Andre3K
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Posts: 365
Joined: Tue May 30, 2017 10:11 pm

IFR Flight Training/ VFR Habits

Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:26 am

Another topic about simulator time vs real time got me wondering.

Someone in the topic mentioned that he had to unlearn looking at the instruments, and inside the cockpit and start looking at the sky.

My question is, isn't IFR training all about keeping your eyes INSIDE the cockpit because there are no visual references outside? So by extension would being a pro at flying IFR in a flight simulator not be a plus when IFR training and by that extension would you not have to unlearn looking outside the cockpit when transitioning from VFR to IFR training. Seem's kind of odd to push the idea that you need to look outside the cockpit 90% of the time during VFR but then train under a hood 90% of the time for VFR.

Thoughts?
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 18593
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

Re: IFR Flight Training/ VFR Habits

Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:37 am

Andre3K wrote:
Another topic about simulator time vs real time got me wondering.

Someone in the topic mentioned that he had to unlearn looking at the instruments, and inside the cockpit and start looking at the sky.

My question is, isn't IFR training all about keeping your eyes INSIDE the cockpit because there are no visual references outside? So by extension would being a pro at flying IFR in a flight simulator not be a plus when IFR training and by that extension would you not have to unlearn looking outside the cockpit when transitioning from VFR to IFR training. Seem's kind of odd to push the idea that you need to look outside the cockpit 90% of the time during VFR but then train under a hood 90% of the time for VFR.

Thoughts?


Be careful with the difference between the concepts VMC/IMC and VFR/IFR. Conditions vs rules.

In an airliner, we are more often than not in VMC but we're still flying IFR. Our instruments are legally (and practically) our primary reference (though obviously we still look outside if we can see out). If you're in a light aircraft and VFR, your primary reference is visual. If you're simulating IMC with a hood, you need a safety pilot because legally you are VFR and must navigate by outside references, even if you're training IFR procedures.

It's not about unlearning VFR to learn IFR. VFR and IFR are two somewhat different kinds of flying, and pilots must learn both. (Unless you just want to fly light planes in VMC.)

As for a basic flight sim (e.g. MSFS), it is a decent tool for basic IFR, as long as you are diligent in working on your scan. It's not the real thing though.
Last edited by Starlionblue on Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Andre3K
Topic Author
Posts: 365
Joined: Tue May 30, 2017 10:11 pm

Re: IFR Flight Training/ VFR Habits

Sat Dec 30, 2017 2:44 am

Starlionblue wrote:
Andre3K wrote:
Another topic about simulator time vs real time got me wondering.

Someone in the topic mentioned that he had to unlearn looking at the instruments, and inside the cockpit and start looking at the sky.

My question is, isn't IFR training all about keeping your eyes INSIDE the cockpit because there are no visual references outside? So by extension would being a pro at flying IFR in a flight simulator not be a plus when IFR training and by that extension would you not have to unlearn looking outside the cockpit when transitioning from VFR to IFR training. Seem's kind of odd to push the idea that you need to look outside the cockpit 90% of the time during VFR but then train under a hood 90% of the time for VFR.

Thoughts?


Be careful with the difference between the concepts VMC/IMC and VFR/IFR. Conditions vs rules.

In an airliner, we are more often than not in VMC but we're still flying IFR. Our instruments are legally (and practically) our primary reference (though obviously we still look outside if we can see out). If you're in a light aircraft and VFR, your primary reference is visual. If you're simulating IMC with a hood, you need a safety pilot because legally you are VFR and must navigate by outside references, even if you're training IFR procedures.


It's not about unlearning VFR to learn IFR. VFR and IFR are two somewhat different kinds of flying, and pilots must learn both.

As for a basic flight sim (e.g. MSFS), it is a decent tool for basic IFR, as long as you are diligent in working on your scan. It's not the real thing though.


I guess I should have thrown the word IMC in there, as that is what I was getting at. It just seems kind of odd to me to focus so many hours on an event you hope to avoid entirely. It's not like pilots hunt out IMC weather for the thrill. Kind of like spin training. Nobody does that anymore and it's something you want to avoid. I realize that flying into IMC is much more likely than spinning in CAVOK weather but they are both something you want to avoid equally.

