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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2017 5:09 pm 
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Hello pilots,
I have been (re)discovering FSX after years and I can say I am totally hooked by now. The A2A Piper Cherokee is awesome.

I'm not a RL pilot. I just passed the theory for ultralight flying this month because in France you need this license to become a professional UAV pilot (for cinematography for exemple.)
I took a 7 days class where I learned many interesting things about flight mechanics, VFR flight rules for ultralights, navigation, weather, etc. I loved it. Didn't believe I could be able to seat 8hrs/day in a classroom and like it at my age.
Our teacher brought us to an aerodrom to watch the gliders but the real excitement came when he let us enter a small plane. I am 31yrs old and my first computer game in 1997 was a flight sim.
Maybe I'll become a RL pilot one day, but for now I am enjoying the FSX experience with as much realism as possible.

Anyway, here is my question:
I know simulation can't get close to real flying. But at least the physics can be as accurate as possible. As I said, I have never flown a plane in real life, so I trust the pilots here that say that the A2A Cherokee behaves exactly like the real one.
What I find interesting with flight simulation is that you can experiment things you would never do in real life because, well... you'd die probably. You can exceed the Vne, stall in low altitude turns, fly inside cumulonimbus... I had heard of that infamous skidding turn on base to final. Well... I experienced it and i think it was cool.
Making mistakes in a sim can be instructive. But I find myself doing many mistakes, some on purpose and some because I am not experienced. And I feel like those mistakes have usually no consequences. Is it the same in real life? Sometimes I put flaps and then take too much speed, and nothing bad happens. Sometimes I make 90 degres turns or I even tried rolling and looping and my plane doesn't seem to bother at all. What about the charge factor? I tried to exceed my Vne and I had to go really really high, really really, really fast and open the flaps to finally destroy my plane. Is it really that forgiving in real life (aside from the physical effects on the human body.) ?
I've been practicing landing plenty and not once have I crashed as long as I stayed on the runway. Some of my approaches seemed suicidal, yet I was able to - virtually - survive without scratching my plane. I've tried extremely brutal landings and the plane was totally cool with it. Is it the same in real life?
Sometimes I feel like I can do whatever I want with my joystick, as long as I don't lose too much altitude, it's extremely hard to lose control or break something.
The only really challenging situations have been motor failures and disorientation in fog or night flights.

This all seems too good to be true. Is a plane like the Cherokee that "easy" to manœuvre? Is it that forgiving when one makes mistakes?
Or is it a sim limitation?

Thanks a lot for your answers!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 8:27 am 
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It depends on who is flying. Just like driving, some find it easy especially at first, and others don't.

But the Cherokee is one of the most forgiving airplanes out there. Any of our GA planes (172, 182, Comanche) will be less stable when getting very slow. For the maximum challenge, you could try our T-6 Texan or P-51 Mustang (civilian or military version).

Scott.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 9:09 am 
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Congratulations on your pursuit! :)

I do not believe that FSX and implicitly A2A can perform detailed modeling of damage caused to aircraft by overstress. You are operating outside the limits of the systems capabilities.

As Scott said, the Cherokee is a very stable and forgiving aircraft to fly. It is easy to learn in and things happen slowly and predictably enough for a student to have a good learning environment. Mistakes aren't rewarded with damaged components and bent metal. However, if one tries to fly at high speeds in incorrect configurations at extreme bank angles, you will quickly exceed the physical limits of the airframe and the airplane will break up. There are many accident reports about this, so I'd say that this is not something to toy with (IRL). Unfortunately, the FSX sim isn't a paltform to experiment with this realm of airframe integrity. I can't comment on how A2A decides on when a flap will wear or fail, but I know they do model this type of failure due to flying too fast with flaps extended.

One the other end of the spectrum are some higher performance aircraft available from A2A. These are a real handful to fly and very challenging on the ground. You need to remain focused at all times when operating one of these aircraft. A lapse in concentration during the landing rollout can spell disaster. Forgetting to lower the throttle to a cruise performance setting can quickly cause damage to the engines.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:48 pm 
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The sim gets progressively LESS real the more you push the corners of the envelope. It is designed for what is called 75 percentile flying - flying within 75% of the envelope for 75% of the time. As you push past those limits I'm afraid the sim gets less and less accurate - clearly the accuracy was channeled into where most pilots fly, most of the time.

