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Geofa

FSX as a training aid

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I have been using FS for a fair while now but normally limited myself to the 737, 747 or 767. Especially manual ILS in bad weather flights. I have been getting a bit bored with that so thought I would try some GA machines. (so slow!) It really has opened up a new world, I am starting to get my pilots license so I am really focusing on proper cockpit and aircraft management. I can't believe how hard it is to fly a light aircraft really well. Landing them was never a problem before but landing them as you would a real machine with your life (and pride!) at stake has given me a new appreciation, especially landing on a 32-33 foot wide runway like at Aldinga in Adelaide Australia! Here is a plea to high quality aircraft creators. Please look at the the smaller side of general aviation such as the Eurostar Sports. Those sorts of machine are becoming very popular in the real world, cheap, good trainers. I would buy one :-)I also get 55-60FPS in my payware GAs so frame rate tweaking is now a thing of the past! :-)It is good to be enjoying FS again.

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Nope, but looks good.The aircraft I will be flying only has analogue gauges though and even then only has the minumum equipment. No nav radios, no heading indicator, etc. The aircraft might be brand new but it sure looks basic! The only electronic looking item in the cockpit is the clock!Ah. I see it is for FS9. That is a deal breaker for me. :-(It will cost me something like $280 per hour to hire an aircraft with those sorts of avionics. I might have to stick with steam gauges!Steven.

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Personally, if I was the Original Poster, I would take Flightsim off my system if doing basic VFR 'stick and rudder' type training (ie., attitudes and movements).There is too much that can't be modeled in FS (such as the "feel" of the aircraft and the controls), and you're likely to pick up bad habits, or worse, you'll becomes fixated on the instruments, or you'll pickup wrong info which you'll have to unlearn.Reinstall FS again when you do your instrument training... it'll save you big bucks :-)Cheers,Bryan

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>Personally, if I was the Original Poster, I would take>Flightsim off my system if doing basic VFR 'stick and rudder'>type training (ie., attitudes and movements).>>There is too much that can't be modeled in FS (such as the>"feel" of the aircraft and the controls), and you're likely>to pick up bad habits, or worse, you'll becomes fixated on the>instruments, or you'll pickup wrong info which you'll have to>unlearn.>>Reinstall FS again when you do your instrument training...>it'll save you big bucks :-)>I've heard all that, numerous times before....But I think it's an old wives tale, and not such a great idea!Time and time again, it's been proven that those who use flight simulators seem to have an edge. Just go up a few times, get some of the "feel", and then make sure you get some rudder pedals!Use "shift Z" for airspeed & altitude in the upper left corner of the screen. This helps to avoid concentrating on the smaller monitor panel, & keeps your eyes "technically outside".Fact is, flight sims are excellent for pre-flying to unfamiliar airports such as you would for a cross country. You get airport layout as compared to topography and city scapes. Double check with a current sectional, and you'll be practicing with the correct radio frequencies too. Even a private pilot without an instrument rating, still needs to learn to navigate using the navigation radios, as well as GPS. Desktop flight sims are great for that too!Those little items such as fuel pump switch, landing gear, mixture, etc., can easily be practiced. You can even memorize G.U.M.P.S while simming.IMO, and I'm not alone.............is that desktop sims have come a long way, and can easily be used to supplement flight lessons, and at a lot lower cost. If an instructor tells you to put the sim away, then get a new instructor, as he or she is just to "old fashined"!L.Adamsonedit:P.S. ---- the wave of the future WILL be desktop simming! Considering that almost all new aircraft will be shipping with glass panels; then it only makes since to become highly familiar with their operation, in the comfort of your home, instead of an expensive and sometimes distracting cockpit!Besides, the future real life cockpit, is becoming more like a sim. Someday soon, we'll all have highly detailed synthetic 3D mountain topography displayed on the PFD/MFD, just as we see in sims today . This will highly add to situational awarness in IMC conditions. It's already available with some limitations.

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Your point is understandable although I tend to disagree.Hehe. As my first flight sim was the SubLogic flight simulator on the Atari 400 (I think it was, it was way back in my teens) I think my bad habits have already formed!I have flown a Fuji a couple of times while in cruise so I am a bit familiar with some of the differnces.It is funny you mention instrument fixation. That is one of the habits I am currently trying to break. Another one was I always used larger airports, it is amazing how different an approach looks at 57kts when changing from a 150ft wide airstrip to one that is ~30ft.The bad habits are why I am finding it challenging now. It is like the debate over whether FS is a sim or a game. It is both (after all, the software is way better than the commercial sims of yesteryear) and depends on how you use it. Now that I am being very self critical and following real aircraft manuals, my flight training manuals and aerodrome procedures to the letter it is a lot harder to do smoothly.Steven.

