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Any current IFR, or students, using FS2002 for practice

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I'm doing my IR currently, and am wondering if anyone here used FS for practice. I realize that FS is not loggable by the FAA, but I figure it can't be bad for just practice.I'd be interested in any hints or experiences in using FS for this.Thanks,Bruce.KBJC, Jeffco, CO.

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I practice approaches with fs2002 and fs98 along with the free demo of asa's on top ifr sim, it is just like the full version except you are limited to flying within a 75 mile radius of helena montana, you can shoot all the approaches within that area though. here's the link.http://asa2fly.com/demo_ot.htmcombined with http://edj.net/cgi-bin/echoplate.pl? free approach charts sets you up for some good procecures training.

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I can't say enough for IFR practice in FS. As a student at Embry-Riddle, we use Jeppesen's PCATD software with some crappy old control yokes and some rudder pedals that served absolutley no purpose other than being there. I'd do an hour of that with my instructor, log it as simulator, but still get nothing out of it because i had to constantly hold full left aileron to fly the dang thing in a straight line. Going visual? HAHA, if you call seeing 3 dots representing a runway "visual". I'd come home and practice it on FS2K2, and not be able to log it, but I'd get a heck of alot more out of it. Before my checkride, I practiced and practiced a common procedure that they throw at us on the inhouse rides. Its an NDB approach to runway 29 at New Smyrna, followed by immediately joining a DME arc to the ILS 7L back at Daytona. I aced it on the ride.

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FS 2002 is an invaluable tool for your initial rating as well as to stay proficient, once you have the instument ticket. You will save alot of money too! For training purposes, you can improve your scanning techniques, practice holdings, and learn ILS, LOC, VOR, and NDB approaches. As a matter of fact you can practice all the approaches and become proficient before getting in the airplane. When you do, it will be alot easier to perform the scanning, holdings, and approaches. That's how you'll save alot of money. You'll be better prepared and safer too. YES, you may not log the time, but the time you spend with FS 2002 will make you a more prepared instrument pilot, because you can practice any approach before you go out there and perform the approach in instrument meterological conditions.Best of luck, JoseCFI, CFII

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So, with the recent announcement by the FAA that they are 'reviewing all the rules' to bring them 'up to date' why don't people make some noise. Technology has brought this stuff to the point that it COULD easily be logable. Why not push for it. Lobby your representatives, contact the FAA - DO something about it! I can only hope that if America actually made a sane regulatory decision, then Canada/ICAO might follow it.The main problem that I see the regulators having is that of oversight. It would be too easy to fudge. But it would also be too easy to actually DO IT, so that might compensate somewhat.Naa - I'm dreamin. There is a rule that beauracracy can only increase, that costs and availability must be maintained at an extreemely high level, or otherwise it is just not 'real'!

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Yep, as almost everyone has stated so far in this thread, FS2002 rocks for gaining and maintaining IFR proficiency. At the very beginning of my instrument training I was having some problems multi-tasking in the aircraft during an approach, so I came home and flew approaches for days on end. It didnt take long before some things became second nature and my instructor was really impressed with my progress. Which leads me to something really important which I think I stressed before in another thread. Even though you cant log the time, it will without a doubt save you money if you use the time wisely and learn while simming. By the time I was ready for my instrument checkride, I was looking for places to get my 40 hours in to get over legally to the examiner.Craig

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When I was training for my IR, I used both MSFS and X-plane a lot. I liked MSFS for the accuracy of the navigational database. At the time, X-plane had a rather sketchy database. It has since been improved. The benefit of X-plane is in the incredible smoothness of the gauges. They react like the real thing. However, don't look to do backcourse approaches in X-plane. They aren't supported for some inexplicable reason that Austin has yet to answer.I saved a considerable amount of money using flight simulators. My thousands of hours in FS before I even started IR training meant that I already knew how to track VORs, fly NDB bearings, and could capture and maintain an ILS (in principle). It was still FAR more difficult to do it in the plane.One thing I'd like to see is more variability and realism in the winds. Nothing like tracking a good ILS in a real plane only to hit that swirling, turbulent wind as you approach DH/A and have to adjust quickly to avoid a full deflection.

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While I almost use FS2002 exclusively...Back when I was working on my Instrument ticket I preferred FLY!, X-plane, or even Pro-Pilot over FS2002. The reason ? Smooth instruments !Walt,

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"While I almost use FS2002 exclusively...Back when I was working on my Instrument ticket I preferred FLY!, X-plane, or even Pro-Pilot over FS2002. The reason ? Smooth instruments"On my system I found the opposite. I could not stand the panel and instruments used in FLY and I really did not like X-Plane at all. I used FS2002 everyday during my instrument training and still use it weekly to stay tuned in when Im not getting any actual IFR. With MSFS2002's panel settings maxed out the panel looks and works fantastic. Its especially great when you use an add on GA aircraft like FSD-International's Seneca V. Though I agree if FS2002's settings are set to high for a given system then the panel and the rest of the program are not so fluid.