Let me ask another question. Do you think that 30 or 40 more hours of training to get instrument rated is: 1. Overkill 2. Not enough 3. A hood cannot simulate the panic of suddenly having no horizon and the body's inability to make up from down or 4. Something else all together.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: IFR Flight Training/ VFR Habits

Sat Dec 30, 2017 3:07 am

Andre3K wrote:

I guess I should have thrown the word IMC in there, as that is what I was getting at. It just seems kind of odd to me to focus so many hours on an event you hope to avoid entirely. It's not like pilots hunt out IMC weather for the thrill. Kind of like spin training. Nobody does that anymore and it's something you want to avoid. I realize that flying into IMC is much more likely than spinning in CAVOK weather but they are both something you want to avoid equally.

Let me ask another question. Do you think that 30 or 40 more hours of training to get instrument rated is: 1. Overkill 2. Not enough 3. A hood cannot simulate the panic of suddenly having no horizon and the body's inability to make up from down or 4. Something else all together.


I would highly recommend getting an instrument rating. Accidental IMC is a frequent occurrence. The bare-bones hood flying you do for your PPL is hardly adequate preparation, and lots of pilots have lost their lives after becoming disoriented in clouds. You may hope to avoid IMC but unless it happens to even the well prepared.

If you have an instrument rating, losing the horizon is a non-event. There's no panic. There may be disorientation, but you learn to deal with that. It is why we are taught to rely on the instruments.

In a wider perspective, it is not so much about "what happens if I go IMC" as the fact that with an instrument rating you don't have to worry so much about visibility and ceiling. File IFR, then fly straight through the clouds. It also opens up a lot of airspace and routings that are otherwise not available. Most importantly, it makes you a much more proficient and confident pilot.

I remember being halfway through my instrument rating and thinking, "I can't believe the let me fly on my PPL!"
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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adanhamidu
Posts: 11
Joined: Sat Dec 05, 2015 11:47 am

Re: IFR Flight Training/ VFR Habits

Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:27 am

Andre3K wrote:
Another topic about simulator time vs real time got me wondering.

Someone in the topic mentioned that he had to unlearn looking at the instruments, and inside the cockpit and start looking at the sky.

My question is, isn't IFR training all about keeping your eyes INSIDE the cockpit because there are no visual references outside? So by extension would being a pro at flying IFR in a flight simulator not be a plus when IFR training and by that extension would you not have to unlearn looking outside the cockpit when transitioning from VFR to IFR training. Seem's kind of odd to push the idea that you need to look outside the cockpit 90% of the time during VFR but then train under a hood 90% of the time for VFR.

Thoughts?
Unless visibility has gone south outside the cockpit, is still important to keep an eye on what's going on outside even when flying VFR because certain things can't be expected to appear on your traffic radar (TCAS scope); things like heavy birds or small UAV/drones intruding your vicinity.

Sent from my SM-N900 using Tapatalk
 
Flow2706
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Re: IFR Flight Training/ VFR Habits

Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:10 pm

When flying IFR you may be flying in airspace E, where VFR traffic could be encountered that may be unknown to the ATC (they are not required to call ATC in airspace class E even though its technically controlled airspace - at least thats the way its in Germany, but there may be regional variations). As the rules of way still apply even when flying IFR it would be a good idea to have a good look out especially in this class of airspace - in some countries (f.e. Germany again) gliders are not required to be transponder equipped so its back to good old see and avoid. Obviously there is no point in looking outside in IMC - there is nothing to see and it may actually cause disorientation in an inexperienced pilot (some head movements can cause strong illusions in the inner ear). I also think that getting an IFR rating is a great idea and adds a lot of safety, but you have to be aware that even with an IFR rating you would probably still be rather limited in a single engine piston aircraft (am I guessing correctly that this is the class of aircraft we are talking about here?). Icing can be a massive problem - many (IFR certified) single engine airplanes have only a pitot heat, but not wing/prop deicing and with a piston engine airplane you would probably spend most of your time below FL100 (most airplane in that category are not equipped with oxygen) and this is where most of the ice is found. In summer embedded thunderstorms can be a big threat - without weather radar (or storm scope - I never used a storm scope so I am not too sure how useful it is) you won't notice that you are about the enter the CB until you actually do (and then its most likely too late). Summing up, an IFR rating adds some safety if you use it responsibly (i.e. to get through clouds in otherwise relatively benign weather conditions) but unless you have a well equipped airplane you are still somewhat limited...
 
