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Jaggyroad Films

Obsession with complexity?

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Just had a thought while reading through a thread. In the thread the person was having trouble controlling a fairly complex and large aircraft, and it makes you wonder, are we sometimes trying to put the cart before the horse? I know a lot of people in FSX who can program a FMC and know their way around an MCP like they were born with one. Many of these same people also have NO idea how to fly the basics. It's a simulator, and people can do as they wish, however I am always concerned when someone spends hundreds of dollars on expensive complex airline addons and don't know the basic fundamentals of flight, and would be challenged by the lowliest of Piper Cubs. I also think a lot of these same people are missing out on some of the more interesting aspects of flight, and the enjoyment of learning this stuff in a cohesive tempered manner.

 

There was a young kid I know, who's name I will not disclose. I took him into a multiplayer session and we flew the A2A Piper Cub together. This young guy proceeded to tell me everything about the 737NG, and all the liveries that you would typically see at your average airport, and their associated companies, etc. We had a lengthy discussion on the programming of various features on said FMC. Once I got him in the air with the Cub, he couldn't even keep the plane in the air, trying to take too sharp of climbs, etc. I asked him while watching from tower to make a coordinated turn around a spot on a piece of scenery, something we generally all learn while going through VFR training, and he failed miserably. I spent the next several hours teaching him about some of the basic fundamentals in flight, and how to fly said particular plane. He has now gained a very high interest in GA aircraft and has put some of his other birds in the hanger for a while as he is starting to discover the magic that is GA and VFR flying.

 

So what do you guys think? Have similar experiences to share?


- Cody Bergland

(Owner, Jaggyroad Films)

Our YouTube Channel (featuring over 100 OFFICIAL product videos):

https://www.youtube.com/user/valkyrie321 <- CLICK HERE

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Its funny I'm finding this thread. I was thinking to myself the other day how I jumped head first into airliners and never really gave GA aircraft a real shot. I'm so used to the autopilot doing a lot of the work that I never really took the time to master some of the basics.

 

Needless to say I plan on going back to the basics to sharpen alot of my skills now.


Christopher Edwards

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Very good point Jaggyroad. I am a private pilot, and don't get me wrong, nothing beats real world flying. However, in FSX I almost never fly the GA birds. I suppose that I will always have an obsesson with the airliners since I know I will never really get to fly one. One thing for me that has never changed is that I always hand fly the airliners. In fact, I cannot rember the last time I used the autopilot function. Now I am certain that my flights are a bit uglier than those of the folks who use autopilot, but the landings are always good, and nothing beats the feel of hand controlling a 737, 747, 757, etc. I am sure I am in the minority here, but there is still something special about hand flying. I am curious as to how many others take this approach and I would be interested in your perspective.

 

Cheers, Pete


Pete Solov - Lake in the Hills 3CK

and Schaumburg Regional 06C
Proud AOPA Member - PPL 2001
Real World Piper Cherokee Pilot

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Funny thing is this situation you relate is in the Manual of the A2A Piper Cub about a real airline pilot!

 

It's not only sim flyers who can suffer this problem.

 

I'm suffering a different problem moving from combat sims to civ flying and relearning navigation and ATC since that is very simplified in combat sims or covered by moving map systems. But the stick and rudder in FSX is easy coming from where I did. The procedures.. not so much.

 

I'm hoping to work my way up to 737 bit by bit from the Katana.


Dan.W

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I completely agree with Christopher.

 

I was flying the PMDG 744X on Atlantic Tracks for 7+ hours before I even knew how to track a VOR. If I ever tried to manually land the NGX I'd end up 2,000 feet away from the runway, and that would reconfirm my belief that the AP knows better, and that all I had to do was set TOGA thrust at takeoff, engage the AP, then set STD barometer pressure at FL180.

 

Fortunately I went through a phase where I realized I was indeed missing out of almost everything fun in aviation. So I bought my first Carenado plane, and read...and it was like everything I knew was gone; I never had to worry about the 250 knot restriction if I even got up to 10,000, and I struggled to stay 2 red-2 white on the glideslope. I emerged from said phase a better pilot, who actually understood to fly a plane, and not just program a computer.


Jackson Dalton

Specs are in my profile

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Interesting topic, Cody. Here's one scenario of the evolution of a flight-simmer (me, in this instance):

 

1) Begins by trying all of the stuff - jets, airliners, etc - that have always held some allure and that go fast.

 

2) After failing to adequately control them, then turns to the manuals to learn the basics, and in the process, becomes dependant on the automation that's a feature of these birds.

