Thomasso

If I manage to master high-end add-on planes, would I be able to fly them in real world?

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Hello everybody,

 

I'm planning on getting a flying licence in the future and I'm just wondering...

 

If I master planes like PMDG 737, 777 or A2A C172 etc., will I be able to fly the actual plane in the real world? I've got all sorts of add-ons to make the environment as realistic as possible.

 

I've been telling this to "non-sim" people and they are pretty much laughing at me :-) 

 

I'd appreciate a real world pilot to answer the question.

 

Thank you very much.

 

Sincerely,

Tomas Pokorny

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Probably not a chance in holey heck!  Maybe controlling the C-172 but I don't want to be anywhere near!

 

Most real World Pilots say there is a totally different feeling when in the real aircraft.  Start saving up for

 

flying lessons.  They are not cheap! :wink:

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If all you knew were driving simulations, would you be safe to drive on the streets and highways?.......mmmmm....think about it. :unknw:

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You will have a good sense of the instruments and cockpit layout. However, what you cannot replicate in the sim is the "seat of the pants" feel, G-forces, control forces and above all - fear. You can't die in the sim, and so you can never truly replicate the stress of dealing with emergency situations (an issue in 'real' sims as well). Nor can you (without a lot of very expensive hardware, time and effort) replicate the three-dimensional space that is an aircraft flight deck. These all make a big difference (and on the latter point, as someone who has done a lot of desktop sim flying, getting the chance to fly a full-sized sim was an eye opener - I had to really think hard about locating switches and controls in 3D space, many of which are actually above/behind your head).

 

It is also worth pointing out that operating a modern airliner is about much, much more than just "poling" - it is a team game that is all about managing the human and technological resources available to you in the best manner. If this is what you want to do for a living, then you should think about these "soft", non-technical skills as well.

 

What the simulator can do very well is help you learn about the physics of flight and understand the basic concepts of the systems and their operation. But if you ever do an ATPL/type rating, you will find that no matter how experienced a sim pilot you are, you will barely have scratched the surface - the depth of the various subjects is immense and much of it is not relevant to the sim as large portions of things like instrument errors and lag etc (to take but one example) are just not simulated well or at all in MSFS.

 

That said - when I did a small amount of real flying I was able to read the instruments (perhaps too much!) and my instructor was very complimentary about my feel for the aeroplane, which felt very natural (in lots of ways easier than FS as you have all your senses and full 360 degree 3D vision to help you instead of just your sight and a relatively tiny instrument panel) so I think there is some benefit to be had in terms of hand-eye coordination.

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As Simon says (hehe) you get familiar with the layout and checklists if you do it right. When I was starting to fly the small Cessnas it helped and I had a friend with a PPL and CFI who had not been in the cockpit in a decade and was not familiar with the Garmin 430 and 530. I helped him learn that because I was familiar using the realityXP GPS that simulates exactly the Garmin system using the trainer software.

 

You may not be able to jump in and control everything like a 777 or 737, but if you learn how the systems work, and the cockpit layout, the procedures, you are way ahead of others. Learning the systems is very important and it helps you understand flying better when you understand the aircraft you are flying.

 

When a pilot is going to start on a new type, they study the systems and procedures, if you can jump in the virtual cockpit and learn it makes the learning easier. I've seen and heard of a lot of simmers jumping into a full simulator and hold their own because you can start from cold and dark to ready for takeoff.

 

Just make sure you are using a real simulation, like PMDG aircraft, or A2A and other realistic developers. But start with the basics, the A2A C172 is good, learn to tune VORs, and basic operations. Follow the checklists. It will help you when you go for your PPL by cutting down the hours you need if you can understand everything before paying the instructor.  The only thing you will need practice in is to do everything with your emotions and the physics of being in a real airplane instead of your comfortable chair. Like someone going to speak in public, they may have learned their speech by heart but then your adrenaline gets pumping and you panic. Same in an airplane, you get nervous, don't know what to do, and you lock up in fear. Good luck just practice a lot and try to stay calm when in the real thing!

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Hello everybody,

 

I'm planning on getting a flying licence in the future and I'm just wondering...

 

If I master planes like PMDG 737, 777 or A2A C172 etc., will I be able to fly the actual plane in the real world? I've got all sorts of add-ons to make the environment as realistic as possible.

 

I've been telling this to "non-sim" people and they are pretty much laughing at me :-) 

 

I'd appreciate a real world pilot to answer the question.

 

Thank you very much.

 

Sincerely,

Tomas Pokorny

About all that you would be able to do would be to pass the written exam.

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No. 

 

 

However, with the complex addons (maddog/PMDG level), you can practice flows, memory items, and procedures to cement/broaden your systems knowledge. 

 

You can also simulate situations and run through company procedures and test your "aeronautical decision making." 

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Once you start Flight School and get a taste for the real thing you may find you lose interest in Flight Sim

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Hi Tomáš,

I'm a flight instructor (however, not currently instructing)... Simon makes all good points. No... you would not be license ready... and you would not be ready for the PPL written either... it could help tho in preparation for solo and getting your license.

