njxc500
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Instrument Rating....How

Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:38 pm

I thought I'd get some input here from some different perspectives.

I'm a private pilot, about 350 hours logged, and I'm looking to start the process of getting my instrument rating.

I have a close friend that will help me in the actual flight department, I have about 15 simulated and 10 actual hours logged of instrument time. I'm already somewhat familiar with the procedures, having done a few but I've got a lot to learn.

1...What sort of reading materials should I get to begin this. I have an older version of the Instrument test prep guide....I also started reading Richard Collins, the next hour.

2...Is it even possible for a pilot that only flies about 50 hours a year to stay proficient in instrument flying?


3...Equipment...Do I need to add anything new to my flight bag other than the charts?

Thanks for any input.

Nick
 
tb727
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Mon Sep 10, 2012 3:52 pm

Quoting njxc500 (Thread starter):
2...Is it even possible for a pilot that only flies about 50 hours a year to stay proficient in instrument flying?

That's the tough part, you have to know your limitations and if you ever don't feel up to it, don't go do it. I have very little instrument time in little airplanes aside from my training and even though I have hundreds of hours of instrument time in transport category jets doing approaches down to 100 feet in some cases, I would never jump into a 172 and do the same thing, that's just how I am.

I think instrument flying is an art, to me the most fun I had as a private pilot was doing my instrument training. There is a precision to it and seeing yourself get better and better at it and doing different things was something I really enjoyed. I did my training in Michigan and NE Ohio so we got all kinds of weather and I think that made it even more fun and challenging.
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pilotpip
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:22 pm

I know plenty of people who have instrument ratings and fly far less than 50 hours a month. As tb said, know your limitations. The prof. who taught my instrument ground school liked to say "this is the rating that will kill you fastest".

Getting an instrument (or any other) rating is another license to learn. If you look to own an aircraft, it might be worth it when it comes to insurance rates alone. To answer your questions:

1: Jeppessen, ASA, Gleim and others make instrument books. Any of them will do the job. A copy of the practical test standards, current FAR/AIM and charts and you will be ready to go.

2: Know your limitations and yes you can stay proficient. I would never fly a piston single into low IFR or take off from an airport that is below minimums. That said, there are a lot of days that are overcast that give you lots of outs and breaking out of a layer never gets old.

3: Some sort of view limiting device like a hood or foggles is nice to have.
DMI
 
tb727
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:52 pm

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 2):
3: Some sort of view limiting device like a hood or foggles is nice to have.

That reminds me, don't cheat! Stay under the hood and don't try peeking outside, you are only cheating yourself. I know that sounds cliché, but when you are in the real stuff and it comes down to it, you can't cheat, you might as well learn the right way. Believe me, you can do it  I even kept my foggles with me when I taught new hires in the Falcon 20. So many of them would cheat on training flights I would make them wear them or put the weight and balance card in front of them on the glareshield(VFR of course) Those guys usually washed out or made it through barely and still struggled with approaches years later believe it or not. The more studious FO's would actually want to put them on and do an approach on a regular flight to stay sharp.
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26point2
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:53 pm

The instrument rating will make you a better pilot, regardless of whether you actually do much IFR flying or not. As you acknowledge it's smart to have a healthy respect for currency. When I was paying attention to these things years ago the most common GA accident was continuing VFR flight into IFR conditions and many of those guys had the Instrument rating too.

I got my ticket in Central California where it is nearly always VFR so wore the hood for all my training. One thing I don't hear mentioned but was a bit surprised by is the experience of actual IFR the first time or two. Very different than with the hood on and takes some getting used to. Almost wished I had the hood on instead just to get back to "normal". Get some "actual" with your CFI.
 
tb727
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:02 pm

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 4):
Almost wished I had the hood on instead just to get back to "normal". Get some "actual" with your CFI.

Haha, actually I have heard of guys that were in actual putting their hoods back on so they didn't know they were in actual.
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njxc500
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:22 pm

Quoting pilotpip (Reply 2):
50 hours a month

50 hours a month would be plenty, I'm only going to fly that much in a year!

