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Are There Any Airline Pilots Who Suck At This?  
User currently offlinetarzanboy From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 132 posts, RR: 0
Posted (4 years 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 6961 times:

Are there any airline pilots who are proficient in the real cockpit and real simulators but suck at flight simulators such as Microsoft flight simulators?

I ask because sometimes I can't seem to land proper and landing short of the runway and on the side of the runway etc. and this is lowering my esteem because I think if I suck at this level maybe one day I would suck at the real thing.

I know the home computer flight sim and the real sim and the real cockpit are three different ball games but I thought I would ask you pro guys to see if you suck at the home computer sim too - so this could boost my morale a bit, knowing that I am not alone!!

Please reply.

45 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineHaveBlue From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 2106 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (4 years 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 6886 times:

I can't answer your question completely because I'm not an airline pilot, just a private pilot, and I don't use MSFS but I can tell you this... don't let that stop you or get you down no matter what the answer ends up being from the pros. It is, for certain, a different ball game. MSFS is a great tool but is not real flying and I would not let any perceived deficencies in MS from making you worry about stepping into flight training. Even after you get a pilots license, and you will if you want one bad enough, you will make less than perfect landings and not always be on your mark. That applies to all of us for the most part. You'll have your greasers and you'll have your bouncers but hopefully and probably you'll be safe... its your instructors job to make sure of that.

And that's one thing you may be forgetting about. When your MSFS'ing I assume its on your own. You're going to have a trained professional leading you along the way, working on your weaknesses and lauding your strengths until you ARE a safe pilot. Nobody (with a few exceptions I'm sure) starts flight training and right out of the box nails everything perfectly. Some will be great at radios but weak on landings, or great at landings but not so hot on dead reckoning and navigation, others may have trouble remembering some of the book stuff... its the flight schools job and your instructors duty to work on the weaknesses until they aren't there anymore. And if you're not worried about soloing in 15 hours and getting a PPL in 40 but just learning to fly and to fly right.... you WILL get there.

So, don't be so hard on yourself. Enjoy MSFS and keep honing your skills, and when you have the funds and the time available research your local flight schools and find one that suits you and is reputable. And find an instructor who genuinely cares about your flight path and isn't just going thru the motions. And keep us updated and good luck.  



Here Here for Severe Clear!
User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (4 years 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 6865 times:

Might I add MSFS is a great tool for learning instrument stuff HOWEVER it can also create very bad habits. Such as instrument fixation.

When you're flying the real thing in VFR you rarely ever look at the instruments. You're supposed to have your eyes looking out as much as possible. In fact, when training for your PPL your CFI will cover up the instruments to prevent you from staring at them. You really have no business staring at your instrument panel when its clear-in-a-million-miles outside. It's dangerous, specially in crowded airspace.

[Edited 2010-08-07 15:39:32]

User currently offlinecontrails15 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 6805 times:

I've asked a couple pilots that fly for my airline what they think of MSFS and they can't believe how real the software has gotten. Some say it rivals the sims that they use for training minus the motion senors of course.

Interesting question btw, I've thought about asking this myself.



Giants football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
User currently offlineFly2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (4 years 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 6797 times:

Quoting contrails15 (Reply 6):
Some say it rivals the sims that they use for training minus the motion senors of course.

I have 28 hours logged in 737NG/Classic Level D sims. And yes MSFS definitely has them beat in terms of graphics. The one sim I flew was months old and the latest and greatest model from CAE but the graphics were crap. Reminded me of FS2000.

In reality airlines don't need fancy graphics for training as all the training is done in IFR so all you're going to see is a white screen anyways right up until you land.


User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2821 posts, RR: 45
Reply 5, posted (4 years 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 6714 times:

I can't say definitively because I don't own and have never used a home computer-based (PC or Mac) flight simulation program of any type. While I am sure these programs are graphically very good, I doubt that the feedback and sensory saturation are anywhere comparable to a real aircraft (or even a real simulator,) so, in a nutshell, just because you struggle with certain tasks in a PC flight simulation program does not mean that you would necessarily have difficulties as a real pilot. I'm sorry that I can't be of more help, but I personally wouldn't be bothered by it if I were you.

User currently offlinecerretaman From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 75 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (4 years 3 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 6711 times:

Lowering your self esteem over a video game?

