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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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This is what makes MSFS 2002 still a game...I hope the Microsoft FS 2004 development team spends time on Flight Dynamics 101 along with improving the eye candy. The fact you can't fly most aircraft without using the Auto Pilot is really annoying! There is no standardization or certification for .AIR files. So developers often tweak these files around their own hardware.Even with FSD-International's planes and the SUPERB job they have done, there are dynamics that just are'right. I still can't trim the Cheyene 400 even with the Go Flight LGT module. There is way too much slop. They tell me it trims like a dream..So those people that are passing these flying exams without the use of an auto-pilot, my hats off to you....It could be that my CH Products Yoke and Pedals aren't calibrated correctly? But using the CH Device Manager is really confusing...Take care!Barry

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BarryI would tend to agree with your statement.The facts are that visually we have now moved to a high state of accuracy which isnt matched by flight dynamics.There are probably just a handful of people worldwide who are able to extract any degree of realism from the flight dynamics and this usually means a high degree of creative flight modelling to screen the flaws and gaping holes in the flight dynamic capability of MSFS2002.It also requires the brain of Einstein which usually doesnt equal the talents of Authors who have creative abilities.If we look at the shear amount of time in just creating a reasonable handling aircraft it is just too much to expect from anyone.Microsoft now need to look at the flight dynamics engine which is highly dated and they need to couple to this an interface which allows us non Einsteins to create reasonable handling aircraft to match their visual beauty.I would see as part of this interface an ability to make handling and feel adjustments to the airfile in flight by the means of sliders and then to be able to save the result as an airfile.Peter

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>Barry >>I would tend to agree with your statement. >Peter, I hope it isn't this one :)I hope the Microsoft FS 2004 development team spends time on Flight Dynamics 101 along with improving the eye candy. The fact you can't fly most aircraft without using the Auto Pilot is really annoying! I say "rubbish" to not being able to fly without auto-pilot! I seldom use auto-pilot, but do admit that trim for getting straight and level is the touchiest part of the flight dynamics. Of course, no GA aircraft that I know of fly's straight and level either, MS is just a bit harder.As to Microsoft going all out to provide flight dynamics that mimic the real bird............... I doubt it! I don't see it as being in their best financial interest. The real appeal would be to too few. And if they did, perhaps it would be under lock and key like IL-2. Or perhaps licensing fees for third party use? IMO---- we just may be stuck with creative talents such as those from Rob Young, Steve Small, and Ron Freiumuth. It may be masking flaws and coming up with work arounds, but it just doesn't bug me that much................... because the whole simulation thing is just that.................. a simulation with no real air moving over no real wings. It's all a form of visual trickery, and "feel" to our hardware, which in essence, could be called a "game" as Barry stated. But I still prefer "simulation" myself! :)And BTW--- as I've stated before; The RealAir SF260 still manages to beat the "total" flight dynamic envelope of FLY, FLYII, FUIII, X-Plane, and IL-2------------------ even if it is so eloquently "faked" for FS2002.L.Adamson

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But Trim is Flight Dynamics 101... It is possible, and should appeal to EVERYONE who flies. Realism is one of Microsoft's marketing strategies, isn't it??On final approach about 10 miles out, can you trim the airplane so you just have to make MINOR adjustments, adjustments that don't careen you all over the SKY?I don't think so.. If you took a pole, I am almost certain it result be that most people fly with the Autopilot until about two - three miles to touch down.. And when you disenguage the Autopilot, then all of the bizillion alignment calculations that the AutoPilot does go away, and you stuck flying flight dynamics that aren't even close.Careening, Careening, Careening....Even simple things like taxiing, aren't correct.If you have ever flown the real thing, you would agree.. If you drove a car like that, you would be pulled over for drunk driving.My flight instructor in the real world, always drilled home the fact, once you have your airplane properly configured for landing, it should take very SMALL corrections to maintain the approach. One approach he did, he had his hands off the yoke until a mile or so before touchdown.. Unless you have wind gusts etc. or a few other factors... And they can get there... I am not saying it is off by a great margine, just off! And it does impact the flight experience, in my opinion.Barry

