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Geofa

FSX and real world flying training

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Hi All,I hope this thread doesn't die the death, but I'm aiming to look at the positive sides of FSX WRT real world flying training. I wonder how many others are like me and just starting out and using FSX as an aid?I don't want to get into any flame wars, for what I want FSX runs very well on my system so hopefully we can avoid all that. I would like to hear all the positive stuff!I'm right at the begining with my flying training, today we went up to do 'straight and level'. Problem was there was no horizon today over my part of the UK, just thick haze.What's this to do with FSX? Well I often fly the sim with low visibility set as it is realistic for the UK, we always have 'some' or 'lots' of haze on the horizon. The upshoot of this, I was quite comfortable flying straight and level with no visible horizon (I could pretty much visualise where it would have been). It was much like my usual FSX sessions. My instructor was a little suprised, usually a new student would have found it fairly disorientating to have no horizon and he attributed my comfort with the situation entirely to my time on FSX. This to me is an amazing example of positive skill transfer from the sim to the real world.I'll be honest, I did my first ever half decent landing in FSX tonight as well (I've done hundreds, but it was more luck than anthing else), 100% down to seeing it done for real today by my instructor - so the skill/experience transfer seems to work both ways.So what have others found? I'm mostly interested in the positive aspects, and maybe some of the things that don't transfer well from the simulated to the real world. I've seen much said about flight dynamics of specific sim models, not sure this is anywhere near as important as 'how the sim is used', anyone agree with that?

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I have used every version of the sim in my flight training and it just gets better and better.In 1989 when I got my ppl I broke the habit of using the yoke as a "car" steering wheel in one hour of practicing takeoffs in fs4 with different xwinds. At the time I logged more takeoffs in that hour with fs than I had in my real logbook-and the habit was permanently broken the next time I went out-saving time and money.When I got my ifr rating a year later I would have died for the ability we take for granted now-real weather downloads which help you correlate what you see in the weather report and what it might look like up there. I got out the approach plates of my state, and a fs model of my aircraft-and proceded to fly every approach in the book on the sim. Didn't hurt a bit to get that experience-the power settings in real life matched with appropriate responses on the sim. Later when real weather came out I made it a point to fly every day with real weather to see the compare. It was always interesting on real flights I cancelled due to weather to fly them on the sim and see what I might have gotten into.Right now-it is a lot cheaper and less hard on my twin's engines to practice engine failure in the sim. Of course the default fs Baron doesn't react quite like the real bird-but I can procedure pitch,power,drag, identify, verify, and feather countless times to keep the skill proficient. When I go out and do it for real, it just reacts a little differently-but the procedures remain the same.I find using the Real Air Marchetti simply the finest instrument platform I have ever used-and I've used many of the "serious" instrument trainers. The smoothness of the instruments and appropriate reactions are simply amazing and realistic-quite frankly I haven't ever experienced this on any computer sim. Fs does have a few problems though-a timed standard rate turn doesn't seem to be able to be done-so I just don't do them in the sim.Then there is the simple task of checking out an unfamiliar airport you are going to on the sim first-getting an idea of obstacles, taxiways, terrain and geography before going there in reality. What a safety feature that was not available even 10 years ago.So yes-there is lots of usefulness here-take what is useful and reject that this isn't. http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpg

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I've been using Flight Simulator since the days of Sublogic. I learned a lot of things using FS. Then finally about a year ago I began my real world flight training in a C172. Although I learned a lot from the sims there was definitely something stil missing. What was missing were all the forces and sensations of a real airplane not to mention the peripheral vision that comes from a real cockpit. One thing that I remember in particular was the concept of trimming. Although I used trim in all the sims I never had a true understanding of what it really is and what it does until I took a real world training flight. In a matter of minutes I understood what trimming is all about because of the forces I would feel from the yolk. The sensation of G forces is also very important in my opinion. Overall I would say to anyone that the ideal scenario is to first take soome real world flight training and then go to the sim, not vice versa. Once you experience real world training I think the sim becomes much more useful because you now have a better understanding of real world flight dynamics therefore allowing you compensate in your mind what the sim cannot actually simulate. So I think real world training coupled with FS is extremely useful. It's definitely helping me polish up my crosswind landing techniques for example and as graphics keep improving, it becomes a better tool for VFR flight training. Those are my 2 cents on it.

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I wrote a little blog a while ago on the difference of the sim world vs the real world. You can read it if you like at..http://privatepilot101.blogspot.com/2006/0...real-world.htmlAs I just solod last week, I have come to realize that the differences are a bit more than I originally indicated in my blog. One of the bad habits I have learned from the sim is to apply rudder pressure throughout a turn. In the real world, you do not want to do this. You apply rudder whenever you move the ailerons; namely at the beginning of a turn and coming out of a turn. Once you are established in the bank that you want, you remove the aileron and rudder input you have put in while you continue the turn. Then at the end of the turn you apply aileron and rudder again to stop the turn and level off. With this technique, the ball will be centered in the real world. In the sim it will not be centered. YOu have to constantly hold rudder in a turn to keep the ball centered.For me, the biggest difference is the atmosphere. Namely the effect that winds and turbulence have on the airplane. I notice this more because I fly a very light Citabria in the real world. Flying in wind in the simulator does not feel at all like flying with it in the real world. Also there is a lot more turbulence and thermal activity that are a factor in the real world which you don't get in the sim, even with ActiveSky.