Try landing without any wind and see if that helps with drifting from the runway centerline.



u mad cause i'm stylin' on you?
User currently offlinetarzanboy From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (4 years 3 weeks ago) and read 6700 times:

Quoting Fly2HMO: However, you lost any right to an apology from me for giving such a condescending and ridiculous and down right laughable psycho-analysis of myself.

Well put it this way, a long time ago I was blessed with the power to foretell someone's future, so my prediction could well be true! You never know!

PGNCS - thanks buddy.


User currently offlineetherealsky From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 328 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6639 times:

Quoting tarzanboy (Thread starter):
I ask because sometimes I can't seem to land proper and landing short of the runway and on the side of the runway etc. and this is lowering my esteem because I think if I suck at this level maybe one day I would suck at the real thing

Just a hunch, but I assume you probably haven't had formal flight training either, so don't sweat it. Since you mention airline pilots I assume you're trying to fly airliners in the simulator, and one thing you should know is that a big portion of airline flying (well.. all flying, really - but especially with the big metal) is procedures, procedures, procedures, and if you have never been trained in using those procedures, don't expect to be very good   (When I say 'procedures' I also mean things like V-speeds, climb/descent/approach profiles, power settings, flap & gear configurations, etc.)

[Edited 2010-08-08 09:07:03 by ManuCH]


"And that's why you always leave a note..."
User currently offlinerolypolyman From United States of America, joined Mar 2009, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6638 times:

Quoting contrails15 (Reply 6):
I've asked a couple pilots that fly for my airline what they think of MSFS and they can't believe how real the software has gotten. Some say it rivals the sims that they use for training minus the motion sensors of course.

On the other hand, there's a pretty fair number of MSFS airplanes which have very poor flight models. Granted, some of the airplanes are purposely designed to be accurate representations, but there's also some very sloppy ones out there, and what's not helping this is the widespread emphasis on paint kits and moving external parts. I think this is partly why MSFS gets mixed reviews from those who actually fly the heavy metal, and the specifics of variability in flight model accuracy really doesn't get much attention. But this is arguably an important part of a simulated IFR approach -- having a model that doesn't get erratic once the flaps come out.

[Edited 2010-08-07 18:52:14]

User currently offline26point2 From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 820 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (4 years 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6611 times:

I only remember MSFS from the early 80s (v1.0?) Something about an SR-71 and landing at SMO?

I've flown jets with a few young bucks who might be good at FSMS but are bad pilots in the real world.


User currently offlinemoose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2313 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (4 years 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 6604 times:

I'm not an airline pilot, but I do have about 1,000 hours in the KC-135 and other jets, plus some light single/twin time. I can't land MSFS to save my life (so to speak) Not that I play with it that much, but I just can't land the silly thing - there's no peripheral vision, no feel for what is happening, just that little screen in front of you...I mostly just fly around for a bit, then if I can plant it somewhere on the airfield, I consider it a good day.


KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
User currently onlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17026 posts, RR: 67
Reply 12, posted (4 years 2 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6590 times:

I'm not a pilot, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

Seriously though, I have done some MSFS and also been in a full motion sim. While the graphics in MSFS beat the 1980s vintage 767 sim hands down, that didn't matter one bit. The full range of vision and the motion made the full motion far more intuitive. MSFS has no feedback. All you have is a 2D representation of a 3D space on a screen that only takes up a very small part of your vision.

The following tips are for MSFS. Whether they are applicable for real flying I don't know:
- Practice practice practice.
- Learn to keep track of speed and altitude. Start by practicing in the Cessna trying to keep altitude within +/- 50 feet and speed within +/- 5 knots. Then keep speed even in a descent at a fixed rate. It is not as easy as it sounds in MSFS, but once you have mastered those skills you will notice that your accuracy increases dramatically.
- Keep corrections small and smooth.
- Keep your eyes way down the runway, not at the touchdown point.
- On approach, use power to control descent rate (altitude) and pitch to control speed.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineAKviator From United States of America, joined Apr 2010, 120 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 2 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6519 times:

Quoting tarzanboy (Thread starter):
I ask because sometimes I can't seem to land proper and landing short of the runway and on the side of the runway etc.

I got my PPL in a Cessna 172, and I've flown quite a bit on FSX in a 172, and I have to say landing the real thing is easier (after tons of practice, of course). I cant split the centerline or grease one in on FSX to save my life.

Quoting tarzanboy (Thread starter):
this is lowering my esteem because I think if I suck at this level maybe one day I would suck at the real thing.

