Does this training methodology make sense?

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
You guys have been remarkably helpful, so I'd appreciate some additional knowledge.

Someone pointed out that since I'm a pilot I must hate money, but I'm also trying to be efficient here. To that end, I'm trying to combine requirements in my training to meet multiple goals at the same time.

Right now, the goal is to obtain my IR. Beyond that, the Comm/CFI/CFII/MEI stuff is possibly on the horizon, but not as set in stone as the IR. Further, costs are a factor. So here's what I'm thinking:

  • The FBO has a Redbird Full Motion sim that I can log a good chunk of my IR training time in. Obviously, that's cheaper. A number of CFIs have told me, in the past, that using the sim is an excellent way to learn procedures and approaches and workflows. I can't argue since I have no frame of reference, but I'm interested in opinions on this.
  • The remaining flying I'd try and do at night, under the hood or in actual, under XC conditions. That would allow me, theoretically, to "triple dip" (xc, night, instrument) on the flight in terms of future requirements. My CFI absolutely wants to take me into actual, and we've even discussed skipping a sim session in favor of getting in the clouds if conditions permit.

So this is sorta my thought (and budgeting process) right now. Do you guys have any insight or advice that will help me out, save me money, or make me a better pilot? Or are those last two things mutually exclusive?

Thanks in advance - I appreciate the civil discourse.
 

sounddoc

Well-Known Member
The only downside would be the XC factor. A lot your training would be more efficient as rapid fire approaches. Up here in Boston we have a few class D airports that have ILSs, NDBs, VORs, LOCs, and GPS approaches, oh my! During my instrument training we just spent the lesson doing approach after approach getting the flows down. In a XC environment there'll be a lot of downtime where you're not flying approaches and that's not efficient. It would be like flying cross countries when you should be in the pattern learning to land. Use the time between IR and CPL to build that XC time. 1.4 on the hobbs with 4 approaches is far more efficient than 2.4 on the hobbs and 2 approaches. For now, save your money and get your approaches down - that's what the checkride will mostly be anyway, one approach after the other. The cheapest way to do XC is solo, without an instructor - utilize the dual time to work on the aspects of instrument flying where you'll need the most help - and I doubt that's following a needle for an hour!
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
The only downside would be the XC factor. A lot your training would be more efficient as rapid fire approaches. Up here in Boston we have a few class D airports that have ILSs, NDBs, VORs, LOCs, and GPS approaches, oh my! During my instrument training we just spent the lesson doing approach after approach getting the flows down. In a XC environment there'll be a lot of downtime where you're not flying approaches and that's not efficient. It would be like flying cross countries when you should be in the pattern learning to land. Use the time between IR and CPL to build that XC time. 1.4 on the hobbs with 4 approaches is far more efficient than 2.4 on the hobbs and 2 approaches. For now, save your money and get your approaches down - that's what the checkride will mostly be anyway, one approach after the other. The cheapest way to do XC is solo, without an instructor - utilize the dual time to work on the aspects of instrument flying where you'll need the most help - and I doubt that's following a needle for an hour!
Y'know, that's really good advice. Plus, on the XCs, I suppose I could get a safety pilot to come with me.

Thanks.
 

Matt13C

Well-Known Member
I agree with sounddoc 100%. Also, night flights under the hood are awesome. There was less traffic so we were given much greater freedom regarding when to break off approaches as well as what approaches we could fly. Also, since the controllers in PHL were working less traffic they had more time for us, were able to ask for our next planned approach and were able to provide more efficient vectors which allowed for more approaches in the same space of time.

The IR ride was all rapid fire approaches, we did a mock clearance in the aircraft, did the departure and joined the airway then it was right into air work and then back for some approaches. No sense in burning the 45-55 per hour on instructor fees so they can watch you fly he plane.
 

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
READ READ READ READ READ!

Read as much as you can, and buy MS flight sim and a yoke and pedals and fly approaches until your eyes bleed. Teach yourself as much as you can at home about basic instrument flying, then have your CFII iron out the details. If you have the fundamentals down from the get go, you'll be better off later on.
 

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
READ READ READ READ READ!

Read as much as you can, and buy MS flight sim and a yoke and pedals and fly approaches until your eyes bleed. Teach yourself as much as you can at home about basic instrument flying, then have your CFII iron out the details. If you have the fundamentals down from the get go, you'll be better off later on.
This is something I've been wondering about.

