MSFS inspired me to pursue my PPL

Nice! I recently started for the PPL myself. Not necessarily from MSFS but I feel once multimonitor support is in/vr I can use it a bit more for VFR study. Im around 11 hours in myself now and starting to have that pre-solo talk with my CFI. Looks like your in NY as well! Hello from down on Long Island! Currently taking lessons out of FRG!

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Give us an update on your license progress!

I went from 0.5 to 1,000 in my interest for aviation thanks to MSFS so I’m kind of in the same boat, just gotta save up first before I start


Sure! It’s been going well. The past few lessons have just been circles in the pattern over and over to get more consistent on my landings. The instructor’s been giving me less and less instruction, and being more and more strict about maintaining altitude in the pattern, maintaining speed, and staying on the centerline. At the end of the last lesson she said I’m RIGHT on the verge of soloing! Super excited for that.

One of the recent lessons we left the pattern and did some steep turns before coming back to do my first crosswind landings. You can see some of that here:

Doing the crosswind landings actually helped me improve my normal landings a lot. That lesson in the video is when I really got the hang of when to flare for landing.

Thanks for your interest, and I hope you can get flying really soon :smiley:

Edit: Oh, and I passed the written test about 2 weeks ago :smiley:


This is awesome to read. I wish you the best of luck with it!

I hope to follow the same trajectory, having been interested in aviation my entire life. I’ve actually got my wife encouraging me to do a discovery flight now, although she doesn’t quite know at this point that I am seriously considering “going the distance” for my PPL. It’s funny how the older you get, the more some of those things that have seemed financially out of reach become more realistically attainable. I’m by no means rich, but when you compare the expense to other common life expenses, vacations, etc., it seems more reasonable.

Now that you’ve had some experience in a real plane, I wonder if you’d mind sharing your thoughts about how it feels compared to the sim? I’ve been approaching this from day one as if I am taking real lessons, and trying to be serious about my time in the sim. The part I’m most unsure of is how yoke and rudder sensitivities compare to RL. Could you share your yoke & rudder sensitivity settings? Were these influenced/changed by your experiences in a real plane?


Thank you!! I definitely agree that you should go do a discovery flight. It’s so amazing! Pro tip that nobody told me: Get a logbook before your discovery flight and you can log it as your first training session.

I’d be happy to share :slight_smile: The feel of the rudder and yoke is… so different in real life! In the sim there’s nothing “pushing back” on the other side of the control. You can’t feel the pressure on the yoke that’s relieved as you change the trim. In the sim you’ll (probably) never have a death grip on the yoke fighting to keep it held back. Once you’re up at cruising altitude it’s probably not that different, but with takeoff and landing the sim just feels like a toy compared to real life.

During landing when you go to flare is when I notice the difference in sensitivity the most. With the ProFlight yoke since there’s no force feedback it’s a (mostly) uniform smoothness as you pull back. You apply X pressure and it’s gonna come out Y amount, no matter where in the range it is. In real life as you’re landing and pulling back on the yoke it gets harder and harder to pull back. It took me a good handful of lessons to really get the hang of how much I needed to pull back on the yoke during the flare.

Landings have been the biggest thing I’ve had to focus on. Flying the plane is easy, it’s landing that’s difficult :stuck_out_tongue: My first few flights I had a really hard time convincing myself to descend, lol. 1000ft feels so much lower in real life than it does in the sim.

The other big area I lacked is proper rudder usage. It’s been a few weeks since I was in the sim but last I checked you can still completely ignore the rudders and the turn coordinator will never be off-center. I have all assists off and can fly perfectly coordinated without ever touching the rudders. That really put rudder usage in the back of my mind and I’m still fighting to remember to use them while turning in real life. And in real life at full power you really need to keep the right-rudder in to keep going straight. I just haven’t felt that need at all in the sim and have to dance between the left and right rudders to stay lined up on takeoff.

Unfortunately my settings recently got reset by one of the updates and I haven’t had a change to get them back how I want them. I did try to adjust the sensitivities to feel a bit more realistic after I started training but I hadn’t gotten it to feel quite “right”. Rudder feels way too sensitive most of the time, and… maybe it’s just my hardware (I got the yoke second hand) but I feel like my yoke is more sensitive pushing it forward than it is pulling back. I think I was at like -70% sensitivity on the yoke, but I believe I saw in a recent update that they changed controller sensitivity and that might not be necessary now.

I hope you get up in the air soon, there’s nothing like it! For the first month of training I just could not focus on work during the day… all I could think about was getting back up in the sky :stuck_out_tongue:

Edit: wow, that’s a wall of text… I like to share lol


Thanks for the great reply! Really makes me want to get into a real plane ASAP, but it probably won’t happen until next spring. I already know the feeling of not being able to focus on work, I get that way just dealing with the sim and all my side efforts to learn what will be needed for the written test, etc. :smile:

As of the last update they did some tweaks to the flight characteristics of most of the GA planes, and I now find that I do need to “step on the ball” more often. It doesn’t deflect too far, but it does deflect now. I’d read a post from someone else that said they had somehow concluded that adverse yaw is modeled in the sim and turns were actually uncoordinated, but it was the turn coordinator that was fubar and not reflecting this so without any other feedback mechanism it was hard to notice. It seems like they have fixed it at least somewhat.

