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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 8:42 am 
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Hey, I'm new to this forum but have already learned a lot by browsing some of the other topics, there's a lot of great information around here.

My question to all the CFI's out there is this: What do you think of MS Flight Simulator as a training aid? I'm planning on starting my PPL in a few months and am doing all the learning I can ahead of time and was wondering how useful the Flight Sim is. I'm not really into video games so I'm really only interested in the training value of it. What's been your experience with it?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Ryan


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 18, 2008 10:17 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:42 pm
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Location: San Francisco, California
Hi Ryan,

Welcome to the forum. :)

There are a lot of things that you can do to prepare for your lessons. It depends how much time you have and how to prioritize it. Anything that you do, flight sims, etc ... will help get your mind into the cockpit shall we say. However, there are some things that are better for new pilots than others.

My thoughts are that you would be better off spending your time reading and preparing for your lessons. I think one of the misunderstood things about getting this license is the amount of time that is required on the ground. You would be best to be familiar with all of the information prior to your lesson-and this will save you money.

What text are you using? You say that you are starting in a few months, have you chosen an instructor? They can certainly guide you here.

Flight sim would help you observe and get to know the flight instruments and how they behave...but as a Private Pilot, you want to learn to fly the plane first without the instruments and then observe how the instruments work after. Once you get into training, it would also be helpful to let you "chairfly" and practice checklists and procedures.

For Instrument Training, then this is an entirely different story. I think sims are a fantastic aid and should definitely be used.

So really, if you have a lot of time, then sure, why not? Like I said, any exposure to flying is useful. However, make sure that your understanding of systems and aerodynamics is there as well. This will help tremendously.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 09, 2008 2:06 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:57 pm
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Dear Anais,

I am another new member of this community. I have learnt a significant amount from Jason's and your podcasts and videos. First off, let me thank you for all the knowledge you have helped me and many others gain. It is motivating and encouraging for relative beginners like me to build a passion for excellence, and to keep aspiring to get more and more better, excel more and more. I do see that it depends on the person, and his eye for learning new things and wanting to get better, that makes a tremendous amount of difference.

I am a private pilot - I have 68 hours now totally, and I got my Private Pilot's License at 54 hours. I am trying to build cross-country time, and will be starting ground school for instrument soon, in a week or two maybe.

I wanted to ask you about how one can use a flight Simulator (on the computer), to aid in enhancing one's instrument training, and how you can be ahead of the training so that you can learn the most. Also, if you could suggest any other things to aid in my instrument training (like books, things i can practice while doing vfr x-countries, etc) it would be great.

Thank you very much.

Regards,
Aditya.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 11, 2008 11:07 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 10:32 am
Posts: 301
Location: Wichita, KS
For instrument training a basic flight sim can be helpful in a few things. just getting used to typically instrument indications in various stages of flight for one thing. Another thing I like to use flight sim for is to pause and check that the students situational awareness is still with the airplane. for example ill ask where we are with respect to the VOR and see if they can point it out on the map. the ability to pause in the middle of something and discuss the situation is one thing I really like about the sims.

The sim is not going to come anywhere close to preparing you for actual flying in the airplane though. the bumps and feel can not be replaced by MSFS. But it can be helpful for some of the basics, just be sure to only practice things that have already been taught to you by your CFII, so that you dont practice things the wrong way, and have to be retaught.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 15, 2008 3:29 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:57 pm
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Dear Tony,

Thank you very much for your reply.

I'm currently flying on a Frasca 142 - A Flight Training Device. I've had 2 classes till now, and am practicing basic attituding flying using instruments.

Could you suggest any exercises I might do at home on my computer using FSX, or even using anything else, to give myself a headstart? I am practicing whatever i'm doing in the sim that day, and i'm practicing situational awareness as the flight progresses.

I am enjoying all this very much. Any other suggestions are welcome. :)

Thanks,
Aditya.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 8:52 am 
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Joined: Thu Feb 23, 2006 3:42 pm
Posts: 466
Location: San Francisco, California
Hi Aditya,

The Frasca 142 is a great learning device. Your instructor is one of the most important aspects of fully utilizing the benefits.
At this point you are working on developing your skills of scanning. Break down the "flight" into different segments with an objective. IE, Vy climb, enroute climb, level-off. Be aware of where you are looking and become very familiar with what information each instrument is giving you and how quickly it is able to give accurate info. When you are flying each segment, know what you are trying to accomplish and which instrument is going to give you the information in the most efficient manner. Pitch + power = performance. When you get good at one skill, ie level off, start combining, level off while turning. And then more advanced, oscillate between 2 altitudes, 5000 and 5500, while making standard rate turns.
Be familiar with recommended scanning techniques and try each one. You will quickly see that some are more efficient for certain segments of flight.
Situational awareness is the next area that is greatly accelerated with sim work. What navigation equipment are you using? If traditional, you want to visualize your position on the VOR receiver. Obviously, on a moving map, you have that done already, but always be able to verify this information on your navigation equipment.