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Getting ready for interviews with the regionals so I have been using MSFS 2002 with an ELITE yoke set up. Most interviews use a PCATD to see if the applicants can:a) track a vor radial inbound/outbound:( shoot an approach down to minimums then go missedc) handle a single engine approachetc etcSpeaking of which....Any regional airline pilots out there? Care to walk a poor flight instructors' resume in to hr?!?!?! :-)

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Thats cool..To each their own I guess. But from what I remember trying to do a ADF Approach in MSFS2002 was a major pain in the rear.I don't remember exactly what it was..Perhaps the Tick-tock needles or the Panels but I know I didn't use FS2002 fer sure.Walt,

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Might be the aircraft or some other settings. The NDB stuff on MS2002 is one of my favorite things to practice. I just did two RW NDB approaches a few days ago including two different NDB holds. Then next day I did the same approaches and holds with MSFS2002 aside from not bouncing around in the aircraft it was identical.I have my aircraft and panel settings maxed out, but the general settings pushed back to about 60%. Frame rate is locked and holds a solid 20FPS. I have noticed that with lower frame rates the instruments do get jumpy and its even worse if the frame rate is changing frequently. When all is running smoothly I find the instrument display to be fantastic.PIII 800 512mbGeForce 4 128mb 4400Sony Multiscan G410 19"

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That is correct, but mostly it is used for new private pilot students to teach basics and procedures. It is used a little during instrument training, but mostly we used Frasca's for training outside of the aircraft. They need to upgrade the whole lab! Most of the machines are FS98 with a few that are 2000. Its a great lab it just needs to be brought up to date. (Maybe it has by now... I finished up there last summer)

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flight model....like RealAir simulations freeware addition to the 182 flight model or Steve Small's files for various aircraft, especially the Caravan. PLUS, you have to use the 2-d panel most of the time so that you can see the gauges clearly and react to the trends of the needles....Good Luck!Christopher ASEL, Instrument 210 HoursCommercial in 3-4 weeks

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Very interesting and useful. It's a shame that it's unloggable, but I can see too where that could be "fudged". I'm about to start work with my CFII, so your answers are all very interesting. It's good to hear from those who have actually taken "the ride" and benefited from FS.Bruce.PS. I assume that the IR ride is not as daunting as the PP one is. At least we know that the DE is a human being and not some sort of monster :). BK.

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Hi,I use FS2002 for practice quite regularly to stay tuned up for IFR flight. I will have to agree with others who have previously commented about the gauges not being smooth like they should be. One thing I have found is that the gauges that are used in the "W" panel view gauges view are far smoother than the ones that come installed on the default panels. I have used FS Panel Studio (payware panel editor) to use every "Mini Panel" gauge that is available in my IFR cockpits of light airplanes. I have also gathered cockpit bitmaps of planes that I now fly (Cessnas and Pipers) and enlarged them to give an available window that only shows the "six pack" of the basic flying gauges along with the two VORs and an ADF as applicable. That enlarges the gauges to almost realife size on my 21" monitor. This gives me a good realistic panel for instrument work with the General Aviation low and slow types.The reason for doing the enlarging of the panel and gauges was that I noticed that it was too "easy" for me to view practically all the instruments at once and thereby not exercise a "scan" which is so vital for instrument flying. It was kind of funny, because I could fly some great instruments in flight simulators on the PC and then not be worth a hoot in the real cockpit. This was especially true when flying ILS approaches because the planes I rent all have separate VOR/ILS instruments from the ADI/HSI group and you have to really look back and forth over a fair distance. It finally dawned on me what I was doing and after enlarging the panels and the gauges to as big as I could get them I got far more real eye scan practice than what I previously had. IMHO I think this is one of the biggest limitations of PC instrument flying with most available panels. We just need monitors as big as the real panels in the real planes. Enlarging the "six pack" to fill the whole screen of a 21" monitor gets you in the ballpark. I also get a bang out of flying the FS2002 planes with all the add on planes with the tiny gauges for the fun of it. I try not to get too serious about "doing it for real" with these panels and reserve that for my own panel creations. Getting a reasonable air file to go along with your plane helps a lot also. It takes some amount of self discipline to force yourself to not use the autopilot because you know that the real planes you are flying don't have anything but you for an autopilot. I think FS2002 is far superior than previous versions of Microsoft flight simulators for IFR training because you are able to trim the planes far more precisely than you could before. The gauges/instruments might have been smoother but flying the planes was for me almost comical. I thought about reloading FS98 and FS2000 just to take a look at the gauges after reading this thread to see how much smoother they were than FS2002 but I remembered about the jerky trim and the zoo I felt I was in when trying to fly them. The place I rent/fly from has a Frasca type simulator worth something like $90,000 when it was orginally purchased about 5 years ago. There are several CFIIs there that along with me feel that FS2002 is superior in flying instruments to that expensive simulator. It's also a lot more fun as well. You have to spend some super major bucks to get real servoed instruments working out of rather sophisticated computers to fly like the real thing. I have also used "IP Trainer" by ASA for initial training procedures and I have to say that it had it's place. Not at all glorious to look at but it does help hammer some procedures in place. ASA's "ON TOP" program has some pluses as well but then again, nothing glorious to look at. I also own and have used Jeppesen's Flight Simulator program whatever it's called and taken a look at the Elite simulation program demo. They all have their points, but, for me, I prefer FS2002 with my personalized cockpits over all of them. It's a bit far cheaper than those others as well. The very best training is with a CFII in real clouds. The best proficiency training is by yourself in real clouds. FS2002 has provided a great "cobweb cleaner" tool for me prior to getting in those clouds since I don't get to fly all that much because of a lack of "missions" and more fundamentally, a lack of bucks.Just some thoughts, hope it helps,Bob, Rogers, Arkansas

