For beginners

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Carlos G.
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For beginners

Postby Carlos G. » Sat Feb 02, 2008 3:37 pm

It may sound a bit weird, but let us debate how an absolute neophite in flight simulation things should begin with it. Let's assume I'm interested to learn how to learn the basic rules of today's flying methods (including interaction with ATC) on a single GA plane according to IFR (to start with). What would the "pros" of the sim flying suggest? To buy a yoke (with or without pedals associated?) and the latest edition of MS Flight Simulator I presume. But are the techniques duly explained in the instruction manual? How can I download the environment of my area? And of other (west european) areas?

Opinions are welcomed.

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FrankM
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Re: For beginners

Postby FrankM » Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:20 pm

It may sound a bit weird, but let us debate how an absolute neophite in flight simulation things should begin with it. Let's assume I'm interested to learn how to learn the basic rules of today's flying methods (including interaction with ATC) on a single GA plane according to IFR (to start with). What would the "pros" of the sim flying suggest? To buy a yoke (with or without pedals associated?) and the latest edition of MS Flight Simulator I presume. But are the techniques duly explained in the instruction manual? How can I download the environment of my area? And of other (west european) areas?

Opinions are welcomed.
Hi Carlos,

I don't think you need a yoke and pedals. A decent joystick should be ok. (After all, that's what the 'bus pilots are using). The joystick should have some sort of throttle control integrated and it should have at least 2 buttons that you can reach with your thumb. You need this for trimming. Helpful is also if it has another little "joystick" on top that you can use to look around. The "Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick" looks good to me.

I haven't been simming for quite a while so I can't comment on the latest version. FS2002 was the last version I used and to me this was just fine. Techniques are explained quite decent and it has various training sessions included that you can try. Tons of free sceneries are available on various sites (Pipe can tell you, where is he anyway when you need him ?)

For starters it's probably the best to use the standard C172 that comes with it, take off and practice level flight. Not as easy as it sounds. It's the best to pay attention to several things at the time. Altitude, speed, direction, ...

Hope that helps !
Frank
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Pipe
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Re: For beginners

Postby Pipe » Sat Feb 02, 2008 7:53 pm

(Pipe can tell you, where is he anyway when you need him ?)
I work for a living, Mister. German efficiency is not only called for when it comes to internet forum setups (Bragging mode off). This is anyway forum #76743542 I´ve registered in the last two weeks and I had forgotten my password. Can you blame me? ;)

If you want to start flightsimming, bring time,time and time. Plus a dose of obsession. You´re preferrably NOT married, you do NOT have kids, you´re a relaxed multi-millionaire who lives by his incomes from the stock market and who can afford a new computer system every six month.

(Looks neat, this forum, guys! Where´s the beer?) :mrgreen:

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Carlos G.
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Re: For beginners

Postby Carlos G. » Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:09 pm

(Pipe can tell you, where is he anyway when you need him ?)
I work for a living, Mister. German efficiency is not only called for when it comes to internet forum setups (Bragging mode off). This is anyway forum #76743542 I´ve registered in the last two weeks and I had forgotten my password. Can you blame me? ;)

If you want to start flightsimming, bring time,time and time. Plus a dose of obsession. You´re preferrably NOT married, you do NOT have kids, you´re a relaxed multi-millionaire who lives by his incomes from the stock market and who can afford a new computer system every six month.
Though invested in the stock market that does not allow me to live of it. And looking at the remaining items I have to say: I am not qualified to do sim flying... I prefer to chat with my cybernautical friends instead.
(Looks neat, this forum, guys! Where´s the beer?) :mrgreen:

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FrankM
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Re: For beginners

Postby FrankM » Sat Feb 02, 2008 8:32 pm

(Pipe can tell you, where is he anyway when you need him ?)
I work for a living, Mister. German efficiency is not only called for when it comes to internet forum setups (Bragging mode off). This is anyway forum #76743542 I´ve registered in the last two weeks and I had forgotten my password. Can you blame me? ;)
Hey Ossi, are you shitting with me ? Me, the unbannable founding super moderatoradministrator ???

:mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:
(Looks neat, this forum, guys! Where´s the beer?) :mrgreen:
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3WE
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Re: For beginners

Postby 3WE » Wed Feb 06, 2008 2:54 pm

This is one of my favorite topics and I have what I call backwards insight- a Private License first, MSFS later.

The bottom line for any simulator- you can learn a LOT of good things and a few bad things. It can be amazingly real, and amazinly unreal at the same time.

