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Beginner: Should I get a Simulator?

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Old 05-04-2019, 04:24 PM
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sleeponme
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Default Beginner: Should I get a Simulator?

Will the simulator really help?

I am not sure which is the best package for value / cost...

What cheap controller to get for phoenix sim? would that be more cost affordable than getting realflight?
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Old 05-05-2019, 04:20 AM
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You would be much better off joining a club. Buying a cheap simulator and a cheap controller likely means you will buy a cheap foamy park flyer and try to do it all yourself. Good luck with that. You will lose interest very quickly and waste what little money you put into it. That's a shame.
The RealFlight simulator pays for itself over and over again if you are going to fly helicopters. But for standard airplanes the main thing it teaches you is how to fly towards you. You can learn that with a cheap RC car from Walmart. Seriously, So buy a WalMart car and learn to drive it then join a club.
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Old 05-05-2019, 05:55 PM
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Phoenix is no longer being produced, but of course you may find used versions for sale.
I've been a Real Flight user for a very long time, so yes - I can recommend it highly.
ANY sim is better than none. I can instantly tell when one of my students has been practicing. It's all about developing eye/hand coordination. Sims, because of the limited field of views on a monitor aren't quite as good at teaching real world landings - there is a much bigger visual perspective to get used to. So an instructor is still needed. But the amount of time spent flying turns, figure 8's, etc. at the field will be dramatically reduced if you practice. And crashes will be less likely to happen.
I've had dedicated students who use a sim go from first flight to solo in 2 weeks, where someone who has only been able to practice at the field a couple of times a week may take many months. That is exceptional, of course, but it does shorten the time to solo dramatically for everyone, as long as they put the frequency of use and time in.
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Old 05-16-2019, 03:27 AM
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The problem with a simulator is, who's there to let you know when you've done something wrong?

Something as simple and basic as flying behind the flight line. No simulator will prevent this but most if not all clubs have rules against it. Then there's the guys who seem to think they're still flying control line as they turn around and around as they fly their plane around and around in a circle. No simulator will say, "Hey! You're screwing up! Do it this way!"

It's far too easy to develop bad habits when you rely on a simulator unsupervised (no instructor) to learn to fly. Then at some point you'll have to un-learn those same habits. And that's not so easy. So get with an instructor, learn to fly the old fashioned way. Then use a simulator to practice the right way you've been taught. Basically keep your thumbs limber.

Full size aviation uses simulators the same way. As aids to learning but not as the sole source nor initial source of instruction. New pilots get one on one instruction with an instructor sitting next to them before they ever touch a simulator.
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