. asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 8 years ago

Would Microsoft Flight Simulator help me to learn to fly?

11 Answers

  • 8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The FAA certifies simulators to be used for currency and training requirements that run on X-Plane, Microsoft Flight Simulator and the like. The difference on these BATD and AATD equipment is that they also incorporate actual instruments, and flight controls, but the software that powers the whole thing is still a desktop flight sim. Obviously if you can maintain an FAA currency, work towards certifications and log official sim time running a system powered by X-Plane, then you can gain some useful familiarity by running the simulator at home before you begin training.

    Frankly, it really doesn't matter what these other people say because the FAA completely disagrees with them and says they're useful for actual logable training.

    @John, a lot of those "$2.2 million dollar simulators" are powered by... "games". Furthermore, what does the proficiency of the user have to do with the accuracy of the simulation? I could give a crap about the stall characteristics of lots of wing designs, but it doesn't mean they can't be accurately modeled in a sim. Your argument is irrelevant.

    @ZooDoo, to quote you "[just games] and have everything pretty much dumbed down to where anyone can fly them."

    I'm probably going to hurt your feelings here, but I talked an 8 year old down to a safe landing in a night time thunderstorm in a high powered, complex aircraft in a $6+ million dollar simulator. Maybe flying isn't as hard as you make it out to be.

    Source(s): Navy Pilot --> The FAA: http://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/advisory_c... <--- X-Plane themselves: http://www.x-plane.com/pro/certified/
  • 5 years ago


    Source(s): Most Realistic Flight Sim : http://flightsimulator.siopu.com/?rGJ
  • Apollo
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    The problem with this discussion is that there is a difference between someone "playing" FSX randomly on their home computer on the one hand, and using FSX under the guidance of an instructor on the other.

    They key to getting any benefit from one of these simulators is using it as a part of a larger curriculum, only for specific learning objectives, only as a supplement, and finally only as directed by a real instructor. Even the FAA link offered by Phillip states "The FAA recommends that instructors use an ATD in an integrated training curriculum because of the benefits that training curriculum provides." Techwing likewise stated, "When used as part of a complete training program..." But home users typically do not have the needed instruction, do not approach simulation in a deliberte and methodical way, and lack the realistic controls as well.

    The areas where simulators will be beneficial are mostly precedural, such as learning instrument navigation or practicing startup procedures in a new aircraft. They will be significantly less beneficial in teaching basic airmanship, even with a CFI. They cannot reproduce the sights, sounds, and feels of a real aircraft. And will FSX teach you critical safety habits such as clearing the aircraft before maneuvering, keeping your eyes outside the aircraft during VFR, or recognizing problems such as stall conditions in time to recover? No, it will condition you to fixate on all the wrong things and ignore the things that are most important for new pilots to learn.

    Now I admit I am even more biased than normal against these home based simulators because I am a helicopter guy and they do not simulate them very well at all. But I would say the very same things about the more sophisticated simulators at Bell helicopter, for example, which I have also used. They are not good tools for learning the fundamentals, especially when used haphazardly at home by yourself. They are much more useful as a procedural training tool for pilots who have already learned some of the basics in the real world. This is why I believe your first experiences should be with a real instructor in a real aircraft. Save FSX for those few specific things where it can be useful, and wait until you can get some real instruction.

    Good luck!

  • 5 years ago

    Most Realistic Airplane Flight Simulator - http://latestflightsimulator.com/

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    They are very close simulation wise but otherwise no because to learn to fly a plane you need to use real hands on controls or touchscreen controls like they have for the new boeing 787 Dream Liner but other wise it is a very good learning tool to get a feel of the cockpit of the aircraft.

  • 8 years ago

    It can certainly help with understanding the principles of flight and piloting, and it is useful for practice in instrument flight and many forms of navigation. When used as part of a complete training program, it may allow you to learn more quickly and easily.

    A lot of pilots, especially older pilots, have a visceral aversion to flight simulation, as you can see from other replies here. You can ignore that, however, as they are speaking from emotion rather than reason. If the U.S. military sees Flight Simulator as a useful teaching tool, I'd say that outweighs the dismissal of a crusty old part-time private pilot.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    Did you tested out Pro Flight Simulator program? Check out this site : http://www.latestflightsimulator.com/ . Possibly this could obviously instruct each and every one!

  • 8 years ago

    Yes, it can be useful to learn the basic principles of how planes work, but it is not flight training, and is not a substitute for actual training in a real airplane.

    For all the people who insist that it is impossible to learn to fly with flight sim, the "Barefoot Bandit" was a teenager who learned to fly airplanes on flight simulator, and later went on to steal and successfully fly several aircraft.

  • Fox
    Lv 7
    8 years ago

    other than a brain dead basic understanding of how a plane works and a few other things, no

    Fact is MFS and X-Plane are GAMES, They are not recognized by anyone actually in aviation as a legit/useful learning tool to learn how to actually fly a plane, or get a rating on an aircraft, or anything.

    They are basically just games made for masses to buy cheaply and put on their PC to pretend to be a pilot for a few hours and have everything pretty much dumbed down to where anyone can fly them even if they've never even seen a plane in real life before.

  • 8 years ago

    It might give you the technical aspects of flying but it will not give you the "real time" aspects or what actually happen inside the aircraft or the forces that act on the plane.

    Source(s): 23,000 flight hours
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.