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bpsanborn

Can You Turn Off Flight Instruments

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I have been flight simming on PCs since the very first release of FS from Microsoft. But lately, I am happy to say, that I am using FSX as a supplement to my Private Pilot Training on a Cessna 1782P. One of the things my instructor is bugging me about is that I "fly the instrument panel too much". In fact, this bad habit comes from years of flight simming on my PC. In any FS product you get a view out the front of the window and loose the seat-of-the-pants inputs... so you tend to focus on the six flight instruments to tell you where you are... how high, what attitude, what heading and so on. However, in flying real planes you are taught to "fly the outside view" and to scan the instruments only as needed.

 

So the question. Can I modify the Airplane Folder files to make the 6-pack of flight instruments not function. This forces the pilot to get all of his input queues from the visual view out the airplane. I have TrackIR to help with a natural outside view.

 

I did a series of searches and found no help

 

Thanks

Brian

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You should be able to edit the panel.cfg of the plane you want to fly and put // in front of all the lines that take care of the gauges in the VC. (// will disable that specific line which imho is better then simply completely removing the line.)

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Go to the 2D panel by pressing "Shift + A" from the VC. Then use "W" to scroll to one of the so-called "HUD" views.

 

As far as disabling specific gauges, open the aircraft's panel folder. ie "FSX>SimObjects>C172>panel. Open the panel.cfg with notepad and delete the gauges you don't want (gauge00=, gauge01=, etc.). Make a backup of the panel.cfg before modifying it!

 

I will say that I doubt this will help you in your flight training. What you are experiencing -- what your instructor is reprimanding, is a very common error made by students. He's going to have to break you of your "eyes inside" habit. Here's a good way to start getting those eyes outside: When flying with your instructor, ask that he take away certain instruments while performing a maneuver at random times. ie Have you make a 90 degree left turn, and take the DG away from you without you expecting it. What should you have done? Looked outside and found a suitable ground reference point!!! The same can be done with the other six pack instruments.

 

Also, please form a habit of clearing turns before maneuvers, and clearing traffic before making turns. I've found that many students fixate on the inside, but are soon "cured" with my making them look and say "clear left" or "clear right" before a turn.

 

Half the battle in getting eyes outside is finding a reason to get them outside! On takeoff, find a ground reference point directly ahead to track towards in order to maintain runway center-line on the upwind. For crosswind, use a point 90 degrees and off the wing. Clear the traffic pattern by looking. Need more examples? Pm me. Before the flight, tell yourself those stinking instruments are a crutch you rarely need! B)


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I'd probably disable the Atitude Indicator on the ground since that's probably what you're staring at. (At least that's what *I* got chewed out for...LOL.) Even VFR you need the others from time to time. Learn to see what the *real* horizon looks like over the dash when you're in straight and level, climbing, 30 degree bank, 45 and 60 as well. Hopefully you won't have to learn what 90 looks like. LOL. I used to find a place on the dash where the horizon intersected during climbs and turns.

 

Also, if you have FSUIPC you can set a keystroke to Reload User Aircraft after you disable the instrument. So, if you want to disable them after you take off, that's a good way to do it. There's an opportunity for someone out there to make an app that randomizes instruments going out in flight (if it's not available already.)

 

Gregg


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I have been flight simming on PCs since the very first release of FS from Microsoft. But lately, I am happy to say, that I am using FSX as a supplement to my Private Pilot Training on a Cessna 1782P. One of the things my instructor is bugging me about is that I "fly the instrument panel too much". In fact, this bad habit comes from years of flight simming on my PC. In any FS product you get a view out the front of the window and loose the seat-of-the-pants inputs... so you tend to focus on the six flight instruments to tell you where you are... how high, what attitude, what heading and so on. However, in flying real planes you are taught to "fly the outside view" and to scan the instruments only as needed.

 

So the question. Can I modify the Airplane Folder files to make the 6-pack of flight instruments not function. This forces the pilot to get all of his input queues from the visual view out the airplane. I have TrackIR to help with a natural outside view.

 

I did a series of searches and found no help

 

Thanks

Brian

 

The best suggesting I can make is for the duration of your course "give up flight simming". It's a distraction and essentially just a game.

To become a good pilot you must live, eat and sleep real flying. Then go back to your sim.


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I took my PPL training before there were PCs and home flightsims and I still had to be broken of the habit of "flying the instruments." When your instructor tells you to maintain a certain heading, speed, and altitude it's natural to want to use the instruments to verify that you are doing so. When you start to develope that "seat of the pants" feel it becomes easier to let the aircraft fly itself while you just monitor its progress.

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I took my PPL training before there were PCs and home flightsims and I still had to be broken of the habit of "flying the instruments." When your instructor tells you to maintain a certain heading, speed, and altitude it's natural to want to use the instruments to verify that you are doing so. When you start to develope that "seat of the pants" feel it becomes easier to let the aircraft fly itself while you just monitor its progress.

 

Absolutely! Some instructors know the tricks to breaking this extremely common behavior.

 

The best suggesting I can make is for the duration of your course "give up flight simming". It's a distraction and essentially just a game.

To become a good pilot you must live, eat and sleep real flying. Then go back to your sim.

 

This contradicts the above, and I disagree (respectfully). I went in with tons of simulator "time" but had different issues. Fixating inside the aircraft was not one of them.

 

Good post, Zach.

 

Thank you sir. I love this topic because I understand it. Lol


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I went in with tons of simulator "time" but had different issues. Fixating inside the aircraft was not one of them.

