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The biggest rush in FSX that most don't experience

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I've recently started IFR training in real life. For that, I've started doing approaches via approach plates within FSX for practice. 

Yesterday, I flew an ILS approach, finding the IAF only via VOR/DME, flew the 15 DME arc to hit the straight in, and finally intercepting the glideslope at the FAF to decend to the runway. 

When I came out of the clouds 500 feet above, right on the runway, with the lights flashing...it was seriously one of the most satisfying experiences I've had in a simulator. 

 

My suggestion for those looking for a new challange...put the FMC away and learn to hand-fly some different approaches. Even navigating via victor airways will give you an added challenge and give you something more to do in cruise.

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Yeah, it's pretty satisfying to do it old school, although I find doing the same in real life easier than in the sim.

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Then do all that online with Pilot Edge - with realistic ATC... It's the missing link to real flight simulation.

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Yeah, it's pretty satisfying to do it old school, although I find doing the same in real life easier than in the sim.

 

Yeah, mainly because 1) planes are easier to fly and trim vs. the sim and 2) turning knobs in real life is easier. 

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I have learned the basics of FMC, and even INS. It was fun figuring it out, but then I found myself back to VOR-VOR navigation. My kind of aircraft is generally an old jet or turboprop equipped with a basic autopilot. I always land manually (with mixed reults :P). Some of the older ones can only maintain attitude and not vertical speed, generally there is no auto throttle. NAV mode is rudimentary and maintaining a heading and adjusating manually removes the oscillatory ways of VOR capture mode ...This keeps me busy/entretained during the entire flight, while having the full automagic equipment will allow me to go away and do something else in the meantime... no go!

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Well, two weeks ago I had an opportunity to fly P3D 1.X in a motion simulator. Great experience for hands-on flying. No addon weather, but I could "feel" the plane getting sluggish at low speed. 

Something you don't get in the normal desk seat :)

Got to do 3 touch n go's at EICK (no addon airport),but didn't need it.

Recommend the experience. 

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You guys might punk on the FMC or automated flying, but it's the biggest contributing factor to why the skies are the safest they've ever been since before there was powered flight.

 

I'm all for those who like hand flying to get the 'thrill' of being in control, but I also respect using the FMC and proper flight set up so that the autopilot does the brunt of the work. If done correctly, it can be just as rewarding. In short, don't dismiss those of us who enjoy the 'coffee and a danish' style of flying as less fun than those who like to hand fly.

 

Just my .02.

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Good luck with instrument training!! It's definitely a lift off the shoulders once its finally over with. And yes, flight simulator is a great tool to use for practice. My commercial check ride is in a week.. Can't wait to get through it! Then its off to find a job somewhere out there :rolleyes:

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I remember doing an NDB approach in low visibility in FS9..It was the best experience..  to  see that runway in front of me after a while being in the soup and correcting for wind shift. Seriously.

 

 

I should do some NDB approach..I haven't done one in a long time.

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You guys might punk on the FMC or automated flying, but it's the biggest contributing factor to why the skies are the safest they've ever been since before there was powered flight.

 

I'm all for those who like hand flying to get the 'thrill' of being in control, but I also respect using the FMC and proper flight set up so that the autopilot does the brunt of the work. If done correctly, it can be just as rewarding. In short, don't dismiss those of us who enjoy the 'coffee and a danish' style of flying as less fun than those who like to hand fly.

 

Just my .02.

 

It's not about hand flying per se. It's about doing an approach without having a screen telling you were you are every second, with or without autopilot, and having to visualize your location on an approach plate. If someone hasn't experienced it and learned to do it, they should try it at least a few times or they won't understand what they are missing. Flying a VOR/DME approach is easy enough and is so satisfying. 

 

And places all over the world don't have ILS approaches. So it's not about handicapping one's self just to do it. For most airports, these are simply the procedures you have to do. 

I remember doing an NDB approach in low visibility in FS9..It was the best experience..  to  see that runway in front of me after a while being in the soup and correcting for wind shift. Seriously.

 

 

I should do some NDB approach..I haven't done one in a long time.

 

Thankfully, NDB approaches are almost dead in the USA. I think there are only like five in the US that don't also have a GPS overlay to use. 

