How much have you forgotten?

I know we’ve talked about this before, but I was once again reminded about proficiency (and my lack thereof) in our sims when I was confronted with a DCS A-10C mission requiring a precise time-on-target arrival. I vaguely remember years ago going through a tutorial (probably in the Maple Flag Basic Airmanship campaign) on how to enter that in the CDU.

Given the complexity and sheer number of modules available for DCS World (and other sims), it is a real struggle to keep even some basic knowledge locked in. I mean, I was probably as proficient as I could be in the MiG-21 a few years ago while writing a series of articles for PC Pilot, but now I’d be hard pressed to get in the thing and start it.

Anyway - thanks @bunyap2w1 for saving me with your “On The Range #60” tutorial…! Hopefully I can hit my TOT and not embarrass the Air Force too badly…


This is why I keep telling myself I shouldn’t be purchasing new modules and yet…


We love new shoes…!


I focus on the McAir stuff (Harrier, Bug) so it’s harder to forget things. I did the Viggen training missions… Once! So anytime I want to truck around in the Viggen, I just hot start it and randomly click on the pit until stuff works. Same’s true of the Mirage!


I think this one of them real life things. In reality, who flies a F-15 on day, a UH-1 the next then a Russian bird just for kicks? NOBODY. So we are so hard on ourselves thinking we need to know Everything about the Mirage then Everything about the MiG-21 and so on. I make extensive use of Excell and make documents with all the controls. This is an interesting thread. I am in my 50s and I often cant remember things. DCS is a mental exerciser. Don’t give up the struggle. Hahaha


Without my ocd level obsession for checklists I would be lost. My wife bought a laminating machine a couple of years ago for her business and I’ve used it SO MANY TIMES. I love checklists.


I have moved over to concentrate on one type at a time. Currently I fly Hornet exclusively. Previous planes were Harrier, F-5 and MiG-21.

I like the learning process until I’m ready to fly some typical missions for that one aircraft type.

Everytime I go back to a plane I’ve learned before I need some hours until I remember all the details, but it’s usually faster than the initial learning process :wink:

My learning list is long though. I still have to get proficient with the Mirage 2000, Viggen and A-10C (among others…)


I can still start the A10 and black shark from memory and I know hueys and hips inside out as they are my primary airframe. Any thing else is cheat starts and point and shoot :grinning:


I think this is an interesting question and one that gets more and more relevant for DCS as the number of complex aircraft increases. I have long passed on various aircraft, even if I think they are somewhat interesting, because I don’t think I have the time to get into them. Mi-8, MiG-15 and L-39 are some of them. Some years ago with less other options it would have been very interesting to fly these unique machines, but today I rather spend my time on the aircraft I like even more. Even the various sales (currently 50% off) can’t get me to buy them. The relevant resource is simply not money but time.

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The only DCS plane I really was proficient at (like in: being able to tell someone most of the red stuff in the checklists and knowing most of the speeds, weights, and other limits, and also knowing what to do in most of the CDU pages) is the A-10.

I was close to that level in the Huey, and the MiG-21, but not quite there, and not at the same time.

In all others I know the normal, basic stuff. I usually remember the startup (plus minus a bit of switching here or there) and in the simpler ones like the warbirds or the Huey I can use weapons as well.

I think it is possible to learn several aircraft to a high level of proficiency, but if you want to call yourself “proficient” then I think the limit is three to four, depending on the aircraft.

@BeachAV8R remember that you spent two (or was it three?) Of your “slots” for your real aircraft already. …I hope.
So don’t be sad if you can only learn one to three DCS planes. You need that brain capacity for something else.


Yes…the B200 and Citation Ultra take up most of my spare brain capacity. :nerd_face: There was a time before my current job when I flew five different airplanes that had a good number of differences between them (Citation V, Citation CJ1, Citation II, King Air 200, and King Air 300). At least the Citations and King Airs had some commonality between them…but the numbers and limitations for all five planes were different. I’m amazed that we decided to fly a whole fleet like that and not just dedicate crews to two airplanes. It was a Part 91 operation though…so that explains most of it…operating from a 3800’ long runway too no less. Glad I survived that portion of my career.


This is why I’m a fan of FC3 (soon to be MAC), and I only own one full module (F-18).

Anything else I spend more time remembering than flying.


Which is why I rarely fly my a10c anymore…

I’m very much considering buying MAC and the tomcat and then just concentrating on those that I actually WANT to learn rather than the ones I Consider I interesting but have no emotional attachment too

This is yet another charm of Blue Flag. The “war” can last for weeks. Once you pick a side you’re stuck with it for the duration of the war, giving you time and incentive to relearn past machines. This round (we won!) I reacquainted myself with the Mirage, Ka50 and Su25t (plus a short stint running repair crates in the TF-51). Next round it will be the Harrier, A-10C and maybe the F-18, although I am no fan of the two large Hornet virtual squadrons which dominate the server. Multiplayer is much easier because there is plenty of input on comms to assist on load out and target spotting.

I found the Su25t to be the steepest (re)learning curve. I don’t agree that the FC fidelity level makes things easier. Clicking switches forces muscle memory.


Since I’m on my laptop most of the time these days (my man cave doesn’t have space for the wife, and her thing is “quality time” so laptop gaming in my recliner it is), I do like being able to have commonality among controls. Pretty much every fight sim ever made uses G for gear and F for flaps, and being able to have that kind of commonality across different AC for things like radar, target cursor movement, etc. So going from say the Harrier to the SU-25T I have a lot of common keystrokes for systems that they both have in common. Sure there is AC specific stuff I have to dredge out from memory (arming the Viggen ejection seat for instance), but overall the “control” part of the AC isn’t too bad to swap between or pick back up.

Now “employee” the AC that’s a whole different ball of wax. Honestly even just remembering what the different redside weapons even are (okay which missile is TV guided, which is IR, which is laser, which is just a giant rocket, etc) can be a chore. Things like dive angles and speeds, etc I usually still have in my custom kneeboard which helps for the F-5 and the F-86, and if I can recall the switchology correctly pretty much all the other AC have some form of CCIP or CCRP. Now the “recall the switchology” part is what gets me in something like the A-10C or the MiG-21, as both require some button pushing/switch flipping beyond master arm on.

All true. I am glad we have both FC and switchable.