Let’s be honest, Darth Vader didn’t have to pass his private pilot exam and he never sat in the seat of a Cessna 172. And if we’re being really honest Darth Vader doesn’t really exist (sorry if that came as a surprise), but if he were real, I’m sure he would have some really awesome tips about what you would need to use your first flight simulator like a super pro so you can get your wings asap.
Let’s not waste any time. What would Vader say about getting started with your first flight simulator? And no, you don’t have to go over to the dark side to use these. Limits must you know, young Padawan.
Tip #1. Suit up with the right software
Flight simulation is a language that your computer needs a little help understanding. You will need to get a software platform to install on your computer to run simulations. One of the best simulation software platforms you can get is Lockheed-Martin’s Prepar3D. This program allows you to fly missions like the ones in our Private Pilot Course. Think of it like this, Vader would never walk around without his infamous black mask and suit. It just wouldn’t be right. So your computer will be a little, well naked, without a simulation platform, but once you have it, you will be ready to hook up your hardware.
Tip #2. Get armed with the best hardware
There are several options when it comes to simulation hardware, but not all hardware is created equal. The most important thing to think about is what kind of aircraft you want to simulate. If you are doing a private pilot simulation you will want to have a yoke and rudder pedals. Using a joystick just won’t give you the necessary training you are trying to achieve. The closer to reality you can get, the better.
There is also something to be said about quality. If this is your first flight simulator you may not want to invest thousands of dollars into your hardware. It’s okay to start simple. Most options are relatively cheap and you can plug in using a USB port. This makes it really easy to get started on your next goal: practice everyday to minimize cost and time spent in flying lessons.
Tip #3. Never…I mean never go into battle unprepared
Once you get up and running with your simulation software and hardware, make it a goal to practice A LOT. Your flight simulator is the preparation before the real deal. You want to be able to show up to your flight lessons having already read a brief, visualized your mission, and “flown” it before you get put in the hot seat.
Your flight instructor will think it’s a big deal if you show up and ace your learning objective on the first try. It is possible, but only if you have successfully practiced it several times with your flight simulator. If you show up prepared to your flight lessons, your instructor will be able to go into more details, and help you achieve better results.
Once you have set up your computer with the right software and hardware, have your simulation program, and begin practicing you are ready to hit the sky in no time. Remember to stay focused and on a structured course. Anything other than a structured learning environment will slow you down and take longer for you to get the results you really want.
If you need help getting started with your first flight simulator, contact us. We are ready to help you be successful.