At home flight simulators can be a fun way to pass time while getting some sense of flight and training benefit, especially when using a complete system equipped with yoke, throttle quadrant, and rudders. Can’t be too much different from the real thing, right? Well, yes – but also, no. I’m always a bit cautious when a prospective student expresses overconfidence from his time flying a home simulator or appears to be an expert before the first lesson. While the benefits of simulation used in the right way are many, not everything can be effectively replicated and I’m a firm believer in “there’s nothing like the real thing.” Let’s discuss the pros and cons of home simulation.
Professional Aviation chooses the Alsim ALX flight simulator
In our school, from the very beginning, we adopted the “scenario-based teaching methodology”, which is designed to allow the student to learn how to deal with all the operational situations during the flight.
The year 2020 sees the entry into our Academy of a new tool that will complement the effectiveness of our training: we are talking about the Alsim ALX flight simulator.
Sharpening Virtual Flying Skills
When Microsoft and Asobo released the 2020 version of Flight Simulator, it provided some much-needed engagement for real-world pilots grounded at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic . The software’s advanced scenery and aerodynamic modeling allowed many frustrated aviators to practice their flying skills. Whether or not the flight time is loggable is another discussion. Either way, they could practice piloting, instrument scanning, and radio navigation.
While flight simulators are not helpful for ground operations, like parking or taxiing an airplane, some flight training academies encourage pilots to improve their skills through home-based flight simulators. An example is a Melbourne, Australia-based flight school that has developed online training modules and recommends supplemental practice via Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.
Why Should You Use a Home Flight Simulator?
Flight simulations offer an invaluable advantage that many don’t realize: the ability to replicate any scenario.
For example, let’s take emergencies. How would you practice an engine fire in a flight scenario if it were real life? You’d have to go through all of the preflight procedures at the airport, go through the start and takeoff procedure, and fly to an area suitable to simulate the emergency. Then, you have to “choose” when the “engine fire” actually starts. After that, you will proceed with the items on the checklist without making any changes to the actual switches and systems.
Full Flight Simulator (FFS)
This flight simulator provides the most realistic flight experience for student pilots as the simulator moves and acts like a plane while recreating a flight deck. There are four levels for FFSs, Levels A to D, with Level D being the most sophisticated.
Examples of Full Flight Simulators are the L3CTS A320 Full Flight Simulator, which provides a Level D Airbus 320 simulation (including an Upset Prevention and Recovery Training or UPRT capability), and the CAE A330/A340 Full Flight Simulator, which provides Level D Airbus A330-200 and Airbus A340-300 simulations.