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 4):
Get some "actual" with your CFI

I've already got about 10 hours in real IFR, assisting approaches in single pilot planes. This was great experience.
 
Mir
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:06 am

Quoting njxc500 (Thread starter):
2...Is it even possible for a pilot that only flies about 50 hours a year to stay proficient in instrument flying?

You'll never be really proficient with that little flying to the point where I'd recommend you be flying ILS approaches to minimums or something like that, but on a day where it's 1000' overcast and you still want to go flying you should be fine.

If you've got a computer that can run FS9 or FSX, use it as a training/proficiency aid. You don't have to have a great computer, since while those programs are CPU-thirsty, it's the scenery that eats up most of the resources, and when you're in the clouds all the time you don't have to worry about the scenery. Find an airplane that is representative of the one you'll be flying in terms of instrument panel layout and start flying some procedures, complete with holds, approaches, etc. Instrument flying is almost all mental, and even practicing some approaches at home on a somewhat regular basis will help you keep your head in the game.

-Mir
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Mir
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:12 am

Also, do yourself a favor and don't do your training in an airplane with a glass cockpit (a fancy GPS box is fine though). Teaching your mind to figure out where you are and where you're going without a huge moving map staring you in the face will make you a MUCH better instrument pilot, and it's a whole lot easier to transition over to a glass cockpit than it would be to transition over to round dials if you learned on glass.

-Mir
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ThirtyEcho
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:59 am

I can't imagine a pilot who trained with glass being able to fly IFR with steam gauges worth a damn. You just don't have the requisite instrument scan or the situational awareness. Make sure that all of your training is with a traditional panel.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Tue Sep 11, 2012 10:40 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 8):

Also, do yourself a favor and don't do your training in an airplane with a glass cockpit (a fancy GPS box is fine though). Teaching your mind to figure out where you are and where you're going without a huge moving map staring you in the face will make you a MUCH better instrument pilot, and it's a whole lot easier to transition over to a glass cockpit than it would be to transition over to round dials if you learned on glass.

You could move away from the map page so that the MFD shows, say the system information page. And turn off the map inset on the PFD.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
CosmicCruiser
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Tue Sep 11, 2012 12:33 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 7):
You'll never be really proficient with that little flying to the point where I'd recommend you be flying ILS approaches to minimums or something like that, but on a day where it's 1000' overcast and you still want to go flying you should be fine.

I agree completely. You must always assume that there may be a surprise you must be prepared for, missed approach, holding, route change, etc.
 
Mir
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Tue Sep 11, 2012 2:00 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 10):
You could move away from the map page so that the MFD shows, say the system information page. And turn off the map inset on the PFD.

You could do that, and I thought about that as I was writing that post, but you'll still have the track indicators, the trend indicators, the GPS information at the top of the screens, etc. - all stuff that you'd have to figure out on your own in a conventional panel. And you'd have an HSI as opposed to a CDI - that difference isn't quite so counter-productive, but it's there.

-Mir
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Starlionblue
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:09 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 12):
You could do that, and I thought about that as I was writing that post, but you'll still have the track indicators, the trend indicators, the GPS information at the top of the screens, etc. - all stuff that you'd have to figure out on your own in a conventional panel. And you'd have an HSI as opposed to a CDI - that difference isn't quite so counter-productive, but it's there.

Fair. You can't get rid of the trend indicators, but you can set the GPS on top of the screen to somewhere useless.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
KELPkid
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Tue Sep 11, 2012 7:16 pm

How do you practice partial panel with a PFD? Turn the thing off and rely on the backup instruments?   
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Starlionblue
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:20 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 14):
How do you practice partial panel with a PFD? Turn the thing off and rely on the backup instruments?   

I'm thinking judicious application of post-it notes. 
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Mir
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:21 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 14):
How do you practice partial panel with a PFD?

With great difficulty. I had a method, but it wasn't very realistic.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:56 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 14):
How do you practice partial panel with a PFD? Turn the thing off and rely on the backup instruments?   