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It's not about hand flying per se. It's about doing an approach without having a screen telling you were you are every second, with or without autopilot, and having to visualize your location on an approach plate. If someone hasn't experienced it and learned to do it, they should try it at least a few times or they won't understand what they are missing. Flying a VOR/DME approach is easy enough and is so satisfying. 

 

Well, there has to be a reference of some kind, whether visual or instrument. The essence of IFR is that there’s a "screen" of some kind telling you where you are every second. I don't see an enormous difference between typing in an approach on FMS and watching distance/course/glideslope deviation on LCD or tuning radios and watching needles deviate and DMEs counting down. I also think the differences between VOR/DME or ILS approaches and LNAV or LPV approaches are often over-exaggerated. Sure, it's fun to tune radios, align course needles, and maybe even listen out for morse codes. But with RNAV approaches you still have to account for distance, course deviation, glideslope (if available), DAs, IAFs and MAPs. Still have to read charts closely and scan instruments. It's just a matter of form factor.
 
That said, I agree strongly about hand flying approaches. Once you feed all the data into the instruments, whether traditional radio or FMS, the act of hand flying the plane as you refer to instruments and charts can help a lot to understand the nuances of every approach, and coordination of inputs. It's very rewarding for me (though rare) when I do a perfectly executed standard rate turn in the soup.     

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Yes! Flying approaches old school is awesome, very rewarding.  The A2A Cherokee is an excellent platform for old school stuff.  I like to look for IMC areas and pick a random approach plate off of skyvector.  I usually just use the missed approach procedure for a DP, then fly the approach all by hand.  If it is a GPS approach, I use the GTN650 and leave it on the CDI page, no moving maps needed.  If there is no GPS approach, tune the GTN to the Satellite radio page so there is no 'help' from the GTN.    Fly at night, IMC, or with the eyepoint moved down so the panel blocks the view.  

 

Obviously in real life it is a really good idea to use all the equipment, ie have the GPS backup the VOR...etc, but since this is a simulator, it is a great opportunity to fly without the GPS crutches.

 

There are some great challenging approaches out there, like the KMTN VOR/DME 15 approach.

http://skyvector.com/files/tpp/1505/pdf/05222VDTZ15.PDF

 

Since the bay area is often foggy, FTX's KMRY is an excellent airport to shoot approaches with, such as the KMRY LOC/DME 28L 

http://skyvector.com/files/tpp/1505/pdf/00271LD28L.PDF

 

For added challenge, fly a plane with older CDIs, do not use an HSI equipped plane.  This makes the ol grey matter work harder, especially if you have to fly a backcourse procedure turn.

 

Making the ol grey matter work with this old school instrument flying is a great exercise in concentration.  Not only will you get more out of the modern equipment, you will be very prepared should the modern equipment fail.

 

Cheers

TJ

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In short, don't dismiss those of us who enjoy the 'coffee and a danish' style of flying as less fun than those who like to hand fly.

 

 

We all have our different perspectives on fun, but I don't think the OP's intent was to bash automated flying or those who enjoy it.  He's embarked on the pursuit of an instrument rating - a challenging and rewarding task - which is absolutely all about hand flying, good visualization and what to do when the fancy stuff (and even the not so fancy stuff) fails and he's finding he's enjoying it in both RL and the sim.  As he notes, it really is an amazing feeling when you break out of the gunk on a challenging approach that you've managed and flown entirely on your own and see that runway lined up beautifully for a nice graceful landing.

 

 

 

For added challenge, fly a plane with older CDIs, do not use an HSI equipped plane. This makes the ol grey matter work harder, especially if you have to fly a backcourse procedure turn.

 

True that.  But I gotta admit I do prefer to draw the line at the HSI.  I never could afford one for my plane and lived in constant envy of those greater mortals who had the luxury of that one stop gauge.  The HSI was one of the best inventions ever when it comes to flying IAPs. 

 

And then, of course, there's the torture that was the NDB approach.  My instructor loved to wait for days with strong crosswinds to work on NDB approaches.  But again, the joy of meeting that challenge more than made up for the sinking feeling I'd get when he'd tell me what was in store for the session.  NDB approaches were especially entertaining in my Turbo Arrow, as I had a King KR-86 ADF, with the indicator integrated into the radio - far to the right in my radio stack and well out of my normal instrument scan.  http://www.bennettavionics.com/kr86.html

 

Good times.  Good times.  :blink:

 

Best of luck on the rating bonchie!