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>But I think it's an old wives tale, and not such a great>idea!A danger could be that a person who can put an aircraft on the ground in any old way 'thinks' they already know how to fly so don't treat the real world with an approprate level of respect. I haven't read of such cases but I wouldn't be surprised if it happens. Most instructors seem to think it is a good idea to learn procedures though clearly it has limited value in learning what it _really_ feels like.>times, get some of the "feel", and then make sure you get some>rudder pedals!Hehe, A yoke/joystick and peddles is a must. My training machine has a stick not a yoke so the feel of that is completely different, also I think turn co-ordination is harder in the sim because you can't feel the slip. Good controls help but no substitution for actual flight.>Use "shift Z" for airspeed & altitude in the upper left corner>of the screen. This helps to avoid concentrating on theI only use that when playing back a landing, I zoom the TrackIR out a bit so I can see the primary instruments without having to actually tilt my head down.>Those little items such as fuel pump switch, landing gear,>mixture, etc., can easily be practiced. You can even memorize>G.U.M.P.S while simming.Yep, how many of us fly GA in FS but never touched the mixture or prop levers? There seems to be no penalty in FS. Never hada fouled plug yet :-)>IMO, and I'm not alone.............is that desktop sims have>come a long way, and can easily be used to supplement flight>lessons, and at a lot lower cost. If an instructor tells youHehe, as I mentioned. FS is way better modelled than the older (and some current) commercial simulators. With TrackIR, decent peddles and yoke and some goflight equipment we can achieve a lot.>P.S. ---- the wave of the future WILL be desktop simming!>Considering that almost all new aircraft will be shipping with>glass panels; then it only makes since to become highlyThe ultralight aircraft industry is realy "taking off" (sorry :-)), these aircraft usually don't have the glass cockpit to keep costs down. I always thought all ultralights were nothing like real aircraft but that is no longer the case. See http://www.evektor.cz/at/en/sportstar-popis-en.htmlSteven.

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>The ultralight aircraft industry is realy "taking off" (sorry>:-)), these aircraft usually don't have the glass cockpit to>keep costs down. I always thought all ultralights were nothing>like real aircraft but that is no longer the case. See>http://www.evektor.cz/at/en/sportstar-popis-en.html>You'll be seeing a lot of "glass" in LSA's (Light Sport Aircraft); because overall they're lighter for the amount of instrumentation, and take a lot less room.L.Adamson

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My first sim was on the Commodore vic-20-and I've used them for every rating I have ever got. If there were bad habits they paled in comparison to the good-and once learning what was right reinforcing the right habits at home for considerably more time and less cost than real time had a 10 fold result....and to think many years ago people used paper trainers and and sat in cold cockpits just trying to imagine!http://www.mediafire.com/imgbnc.php/1b5baf...b9f427f694g.jpgMy blog:http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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Flight Sim is as realistic as you make it. I often use FSX as part of my real flight planning. It's actually a lot of fun. After doing everything I'd normally do for a real flight, I'll sit down with my charts and everything and fly the flight using FSX. I even have the Tablet PC I use in my plane connected to FSX so I can practice using that.I say all this with one big disclaimer. I agree with the people who say you need to fly in a real plane first, to then be able to make the most out of Flight Sim. In fact, I think you need to have several hours of real flight instruction before FS "clicks". A "discovery flight" will give you a taste, but not enough (my opinion). I've been flying Flight Sim since FS2, and I finally got my private certificate in 2006 and my instrument rating in June '07. My Flight Sim experience was forever changed after flying for real. Did the years of flying FS help during my actual flight training? You bet it did! I already understood the basics of straight and level, climbs and turns, etc. Does this mean my first landing was a greaser? Nope! One thing I absolutely did NOT learn from FS (after all those years) was how to properly land an airplane. It actually took me quite a long time to finally be able to land without having a sore back the next day (ok, it was only THAT bad a few times...) If anything my KNOWLEDGE of aviation was a huge advantage. I already understood most of the flight instruments, the radios, how to intercept and track a VOR, etc. What I really lacked was all the supporting knowledge, such as FARs (regulations), procedures, staying proficient, being a safe pilot, checking weather, decision making, etc, etc... "Flying" is really only part of being a good pilot. To me, FSX is just another part of the equation, as an excellent tool.There's nothing like going on a flight to somewhere new in FSX, practicing a few instrument approaches.... then the next day doing it for real. Once your mind is able to make the mental bridge between real-world flying and Flight Sim, it's amazing how easy it is to swap one for the other. In fact, this past weekend I was on a short (real-world) flight. I flew it in FSX the day before. I had my autopilot on in heading mode... As I turned the heading bug to the heading I wanted, I actually thought to myself, "Hmm... this feels like flight simulator." I had also practiced a few instrument approaches at my destination in FSX. I filed IFR (in good weather) for my flight and requested the ILS. The whole approach was fresh in my mind from practicing in FSX the day before... The view of the airport was exactly what it looked like in FSX. I felt like I had already done the flight... in fact, in a way, I really had.In summary, FS is extremely helpful as a training aid if used correctly. After you get your certificate, FSX becomes even more useful -- especially if you're instrument rated.-Mike