Apparently you use a mask, perhaps made out of laminated paper and stick it over the PFD using cut out holes for the knobs on the side. Tadaaa! Hide the instruments you want.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
alaska737
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Thu Sep 27, 2012 11:32 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 17):
Apparently you use a mask, perhaps made out of laminated paper and stick it over the PFD using cut out holes for the knobs on the side. Tadaaa! Hide the instruments you want.

I would make one back square out of thin foam board, big enough to cover the PFD, I would kill the MFD and use the standby steam gauges and the compass. Works great in a G1000 but I wouldn't do it without a safety observer.

Quoting njxc500 (Thread starter):
2...Is it even possible for a pilot that only flies about 50 hours a year to stay proficient in instrument flying?

No. Even if you spend a few hours before each flight going over regs and profiles and chair flying, I still don't believe it's possible to stay proficient enough to fly full flight plans/departures/arrivals/approaches in IMC.

If all you are ever going to do is use it to go VFR on top or something then sure, but still stay up on procedures for the day you find yourself having to fly in crummy conditions IMC.

Quoting njxc500 (Thread starter):
.Equipment...Do I need to add anything new to my flight bag other than the charts?

Make a habit of always having a flashlight with a night setting.

Quoting njxc500 (Thread starter):
What sort of reading materials should I get to begin this. I have an older version of the Instrument test prep guide....I also started reading Richard Collins, the next hour.

The only flying books anyone needs is a current FAR/AIM and "Everything Explained for the Professional Pilot" By Richie Lengel. Honestly this book is worth it's weight in gold. Whether you are a private pilot or ATP, it has everything.

Good Luck!
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Fri Sep 28, 2012 12:52 am

Quoting alaska737 (Reply 18):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 17):
Apparently you use a mask, perhaps made out of laminated paper and stick it over the PFD using cut out holes for the knobs on the side. Tadaaa! Hide the instruments you want.

I would make one back square out of thin foam board, big enough to cover the PFD, I would kill the MFD and use the standby steam gauges and the compass. Works great in a G1000 but I wouldn't do it without a safety observer.

You could make multiple squares with various cutouts depending on the instruments you kill. Then glue or tape pics of the disabled instruments with red Xs in the proper places...

And yes of course this would be with a safety pilot!

Quoting alaska737 (Reply 18):
Quoting njxc500 (Thread starter):
.Equipment...Do I need to add anything new to my flight bag other than the charts?

Make a habit of always having a flashlight with a night setting.

And at least two pens readily accessible. You just know you'll lose one and it will roll somewhere impossible just when you're about to copy down a clearance.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
alaska737
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:49 am

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 19):
And at least two pens readily accessible. You just know you'll lose one and it will roll somewhere impossible just when you're about to copy down a clearance.

Good point, I like to have one on a "leash." It is tied to my kneeboard so I never have to search for it. I also always carry one that is clipped to one of my top shirt buttons.
 
KELPkid
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Fri Sep 28, 2012 8:11 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 17):
Apparently you use a mask, perhaps made out of laminated paper and stick it over the PFD using cut out holes for the knobs on the side. Tadaaa! Hide the instruments you want.

Perhaps, but I would think the point of learning partial panel is to learn to fly the plane when the PFD conks out in IMC, not to ace the partial panel portion of the FAA instrument practical!  
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Starlionblue
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Fri Sep 28, 2012 9:01 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 21):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 17):
Apparently you use a mask, perhaps made out of laminated paper and stick it over the PFD using cut out holes for the knobs on the side. Tadaaa! Hide the instruments you want.

Perhaps, but I would think the point of learning partial panel is to learn to fly the plane when the PFD conks out in IMC, not to ace the partial panel portion of the FAA instrument practical!

Both have to be practiced so you're covered.   In fact you practice both single and double screen failure, as well as partial panel failure for individual instruments.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
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Web500sjc
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Sun Sep 30, 2012 6:03 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 21):

For partial panel on the g1000 we pull circuit breakers for the AHRS or ADC- so you can fail the pitot static system, the "vacume system", or both. Furthermore you can get rid of the GPS track/ heading with the failure of the PFD or MFD because revisionary mode only includes the engine inst. HSI, Attitude, airspeed, altitude, TC, and some inset stuff like winds, DME, timers and reference speed+ altitude. (It works really well when you have a PFD/mfd failure and an ADC/AHRS failure).
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Mir
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:27 am

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 21):
Perhaps, but I would think the point of learning partial panel is to learn to fly the plane when the PFD conks out in IMC, not to ace the partial panel portion of the FAA instrument practical!

