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I'm no pilot (yet), but in the intro flights that I have taken playing Flight Simulator has help immensly!


For those of you who are old enough to have only played FS95 or FS98 even when going through training, you probably won't agree as much. But anyone who has flown in say 2002 and up will notice they've improved greatly. Dodo Sim the advanced 206 combined with FS2004 is incredible.


For those of you that are planning on saying it's nothing like real life, you can't possibly have it help you. You are wrong. Flight Sim's can teach you instruments, approaches, basic handling, get you used to using your using the cyclic, pedals and collective (multitasking).. plus much more. It won't simulate real world experience as much however I think it helps a lot. Just wondering who has used it either before or after training or both and that it has helped you in some way.

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Obviously fenestron hasn't a clue what he is talking about. Many flight training institutions use the various flight sims on the market to train in procedures, whether it be cockpit procedures or IFR, or whatever. Some of the addons available on the market for MS are as complex as the real aircraft they are modeled after, and there are many pilots who have used flight sim as a tool to improve their skills.

Myself, i wouldn't have a clue what is happening in the fixed wing world if it wasn't for flight sim. So now, For example, I understand why I am given certain instructions from a controller when before I would have thought the instruction was ridiculous.

It is more than just a game in the world of flight sim these days.

I would suggest Helifly might have a better grasp of flying helicopters than the next person who has not been exposed to flight sim. But flying the real helicopter is a whole different experience from what can be replicated in flight sim. You would have to go to Flight Safety to get almost real sensations of flying helicopters, and even those come up just a bit short.

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Exactly. And I believe it's true because I've impressed the flight instructors when I went up for the intro flight. If only the amount of hours you rack up on the sim somehow counted in the real world!! lol.


I know some guys that have close to 1000 hours and that's just playing on multiplayer. You can perfect a hover in probably a quarter of the time when sim training opposed to someone who hasn't. It will never replicate the sensations you get in real world but like I've said it's still worth it.

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FltSim may help in the aircraft handling department however flying the machine is the easiest part of the job. Just about anyone can be taught to hover and fly. Airmanship is what separates the pilots from the wanabees and that you can only learn that in the air at the flying school and on the job.

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I in no way mean that flight simulator will prepare you for EVERY aspect of being a helicopter pilot I'm just saying it will help you along the way to become an excellent pilot and was just wondering if anyone has actually used it prior to flight training and had it helped them.

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Hi, Here is my experience with MS flightsim and real flying.


I did 2 seperate intro flights, and read everything I could about helicopters before getting flightsim. Then I logged about 50 or more computer hours before starting real training. I think it helped with the basic flying skills, I had a hover right away. Why not learn the basic motor skills at home for free? My first 20 real hours were much more focused and productive as a result of the flightsim. I would go home from training and practise the manouvers at home.


Presently I have 40 hours real training, and over 100 hours flightsim. I use the sim much less now, as the comments about airmanship and the real thing are true. I still practise autos and tailrotor failures, and fly on instruments on the sim but I get bored quickly now. The only bad habit the sim taught was instrument fixation because the screen doesn't give the real outside view. I had to remind myself to look outside the real helicopter and develop a good instrument scan, because on the sim that isn't very realistic.


The other aspect of the sim is that I spent tons of hours tweaking it, and researching on sites like hovercontrol.com If you don't do this it will not be as effective. I won't go into details here, but for example it wouldn't auto untill discovering the right settings. I also had a friend who is a pilot come and try it out and give me his feedback right in the beginning. He crashed like crazy at first but quickly figured it out. He thought it would be helpful for practising radio navigation, instrument flying, etc


So my final opinion? I think it has been very helpful and really accelerated the initial real training. A caution though. Just messing around on the sim without a lot of focused reading and preparation could be a waste of time. At the stage I'm at now I agree there is no substitute for learning airmanship flying the real thing.

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I had extensive practice on flight simulators before I became a real helicopter. I started out with FS95, FS98, FS2000, FS2004, along with many other downloaded simulators. I logged a little less than 500 hours simulator time in the Microsoft Flight simulators alone (oh yes I meant 500 hours). However I only logged about 75 of these hours in a helicopter. I did not fly the helicopters much because the physics did not seem really for helicopters in none of the simulators older than FS2004 with a exception to FS2002 which I have never owned. Another contributing factor was the lack of the proper controls to simulate the real helicopter. As a result the majority of my simulator time was in airplanes.

The main areas the simulators helped me in was navigation and communication. The simulator taught me nearly all of the aviation terms and phraseology. It taught me how to fly good square patterns, how to fly a Learjet from Atlanta to Chicago solely by instruments or so-called IFR, how to shoot an ILS approachs to Chicago O' Hare in .5 mile visibility(I have to admit probably breaking all FAR's), and much much more. As a result when I really started taking lessons in the real helicopter my instructor did have to not spend much time going over the basics because I was already throughly familiar with them, only I needed to put them to real use.

As far as flight controls and handling, I must admit I don't think any of these simulators helped me much. I think that having flown RC helicopters nearly 80 hours helped me more in this area than the simulators. None of these simulators to me accurately represent the controls of a real helicopter except FS2004 and the newest FSX which I cannot find a computer to run decently. I think that the simulator may have helped a little in coordination for me but that was nearly it.

I'm no pro hear, but I myself do strongly recommend simulator time prior to and during your training because it does really really does help. Saves you lots of $$$$. Logging as many hours as I did is not necessary, even a little simulator time will help.

If you intend to buy FSX ake sure you buy the worlds most powerful computer first!

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