 

Scott

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We all have our different perspectives on fun, but I don't think the OP's intent was to bash automated flying or those who enjoy it.  He's embarked on the pursuit of an instrument rating - a challenging and rewarding task - which is absolutely all about hand flying, good visualization and what to do when the fancy stuff (and even the not so fancy stuff) fails and he's finding he's enjoying it in both RL and the sim.  As he notes, it really is an amazing feeling when you break out of the gunk on a challenging approach that you've managed and flown entirely on your own and see that runway lined up beautifully for a nice graceful landing.

 

 

 

 

True that.  But I gotta admit I do prefer to draw the line at the HSI.  I never could afford one for my plane and lived in constant envy of those greater mortals who had the luxury of that one stop gauge.  The HSI was one of the best inventions ever when it comes to flying IAPs. 

 

And then, of course, there's the torture that was the NDB approach.  My instructor loved to wait for days with strong crosswinds to work on NDB approaches.  But again, the joy of meeting that challenge more than made up for the sinking feeling I'd get when he'd tell me what was in store for the session.  NDB approaches were especially entertaining in my Turbo Arrow, as I had a King KR-86 ADF, with the indicator integrated into the radio - far to the right in my radio stack and well out of my normal instrument scan.  http://www.bennettavionics.com/kr86.html

 

Good times.  Good times.  :blink:

 

Best of luck on the rating bonchie!

 

Scott

 

 

lol yep, remember the old fixed card ADF?  The 45 degree tick marks on the gauge became very important.  If there were no 45 degree ticks, the gauge screws were about on the 45 degree points.   But its interesting tho...modern nav equipment like G1000s use RMI bering indicators for secondary nav and ndb guidance.  The knowlege gained from learning the NDB really pays off there because the old addage 'Tails rise, Heads fall' still applies.  

 

Cheers

TJ

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Hand flying on raw-data, SIDs, STARs, Non-precision approaches, in bad Wx, preferably with an emergency, is what I do 90% of my time in FSX! May it bee heavies or light props.

Not all planes are equipped with FMS, GPS or AP in RL  :wink:

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Hey,spot on,love those NDB,Vor approaches the worse the weather the better,the sim really helped me in the real thing IFR,& general navigation,remember the ATP flight test in lessons 20002,? auto pilot was disabled, took me ages to pass that,got my ppl in the 70,s,used to commute real life,daily from  Peterborough On Canada to  Toronto ,Pearson,lol no transponder,steam gages, in a 172, VFR, no less ,had to call in over Oshawa, & no delay  meant no delay,  specially on final ,,lol, ok ok  Ikno ,I kno  "the good ol days"

The Sim ,IFR practice saved my bacon many times when I got myself into weather ,situations that were at best "Special VFR in the real thing lol

 BobG

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Ok.........................I agree that seeing the runway, is a rush, when it's all done correctly.  As to old school, and real life flying, I'm more than happy with modern moving map GPS, and especially synthetic vision.  I've made my position clear, on these forums before.  My side hobby of real flight, would be a bit morbid for some, I suppose. I had a great interest in flight accidents, which usually involved flying perfectly good airplanes into rising terrain. I got real interested, after a DC-8 cargo jet flew into the mountain above my home. It was due to weather, radio problems, and the fact that GPS hadn't been invented.  Almost any modern portable aviation GPS would have prevented that one, as well as many, many others.

 

When I became a self proclaimed aviation GPS fanatic, starting in 1993, with my first Garmin moving map, I'd make it a point to fly to aviation accident sites that were somewhat on the particular route I was flying. I'd then compare the GPS readouts, to just flying sectionals, and VORs. In mountainous country, the VOR is line of sight, and doesn't work well, without enough altitude.  As GPS improved with terrain mapping, it just got better & better. The flight into terrain accident rate dropped.  