The point of learning partial panel is actually to know how to fly when your instruments become incapable of giving you proper data. That's not quite the same thing as the PFD conking out, since the data behind it is still good and you can just send that data to be displayed elsewhere (which is what reversionary mode is all about). Proper partial panel is when you just don't have any valid data from certain instruments.

Quoting web500sjc (Reply 23):
For partial panel on the g1000 we pull circuit breakers for the AHRS or ADC- so you can fail the pitot static system, the "vacume system", or both.

This is the most realistic simulation of it (it's actually not that much of a simulation at all), but I'd be careful about using it - IIRC, some manufacturers frown on intentionally pulling CBs in flight unless part of an abnormal checklist.

-Mir
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Starlionblue
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Mon Oct 01, 2012 2:28 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 24):
Quoting web500sjc (Reply 23):
For partial panel on the g1000 we pull circuit breakers for the AHRS or ADC- so you can fail the pitot static system, the "vacume system", or both.

This is the most realistic simulation of it (it's actually not that much of a simulation at all), but I'd be careful about using it - IIRC, some manufacturers frown on intentionally pulling CBs in flight unless part of an abnormal checklist.

Agreed. Much simpler and safer to use a mask over the screen to block the view of the instruments you want to "fail".
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
N353SK
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Mon Oct 01, 2012 3:53 am

For instrument training the FAA books are really good - Theres the Instrument Procedures Handbook and Instrument Flying Handbook are both very good. The AIM is also remarkably good for technical and ATC knowledge.
 
BEG2IAH
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:08 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 8):
Also, do yourself a favor and don't do your training in an airplane with a glass cockpit (a fancy GPS box is fine though). Teaching your mind to figure out where you are and where you're going without a huge moving map staring you in the face will make you a MUCH better instrument pilot, and it's a whole lot easier to transition over to a glass cockpit than it would be to transition over to round dials if you learned on glass.

I hope I will start my PPL training soon and I heard this advice from a few professional pilots I talked to. The question is are there any flight schools left that fly aircraft without "state of the art" equipment? Thanks.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Mon Oct 01, 2012 10:05 am

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 27):
Quoting Mir (Reply 8):
Also, do yourself a favor and don't do your training in an airplane with a glass cockpit (a fancy GPS box is fine though). Teaching your mind to figure out where you are and where you're going without a huge moving map staring you in the face will make you a MUCH better instrument pilot, and it's a whole lot easier to transition over to a glass cockpit than it would be to transition over to round dials if you learned on glass.

I hope I will start my PPL training soon and I heard this advice from a few professional pilots I talked to. The question is are there any flight schools left that fly aircraft without "state of the art" equipment? Thanks.

There are plenty. Frankly though, you'll have to prove you can navigate by pilotage (reference to landmarks) regardless of the moving map so I don't know how much difference it will make. Heck, turn off the moving map (set the MFD to another page) if you want.

I think part of the discussion is simply pilots being conservative. The future is definitely glass cockpit. And flying steam gauge with a nice GPS isn't much different apart from the size of the screen and the fact that instrumentation is a bit less intuitive.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Mir
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Mon Oct 01, 2012 1:00 pm

Quoting BEG2IAH (Reply 27):
The question is are there any flight schools left that fly aircraft without "state of the art" equipment? Thanks.

Plenty of them, but you'll have to look around a bit. I'd try and find a school that has both, so you don't have to switch schools when you want to start flying a glass cockpit aircraft.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 28):
Frankly though, you'll have to prove you can navigate by pilotage (reference to landmarks) regardless of the moving map so I don't know how much difference it will make.

Huge difference. When you're just starting out flying, you don't know what's important to look for, but two big screens with lots of shiny numbers and symbols and pictures certainly seem important. So people tend to gravitate toward those (which they shouldn't). If you learn on steam gauges, by the time you move into a glass cockpit you know what you should be looking for, and it's a pretty easy transition.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 28):
I think part of the discussion is simply pilots being conservative. The future is definitely glass cockpit.