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That's really interesting regarding the G forces. I was a little surprised during my first air experience flight during take-off and climb out. To be honest it was a bit icky. I was sat there rigid and quite surprised by the attitude of the aircraft! Now I quite enjoy it as I know what is coming, but of course FSX hadn't prepared me for it at all! What I've found though is that I can 're-experience' forces in the sim for a short time afterwards. I often recreate my training flights ASAP for a bit of reinforcement, today was my first real world taxi, instructor took off and climbed out then I did straight and level at 2300 RPM. Recreating this tonight I re-lived many of the forces. It is like the brain can recreate the feelings for a short while after the real world flight from the visual cues in the sim.First person to design a

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If you fly in the UK, then why not grab a copy of Horizon simulations photorealistic scenery? As well as realistic terrain to practice VFR flights with, frame rates are of course much higher without autogen. I now prefer to fly FSX whereas previously I had pretty much written it off because of the performance issues. Any improvement from SP1 will be welcome, but for me perhaps no longer critical.Cheers,Noel.

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>this technique, the ball will be centered in the real world.>In the sim it will not be centered. YOu have to constantly>hold rudder in a turn to keep the ball centered.>At some point with different airplanes, you'll find so many variations with the "ball" and coordination, that I seldom worry about it sim wise. Some sim balls will re-center themselves, and some real airplanes don't even need the rudder. However, I do use rudder in the sim for every takeoff and landing (with pedals), and constantly trim while simming.L.Adamsonedit: what I'm trying to say, is that I don't "chase" the ball! :D

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Hello. I remembered for my instrument rating, course i practice every flight in the sim. i get my instrument rating with only 17 hour of flight. 7 hours of that was 2 cross country. 3 hours of maneuvers. 4 hours of tracking VOR and NDB. and just 3 hours of approach. In that 3 hours i did, 2 ILS approach and 2 GPS. And the day before to the checkride i did NDB approach, VOR approach, ILS approach, GPS approach, Partial panel ILS, and Holds all in the FSX and FS9. And i pass my checkride. This sim is very helpful for every pilot everywhere. I save a lot of money with that

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I have flown flight simulators long before I even considered or was financially able to afford a real-life PPL. Flying on the simulator definitely helped me tremendously for my flight training, especially when it came to getting to know the instruments, some flight dynamics and for a limited extent environmental effects, like winds.When I had my first flying lesson I knew where all the instruments are and their purpose and my instructor picked up on that very quickly. I knew how to control the attitude of a plane and I knew the "numbers" (stall, take-off, landing configurations).But that's pretty much where the similarities stopped. I had never done a walk-around before, never started up a plane for real and never "felt" the plane moving. I found it much easier to control a real-life plane, like taxiing, pitch, yaw and ailerons, simply because of the fact that you feel the forces on your body and instinctively control the plane for the correct attitude. Trimming a real plane is so much easier in real-life, compared to the trial-and-error of a simulation, because you just feel the yoke ease off.Upon my first take-off, I was surprised that this small plane literally pushed my in the back of my seat. I wasn't aware that this little plane has actually a lot of power. I found landings to be much, much more nerve-wrecking in real-life, because you just can't hit the "Pause" button or "Reset" ;) Upon my first landing with an instructor our plane was hit by a gust right before the flare and I almost crashed the plane, if it wasn't for my instructor. Those things are just really hard to simulate.A few lessons later, my regular C172 was unavailable and I had to switch to a C152. Boy, what a difference. We did some maneuvers when we hit some very slight turbulence and I thought that this must be the end or the world and that the plane would break apart. You don't feel the difference too much in a simulation, but you definitely feel it in real-life.PatEdited for typos

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You are not alone in thinking about the uses for FS in real world applications as several of the UK aviating mags now feature a monthly article on just that - Try picking up a copy of `Pilot` or `Todays Pilot`.Simming seems to have crossed the divide of being a joke to real pilots (but only those who hadn't simmed) to fast becoming a training and currency aid unmatched by those tens-of-thousands-of-dollars desktop `trainers`. I recall showing the Flight One ATR to a real commercial pilot who couldn't wait to put it down because, as he put it "It reminds me too much of work!" And that was FS9. :)One or two simware developers are exploring this potential crossover and, as an 840-hour RW pilot myself, with only occasional opportunities skyward these days I find simming keeps the pilotage sharp. Not only that, the entire cost of the sim is recouped in the first hour of airtime NOT spent re-learning or re-acquiring skills - I shaved at least an hour of instructor time when restoring currency in the past, and of course it's ongoing, so the savings continue every time I fly. Of ocurse, this is all relative, and the cost of upgrading the computer to better suit FSX is not justified compared to the results from using a fully-blinged FS9 setup, so there is a finite limit for any desktop PC-based simulation.However, what I would suggest to ALL RW pilots who are also dedicated simmers is to try to encourage your flying clubs and fellow pilots to leave the preconceptions at home and give FS a try on something complicated like a night ILS approach or hazy day circuits. How about a club night when you bring your setup into them? Or invite local club members over to the house? Most still think of simming as stick insect airplanes with blue sky and green ground. They are simply stunned when they actually see what is achievable.I have also thought that, when I finally do shift over to FSX fully in a year or two, I might even donate my old FS9 setup to my flying club - the clubhouse is used as much as a social centre as a flying centre and the computer used for filing flightplans, getting the weather and booking the aircraft and instructors is easily up to the task of taking FS9. All the club would need would be a yoke and rudder pedals and I could almost guarantee there would be someone using it every day, with others all around, watching.;)Allcott

