Interview about PC-Based Simulation

The friendly folks at the Hangar 49 podcast (produced in the Pacific Northwest) have posted their latest installment (mp3), which includes an interview with me about using PC-based flight simulations to complement flight training.

This is one of several interviews and webinars that I’ve done recently on this topic. You can watch the webinar, hosted by EAA, here. Another interview is available as a podcast at PilotSafetyRadio.

For more information about my two books about PC-based flight simulation, visit my website.

Using X-Plane Situations with “Scenario-Based Training”

My new book, Scenario-Based Training with X-Plane and Microsoft Flight Simulator: Using PC-Based Flight Simulations Based on FAA-Industry Training Standards, is now available. If you use X-Plane, you should be aware that the Situations posted for download from the book’s page at the publisher’s website may not work with your version of X-Plane.

When I asked about compatibility last year, I understood that the Situations I created while using X-Plane 9 would work with subsequent versions of the simulation. But according to recent email from the developer, the file format changes “a lot,” and he explained that “i am working to make the situations more robust in with-standing file-format changes in the future, but have not yet done so.”

It’s not practical to update all of the Situations every time the format changes–one of the features of X-Plane is frequent updates, even between major versions.

My best advice? If you can’t load the Situation files provided to complement the scenarios in the book, you can use the descriptions of each lesson to quickly set up the Cessna (or your choice of aircraft) at the location where a particular virtual flight begins. As noted in Chapter 10, “Using the Scenarios in This Book,” the Situations are just starting points; they’re not interactive “missions” (see especially p. 109-110). For more information about X-Plane and Situations, see Chapter 6, “A Quick Guide to X-Plane” and the help resources described there.

X-Plane v. Microsoft Flight Simulator

I get a lot of questions about PC-based flight simulations, and the most common query is, “Which is better, X-Plane or Microsoft Flight Simulator?” My detailed answer is the subject of Chapter 5, “Choosing a PC-Based Simulation: X-Plane or FSX?” in my new book, Scenario-Based Training with X-Plane and Microsoft Flight Simulator: Using PC-Based Flight Simulations Based on FAA-Industry Training Standards.

You can download and read PDF versions of Chapter 5 and the table of contents for the book from one of my SkyDrive folders.

You need the free Adobe Reader (or its equivalent) to view the PDF files.

Scenario-Based Training with X-Plane and Microsoft Flight Simulator

My new book about using PC-based simulations to complement flight training will be available in January 2012. If you’d like a sneak peak, you can download the table of contents, a sample chapter, and other content from the book’s page at Wiley’s website.

Scenario-Based Training with X-Plane and Microsoft Flight Simulator

My New Book about PC-Based Flight Simulation

Wiley has announced my new book about using PC-based flight simulations to complement flight training.

Scenario-Based Training with X-Plane and Microsoft Flight Simulator: Using PC-Based Flight Simulations based on FAA and Industry Training Standards will be out in January 2012.

The title offers general guidance about using PC-based simulations effectively, plus reviews of the essential features of X-Plane and FSX. It includes links to sets of Situations (for X-Plane) and Flights (for FSX) that correspond to lessons based on the private pilot and instrument rating syllabi available at the FITS website. Each lesson in the book includes specific references to key FAA training handbooks and related background information.

The book also helps virtual aviators–flight simulation enthusiasts–master essential skills so that they can expand and increase enjoyment of their hobby.

Richard Rhodes has a New Book Out

image I’m off to the bookstore to get the latest by Richard Rhodes, Arsenals of Folly: The Making of the Nuclear Arms Race. Rhodes wrote the (still) definitive popular history of the Manhattan Project, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, and its sequel, Dark Sun: The Making of the Hydrogen Bomb. He mastered the science and technology central to those stories, but he’s also a compelling story-teller. The Making of the Atomic Bomb won a Pulitzer Prize.

Rhodes is a brilliant and prolific writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Among my favorites is Deadly feasts : tracking the secrets of a terrifying new plague, about the discovery of prions (proteinaceous infectious particles) the agents responsible for mad cow disease and its human variant, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

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