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LAdamson

Private Pilot Checkride - Steep Turns are difficult

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Folks,Although I was able to pass the private pilot lessons in the area of the steep turns (maintaining altitude and as close to a 45 degree bank as possible), when I attempted the last part of this lesson section - the Private Pilot Checkride - the instructor had always failed me during the steep turn section.I know that I never deviated more than +/- 100' of the assigned 2000' altitude and I was very close to the 45 degree left bank angle, but I suspect that I did deviate from my initial IAS value by more than the prescribed +/- 10 KIAS. I usually begin the turn at about 100 - 110 Kts and increase power about 1/2 way through the turn to maintain that speed.I followed the help aids from - http://members.chello.at/matthias.holzer/checkride.htmlThis did help in general, but I never could completely master the steep turn portion of the exam.So, my questions are:1) How can I master the 45 degree left steep turn, and maintain the prescribed tolerances for altitude and speed - all using just the keyboard? I think that using a joystick/yoke (pedals, etc.) would help me, but am curious if anyone can provide recommendations to help me with using just a keyboard.2) How many real life pilots utilize steep turns (45 degrees - or more)? I'm not a real pilot, but the times I've performed a 45 degree turn give me an "uncomfortable feeling" in the sim and it just feels too extreme.Thanks!JerryG

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Jerry, I would suggest you buy a nice joystick/yoke if you intend to use FS2002 seriously. Also, I suggest you use the airfiles made from Ron Friemuth and Rob Young. As for the 45 degree turns, you have to perform them in order to get the PPL licence in real life.http://flightcraft.avsim.net/Images/andy_sig.jpg

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Andy,Yep - I hope a good joystick might be on the purchase horizon.I'm awed by Rob Young's flight models. I began using them with the Fly!/Fly!II series and have downloaded RealAir Simulations free FS2K2 files and just purchased the SF260 - I dream to fly!I tried to change aircraft in the Private Pilot Checkride lesson, but the menu option is unavailable (it's grayed-out). So, you must use the Cessna 172SP in this "exam", unless of course you tinker with ".abl" file(s).JerryG

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Hello Jerry,Steep turns are not used very often in the real world, but you have to learn them because in the end they mean that you have absolute control over the aircraft, you train for the worst and expect the best, that kind of stuff.In real life it's not as hard as it looks, remember that there are only 4 things that an airplane can do (yes only 4 things, the rest is a combination of this) straight and level flight, turns, climbs and descents, in the real thing you increase power, establish the 45 bank angle using COORDINATED flight (this means using the rudder pedals to avoid any adverse yaw of the plane as you establish the bank angle) and you increase the angle of attack of the plane (raise the nose, you need this because a lof of the lift that the wings produce is now tilted to the side to do the turn, so you raise the nose to keep altitute), if you do all this right your speed should remain constant.Also, in steep turns (over 30 degrees) you will need to use oposite ruder and yoke inputs to fight the over banking tendency of the plane (the plane wants to keep turning into a steeper turn), this is because the raised wing of the plane has to travel a longer distance, it's going faster and also producing more lift.So as you can see it's not very complex but it does require some flying skills, personally I would find it very very hard to do all this without the proper controls, using just the keyboard you will have to keep focus in 3 things, the bank, the rudder and the elevator, once you have the initial angle established then you will need to keep oposite bank, then rudder as required, and finally up elevator to mantain altitude.If you really want to get the most out of flight sims buy a yoke and rudder pedals, CH products (www.chproducts.com) makes the best sets in the market, also turn the reality settings in the sim all the way up.Best of luck!

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I agree. Steep turns are very hard in the sim, in reality they're not really a problem. Went out a few weeks ago to brush up on my skills, did a few steep turns and had the speed and altitude pegged. I mean pegged, they didn't so much as move. CFI was very impressed. :( :-hah

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I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong on this but I'm sure that the PPL check ride has a bug - you can't pass! I'm sure I've heard this somewhere. Or maybe I dreamt it.