VSMUT
Posts: 1962
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Re: IFR Flight Training/ VFR Habits

Sat Dec 30, 2017 11:04 pm

Andre3K wrote:
[I realize that flying into IMC is much more likely than spinning in CAVOK weather but they are both something you want to avoid equally.


Nah, flying into IMC conditions isn't something that we want to avoid. There are different considerations when doing so, but we don't seek to avoid it in itself. We don't want to bumble into heavy precipitation, icing conditions or large cumuliform clouds, but we have techniques to avoid that stuff in both VMC and IMC conditions.


Andre3K wrote:
Let me ask another question. Do you think that 30 or 40 more hours of training to get instrument rated is: 1. Overkill 2. Not enough 3. A hood cannot simulate the panic of suddenly having no horizon and the body's inability to make up from down or 4. Something else all together.


How about just enough? ;) It all depends on the individual student, but real life practice has shown that 99% can manage it with whatever the amount is today. One thing is certain though: No student passes his skill test without demonstrating that he/she is competent enough. If they aren't, then they will have more flying lessons added on, and the 40 hours will quickly become 60, 80, 100 or whatever is needed until they learn it. They won't end up in the real world without supervision unless they are up to the task.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: IFR Flight Training/ VFR Habits

Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:37 am

VSMUT,

There are a whole bunch of examples where the pilots weren’t up to stuff in handling an airplane in IMC conditions. Tons of examples, airline, private, military, all forms of flying. No doubt, they passed the formal evaluation, but failed the real world example. In my career, I’ve known several civilians flying solo night freight, a passel of single-seat fighter guys including a classmate, AF 447 could be included.


Gf
 
SuseJ772
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2005 11:13 am

Re: IFR Flight Training/ VFR Habits

Sun Dec 31, 2017 1:19 am

I spent years on Flifht Sim before getting my private. While I do not yet have my instrument, and would never claim or excise the rights of being an Instruement Pilot, I will say I for sure feel more comfortable flying now using instruments than visual.

My “personal minimums” include not getting in an aircraft with out GPS. Am I dead in the water with out it? No. I would be fine. But I feel a whole lot better with it.

I really look forward to getting my Instruement and get back to my “roots” so to speak.

As to what Starlionblue said about getting his Instruement thinking why would they let him fly on a PPL. I had a similar thought when doing night training. Night never bothered me because I feel good on instruements, but I remember thinking this should not be allowed for a PPL claiming they are in “VFR”
Currently at PIE, requesting FWA >> >>
 
GalaxyFlyer
Posts: 1315
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Re: IFR Flight Training/ VFR Habits

Sun Dec 31, 2017 2:33 am

SuseJ772,

Any pilot should be comfortable flying visually without anything more than a sectional and a compass. When I started, I asked an old airline pilot how to fly from CT to Florida. “Easy, go out the first ocean and turn right”, was the simple answer. True, too.

GF
 
VSMUT
Posts: 1962
Joined: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:40 am

Re: IFR Flight Training/ VFR Habits

Sun Dec 31, 2017 12:10 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
VSMUT,

There are a whole bunch of examples where the pilots weren’t up to stuff in handling an airplane in IMC conditions. Tons of examples, airline, private, military, all forms of flying. No doubt, they passed the formal evaluation, but failed the real world example. In my career, I’ve known several civilians flying solo night freight, a passel of single-seat fighter guys including a classmate, AF 447 could be included.


Gf



But how much of that was a result of poor or inadequate training, and how much of it was caused by other environmental factors? When flying at the bottom of your circadian rhythm your performance is significantly reduced, that has nothing to do with handling an aircraft in IMC conditions. That will cause you problems under any conditions, IMC as well as VMC.

The AF447 pilots had anything between 3000 and 10.000 hours, by far the vast majority of which was IFR. Are you suggesting that we have to train for 10.000 hours? Or was it maybe more of an issue that they failed to keep up to date with their flying skills after several thousand hours of cruising around on autopilot? ;)

The ATPL books will tell you that a pilot is only skilled when he:
    Trains and practises regularly
    Knows how to manage himself/herself
    Knows how to keep resources in reserve for coping with the unexpected

Tacking on an additional 100 hours of IFR training is worthless since it all happens at the beginning of a 40+ year career. Half of that training is forgotten after a year if you aren't disciplined enough.

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