Sign in to follow this  
Guest fullstoplanding

Real Life vs. Flight Simulator

Recommended Posts

I am curious to know, especially from the real pilots out there:We all love Microsoft Flight Simulator, and with the advent of FSX and Acceleration and FS11 on the horizon, we can all agree they are very realistic simulators. I would just like to know how many pilots step into an airplane and say, "Hey! This is just like Flight Simulator!!!" My guess is not many...is that true?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

Here's what I fly in FS9 that I have flown in real time: J3 Cub, Cessna 172, and the Cessna 152 from JF Flying Club. The insides and instruments are very real looking, however, it's easier to fly the actual aircraft. What's missing in FS is the wider vision that's not there in FS, the bouncing around and the slight G-forces, especially in steep turns. I've never been able to forward slip, and I have the CH rudder pedals, which is useful when you're high on final and want to lose altitude, but not dive with it's attendant increase in airspeed. Also, the real aircraft are much easier to trim, much easier.Roger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The absolutely biggest difference is the fact that when you "fly" FS you look at the computer screen a few inches from your eyes. To counter this problem I advise at least using a Fresnel lenses, 3D glasses, etc - something that would give you the proper perspective and depth.Michael J.http://img142.imageshack.us/img142/9320/apollo17vf7.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Real life isn't much like the sim. I've thought about this many times and have put a lot of thought into how I would answer such a question. Instrument simulation is very good in FS, but I just can't honestly compare the two objectively.Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I rarely step into a plane and say this is like flight simulator (except when I modeled my personal Beech Debonair for fs2002 which was 95% accurate).However, I use the sim for procedural practice but also situational awareness-e.g. when flying to a new unfamiliar place I'll practice in the sim first.I have found myself saying-wow just like the the sim!-when I fly a real approach and see terrain in a new area that looks strangely familiar....http://www.mediafire.com/imgbnc.php/1b5baf...b9f427f694g.jpgMy blog:http://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It all depends!Today's young pilots getting jobs at the airlines are subjected to all flight simulator flights until they graduate from that airlines training syllabus. The first time they sit and fly in an actual airplane is their first revenue flight. Of course, they are sitting in the right seat, first officer (FO), and remain in the FO seat until meeting training and experience requirements before moving to the left seat, Captain.What does this say about the flight simulators being used to conduct training?:1. The flight simulator simulates only one model aircraft, i.e., it is not a generic mix of various airplanes and/or helicopters.2. The flight simulation is very accurate for the model simulated.3. The flight simulator costs more then $70-80. They cost in the range of $2M-25M.Visit www.flyairorlando.com and view our simulator we use in General Aviation training. You will also find other simulators being used throughout GA training at other locations.W. Sieffert

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the link, thanks to everyone else for their input!BoeingGuy

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>I would just like to know how many pilots step into an airplane and say, "Hey! This is just like Flight Simulator!!!" I build up some hours this past summer in flight training (funds and stress made me back off), and there were several times where I thought "Hey - the sim got this right!"It was essentially *NEVER* surrounding flight itself because being in a moving airplane, in a dynamic environment that is the real sky is near impossible to mimic on a desktop computer simulator.But what I did notice was the systems - VOR navigation, the Bendix GPS - all worked essentially just like their simulated counterparts. My instructor (former CRJ pilot gearing up for his CFI-I) once asked to "instruct" me on doing a localizer approach, and I loved the opportunity, even though I couldn't legally use the knowledge for a while. Tuning the radios, watching the CDI's move on the VOR indicators, and winding up lined up perfectly on the runway was a fascinating example. Yes, it worked just as you would expect, but the fascinating part was that this was NOT on a computer screen - this was real life, and I was pointing down a real runway in a real airplane, and I did it (with the instructors guidance) without once lifting my eyes to the windows. (*I performed a standard pattern entry and landing, a la a circle-to-land, at that point)The act of flying itself is miles away from a desktop simulator. Too much motion, noise, feelings, and emotions to get close. But as Geoff says, the sim does a great job with the systems side of things, and if you are a long time sim user, flying for real will have many moments of "Wow - it actually works!"... especially as you progress past the stick and rudder parts and into navigation, weather, and planning. -Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There have been times, when approaching the runway, kicking a bit of rudder to correct for yaw, and pulling back on the stick until the wheels touch the surface..............that the sim seems very real.I feel that using V/C's with decent perhipheral vision & rudder pedals really helps. You also need to know what the real " feel" is to start with. A case of chicken and the egg or pilot first, then simmer.As mentioned in past postings, the mind can fill in gaps, when the mind knows what the "feel" is to begin with. This works for both a sense of joystick/yoke resistance & motion. Kind of like, hitting the brakes, when a car next to you pulls slightly forward at a stop light. No actual motion in your vehicle, but the mind senses it visually.L.Adamson

