Simulators

A discussion about the value of good simulator training in support of learning IFR procedures

93/09/10 07:50

From: E-Pilot T o: DIPLOCAT Judith Bradt

Sounds as though you had a good time in the simulator. I think that most people get rattled because they lack the simple organization you refer to; they make it too difficult for themselves mentally beforehand; and/or they don't think OR plan ahead.

Once I thought that out -- sat on the couch with a stopwatch and visualized scanning and flying the whole square pattern with the curlicues on the corners -- it started to organize my thoughts.

Most people make the mistake of doing such a visualization -- if at all -- in only two dimensions, forgetting the third and fourth dimension of altitude and time, respectively. You had a stopwatch: did you remember to visualize the pattern with respect to altitude?

The discipline you allude to, that is, forcing yourself (gently) to THINK and visualize what you're going to do will be something which will serve you throughout instrument flying. With practice, your flying will improve because you build experience in planning more quickly and accurately.

I realized that if I got to 2000' before the two minutes were up, I still had to hold the course for two minutes; but if I finished the turn early, I needed to start the next leg of climb, descent, or other action as soon as I reached the target heading.

There's a wonderful pleasure of self-satisfaction that comes from doing the pattern A and B in such a way that the timed leg and the rate climb/descent end at exactly the same time so that the "airplane" is constantly changing on all three axis in all four dimensions -- but accurately. You get the sense that you're beginning to master the airplane instead of being a passenger.

The stopwatch REALLY helped.

There's a way that you can extend your awareness. Next time you go out and jog, try to observe everything that you can: paper in the grass, a piece of glass on the street; the hair color of the driver who just passed you and the license plate of the car. Were the hubcaps all there, and were those you could see in good condition? What colour was the bird in the tree you just passed? What clouds re visible, and what do they indicate? You don't have to memorize them -- you should just simply be aware of everything you passed, or which passed you.

Take along your stopwatch, one seperate from that which you use to time your jog. Start the stopwatch while you're taking in all the details (expanding awareness stuff): try to estimate how many seconds have passed since you started the watch (don't count!). The purpose of the exercise is to include another variable into your consciousness without -- repeat, without making it a separate activity.

Most importantly, I got out of the need to memorize the exercise patterns; I flew the "B" pattern -- which I had looked at before, but not committed to memory -- one step at a time. The only part that needed special attention was looking at a 45 degree turn and figuring out what the target heading was supposed to be. I had been doing some mental practice at addition & subtraction on compass headings while in the car, but not recently, and only doing 180 degree shifts.

Your compass card (DG) is much more accurate at estimating target headings than you can ever be. Go figure...(I'll be gravely disappointed in you if you can't figure this out, Judy. <g>)

Most importantly, I am learning to be patient and make small changes and wait. And also, the self-talk I use to guide me through the exercises is generally much more warm and positive, even when I make mistakes.

It was definitely fun, and I was so much more relaxed, rather than burnt out, after this session...

Remember someone telling you to tell yourself that "Flying is fun"? By George, I think she's got it!

The triangles of agreement I think you can (and should) figure out for yourself. For each manoeuver, there is ONE or TWO primary instuments, and at least two secondary instruments. Please tell me: what are the primary instruments for --

Descending
Climbing
Turning
Starting or ending a climb
Starting or ending a descent
Starting or ending a turn
Straight and level
Changing airspeed
Changing configuration (flaps and/or gear)
Climbing or descending turns
Stopping (or starting) a climb or descent while in a turn
Stopping (or starting) a turn while climbing/descending
Simultaneously ending a climb/descent and turn
What instruments would support the PRIMARY in these manoeuvres?

Once you get the idea of what is primary and what is supporting, you ALWAYS use at least THREE instruments to INITIATE, MAINTAIN, and TERMINATE all manoeuvers, to monitor flight progress, or to perform an instrument approach.

If you've ever heeded anything I've related to you, this is something you should master.

Next: Clearances & Approaches

Judy & JJ
 
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