Flying using rc flight simulators can literally save you hundreds of dollars. The purpose of a flight simulator is to help you learn to fly in the quickest amount of time, with the least probability of damaging your model.
The nice thing about flight simulators is that you can attach the flight control cable to the rear of your computer, configure the settings, and immediately begin flying on screen.
Lets face it, you can crash a virtual helicopter many many times for free compared to crashing the real thing?
There are several models of rc flight simulators made by different manufacturers and they each have their own good points.
1. Flying Model Simulator - This simulator is worth a look, and it's a free download at this site.