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Microsoft® Flight Simulator as a Training Aid: A Guide for Pilots, Instructors, and Virtual Aviators

25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1560276708
ISBN-10: 1560276703
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Bruce Williams worked on six versions of Microsoft Flight Simulator during a 15-year career at Microsoft. His experience with the development and design of Microsoft Flight Simulator included consulting with leading aviation organizations and teaching seminars about how to use Microsoft Flight Simulator as a training aid. Bruce grew up in an Air Force family, and he has been a pilot and aviation writer since the early 1970s. He remains an active flight instructor at Galvin Flying Services in Seattle, specializing in technically advanced aircraft, simulator instruction, stall/spin/upset recovery training, and aerobatics. In early 2004, Bruce left Microsoft to devote full time to his consulting company, BruceAir, LLC (, which develops training materials, provides flight training, and offers multimedia presentations on a variety of topics for pilots and flight instructors.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Aviation Supplies & Academics, Inc. (January 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560276703
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560276708
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.7 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Nyago123 on April 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
I had some mixed feelings about this one after going through it cover to cover, but when I reflected on it, I appreciated the author's hard work putting it all together.

As a book, it covers (almost to the point of beating to death) why and how Flight Simulator (2004 and FSX) can be used as a training aid for flying... hence the title. Once you've read it, you've either been proselytized into the fold, or you've gotten annoyed and thrown it into the trash- in either case, I can't see reading it again unless I wanted to dig up the arguments to have with someone else. The text is also a little more oriented towards the instructor, more than the virtual pilot.

But where the real value lies is in the CD. Here, Williams has provided dozens and dozens of open ended practice flights for a student or instructor to practice various techniques (in both FS2004 and FSX formats). Yes, you could make your own, or maybe find some on the Net, but he's saved you the time - just copy over, load up, review the charts and briefings, and start flying. Each flight also comes with flight descriptions/briefings on the CD- though not in printed form (save for a few samples that in the book). There are also a lot of online references (e.g. pointers to the FAR/AIM online, and some relevant chapters on the CD in PDF form, etc)- nothing you couldn't get online, but at least here the pointers are all collected together. Still, to me all that was worth far more than the price of the book.

If you're a raw beginner and/or you just bought FSX the other day and are looking to learn how to fly from scratch, you'll probably need to look elsewhere first before coming here.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Skyhawk on March 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is a well written book and a good introduction to FS as a Training Aid. I am a private pilot and have been using FS since it's inception. I have always had difficulty convincing instructors (ground and flight) and fellow pilots to review the program and perhaps use it as an adjunct in their training. Bruce Williams, an accomplished pilot, CFI, and at one time on the developer team of MS Flight Simulator does a great job of explaining how it can be of assistance to both the student AND the instructor. One can at least get a comprehensive overview as to how it can be used for the mere cost of a book.

Personally I have always loved flying the simulator. I enjoy "landing" at airports that I intend to visit, as well as those in Europe, Asia, etc. One can fly all of the approaches in simulated bad weather to any airport anywhere in the world using "real" charts and plates and frequencies etc.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
I bought this book at the same time as Jeff Van West's book, and
I found that even though the latter makes you go download the missions
from the Wiley website, they were still much more useful. The lessons
on the CD with this book had no more structure than say something I
might have saved while flying. If you are buying a book that is
real-aviation oriented, West's book is a must have, this I would take
a pass on.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Wade A. Alderson on February 8, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have wanted to get my pilots license since I was 13. I could never get the cash.

The Flight Sim Pilot Training on Flight Sim 2004 and Flight Sim X is OK but not great.

This book is so incredibly awesome when it comes to how you can use Flight Sim to lean how to fly and the things that you shouldn't. (Let's just say the computer program is a little "optimistic")

I have talked to so many trainers who told me dozens of stories about people who got their sport or private pilot license in a much shorter time and cheaper because of this book.

And my local flight school instructor told me the more I can learn in Flight Sim the better pilot I will be because when he goes over the stuff I need to know he will be reminding me of the things I already know and filling in everything else.

He says all his pilots who have used Flight Sim saved from $1000 to $3000.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ross on January 25, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought this book ,partly based on other peoples reviews , crap,,, I wanted something to help my real world flying , possibly help me to practice ifr , while using FS X , this book is rubbish , I've since bought ms "FS X for pilots REAL WORD TRAINING " by jeff west and kev cummmings ,still only half way throught it and it's every thing this book isn't ,it GREAT , oh and if your new to FS X it'll tell you how to set it up and how to use it ,
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Timothy F. Liveright on March 11, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For rank beginners to MS FSX, the first half of this book, while a bit lengthy could prove helpful. My major criticism is that the book makes a fairly big jump to what could have been more substantive and useful information. I bought the book with accompanying CD to help me prepare for real world IFR training in a single engine G1000 aircraft. While there are loads of example flights that let you practice departures, enroute navigation, arrivals, and approaches, there is little discussion and preparation for these examples. It would seem that the book might then be quite good for instructors who are already familiar with these concepts.
All in all, while well organized and obviously written by a devotee of FSX, it failed me in my IFR training.
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