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Dardano

New to-be-Pilot here - Introduction & some basic flying questions

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Hello there everybody.

 

 

About Me

 

Glad to have found this place! Just registered so I thought I might as well throw out an introductory thread here.

 

My name is Jan, I'm from Germany, 27 years old. I live in the city of Trier (right in-between Germany and Luxembourg) and have recently received my Bachelor's degree in Computer Science. Currently, the Master program is draining a lot of my time BUT when I do find some free hours I enjoy studying aviation.

 

How I got interested in flying is sorta interesting and unconventional I guess. As a kid, my family and me did a lot of travelling. A *lot* of flying from Cologne/Bonn, Dusseldorf and Frankfurt in the early 90s - mostly to Tenerife, Lanzarote and the other Canary Islands. I was a bit of a nervous flyer as a kid (but what do you expect at 7-12 years old haha). At 14 I travelled from Frankfurt to Costa Rica for vacation, at 16 it was Frankfurt to Bakersfield, CA and, my last flight so far, from Frankfurt to Shanghai (over Dubai with Emirates, best cabin experience ever I have to say, great airline) in 2009. But even though as a kid and teenager I was interested in all things technological (and I distinctly remember drawing a lot of 'blueprints' of my own cabin layouts for 737s as a kid during vacations, impressed by the flight there), I never quite got into aviation.

 

This changed - and the reason for that change was probably as weird as it gets.

 

It was the tragic crash of Germanwings Flight 9525. For some reason I couldn't help but read up on all the details of the incident as soon as they were released. The horrible tragic details, the reasons - as much as we know at this point -, everything hit really close to home for some reason. Maybe it's literally because - in aviation terms - it did hit close to home. After all there's not exactly a lot of serious incidents over Germany and/or with German airlines.

 

Then I looked into other aviation incidents. I stumbled over the docu-tainment series Mayday and soon found myself sitting through entire nights, struggling to go to bed at 5 in the morning after who-knows-how-many hours of watching episodes. As much as I understand that it's dramatized, as many details as they may mess up, I strongly believe the series is well-made and does a great job introducing basic aviation concepts. The unbelievable neglect of Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 pilots (looking at a broken landing gear indicator light, not realizing they're hitting terrain) or Aeroflot Flight 593 (children in the cockpit, disabling autopilot, stalling), the incredible events aboard Aloha Airlines Flight 243 (fuselage blown off) or British Airways Flight 5390 (cockpit windshield blown out, pilot semi-ejected) and many other fascinated me and still do to this day.

 

Then FSX:SE went on sale and, even though I'm a poor student, for 5 bucks I couldn't resist. I was lucky enough to have a fellow student, who was equally engaged by aviation (and who had actually actively attempted to become a Lufthansa pilot at age 18-19 before enrolling in the same Computer Science program as me) and we both got FSX. Learning, studying and exchanging what we've learned over Skype or, occasionally, at local bars. It's really, really cool to have someone in real-life, who you can talk to about a passion. I won't forget the evenings and nights that we've spend drinking and talking about new things we found out: how to approach (switching off the autopilot during an ILS landing in a 757 at 2000 ft above terrain and touching down with the flight director was a big challenge), when to retard throttle and flare during a landing, the difference between LNAV and VNAV, level change and vertical speed. There were thousands of intricate little details we discovered through trial-and-error or research and were eager to exchange. One time we even went as far as testing each other on the aviation alphabet at the bar (alpha bravo charlie, not sure what the exact English term actually is haha). Giving hints until we had it memorized. Lots of fun (really)!

 

Anyways, he's already had flight experience at a local small airfield with a flight school. We've decided to get our pilot's licenses when we have jobs and can spare the dough!

 

 

Questions

 

So, that's the introduction out of the way! In preparation for my personal first actual flying experience I would like to ask a couple very basic question (I love the 172 and the flight school at the airfield does offer flight training in it, so the current plan is to choose that aircraft for learning how to fly):

 

 

#1: They say: "Don't use trim to fly the plane. Fly the plane and then trim."

 

I understand what that means. Sometimes it's tempting to make any change in nose-height with trim. Obviously that's not the idea. But I'm wondering how pilots 'transition' if you will. Say you're flying at 0deg pitch angle. Now you want to descend and lower the nose to -5deg. You do this with the yoke and not the trim to follow the rule I put above. Now you're holding the yoke at this position and want to trim the aircraft so that it stays in this attitude. Now you'll have to roll the trim wheel up and at the same time, with one hand, let the yoke push back into neutral. Is that really how it's done? Trading yoke input for trim like that? You can really tell that I have zero actual cockpit experience here, it seems very weird in theory.

