So the flight attended comes to the cabin and asks if anyone is a pilot. You, the simmer, complete with a Logitech 3D Pro, takes up the responsibility of getting the bird on the ground. Do you think you could do it?
When I started my flight training I thought the obvious answer was yes, and it seems a lot of other simmers think so to. While undoubtedly many of you could, here are some of the things that might surprise you.
1. Force Feedback. Many simmers can't afford force feedback equipment, so many of you might be surprised at some of the forces you might feel while flying. Using a joystick gives you extreme amounts of authority with the controls. This could be disastrous in real life if you don't consider some of the forces required for rudder to maintain centerline, or judging the right flare. Because of these forces, trim is very important in real life. When I started my training, I didn't think about the trim wheel often, and I would work harder than I had to. This is something to consider.
2. Workload. In real life, in an emergency situation, focusing becomes much more difficult. Especially considering, both pilots are likely incompacitated when you take up the mantle, the configuration might not be something you are used to in the sim. In real life, skipping checklists and cutting corners, can cost everyone their lives, especially in an emergency. Taking the controls of an airplane for the first time is also a challenge if you have never done it before. Seemingly for me, it felt like so many things were happening at once. Working the radio, dealing with the emergency, trying to understand how the airplane flies, knowing where you are and where to go, will all present major challenges for some sim pilots.
3. IFR. I know I am guilty of this, but when I started simming, I jumped right into IFR. IFR is much more difficult in real life as obstacles, illusions, and navigation are much more difficult. It is necessary to properly configure the airplane, while running checklists, navigating, and maintaining positive control of the airplane. In many cases, if a certain system fails, you might not have some of the luxuries autopilot affords. Over-speeding can have disastrous effects on parts of the airframe and guidance capture. This is something many simmers ignore, or do not pay attention to. If you want to experience a true workload, turn off the autopilot on pilotedge and try simulating various emergencies such as an engine failure. It might be eye-opening to you.
I know there is more things I could talk about, but what do you guys think? Do you think you could land an airliner having never flown in real life before? As a pilot, I am not 100% sure I would be completely successful. Let me know your thoughts!