Friday, February 15, 2013

Can a sim pilot fly a perfect pattern on their first try?

I had to share this. An airline pilot and fellow blogger (and author of two of the greatest aviation threads in internet history, on Two Plus Two and FlyerTalk) recently took part in an interesting experiment. Long story short, he met a guy with a ton of flight simulator experience who wanted to see if that experience would translate to success in a real airplane. On his first attempt. Ever.

So Tyler (sim pilot) went flying with Steve (airline pilot, not me - he's also a CFI) out in Las Vegas this past November. I won't spoil their experiment here. However, I will say that it's a cool little tale - and lots of fun! Click through to read the introductory Part One on Steve's blog, and then follow up with the flight itself in Part Two.


  1. I watched with great interest and was surprised to say the least. Thank you for sharing this unique experiment.

  2. The sim pilot did a lot better than I thought he would. You could tell that the rudder is not simulated very well and he struggled a bit with it. The other thing I noticed is that he was a bit high on final, and when he passed over the buildings he pushed the nose down to get lower. This caused him to float a bit on landing, but if he wasn't getting help for the actual touchdown, he did very well.

    I don't think flight sims are the devil that everyone says they are. I've seen no evidence that bad habits picked up in a sim are irreversible or overly harmful.

    1. Yeah, I was impressed. John King had an article in Sport Aviation a year or so ago talking about how sims are finally getting to the point where they can be valuable/useful to primary students. It'll be interesting to see how that develops over the next however many years.