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What is your FS "career" path and where are you on it?

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Where are you at, how did you get there and where are you going?

I'm curious about the progression paths that virtual pilots choose for their virtual "careers". By this I mean what are you flying now vs what you started out with? Did you dive in at the deep end with a deeply-simulated tubeliner or progress from simple trainers to more complex aircraft and so on up the ladder? What learning resources did you use? Have you reached the "pinnacle" of your flying career or do you have other aircraft, projects or types of flying you'd like to try?


Paul Synnott

 

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I never thought about a career. I just do what I like to do. Never done anything else when it comes to flight simming. I also don’t have any goals apart from learning whatever it takes (which may be a lot) to do what I like to do. The idea alone to do things ‘properly’ career wise would make me want to stop simming immediately. 😉 You could say I am reaching my pinnacle everytime I fly. 😎

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Started off with PMDG years ago and only fly real routes via flight stats web page with a virtual flight group. Next step is get back to vatsim and get really good at it followed by Pilot Edge..I have many real life hours many years ago but pilot edge still freaks me out lol

Thats the short term plan


ZORAN

 

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Way back starting out flying from Meigs to Kankakee in the 182 RG FS 3.0 and graduating to the Lear flying from Meigs to KJFK/KBOS and sometimes to KOAK/KSEA/KLAX/KSAN.🕹️

Since then and still occasionally flying in every version of MSFS, FA:ATP, Fly!, ProPilot, Flight Unlimited, ect.. 🎮

Now currently P3D (primary), XP11, AF2 (in VR) and I fly all kind of planes from ultra-light to (soon) the 748, and I fly everywhere from dirt strips to major hubs.🛫

Constantly learning, every flight an adventure, whether 15 minutes or 15 Hours, with a never ending goal except to press on to the next learning experience.🛬

Still waiting for any sim to be like it is in real life, but we're getting there, with VR bringing us another step closer....holodecks here we come!!!🛸 😁 

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In terms of flight simulators: FSX -> FSX:SE -> P3DV3 -> PD3V4 -> XP11

Planes: Started with small GA's, the natural C172 was my first, then other single engines, later turbo props and double engines until i move to the airliners, i mainly fly Airbus, doing random visits to Boeing's, my 3 latest best friends are the Flight Factor a320, the Toliss a319 and the Jardesign A330, all study level aircrafts.

Learning: resources are official documentation from the vendors and videos form YT of course and any other good source of info.

My nest goal is to improve my ATC skills that are still a little rough, i would like to go to pilotedge, but as an european and non english native speaker ive been a little intimidated to embrace that challenge.


Marques

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What a trip down memory lane this is!

I started in the Cessna in one of the ancient versions of MS Flight Simulator.  Of course, realism was quite lacking back then, but back when color monitors were a novelty, it wasn't so hard to suspend disbelief and imagine yourself flying.  I didn't get hooked until about the late 90s with the Jane's F-15 and F-18 sims.  For their time these were state of the art, and I was fully immersed in my Top Gun alter-ego.  When these waned, I tried to get into FS9 but I never got far.  Then, when FSX came out I got hooked again.  In those days I was still more interested in MIL aviation, like the Alphajet SAAB Gripen and B1-B.  My first study sim was the Level D 767, followed shortly thereafter by the original PMDG 747.  For years I would spend the weekends planning and flying a long-haul in one of those exceptional birds, followed by some joy-riding in a fast military jet.

When the MD-11 was released, I fell in love and that's all I flew for several years.  When the NGX came along I was all over it, but I had two young kids at the time so let's just say when deciding between sleep and simming, it was a hard call to make!

In the years since, I started to get a bit more serious, and really studied how to fly rather than simply following a checklist telling you exactly what buttons to push and always doing full autolands.  Lots of time in both the NGX and the 777.  Alas, I still miss my MD-11, but had to let her go when I moved to P3D.  Last summer I got back in the Queen, but this summer I've spent most of my time with the NGX, after quite a bit more studying. In my personal opinion, subject to frequent change of course, the NGX is my current vote for the most enjoyable sim experience of all time.  

So my "sim persona" then is a former Air Force pilot who took an airline job, got a 767 type rating, then MD11, 747, and 777, flew for various cargo airlines across the globe and is now acting as an Instructor Pilot on the 737.


Andrew Farmer

My flight sim blog: Fly, Farmer, Fly!

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I started out on FS5.1 flying the default Cessna and Lear around mostly fairly aimlessly!

Moved on to FS98 and picked up a copy of Nick Dargahi's excellent Ultimate Flight Simulator Pilot's Guidebook -- a 1500+ page tome packed with information from the basic principles of flight and how to fly and navigate an aeroplane through to detailed technical information about the inner workings of the sim and much more besides. Importantly, it also came with a CD packed with freeware and shareware goodies - the first time I'd realised that it was possible to add new aircraft, scenery and other utilities in to the sim.

In particular on that CD were Math Maessen's Flight Planner 4.0 and David Drouin's GPS 2.0 -- between the two, plus the information about flying in the book itself, I was then able to navigate from A to B on a consistent basis.

