Can a home computer teach you to fly a real plane?

Discussion in 'Travel Technology' started by sobore, Jan 29, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Can-a-home-computer-teach-you-to-fly-a-real-plane-2753478.php

    Can flight simulator training on a home computer teach you enough to fly a real plane?
    Sort of.

    Authorities say two teenagers in Utah planned to bomb their school, steal a plane and flee the country. They'd never flown a plane, but police said they'd spent hundreds of hours with a flight simulation program.

    Flight simulation software gives hobbyists a highly accurate idea of the layout of airplane cockpits and controls. Many enthusiasts attach control sticks and rudder pedals to their computers and spend hours flying to and from the programs' simulations of actual airports, complete with portrayals of real runways and airport buildings.
     
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  2. viguera
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    viguera Gold Member

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    I think a computer can definitely teach you the basics, but there's no substitute for the real thing. Driving is significantly easier than flying, yet you can play Gran Turismo all day long and still not know how to drive in real life.
     
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  3. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    You can get basics on a computer simulator, but you still will need a real feel IMHO.
     
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  4. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    Well I sure would not want to find out my pilot acquired his skills this way!:eek:
    I do think the simulation games give you the basic terminology, and understanding of cockpit lingo.
    A good start, but certainly lacking for any real life piloting.
     
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  5. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    In typical computer simulations instrument procedures and control manipulations work very well IME (about 300 student pilots so far) but they learn zero about takeoff, landing and ground handling. Still the average time from first intruction to Privaye Pilot is about 2/3 that of those who have not had that experience, IME.

    OTOH, if one has access to serious flight training computation, (that is FAA Level D/ICAO 7), one can, if already possessing a type rating (airplane specific license), gain additional type ratings entirely in a Level D simulator. Carrying passengers is prohibited until a modest level of actual flight experience has been completed. Three of my type ratings were obtained this way. Immediately after getting the ratings I did fly the actual aircraft and in each case I felt 100% prepared. The simulators are always slightly more difficult than the actual aircraft is, and the training includes emergency training that would be impossible or foolhardy in the actual aircraft.

    There is no question in my mind that computer simulations of flight, even with home computers, have a level of realism now that makes them very useful. People have sometimes done as these teenagers were planning to do. They almost always survive and the aircraft are usually unharmed. That certainly does not make it safe!! I cannot imaging anybody doing that successfully with a helicopter, but an airplane can happen and has happened.
     
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  6. FlyingBear
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    FlyingBear Silver Member

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    Funny selection of a game title, considering this:

    GT Academy gamer team lands on the podium at the 24 Hours of Dubai


    http://www.autoweek.com/article/20120116/CARNEWS/120119867
     
  7. DTWBOB

    DTWBOB Silver Member

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    By the same token, assume you have a game that teaches you video poker -- once you've learned it, will you really do that well at a real casino?

    You might do a bit better, but the atmosphere will be different.

    DTWBOB
     
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  8. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    I did do well on my first trip :D
     

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