I finally decided to pursue my instrument rating last spring and, considering it part of my training, purchased a copy of X-Plane. While there is no substitute for excellent flight instruction, I can not overstate how beneficial X-Plane was. Before, after, and on the numerous days where a training flight was canceled, I logged time in X-Plane, flying the same trusted Cessna 172 I was flying in real life. I was able to practice the maneuvers and apply the teachings from previous lessons in the safety and comfort of my own home on my own time, allowing me to make numerous repetitions and iron out the countless mistakes before I was in the seat of my next flight. Because of X-Plane, I was more practiced, confident, and comfortable for each lesson. The end result was that I able to earn my IFR rating faster than any other student my instructor has ever seen, saving me hundreds (perhaps thousands) of dollars in aircraft rental and instructor costs.
I would recommend anyone embarking on aviation flight training consider X-Plane a core part of their training; the results are direct, tangible, and fantastic!
Thanks for helping me accomplish my dream,