Improve GA fleet to Support Real World Pilot Training

Hello IF Community,

I would like to start off, by giving a Big Thank You to the IF development team and support staff. I’ve been flying the simulator for a number of years now and it has come such a long way! From the introduction of Global to the recent updates to the 737 and A10. Its a real treat to fly this simulator, and I can’t wait to see what is in store for 2019.

Recently I’ve been flying the TBM930, because flying VFR in a tropical region of the simulator is an awesome experience making the 930 one of my go to aircraft. The quality and detail that has gone into this aircraft is phenomenal! But, when I switch over to the 172 or 208 - I quickly wish the quality and detail that went into the 930 were available in the small number of GA aircraft available in the simulator. In addition to that, for some time now I’ve considered becoming a real world pilot by getting my private pilot certification. 2019, is my year to do just that. But, I’ve always had in the back of my mind this thought - ‘wouldn’t it be cool if this simulator could contribute to someones effort toward getting their pilot certification’.

The simulator is heavily focused on the larger aircraft that you see in commercial or military service that can be flown by anyone who has an iPhone. I understand that the larger aircraft is a major selling point for the simulator, and I enjoy flying Boeing and Airbus like anyone else. But a student pilot or someone interested in becoming a pilot can’t walk up to a 737 or an A320, hop in and take off - at least not before the USAF shows up to ‘land’ the plane for you. With that, I’m willing to bet that there would be a sizable amount of simulator pilots who would love to see the GA fleet increased or reworked in order to translate some of the experience gained in the simulator to real world flying.

Perhaps in 2019 or into 2020, the IF team can start to look at developing the GA side of the simulator to help someone gain practical experience that could be used towards getting a private pilot certification or an add-on rating. Here are some specific ideas the IF team could consider to improve GA in the simulator for such a venture:

  • Rework of the current Cessna fleet - or the common aircraft (172) flown by most student pilots.
  • Add a few multi-engine turboprop’s like the BeechCraft King Air or the Cessna SkyCourier to the fleet to support Instrument, Commercial, or multi-engine ratings.
  • Incorporate real world pilot training programs like Cessna’s Flight Training into the simulator.
  • Or maybe partner with a well known flight training program or school and offer a service that can work in conjunction with ground training program towards FAA certification.
  • I’m not quite sure if this would be doable - but hours gained in IF could count as logged hours for FAA purposes.

That last one might be a stretch - but I have a few airports around me where I can rent an FAA approved simulator and log hours. Maybe IF could do something similar. This simulator has the potential to become something more by inspiring a new generation of people to consider becoming pilot’s by offering a robust fleet of GA aircraft that could be used towards real world flying. Granted, nothing will replace flying a real airplane when someone is seeking their certification or going for a rating - nothing I’m suggest would substitute for that. But if another way existed to get to that end faster or more efficiently through an app like IF. For someone like me who wants to become a real pilot, I would be more then happy to pay a higher subscription fee or pay extra for such a service or add on feature if it meant saving time and money overall towards getting my certification.

Thank you in advance for any consideration given, I hope to start a good conversation on this subject and perhaps gain support from the IF community to make improvements for GA happen in the simulator.

Happy New Year!
Rob O’Connor

4 Likes

Quite interesting and a very well done post!

I’ll have to say however, you should search for plane addition requests, reworks, etc, at #features , maybe even request one yourself.

Here’s a few:


Very well done! And very interesting!

If you look at the #features category, you will find tons or amazing requests for different aircraft including General Aviation. If you find a feature you want, make sure to vote for it so you can have a say in the aircraft being brought into Infinite Flight.


I think this is a very well written topic that real can go far. Very well done! I completely agree with tons of points made in this as well! Just make sure you vote or when you become TL2 create your own request and have your voice heard! Great job!

I’m going to follow up by saying that you can check out IF Checklists to add an added sense of realism into the Infinite Flight app. IF Checklists is a free app on the Apple Store and Google Playstore. As a student pilot, this 3rd Party App helps me get into the grove of following a checklist. From start up all the way to shutdown - This app is awesome

I’d also recommend LiveFlight Connect. With LiveFlight Connect, you can use a joystick with Infinite Flight to enhance your real life likeness experience

In theory, the planes on IF fly the same that they would in real life. It’s all of the added things that make a IF flight different from IRL (it you think about it).

3 Likes

Hey Rob!

Glad you’ve been enjoying Infinite Flight. I will agree with you that the TBM930 is one of my go to aircraft. Its agile, quick, and is an aircraft that can be used for various missions. With that said, I think we all can agree that the quality of the TBM outweighs its neighboring GA type aircraft that you mentioned. Aircraft are slowly being reworked to a standard that is much higher than what it use to be when those aircraft were initially released.

