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Wonderig if you guys could help, I'm looking at starting flying lessons, with a view to getting a private pilots license. My question is, which payware aircraft would be the perfect starting point to get familiar with the flight aspect and procedures needed? Cheers

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Wonderig if you guys could help, I'm looking at starting flying lessons, with a view to getting a private pilots license. My question is, which payware aircraft would be the perfect starting point to get familiar with the flight aspect and procedures needed? Cheers

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I had a flying lesson in a Cessna 172 and treated myself with the A2A C172 to prepare myself. This model is spectacular, you can even do a walk around. And the best was: when I got to the real thing the instructor followed exactly the checklist as I had it memorized from the A2A model.

 

So my suggestion would be: find out which plane you will be using and then get the best possible model for that plane. Chances are you will start with a Cessna 172 or 182 or the Cherokee 180, then A2A models will help you to study even details.

 

Peter

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Thanks guys, I've ended up purchasing the Cessna 182.

Great stuff, you can't go wrong with anything from A2A, quality all the way.

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Wonderig if you guys could help, I'm looking at starting flying lessons, with a view to getting a private pilots license. My question is, which payware aircraft would be the perfect starting point to get familiar with the flight aspect and procedures needed? Cheers

Visit the local FSDO and take the discovery flight. Make your decision based on the trainer:

 

Free 152

http://www.justflight.com/microsoft-c152

 

A2A Piper Cherokee (A GEM)

https://a2asimulations.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=68

 

A2A Cessna 172

https://a2asimulations.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=56

 

Katana 4x (Another GEM)

http://www.aerosoft.com/cgi-local/us/iboshop.cgi?showd,7067078980,11977

 

Avoid the 182. That's a good transitioning airplane from the above suggestions.

 

Jose

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+1 for A2A products. I recently moved back to the Cherokee 180 from A2A for some VFR flying over Yellowstone and Devil's Tower in Wyoming. Really enjoy the simplicity of this aircraft. The whole series is IMHO among the best for single engine GA. The manuals, the GTN 650/750 option, and integrated reality of maintenance / walkarounds are big perks.

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Thanks guys, I've ended up purchasing the Cessna 182.

 

Certainly not a bad choice, but honestly either the A2A 172 or the Cherokee would've been a better fit.  You'll start your training with a simple fixed gear, fixed pitch prop airplane under 200 HP which both of these are.  The bigger engine and constant speed prop of the 182 are not representative of typical training aircraft.

 

FYI

 

Scott

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The A2A aircraft are tops for sure.  I feel they challenge me to fly at checkride levels.

 

A word of caution tho about using Flight Sim for your training.  It CAN lead to bad habits that are costly to undo, especially for the PPL.  Some instructors prefer you limit your time in FS to certain things like memorizing checklists.

 

Talk to your instructor FIRST, and make a plan on how best to use FSX for your training.

 

Cheers

TJ

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A word about instructors. I knew many of them over the years. They'll have lots of opinions that vary. Some will support flight simulation, and some won't, or will be somewhere in between. In reality, a lot of instructors just haven't really got into desktop flight simulation. They won't know what simulated airplanes are realistic or not.  It was the same for GPS & glass panels. Some instructors were really into it. Some instructors didn't have much of clue on how to operate them, let alone some specific model that a student might bring along.  I'm just an older guy, that would tell them what I thought, even if they didn't initially agree... :smile:

 

BTW---------------- another great use of flight simulation, is getting use to the layout of airports you're not familiar with. It works very well for that. You'll know the layout, and surrounding topography before you ever get there in real life.

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It's possible for a flight instructor to imagine various scenarios when he considers the use of a home flight simulator.  The instructor might envision a quality aircraft program such as A2A or RealAir, used with adequate hardware that includes a yoke/stick and rudder pedals; or the instructor might derisively scoff at the whole idea, imagining a person with no hardware trying to control a poorly-modeled plane by frantically and unrealistically pushing various buttons on a keyboard.

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That's certainly a worry of mine, given how people can either appreciate or undermine the simulator based on opinions. I appreciate that doing a 30+ degree bank of the aircraft or a 1000+ fpm descent/climb is suicidal and stupid where as in the sim it'd have no consequence, however for the core concepts such as check-lists and familiarising myself with the local area it's certainly going to be a start. I'm looking at the Cherokee however it'll probably have to wait until next pay day sadly. Thanks for help and tips.