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LarryBut there arent many like the people you mentioned above who are either capable, have the skills or are prepared to put in hundreds of hours in creating flight models.This is the big gaping gap for the aircraft creator who makes a very nice looking aircraft in GMAX.It looks great but doesnt fly great and these poor people cant E mail Rob young to give them a great flight model.Microsoft built a creative tool with MSFS yet there is no tool for the builder to create a decent flight model and here lies the gaping hole which they need to fill in MSFS2004 to complete the job.The subject is so complex and there really are only enough people worldwide to count on ten fingers who are capable enough that this statement must surely show a shortfall in this creative tool.Peter

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>.. And when you >disenguage the Autopilot, then all of the bizillion >alignment calculations that the AutoPilot does go away, and >you stuck flying flight dynamics that aren't even close. >Careening, Careening, Careening.... Yo, Barry I tend to agree with you. I fly with the a/p on most journeys if only because to fly manually all the way would be hard work. BUT... you should still be able to do it with a little practice and that means practice on each and evey plane as they are all different, non?Yoy say when the a/p goes away you are stuck with flight dynamics that aren't even close, as if the a/p was somehow using DIFFERENT dynamics.Naturally when you shut off the a/p YOU have to start micromanaging the controls like the a/p was doing.I reckon, with 10 miles to work with, you should be able to stabilise the plane such that you only need small adjustments.When I first flew the stock Lear (FS2K) manually I thought it was absolutely impossible, but now I can handle it . Just takes a lot of practice that's all.PP

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>On final approach about 10 miles out, can you trim the >airplane so you just have to make MINOR adjustments, >adjustments that don't careen you all over the SKY? >>I don't think so.. If you took a pole, I am almost certain >it result be that most people fly with the Autopilot until >about two - three miles to touch down.. Seriously, I have little problem to fly smooth non-porpousing, non erratic flight paths to a landing without auto-pilot. If it's because I'm a real world pilot, and my computer hardware seems about right, then so be it! I've had a friend over, who tends to fly arratic landings, as well as takeoffs also..FWIW, I do use rudder pedals, and the trim is two knobs on my joystick.L.Adamson

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>Larry >>But there arent many like the people you mentioned above who >are either capable, have the skills or are prepared to put >in hundreds of hours in creating flight models. >I seriously doubt Microsoft has programmers capable of what the "above" guys have learned over the years! :) And I sure hope things don't "progress" as with CFS3. The modeling has actually gone backwards :-( I myself, just plain prefer flight models, modeled by these particular 3rd party designers..L.Adamson

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It's not (just because you're a realworld pilot.I'm not and I can keep decent altitude as well in most aircraft with little effort.Trimming works well, but we have to remember the limitations of PCs. The trim in a real aircraft is a continuous process, in FS it's discontinuous. That means that if the correct trimsetting is somewhere between 2 clicks on the trim, you're incapable of trimming correctly. As the correct trimsetting is not a constant even for a single aircraft (if it were, real aircraft wouldn't need trimwheels :-)) there is no way Microsoft or anyone else can anticipate this and program for it. As it is they did a quite decent job within the limitations of the hardware they programmed for...Next step up, full motion sim. I don't think many FS users can afford one of those...

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Larry,I also have flown in real life about 250 hours PP SEL with a SE complex rating.Then it has to be a hardware re sensitivity issue...I have a AMD XP 2200 Processor w 768MB Ram, a GEFORCE 4 ti4200 128 MB, 60GB 7200 Hard Drive, and the Goflight LGT and P8 Modules, and USB CH Products Yoke and Pedals.. Running a 7 port USB hub for the Goflight and CH hardware.Not a Minimum System by any means..So what is the problem?I would like to hear any comments? I am not saying all my landings are crappy... But I can rarely get any aircraft trimmed, even with the GoFlight module and its granualarity ability to TRIM.Do I need to spend several hundred hours with hardware tweaking the sensitivities? Now I did see one nice thing about the PSS aircraft, they recommend to set all sensitivity settings to Default. And then they do their .AIR and other setting based on that.. See we need a standard!I do need to spend time on the phone with CH Products re the CH USB device manager... This may solve some of my issues as well.Take care!Barry

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