There is a tremendous amount involved in learning to fly. When you say "master the aircraft" I understand that you are saying that - in the sim - you would know where all the switches and knobs are... what the instruments do... that you could land the airplane without any trouble.

To help answer your question, I would suggest looking at the FAA's Private Pilot Airman Certification Standards - formerly the "Practical Test Standards". Are you able to maintain traffic pattern altitude ±100 feet, airspeed of ±10 knots, and roll out on headings within ±10°. Are Approach & Departure airspeeds +10/-5 knots. Able to navigate using the appropriate altitudes withing ±200 feet and heading ±15°. Certain required maneuvers you need to maintain altitude within ±100 feet and airspeed within ±10 knots. These are just PPL standards. The standards get tighter with the Commercial, then more so with the ATP.

There's a lot of great information that can be found on the FAA's Pilot Training page. For example, under the "Pilot Study Materials" you can find a link to Aircraft Handbooks & Manuals where you can find the Airplane Flying Handbook. The Aviation Handbooks & Manuals page will have links to great references like the Pilot’s Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge. Useful also will be the Aeronautical Information Manual, Aerodynamics for Navy Aviators, Risk Management Handbook & the Weight & Balance Handbook.

There's a saying, "Not all meteorologists are pilots, but all pilots are meteorologists"... at least to some degree or another. The better you are at understanding the weather and the weather products available, the better off you will be. To that end, here's a couple handbooks: AC 00-6A - Aviation Weather For Pilots and AC 00-45G - Aviation Weather Services.
 

I mention the above references to give you an idea of what's involved in learning to fly (obviously not *everything* needed to know from the books mentioned above... but much of it... sure).

 

You asked specifically, for example, if you mastered the A2A C172 would you be able to fly the real-world counterpart -  a C172R or S model. Tough question. Could you get the airplane started? Certainly. Off the ground? Possibly. Back on the ground? That's the real question... Could you do it all safely? Completely unaided? I would say it is not likely... i.e. a terribly small chance of not breaking or bending something - either the airplane and/or yourself. Legally? In the U.S. - absolutely not. Again... there is just so very much to learn and be made aware of. People who have not been behind the controls of an airplane just don't realize what is required to operate an airplane safely.

 

I learned to fly one summer at university. Essentially two months of doing nothing but studying and flying. Ground school for a couple hours in the morning and a couple hours flying in the afternoon and weekends. Solo'd at around 10 hours and license (PPL) at 50 hours. Could I fly the airplane? Yes. Did I feel like a competent private pilot? Absolutely not. That took more time and training (about 30 more hours of flight time) before I actually felt like I was competent to carry passengers. Not everyone feels that way. But that was my experience.

 

However, I am certainly not going to laugh at you... in fact I admire your desire. Think of the sim as an introduction to flight or opening the door to many topics you can explore. I've beta tested the last couple of airplanes at A2A - and I most certainly would have been thrilled to have one of their aircraft to assist me when I first started my pursuit of learning to fly. (Who would disagree with me that their GA models are impeccable when it comes to replicating the actual airplane for the FSX environment?) The sim can also be useful for real-world activities such as practicing your instrument scan and flying instrument approaches - something I thoroughly enjoy now. Flying is truly a lifelong pursuit - there is always something you can learn to make yourself a better pilot - and a flight sim can be a great aid in many respects in this pursuit.

-Rob O.

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Thank you everybody for the answers. They are eye opening :-) The jets, that was quite obvious, I just wanted to be sure :-) .. And no, it's not my goal to be a commercial pilot (not anymore anyway). I just want to do the private license (and be able to take some other people too).

 

Though, I really thought that the A2A add-on would give me a very good idea of the real thing (when combined with many other realistic add-ons). Guess I was wrong.

 

Thank you again, some of the answers were really helpful and in-depth. 

 

Tomas P.


One more question - will american manuals help for european standards as well?

 

Tomas P. 

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On many of the smaller airfields in Europe you will find a flight school. And many of those offer a kind of "trial run", where you fly around in a C152 or similar with an instructor who will let you take control at some point (in cruise naturally). Should not be too expensive, something around 200€ - an ideal birthday present for a flightsim enthusiast. This will open your eyes even more.

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On many of the smaller airfields in Europe you will find a flight school. And many of those offer a kind of "trial run", where you fly around in a C152 or similar with an instructor who will let you take control at some point (in cruise naturally). Should not be too expensive, something around 200€. This will open your eyes even more.

That 200 pounds could buy a lot of very nice flight sim addons you can enjoy for many years though! In America I have seen discovery flights advertised for cheaper but that might have changed from a couple years ago.

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One thing I did forget to mention....do the Lessons inside the Sim.  And to see how you do, at the end, as

 

Rob O stated, take the flying test to see if you can pass the Solo, and PPL.  I managed to pass the Solo on

 

the first try!  It took a month, flying 3 times a day to pass the PPL. :wink:

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you can learn a lot about the systems in the sim, as far as actual flying goes you will need to take lessons for that.

 

I find real aircraft easier to fly because you get so much more input...

