Barry Goldwater taught himself how to fly as a teenager. Once upon a time it was not unheard for guy to jump in a plane with no instructor time at
all. I would assume they had read up on aerodynamics a bit, but maybe not.
While MSFS or X Plane isn't flying, it can certainly teach a person an awful lot about it. Today's sims can be very detailed if you want to spend
the cash for addons like Captain Sim, Level D or Wilco Publishing, to name a few.
There are virtual airlines and virtual air controllers who take it all very seriously. I do not recall the guys name, but someone wrote a story on one
of the sim websites about his experience in a real 737 sim. He was familiar with the 737 systems vis a vie a 737 addon for MSFS, I believe. He bought
a small amount of time, an hour or two and the day came for his "flight".
It's been a while since I read this, but the guy shows up for his pre flight briefing and he mentioned the fact that he had this 737 addon for MSFS.
Even though he was paying through the nose for this experience, the instructor was dismissive of him and suggested that he not try anything
complicated, just a bit of steering around at a safe altitude and speed.
The author was adamant however. Anyway, to make a long story short, the guy ends up flying approaches and shooting ILS approaches successfully.
The company rep/instructor in the sim with him seemed irked by the authors success, and kept adding wind and other things and he finally did miss an
approach I think, but he did very well. I'll go look for a link now because I can already hear the cries of BS.
Well it took me about 15 minutes, but i found it.
It's a good read and only one page long.
Today's desktop sims have come a long way. IMHO they would make a transition from sim to 172/152 solo much quicker for those with experience on them
than those with no sim time. This is assuming of course that one is taking the lessons offered by the desktop sim seriously. I am not suggesting that
an eight year old can play pilot on the computer and develop skills and knowledge.
I used to be in the camp that said no way did these hijackers fly those planes. But, if I can read a manual so can they. It's hard to imagine anyone
committing suicide in a plane, but then I am reminded of the Japanese kamikazes, so.....
I don't know what the hell happened on 9-11. I still have trouble with the way the buildings collapsed. But I see no viable alternative to the fact
that two 767s hit the WTC. Remote control is all but impossible on that model of plane. And if someone accepts that the two planes had pilots on
board.....it points to hijackers willing to die.
But I still cannot cross that gulf to believing the OS, not yet. I wish this change guy I voted for would reopen the investigation, but then as Dana
Carvey would say, monkeys might fly out of my butt too.
[edit on 7-12-2009 by Aircow]