 

 

#2: Flying turns

 

Again, with zero actual non-simulator experience, I'm trying to prepare for basic maneuvers in the air when it comes to that (of course you don't get thrown into those situations without preparations from the flight school but I like to do as much work as I can on my own before). When I make a turn in FSX, I think (and keep an eye on) four things at the same time:

 

  1. Bank Angle (don't exceed, don't undershoot, 30-35deg I think it is for standard turn? Not sure at all though?)
  2. Vertical speed (the aircraft will tend to lose altitude during a turn, counteract with subtle pull-back on yoke, keep vertical speed at +/-0)
  3. Heading (where am I turning? start leveling wings early so as not to overshoot the intended new heading
  4. The Ball (stepping on the ball, left rudder for left turns and right for right, keeping the turn coordinated, don't slip)

 

Is that list correct and comprehensive? Are there factors I'm not seeing? Am I trying to keep tabs on too many things at one time? I'd be interested where your eyes are during a turn maneuver. I honestly struggle with all four factors - especially when you're assuming VFR and still try to actually mostly have your eyes on the 'scenery'. Any tricks, tips? Or just practice?

 

And that's it for now. Thanks for answers ahead of time and cheers!

 

(Also, bonus points to anybody who recognizes my username here :P)

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Welcom Jan to Avsim,  great introduction indeed :smile:     I will leaved the questions to the Pilots 

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jan

 

relax / take a deep breath / stop reading / phone the flight school & organise that first flight in the real ................ and ask all those questions of your instructor.

 

it is more intuitive than your reading might suggest.

 

enjoy & let us know when you get those ratings !! 

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Jan,

 

While you take John's good advice (relax and talk to a flight school), you might also want to look at the flying lessons in FSX:SE. They are a very good introduction to the basic questions you have. PS always remember P.A.T power, attitude, trim.

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Hi Jan,

Welcome to AVSIM! I wouldn't worry so much about trim and turns right now, a good flight school will teach you step by step what you need to know taking from the previous lesson as you progress. You have the theory, here is a little info:

Whether you are in straight and level flight, climb or decent you must set your trim. Remember, attitude, power, trim (your instructor may teach you power, attitude, trim).   After you set your attitude and power you adjust trim to relax the pressure on the yoke otherwise you will get fatigue holding the yoke. I find the most interesting concept of trimming is when you set up to land.

As for the turn, there are 3 in this category, gentle up to 15°, medium from 15° to 30° and a steep turn which is over 30°. You will learn how to make climbing and descending turns and come out on the right heading.

Your instructor will teach you to how to set the pitch of the aircraft in relation to the horizon when you conduct climbs, decents, turns and straight and level flight. Looking outside is the most important thing to remember.

Enjoy your training, before you know it you will be doing your first solo!

Robert

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Hi Jan! Nice introduction.

 

With regards to the question of trim, since the simulator does not provide stick/yoke forces, trimming is frankly much more difficult, since you don't have any instant feedback that you can "feel."

 

In a real aircraft, the forces on the stick/yoke provide tactile feedback and you simply trim until all the force is "unloaded."

 

In a sim you only have the VSI to provide visual feedback, and that makes it much more difficult since there's the tendency to "chase the needle" when attempting to trim... :db:

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jan

 

to add that "extra" to bill, robert & henry's post, flying in the real is 4 dimensional (xyz + time) along with gravity to provide many more cues for a successful & safe outcome.

 

simming is not as real as some may suggest .... it's still educational as well as enjoyable without the smell the avgas / avtur !!

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Thank you very much for the warm welcome, Poppet and everybody else!

 

 

jan

 

relax / take a deep breath / stop reading / phone the flight school & organise that first flight in the real ................ and ask all those questions of your instructor.

 

it is more intuitive than your reading might suggest.

 

enjoy & let us know when you get those ratings !! 

 

I absolutely would if I could at the moment. I should've been more clear in my original post: I'm still going to be a University student for the next 2 years and while that's going in, there's just no way I can start real-life flight training (money and time). That's why I'm trying to prepare as much as possible with what I have right now (ie. FSX).

 

Jan,

 

While you take John's good advice (relax and talk to a flight school), you might also want to look at the flying lessons in FSX:SE. They are a very good introduction to the basic questions you have. PS always remember P.A.T power, attitude, trim.