Things you are getting away with in the sim would kill you in real life, or at least present a challenge for a good pilot, much less the `bad pilot` that got into that situation in the first place. In real life it's not just the aircraft that will kill you. Weather, inattention, poor maintenance and things such as lack of money can all lead to dangerous situations. Some of these are simulated by addons. Many are not.

The skill is to stay within the 75 percentile in the sim and maximise the realism. I'm sure A2A will affirm that is where the focus of their FDE enhancements and `outside-the-core-sim` modelling is aimed. One doesn't loop a Cherokee in real life just to find out what happens, so the developers certainly won't have looped one to get `accurate` response in the sim...


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:07 pm 
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Thank you for all your invaluable answers.
From what I understand this may be considered a sim limitation. Then the best way to fly is to do it by the book and consider that any mistake is dangerous and might potentially be life-threatening in real life even when it seems all good in the game.
I can imagine that a system replacing the basic control done by the instructor in real life could be implemented. For exemple the player would have a total credit of 10 points for each flight and would lose a number of points based on the gravity of the mistake. For example : your bank angle was too steep, you lose 1 point. Your speed of manœuvre was way too fast: 5 points. Your descent was too fast on landing, and so on.
Maybe add a setting for the world situation: you shouldn't have gone flying with such a dangerous weather, you start with a handicap of 5 points instead of 10.
Etc.
That would give more rules to this big (awesome) sandbox.
At the end of the flight, with 10 points remaining you'd know that you did very good in theory. With a low score, that this kind of piloting in real life might have killed you.
Maybe such addon already exists?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 11, 2017 10:24 pm 
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I believe there is an add-on for training called FSFlightInstructor or something along that line.

I have mixed feelings about an add-on that may have too rigid a set of constraints to grade one's performance.

As a pilot, one must constantly be evaluating many parameters about themselves, the aircraft, the environment, etc.

When performance maneuvers, the pilot must use their skill and knowledge to make the aircraft do precisely what they want and no less without sacrificing attention to other critical tasks and still balancing the other less critical tasks.

There are standards that various pilot ratings establish for minimum quality to pass a checkride and they vary to a small degree by the maneuver. The higher ratings also tighten the tolerances for passing. I think an add-on might detract from establishing such self-discipline and might not be intelligent enough to properly train a pilot to fly the aircraft without chasing needles and watching the panel instead of developing graceful yet precise feel for the aircraft they are training in. I believe that as long as one sets out to fly with a mind to performing any and every tasks to a given standard and then reflecting on how they performed overall then the add-on really isn't going to add much value.

I you want to turn left, decide what you need to do before executing the turn.
Clear the area of the turn
How much bank to use?
What heading will you roll out on?
When you you begin to roll out of the turn?
As you perform the turn correct any deviations promptly while they are small.
Did you use the correct amount of rudder to cancel adverse yaw as you rolled in and out?
Did you establish the correct bank angle and maintain it?
Did you maintain altitude?
Did you roll out on the desired heading?
Was I within bank angle, heading, altitude tolerance for my rating?
What can I do to improve?

These are just some of the things that should be going on in your mind every single time you execute a simple turn. It shouldn't be a burden as you should naturally and immediately know the answers to these questions.

As you improve you will spend very little time thinking about this and it becomes natural. There aren't too many criteria to remember for judging the quality of maneuvers. In my opinion it is of utmost importance to be able have targets and reflect on how you are performing so that you can continue to learn and improve.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:43 pm 
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I reckon you must have 'aircraft stress causes damage' OFF in the realism settings.

I used to have it ON but with a decent weather engine I was having my plane fall apart every time I experienced a severe gust of wind so I turned it off.
It is once more NOT realistic as previous posters have commented about the rest of the sim but if you want more of a challenge to fly 'by the book' this setting
will give you one. If you over-speed by maybe just 10 knots your plane will disintegrate, and violent turns will usually do the same thing.

