Real Answers from Real Pilots

Consumer flight simulators

When going through the program is the use of consumer flight sims bad for attempting to understand certain maneuvers?

Tyler,

While you’re going through ATP’s program you’ll have unlimited access to professional flight simulators. There’s no reason to use a home one. Save your money.

Adam

Oh okay. So while im in the program how easy is it to access the simulator?

Hello Tyler,

Yes. I think they teach bad habits and aren’t necessary since you will
receive instruction on proper technique from a CFI and have 24/7 access to
the sim (AATD) as long as a student/instructor pair doesn’t already have
the sim booked for a lesson.

Tory

Oh okay, I didn’t know about the simulator access. Thank you both for you help.

The Airplane Flying Handbook does a good job of explaining how to fly maneuvers. That textbook, among others, are included in the tuition. No need to purchase it now unless you want to.

Tory

Oh okay. Is it best to look over test prep questions on just free sites for the written tests up till I start the program?

Tyler,

Once you enroll you’ll be given access to all the Written Exam preps. Prior to that it’s your call. Some people are fine learning just by rote with just the questions and answers, others want or need more. Totally up to you.

Adam

Oh okay, thank you Adam and Tory for all the help. Ill probably end up waiting until I reserve a start date then so that I get the full benefit of all the programs that ill be able to use around that time.

Tyler,

You will hear different answers on this, but I am in no way a fan of flight simulator. It is high tech, but at the end of the day it is just a game with an unrealistic feeling yoke. I recommend using the time that you would spend on flight simulator to study your material, it might now be as fun, but it is a better use of your time.

Chris

Oh okay, makes sense, I can see that being more worthwhile in the long run.

I can chime in as a student pilot and former extensive FSX user…
They are almost completely useless for PPL phase of training. You can’t feel sensation of flight and once you take a few lessons the “magic” is gone. I did get two big benefits out of an advanced Warrior model: learning the GNS430 functionality and operations and switch location memorization. Beyond that…it was a game.

Some flight schools successfully use FSX to teach instrument procedure basics with professional flight controls that eliminate all need for mouse clicks. But…if you have a pro version, I’d focus on that.

For me, having an aircraft panel layout poster and a chair would do more to practice chair flying than FSX

Your mileage may vary…

1 Like

Tyler,

Once you put your deposit down, you will have access to all of the material you could possibly need to study. Until that time, I would use the free questions online, or perhaps buy a cheap, used copy of King Schools test prep material online.

Chris

1 Like

Sergey, that makes sense and I see where you are coming from there. definitely think im better off studying than using a flight sim after what ive read on this thread, and Chris thank you for all your input, definitely will be looking into that later and maybe get started on learning the material now.

Tyler,

I would agree with Sergey if home simulators do hold any benefits other than for learning basic functionality and operations. No matter how much money you will spend, you just will not be able to imitate the dynamics/feel of real flying. However, I have found it beneficial in the instrument phase and using the GNS430, but even the,n it is limited and should only be used as an aide when you have extra time from studying. The simulators at the training location have GNS430 which should be your primary tool for practice and it will also give you the tactile feedback which I personally feel is very important in order to build your instinct and muscle memory. Hope that helps!

Regards,
Pranav