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Microsoft Flight Simulator is back … for real!

RENTON, Wash. — Thanks to Microsoft’s hyper-realistic new version of Flight Simulator, I now know what it’s like to fly a Cessna 72SP Skyhawk airplane over my neighborhood … then crash it into the next street over.

And in connection with a daylong preview of the pre-alpha version of the simulation software, I got to fly a real Cessna almost as close to my real neighborhood. Thankfully, without crashing.

Both adventures were eye-openers for a guy like me — a guy who had never taken a flight lesson before, and whose only previous experience with flight simulation programs has been to crash (or nearly crash) virtual spaceships.

But even a newbie like me can appreciate the effort that went into the first full refresh for Microsoft’s classic Flight Simulator in 13 years.

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