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I have stepped into an airplane, I haven't said, "Hey this is just like MSFS!"... but when flying FSX... I have said, "Wow.. this is so much like real flying!!" If I was currently instructing... I would definitely encourage my student (if they had a reasonably new computer ;-) ) to purchase FSX. To me there is so much that transfers from real flying to this sim (and back again) that I feel it would be very useful for student. Take flying into Sitka... what a cool little VFR approach. When I was flaring for a landing I just about felt like I was there (like someone said about "the mind filling in the gaps" wow good point). Or the Swiss Miss Outing and the engine failure... real or no... you gotta trim for best glide, find an airport/head there, run thru the emergency checklist, circle to land to hit a key point at an appropriate altitude, etc. The procedures should be the same... and so many of the visual cues are the same (to me). And... the airport I used to instruct out of is used in one of the missions! Wow what a thrill!! I confess I did get to feeling a little sappy on that one.Or say Geofa's example of practicing an IFR approach to an airport you plan for... wow what an excellent use of FSX. You can require yourself to do many of the same things you have to do in real life. Someone brought up "Autoland" and CAT II and CAT III ILS approaches in another thread. This prompted me to pull an ol' TERPS manual for Illinois so I could fly the CAT III approach into ORD with visibility "1/16th" in Fog. Looked pretty real to me. Personally I was surprised to find that the frequencies on the approach plates to 14L and 14R were the same in FSX... like... the lines of reality are blurred a little. When you hand fly an approach, you still have to maintain a scan that gives you the information you need to make a successful approach, sim or real. GUMPS check at the FAF (is where that is done right? shhh I have to check before I start teaching it again)... timing the inbound leg from the FAF to the MAP or DH or whatever just so you have proper SA... it needs to be done and can be practiced in FS.And, of course, the things you can't do or would never attempt in the real world (nevertheless may be unfortunate enough to experience) you can do with FS (Like as an MEI, I would never ever shut down a good engine, even tho I hear it is done... and other single engine maneuvering in an twin in certain phases of flight; I question the sanity of performing such). I even saw "Coolant System" under Failures (Coolant Leak! Bridge we have a coolant leak and I can't shut it down! I estimate 5 minutes to a warp core breach!) Not too many liquid cooled engines running around but there are some like the TC IOL-200. (One thing I didn't see was mis-rig'd controls like elevator reversal or ailerons that move in the same direction... very rare to come out of the shop like that, but it has happened! Runaway trim on an autopilot wasn't there either but hey... we can save those for later).And as far as real use of simulators in lieu of real flying... 50 hours of simulator time actually counted toward my commercial license when I was in the Purdue Univ. aviation program. The sim was ancient and the "computer" (this was late 80s) must have been a relative of ENIAC... but it recorded the accuracy of the approach, and it performed its function well (what a workout!). This wasn't 50 hours of lollygaggin, but approach after approach after approach, partial panel, timed exercises... no enroute stuff. In 1995, I did a BE58 course at Simcom in Florida ( http://www.simulator.com/ContentPage.aspx ). After the course the instructor endorsed my logbook for both a BFR (which normally* requires one hour of flight time) and an ICC (instrument competency check). After that course, I was 100% confident I could have checked out in the Baron at a local airport with no instruction necessary ( if I only had the money )))-: ). I was that confident in the course work and sim-time. I even understand that (for years now) one can get a type rating in certain aircraft (say like at Flight Safety) without ever getting any prior actual in type (depending on prior experience).Okay sure... FSX does have its limitations. And real flying is so much about visual cues and feedback (engine/wind noise, stick pressure, motion... as has been mentioned) that it can be tough to get the cues you need (since I use just one monitor) and your hand flying starts to look a little ragged. But wow... there is so much to gained out of this sim and so much fun to be had: for the individual wanting to learn what flying is like and too even hoping to learn to fly one day. I wouldn't be surprised to see an iteration of FS (in the near future) become the software for an FAA certified PCATD (pc aviation training device). I think Phil Taylor could tell me they've been doing the sim work for NASA for years... but then he'd have to kill me. :-PRob O.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re your post, here's a couple of good books along these lines...Microsoft Flight Simulator X For Pilots Real World Training (Paperback)by Jeff Van West (Author), Kevin Lane-Cummings (Author)Microsoft Flight Simulator as a Training Aid: A Guide for Pilots, Instructors, and Virtual Aviators (Paperback)by Bruce Williams (Author)--Roger

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this