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Guest JonP01

Why MSFS is not an approved FTD

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I'm wondering what's missing in FS2002 to prevent it from being the software for a PCATD ?I'm looking for the FAA docs, when I find them, I'll be curious to see what if anything is obviously "out of spec".Apparently xplane is now approved. I have Xp 6.50 and haven't noticed obvious differences between it and MSFS 2002 when flying say a C172.My curiosity stems in part from a discussion online with a CFI who claimed that MSFS was "lacking in realism". Mike

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Maybe it's because some people at the FAA are just plain dumb and blind or haven't got a clue. I must say your right about this issue and I can't understand why FS isn't acknowleged. Many more real pilots use this sim more than any other computer training tool.... FS09 might wake them up.

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That is a very interesting question. I've often wondered why MSFS has not been FAA approved for training purposes at least to some extent, namely instrument training practice. My best guess would be it may have to do with the actual realism of the flight models. In some cases, I can't imagine how much more realistic the flight models could get. I was a student pilot in a C-172 and a Piper Cherokee 180 years ago. Drawing from that experience, in my opinion, the default C-172/182 and DF's Piper Archer (for example) are pretty darn close if not on the money. This is just my opinion and others that have real-world experience may disagree. Larry :-wavehttp://www.lagoonline.com/images/430.jpg

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Because noone asked for it to be approved as such most likely.Also remember that X-Plane is only approved in combination with very specific hardware. AFAIK there exists only a single setup of X-Plane and associated hardware that is certified, used by a single flightschool.That school probably asked the FAA to certify their setup as it was cheaper than buying some other certified setup.As to that CFI: ALL simulators lack in realism. I've talked to several when preselecting a flightschool last year and most say that flightsims (MSFS in particular, but the same goes for X-Plane and Fly2 as well to some degree) good as a procedure trainer and for basic IFR training (learning to use instruments together and flying without visual reference).But lacking peripheral vision and the feel of the aircraft moving (plus the different feel of the controls) makes it not much more than that.Having seen X-Plane (albeit not the latest version I have to admit, I only tried 6.0) I have to say MSFS seems a lot more suitable in that role than X-Plane (but if you use it only as a scenery generator and physics engine and have the entire panel hooked up in hardware they'd probably be similar as the scenery is almost irrelevant in a procedure trainer).

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First of all MS has to apply for certification. I assume they haven't done that.AFIK it has nothing to do with flight models. I've logged 50 hours in an AST300 sim, and FS4 puts it to shame in both graphics and flight models. Although the AST300 has real guages, they are kind of chunky in movement.I believe it costs alot of money to have a simulator certified, and that would drive the costs up for us.

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As has been touched on, X-Plane is only approved with a professional flight simulator machine that's over 100,000 dollars as I remember. The company bought the rights to X-Plane to run in conjunction with the hardware. As to CFI's----------------------- In the first place, many of them don't deal with MSFS & it's up-dates like we do, or are simply biased to a particular sim. I don't need a CFI to tell me what realism is, when I can download very accurate topography for my area airports, use airplanes with accurate representations of panels & convincing flight dynamics.What we don't have is auto-matic updates for sectionals, terminal charts, and IFR plates. Some of these can change every 28 days, and if you need that type of accuracy, then be pre-pared to pay for it. When I need serious practice, I do use up to date charts in conjunction with MSFS, and don't rely totally on the included data-base. In reality, runway designations change, airspaces change, as well as sids/stars, and even direction of the pattern. These items don't change that often, but you must be aware of them.L.Adamson

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http://www2.faa.gov/nsp/nsp/faq.htmHopefully this helps.Please note that you can only use 10 hours of simulator time for your instrument rating. To be able to log sim time for landings/etc it must be at least a category d simulator (ie a full motion sim).MSFS is good in teaching basic instrument skills (scans, vor/ndb tracking - although these functions are a little unrealistic in the fact that vor's in real life "dance" and it is a lot harder to track versus a sim, and procedures). As far as realism...that varies based on opinion. I actually think it is harder to fly a sim and land consistently than the real thing. However, MSFS is not realistic in a lot of areas and being proficient in it does not guarantee that you can fly the real thing.Overall, who cares if MSFS is "loggable" or not. Use it and you will save money due to the fact that procedures can be hammered out for free rather than $100/hr.My .02.Rich, CFI/II/MEI

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Hi,I'm not an expert in incident investigations, but from what I have read and checked out.....I strongly disagree with the use of full motion simulators, MSFS, etc for logging any sort of time in your real world logbook. It's a great and cheap tool to practice systems and etc with, but it should never substitute for a real flight. Today, there are a lot of pilots getting away with logging way to many sim hours in their logbooks. There are also many more pilot error incidents today with a large percentage of them having pilots with high sim time. Nothing can replace the real thing. Another comment I'd have to make which is just my opinion, and a lot of you who aren't won't like it, but a real pilot is a pilot with a taildragger endorsement. Don't burn me, but theres no reason why everyone shouldn't start their flight training in a tail dragger. Phil Boyer of AOPA didn't get his taildragger rating until a few months ago, and now he agrees that everyone should. I don't have to cite any EAA people because, well, it's EAA and it's all about the taildraggers.Anyways, just like Rich said, it teachs good intrument skills, and is a cheap tool for practice, and it's a load of fun. I put about 20-30 hours of flying a MSFS UH-1HN Huey ( b205a-12.zip KRN County Fire ) and it's actually changing my mind about helicopters, and I think I will soon be going out to get my helicopter rating.Paul Meyer - Morris, C09status.php?id=810173&indicator=OD1&a=a.jhttp://www.flightsimnetwork.com/dcforum/Us...7b45404593a.jpg

