Ok, here’s a question. How realistically are you flying? As a real-world pilot I know it is easy to get into unrealistic habits when simming. Unless practicing for a BFR or other test I guess But even RW pilots differ too. How many RPT pilots still fly basic VFR just for fun? I ti s now a job for them. I lost programming as a hobby when I became a programmer.
I can understand the desire for scenery but for that I flew from YPAD to Europe in the Mooney Ovation. Basically I just piked airports using the OnAir app to make $$$ along the way. But scenery to me is secondary.
As a general question for everyone in a similar boat that any RW pilot would already know.
- Are you using real-world altitudes?
- Are you using auto-pilot?
- Are you checking the windsock direction before picking the runway?
- Are you entering traffic patters properly (entry angles and altitude, descending on the dead side, etc)?
- Are you navigating by GPS or using landmarks?
- Are you spending too much time looking at instruments and not outside? (assuming AP is off)
- Do you take into account cloud minimums or just fly right through the?
- Do you ensure you obey restricted and dangerous areas and altitude limits?
- Do you create realistic flight plans and fly procedures (whether it is a STAR or pattern) properly?
MSFS is perfect for realistic VFR flying. No GPS required and the flight model isn’t even important. It is how well you do what you need to do as a VFR pilot that is important and that is perfectly usable even with the MSFS bugs.
If the answer is “yes” to any of those questions then by doing the real procedures, like in real life, you can make flight much more interesting and rewarding.
How does it do that? Because it requires skills and when we do something that requires skill and do it well we appreciate it more. At least many of us do anyway
I get lazy in sims too so I’ve started a back-to-basics regime for myself. I’m back to flying 2+ hour flights without any auto-pilot at all. I even wrote a program to log my flights and check my flying quality so that I can keep a record outside the sim.
I haven’t flown a real plane in a few years. God I miss it. But when I win lotto I want to make sure I didn’t pick up any bad habits so I’m back to treating the sim realistically.
I’ve flown many aircraft from A to B in flight sims using AP and I only looked forward to the landing. That is missing out on the sim experience big time.
Sometimes I think a club for real or sim pilots that like to do the above (fly GA aircraft realistically) might be a good idea. We could share and collaborate on flight planes and local knowledge but I’m a bit too lazy to set one up.
With OnAir I started doing 4-5 hour flights so I could get more XP but then thought “what’s the point?”, I spend all the time looking at at the aircraft on AP or watch TV and try to remember to go back to the computer when it is near TOD. That gets boring quick, maybe because I an appreciate how much of the flight experience I’m missing. So now I am doing 100 to 250nm missions and doing them more correctly. It is soooo much better.
Gee, a longer post than I thought!