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It's not a matter of wether a particular simulated airplane is good or bad, its a matter of a home PC with a small flat 2D screen not being able to provide adequate sensory feedback that a real airplane in a big 3D world provides...tactile feedback being a biggie.  Adaquate sensory feedback is essential for building good flying instincts. 

 

As a student pilot, you need to feel and learn the responsviness of the controls depending on the situation, such as the yoke feedback feeling mushy as you enter slow flight/stall.  You need to be able to tell if you are in a slip or a skid by the way your butt slides in the seat.    Flying by the seat of your pants is a foundation instinct for a pilot.

 

Visually a home PC flight simulator is inadequate too...not talking about the pretty graphics.  Early on your instructor will harp on you about keeping your eyes outside, especially in the traffic pattern.  Your head needs to be on a swivel as you maintian proper pitch attitudes just by looking at the horizon, judge distances, look for traffic and so on.  You really need to be in the 3D world so this too can become instinctual.  A little 2D screen is like going through the day wearing an old scuba mask.  This would be like teaching a kid to drive, telling him to first practice with Need 4 Speed on his PC, then wonder why he has trouble parallel parking :lol:

 

Instructors know this much, and will be able to tell you what parts of flight simming will be useful for your student pilot training.  As a student pilot, you would be wise to adhere to the instructors recommendations.  If/when you get to instrument training, thats a whole different ballpark, and the simulator becomes a very valuable tool then.

 

Cheers

TJ

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Hi TJ,

 

you are completely right, the actual flying part is quite different. As far as "keeping your eyes outside" is concerned, I did that intuitively right away. In a flight simulator you are not worried to hit something, but in a real plane that's a little different. And I must admit I was surprised by my own reaction.

 

Having said that, the A2A models in particular are an excellent tool to study all procedural aspects of aviation. If you're on Vatsim or IVAO you can even properly practice most of the ATC communication.

 

Peter

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Early on your instructor will harp on you about keeping your eyes outside, especially in the traffic pattern.  Your head needs to be on a swivel as you maintian proper pitch attitudes just by looking at the horizon, judge distances, look for traffic and so on. 

 

And you'll also feel less sick... :wacko:

 

FS9 taught me to stare at the panel too much. The instructor - and my stomach - said it was much better to keep looking outside.   B)

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Defenitely, the A2A Cherokee.  :wub: It has something magic.

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Defenitely, the A2A Cherokee.  :wub: It has something magic.

Agreed!

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Defenitely, the A2A Cherokee.  :wub: It has something magic.

Its God-like  :rolleyes:

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Very interesting read  for this thread.

As a flight simmer of 32 years all the way back to sublogic. I wanted to become a pilot at 17 but it hasn't and won't happen. So flightsimming is the only thing I have to scratch the itch.

Very good points. I'm always trying to "make it more real" and one thing that caught my attention was the climbing and descending speeds (FPM rates) It's very easy to get into a -/+ 2000 fpm climb/descend without getting a sense of how crazy that would be in real life.

In small planes like this what is realistic? 700-800 fpm?

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10 minutes ago, briansommers said:


In small planes like this what is realistic? 700-800 fpm?

Rate Of Climb: 631 fpm   Easy Google search of the Piper Cherokee specs.

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You are going to find stuff such as holding altitude or getting nice descent rates is tougher to achieve in a flight sim such as FSX, than it is in a real aeroplane. It's for a few reasons, but mostly it is to do with the fact that trimming a real aeroplane is a hell of a lot simpler and more intuitive in real life on a real aeroplane with those specific trim controls than it is in any flight sim where you are clicing a button up and down trying to get the thing to flind a level point or a specific rate of climb or descent, which is in no way as easy as it is for real. You also have the problem of looking at relatively small gauges on a computer screen which is having to fit the entire panel on it; a larger monitor will help, but you are still probably going to find the VSI and such look fairly small in comparison to when you look at a real one in a cockpit.

If you drive a car for real and have ever gone on a car racing or truck driving sim or some such, you will appreciate the difference; i.e. you can easily and intuitively drive that car for real, but you go on a driving sim and it proves trickier when you'd think it really should not be.

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