I can do this, but I'm concerned about creating some bad habits or doing it "wrong" on MSFS and carrying that over to the airplane. I think I saw a book once that mentioned using MSFS with IR students. I ought to check that out.
 

drunkenbeagle

Gang Member
This is something I've been wondering about.

I can do this, but I'm concerned about creating some bad habits or doing it "wrong" on MSFS and carrying that over to the airplane. I think I saw a book once that mentioned using MSFS with IR students. I ought to check that out.
There isn't any "wrong" that I would worry about. Instrument flights are all pretty much the same - get clearance, depart, contact approach, fly, find out approach, brief approach, fly approach, and if training for an IR - you go missed and hold :). IFR is wonderful in that it is very, very predictable.

Bad habits? Your CFI will point out any as they see them, but really, I wouldn't worry about that much. You only need 15 dual for the IR, and while there's a lot of book knowledge, that isn't really that much time flying.
 

Dodd350

Well-Known Member
Sounds like you have a great plan. I think doing a lot of xc time with the instrument rating is extremely important. I didn't fully understand how the system worked (and I doubt you will either) until you use it for an extended period of time in a flight. That being said, getting multiple approaches in is also important because no matter how realistic the sim is (besides the 10 million dollar ones) it's just not the same.

When I was doing the training I would file a flight plan to an airport over 50nm away and land there and take a break. On the way back, I'd cruise by a cluster of three airports that was pretty close between my base airport and the xc airport I just flew to and fly as many approaches as I could and just not land at any of the airports. This allowed me to see how the system worked while still getting around 5-7 approaches in. It was a VERY long flight, but the best bang for the buck and if you can fly that, you can certainly handle a checkride with only a few approaches. Best of luck.
 

KHanson

Well-Known Member
Shooting 10 approaches into the same airport is as beneficial to a student as a CFI falling asleep on a night xc. Just remember, your CFI is going to have to give you realistic scenarios, and missions to accomplish. The FAA is getting really down and dirty on missions. So, it's no longer take off, vectors for one approach, hold, one non-prec. partial panel, missed and vectors for the 3rd with a circle to land and 1.3 later you're done. Scenario-based training goes a lot further than 10 approaches, 1 landing, and 7 holds at the same airport.
 

Whatusername

Drive hard and NEVER lift.
I have a quick question regarding MS flight sim (or X Plane) I know both are great for toying with approaches, departures and arrivals. But what about the other parts of the IFR system (ex. reporting points)?
 

jskibo

Done
I have a quick question regarding MS flight sim (or X Plane) I know both are great for toying with approaches, departures and arrivals. But what about the other parts of the IFR system (ex. reporting points)?
While all the navigation device are in those products, there is no good implementation of ATC in either. Closest thing you'll get to that is using it with VATSIM online, but even there it's hard to find a sector with a lot of positions staffed outside some large scheduled event. You'll like find a few positions at the class B in that sector staffed, then maybe Center. Europe areas seem to staff It on a more regular basis, but the accent can be difficult in some countries.

Keep in mind FSX is older, so not all navigation is going to match your charts. ORD will have 9R/27L still as an example

Not sure how much practice value you'll get outside of the approaches and flows and even the later is tough since you'll likely be controlling most switch changes with a mouse unless you have the hardware stack to go with it......can be an expensive hobby, just ask :)
 

Whatusername

Drive hard and NEVER lift.
While all the navigation device are in those products, there is no good implementation of ATC in either. Closest thing you'll get to that is using it with VATSIM online, but even there it's hard to find a sector with a lot of positions staffed outside some large scheduled event. You'll like find a few positions at the class B in that sector staffed, then maybe Center. Europe areas seem to staff It on a more regular basis, but the accent can be difficult in some countries.

Keep in mind FSX is older, so not all navigation is going to match your charts. ORD will have 9R/27L still as an example

Not sure how much practice value you'll get outside of the approaches and flows and even the later is tough since you'll likely be controlling most switch changes with a mouse unless you have the hardware stack to go with it......can be an expensive hobby, just ask :)

Good to know. I don't think I would even try for a setup like yours. If anything I figure I can run my laptop to my plasma monitor via HDMI as well use a wireless keyboard and cheap USB flight stick. :)

Cool setup BTW.
 
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