Real World Pilots, please state your feedback about the flight model

I’m honestly tired of seeing armchair pilots of FSX, Xplane and P3D, who have ZERO flight hours in a real aircraft, comment that the flight model is not realistic.

I’ve read reports from a lot of commercial and GA pilots stating that the flight model, with a little bit of tweaking, is very close to the real thing, and much better than those present in the aforementioned sims.

The last thing we as a community need is Asobo taking this false feedback from armchair pilots seriously, and begin to alter/simplify the flight model of aircraft.

The issue is these armchair pilots are a lot more vocal than their real life counterparts, simply because the aircraft in MSFS don’t fly the same way that they’re familiar with in their ancient sims.

My request to the community, especially real world pilots, please give your feedback in this forum and also through other means if necessary. Your experience is how we benchmark the realism of the flight model in the sim. Let the developers know when an aircraft behaves accurately, and when it doesn’t.

The last thing we need is the voice of real world pilots being drowned out by the barrage of false negative feedback by simmers who’ve never held the controls in a real aircraft.


Long and short of it is: It’s pretty solid for small GA (That’s all I can give you feedback on)

The only real things missing are things the sim can’t recreate like, the feelings of the aircraft moving around you.

The thing you have to remember about a lot of armchair pilots who say “This isn’t realistic” is they usually complain about that when they put the plane in unrealistic scenarios and situation. Like in other sims I’ve played people complain an aircraft isn’t realistic because it had a bug where you could ascend while inverted in a helicopter; Yes - very unrealistic indeed, but why would you even try and do that? Do you see the problem?

Anyway I digress, for smaller GA everything feels about right to me. Wind buffeting feels good and a lot more visible than in most sims (Just none of the pants browning when you hit a sudden crosswind and your shoulder meets the glass). But yeah, don’t listen to most airmchair pilots. You’ll never get perfect simulation, and this is more than accurate enough (Though landings feel very easy in this).


I have very little complaints specific to the flight model. This is coming from a background flying several of the exact models as a career. Biggest thing that helped me was a quality joystick / throttle / rudder, and setting the controls and bindings where I liked them. All my complaints are for the avionics and autopilot integration, button output / variables, and lack of a way to set specific low visibility IFR conditions.

(Also, there is a very similar thread located here if you want to combine the discussion)


As a real world pilot I can say I have very little complaints to the flight model for GA aircraft, a lot better than P3D V5 with many addons as you want, and still better than X-Plane 11 as well. But airliners need a lot of work still, especially the A320 that does not feel like fly-by-wire.


Top job guys.

1 Like

As a real world GA pilot my only “complain” (im very happy with this sim) is the lack of turbulent air when close to ground (below 2000 feet) especially when flying over a town or changing from green nature to human made constructions.
I’ve felt strong kicks from turbulent warm air masses (specially on summer), here is very forgiving.
Again, i love this sim but its what I feel its missingn from GA flights


I have over 300 hours in the 172 and over 300 hours in the Cirrus.

Both “feel” very realistic but as far as system simulations go, they are not even close.

If we can get some updates and progress to bring the systems up to a more realistic simulation I think they will be great.

Especially the cirrus. It feels amazing. But everything from the engine, to the prop rpm speeds are absolutely nothing like the real thing.


My only complaint would be the touchdown modeling. It stll doesn’t feel right. The landing gear touchdown is still too rigid and arcade felling.


Hello cirurginn. As a simulator sailplane pilot I call these “kicks” thermals. And I miss them a lot in FS2020. A Cessna 152 is no sailplane at all, but with engine switched off I expected something. But nothing. No difference if the surface is water, wheat field or concrete.
And if FS2020 does not get a thermals weather model, a sailplane model is only half of the bill.


Just tried the 747. After some minutes engaged the autopilot. Climb change to 10.000feet and speed 250. Suddenly the aircraft start climbing with 5000-6000 feet per minute, then it goes back to 2000 , but then the speed goes (ofcourse) suddenly up to 280 knots, then it starts climbing back again with 5000 feet p/m but a few seconds later it starts climbing again with 6000-7000 feet a minute !!! This is definitely not correct… The AP is screwed up if you ask me.


Yes thermals! Thanks :blush:


Similar to porpoising would you say?

Its pretty damned good. I’m a commercial pilot that flies 172’s for a living- up to 8 hours a flight and the default model is spot on (except for the mixture increasing the RPMs on a loaded prop). I was surprised to see it enter a spin and recover just as the real-world model does. The subtle turbulence is a FANTASTIC touch and the fact the nose-wheel stays cocked over if you stop mid-turn instead of springing back to center like in P3D or XP11 makes me so happy.

I know Carenado is porting over their Ovation- I hope to hell they remap the model on it because it doesnt fly anything remotely close to the real thing and I own a Mooney


I only have one comment, well 2 actually.

First everything I flew so far is super twitchy and never settled at all, nothing like the Cessna 152 I flew recently in heavy wind, which once trimmed just kinda settled and went with the flow much to my surprise ( sure it moved around but with much more inertia and momentum )

Secondly…I took a twin engined turbo prop up for a quick spin, then realised my secondary device wasn’t programmed for primary flight controls.

Undeterred I used the mouse and setup the throttles and flaps for take off etc and took off, then using careful manipulation of the throttle flew 12 miles away and landed at another airfield with no issue using nothing more than flaps and split throttle…no primary surfaces mapped…first go…wasn’t a smooth landing, very firm but none the less.