 

Being involved with experimental/kitbuilt aircraft, as I was, we'd see some very nice high tech glass panels, for a much lower cost,  than certified installations. In other words, we were not stuck with old avionics in an old Warrior, Cessna 172, etc. We install the equipment, and we test and adjust it. I know very few, who would just prefer to actually fly IMC the old fashion way, when the synthetic vision actually shows the runway numbers, just as you actually fly over them.  When synthetic vision, or at least a good color moving map, is combined with normal approach procedures,  the knowledge of everything working correctly is greatly amplified. Sure...............it's nice to see that runway, when you break out of the clouds, but what if it isn't there?  With modern GPS/synthetic vision, you would have known, well in advance, that something isn't right.

 

I'm just writing this, because I don't believe in the good old days, as being near as safe, as flying is today, in regards to navigation. It just wasn't. We'd average three flight into terrain accidents, every year, out here in mountain country. Now, you seldom hear of it. These mountainsides are littered with commercial , military, and GA remnants, in which the pilot had to rely on the old school methods. It could be radio problems, complacent piloting, or just a loss of situational awareness.  Modern systems only need a glance, to re-orient yourself. 

 

Basically, GPS isn't a crutch, nor should it be considered a backup. It should be the first form of navigation, with charts, pilotage and  VORs as the backup.  I also believe, it's a bit foolish to fly cross country, these days, without at least a portable GPS along. There is just too much restricted airspace out there, along with obstructions such as radio towers, etc. As mentioned in another topic, runways are also much harder to find, in dense populated areas. GPS makes this much easier, while your eyes continue to scan the skies for other aircraft & birds.

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Then do all that online with Pilot Edge - with realistic ATC... It's the missing link to real flight simulation.

Do you think they'll expand to other regions? Vatsim is okay, but some of their procedures are a little "strange"

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Ok.........................I agree that seeing the runway, is a rush, when it's all done correctly.

 

Lol we've had this debate a few times.

 

Think of computer operating systems, like Windows.  Remember the 80s, when MS-DOS was the king operating system for PCs?  You had to learn the file structure, use text commands and such.  Think of DOS like old school navigation.  Think of Windows 7/8..etc as the latest generations of GPS integrated navigation.  The operation of Windows is still based on the old DOS file structure.  You can get a lot more out of Windows if you were around to learn DOS.  using cmd, writing handy batch files, troubleshooting....etc becomes very handy if you have some knowlege of DOS.  LIkewise using a GPS is much more complete if you have a solid understanding of the basics.   A modern glass unit or GPS unit is much much more than just a magenta line generator.  These devices can do many things to improve the safety of flight and improve awareness.  However using these things require good understanding of basic navigation principles.

 

What good is a $$$$$$$$ GTN unit if the pilot doesn't know how to operate and navigate with the OBS function, which turns any waypoint into a VOR.  What good is a G1000 if the pilot doesn't know how to read RMI needles.  And what is a pilot going to do when the tower requests the pilot report crossing a visual checkpoint that isn't in the map database?  Oh my! the pilot might actually have to look out the window for that.  Do pilots even know how to read a mag compass these days?  If I were a checkride pilot, I would fail any student who doesn't know how to use a Mag compass, it is the most basic piece of technology in the airplane.  I would fail any IFR pilot who doesn't know how to read and navigate from an RMI or IDing position using cross radials.  These things are important features of modern glass technology. 

 

The technology is only as good as the people using it.  If the pilots only know how to use 50% or the equipment's functionality because the other 50% requires understanding of 'old school' principles, that's not very useful technology in my opinion.  And what better platform than FSX/P3D to learn how to use that 'old school' tech which will enable understanding of ALL of the 'new school' tech.  In a simulation where you can't die, there is no reason not to learn new 'old' things.

 

As far as the priority of navigation devices, I think it depends on the situation.  If I am in hard IFR with loved ones aboard, you better believe I will be using GPS overlay approaches with VOR backup, and likely using the autopilot.  However if it is a long VFR cross country on a nice day, no reason not to practice VOR navigation, backed up with pilotage and GPS.  About 10 years ago flew a 1971 AA-1 from Santa Rosa, CA to Allentown, PA on a ferry flight.  I had a portable GPS, but the only time I turned it on was for about 5 minutes to help find an little uncontrolled airport in an unfamiliar area.  The rest of the time I was using the AA-1's single VOR indicator with no DME, flying both day and night VFR.  It was a wonderful flight, and because my head was not buried in the cockpit following some magenta line, I was looking outside and getting to see the scenery I was flying over, using the VOR for guidance, and sectional/outside landmarks.  I was with Center the whole trip so I didn't worry about flying somewhere I shouldn't.  