 

Oh I did go through those already haha (except the glider and helicopter stuff). Definitely provided a good start but I always assumed they weren't very applicable to real-life?

 

Hi Jan,

Welcome to AVSIM! I wouldn't worry so much about trim and turns right now, a good flight school will teach you step by step what you need to know taking from the previous lesson as you progress. You have the theory, here is a little info:

Whether you are in straight and level flight, climb or decent you must set your trim. Remember, attitude, power, trim (your instructor may teach you power, attitude, trim).   After you set your attitude and power you adjust trim to relax the pressure on the yoke otherwise you will get fatigue holding the yoke. I find the most interesting concept of trimming is when you set up to land.

As for the turn, there are 3 in this category, gentle up to 15°, medium from 15° to 30° and a steep turn which is over 30°. You will learn how to make climbing and descending turns and come out on the right heading.

Your instructor will teach you to how to set the pitch of the aircraft in relation to the horizon when you conduct climbs, decents, turns and straight and level flight. Looking outside is the most important thing to remember.

Enjoy your training, before you know it you will be doing your first solo!

Robert

 

Thanks for the insight, Robert. So in essence, you're holding the yoke under pressure and then, while still holding and feeling it wanting to pull back/forward with one hand, you adjust the trim wheel to relieve that pressure so that it stays in place. As n4gix says, that obviously isn't simulated on the computer unfortunately, but this way at least I know how it works in theory!

 

Hi Jan! Nice introduction.

 

With regards to the question of trim, since the simulator does not provide stick/yoke forces, trimming is frankly much more difficult, since you don't have any instant feedback that you can "feel."

 

In a real aircraft, the forces on the stick/yoke provide tactile feedback and you simply trim until all the force is "unloaded."

 

In a sim you only have the VSI to provide visual feedback, and that makes it much more difficult since there's the tendency to "chase the needle" when attempting to trim... :db:

 

Thanks n4gix, yours and Robert's posts gave me a better understanding of how and when to trim, cheers! And chasing the needle on the VSI when trimming is definitely something I've been guilty of in FSX haha.

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(Also, bonus points to anybody who recognizes my username here :P)

 

As it happens, I just yesterday watched the documentary about that! He was the captain of Taca's flight 110 that successfully performed emergency landing without power on the grass. His biography reads like an action movie.

 

Anyhow, welcome to the forums!

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jan

 

read your post #8 .... i totally endorse your continued university study & have an alternative to the fluctuations of life & industry.

 

i studied engineering first up, then found a job doing flying as well before finally a scheduled flying job .... but that was a few decades ago !!

 

one idea you might consider is now / soon attending ground school to study & pass those necessary (prior) tests to gain initial & later licences. the results should be valid for a few years (but check).

 

the subjects taught will be real world & answer all those questions above & more.

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As it happens, I just yesterday watched the documentary about that! He was the captain of Taca's flight 110 that successfully performed emergency landing without power on the grass. His biography reads like an action movie.

 

Anyhow, welcome to the forums!

 

Haha indeed, good job. It boggles my mind that he didn't really receive the same fame that Sullenburger got for US Airways Flight 1549. Not to take anything away from that story or Sullenburger - but in my book, what Dardano did was equally incredible. And while Sullenburger became sort of a national hero, Dardano doesn't even have a wikipedia page...

 

Sullenburger ditched on water and lost his two engines at a low altitude of 2800ft while Dardano landed on a grass strip (very thin though) and lost his power at 16500ft. So in that sense Sullenburger had it much harder. BUT Dardano was in an older aircraft and is blind on one freaking eye.

 

Either way, both outstanding pilots of course and absolutely heroes of aviation as far as I'm concerned, no question. Just think the difference between super star fame on one hand and what seems like absolute ignoring on the other is what strikes me as a bit odd and maybe unfair.

 

jan

 

read your post #8 .... i totally endorse your continued university study & have an alternative to the fluctuations of life & industry.

 

i studied engineering first up, then found a job doing flying as well before finally a scheduled flying job .... but that was a few decades ago !!

 

one idea you might consider is now / soon attending ground school to study & pass those necessary (prior) tests to gain initial & later licences. the results should be valid for a few years (but check).

 

the subjects taught will be real world & answer all those questions above & more.

 

Hey, good idea. I'm not interested in becoming a commercial pilot right now (just recreational). I will look into ground school, didn't realize you can do that part first like that.

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