There is no timeline as to when the 172 or the 208 as you noted will be reworked, but I think it’d be neat to see them have some attention. I’m in the same boat as you as I love GA. I like the airliners and all but the GA aircraft allow me to explore hidden airports and enjoy the true back country flying that I seek.


As for the remainder of your post, the addition of newer aircraft such as some of the BeechCraft or other Cessna products, you’ll find these requested aircraft by utilizing the search feature at the upper right hand corner. Click on the magnifying glass and type in the name and/or model of the aircraft and its likely some has created a topic where you can vote and express your support for said aircraft.
You can also browse the #features category for other GA type of aircraft that you may think of. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, it’s likely that a topic has not yet been made to request that aircraft to be added into the app.

Getting a simulator approved for FAA or similar flight training usually entails a laundry list of items that they’re looking for and rigorous requirements for an app to meet. I think it would be an insurmountable task to get a mobile flight sim app approved to log simulated instrument for example. I’m not saying that it isn’t possible but I think it would be something extremely challenging to tackle with the limited device capabilities that todays devices currently have.


Hope this clarifies a few things and provides a little insight.

Have a wonderful day!
-Matt

6 Likes

Hey mate, keep in mind that habits you will take in IF won’t vanish easily.
If you are 100% sure to get a PPL in the coming years, don’t push too much on flight sim.

You can still get X plane 11 to train starting procedures of your aircraft and then come in Infinite Flight to enjoy ATC and the variety of planes. But I’m pretty sure that flight instructors will want you to learn their way (FAA one in your country). Some even ask students to stop flight simulation.

I’m sure you can read testimony of other students talking about that.

But you’re free to do what you prefer.

Hey Matt

Thanks for the comment. With the recent FAA reauthorization Act the use of sims for training will be needed. Especially in connection with drone flying. I deal with FAA all the time and yes they have a laundry list of procedures for everything. From what I’ve seen I think it’s a matter of time before FAA while have to consider alternative training methods to include the use of apps to deal with the increasing pilot shortage and the ever increasing use of drone aircraft.

When I do my yearly part 139 it’s all interactive video based training.

Rob

I sincerely appreciate all of the feedback so far on this topic and after digesting what I wrote and looking at the feedback I would like to add additional clarity to this topic to foster continued feedback.

Initially when I wrote this, it centered on improving current aircraft or requesting new aircraft for the simulator. Potentially, this topic goes beyond simply adding new aircraft or features. After thinking about it more and boiling down the real idea behind why I wrote this I came up with this.

Could a mobile app provide a certifiable platform for real world aviation training? I believe it can, and eventually something will come out to help aspiring avaitors reduce the barrier of entry into the cockpit. While improving or producing better real world pilots to meet current and future demand. I think any pilot can attest, unless you did all of your flight training in the military the initial cost of becoming a pilot is expensive. And I think that expense keeps most people from even trying. And I believe having a relatively inexpensive app for flight training could help open doors for people who want to learn how to fly.

Where IF could revolution things is provide a way for people to learn basic aviation theory, appropriate FAA or equivalent regulatory concepts and all other ground based training which could be incorporated into the app to demonstrate or provide reference for ground based instruction. To some extent IF is already doing this. All the YouTube videos IF puts out has helped me become a better pilot in the simulator and I’m sure others can echo that those videos helps to make the simulator more enjoyable for everyone. This would probably be something that wouldn’t intersect with the current recreational version but best implemented through a separate functionality that would be like the expert server but to the tenth degree. That would require a different subscription cost and some type of proctoring or oversight function for properly documenting training for proof of proficiency or for written exam prep.

I agree that IF would not be a substitute for learning aircraft maneuvering in a real airplane. All student pilots should understand and follow what their CFI advises to ensure they are operating safely and in accordance with all regulations and ATC instruction.

Regards,
Rob OConnor

Nice Idea but I doubt this will happen any time soon.

I’ll support this. I feel like it’s about time for a GA fleet rework since I’m going to start ground school and other flight training soon

Very interesting post. I must say that whereas it was fun to cruise the world in airliners, the tbm got me into more serious learning. I read a lot and try to feel the plane and this is only possible because its flying model is outstanding! If I move into real flying in the coming years, that plane will be the reason for it. Time will tell and I’m a bit old for that, but it is becoming less unlikely by the month. More great Ga aircrafts, please!
Best landings to all.

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