 

Cheers

TJ

Edited by n4gix
Removed EXCESSIVE QUOTE!!!

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I think this is a symptom of a larger problem regarding technology.  Technology makes things safer, thereby freeing us up to do more unsafe things.  Modern safety features in cars have giving drivers an excuse to spend less time driving, more time texting, facebook, watching movies...whatever.  

 

This same problem can and does carry over to aviation.....remember the huge runway incursion problem?  Do features like GPS terrain mapping and synthetic vision make you feel you can pull off things you wouldn't have attempted to do otherwise?  Doing something more dangerous than before because now you have the tools to pull it off.  ie..."I am going to scud-run this cloud base  around hilly terrain because I have terrain mapping with my GPS"  There is a joke about getting an IFR rating,  It allows you to fly in conditions that you were better off avoiding in the first place.  That and the cost for all that IFR equipment is money that could have been spent on hotel rooms for waiting out bad weather. 

 

This is a question for all.  Have you noticed when you are and about see all the people lost and buried in their phones or ipads?  They are oblivious to their surroundings.  Ever notice at a sporting event or concert, 90% of the people that are attending the live event would rather witness the live event through their tiny smart phone screens, rather than watch the actual event in full living color with their own eyes?  

 

With all the great benefits of smart phones, what good are they if everyone is buried in them and not paying attention to life around them.   I am not talking about the loss of social graces, but lack of awareness, like being surrounded by the people in Wall-E lol.   When I saw Google Glasses for the first time, my first thought was....WE ARE THE BORG....RESISTANCE IS FUTILE....YOU WILL BE ASSIMILATED!! lol.

 

I think overuse of technology is like any other habit, like booze, drugs, games, Flight Sim or any other addictive hobby.  If used with a plan or purpose and moderated, they can be beneficial or enjoyed responsibly.  If you do this irresponsibly, with no moderation, without a purpose, then it is a problem.   Balance is the key as always.

 

Sorry for rambling on lol, this is an issue that goes far beyond aviation.

 

Cheers

TJ

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Yep, I'll always argue new tech versus old school. And I grew up as an old school guy. 

 

I don't believe in the VOR system as being basic navigation either. It's a 1950/60's thing. Pilots must have somehow navigated before they were invented. GPS isn't over use. I think it's a bit silly when some flight instructors think it's a good idea to leave your GPS home once and a while for a cross country flight. I've also said many times.................that if an instructor tells you to throw your GPS into the backseat, with a smirk on their face, then throw him/her  out.  I'd never compare GPS to smart phones, and there is always the presumption, that some will just blindly follow the magenta line. Some actually have, but with todays moving maps, you'll get plenty of visual and audio warning, that you're screwing up.

 

Never the less, it's usually the sim forums, flight school forums, or "cheap renter" real airplane forums, where there is the most controversy about using GPS over old school.   Besides, I never installed VOR radios in the RV. It would have been a waste of money. Thousands of dollars to just twist some dials for something to do, when bored, I guess. I had the pleasure of a  high resolution moving map, with up linked satellite weather over lays, I could see terrain, obstacles, and weather for hundreds of miles in all directions.  I was constantly updated for winds & altimeter settings. BTW---- I'd always trust the GPS altitude reading over the airplanes altimeter. The altimeter could easily get to several hundred feet off  until a new current setting was entered. Then the altitudes would be exactly the same for a few minutes, before drifting apart again. 

 

Note: It does appear that my ex RV6A, has some VOR radios these days. It's owned by a retired military/commercial pilot, and flown IFR. 

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I'm just writing this, because I don't believe in the good old days, as being near as safe, as flying is today, in regards to navigation.

 

While an interesting discussion, as I noted earlier I don't think this started out as an "old school vs new school" topic.  It was simply describing the fun someone was having in his learning process using basic instrument skills. 

 

Note that I'm a BIG proponent of properly using the best tools available, and if I had a modern GPS available in a plane (I no longer have mine) I certainly wouldn't shut it down due to misguided posturing about being "old school".  But that's a whole 'nother topic.

 

Scott

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