If you are serious about "learning to fly" you need to either read a book first, or take some ground school.

You need to learn about stalls- especially during base-to-final turns, the rule of thumb about pitch controls airspeed, power altitude, crosswind technique, and many many other things.

I hate to say this, but if you are really really serious- you should be TAUGHT in the airplane FIRST, THEN practice what you can in Flight Sim, but be sure to finish the job in the plane......

I would worry significantly about learning bad habits in MSFS.

Also, I strongly vote for the 737 and NOT the 172. While a real 172 catches a lot of wind- my FS version is WAY too touchy to control inputs.....the airliners are somewhat more steady.

I would also recommend pedals sooner than later....while you could learn a lot without pedals, crosswinds make them important....but then a warning...the control FEELINGS miss reality by a long shot....again getting back to that "learn bad habits" issue.....

Yoke vs. Joystick......the principles can be the same, and I don't think there's a huge difference....If you are cheap, you should think if you want to be able to play other games....if you are extra serious you should be getting something like the plane you are flying....stick vs. wheel.
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FrankM
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Re: For beginners

Postby FrankM » Wed Feb 06, 2008 6:36 pm

3WE, I agree with a lot you're saying. However, I still think a C172 (or that kind of size) is better to start with. It is more responsive and you can learn better the input-response pattern. But more important, a 737 has an extremely wide dynamic range. It can fly from 130-580 knots and from 0 - 40.000 feet. And handle very differently. Let alone that trying to land it can be very frustrating at first. I think a 172 really is the better tool for starting. And - if you're not very soon longing to fly a jet, then you aren't a real pilot anyway. Not even a real armchair pilot ... :P
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3WE
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Re: For beginners

Postby 3WE » Wed Feb 06, 2008 8:36 pm

Ok FrankM- I'm game to cuss & discuss this a little bit more.

On a real 172, I feel that it's fairly stable and I bank by applying gentle pressure and flare with slight movements of a fairly "stiff" elevator control.

On my MSFS (CH yoke), I have to be very careful to not get into PIO of the plane banking back and forth or porpising. I still ususally crash the lear jets, and also find the super jumbos to be of limited fun due to thier painfully slow responses.....

I find that "smaller airliners" hit the "sweet spot", and argue that they feel more like a real 172

In fact, as a side note, I LOVE my ole "SGA" freeware DC-9/MD-80 series that are ROCK solid.....I always wondered if real DC-9's were truly that solid, or if it was simpler, less sophisticated flight models???

So if we have someone out there REALLY wanting to learn to fly, I worry that the total default 172 set up is going to be a handfull of PIO's and headaches, and they'll stuggle to learn basic control. Whereas a 737 (to hell with precise speed and altitude control), can teach them the basic control inputs, and philosophy of holding a constant altitude to get a stable airspeed.

After they get the hang of that, they can then work on having a really light touch and flying the MSFS 172 accurately.

Now, I understand that this all comes down to my yoke and sensitivity settings probably moreso than the the 172 flight models....and for the record, I try not to mess with those because I usually feel that I wreck things more than I help them...

Nevertheless- if you come back and recommend that the "student" adjust his control sensitivites to be "more realistic"- I agree wholeheartedly....having a semi-accurate 172 cockpit with fairly realistic looking gauges, and fairly realistic performace numbers, etc. etc. is valuable.
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Pipe
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Re: For beginners

Postby Pipe » Thu Feb 07, 2008 5:38 pm

Hi 3WE, really nice to see you here.

I´ve flown a real airplane on very few occasions. And when, then it was basically holding the yoke inflight, banking a bit, climbing, descending , even some supervised landings............

So, I can´t say anything about flight dynamics and compare them to FS. What I´ve found interesting, though, was the fact that I sit in an airplane cockpit and feel immediately at home. I know the instruments, I know how to read and interpret them, I can follow the navigation and, very funny, I find myself browsing and scanning permanently the important flight parameters like airspeed, attitude and altitude. That´s a habit I´ve created in FS. Whereelse?

I think FS has its values for exactly these matters.

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FrankM
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Re: For beginners

Postby FrankM » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:35 am

3WE, you might be right that in MSFS the repsonse sensitivity might not be very realistic and in MSFS a 737 might be the easiest one to control. My point however was that in a 737 you are flying so fast that you have to be a lot more on top of what's going on, where you are, where you wanna go. Which makes it a lot harder for a beginner and potentially frustrating.