 

 

Ohh one last thing, a retired airline pilot friend of mine told me the big jets are easier to fly, they handle winds better, are much more stable. I have never flown a real jet so I have to take his word on that but I will says LSA is quite a handful in gusty conditions

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Thanks for the updates guys :-)

 

So, let's sum up...

 

The main differences between Flight Sim (considering that one has all the top notch add-ons to create as realistic environment as possible) and real life are:

- fear of crash (the biggest one in my opinion)

- feeling the aircraft (perhaps an advantage in the real world?)

- real life pilots have much deeper knowledge about everything than sim (even very "advanced") documentation provides

 

About the last point... If I study the materials shown on the screenshot, that would kick me way forward, correct? However, that seems like a good 2 year read, considering that I'm also attending to a university  :smile:

9uoos5.png

 

Cheers,

Tomas P.

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When you do take your lessons you should have a better understanding than a non-sim pilot. When I started taking lessons I was able to solo after 7 hours instruction due to 20 years of sim time.

 

But as other have said the real environment is something no sim can teach or prepare you for.

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I have 20 years of experience in flight simulators and one hour in a real Cessna 172. To prepare for that hour I got the A2A 172, learned all relevant number (like speed restrictions etc) and followed an amplified checklist. In other words, theoretically I knew a lot about the plane.

This preparation helped a lot. For instance, I was delighted when I saw that the flight instructor did exactly the same walk-around as you do in the A2A model. I also felt at home in the cockpit right away, even with respect to taxiing and steering with the brakes.

However, there were also very notable differences. First and foremost, I instinctively looked much more out of the (front) window than in the simulator. I have studied a lot about simulators and always read that you should pay very close attention to your instruments, but making sure you're not heading into something is much more important in the real thing. The instructor even advised me to pay not _too_ much attention to the instruments, except for the oil pressure, which I kind of ignore in FSX but which is critical for you to survive a real flight.

I was very surprised that it actually was easier to keep the real Cessna flying at a certain altitude and in a certain direction. However, I wasn't allowed to land the plane, so I cannot compare that experience.

 

I admit I was tempted to go for a PPL after this experience, but I decided against it because it would be very time consuming (it's a long drive to the next flight school) and expensive. I still enjoy the simulator as much, or maybe even a bit more, than before my real plane experience.

Peter

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That is a very interesting video, kind of proves everything that has been said :-) He manages to fly in some capacity but an instructor is there to aid him and it's very noticable that he is no real world pilot. Nasty take off and very chaotic final approach. 

 

Sim definitely speeds up the process then :-).

 

Interesting angle of view Peter, it is true that in the sim, people tend to watch the instruments a lot. Although with ORBX sceneries that changes a bit :-). Oil pressure, I think that A2A 172 simulates this so it's mandatory to watch it as well.

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I think the sim helps a lot with instrument training procedures.  When I got my insturment rating back in 1993 I used PC software called 'Elite'..I believe that was the name??  I was able to practice all of the procedures (holds, approaches, etc) on it at my house and it greatly helped me get through that rating.  It was strictly an instrument panel but it did have real-world navaids.  As others have mentioned, you don't have the 'feel' of the aircraft and peripheral views so I don't know how much they would help with actual flying of an aircraft. 

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That is a tremendous amount of information you have there, Tomas. Some of it will be very difficult to wade through, like the Aeronautical Information Manual - some topics will be relevant, some not so much. One thing I'd hate to see is that you get overwhelmed with so much material.

Have a look at the Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge and the Airplane Flying Handbook. The student pilot guide has some good basic info in it - but that is geared toward the U.S. pilot (how to go about getting your license etc.).

There's a good book "Understanding Flight" (Anderson & Eberhardt) that is something I wish I first read when learning about aerodynamics.

I was just looking to see if I could find a private pilot ground school syllabus... I found a pdf "Learn to Fly: Private Pilot Ground School - Fall 2014 (University of California - Berkeley). That might provide some structure to your learning process. The recommended text is Jeppesen's "Guided Flight Discovery - Private Pilot Handbook". Maybe you could get your library to obtain a copy if you didn't want to purchase one. Jeppesen's material is used extensively at flight schools. I have not used that particular book, but years past I have used their books, such as  their "Aviation Fundamentals".
 

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Hello everybody,

 

I'm planning on getting a flying licence in the future and I'm just wondering...

 

If I master planes like PMDG 737, 777 or A2A C172 etc., will I be able to fly the actual plane in the real world? I've got all sorts of add-ons to make the environment as realistic as possible.

 

I've been telling this to "non-sim" people and they are pretty much laughing at me :-) 

 

I'd appreciate a real world pilot to answer the question.

 

Thank you very much.

 

Sincerely,

Tomas Pokorny

Nope!  I got my PPL in 2003 and to be honest I do believe using flight simulator really did help me a lot. For starters I was familiar with the C172 layout and knew what the gauges did. Its when you take that first lesson you realize its nothing like flying a desktop. That nervous sick and exciting feeling you get on your first solo. The joy you feel when you complete it.   I would spend hours after every lesson recreating it in FS2002 to practice. I soloed after 8 hours and my instructor said most take 10 -12 hours.

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