Did you start with MSFS and then end up working in the industry/get your pilot's license?

Curious if any folks on here have followed their dreams that were created by discovering MSFS 2020 (or an earlier version) after having no interest/experience with aviation previously. I’ve seen other posts on here similar to this, the passion/obsession/addiction for aviation that comes along with the simulator really caught me by surprise, as I’m sure it did for many of you.

I started with the HOTAS One for $100 and 6 months later I discovered the TB VelocityOne Flight. Now I’ve got the TB Rudders, Flight Stick, Headset and my living room looks like I’m trying to launch rockets into orbit.

The endless possibilities for aircraft/destinations/activites when you have the entire planet at your disposal is amazing right?

My local airport, CYPK (Pitt Meadows Airport) in British Columbia just completed a massive renovation and new terminal, I just checked it out a few hours ago. There are multiple flight schools on site and dozens of companies in the surrounding area that are growing, some even building their own new facilities.

Would love to hear your thoughts/stories on your journey with the sim and the real world, I’m 44, working a 9-5 office job that gets me by financially but not much more than that. I don’t see any other option than talking to the bank and discussing a big loan to afford these programs the schools offer. I imagine you can pay a loan off quicker if you end up going the commercial pilot route as they’re known to get paid above average, not so sure that would be my preference. GA planes are much more interesting to me and would love to explore my province and the surround areas while helping the community in some way, shape or form with bush flying, regional stuff, etc.

That’s my rant for now, thanks for reading and appreciate any feedback/experiences you can share!


Yes. I started simming around FS95. I was around 3rd grade. I flew around Grade 6 with a CFI as my dad was also getting his CPL. Got my PPL after college and worked my way till CPL rating.
CFI noted that i have excellent aircraft control especially on slow flights and stalls and can be contributed by flying on the sim. The only drawback is that i tend to fixate on the instruments more rather than watching outside. A habit i made as older sims doesnt even have a panning view.

Go get a license. Maybe you can even get a discovery flight on those schools if they offer.Its never too late. Life is short. As for me, flying ended as i had a biking accident and now disabled. So MSFS is my only way to stay connected


Thanks for sharing your story, sorry to hear about your accident but glad you’re able to enjoy yourself still with the sim. Take care!


Started with FS9…

Long long long time ago before MS even thought of msfs, probably with the brainstorm of FSX tbh

When I was 12 we moved from Australia to the UK for 12 months due to my Dad’s job. On the flight over I got to go up to the flight deck (747-400 :grinning:) for 10min, as it was mid 90s and these visits were still allowed. After that I begged my parents to buy me MSFS v5.1 which I subsequently got hooked on, and still am to this day, almost 30 years later.

My life’s path was basically set from that point onwards.

Even though we have no aviation history in our family whatsoever, five years of being an aviation/FlightSim obsessed kid meant my parents basically new what was going to happen after school. I subsequently completed an aviation degree, then worked 10 years in GA and now fly 777s.

I can honesty say, if I never picked up a version of FlightSim in the early years, I wouldn’t be flying now, even though I literally couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else.


Thanks for the inspiring story Norman! Always great to hear when someone had a dream and pursued it. What and where do you like to fly most in the sim these days?

LMFAOOOO. I’m in the same boat about 33 hours into flying. No issues with most everything. I had the same issues. My first flight instructor was like get your head up. Well you said turn south so that’s 180 degrees, looks down again lol. Also I sucked at landing in the past sims with a passion. I find real life to be easier. In FSX I felt if I went full flaps in a cessna, even if I aimed for speed nothing I would just slow down and have to give her more power. I started with whatever flight sim my dad put me on in 1999. I was hooked ever since, just didn’t have the funds to fly. So hello army, now with vocational rehab. Once this PPL is done everything is paid for after that.


Dude great job on completing everything. Sometimes I get down. I spent 10 years in the Army, and am working on my PPL at 34. I feel like by the time I get my commercial status, and hours built I’m going to be near retirement age lol.

My story was similar to yours. My cousin when I was a kid flew, whatever plane an AWACS is. He brought me onto Tyndall airforce base and at 8 I got to sit in a F15 Eagle. I was hooked. Just didn’t make the best decisions in life. So starting rather late now. Once I’m done with my PPL I will be moving to Utah for my aviation degree.

I even had the instructor cover the whole 6 pack just for me to break the habit. Its like reverse IFR training, its so hard cause i think of the old 2D panels of the older sims where you have no choice but to stare those panels. You are also right about the full flaps too haha

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Well hopefully when I finallly get to IFR this will make my life easier lol. I’m glad this game got the aim for speed part right. Only issue I have with FS is that I can’t get a good feeling of how high I am off the ground when landing. Especially on big commercial planes. What are you flying in your profile picture?

A 152. A pic when i started flying under aged haha. Yeah the sim tends to get that perspective a little wrong. I dont have VR though so maybe its a little better in VR…

Good Move, Don’t stop… I did the similar years before u, got my ppl and then used the GI Bill for my commercial. The GI bill paid 90% of every flying hour and instructions. Never Stop… Had a buddy that stopped and he has regretted it for years and years. Your NOT too late, your just getting started…Enjoy every minute of it ! Wish I had this MSFS available when I was working on my IFR ticket… This FS is really good… Bugs here and there but a miracle compared to FS1. Happy Flying !

Thanks for all the great stories and feedback everyone, I guess I’ll have to do my research on the cost and schedule/accessibility of the schools in my area. I’m intimidated by the fact that I need to work full time to pay the bills, request a huge loan from the bank to be able to afford it, and then how long will it take to get through the schooling on an evenings and weekends only type of program (assuming that exists in my area, Greater Vancouver).

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