'Crash' detection I DO have turned on as it makes me concentrate more when near the ground! Once again not realistic, you can grease a landing only to have your
plane 'crash' and game over when you touch a rock at 5 knots whilst turning on the edge of the runway. Or take off right at the end of the runway and explode because your undercarriage
scrapped the grass there.

If you have both these settings off you can literally nose dive at 400 knots in the Cherokee (or any other plane in FSX) hit the ground, bounce off and continue flying!
I recommend CRASH DETECTION=ON and STRESS DAMAGE=OFF for a semi-realistic sim world, STRESS DAMAGE=ON for a very unforgiving sim world (you will learn good habits pretty quickly this way unless you enjoy constantly reloading saves!) If you have STRESS=ON recommend you turn weather effects such as turbulence off, so only YOUR mistakes will over-stress your plane.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:27 pm 
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Flight sims are getting closer to reality now, with the advent of "real" weather (ASN, etc.), detailed scenery (ORBX), and particularly, A2A aircraft. Like Scott is always saying, you OWN that airplane. You want to take good care of her.

I think it is extremely cool that all this realism has gotten sim pilots more and more concerned about improving their piloting skills. We discuss piloting techniques on this forum, and we seek out knowledge in many ways, including FAA manuals, books such as the classic "Stick and Rudder," and YouTube.

Man, I do spend a LOT of time watching aviation stuff on YouTube! I recommend that you watch all the A2A training films, especially the films on the Cherokee. Watch the one where Scott deals with flap failure due to overspeed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTY11zy5-m8. Then, just for fun, watch the retired Red Bull pilot flying a borrowed Comanche over Friday Harbor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvHVT7VziHg&t=3s. Check out SimCFI's stuff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9uvv7Ed73c (one of many). Don't forget Country Flyboy or FS Mania. Then there's FlightChops for real world flying. This is just scratching the surface.

Now get out there and get that hunnert dollar hamburger!

Seeya
ATB

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 3:50 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:19 pm
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Paughco wrote:
Flight sims are getting closer to reality now, with the advent of "real" weather (ASN, etc.), detailed scenery (ORBX), and particularly, A2A aircraft. Like Scott is always saying, you OWN that airplane. You want to take good care of her.

I think it is extremely cool that all this realism has gotten sim pilots more and more concerned about improving their piloting skills. We discuss piloting techniques on this forum, and we seek out knowledge in many ways, including FAA manuals, books such as the classic "Stick and Rudder," and YouTube.

Man, I do spend a LOT of time watching aviation stuff on YouTube! I recommend that you watch all the A2A training films, especially the films on the Cherokee. Watch the one where Scott deals with flap failure due to overspeed https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTY11zy5-m8. Then, just for fun, watch the retired Red Bull pilot flying a borrowed Comanche over Friday Harbor https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvHVT7VziHg&t=3s. Check out SimCFI's stuff: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9uvv7Ed73c (one of many). Don't forget Country Flyboy or FS Mania. Then there's FlightChops for real world flying. This is just scratching the surface.

Now get out there and get that hunnert dollar hamburger!

Seeya
ATB


I just posted a video pretty much agreeing with everything Seeva mentioned above! A2A + OrbX + AS2016
https://youtu.be/GnSSowppLcU


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:34 pm 
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Airman Basic

Joined: Fri Jul 18, 2014 3:20 pm
Posts: 5
The PA28 is a training plane and is very forgiving IRL.

When I took my skills test the examiner was chuckling at my attempts to get it to stall.

But as previously mentioned FSX isn't too accurate at modelling the edge of the envelope.

The A2A model is very accurate in normal use, but you can get away with things in FSX that you wouldn't in real life, and I can often imagine what my instructor would have said....

Peter


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 9:33 pm 
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Great video, Sloppysmusic! Thank you for posting. I know exactly how you must have felt! Hopefully you saved that scenario; you will be able to ace that landing after some more practice in your trusty Cherokee!

Seeya
ATB

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