And as a side note: call me crazy but since I practiced IFR flight, navigation and route planning, my personal "navigation" skills have increased a lot. It somehow becomes a habit to be aware of which direction you are heading and where you are in realation to your target, etc.
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3WE
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Re: For beginners

Postby 3WE » Fri Feb 08, 2008 8:57 pm

Ok, I am posting here, not to debate or even "restate". I'm carrying on the conversation because I could see this thread being of value to someone who genuinely asked, "What's the best way to learn to fly".

Frank brings up a new point...there's a LOT of aspects to learn.

Things to learn include:

-How to control/fly the plane
-How to flare/hold off/deal with crosswind
-How/why to work the engine, mixture, carb heat
-How to work instruments
-How to navigate

And many other nuances!

And yes, I've got my rec for the 737 or an MD-80 for learning "control", but yes, the 172 (or the closest thing to the airplane you might truly learn to fly) for navigation & such.

Nevertheless, I still go back to "if really you want to learn to fly" read a book or take ground school first, and think about all this business of 172 vs. Airline comes second.

If you just want to mess around, I have different advice, which is 1) Turn off the over-stress feature, turn on the moving map GPS and "to hell" with anything else....Pitch controls altitude, power controls speed....stabilized approach??? Whats that?????

"I want to learn how to fly Flight Sim?" is a different question than "I want to learn how to fly an airplane."
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Re: For beginners

Postby AndyToop » Mon Feb 11, 2008 10:57 am

How about - I want to get as close to learning to fly as is possilbe with a total budget of $1000 with no more $ for 5 years and I can spare about 2 hours a day after 8pm because I have 3 pre school daughters! :lol:

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GerryW
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Re: For beginners

Postby GerryW » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:14 am

How about - I want to get as close to learning to fly as is possilbe with a total budget of $1000 with no more $ for 5 years and I can spare about 2 hours a day after 8pm because I have 3 pre school daughters! :lol:
I guess, that you have already a computer (otherwise you wouldn't post here) so you still would need a flight simulator and a good (I prefer forcefeedback stick) joystick. Have fun!!!

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GerryW
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Re: For beginners

Postby GerryW » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:52 am

I was (am) interested in flying, I didn't think I would once go for the PPL. So I started with different Flight sims. I had at that time an Commodore Amiga and I had one of the first Microsoft Flightsimulators (but it was for Amiga!) It was really something from banal. Almost no texture, simple cockpit. Here I learned my first steps, how to navigate from VOR to Vor and make position estimations with two VORs how to fly an approach and how to land. I almost always crashed. I didn't have a good joystick. (An ATARI!)

So once my brother came with his PC. And he had installed one of the Win 3.x version Flight Simulators from MS. This was really something else.

Then in 1992 I started with my PPL. And with navigating with VOR and NDBs I didn't have no problems at all. Even in our theoretical courses, I had very often to explain to my class mates why and how with radionavigation. But the flying part was something total different like it was in the Sim. Even with upgrading to more performant PCs and better MSFS the flying part in the Sim didn't get much better.

When I compared after I had more hours as PIC with the simulator I have now, I must say, with the ForceFeedback stick I have, the feeling of flying the C172 and the C182 comes close to how it was in reality. Perhaps I have had a good hand with my settings. But here you can 'simulate' an old C172 with 'used/worn' controls or a brand new one with tight controls. What I really, really miss in the Sim is the view I have in a real cockpit. Even with the virtual cockpit it's not like in reality. For me it's very important for flaring the aircraft before touchdown. Here in the flightsim it's always a little bit guessing.

When I am in a sadistic mood, I am flying the R22. This is almost like in reality. But here I would need pedals, because the twisting function of the yoke is sometimes difficult to use when you have to control still the cyclic and the collective with it.

But the types of airplanes I fly are mostly single mots. I know, I can't make a trip over the pond, but I once made a trip from Luxembourg to Heraklion in a Lancair (the Tweety Bird) which I think is a little bit too nervous; but I can't tell how this one is in reality. This was a lot of fun with the Real Weather (with 15' update intervall). Sometimes I take a C310 or else for a ride. I still have a Pilatus PC12 (AVG) which is a lot of fun flying, and a little bit more speed I have there too. But the big planes I don't fly very often. And if, then it's a Constellation I once downloaded from AVSIM.

I think what is good on the Flightsims is that you learn how to navigate. Perhaps the basics how to handle an airplane. If there is somebody who tells you how to operate mixture and the carb.heat or when to open cowl flaps etc.etc. you can simulate this then too. But these are all things you normally don't learn with the Flightsims. But a landing after so many hours in a flight simulator, not everybody is able to do it directly the first time in an real airplane. This is my opinion.