Further, amongst the pages of the Guidebook was mention of 'Virtual Airlines' and indirect references to the fledgling ATC networks. From there, I came across Northwest Virtual Airlines et al -- and specifically KLM UK CityHopper VA (formerly Air UK) which I joined, flying the F70 out of Stansted. In those days of course everything was totally manual -- we used to get e-mailed out our flight assignments by the Hub Manager on a weekly basis, and we'd e-mail back our Pireps. All quite quaint when you think about it compared to the highly automated websites of today, but there's something to be said for that human connection! Around this time I also came across the Avsim file library etc and the vast array of freeware aircraft, panels and add-ons -- including Eric Ernst's freeware 757/767 panels which I spent many happy hours flying.

Through the VA I discovered SATCO and joined there, flying and controlling and making acquaintances along the way many of whom are now 'real life' friends to this day. I also joined the UK Online Flying Club where we used to fly to some interesting destinations around the world once a week or so - a couple that particularly stand out are a trip to Sondrestrom and the "747 World Tour" which saw us travelling to destinations around the world, at the time in the PSS 747 in FS2000 which was my first payware add-on and was a hugely impressive piece of kit for the time.

Through SATCO and controlling I joined RAFv and spent a couple of years flying the DSB Tornado F3 out of Leuchars until the organisation folded (around 2005?) taking me through FS2002 and FS2004. After a bit of a hiatus I then joined BAVirtual back in 2006 flying the Level-D 767 and there I have been ever since really. Around that time I re-met some old SATCO friends involved in the SimfestUK team and have been privileged to be involved in WorldFlight and other events every year since.

Spent many years flying the 757/767 at BAV in FS20004 before moving on to FSX and the PMDG 747 v2 and for the last few years the Airbus through FSX-SE, P3D v3 and now P3D v4.3. Back in 2015 I was lucky enough to be asked to start up a VFR club at BAV, before moving on to take up a role as Director of Training. Now spend much of my time developing and writing training courses for virtual pilots and delivering one-on-one instruction using Shared Cockpit technology - for the last two years or so mainly basic training in the C172 but also ME/IR-style courses in the Beech Baron (and, eventually, we'll be getting to airliner type training). Instructing is challenging, incredibly rewarding and probably the most fun thing I've done in all that time -- I've met and flown with simmers from all across the globe and all sorts of backgrounds. It's lovely to be able to give something back to the community and take some of the knowledge I've picked up in dribs and drabs over the last 20 years and compress that in to something which hopefully enhances others' experience and don't have to spend quite so long picking it all up!

Simming has moved on unbelievably over that time -- the plethora of incredibly complex, high-fidelity add-ons we now have and the amount of information that is out there is beyond anything I would have imagined possible back in the late 90s. I'm constantly amazed by the knowledge of many new simmers and YouTube, Twitch and other resources I am sure have a lot to do with that!

Still learning new things every day!

Edited by skelsey
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Simon Kelsey

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For me its never been a career path just a hobby on and off since the ninety's. 

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Raymond Fry.

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Started off with the Cessna in FSX. Moved up to my C47 (Wolfgang Jahn and Jan Visser) flying low and slow delivering freight ( mostly beers, they swill a lot up there) in orbx Alaska. The "Mule Team Freight Inc." is my Company.


Captain to First Officer: " I didn't say it was your fault I am just blaming you " 

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On 7/17/2018 at 5:56 PM, J van E said:

I never thought about a career. I just do what I like to do. Never done anything else when it comes to flight simming. I also don’t have any goals apart from learning whatever it takes (which may be a lot) to do what I like to do. The idea alone to do things ‘properly’ career wise would make me want to stop simming immediately. 😉 You could say I am reaching my pinnacle everytime I fly. 😎

I completely agree! Although at one stage I admit I thought it might be fun to have a ‘flight sim career’, now that I am retired have the time to pursue it, following a career is the last thing I want! But perhaps that’s just a reaction to being constrained by a demanding career during my working life. Like you, I like to do what I want when I want - sometimes that might be re-enacting a flight I have come across in a magazine or book; on other occasions shooting approaches in marginal weather or into challenging airports or learning to fly a new aircraft type - basically whatever takes my fancy on the day! Even with complex study level airliners, although I enjoy the initial challenge of learning to operate their systems and fly them, once I have mastered that, I will rarely go back to cold and dark starts and all the discipline and check list following which that involves but usually prefer to set the aircraft up as ready to fly.

But I can appreciate that many simmers might enjoy the challenge of a structured career path and no matter what you desire from flight simulation the great thing is that we can all make what we want out of this hobby

Bill

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I started with various combat flight sims, then went into the civilian sims (FS9, then FSX).  When I get the chance to fly, it's almost always a small, twin piston engine aircraft, running either freight or passengers from south Florida to the Keys or the Bahamas.  Total time in front of a computer, simulating flight is now a bit over 1800 hours.  I sometimes wish those were not sim hours, but were real hours and flying was my career.

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Having fun until I get bored with it.  Not there yet.

Noel 


I'm first generation Norwegian American.  You know what they say about Norwegians.  You can always tell a Norwegian, but you can't tell him much.

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flight simulators: FS2004 -> FSX -> P3DV2 -> XP10 -> PD3V3 -> XP11 -> P3DV4 -> XP11 -> P3Dv4.3


José Luís
 
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SubLogic FS-II in 1985.   I flew the only plane it had - a Piper Cherokee Archer.  Now I fly everything.  heh.


Rhett

i7-8700k @ 5.0 ghz, 32 GB G.Skill TridentZ, 1080Ti, 32" BenQ, 4K res

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