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I use an LS800 with Voyager GlassView (Seattle Avionics). I was actually just looking at the ChartCase website tonight... I'm getting a little frustrated with Voyager. It's slow and the approach plates and taxi diagrams are not georeferenced reliably. It's hit or miss ... the GPS overlay of the plane on the plate can be in the wrong spot, moving in the wrong direction. I've had to turn this feature off out of safety concerns.Have you experienced anything like this with ChartCase? How is the performance?

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I would have to agree with L.Adamson and Geofa. When I started taking my flying lessons back in the early 90's I had been using a version of FS long before my lessons. It was so long ago that I don't even remember the version I was using. After my first "discovery flight" my instructor started refering to others at the FBO as her first student that "knew everything". Granted I had read a lot of books on flying as well, but the knowledge I gained from using that early version of FS saved me a lot of time. I was only 15 when I started, got my 3rd class medical and soloed on my 16th birthday, and took flight test the day after I turned 17. My instructor had never even heard of FS, but said that she wanted to learn more about from me so that she could recommend it to her students for procedural practice. I remember that I had bought a sectional after my first lesson, jotted down a few of the VOR freqs. in the area on my knee board, and tried to convince her on my second lesson to start doing some VOR navigation. FS can teach you a lot, although for me you need to make sure you don't get in the habit in FS of locking you eyes on the panel all the time. I can only imaging if FS was like it is now, back then. Good luck with your flying.Sean

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Hi,I can only speak for myself here. I believe that FS9/FSX makes a great training tool. I earned my private pilot certificate in May 07. I "played" with FS since 1991. A couple of years ago I started ground school just so that I could really understand FS. I wanted to "fly" it more realistically. I enjoyed flying by the numbers very much. I enjoyed it so much, I started flight lessons.Once my lessons began, I continued using FS9. It worked great for reinforcing my checklist discipline, pattern work, navigation, and traffic scan (keeping head out of C/P). After a lesson, I would come home and fly the lesson all over again. I would correct whatever mistakes I had made during the flight. During my first lesson my instructor was very impressed with my knowledge of the instruments, and basic airplane handling. He said several times..."you get it".OK, here is the reality check. Nothing is perfect. Prior to my first solo, I really had problems landing. My instructor felt that the sim was responsible for those problems. My approaches were always on the high side and my flare was nonexistent. Did that cost me a few extra bucks? Probably. Looking back, I think that FS was a good thing and the pros outweighed the cons. I passed my check ride with a total of 44 hrs. Only four over what the FAA requires. I just wanted to share my experience. I am in no way implying that my way is correct, and others are wrong. I hope it is of value to others who are contemplating learning to fly (for real ;) ).I flew a C152 during my training. On my PC I used the Flight 1 C152 (the panel was almost identical to the airplane I flew), Track IR, FS Genesis, Ultimate Terrain, Ground Environment Pro, and Active Sky for weather. I always flew my cross-country flights on the PC (and still do) before I ever left the ground. I borrowed that idea from reading some of Geofa's posts over the years.Forgive me if this is too lengthy. But as you can see I feel very strongly about FS's usefulness to aspiring pilots.Nick

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> Prior to>my first solo, I really had problems landing. My instructor>felt that the sim was responsible for those problems. My>approaches were always on the high side and my flare was>nonexistent. This wouldn't surprise me at all. Landing technique and the flare is something that is practiced over and over to get the "sight picture". It's why it's done hundreds of times during flight training. Until you know what it's about in real life, you wouldn't know if you're missing it in the sim.But I don't know for sure, as I had done the real landings before simming. Yet, when it comes to the "can a simmer land a real airplane" scenarios; I always have doubts on how well the flare will be accomplished.However, once you know what it's like, the brain can certainly fill the gaps, and sim landing along with the perfect flare can be quite fun. In fact, it's what I enjoy most. L.Adamson

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I'm agreeing with Larry here, I used it before getting my PPL, and I definitely had an edge... Just knowing about the basics, like airspace and traffic patterns, and basic aerodynamics I learned from flight sim.....yeah... good stuffI used FS a lot during my training to set up for procedures, ie checklists (ER and abnormal, and normal hehe), and some of the planes are just great, the Dreamfleet planes looked similar to what I flew, and the Garmin avionics were very similar so I knew how to operate the radios in the real plane!I highly recommend a flight sim for any real flying