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Re: For beginners

Postby AndyToop » Tue Feb 12, 2008 12:47 pm

How about - I want to get as close to learning to fly as is possilbe with a total budget of $1000 with no more $ for 5 years and I can spare about 2 hours a day after 8pm because I have 3 pre school daughters! :lol:
I guess, that you have already a computer (otherwise you wouldn't post here) so you still would need a flight simulator and a good (I prefer forcefeedback stick) joystick. Have fun!!!
Hey Gerry,

Well I've been using MSFS for about 10 years and fly for BAVirtual. I was just poking a bit at 3WE's insistence that the best way was to take real flying lessons. For the budget of about 5 hours flying lessons, you can have 5 years of flight simulator, and for many people this is a real budget limiting one or the other choice.
Also for me there was another factor in not pursuing flying lessons - I am colour blind. Although I have just discovered that in the UK there is a new limited PPL (the national PPL) which I can obtain so I could fly solo with up to 3 pax VFR in UK airspace only.

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Re: For beginners

Postby GerryW » Tue Feb 12, 2008 1:47 pm

Hey Gerry,

Well I've been using MSFS for about 10 years and fly for BAVirtual. I was just poking a bit at 3WE's insistence that the best way was to take real flying lessons. For the budget of about 5 hours flying lessons, you can have 5 years of flight simulator, and for many people this is a real budget limiting one or the other choice.
Also for me there was another factor in not pursuing flying lessons - I am colour blind. Although I have just discovered that in the UK there is a new limited PPL (the national PPL) which I can obtain so I could fly solo with up to 3 pax VFR in UK airspace only.
Sorry, I didn't get the joke...

But I have to agree with you on this. Flying in Europe is getting expensive. And here in Luxembourg, with our small airspace we are limited to. You can fly around in our country in around 90 minutes and you saw everything. For every crossing borders, you have to file a complete flight plan and thus you are limited to the track you filed. While for Luxembourg you only said that you are going for cross country, which CTR exit point, how long, how much fuel and of course which aircraft/reg. Then you went. This cross country Fp you had to do around 15-20 minutes in advance, while the real Fp you had to file 1 hour before.

Here in Luxembourg it's about the same when you are colour blind. Only you have to have a second transceiver on board. This is what I thought would be the only reason where the color blinds would have a problem. In the case of a radio failure they are sending you red or green light signals from the tower.

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3WE
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Re: For beginners

Postby 3WE » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:35 pm

Believe me- I love MSFS, and think it has tremendous educational value.

I haven't flown for real in over 5 years and understand the economic deal very well.

The only thing that bugs me is the possibility to develop bad habits and bad "seat-of-the-pants" associations.

It's no big deal to steepen your base-to-final turn, how do you learn good coordination, what does the plane feel like when it's dangerously slow, etc.....

I would hate for someone to spend years "memorizing" a bad habit and then have to over come it or worse yet not over come it when you flew a real plane.

Now, all that being said, while there's nothing funner than landing a plane on a day with a nice breeze, to make you work at it a little, but for the $$ doing the same thing in MSFS is more than acceptible for me right now....

So, I don't want to spoil anyone's fun (and I'm not spoiling mine :-) )

So, I agree with you guys who poke at me, but the scary thing I see is that if you really think you want to learn to fly someday, MSFS will teach you 80% of what you need to know, but there's a very significant 5% where you might be taught or ingrained with very wrong things, and that's a safety concern.

Also, like I said, if you are serious, read as much as you can so maybe you will know and appreciate what you don't learn in MSFS.

Peace, Love, Flying...
Last edited by 3WE on Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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AndyToop
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Re: For beginners

Postby AndyToop » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:44 pm

I just had a quick look at some of the prices around on the internet.
In the US it looks like you can buy block instruction times of 20 hours for about $80 per hour.
Here in the UK it is about £130 per hour - which at a ballpark 1:2 exchange rate gives $260 per hour, so somewhere around 3x the cost to get a ppl.
Its little wonder that people head off to the states to get their license.

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Re: For beginners

Postby AndyToop » Tue Feb 12, 2008 2:57 pm

Believe me- I love MSFS, and think it has tremendous educational value.

I haven't flown for real in over 5 years and understand the economic deal very well.

The only thing that bugs me is the possibility to develop bad habits and bad "seat-of-the-pants" associations.

