One of my best friends works right across the hall from me. We've worked together on FS for six or seven years. Some of you know him from AVSIM conferences or airshow booths: Mike Singer. We often discuss how to eliminate barriers for new users to getting into the FS experience and we have a concept we call "Mike Singer in a box."
Mike can take just about anyone from zero to 110 in Flight Simulator in five minutes. He has a very simple, unintimidating method. It simply reduces the information needed to get flying to what is absolutely essential and then Mike coaches the new user through a flight.
Mike tells a great story about using this technique with a cousin who had never expressed an interest in simulations. Later in the day, Mike asked the cousin what he wanted to do that evening. The cousin replied, "Can we practice some more landings?" The cousin called Mike some days later and told him excitedly how he'd just learned how to navigate by VOR using the Lessons in FS. All from a little spark ignited by someone who has passion for Flight Simulator and has a talent for helping newbies get started.
So have you all done this with friends and relatives who either didn't understand your passion for simming or who expressed an interest but were intimidated?
Are any of you readers in the U.S. going to take time out from mindless gluttony (not that there's anything wrong with that) this weekend to initiate a pal into the wonderful world of Flight Simulator?
What's your technique?
Very nice post. I have recently talked a friend in my neighborhood into giving FS 2004 a try. He is actually an aerospace engineer from Ohio State (not currently working in the field). He admits not using any flight simulation products since the Commodore 64 days - oh how they have changed since then!!
I have given him links to many aftermarket aircraft and the major flightsim sites to let him know there is a thriving community surrounding FS. He is quite impressed with everything I've shown him thus far.
As to exposing anyone else to the wonderful world of flight simulation - my dad is already a seasoned flight simmer. My little 5 year-old nephew is also very interested in flight simulation. He doesn't quite know how to control aircraft well, but he can sit and watch anyone else who knows the ropes for hours. Though, don't try flying a jet - he's not too keen on those - it must have a propeller on the front before he's interested. :-)
Ah, another future recruit! :)
Cal Classic Propliners
I first got my father ( a retired airline captain) into FS by installing it on my laptop and take it to his house just days after purchasing it myself.
He again got my brother hooked on it just by sharing a few beers and letting him fly the piper cub, he now navigates and pilot the 737!
All done in 5 months!!