The flight training industries leading ground school providers like MzeroA offer online ground school that is less inexpensive then one hour of dual flight time, but imagine if you coupled that with unlimited flight time for under $250, even $50 for a tight budget!?
Sounds like a dream but with a decent computer, hardware and software it’s a reality. Oh and this applies to Student Pilots, Private Pilots and Instrument Pilots! You can make this as realistic as you want, it’s really up to you.
No matter what you’re going to need some flight simulator software.
I suggest Flight Simulator X. With multiple airplanes and worldwide coverage you can’t go wrong. You can load up wherever you want and fly long IFR trips, practice pattern work or shoot some approaches. After you buy the software and install go to this free link and download the world navaids package so you can use the VOR’s and same Approaches as your Foreflight / Wing X Pro app shows. You can even buy this http://www.fsxflight.com/ and your simulator is hooked up to your iPad app!
The Bare Bones C-152 Route – Logitech Joystick
It’s not much but it’s great for simulator training for a laptop pilot! The joystick has full aileron, rudder, elevator axis with basic trip and throttle controls. Buy it HERE
The Cross Country Piper Meridian Route – The Ch Products Yoke & Pedals
This is how I started my simulator career. It’s a great middle of the road system that will last you for a long time. It has a throttle quadrant built into the yoke and if you splurge for the pedals you’ll love practicing crosswind landings. Buy the yoke HERE & the pedals HERE.
This is my current set up and I LOVE it. At first when I saw the clock on the Yoke I was trying to find a use for it but then I realized I could time approaches and holding and that really helped. Having the separate throttle quadrant included in with the Yoke really makes the flying much more realistic. The rudder pedals are extremely well built but will slip on the ground unless you buy something like the wheelstand pro.
Wheelstand Pro – A cockpit in your house!
I wish I had this! It looks great and really makes the flying seem REAL. Oh, it says wheelstand for the SAITEK but SAITEK and Logitech are the same company, Logitech purchased Saitek. Buy the wheelstand pro HERE.