It is, and people should know how to use it. But that doesn't mean it's better for training.

There are two reasons I can see that glass exists. One is reliability - a glass cockpit is less likely to have failures than steam gauge cockpit. The other is extra navigational capabilities - the ability to present the pilot with far more information in a far more understandable manner than you could ever do with steam gauges. Both of those are great, but how does that really help someone learning to fly? Reliability isn't incredibly important, since all their flying is going to be done in VFR conditions where an instrument failure isn't a huge deal, and almost all their flying is going to be done with an instructor in the right seat who can help them out in such situations. And extra navigational capabilities don't help someone who's just trying to figure out how to make the airplane go where they want it to go and do what they want it to do (the key word, of course, is "extra" - information above and beyond that which you need for general-purpose getting from A to B). So all the glass is really doing for a pilot at that stage in their training is serving as a distraction (and not the sort of distraction that can be productive in training).

If it were me, and I wanted to go through PPL and IR quickly, I'd do it all in steam gauge, and then after I was done I'd spend some lessons transitioning to glass (basically, learning the new scan and learning how to make the system do what I want it to do). If I just wanted the PPL, I'd do the transition after that, and then go back to steam gauges if I wanted to do an IR later down the road.

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 28):
And flying steam gauge with a nice GPS isn't much different apart from the size of the screen and the fact that instrumentation is a bit less intuitive.

The big thing is that you can stop the screen helping you without having to completely compromise your instrumentation. And yes, having less information provided to you forces you to train your mind to fill in the rest of the information, which is an invaluable situational awareness tool.

And something else which shouldn't be overlooked: training in a steam gauge airplane will be cheaper.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:33 pm

Quoting Mir (Reply 29):
Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 28):
Frankly though, you'll have to prove you can navigate by pilotage (reference to landmarks) regardless of the moving map so I don't know how much difference it will make.

Huge difference. When you're just starting out flying, you don't know what's important to look for, but two big screens with lots of shiny numbers and symbols and pictures certainly seem important. So people tend to gravitate toward those (which they shouldn't). If you learn on steam gauges, by the time you move into a glass cockpit you know what you should be looking for, and it's a pretty easy transition.

Fair point. However a lot depends on the instructor. If, during your PPL training, your instructor sees you gravitate too much towards the instruments, it is his job to do something about it. This may include blanking out your PFD and/or MFD, or even taking you up in a steam gauge plane to rid you of the tendency. On one of my progress checks the instructor turned off both screens. He had to know I could fly just fine with the backups (I could).

I did most of my PPL in glass cockpit, but when there was only steam gauge available I flew that no problem. Because I studied up on the flying as a basis for what shown on the instrumentation. The instrumentation itself should intuitively give you an understanding of what is going on regardless of format. My excellent instructor would never have accepted me not understanding and just "reading the shiny numbers".  
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
9VSIO
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RE: Instrument Rating....How

Tue Oct 02, 2012 1:10 am

Quoting Mir (Reply 24):
This is the most realistic simulation of it (it's actually not that much of a simulation at all), but I'd be careful about using it - IIRC, some manufacturers frown on intentionally pulling CBs in flight unless part of an abnormal checklist.

What would the FAA/CAA examiners do in a checkride? Do they use the cutouts or pull the CBs?

Quoting Mir (Reply 29):
a glass cockpit is less likely to have failures than steam gauge cockpit.

Tragically, I had a HDG fail on my G1000 the other day. Worked fine on the ground then conked out in the air! It magically reset itself when I next landed though... Thankfully I was flying formation and VFR so no harm done! Other pilots tell me that the AHRS likes to fail after a few steep turn exercises...

There are times when I find glass harder to fly for Instrument training. For me, the turn indicator isn't as natural as the TC, while I miss the ability to adjust my level attitude indicator (does anyone know what I'm talking about?) on a steam gauge AI.
Me: (Lining up on final) I shall now select an aiming point. || Instructor: Well, I hope it's the runway...

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