Just to be clear for 100%, I took off, and landed first time with just throttles and flap, no other inputs just to be clear, and the runway I went to was not dead ahead either, and first time I ever flew an aircraft like this in my life. !

…feels like complete bull to me, I am ok at Sims but not a god, I find it hard to believe now as a result :frowning:

I am NOT A PILOT in real life btw…only got 30mins flying a 152 under my belt and about 30yrs sim experience.


I have about 100 hours in single engine low wings (PIC). The aircraft in the GA category feel quite real and do give that general feel of the flight model of the real aircraft. My time is primarily in Pipers, so I can only compare low wing to low wing. I also have a little time at the stick of the Bonanza A36, Cessna 172 and one flight in the Diamond Katana DA20, so I have some reference there.

I think there are some aircraft performance numbers that are off a bit, and some missing functionality in the Garmin equipment, but I have not flown the G1000 in real life, just the Garmin 430 and 530.

I feel for most desktop pilots that if you are flying this sim without the hardware meaning yoke, pedals, & throttles, and instead are using a HOTAS or especially an xbox type controller to fly, it is never going to feel quite right. It’s easier to get away with that in a jetliner (hence joystick A320), as the amount of hands on flying is limited and you interact a lot of technology for navigation most of the time. But right now the sim is very GA focuses, so hardware is key to complete the experience.



As you might have gained from your short time in the real 152, you don’t spend a lot of time yanking on the stick or even using the yoke with more than a couple fingers and a light grip. Pitch for Airspeed, Power for Altitude and a very light touch. There is a process in the real aircraft for adjusting power, trim and then let it alone, not a constant input.

I see so many on-line videos on Youtube of simmers with an iron grip on the yoke and in a constant state of pitch oscillation.

So try to think back on your flight and how easy it seemed, and how stable the aircraft was and lessen your inputs to make up for lack of fidelity you get in the real world.


Perfect post LilPika. That is my experience too.

This is what I often see about sim-only pilots. They look at numbers and complain the numbers don’t match a POH when pilots know that the age and version of the aircraft will make numbers deviate. So they criticize the flight model based on information they don’t properly understand or when doing something we try very hard not to do in a real aircraft. Of course, not all pilots are always right and not all simmers are always wrong. It, like many things we say, are generalities which is all we can talk about.

Most sim pilots also only practice the flying bit. They often don’t practice the complexities of flight planning, weather avoidance (many do IFR on auto-pilot only, so boring), the cross checks we do in the cockpit every 10 minutes or so (engine temps, expected fuel usage, landmark recognition to cross-check navigation, making sure we don’t deviate from their altitude by ±100 feet (scanned more often that 10 minutes!), respecting LSALTs, etc. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and that is not a criticism. Many people want different things from the sim but for me, treating it like a real aircraft is so much more satisfying then simply going from A to B on autopilot. Though I still do that too sometimes. After all, I’m not really allowed to fly IFR or jet.

Even some of the unfinished features I treat as a systems failure so I have to work around it or not do the flight at all, just like in real life. Weather isn’t accurate (weather it is a bug or just the forecast is not accurate)? No problem, now my flight plan headings are all wrong so now I have to work it out in the cockpit as I’m flying based on how well I’m tracking my waypoints.

I think there is so much more to flying that many miss out on because they focus on takeoffs and landings. Me too for a long time until I did my first flight in a real aircraft, it changed how I look at flight sims.

So yeah, MSFS has bugs and missing features like every 1.0 of software before it but as far as it’s core job as a “flight simulator” goes, it is a fantastic start and for VFR flying in GA aircraft 100% usable and way better than anything else ever. Except maybe X-Plane with the TBM 900 with Orbx’s True-Earth scenery. But I am thoroughly enjoying flying closer to home now and not having to fly in the UK all the time. And I got 800GB of SSD space back!

PS: In MSFS I fly VFR with dead-reckoning and pilotage only because that is the current sims strengths. When systems modeling is better I’ll move completely over from X-Plane.


I have about 15 hours in a 172. The modern flight model seems to just fall off a cliff if left untouched. Like there is no air interacting on the wings, generally if you’re turning and neutralize the controls the plane rolls back to level. This just falls off the edge into a spiral.

1 Like

I’m CFI and I have experience with the C152, C172 and SR22. Flight model is realy great on them. What I like most is the pitch stability. Airplanes are made to self stabilize, I usually say to my students that the machine flies by itself, pilots are the ones who screw up :slight_smile: . G1000 needs a lot of work. I would be great if MS make it closer to what we have on X-Plane.
I don’t have experience with airlines, but I don’t like their performance, every airplane looks like a rocket, it just doesn’t fells right. Systems need a lot of work still.


I know this was meant for real pilots but I want to add my 2 cent as a simmer with 0 flight experience (tho I will have my discovery flight soon I swear) …

I’m mostly impressed by the optics and the weather model. Sure it might not be 100% accurate and real-time but there is something about the way this feels compared to xplane and fsx that makes the sky feel more alive than I ever experienced in other sims.
Esp creeping up mountains is a terrifying experience.

There are no study level aircraft which are the ones I really look forward to, but neither xplane nor fsx had those either.

I do enjoy the procedures and navigation part the most so for me this feels the most frustrating right now. But there is sooooo much potential here for VFR, IFR and immersion that have never been possible with previous generations of flight sims.