21st March 2012, 04:03 AM
Settle A Bet: Could he land a Cessna?
My friend at work is an avid MS Flight Simulator user, and has made the bold claim that he could take off, circle around, and land successfully a real Cessna 150 airplane, on the first try. He's never flown an actual plane. He says he has so many hours on the flight simulator that he is very confident he could pull this off. He's not sure, but claims he would be way better than 50-50 to do it without crashing.
We both know this could never actually be tried, and admits he'd never try it even he knew some dude in Mexico with a plane. But, he says we might be able to rent some time in a full size flight simulator to settle bet. I don't know, are there such things available to rent time in?
He has stipulations, saying it would only be a test of his flying. No communications required, no taxiing, good weather, low winds, no other ground or air traffic, etc. The plane would have all the checks complete, and plenty of fuel and the test would start with the plane at a stop on the runway, idling, pointing down the runway.
He says the Cessna 150 is one of the easiest planes to fly, and although he'd have to get the feel of it in quick hurry, he could still do it. He's says he's reached Instrument Rating certification on MS Flight Simulator.
What would be his chances of successfully accomplishing this? No chance? Easy? 50-50?
Tell me, should I make this bet and try to find a simulator to rent time in?
Thanks for any thoughts.
21st March 2012, 08:48 PM
Actually, your friend could easily prove or disprove his claim. Go out the the local airport, visit the local flight school and arrange for an hours dual time with an instructor in a C-150. The instructor will not let him crash.
As far as simulators go, FSX is really good. It's not much different that the one they have at the flight school at the airport near my work. The major difference is they have a 3 monitor display and control yoke and rudder pedals (both of which you can have in FSX if you want to spend the money). With the stipulations he's put on his "test" the only way he'll do it is in a simulator. Flying in a simulator gives you some good experience and you can learn just about all the proceedures, but in a real airplane...it's a different animal. Taxiing...easy, Take off...that's easy too, Landing...that where it can get interesting very quickly not to mention whatever else can and usually does happen in the air. That being said, your friend might just be able to do it in a real 150, but the first time around...kind of doubtful.
Like I said before..if he really wants to see if he can do it...go out to the airport and book an hour with an instructor and do it for real. You never know...he might just get hooked on getting high...for real.
BTW - I am a licensed pilot with several hundred hours airtime.
Last edited by Avi8tor; 21st March 2012 at 08:51 PM.
19th April 2012, 06:05 PM
Your friend will have knowledge of the aircraft, its instruments and what input does what to the aircraft... So he certainly has a better chance of landing the aircraft safely rather than someone who has not played flight simulator.
BUT in a real aircraft its really different to playing on a screen. You actually feel the wind, the bumps, wind shear, g-forces on your body in a sharp turn etc.
Also its not like a joystick where you just hold the joystick to the right to turn, in the cessna you should apply some rudder input with the yoke for the turn etc.
I would say, its not impossible, like Avi8tor says, taxi is easy, take-off is easy (hit the right speed, gently pull back and maintain a certain speed) but landing is the most difficult part.
On the sim its easy to forget about all the checklists that need to be done when you actually flying. These are vital. You dont want to get airborne and then have an engine failure because of something missed in the checklists.
Its not as easy as just going to a local airfield, hiring a plane and instructor and trying this out either. The first lesson you will only get control of the plane in the air, but instructor will take-off and land. I think possible around the 3rd lesson or so will you actually land the plane yourself provided the instructor thinks you ready.