Not true at all bro. Despite Microsoft's best efforts, there is still quite a difference between the game and the real thing. FSX is good for a few things, such as radio procedure familiarization and cockpit familiarization, navigation practice (sans GPS), or instrument procedures. However I dont think landing is something you can really prepare for in MSFS.

And what types of planes are these botched landings in?


User currently offlinetu204 From Russia, joined Mar 2006, 1200 posts, RR: 18
Reply 14, posted (4 years 2 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 6308 times:

Personally I find it easier to pilot an aircraft in real life vs. MS Flight sim. Unless you have one of those "home cocpits" set up, you do not see the full cocpit. Plus you feel the controls much better.


I do not dream about movie stars, they must dream about me for I am real and they are not. - Alexander Popov
User currently offlineDelta2058 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (4 years 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6156 times:

As a former real world pilot and current FSX enthusiast, I think the biggest challenge in simulation is the limited view of your surroundings. In a real aircraft, looking at the runway line up while turning base to final is natural while trying to change your point of view in the sim is kind of disorienting.

I recommend joining a virtual airline. Lots of good training opportunities with realistic goals to work on. Keeps things from getting boring.

I think FSX is worth installing if you have a high end computer. I have 8MB RAM, dual video cards and it runs FSX smoothly without a hitch. I have heard horror stories trying to run it on a slow machine.



Smooth seas do not make skilled sailors.
User currently onlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17026 posts, RR: 67
Reply 16, posted (4 years 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6148 times:

Quoting AirstairFear (Reply 23):

Is FSX any better in terms of aircraft _systems_? I was horrified when I bought FS2000 back in the day, selected the 734, then attempted to start the APU. _Nothing_ worked. Couldn't even SEE the overhead panels no matter what I did. And engine start, forget it. Ctrl+E or whatever was the only way. Certainly forget about isolation valves and busses and all the other goodies; they just weren't there to be operated.

Don't know about FSX but in general MSFS has never been one for nitpicky systems realism. The autopilot on the 734 was a disaster in FS8. If you want realism, pay for one of the excellent add-on packages, for example the aforementioned ones from PDMG. http://www.precisionmanuals.com/



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineDelta2058 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (4 years 2 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 6133 times:

Yes, I second Starlionblue. PDMG sims are excellent. I also enjoy Just Flight sims. Both have many adjustments to vary realism versus fun flying. Of course, the more detail, the more computer power you will need.


Smooth seas do not make skilled sailors.
User currently offlinepilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (4 years 2 weeks 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 6049 times:

Of course the real thing is goign to be "easier" once you know what you're doing. You have far more visual cues from your peripheral vision as well as ground effect and the "seat of your pants" feel. You have none of that on flight simulator programs.

I could always tell when a new student had been using flight simulator to "practice" at home. Usually resulted in lots of time holding a checklist over the instruments and forcing them to look outside since it was VFR flight.



DMI
User currently offlinearniepie From Belgium, joined Aug 2005, 1265 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (4 years 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 5952 times:

Quoting Delta2058 (Reply 15):
I think FSX is worth installing if you have a high end computer. I have 8MB RAM, dual video cards and it runs FSX smoothly without a hitch. I have heard horror stories trying to run it on a slow machine.

I think you slightly miscalculated your RAM there, 8MB isn't even enough for a cellphone these days , let alone MSFS,
I guess you meant Gigs, which is surely impressive.

BTW, pity WILCO doesn't comment anymore since he is both experienced on real Small and wide-body flying and an enthusiastic MSFS user, if my memory serves me right there have been some topics already on this issue and I believe he said it was mostly the lack of visual realism that could make it harder to land properly in the simulation vs the real world experience.

Also I've heard over and over again that people who use MSFS a lot before making a real first flight specifically have problems with flaring and have a tendency to push the yoke down at landing resulting in a nose-wheel first landing, all bad habits that have to be untrained.



[edit post]
User currently offlinejetlagged From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2005, 2546 posts, RR: 24
Reply 20, posted (4 years 2 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 5861 times:

Quoting arniepie (Reply 19):
Also I've heard over and over again that people who use MSFS a lot before making a real first flight specifically have problems with flaring and have a tendency to push the yoke down at landing resulting in a nose-wheel first landing, all bad habits that have to be untrained.

That isn't a problem with MSFS per se, just bad habits developing due to being self taught.