It's no big deal to steepen your base-to-final turn, how do you learn good coordination, what does the plane feel like when it's dangerously slow, etc.....

I would hate for someone to spend years "memorizing" a bad habit and then have to over come it or worse yet not over come it when you flew a real plane.

Now, all that being said, while there's nothing funner than landing a plane on a day with a nice breeze, to make you work at it a little, but for the $$ doing the same thing in MSFS is more than acceptible for me right now....

So, I don't want to spoil anyone's fun (and I'm not spoiling mine :-) )

So, I agree with you guys who poke at me, but the scary thing I see is that if you really think you want to learn to fly someday, MSFS will teach you 80% of what you need to know, but there's a very significant 5% where you might be taught or ingrained with very wrong things. and that's a safety concern.

Also, like I said, if you are serious, read as much as you can so maybe you will know and appreciate what you don't learn in MSFS.

Peace, Love, Flying...
I do agree with you that if you are looking at it from the perspective of wanting to learn to fly, then you really need to read around and talk to people as to how it can be used etc.
My reaction is more to do with the fact that I just discovered that something that has prevented me from even considering learning to fly, so I started looking at how much it would cost to learn.
For the foreseeable future I don't have the money or the time to be able to do it. But at least I know that its a dream that I can at least have again. Until then - I'll strap on my PMDG 737 and cruise off into the virtual blue yonder :lol:

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Re: For beginners

Postby GerryW » Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:25 pm

I just had a quick look at some of the prices around on the internet.
In the US it looks like you can buy block instruction times of 20 hours for about $80 per hour.
Here in the UK it is about £130 per hour - which at a ballpark 1:2 exchange rate gives $260 per hour, so somewhere around 3x the cost to get a ppl.
Its little wonder that people head off to the states to get their license.
For what type of aircraft does these 260$ count?

In the one I made my licence the C182TR was around 220€ the last price I know. The C172 around 100-120€. Wet of course.

They don't have prices on their website, only a note that a PPL is around 7000€ (if you are good of course)

Aerosport du Luxembourg

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Re: For beginners

Postby Pipe » Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:29 pm

Well 3WE,

there might´ve been an aspect completely neglected in this discussion:

The fact that you can "fly" planes that in reality don´t get off the ground anymore. And you can fly them to airports that are long closed. I´m a visual guy and I appreciate the grace of old birds in example. Super-Connie to Kai Tak anyone? ;)
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3WE
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Re: For beginners

Postby 3WE » Tue Feb 12, 2008 3:38 pm

.....Until then - I'll strap on my PMDG 737 and cruise off into the virtual blue yonder :lol:
.....The fact that you can "fly" planes that in reality don´t get off the ground anymore. And you can fly them to airports that are long closed. I´m a visual guy and I appreciate the grace of old birds in example. Super-Connie to Kai Tak anyone?.....
Concur and Indeed

And where does one download Meigs field?
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Pipe
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Re: For beginners

Postby Pipe » Tue Feb 12, 2008 4:46 pm

Search for --------> meigs06.zip on http://www.flightsim.com

Pipe
:)
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AndyToop
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Re: For beginners

Postby AndyToop » Tue Feb 12, 2008 5:57 pm

I just had a quick look at some of the prices around on the internet.
In the US it looks like you can buy block instruction times of 20 hours for about $80 per hour.
Here in the UK it is about £130 per hour - which at a ballpark 1:2 exchange rate gives $260 per hour, so somewhere around 3x the cost to get a ppl.
Its little wonder that people head off to the states to get their license.
For what type of aircraft does these 260$ count?

In the one I made my licence the C182TR was around 220€ the last price I know. The C172 around 100-120€. Wet of course.

They don't have prices on their website, only a note that a PPL is around 7000€ (if you are good of course)

Aerosport du Luxembourg
£130 was for 1 hour tuition in a C172.

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Re: For beginners

Postby IntheShade » Mon Sep 22, 2008 5:46 pm

Hi Carlos, you have asked a very daunting question.

Simulation as we all know is a proxsimity of the real thing. Therefore I say go for the ultimate experience.

Go to a costume store and buy a pilot uniform and spend a little extra and upgrade to the fourth bar.

Once you have your uniform, stop shaving for a couple days and get your computer flightsim set up, dig out your best leather flying jacket and put on your cool Junkers flying watch.

When the big day arrives, pack your bags and kiss your family goodbye. For a couple hours you are going to live the dream: You get to be me.

Strap into your EZ Chair and aviate like a mad man.
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