1,700 hours is what I now have logged in X-Plane and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020.
There are hundreds of hours that have not been logged in: Microsoft Flight, Microsoft Flight Simulator X, and Dovetail's: Flight School and Flight Sim World.
The unlogged time in the others does not really matter as I was so inexperienced and had yet to learn most of the things required by people in the REAL-WORLD seeking their; Sport License, Private Pilot License, Multi-Engine rating, Mountain Flying rating etc.
Before X-Plane and MSFS 2020 I had not learned or was still trying to get my head around such simple things as: Mixture, Carb Heat, different ty
pes of propeller planes, how PITOT works, EGT, most of the FAA Visual Flight Rules, The Traffic Pattern & How to Approach an Airport, Basic VOR Navigation, Airspaces, using a Transponder, Weights and Balancing, Reading VFR Maps, filing a Flight Plan, Reading VFR Maps, METARs, working with ATC, SIDS & STARS, VOR Triangulation,
DME Arcs, NOTAMS, using different types of GPS, Instrument flying, the Instrument Landing System... ...
In the last few years, and thankfully due to YOUTUBE, almost everything you care to learn about real-world flying (or to get you on the right path for finding training material) is now available. Prior to YouTube or going to a library, there was the training that was provided with Microsoft FSX and X-Plane.
FSX by far had the most extensive training and knowledge base. X-Plane provides very little and expects you to already know your stuff.
MSFS 2020 does provide training but it's very basic and remains VERY buggy. Sadly (imo) it sets up new users for frustration and failure rather than success. But that is another story. It's really up to you to be dog
ged and determined to seek out and learn as much as you can on your own. Which I did.
When I first started and for the first several years in flight simulators, I could not even perform good landings under good conditions. It was so frustrating I walked away for a long time. What was the point in learning more if I could not even stick landings?
When MS Flight came out and we were introduced to the ICON A-5 Sport Plane is when everything turned around for me. The cockpit is spartan and when landing you can see the ground. It's so non-intimidating and provides such good views of the ground when landing one is able to really have fun and spend time learning to fly and learning to land in various conditions.
I began sticking my landings regularly and through the missions and challenges started learning how to land with gusts, wind directional changes, crosswinds, etc. Where in the past, to be comfortable I needed to be perfectly set up for landing at ten miles out and have perfect conditions. Because of the ICON A-5, by the time I moved from FLIGHT to MS FSX I was able to just make a landing when needed no matter where I was in relation to a landing strip or what the conditions are. I had finally grasped the basic mechanics of aircraft enough to think and fly more like a bird.
Before Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 nobody expected Microsoft to ever make another Flight Simulator. With that. Dovetail games. After releasing the STEAM version of MS FSX, created: FLIGHT SCHOOL and FLIGHT SIM WORLD. Two AMAZING and beautiful achievements that were pulled from the market when MSFS 2020 was announced. This was terribly unfortunate as not a lot of people get the chance to experience just how amazing they were.
I spent a lot of time in Flight School, Flight Sim World and FSX. It was then I decided I was going to get serious and start learning as much as I could and move up to a professional Flight Sim like X-Plane.
After about 800 hours in X-Plane is when Microsoft announced, they would return to creating Flight Simulator and create the world's first VFR Flight Sim. I signed up ASAP to be an Alpha Tester and was selected to spend time in it for one year before it was released. I racked up several hundred more hours in it before launch.
Once MSFS2020 released I felt I had finally learned enough to begin proving it by starting to create my own Flight Tutorial videos on YouTube for noobs like myself and have created dozens and have done many months of livestreaming tutorials.
These videos were all under my main YouTube account and only recently split onto their own channel. I've mostly branded them under the NOOBFLIGHTS banner and that is the name of the channel. The idea is that I'm still a NOOB trying to help other NOOBS who may have been frustrated, intimidated or put off by other training videos. As well as demonstrate how to use MSFS 2020 in particular.
While I am not certain I will ever be brave of confident enough to go get any piloting licenses, I do believe I have gained the required knowledge to begin to pass most all of the written tests.
I have created VIDEO PAGES under the VIDEO MENU that now display most of the Flight Sim Playlists I have up on YouTube. There are still a few playlists missing that show the old: MSFSX Training Videos by Rod Machado and the Training and Missions from Dovetail's Flight Sim World.
My Playlists include:
- Landmarks in MSFS (only a few and outdated)