Flight simulation has been with me since the 1960’s. At that time I had a cardboard cockpit panel with instruments drawn on it, and my brother holding it up and doing some fancy sound engineering of an engine spooling up. Later, I added some real indicator lights and some toggle switches, an overhead panel, which I saw in a Caravelle, the first plane I traveled on. Of course it all changed in the 70’s when we got the first, fully black and white, 8 glorious bit Sublogic simulator, which then kind of became the Microsoft Flight Simulator 1.0. I run it on my AT while, at the same time, I took flight lessons. At some point I found it a necessity to fly an entire training flight first on the sim, which was going almost as slow as the Cherokee 140 I trained on, and then in the real plane. I would make the same mistakes in both, exactly. Forgot to time the approach, bad speed control, did not intercept precisely. By then the value of simulation for fun, training and general interest, was obvious to me, and it combined the things I liked the most, computers, flying, technology, lots of switches, etc. Several years later, in the mid 90’s, I received a Jeppesen Simulator as a present, and that came with scenarios, ATC which knew where you were, and real physical throttles and controls. I had it with me when I moved to the South Pacific and I used it there to train some local pilots in FAA-style ATC lingo. It was fun. Today of course we live in a highly-sophisticated flight simulation world, and it is an impressive one. Lots of technical competence and creativity aided by what is now very powerful processing power. But most importantly I find the community around flight simulation amazingly supportive. At a time when online relations can go in many different and not always pleasant direction. this community is always positive, interested and supportive. That is, in itself, what makes it so vibrant and effective. When we were thinking about the Association, fostering the community was they key objective, a place to support simmers at all different levels, builders, instructors, vendors and any enthusiast just starting up or already an expert. Sharing knowledge, exchanging solutions, and most of all, a passion for flying our simulators.

Warm regards,