Flight simulator enthusiasts are a very specific, complex subsect of the gaming world. Their passion for checklists and indecipherable user interfaces places them at an almost MMO-level of dedication and persistence, and -- like the popular multiplayer RPGs -- flight sims are starting to make the leap to free-to-play.

Microsoft Flight will bring affordable ailerons and aerofoils to PC pilots this spring, according to an update on Major Nelson's blog. Everyone will have access to free crashes aircraft, though those who sign in with a Games for Windows Live account will receive additional free planes, missions and access to those sweet 'chievos.

The sim will also include the ICON A5, an amphibious, lightweight vehicle which doesn't enter real-world commercial production until the end of this year. Microsoft's PR describes the A5 as "the jet ski for the skies," which sounds like the most terrifying, fantastic way to die.

Prospective pilots can still sign up for that closed beta we mentioned by clicking here, presumably after strapping on goggles and a dashing scarf.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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