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Paul,Interesting what you say here, as I too agree that having taildragger time is important for any pilot wishing to hone his skills! Here's a quote from my Bush Flying in FS2002 article from last November!"Retired Captain Manton Fain first soloed in 1942 and the aircraft, of course, was a Piper Cub, but 50 years later Manton Fain retired from the left seat of the Concorde. During a recent interview, Mr. Fain commented, "If you can fly a Cub, you can fly the Concorde, but the reverse is not necessarily true!" Again, Captain Fain was relating to the general difficulty in handling a taildragger type aircraft at low speeds in a crosswind. Trust me, it is not an easy thing to do, especially for those pilots that have learned to fly with a tri-cycled geared aircraft."Bear!

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Speaking of taildraggers, has anyone ever managed to perform a groundloop in FS2K2? I posed this question 2 years ago when FS2000 was the most current version. The only replies I got were flames asking why I'd want to do something so dumb. I've tried with the default Extra as well as several freeware Cubs and DC-3's. I tried landing in a crosswind, then kicked the rudder hard over immediately after touchdown. I'd skid and swerve down the runway but never saw anything resembling a groundloop. I know it's not a high priority item for the air model experts, but it seems to me that it indicates some basic shortcoming in the ground handling physics.Dan

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>Speaking of taildraggers, has anyone ever managed to perform >a groundloop in FS2K2? I just happened to do one the other day in the Extra, don't remember *how* I did it, but I'll try to do another one and let you know ;)I seem to remember reading in other posts on avsim that there are limitations to the general ground handling of planes in MSFS.

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Rich,>However, MSFS is not realistic in a lot of >areas Can you be more specific ?

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Here's a few of many:1) It is terrible at simulating winds: crosswind takeoffs/landings, taxiing, etc.2) I mentioned it simulates VOR's/NDB's way too easily. In real life VOR/NDB do not operate as smoothly as in fs2002.3) Weather simulation is horrible. Turbulence modeled not realistically.4) Most flight dynamics are wrong (737 acting like an F-16).5) Traffic modeling at GA airports.etc etcDon't get me wrong, I think it is a wonderful product. However, most people who fly MSFS2002 regularly (at least the ones who post) think they can then land a real airplane are way out of touch. In real life there is also the added dimension of knowing if you screw up you can' "reset" it.

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MSFS could be approved, if you have a bit of cash to spare. In fact someone out in Australia got his homebuilt sim certified, running on an earlier version of FS, I think it was FS98.Its the 'whole' package that gets approved, not just the software, hence why PC-ATDs are so expensive. The software is the cheap part, its the hardware that is expensive.Remember that simulation is very subjective and all depends on the individual, hence why we sometimes see very heated discussions on these forums. You can get similar comments from people who use commercial full flight sims, that are certified upto Level D. Darren

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Even if I had access to an MSFS FAA approved simulation setup, I would steer clear of it and log my hours in a real aircraft (and cough up the extra dollars). I personally don't feel that a simulation, no matter how good, has any part to play in initial flight training - when one of the most important aspects of this phase of training is to get used to the physical feel for flying an aircraft. Certainly for refresher training and instrument training they have a place, but they should still only be used VERY sparingly, and purely for theoretical instruction rather than the actual logging of actual flight hours.I think a major drawback regarding MSFS is the speed and smoothness with which the aircraft gauges update. X-plane is far, far superior in this respect and closely mimicks real-world gauge responses. I, for one, would not wish to log serious time in any contraption where the gauges don't respond like they do in real life. I know that recent 3rd Party developments have gone a way to improving this shortcoming, but the problem has only lessened rather than resolved itself. Microsoft's own SDK documentation states there are limits to the maximum speed at which any gauge can refresh, and this limit is not fast enough for serious flight training where the simulator's control panel has to react in the same way as that of a real aircraft.

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>Even if I had access to an MSFS FAA approved simulation >setup, I would steer clear of it and log my hours in a real >aircraft (and cough up the extra dollars). I personally >don't feel that a simulation, no matter how good, has any >part to play in initial flight training Feel anyway you want :), but I could make a good guess, that those who have become proficient in the use of navigation systems within the bounds of MSFS have a "leg up" on others who start flight training from scratch. There really isn't much time between learning to manipulate the aircraft & all the rest being crammed down your throat.And yes, I certainly agree about X-Planes fluid gauges. Too bad the navigation and airport data-bases arn't up to those of MSFS. I'd like the gauges to be smoother, but I really don't have much problem using them for IFR navigation. As to logging sim time............ I could care less..L.Adamson

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Larry,Your judgement takes into account the fact that you are a real pilot. As such, your mind can "get around" the stark differences between flying for real and using a simulator. In my case, with motorsport simulations, I can do the same, because I drive in real life and drive on my computer. They aren't anything like the same thing, but my brain can make up for those differences. A beginning PPL student can't because they are new to flying an aircraft. I stick by my comment that simulators are not a good idea for private flight training except for theoretical instrument and / or navigation instruction and as a brief, general introduction to the types of gauges found on a typical GA aircraft and their respective functions.I've got nothing against people logging sim time at all. I just believe it is critical that the relevant authorities continue to realise that using a simulator is not actually the same thing as flying.I certainly believe that for people who fly all the time, MSFS (or x-plane) does become a great tool if the user wishes to use it that way. But I say that because, as I said before, their brains can readily get around the differences between the two activities.

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