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What I might suggest is to modify your aircraft.cfg file. I would play with the 'pitch_stabitlity' value. I think it is set to '1' so increase it to say 3 and see how that works. That may be too much. I have mine set to 2. This will help when you try your steep turns and also when you try to trim when flying straight and level.

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The other thing that makes this nearly impossible to do properly in FS is the lack of a real trim wheel. My instructor taught me a neat trick to nail down steep turns every single time: in a C-172, trim for straight & level flight below Va, then start to roll into the turn. As you pass 30 degrees, give two full rotations on the trim wheel (ie, start with your fingers on top and roll all the way down, twice). Once you hit 45 degrees, you should, if done properly, be able to keep the plane in the turn using only one finger on the yoke (to keep the plane from overbanking or rolling out).I used this technique on my checkride and nailed them both going left and right. Maybe somebody could create a realistic trim gauge for the C-172. Maybe I'll even do it... been reading up on gauge building and it doesn't look as hard as I thought it'd be.

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Hi Jerry,There are two reasons that will prevent you from performing an adequate steep turn:1. Get a Yoke and a set of rudder pedals.2. In reality, there's a "seat of the pants" feeling when you are performing a steep turn. You can actually feel the different forces acting upon the aircraft as it enters a steep bank.In FS2002, it's quite difficult to "feel" because you rely only on visual cues. The G forces that you experience when raising a bit the nose in the turn just aren't there in FS2002 - during turns in a real aircraft (over 30 degrees) - if I don't feel the G pressure on my butt, I know I haven't raised the nose enough and that the aircraft will soon start to sink.Twister

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It's my shameful secret. I can fly into Kai Tak, do a pretty good instrument approach, take off and land from the roughest bush strips, but my PPL checkrides end after the steep turn.I passed it once, and figured I'd finally arrived as a flightsimmer, but it's never happened again.I can't even imagine trying it without a joystick.

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Thanks for all your feedback!Looks like a joystick will simplify making successful steep turns. Also, I liked the tip about using more trim after beginning the steep turn.The different .air file can certainly help as well. I've got the 172 from RealAir (not the new one they're working on, the first freeware they did) and can certainly "swap" out the default 172 one with this to help as well.Also, "adjusting" the .abl file can be a final option to "pass" the test. I've already done this and increased the tolerance for a few values that allowed me to continue the flight. I've now passed this PPL checkride three times (with various values for the steep tune section). Again, only the steep turns caused me problems - I had NO difficulties with the rest of the exam.Thanks again!JerryG

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Think it would be possibnle for me to get that air file as well? :-) I have a CH yoke USB (full version) and CH pedals. Building a frigging simulator in the corner of my room with the GoFlight controls one piece at a time and - LOL - still fail that checkride. Rod passes me EVERY time LOL, but the lady hates me (must be her employer **chuckle**)Going to keep trying and trying and trying . . . .And, yes, the others are right here. I am just a student pilot with only 3 hours in the air, but I already understand the TREMENDOUS difference in the "seat of your pants" feeling as opposed to the armchair by the computer. That feeling you get when you are really up there makes the huge difference. However I am confident that, with enough practice, I'll get this lady to pass me Eheheh.Anyway, if anyone has that C172 air file (IF it is more accurate - I dont want to cheat - in fact I want to encounter more realism) then I would appreciate it. My email is below in my signature :-)Christopher N. Dittmarchristopherdittmar@attbi.com

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JerryI would go with the guy above about trimming during a steep turn.Some heavier type aircraft have quite strong out of trim forces so trimming during the turn helps as long as you remember to trim back as you roll out.Second is to remember basic flying skills which means looking out at the horizon rather than gluing your eyes on the instruments.One useful tip is to pick a spot on the screen or cowl which lines up with the horizon when in a stable steep turn.Using that as a reference keep the spot on the horizon line as you go round.If the spot starts to go abve the horizon line lower the nose a touch, if it drops below pull back a touch.Get this to a fine art and you should only have to glance now and again at the altimeter and have the altitude bugged.Peter

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