I’ve read many debates about whether simming is bad or good for someone hoping to pursue a real PPL, but I love seeing real examples like yours where it certainly seems to have helped. I’ve been focusing as best as possible on trying to develop good habits like using the rudder, etc. I have no doubt that RL flying will be a lot different than flying in the sim, but I honestly can’t see how using this as a tool to learn before hitting a real plane wouldn’t give some kind of a head start.

Anyway, I too seem to have produced a wall of text here, lol. I’ll keep watching this thread in hopes that you continue to share your progress, and I’ll give a shout when I finally do climb into a real cockpit. Thanks again!

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Whew, had quite the windy lesson the other day! Watch me get bullied and beat up by the winds for a few landings. The first ‘landing’ we did a really low go-around to practice keeping the nose straight going down the runway in the wind. This lesson was… not really fun :stuck_out_tongue: That was the most challenging flying since I started training and it was exhausting…

But it must have helped! Because a few days later I had my best landing ever! Here’s a quick clip of that, you can barely even tell we touched the ground.

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Good job on the windy passes, you kept the nose aligned with the runway, good use of rudder!
Not so easy this flying stuff, ey? :smile:

You’ll be certified in no time! Then the real tricky bit starts: keeping flying and staying sharp!


Just remember when you are in real life it’s not a sim anymore. And things get shacky! Other than that , I used my fsx to practice the procedures and memorize the items of the checklist , specially the emergency ones. You won’t regret !

You start with a bag full of luck and another empty of experience. The idea is to full the empty one before the luck one gets empty!
Happy flying

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Nice Story, i get my gpl with 14 and my ppl with 17 because flying was since childhood a big dream.

But with 35 i think the PPL is nice to have, but real flying and piloting skills you get only with a glider😉


Correct me if I’m wrong, You don’t do spins until you are working on becoming a cfi

Had a few lessons canceled due to weather, a few more due to maintenance issues… but I got back in the air this past weekend and… I brought along a new camera!! I got a GoPro Max which does 360-degree recording. Come ride along in the cockpit for some landing practice:

Still haven’t solo’d yet but my instructor keeps saying I’m right on the edge. Just need to clean up the landings a bit more and have the weather cooperate.


Oh my gosh… It happened!!! I flew solo for the first time yesterday!! At 18 hours in the logbook. I’m pretty happy with that. I think it would’ve happened earlier but we’ve had terrible winds lately. My last several logbook entries are just “Crosswind, Crosswind, Crosswind”. But we finally had a day with calm winds.

I wasn’t expecting it at all. She told me last lesson that she wanted to practice our aerial work more before I soloed. Then when we got in the plane she said we were going to go up and practice the pattern a bit more, I figured it was because of the weather. We did two normal landings and a simulated engine out, then she said “Alright, now pull off on taxiway Bravo and drop me off at the terminal, you’re going to take it out yourself!” I was shocked, but ready! Went up and did 3 more laps with great landings. My partner got me an iPad Mini and Sentry ADS-In unit to use with Foreflight once I start cross-country work. I’ve been practicing with Foreflight in the sim. I’m ecstatic and can’t wait to continue with the next stages of training!

Join me in the cockpit for a lap around the pattern and two more landings.

But… was it really a solo if all of you are in the cockpit with me? :wink:


Impressive! Congratulations!

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Hi @FerretWitASpork, congratulations on your achievement. Very happy for you! :slight_smile:

You are absolutely right. Could you do us (and yourself too) a big favour by reading and voting up the following?


Congratulations on your first solo trip! That is an amazing accomplishment!

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Congrats! Hats off to you.

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Hey everyone, time for an update! Training has been going very well. I’m getting pretty close to ready for my checkride. I’ve just passed 40 hours. I still need to do my long cross-country and night flights, then I’ll begin prepping for the checkride.

This past weekend I did my first solo cross-country to a towered field. I was pretty nervous about the radio work but everything went smoothly! I recorded the flight and the radio calls and hope that it’ll help other students feel more confident using the radio.

Come fly with me from KGFL to KLEB:

I had a slight radio hiccup towards the end, when they were giving me taxi instructions I said “Affirmative” but I wasn’t responding to anything; should’ve said “Roger” or read back “Taxi with you”. Something to do better next time :slight_smile:

Thanks for following along!


Nicely done! Don’t worry about the radio…I have about 5500 hours now and I still trip over my tongue occasionally. :crazy_face:

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Nice, thanks for sharing the story!
How is it going?

I had to put my PPL that i started to hold, for several reasons… work, time, money, girlfriend… all was not fitting together anymore. My GF was not happy that i spent every weekend on the airport from the early morning and when i came home i was tired AF. Then our car died and i needed to get a new one for work and to get to the airfield and some other unplanned expenses came at the same time…

It was at a very bad point, as i was approaching my 30hrs and i had passed the theory exam already. Then the virus came, my work was a bit unsure, we had to fire coworkers and i was doing a 2-person job alone which was too much to start PPL again at the same time. Also the travel restrictions were put in place and my Aeroclub was over the near border…

Now i have to do my theory Exam again unfortunately. The good thing is, i have now time to refresh the theory over the winter, will do my exam in January and then i can finally start flying again in winter/spring. :slight_smile: My hours will still count, so they dont get reset, but i have to refresh a lot of airwork again.

But im hyped to get going again! :slight_smile:

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