Flight Simulator

Learn To Fly With Flight Simulator – Why It Helps

plane landing in flight simulator

You want to learn how to fly, but you are “too young” or do not have the money to start flight training. A solution is to learn to fly with flight simulator!

Flight simulator has been tremendously helpful for so many pilots over the years. The sad part is that potential pilots are not utilizing such a priceless “video game”. Even pilots currently in training are missing out on such a wonderful opportunity. Learn to fly with a flight simulator and I promise, your flying skills will improve.

Flying Skills

cockpit of flight trainer

They are amazing flight simulators out there that do an excellent job replicating the real feel of actual planes. X-Plane, FSX and P3D are some of the most popular sims out there today. The similarities that were achieved between the simulators and real life is truly marvellous. If you continue to use flight simulator, your real-world skills will improve! Practising taxing, taking off and landing? These skills will transfer to the real thing.

For those going into flight training, you can practice your stalls, steep turns and short-field landings with no problem. Just imagine going in your next training lesson already knowing how to perform the maneuvers step-by-step!

Aircraft Knowledge

man reading book for simulator

When simmers want to fly a new aircraft, they can not just “jump in the cockpit” and know how every button works. If you want to know how to operate your aircraft, you actually have to study the systems and controls of the aircraft! The simulator is structured so that your aircraft is able to start at a parking spot with engines off, then land at another airport of your choice.

Like real life, you would need to train yourself to learn how to turn on your plane, program your route and change critical systems. Most add-on aircraft have a manual, similar to a real pilot operational handbook.

For example, let us say that I went ahead and got me a new MD-80 aircraft. I would then have to learn how to operate the systems on the aircraft, flight characteristics and more. It is not the same as flying an a320, for example. Everything from the operational uses of the switches, to flight planning, is substantially important.

As you learn how different buttons and switches work, you will expand your knowledge of applications. Yes, there is a fuel pump switch, but because you are learning how the aircraft flies with it, you will learn where it is located, how it works and much more. This can be interesting when comparing different systems with different aircraft!

ATC Communication

picture of ATC tower

For a lot of pilots, when they just start their flight training, they are nervous to speak to ATC (Air Traffic Controller). The fear of messing up or just not knowing what to say impacts their training. The good news is that using flight simulator can ameliorate your communication with ATC.

A lot of flight simulators have ATC. They try to imitate how a real-life ATC would work. Using this feature on flight simulator will make you aware of phraseology and how ATC operates in real life. This is done by selecting certain text that would be said as a pilot and a computerised ATC will respond with instructions.

Do not think that is real enough? There is now something called VATSIM, a community of ATC communication. With VATSIM, you can take to real people as ATC! Pilots and ATC on this platform try to be professional so that simmers can truly get a real-world feeling of traffic operations. Because the aim of VATSIM is to enhance the realism experience, you would need to know the phraseology and communication structure beforehand. However, simple mistakes are OK, because they only make you better.

Practice Emergencies

aircraft landing in flight simulator

Because this is a flight simulator, you will not get hurt if you crash. So if you did not make a good landing for one of your flights, then you will not be physically impacted. This means you can practice emergency scenarios!

Flight simulators allow for engine failures, fires, electrical failures, control issues and so much more to happen. You can practice these failures and prepare yourself for the real thing. After all, this is how real-world pilots train for emergencies. They use certified full-motion simulators to brush up on their emergency skills.

Practising an engine failure or cabin fire in a simulator will have a positive impact on your real-life skills. You can even practice extreme emergencies like dual engine failures or multiple system failure in low visibility for fun.

Start Flying Today!

Some simulators might not replicate all aircraft like real life, but so much can be learned once you have a working PC. I have learned so much from using a flight simulator. I still use it today to brush up on my skills and learn something new. Not only is it such a beneficial tool, but its fun as well!

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8 thoughts on “Learn To Fly With Flight Simulator – Why It Helps

  1. I’m an aspiring pilot (PPL) and have had flight simulators over the years (Microsoft FS mainly). For someone who’s not actually training or flying but wants to get the real feel and prepare himself for the day when I do start (great to be a step ahead!) – is there any simulator you’d suggest? is MSFS adequate, or would it be one of the others you’ve mentioned above? Appreciate it!

  2. Hey,

    Really interesting and informative article. My sister-in-law’s brother is a pilot and he learned through the flight simulator. He brought me into it one day, but I couldn’t touch anything. It was brilliant to see it in action though.

    I live in the UK and the airline industry is going through a tough time at the moment. Hopefully things will start to pick back up again soon.

    Thanks for sharing and keep up the great work.

    All the best,

    Tom

  3. I love Microsoft FS sense I first discovered it over 15 years ago. I took one real flight class that was a promotion the school had on to encourage more students and ever sense I can’t get my mind off of flying. Like many I just don’t have the time or money to invest into real flying and MFS helped to fill the need to fly. Albeit it’s not the real thing but going through the training in the program is awesome because that part is real. I know a few pilots that acutally use MFS to practice just like you suggest in your article and they say that it actually helps them with their flying by first building up a level of confidence earlier in their career. I believe every pilot needs to be using a flight sim on a regular basis you want to stand out from your peers. Great article keep it up.

  4. Fantastic article and almost imaginary to real life flying! I’ve had some interest in learning to fly since I was a child but other things like education and then the job took the priority. Now reading your article took me back to those beautiful memories.

    Thank you very much!

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