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I can't disagree with experienced pilot's perceptions of the benefits, however, there is a caution. It's the same whether using FSX or a full motion commercial flight simulator or a nuclear power plant simulator. There is a point during upset conditions (malfunctions etc) that test data runs out and simulator variables go beyond the laws of physics, flight, nature etc. Simulator's are quite capable of delivering negative training. It is particularly troublesome when pilots start doing "what ifs" and the simulation starts extrapolating data based upon empirical data never proven. Subject matter experts can generally sort out when a simulator has gone tilt and freeze the simulation. However, the limitations (and FSX has many) should always be on the mind of student and seasoned pilot. Bob...

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Yep, simulators are generally only good at procedures within a 'normal' flight envelope. From whjat I read stalls and spins are handled pretty badly in FS although some sim aircraft at least perform a little like their supposed to in stalls and a basic spin, (from reading what really happens and comparing with the sim behaviour). I tried some stalls and spins using the RealAir machines but they arn't the machines I fly so I don't know that it will compare well.Failure simulation is one of the things I would love to practice in FS but I _never_ do because I think a lot of it is unrealistic, besides, my normal flying needs to get better first :-). Engine out and instrument failures I think might be ok but flight surface and hydraulic failures I think migh be a little suspect.Steven.

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I am working on the review for Flight Simulator X For Pilots, which is an extensive training manual for pilots who also want to fly in FSX. The authors, Jeff Van West and Kevin Lane-Cummings are both CFIs with lots of writing background. They clearly explain the differences between real-world flying and FSX, including details that are different in the GA aircraft, the ability to control simulation environments, and the dreaded eye-lock on instrumentation.Personally, I think that the TrackIR goes a fair way to getting the sim pilot to look out of the window more. Before TrackIR, I used to be a confirmed 2D cockpit guy, and those 2D cockpits will usually emphasize instruments over viewscreen size. That, and even with the VC, you are locked into snap views or slow, unnatural joystick hat moves, or a cumbersome two-handed mouse view. Look out for my review, which should be coming out fairly soon!Jeff ShylukAssistant Managing EditorSenior Staff ReviewerAVSIM

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I find FSX to be a good training aid for learning how to debug problems.

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This is a bit off topic, but I feel the need to update some comments I made about Voyager versus ChartCase. Over the past few days, I spoke to sales and technical support at both companies and have new information.As it turns out, Voyager and ChartCase share the same data and approach plates. A problem in one will show up in the other. Both companies verified this, and I demo'd ChartCase (30 day trial) and confirmed that the same geo-referenced chart problems exist in ChartCase as well as Voyager. Seattle Avionics support responded quickly and actually fixed the charts I brought to their attention, and will also be working with the data provider to have it fixed at the source.Given this new information, I can truly recommend Voyager and their excellent support. After demo'ing ChartCase, I'm sticking with Voyager. In my opinion, Voyager wins, hands down, as a flight planner. ChartCase has some nice things in flight, but the new 4.0 version of Voyager coming out soon (and included as a free update) will pretty much make up for anything I see that ChartCase does better.Anyway, just wanted to clear that up since I made it seem like Voyager's data cannot be trusted in my earlier post... when infact, the data between each is from the same source.

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I'm 54, been flying for a living for 30+ years, the last 7 in forest fire suppresion which is mainly vfr ops and we maintainn ifr currancy. I've been using flight sim for fun since the late 80's and I've found it to be a great help for keeping sharp ifr since transitioning to this type of work from being capt on a saab340 where ifr was the environment there.You can grab your approach plates, pick interesting aapproaches from the Alaska panhandle to Nepal and go fly them. Helps keep the brain sharp and the ifr skills good. If you want to develope and keep a good "scaan" fly something with an aanalogue cockpit - not efis. In past years when we come back to work in the spring after the winter off I have had no trouble whatsoever with ifr. My co-workers noticed this and some of them are now into flight sims, whether x-plane or msfs. It's all how you approach it in your attitude and if you want to get something out of it. FS9 is a fabulus sim and fsx is even better. Have a look at the addon aircraft available. Some have manuals of +/- 500 pages. Infact many years ago a popular 767 sim was reviewed by a Northwest 757 capt and one of his comments was that he wished it had been available during his type training. An aquaintance several years ago was transitioning from the 737-200 to the 700, I introduced him to the pmdg version and he found it helpful. He put me in his company's 737-700 level D sim a couple of years ago, finding my way around the cockpit and flying it was good.Anyway, just some thoughts. msfs and others can be a great training aid.

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