, I couldn't find the time to do a 2 or 3 hour flight in the 737 or A320 like I used to be able to. Simming went from something I looked forward to to something I considered an obligation so I didn't lose my touch.


However, 2 weeks ago, I soloed for the first time at a flight academy in Dover, Delaware in a Piper Warrior, one month after my 16th birthday. Since then I've come back to simming with a vigor, and am looking forward to a bright future in aviation, both in the simming world and in the real world. Soon, I hope to start studying hardcore for my PPL, and my future is looking bright. 


The simming community has helped me in more ways than I could imagine in finding my true passion, and I want to thank everyone who has helped me along the way. Without Avsim and all the support and education within it, my passion for flying would be little more than a pipe dream. As a teenager coming into a hobby mostly dominated by older folks, I was at first scared I would be unwelcome, but the community was and is extremely approachable, and for that I thank...I guess everyone. I've grown in my three short years here, both in confidence and skill level, and it's mostly because of all the exposure to aviation that Avsim and the simming hobby has given me.


So thanks, and happy landings,


Jackson Dalton

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Tom Allensworth
Aug 03 2014 09:57 PM

Jackson, over the 19 years that AVSIM has been providing a community interested in Flight Simulation and Aviation, there are hundreds, maybe even thousands of members who have taken the path you have taken. We congratulate you on you persistence and focus on your goal. Thank you for posting that!

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It's my pleasure! Wow, the front page...I never expected this!

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Follow your dream Jackson....and Good Luck along the way!

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good to see you sign your full name (in the pmdg forum) !!!!


seriously though, yes the world is full of us older folks ... but here we commend the youngies to enjoy / experience the wide blue yonder about the cumulonimbus.


hope to hear your cockpit welcome one day captain dalton



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Rob Ainscough
Aug 04 2014 11:00 AM

Count me as one of those thousands that used a flight simulator to move their passion towards real world PPL.


I'm one of those "old folk" but it is great to see/hear younger generation with some motivation to learn and expand their horizons ... it's refreshing.  I've come across several YouTube videos of teenagers male and female following their dream of flight and have applauded all their efforts.


It's certainly not a "cheap" passion, which is what makes the simulation part that much more appealing for many that can't afford the path to a PPL.  Glad to hear that you have continued your flight simulation enthusiasm and not "down graded" those that enjoy flight simulations only as "lesser" people ... very mature for a young lad and very well thought out write up.


Cheers, Rob ... (diet coke in this case)

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Jackson, You make me proud to be a part of the Sim community. Your hopes and dreams will no doubt lead you to adventures you have not even thought of yet.  You will never forget that first solo. I am 67 now and still think about it often. For most of us, that solo is the first time that we truly have complete control of our well being and future. Good Luck to you my friend and thanks for sharing!!

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Thanks guys! Much appreciated.

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Nice post, Jackson.

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Jackson, I want to congratulate you on this endeavor. Believe me, once aviation is in your blood, it's STUCK there. :) And that is NOT a bad thing. :)


Have fun with it, if it ever gets "too much" step away for a bit, which it sounds like you have done and come back. That is AWESOME.


I won't get into my background on here, I hate to sound like a blow hard. lol But, if you ever wanna speak privately, I can give you the $0.02 tour of my life, which MAY include getting back into simming here very soon. (thanks to some good friends that fly VFR every week! LOL)


Congrats and enjoy, and good luck! Blue Skies!!!!!!

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Ah... the first solo - with 10hrs Duel in my log book, a couple of early morning circuits on RW29L and my Instructor advises Bankstown Tower that the next 3 touch and goes will be pilots first solo. We pull up half way down RW29L, and he just jumps out right there. And I am alone with my aircraft, Piper Tomahawk VH-HAW. Such a surreal moment. Now several hundred flight hours and many years later, that moment is as vivid in my head as if it were yesterday.

Once flying is in your blood, there is no such thing as a full stop landing, there are just touch and goes and "extended touch and goes".

Jackson, congratulations mate. No man is happier than one living their dream. Whatever your endeavour and ambition in aviation, I wish you fair weather and a fat log book. PPL, Multi ratings, Class 4 IR, CPL, Class 1 IR and all sorts of exciting endorsements, it's all ahead of you. Enjoy the journey!!
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