That's a start, really there is so much information, but I strongly urge you to find an instructor that can work with you to create a strong framework. It is like a language and when you initially learn, these are the skills that will stay with you.

Good luck with your training.
anais


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 16, 2008 3:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 08, 2008 5:57 pm
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Dear Anais,

I am using VORs as the primary navigation equipment - I do my flying in Cessna 152's while flying in the real world, and we don't use GPS while flying outside, so we don't on the Frasca 142 either.

As for finding an instructor as you suggest, very frankly, I have my hands tied, as I have taken a package with this flying school here, so who the instructor is, is in the hands of the main person who runs it.

But I am pretty happy with my Sim instructor - he seems to know well what mistakes we are making, and is helping us go towards the right way. This is in contrast to my instructor for private. I did not particularly find him to be as much of a positive moulding influence on me as I would have wanted.

I have a lot of holes to plug in my knowledge - In fact, i always found it hard to ask him(Private instructor) all my questions...his answer to most of my questions would be that I am thinking too much,and that I'm being mechanical, and that I should be flexible, etc! Due to this, I resorted to books and more books - and stayed in the mindset that whatever he teaches me, is not enough...! That I must always add layers of safety, and plug the holes myself.

It is especially after this, that I have decided that I must ALWAYs be ahead of the game - while learning, while flying the a/c, in everything! I want to learn as much as is possible from you guys...! In fact, I want to learn ALL the things you have learnt over the years, so that I can also work towards becoming a safer pilot. :)

My Sim instructor, though, seems to be open to any questions, and doesn't blast the hell out of people while flying...! My private instructor did that initially during the middle 15-20 hrs of the 40hrs i flew with him..! The minute the cockpit door shuts, the shouting starts..! "Your thumping on the brakes!" The most difficult thing with my private instructor was that he never used the same procedures in their entirety...there would always be something different each time, and it would always be me according to him who didn't know the procedures. But at the same time, I feel grateful to him, in that he taught me to fly the plane..maybe not the way i wanted, but he still taught me to t/o, navigate, return, and land without putting a hole in either mine or someone else's a/c...hehe! :D

Thnks for the kind response, and if you are willing to tell me more, i am more than willing to learn and listen.

Additionally, if there are any books you'd recommend, I'm ready to look into them, and read them.

Thnks a ton.

Fly your Best'! :)
Aditya.


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:10 pm
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From the looks of it, X-Plane is favored more with pro sims than MS Flight Simulator. I have FSX and it looks much better than X-Plane, graphics wise. Why can't you log sim time in FSX but you can in X-Plane, what is the difference between X-Plane and FSX.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 18, 2008 3:11 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 14, 2008 5:10 pm
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Location: Livermore, CA
Maybe you knew this but you can't just log time with X-Plane alone, it has to be an FAA approved hardware/software combination, among other things.

As far as why there are no FSX based FAA approved sims, your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps it has more to do with MS wanting to keep FSX a "game", rather than opening it up to the scrutiny of the FAA.

Loads of sim info can be found here...
http://www.faa.gov/safety/programs_init ... n_process/
Look at the bottom section on PC-ATDs.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 12:23 pm 
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Hi there,

I have a follow up question to the questions on using sims in instrument training. I just began instrument training. I have been using MS FSX with a yoke to try to practice things like scanning technique at home prior to doing them in the air. I have found it very helpful so far - it seems to be quite a bit easier in an aircraft than with the sim (especially as I don't play video games). Now I want to start practicing instrument approaches on MS FSX. Do you know how I would do that in FSX or where I would go to get that information? Thanks.

Mahesh


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 24, 2009 1:41 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 9:35 am
Posts: 20
Location: Austin, TX
There is a book out there called "Microsoft flight sim for pilots" you might find that useful.

My advice is to use the sim to practice procedures and scanning. Sometimes the sim software can be too sensitive to get anything from it on the approaches. Each approach you do will have a different feel to it. Its important to know the procedures then get the feel of the approach in the airplane.

As for primary training, I use a sim to show spins to students since I can't do them in the airplane. for the instrument rating, spending time getting those procedures in the sim will save you a lot of money in the long run.

It is also useful after you get the rating to keep your scanning skills up, those are the first to go if you don't use them.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 28, 2009 3:39 pm 
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Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 7:52 pm
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Thank you for your reply. What exactly do you mean by procedures as opposed to scanning and approaches? I am brand new to instrument training, so I want to make sure that I understand your point. Thanks again.

Mahesh


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 30, 2009 4:13 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 9:35 am
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Location: Austin, TX
What I mean is getting read to execute an approach there are certain things you do every time (5Ts). Getting this down with the sim is cheaper then doing it in the plane.

your scan may change from plane to plane, situation and type of approach. Its good to work on your scan in the sim but keep in mind that its the procedures that you do every time..


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