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Flight Simulator Gear For PC

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Flight Simulator Gear For PC

Unread postby chrisbuck243 » Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:47 am

Please let me know if I am in the wrong section with this post but I am thinking about getting a flight simulator set-up for my pc to start working on some flight skills. What are your feelings about this? Any advice on what type of gear is best or what programs to run it on? I don't want to spend a ton of money but I want to get a set that will actually be helpful in learning to fly.

Thanks for the advice!
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Re: Flight Simulator Gear For PC

Unread postby KlausNW » Sun Nov 09, 2014 2:24 pm

I don't know much about flight simulators but, it would be more realistic if you set it up on a loosly tied together log raft in a muddy pond. You need to practice retrieving anything of value from the bottom of the cold murky swamp that you taxiied into to get out of the wind :'( .

On-the-other-hand, I found the skills you get sailing a small boat and how to work the wind is a very important part of operating an aircraft on water. Most pilots who transition to seaplanes biggest hurdle is maneuvering and docking... Especially if there is a stiff breeze. If you can't use the wind to help you put the plane where you want it you'll cost yourself unnecessary frustration and repairs.

Once the plane is in the air, it's like any plane that does very poor acrobatic maneuvers. Learning to land goes back to your ability to read and work the wind.
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Re: Flight Simulator Gear For PC

Unread postby RKittine » Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:10 am

The newest version of Microsoft Flight Simulator is actually quite good if you are looking for something you can run on a computer you have with little extra equipment, but it is best used for Instrument Practice. It is a fun game for flying, but there is no feel, sound to speak of etc. For racticing instrument procedures it is quite good. The FAA used to allow you to log it toward instrument currency. That has changed and you can only log time of that type of simulator if you are under the supervision of a CFI.

To be legal for logging time as well as to make the system more realistic, you need to have a control yoke, throttle and rudder pedals. You will find inexpensive packages that include all those from aircraft supply houses and also on eBay. You can go as far as you want including having triple monitors giving fairly realistic visual flight, radio stacks (things like that are displayed from Microsoft on the side of the screen) etc. Even for home flight simulators these days the sky is kind of the limit if you want to go crazy.

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Re: Flight Simulator Gear For PC

Unread postby chrisbuck243 » Mon Nov 10, 2014 3:59 pm

Thanks for the replies. I don't want to go completely crazy but I would like to get something to give me a more realistic feel. Since I only have a few hours of actual flight time and it may be a couple more years before I am ready to startactual training, I feel like thismay can give me some of the technical skills and help me to learn and remember checklist items and such.

Definitely want to get a control yoke, throttle, and rudder pedals to practice with. I think this will be much more helpful than just using buttons on the keyboard. Anybody have any experience with a particular brand that you can recommend, or recommend staying away from?
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Re: Flight Simulator Gear For PC

Unread postby RKittine » Mon Nov 10, 2014 8:56 pm

You should be able to find lots of places that have this kind of variety.

http://www.fspilotshop.com/hardware-yok ... medium=cpc
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Re: Flight Simulator Gear For PC

Unread postby jjbaker » Tue Nov 11, 2014 4:52 am

Flight Simulators used for hobby are very much incapable of teaching flying skills and generally build bad habits for pilots in training. Later in training, these can be hard and expensive to unlearn. Common bad habits are fixation and improper instrument scans and interpretations. Realism, even with the very expensive add ons available from very distinguished sellers are minor, at best. Years ago I was very much involved with Flight Simulator 9 (here also on behalf of Jeppesen which published SIM Charts) and think that they have limited potential for use as procedure trainers for instrument training unless the training is supervised/ guided. Microsofts Water Model causes highly unrealistic behavior for seaplanes, plus none of the skills you will actually need are brought across. The one thing good about MSFS is a group called VATSIM, which is a virtual air traffic control network. People who have flown FS9 & FS10 on Vatsim for any extended period of time have better radio skills and more procedural knowledge and much less fear of ATC.

However time on hobby devices is not loggable unless the software is used in connection with a instrument procedure trainer, such as an Elite or FAA approved training device. Gone are the days when a Instrument Ground Instructor could help you learn on a desktop you have at home. Finding a used Elite at a reasonable price is an act of war, probably more so here in good old Germany. We have just changed from the previous training regulations for instrument pilots and the plan is to offer Skill Based Instrument Ratings, current situation in Germany is one of complete and utter confusion.

I don't know how old you are currently, but I do think that the use of the flight sim is something to limit and do just for fun (MSFS9 has a instruction program) and you can spend your time in Germany with studying for the written tests and reading as many aviation training books as you can. One thing I cannot stress enough is to use the time you have here with taking Glider lessons, because here it is cheaper than anywhere else. Here in Anklam you spend 500 Euros and get a Glider License (or the training leading to it) within a year. You will not pay for aircraft rentals, tows or dual instruction. There should be glider fields around you, so something to look into in Spring of 2015.

This will give you a solid, affordable foundation of skills which will positively affect your ability to fly by the seat of your pants.
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Re: Flight Simulator Gear For PC

Unread postby RKittine » Tue Nov 11, 2014 8:02 am

JJ is right, one of the best ways to get really good Stick and Rudder skills is in a glider. With those long wings, you will learn how to perfectly keep the ball (sting on the glider canopy) centered. The only thing you really do not learn about is High Sink approaches, but the spoilers can help simulate it! :acute:

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Re: Flight Simulator Gear For PC

Unread postby CFII » Thu Nov 13, 2014 1:14 pm

Operating a FlightSim is most useful for practicing IFR procedures and in any event the feel and subsiquent proprioceptive memory generated is a good deal removed from actual flying aircraft but, not a total waste of time if proper aircraft procedures and checklists are rigorously used as they would be in actual flight.

A small radio controlled hobby aircraft will give even more of the actual feel of flying at a relatively low cost.
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Re: Flight Simulator Gear For PC

Unread postby chrisbuck243 » Thu Nov 13, 2014 3:12 pm

Thanks for the advice. I am going to contact the local glider club and see what I need to do to fly with them in the spring. I think the money will be better spent doing that than on the flight sim gear. As for it to be fully effective I would need to buy all the extras for doing checklists and such.
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Re: Flight Simulator Gear For PC

Unread postby CFII » Fri Nov 14, 2014 12:59 am

The old standby in real hangar flying practice is to go through the various check lists and reach into the air for the make believe controls/switches, which you know positions for because you photographed the cockpit. Incredibly effective self training and zero dollar$ spent.
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