 

3) Once the button-pushing becomes understood, flies these alot until it becomes somewhat boring.

 

4) Bored, turns to the GA birds, seduced by some of the high fidelity payware available (A2A) and having had an interest in warbirds (because he flew IL2 for hours online...)

 

5) Realizes that he knows next to nothing about how to fly these GA planes and prop warbirds well and bends to the task of learning the basics of flight

 

6) Loves the learning and accomplishment therein, and turns back to the big birds and begins hand-flying the take-offs and landings

 

7) Now flies all manner of aircraft and enjoys all of the experience, knowing that this is as close as he'll ever get to flying one


Wayne Klockner
United Virtual /Fly Delta Virtual

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Just had a thought while reading through a thread. In the thread the person was having trouble controlling a fairly complex and large aircraft, and it makes you wonder, are we sometimes trying to put the cart before the horse? I know a lot of people in FSX who can program a FMC and know their way around an MCP like they were born with one. Many of these same people also have NO idea how to fly the basics. It's a simulator, and people can do as they wish, however I am always concerned when someone spends hundreds of dollars on expensive complex airline addons and don't know the basic fundamentals of flight, and would be challenged by the lowliest of Piper Cubs. I also think a lot of these same people are missing out on some of the more interesting aspects of flight, and the enjoyment of learning this stuff in a cohesive tempered manner.

 

There was a young kid I know, who's name I will not disclose. I took him into a multiplayer session and we flew the A2A Piper Cub together. This young guy proceeded to tell me everything about the 737NG, and all the liveries that you would typically see at your average airport, and their associated companies, etc. We had a lengthy discussion on the programming of various features on said FMC. Once I got him in the air with the Cub, he couldn't even keep the plane in the air, trying to take too sharp of climbs, etc. I asked him while watching from tower to make a coordinated turn around a spot on a piece of scenery, something we generally all learn while going through VFR training, and he failed miserably. I spent the next several hours teaching him about some of the basic fundamentals in flight, and how to fly said particular plane. He has now gained a very high interest in GA aircraft and has put some of his other birds in the hanger for a while as he is starting to discover the magic that is GA and VFR flying.

 

So what do you guys think? Have similar experiences to share?

 

I agree with your post. Airliners are good fun and it is impressive how many sim pilots are on top of current knowledge about procedures, protocols and setting up a complex aircraft to fly auto from take off to destination, but I've met quite a few who cannot hold a simple Cessna single in a shallow turn without gaining or losing five hundred feet, and who have trouble doing the most basic manoeuvres.

 

A ruddered, co-ordinated turn seems to be a rarity too. After my PPL lapsed through lack of hours, I took up gliding and I learned more about basic airmanship than in the previous twenty years. One chance at a pattern, glide, approach and safe landing certainly focusses the mind!

 

Here's a good exercise: Load the default C172 or any other single prop touring aircraft, load some challenging weather, low vis, a bit of crosswind and some turbulence, take off with pfactor and torque sliders on full, climb to circuit height and hold it there without losing or gaining 50 feet including all the turns. See if you can do a near perfect circuit, land and take off again for another one. It certainly tests basic skills.

 

Nearly all the airline captains and first officers I have met prefer flying GA aircraft and do so if they can without aids, GPSs, and never an autopilot. They get frankly quite bored flying computers all day and love manual control. many of them glide too, and thoroughly enjoy it.

 

Rob - RealAir

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The comments in the A2A manual about the 747 flier learning how to fly the Cub are indeed pertinent, and one reason I mentioned that particular scenario. I pretty much like all planes, but I gain a lot of enjoyment from flying the prop based ones, but have found myself more than once in the big tubeliners.

 

Rob, I couldn't have put it more eloquently. I try to push my airliner friends into flying a bit more of the GA birds when I do multiplayer with them. They always enjoy themselves much to their surprise. I have a massive passion for GA style flying, and personally prefer the warbirds, but it is indeed satisfying learning how to program the big birds and watching it perform as you expected. It's a lot of work and learning, but I think many people are missing a whole different genre of flying and excitement when they omit themselves from GA flight.


- Cody Bergland

(Owner, Jaggyroad Films)

Our YouTube Channel (featuring over 100 OFFICIAL product videos):

https://www.youtube.com/user/valkyrie321 <- CLICK HERE

JaggyroadSig.jpg

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I am just the opposite. I have been flying real J3 cubs for 15 years along with teaching in many different singles. I exclusively fly airliners in FSX only because I am not in real life. I would be bored flying GA in FSX only because it is my job. It is NOT boring in real life but in the sim it is. Unless maybe some gnarly bush flying. Point is for many of us I think FSX has much appeal for doing what you do not do or long to do. Some strange part of the brain involved I have yet to figure out. For example I can't wait for PMDG to come out with the DC6b so I can fly it around the world. Don't ask! It is because I would trade my left Hollbar Rickeshema to do that in real life but probably never will.


