IFR Self-Study and FlightSims

killbilly

Vocals, Lyrics, Triangle, Washboard, Kittens
So I was asking some questions in the http://forums.jetcareers.com/threads/instrument-training.205891/#post-2329769 and I did some minor thread-jacking there about asking some IFR questions.

I've got a copy of X-plane and I'd like to do some self-study on IFR flying before I start engaging with a local CFII. But, knowing so little about it, I'd like to make sure I'm using the tool correctly. I know a number of you sometimes use this with students, so I'd like to know how you do it. (I like X-plane because it runs well on my Mac, and it has some good options for failing instruments.)

What kind of scenarios do you establish? How do you execute the scenario and then grade it? (That may be a "use your CFI question.")

I know there's a book or two for CFIs who use MSFS to teach. Would that make sense for me to obtain?

I'd just like to be able to dive into the minutiae to help prepare myself for not only taking the written, but keenly understanding the material. This strikes me as a good way, given that I'm the sort who needs "blended" learning environments.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
The #1 thing that a sim will help you with is scan. And scan is the #1 thing in flying instruments. When guys were having trouble with approaches and such when nearing their checkride almost always I found the problem was that their fundamental instrument flying was poor. So get in there and fly standard rate turns, Vy climbs, and 500 FPM descents at cruise power until you're sick of them. Then change it up and do steep turns, and climbs and descents at different airspeeds and vertical speeds (eg, try a 1000 fpm 100 knot descent, or a full throttle 500 fpm climb). Once you can do all that, start combining it-do a standard rate turn to a heading while holding Vy climb, or a steep turn to a heading in a 1000 FPM descent. Once you can do all that without thinking, go back and do all of it (minus steep turns) with the attitude indicator failed. In the meantime, work with exercises like Tim's nav sim to get proficient at VOR and NDB orientation. Once you're comfortable with all that, start working with navaids in FSX.

Another thing I remember from my instrument CFI days was that lots of students were proficient about flying approaches, but they had very little idea how to put everything together in actually flying an IFR cross country. So what I recommend is pick two airports you would actually use maybe 2 hours apart and figure out the routing between them (make sure to check the TPP for departure procedures!! That is one that guys miss all the time especially if there are just obstacle departure procedures and not SIDs) then practice flying the departure up to established on airway, then fast forward to the arrival (if applicable) or outside the IAF and get used to establishing yourself on an approach and flying it. But only do this AFTER you're proficient with the basics!
 

jskibo

Done
Just remember if using FSX (or P3D), the airport and NAV data is 6+ years old. Some runways and fequencies won't match reality today.

There are a few free updates out there short of the paid ones that only work with payware CDU's / Flight planners / etc anyway
 

Nukem

Well-Known Member
Have you found Avsim sim forum yet? And if you want to see some serious simmers go check out mycockpit.org.

Vatsim, IIRC, is a service that combines people who like to simulate ATC services with people who like to simulate flight. I have never tried it but it might be something to consider.
 

jskibo

Done
Have you found Avsim sim forum yet? And if you want to see some serious simmers go check out mycockpit.org.

Vatsim, IIRC, is a service that combines people who like to simulate ATC services with people who like to simulate flight. I have never tried it but it might be something to consider.
Cockpitbuilders.com as well

Vatsim has sporadic coverage, Pilot edge has full coverage, but limited area and monthly fee
 

dasleben

That's just, like, your opinion, man
Get with the CFII first. Flight sims can be great tools for practicing procedures, but a good CFII will teach you how to scan. Don't get ahead of yourself and pick up bad habits. Remember, a good instrument scan is roughly 90% attitude-indicator and power/thrust.
 

Roger Roger

Paid to sleep, fly for fun
Get with the CFII first. Flight sims can be great tools for practicing procedures, but a good CFII will teach you how to scan. Don't get ahead of yourself and pick up bad habits. Remember, a good instrument scan is roughly 90% attitude-indicator and power/thrust.
Excellent advice and something I should have written into my post. If you can find a CFII who will agree to it, I would even see if you can get some dual on a desktop sim before you start in the airplane. If the II can get you off and running with basic attitude flying the exercises I suggested will get everything so that it is second nature.
 

ChasenSFO

hen teaser
Hmm...never heard of Pilot Edge until now. Looks like a waste of money honestly, you can get all that on VATSIM. I read thru the info about them and I like how they crap talk VATSIM controllers working multiple frequencies like tower/ground, and then I see a demo video where one Pilot Edge controller is doing both tower and ground. They also make it sound like VATSIM doesn't have ample traffic. I just checked both websites, pilot edge currently has 4 pilots online, VATSIM has 494 plus 55 controllers. I don't know why anyone would pay for that...

Join VATSIM, download Vroute which is an application that will easily allow you to visually determine where controllers and pilots are online. I guarantee you somewhere in the Flightsim world at almost any given time you will find an area where you can talk to several controllers and have plenty of aircraft around. When I didn't fly for a year, VATSIM kept me sharp. If you need current scenery because stuff is outdated in FS2004 or FSX, download AFCAD flies(which will update runways, taxiways, and ramp areas) for your airport from Avsim.net, or freeware scenery for that matter, and drag and drop them in the folders as instructed by the "readme" file they come with. Very simple.
 
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