Flight Simulator for Student Pilots at Home

Air Australia Flight School in X-Plane Flight Simulator

Flight Simulators are used extensively by commercial pilots to do aircraft certifications, practice emergencies in situations where you’d never want to be in real life and of course to have fun.

Where else could you do a low pass under the Sydney Harbour Bridge in an A380, land Space Shuttle Discovery or race against the best in the Red Bull Air Race? Answer, no where!

So to help me practice flying circuits, stalls, spin recovery and cross wind landings, I bought a copy of X-Plane 9 and installed it on my iMac.  To make the experience slightly more realistic, I’ve bought a CH Products Flight Sim Yoke and the matching pedals.  To be completely honest, I thought it was going to be a rather unrealistic, but I wrong…

Once you are up and running, there is an untold number of aircraft available online and apparently they most are very realistic.  I bought a Cessna 152, pictured above.  It  is photo realistic, has a full 3D cockpit and apart from one small detail, it flies exactly like the real thing.  That detail of course if the nose wheel  steering.  The two 152’s  at Air Australia are useless at nose wheel steering.  Actually that is harsh, one completely doesn’t work and the other has a little steering.  Anyway, back to the Flight Sim.

Long story short, I got hold of some great Australian Scenery which details just about all airports in Australia, including major land marks.  This means flying around Jandakot is pretty much the same.  So you can look out for the same landmarks when flying your circuit pattern.  Then, there is the flying.  The stupid things I was doing, such as pulling back too hard in the flair, I also did in the flight sim.  It meant I could put hours of practice into resolving my poor technique for zero cost.  Then, in the next lesson, you can practically translate it to the real thing.  It works!

At a later time, I’ll put up a bunch of info about the Flight Sim, the few things I have learnt along the way.  The scenery and how to set it up, the cool airports (well you may as well do circuits in the Bahamas, cool location and all) and real to life Air Traffic Control.  As an example check out VATSIM, real life air traffic control for your flight simulator.   I have a USB to General Aviation adaptor that allows me to use my Lightspeed Zulu headset and use them in the Flight Sim too.  Just for the record, I reckon the VATSIM controllers are more stern than the tower controllers at Jandakot…

Anyway, time for bed, practice lesson 7:30am tomorrow and then hopefully I can get checked out for my solo on Monday morning.  Fingers crossed that the Flight Sim time has helped me adequately prepare…

This entry was posted in cessna 152, Flight Simulator, Jandakot, Pilot License and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Flight Simulator for Student Pilots at Home

  1. Taranjeet says:

    Its great to see the realism of the X Plane 9. Was wondering if you cd share with me where you got the Oz sceneries from?

    Much appreciated.

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