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hi all, yep i have been a fan of flight sim since 1981,yes 1981.Didn't actually own a copy till fs2.I am a real world pilot and the first thing an instructor will do if you tell him you have been flying simulators on the computer is WINCE!.BUT,and it is a big but with todays flightsim especially fsx you can get the basics of flight training.With the scenery in most instances it is like the real thing,though i guess most rw pilots will dissagree with me.I wonder how many have used the simulator to fly the approach to an airfield they have haven't previouslly been to apart from simtime.I have.Though i am now retired i still find solace from flying routes i used to fly.I still fly my king air (rw),it never leaves you, once the flying bug gets you.Last word NOTHING and i mean nothing can prepare you for that first lesson, the walk around check the tech log theres much more than getting into the aeroplane, thats the easy part.stu

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I re-started my Private Pilot training just last week, and these thoughts crossed my mind.After taking my "first" training flight last Saturday (I've had several hours of training about 14 years ago, and some right-seat light aircraft hours flying over the past few years), I will say that I haven't TOUCHED the simulator all week. In the real airplane, I found myself looking at the instruments for reference much more than needed (because you have to in the sim). I had both hands on the yoke nearly all the time (because the throttle on the sim isn't slipping and your life doesn't depend on quick reactions). And of course, the feeling of flight itself. I plan on getting more maneuvering hours in the real airplane before I jump back to the simulator. I want to develop good habits and not fight against them by heading to the sim. Once I get those habits set, I'll probably use the sim much like Geoff does...Plan on a XC flight and do it, setting navradios and generally flying the sim as I would a real plane. Landmarks, times, etc. Gaining some familiarity with landscapes and airports. Trying to obay and avoid airspaces as appropriate. By using scenery addons and some other tools, you can approximate a flight and corrolate to ground scenery in the sim pretty effectively. ...and at that point, I'll be confident in my real flying enough to not worry about re-learning bad sim habits. :)

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You bet FS is great. I have been using it as a kid back in 1980, to now... I am 39 and have used FS right along side all my real world flying. FS is the hidden secret tool many professional pilots have been using all along. Yet, often fellow flyers still thing FS is a game or toy. I am embarrased to show my copilots that are older than me, that FS is so great. The old timers still don't want to believe anyting on a laptop is worthy. Yet, I know the truth! I am now a Beechjet Captain, flying all over the US and Canada and Caribbean, and if it wasn't for FS still today, I would have to fly to all these places never having "been there" before like I do today! I still can't believe I have a real job flying a real $5 million jet , yet can go to my hotel and fly flightsim! I like the default LR45, it's good and solid now and I enjoy it very much. Finally, when FS patch comes out, I hope to get back into some airliner add-ons, that would never run smooth as the default jets do for now....good luck, Peter James

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Ah ha, so some bad transfer from the sim, instrument fixation when supposed to be learning to fly the plane visually. First thing my instructor said when I mentioned I used a PC simulator was that most people switching from the sim rely on the instruments too much and don't look out of the cockpit.I was lucky here, anyone thinking that the sim is a no no because of this, trust me, it can be cured in a couple of simulated sessions - before getting in the real plane - but be warned you will never fly the FSX quite the same again! I had fortunately read about this problem in an article in PC Pilot before my first real world lesson. I followed the advice given, hid my instruments in my 'normal' view and set up my 'seat' in FSX so I could see a little of the cowling. Then I flew visually using the relationship between the horizon and cowl in FSX, only 'looking' down at my instruments using the hat switch on my CH yoke for a second or two. This transfers perfectly and I've yet to be reminded 'eyes' outside in my lessons. So I guess because this is a recognised problem as long as people are aware of it, it can be avoided. It is surprisingly easy to trim the sim and fly straight and level using this method and only takes a minute or two to set-up. I think a lot of the problem with trimming in the sim is chasing the instruments. All my sim time is now 'flown' like this. It is working well for me and I have avoided the negative transfer because I modified the 'way I use the sim', this is key to get the best from sims when training for real IMHO. So it is now easy for me to trim the sim plane against the spring pressure on my CH yoke in FSX and each session I reinforce my real world look out all the time I

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