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This article from Slashdot caught my eye.
Have you noticed an impact? Assuming simulator gear costs $2K or so, how does that compare to GA flying lessons?
-- J. Peterson, August 17, 2018
Flight schools don't compete with simulators. People go to flight school to build a career in aviation OR as a hobby. So if simulation gets people more interested in aviation as a career or as a hobby that's a positive for flight schools. The most aggressive competitors for flight school career-track business are local universities, selling young people on the dream of being a useless (but highly paid) desk worker. The most serious competitors for flight school hobby-track business are other hobbies, friends, and consumption goals (wife wants a new kitchen and husband wants to earn a Private, for example; guess which spouse wins?).
-- Philip Greenspun, August 17, 2018