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pilottj

Aviate, Navigate, Communicate...what is your favorite aspect of being a virtual pilot?

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Any of you who are pilots or are taking flying lessons have probably heard the phrase 'Aviate, Navigate, Communicate' when describing what a pilot does.  This really applies on how we deal with emergencies,  the priority of actions to take.

 

Anyway, it can be said that while we do all 3 of these things when we fly. we might find ourselves focusing more on one or the other.

 

Aviate: The act of flying the plane, keeping it withing limitations, monitoring systems, ensuring their safe operation.

 

Navigate: Doing a task with the plane....ie going somewhere or performing a task, or mission.  Using the instruments and equipment to perform this task.

 

Communicate: Telling or signalling to others where you are or what your intentions are.

 

I think tho in the virtual world of FSX with no consequnces, while we do all three, we focus might more on one or the other depending on what and how we are flying.   What aspect of this flying do you enjoy the most?  Obviously in reality we as pilots need to be able to perform all three instinctually, but which do you find yourself doing the most in FS?

 

ie, if you like to fly warbirds, aerobatics, ultralights...ie more recreational stuff, I bet your focus is more on the 'Aviate' side of things.

 

if you fly Airliners, GAs[A-B], Military....etc. I bet you are focused more on the 'navigate' side of things.

 

If you like to be on Vatsim, you obviously like the 'communicate' side of things.

 

We could even get into which flight instruments are more 'aviate', 'navigate' based, or 'communicate' based.  I think this is why some feel an ASI in knots is important, and why some feel it is unimportant, it depends on what aspect of flying you think the gauge is primarily for.

 

Anyway, just curious.

 

Cheers

TJ

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Hard to pick a favorite here.

Depends a lot on the aircraft, the situation, the goal.

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Most of my real-world flying is in gliders (with a bit of GA thrown in here and there), which is very much (hands on) Aviate, a bit of Navigate and little to no Communicate, but am most definitely Communicate, Navigate, Aviate in-sim.  

 

Partly it's because it's the polar opposite to my real-world flying, hence more interesting, but partly because even a little real world experience shows just how limited a desktop simulator is in conveying the essence of Aviate (and even Navigate, to a certain extent).  That's not a criticism of any particular sim nor add on, but without the motion, the all-round view and the ability to develop and rely on muscle memory (either for switchology or for flight controls), it's hard to forget that you are just sat at your desk with a headset on.  The only thing that ever gave me anything like a true feeling of flight was a full size fixed based 737 sim, and unfortunately that sort of setup is out of reach for the vast majority, whether practically, financially or simply because the family won't stand for you turning the study/living room into a dedicated sim pit...

 

So most of my time is spent IFR (both GA and regional tubes), previously using VoxATC but now I've started on PilotEdge and it's been a revalation, I've probably learned more in the last 6 weeks than I ever did with Vox (VATSIM being a non-starter as my usual flying time is in the quiet zone between the UK controllers logging off and the US East Coast getting busy).

 

Cheers, 

 

Jamie

 

As an aside, if anyone really, truly, thinks an ASI is unimportant, I suggest they try hand flying an approach in gusty conditions into a runway, at or near minimum runway length, without one.  It may be doable (I've landed without an ASI, but never into a short strip), but the risk of coming a cropper increases dramatically....

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As an aside, if anyone really, truly, thinks an ASI is unimportant, I suggest they try hand flying an approach in gusty conditions into a runway, at or near minimum runway length, without one.  It may be doable (I've landed without an ASI, but never into a short strip), but the risk of coming a cropper increases dramatically....

 

I agree, the ASI is the single most important gauge in the airplane.   Give me a J-3 Cub on a VFR day over familiar countryside, and if I can only have one instrument, it is the ASI.   All other flight info I can get visually from looking outside or with my ears.  Obviously the others are imporant too and should be used.  

 

What is relatively 'unimportant' tho is the units on the ASI.  They could be in Kts, MPH, KPH, M/S, Donuts per hour...whatever.  I think a lot of simmers see the ASI as some kind of performance gauge of 'how fast am I going', when it is really just a pressure gauge for precise aircraft operation, and keeping the airplane within safety limits.  In this sense, the ASI is treated like an engine gauge, you memoryize and fly by the numbers and colored arcs, keep it within tolerances...etc.  As such, the units are unimportant as long as you know the numbers and limits.  You don't use the ASI for tracking your flight plan progress, you use the CAS ring on the ASI + winds aloft data, DME readout, info from a GPS, or calculations from an E6B, Flight computer...etc. to see 'how fast are you going'.

