Practicing using the simulator is the right thing to do. Congratulations! We wish more people would get dialed in while on the ground.
The iPad Mini 4 is pretty old at this point so you will have to turn some features off to have it work properly. Turn the footprint off and make sure auto clear images points is turned on.
The Simulator is a LITTLE funky sometimes. You have to have a good GPS fix in order to use it unless you are operating off of a saved mission. It saying "Exited Programmed Flight" is an issue on the aircraft. I can't say I have seen it do that during simulated flight but I am sure it is possible. Make sure all of your M2P optics are clean, including the sensors since they can trigger obstacle avoidance events if you happen to walk by while it is simulating flight.
In any case, start small and work your way up to larger outdoor flights.