The glass isn't half empty, or half full, it's twice as big as it needs to be.
User currently offlineDashTrash From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1526 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (4 years 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 5823 times:

I know guys who suck at flying even full motion simulators, but fly the real airplane perfectly. There's a huge difference between any kind of simulated airplane, especially MSFS, and the real deal. Don't sweat it, and enjoy the Microsoft tool / toy. Just remember it has no bearing as to your potential performance in a real airplane.

User currently offlineAlias1024 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2754 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (4 years 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 5814 times:

Quoting DashTrash (Reply 21):
Just remember it has no bearing as to your potential performance in a real airplane.

  
I'm terrible at PC flight simulators. I'm lucky if I even get it on the runway during landing.

Microsoft flight simulator has no ability to predict how you will perform in an airplane. That's good for myself and my passengers.  



It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
User currently offlinem11stephen From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 1247 posts, RR: 1
Reply 23, posted (4 years 2 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5780 times:

My uncle, a DL captain, totally botches landings on MSFS but is a great pilot in real life. Don't let a video game discourage you.


My opinions, statements, etc. are my own and do not have any association with those of any employer.
User currently offlineInbound From Trinidad and Tobago, joined Sep 2001, 851 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (4 years 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 5735 times:

I have just over 3000 hours of real flying. dash8 and 738 rated. I've greased that jet in places like 13L canarsie JFK, and 10 at SXM......but I've never had a good landing in MSFS. I still use a MS sidewinder joystick and I flare too high, and usually off centre, even at my own base, POS.

Don't let it get to you. a real plane will always be, a real plane.



Maintain own separation with terrain!
25 Post contains images iairallie : I'm only a ppl. I suck at microsoft flight sim but I am a decent pilot (I passed my checkride ) in real life. I think the reason why is software and h
26 Post contains images tom355uk : Like the guys have already said, the lack of tactile visual feedback is the most difficult thing with MSFS. I have found the best thing to do to try a
27 longhauler : Just like any hand-to-eye co-ordinated exercise, MSFS gets better with practise, but it is very little like flying a real aircraft. Conversely, I took
28 jetlagged : Having done a little research, I suspect the main problem with landing realism in MSFS, apart from no motion and limited vision, is likely to be the s
29 bri2k1 : I've owned every version of MSFS since 1987, I have a PPL, am checked out in every one of my club's single engine models from Cessna, Piper, and Diamo
30 jetlagged : The big problem with controls is that you can easily apply maximum deflection in MSFS, where in a real sim or aircraft the opposing control forces wo
31 HaveBlue : Dead on correct!
32 MrFord : I've been flying on FS for quite a while, just not that regularly, and I only got 9 hours on my PPL, but a couple thing I found out: - Having flown in
33 413X3 : the biggest help in flight simulator is to have a good monitor, a good computer, and a yoke and pedals. Flying in the virtual cockpit zoomed out with
34 Post contains images etherealsky : Ahhh, not this debate again!
35 bri2k1 : I guess my biggest gripe is the performance penalty it applies for altitude. Jets don't seem to be penalized, I can still launch the 737 or A320 from
36 jetlagged : Engine modelling in MSFS is poor, I agree, especially with the default sims which are best avoided. Things get much better with good quality add-ons,
37 Goldenshield : Having a decent control setup works wonders, too. Currently, I have a joystick with a twist grip (Z-axis, or yaw) that I've been trying to get used to
38 tarzanboy : FLY2HMO thanks for your replies.
39 Post contains images KELPkid : Quick confession here: I used MSFS extensively while I was getting my instrument ticket to practice things like hold entries, NDB approaches, and part
40 freeze3192 : I couldn't land much less find the airport when I first started flying on Flight Sim. I'm now a CFI/CFII/MEI and my skills have somewhat improved. Don
41 bri2k1 : Here's a fun challenge: anyone who has gotten pretty good at MSFS, try the "easter egg" flight sim in Google Earth. When I first learned MSFS, I didn'
42 xero9 : I played MSFS a LOT. I was pretty good at landing it too, by the end. After I started working towards my PPL, I can't stand it any more. Landing a rea
43 cpd : Now of course, the latest versions of Flight Simulator (particularly X) are incredibly real looking. And with top-notch advanced plane addons (thinki
44 Starlionblue : As mentioned above, MSFS + a good add-on + good controls is a very good modeled of real world aircraft behavior. I think, however, that the issue with
45 Post contains images wn700driver : Off topic here, but... I just downloaded a Star Trek shuttle (some TOS model no doubt...) This thing has a ridiculous amount of speed, and can easily
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