So which issues or bad habits arose from using the sim in your case? Just asking because I think it can help avoiding those bad habits or at least knowing about them.

 

You know, some things aren't bad because they are wrong in the sim, but because one believes that 'this is like the real thing'.

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I got FSX because of VatSim and I was radio shy IRL. My instructor had told me about a few good programs to practice but they were mainly read backs and corrections, and intent comm practice.

 

I then fell in love with being able to fly via orbx where I couldn't IRL. Looking at the panel too much has always been something I struggled with before FSX, it boils down to not trusting yourself and that I learned came with just practice and hours. I have about 400 now and I can say that I still probably look at the panel too much but still working. I dont think a pilot is ever perfect, or will commit the exact amount of right time to each area of concern when it comes to the pit but there are some good recommendations in this thread.

 

Good posts guys.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


William Sequeira

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To the OPs.. This is very common for flight simmers learning to fly for real. Flight sims are really good for IFR...but for VFR, its a mixed bag. There are things that a simmer is good at when it comes to real flying..but the most common bad habit is, relying on the instruments for VFR flying a tad too much.

 

So instead of trying to remove the gauges of your sim aircraft, remove it from your real aircraft by covering it up.

 

This is what my instructor did during a weekend. I flew for like 5-6 hrs over a period of 3 days with all my instruments covered up on my real aircraft with a piece of paper including the RPM Gauge, He wanted me to figure out what my power (RPM) was based on the sound of the engine alone. I had to judge my pattern altitude over my airport based on past experience and even on approach, he wanted me to judge my power and speed based on the feel of the aircraft. The only gauge I had was the kerosene compass.

 

I thought it was a good exercise. Ask your instructor to do that for you.


Manny

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So which issues or bad habits arose from using the sim in your case? Just asking because I think it can help avoiding those bad habits or at least knowing about them.

 

You know, some things aren't bad because they are wrong in the sim, but because one believes that 'this is like the real thing'.

 

Honestly, I'm one that believes bad habits aren't formed on a typical home grown flight sim. The sim is what you make it, and you can take procedural stuff as far as you like. In other words, these sims can only have a positive impact. As we build on our knowledge, we can sit in our computer chair and apply that knowledge at a pace that works for us personally. Or so I think.

 

To the OPs.. This is very common for flight simmers learning to fly for real. Flight sims are really good for IFR...but for VFR, its a mixed bag. There are things that a simmer is good at when it comes to real flying..but the most common bad habit is, relying on the instruments for VFR flying a tad too much.

 

So instead of trying to remove the gauges of your sim aircraft, remove it from your real aircraft by covering it up.

 

This is what my instructor did during a weekend. I flew for like 5-6 hrs over a period of 3 days with all my instruments covered up on my real aircraft with a piece of paper including the RPM Gauge, He wanted me to figure out what my power (RPM) was based on the sound of the engine alone. I had to judge my pattern altitude over my airport based on past experience and even on approach, he wanted me to judge my power and speed based on the feel of the aircraft. The only gauge I had was the kerosene compass.

 

I thought it was a good exercise. Ask your instructor to do that for you.

 

I thought that's what I suggested? ^_^


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Zachary Waddell -- Caravan Driver --

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/zwaddell

Avsim ToS

Avsim Screenshot Rules

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The sim is what you make it, and you can take procedural stuff as far as you like. In other words, these sims can only have a positive impact.

Makes sense and I follow your view. It's nice reading from a rw flyer that the sim concept itself can have a positive impact. Even if it just leads to the drive of wanting to know how the real stuff works.

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Thank you all so much. It makes me feel so much better to know that my "bad habits" were shared by other new pilots... and that I can work through these problems with practice. I will try your advice and tape some paper over the instruments to force myself to trust outside references.

 

The last time out my instructor got so aggravated he covered the instruments with the checklist. I flew the maneuvers having to use the front cowling as reference and landmarks for turns. When we were finished I was on the right heading and altitude... and engine RPM. I will have to train myself to fly this way until it becomes natural.

 

Thanks again

Brian

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Some good replies here  ..........  but I would emphasise that when flying true, basic VFR you are responsible for your own collision avoidance, be that with any other aeroplane, or with terra firma. This surely must be the prime reason for maintaining a good, constant look-out, and not just prior to manoeuvring.

Looking at your instruments too often stems from a lack of confidence in interpreting the 'outside' picture. So ...

1. Fix your seat height/eye-view - both in your sim, and in your aircraft. A fixed base reference is essential. If you sit in a different position, or have a differnet eye view each time you fly, you are just making it difficult for yourself.

2. When flying straight and level, check the visual distance between the top of the glareshield and the outside horizon. This becomes your prime attitude reference. Check it very occasionally with your instruments. As you become proficient at assessing and maintaining the correct external reference, you will find you need to check the instruments less because your 'errors' will both diminish in size and occurrence.

3. When turning, check the visual distance between the top of the glareshield and the horozon again. BUT - note that it will differ from the straight and level case because, if in side by side seating, it will be bigger when turning left, and smaller when turning right. By practising standard turns you will soon learn to recognise the two new reference 'pictures'.

Regarding covering up your instruments - why bother? In the sim you can always adjust the view so that they are out of sight. It is actually good to have them there, because when practising as outlined above, they serve to confirm (or deny!) the accuracy of your externally referenced flying. If you cover them - how will you know?


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