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Hi Bob,Thanks, some good insight.The problem out here, in the rainshadows of the Rockies, is that we never get any IMC- and if we rarely do, it's full of ice or a thunderstorm- most pilots have reservations about flying in either :).Thanks,Bruce.KBJC, Jeffco, CO.

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FWIW, when going for the instrument ticket I had the same question, and was very frustrated with MSFS's smallish instruments on the screen and jerky instrument-needle updates (not as bad as Fly, though). I ended up buying Elite (a, gulp, relative bargain compared to the cost of one good days' worth of dual instrument instruction), and was delighted. Elite has large gauges, fluid instrument updates, and a simple yet extremely powerful interface. Using Elite really helped with my instrument training and probably saved me money in the end, because of the speed at which I improved.One neat trick to enhance your simulator instrument training experience (by putting more pressure on your brain) is to do the following. Get a bunch of 3 x 5 cards and on each card write the name of an instrument approach at one of your local airports. Fire up the sim and set yourself up in cruise in the general vicinity of the airports you picked, then pull out a card and fly the approach you picked without pushing "pause" or using the autopilot. You'll be pretty busy figuring out how to get to the IAP and fly the approach while at the same time flying the plane. Good luck.Paul

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I think the FAA does allow instrument logging for MSFS2002. A flight school near me has a simulator setup using MSFS2002 and you are able to log time with it.Check it out.I wouldn't know where to start :(

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I think the FAA does allow instrument logging for MSFS2002. A flight school near me has a simulator setup using MSFS2002 and you are able to log time with it.Check it out.I wouldn't know where to start :(

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Bruce,Totally agree about the ice and thunderstorms. Followed a leader into a boomer once and made it but the plane was really banged up pretty bad. Worst case of turbulence I ever encountered by far and never want to do it again. Also had the horrible experience of arranging funeral services for a buddy of mine, his wife and baby daughter killed in an aircraft accident from flying in bad weather. He was a heck of a fine young man and superb aviator. Too much self confident transference from flying heavy metal to a Cessna 172 over the mountains in thunderstorms I think. His wife was seen running around the airport prior to takeoff frantically asking any pilot she could find if they would go up in weather like what was in front of them. Really tragic. Every year around here it seems that someone super qualified with great equipment augers in flying in miserable icing conditions. Even with planes with deicing equipment. My motto is I don't do Ice and I don't do Thunderstorms. Flying to minimums I'll do but with a pretty fair amount of preplanning and a tad bit of good old FS2002 in the goo. Take care out there in the mountains,Bob, Rogers, Arkansas

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Hi Bob,Yes, we do give the big mountains here plenty of respect! They rule everything we do here (flying or otherwise), and have a micro-climate of their own. On another aviation forum, myself and one other from CO spent a half dozen messages persuading a guy that he did not want to fly his Cherokee from FL to CA via the mountains around here (multiple legs of course :) ). This was in winter too, when the winds are at their worst, and those huge rotors get set up on the lee side (east, Denver side). I've heard PIREPs around here from the big guys reporting 3,000 fpm downdrafts, a guy in a 172 or Cherokee doesn't stand a chance in that! And every year the coffins come out of the mountains, controlled flight into terrain in VMC mainly- either caught in a downdraft or the density altitude is just too high. Most passes here are in the order of 11-12,000 ', with peaks at 13 and 14. With a service ceiling of 14, on a good day, there's not much margin there.Thanks for all the tips.Bruce.

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Hi Paul,I like the trick you use with the cards, I must give that one a try. Do you just go through the listing on the Jepp plates and use each one as a possible approach?I would love to see FS be able to slowly fail the AI and HI, slow enough that you don't realize an early failure and therefore don;t take these out of the scan. That's got to be the ultimate challenge in partial panel :)Thanks,Bruce.KBJC, Jeffco, CO.

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