Are flight simulators of any help while learning to fly? I suspect that real live experience is the best, any input would be greatly appreciated.
Flight Instructor Paul commented that if you asked 10 different flight instructors, you would probably get 10 different answers. However, he noted that he used flight simulators during his instrument training and it helped him immensely as he found them to be a very valuable training aid. Then he added that as a flight instructor, he has found that flight simulators are not as helpful during primary training since student pilots who have used flight simulators heavily will tend to need more encouragement “to keep their eyeballs outside the cockpit where they should be during private pilot training.”
Meanwhile, pilot Matthew Hammer noted that while they are excellent for training procedures, flight simulators aren’t so great for teaching would-be pilots how to actually fly simply because you “don’t have the same visual references, you don’t experience any G-loads, and the control pressures are virtually never realistic.”
Hence, we want to ask you our readers what you think: Did you use a flight simulator when you learned how to fly? If so, do you believe that flight simulators are actually useful when learning how to fly? Moreover, when and how should they be used? We would also like to hear the opinion of pilots who learned to fly before there were flight simulators.