 

For instance, changing the ASI in a 1950s airplane from MPH to KTS is kind of like changing the British style 'Boost' gauge in a Spitfire to a typical American style In Hg manifold gauge.  Yes it would tell you the same info, but the boost gauge is what Spitfires were flown with, and what the POH charts are calibrated to.  Do simmers want it realisitic or easy?   :smile:

 

Cheers

TJ

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Landing without crashing.  Seriously, I get the most enjoyment from a smooth landing done without ILS, etc.

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For the last 7 months strictly PMDG 737 and 777 because it has a lot of automation. I have a 7 month old daughter so this has been the only way to do a flight. When she takes a nap I can plan the flight and do the departure and then she wakes up, so then I get to do time compression to the arrival portion then pause it. When she takes another nap then I get to land it.

 

When she gets older I can probably go back to low and slow VFR again but for now this has been the only way I can get some flying time in.

 

Also she loves grabbing the yoke and turning it, which is why I think the yoke is perfect ergonomics as even a baby gets it. If I give her a stick she just wants to put it in her mouth.

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I agree, the ASI is the single most important gauge in the airplane.   Give me a J-3 Cub on a VFR day over familiar countryside, and if I can only have one instrument, it is the ASI.   All other flight info I can get visually from looking outside or with my ears.  Obviously the others are imporant too and should be used.  

 

True, my most memorable single flight was also one of my shortest, the length of a jet runway being auto-towed in a 1952 Slingsby T38 with nothing more complicated than an ASI (in mph!) between my legs.  Admittedly I had the advantage of not having to navigate as I never left the airfield boundary or got above about 300ft!

 

What is relatively 'unimportant' tho is the units on the ASI.  They could be in Kts, MPH, KPH, M/S, Donuts per hour...whatever.  I think a lot of simmers see the ASI as some kind of performance gauge of 'how fast am I going', when it is really just a pressure gauge for precise aircraft operation, and keeping the airplane within safety limits.  In this sense, the ASI is treated like an engine gauge, you memoryize and fly by the numbers and colored arcs, keep it within tolerances...etc.  As such, the units are unimportant as long as you know the numbers and limits.  You don't use the ASI for tracking your flight plan progress, you use the CAS ring on the ASI + winds aloft data, DME readout, info from a GPS, or calculations from an E6B, Flight computer...etc. to see 'how fast are you going'.

 

In which case, no, it's not particularly important.  As long as you know your own stall speed and VNE, your navigation calculations (whether FMC or pen/paper) are in compatible units (or you are capable of making the conversion), and you know the conversion for any legal limits you are capable of breaking (e.g.  FAA 91.117, 250kt or less below 10k ft, so more relevant to the Spit than the Cub! :P ), then the units you are looking at in the cockpit are fairly academic.

For the last 7 months strictly PMDG 737 and 777 because it has a lot of automation. I have a 7 month old daughter so this has been the only way to do a flight. When she takes a nap I can plan the flight and do the departure and then she wakes up, so then I get to do time compression to the arrival portion then pause it. When she takes another nap then I get to land it.

 

When she gets older I can probably go back to low and slow VFR again but for now this has been the only way I can get some flying time in.

 

Also she loves grabbing the yoke and turning it, which is why I think the yoke is perfect ergonomics as even a baby gets it. If I give her a stick she just wants to put it in her mouth.

 

Don't worry, it won't last*.  It won't be long at all before she's going to bed and getting up at human hours, and your (evening) time is your own :)  My two are nearly three and once to they go to bed, I can get in a good couple of hours before it's time for the adults to sleep, plenty of time for a good VFR flight.

 

 

*Actually, do worry, it won't be long be long before you were wishing they were still 7 months old.....   :fool:

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Great question, TJ - lots to think about.

 

Like yztpilot, I'm severely time-constrained, but my answer usually puts me into the "aviate" camp - take up an airplane (usually a warbird that's quick to start and get airborne), go up and survey the weather or do a little recon, maybe some maneuvers, then back to base.

 

It's a little odd because my point of entry into aviation was an an airliner buff.  But when I try them in the sim, I usually break down under the task load of flight planning, running the checklists and flows, getting from point to point.  

 

I might have to give yzt's "airliner mini-series" approach a try, though.

 

You also reminded me that a long time ago (late '80's, CompuServe days, pre-Web), I used to improvise "networked" flights with an online acquaintance who had tried real flying, but given it up because, he said, he realized that what he really liked was the navigation part - "the intellectual pleasure of learning to fly."  So for him, the sim, used in "navigate" mode, was the right answer.  

 

That appeals to me... so, I guess I could come out on "navigate"... given the time...

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