I was wondering if using any of the two mentioned software are great addition to flight training or something else like ASA’s On Top and IP Trainer are better and I shouldn’t waste my time with MS Flight Simulator?
FS2004 and FSX will help for your training, indeed, especially when it comes to getting used to what you would do when youre actually flying. That, in combination with PilotEdge or VATSIM will help tremendously. The drawback to FS9 and FSX is taht none of the work you do in it will go towards flight hours for your ticket.
If you were to use something like X-Plane, you may be able to get your flight hours logged through that, as it is FAA-certified. See X-Plane’s website for details.
I, personally, don’t think that time spent with FSX or FS9 is a waste of time. Most don’t realize, but over the past 5 or so years, flight sims (FSX and X-Plane, particularly) have become increasingly advanced and realistic - especially when coupled with various add-ons for weather, avionics, ATC, aircraft, etc. In fact, I’d argue that it’s to the point where they create a legitimate and translatable learning opportunity for those wanting to learn to fly or stay proficient.
As a 1,500+ hour VATSIM pilot, I definitely agree with tyketto and can tell you that the radio procedure training alone provided for free on VATSIM (or for a nominal fee via Pilot Edge) is definitely a huge benefit. Coupled with advanced avionics such as Reality XP’s GNS430W/530W or Flight1’s T182T with their G1000, you can learn a lot about communication, procedures, and the functionality of certain avionics. This could potentially save you a lot of time and money in your training and keep you proficient if you’re already rated.
What flight sim obviously can’t do is give you the total immersive visual and seat-of-the-pants “feel” experience you can in the real airplane – and this counts for a lot. Just beware, as you probably already are, FS can create bad habits (fixation on instruments, reduced reliance on the outside traffic scan, etc.) but as long as you’re aware that those habits could creep in and take efforts to address them, I think it’s a worthwhile use of your time.
I’ve been really into fsx for about 2 years, and started my ppl training this past winter. It really does make a difference. My instructor told me that he’s never seen someone progress as fast as I did, and he said there is no doubt that the flight sim has helped me. At the very least you get a better understanding of how the instruments work and how the systems work. If you don’t already, invest in a yoke and some pedals, and make it as real as you possibly can. I think that if you make FSX as real as you can there is no problem with it at all. Bounce in your chair on takeoff and landing hahah Good luck!!