Marc Lynn

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Greetings,

 

One of my self assigned duties at DigitalThemePark is to offer training from the very basics of flying to the complex aircraft. I am far from all knowing, but I can get somebody to the point where they feel comfortable to pick up a flight manual or learn the finer points. I also read up, ask questions, study the material so the information they do receive is accurate. In fact, just today I talked to two Horizon Airline pilots to answer a question.

 

We used to hold, what we called V.PPL, or Virtual Private Pilot License courses. It was the same material you would find if you wanted to learn to fly from a local airport including the written training material one would receive. Attendance was minimal and some nights nobody would show up. I have not discounted the idea that it could have also been the instructor, me, as I can get into some details that others may not care about. I have passion to teach these course, but hard to feel that pleasure of transferring knowledge to an empty room.

 

Now, take our NGX, B17, P40, etc classes and I get asked every day. Mostly how to run the systems, how to start, etc. Not many question or requests for actual raw aviating on these birds.

 

Not sure I know where I was going with this, but maybe just to state what I notice at DTP. I would love to start up the V.PPL courses again, or just jumping in the A2A Piper Cub to teach the basics. Angle of Attack has wonderful video course as well. They are presented in a manner that is informative and entertaining. I highly recommend. Also, some of our events are geared toward GA flying in VFR conditions.

 

So I agree with you Cody on your observation and open to any ideas to get folks excited in all aspects of aviation.


-Todd

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I think of it this way... some people like to look down at stuff while flying... and others like to look outside... we all want to fly but we bring different ways into the air with us...

 

FYI, I'm an outside kind of guy... even for the Eagle E that we just released... I know not even a 10th of what goes on in that plane... (I feel guilty even saying that!)


Please contact oisin at milviz dot com for forum registration information.  Please provide proof of purchase if you want support.  Also, include the username you wish to have.
 

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Great topic.

 

I like both heavy iron (with the automation flying or with me flying) and GA. What I require in both is the sort of high fidelity that a few of the commercial guys posting here provide. Whether a Cub or the Queen, I need heavy realism. Over all of the hand-flying skills mentioned here, I will always remain a sucker for the landing.


Jeff Bea

I am an avid globetrotter with my trusty Lufthansa B777F, Polar Air Cargo B744F, and Atlas Air B748F.

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Very interesting topic. I've noticed this many times myself. One thing no one's pointed out is that people can program an FMC, but then don't know if it's the strobes or the beacons that get turned on before start. It's the very, very basics of flying, such as which lights to use, that always get people, including those who can hand-fly competently, and those who are AP only. A great way to be a good hand-flyer is to use IL-2. It has very good flight dynamics for one thing, and no AP for another. It also teaches one to "feel the airplane", something you absolutely must be able to do to survive an engagement as a Spit against a BF-109. FSX on the other hand, is more systems based than flight dynamics, and I've just never felt that feeling of "control" in FSX I get landing or taking off in IL-2. Falcon 4.0 is good example of both, but it's not very "hands-on". It handles realistically according to real pilots, but realistic unfortunately means easy, computer-assisted flying in a modern F-16. This all, however, is just my opinion, and I'd like to know how other people think the flight dynamics compare between FSX and IL-2.


Thanks,

 

Adlai

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Try the accusim stuff. i think it brings FSX very close to the IL2 flight models....


Jonathan "FRAG" Bleeker

Formerly known here as "Narutokun"

 

If I speak for my company without permission the boss will nail me down. So unless otherwise specified...Im just a regular simmer who expresses his personal opinion

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You raise a good point OP. Put when you said young kid, I think that just about answered everything for me.

 

In the age of the internet and overload of information, you can just about learn the extreme specifics of almost everything but be selective about what you choose to learn at the same time.

 

If I had to guess this kid is probably about 13-15/16 years old, an age that if you are very passionate something, in his case 737NGs and FMCs... they get over focused and almost hyper about these things.

 

They may not know the basics like you brought up because information online is so selective now. I bet the same way he took it upon himself to learn all of those specifics about 737NG airliners and their instrumentation, is the same way he could learn the very basics and fundamentals of flying. But my point is he didn't because of how specific information is online and learned only what was interesting and appealing to him.

 

Just my 2 cents

 

Emil


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