mattria

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I’m starting an integrated ATPL course and just wondered your thoughts on using Prepar3D as a training aid. Will using it realistically help me when it comes to my real-life training.

Thanks

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As Scott said.  Simulators are great procedural learning tools.  So great for instrument related ratings.  So yes for your ATPL should be good.  I utilized PMDG 1900 when I got my ATP and type rating.  The feel of the aircraft wasn't the same but for profiles it worked great.  But for people looking for their inital private ratings and commercial simulators can in most cases provide a negative learning experience.  Students tend to keep an eye on whats going on in the aircraft rather than the visual references.

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16 minutes ago, mattria said:

I’m starting an integrated ATPL course and just wondered your thoughts on using Prepar3D as a training aid. Will using it realistically help me when it comes to my real-life training.

Thanks

In FSX, I flew the 767 Level D for about 8 months. I had a PPL at the time with about 600 hours real time in Cessnas and Piper SEL. . I got a chance to fly the Full motion 767-400 sim at an Airline Training center with a airline check pilot, and made 7 takeoffs and landings and flying traffic patterns for KATL airport. , all good landings according to the check pilot. The check pilot asked me how much "turbine time" I had. I told him "zero", but hundreds of hours in  the flight sim 767. :biggrin:

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For piloting skills (airmanship) not so much but as said for instrument work I found PC based simulator to be very helpful.  First for helping develop an instrument scan technique, second for becoming familiar with navaids I'd find real world and terminal procedures.  Like others, I got my training years before GPS and glass cockpits and the simulator was a great tool but no substitute for time on the Hobbs meter.

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On 9/20/2017 at 7:07 PM, mattria said:

Thanks guys. In short, it’s a good tool then for instrument flying. I guess it’s very useful for a type rating as well.

Yup, that's about the size of it.

Anyway, here's a good learning aid tip (I actually did this when I learned to fly, and it was a big help): Get yourself a good old fashioned paper notebook and a nice decent pen, and each day after your training, write down all of the important points you learned as though you were writing a text book on the subject. You will find that doing this will help you to sink that knowledge deeper into your brain, as you have to think about how you'd explain it to someone else who is reading what you write, and to do that, you have to understand what you are writing and express it clearly. If you can do that, you know the knowledge is in there good and proper.

Good luck. :cool:

 

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10 minutes ago, Chock said:

 

Yup, that's about the size of it.

Anyway, here's a good learning aid tip (I actually did this when I learned to fly, and it was a big help): Get yourself a good old fashioned paper notebook and a nice decent pen, and each day after your training, write down all of the important points you learned as though you were writing a text book on the subject. You will find that doing this will help you to sink that knowledge deeper into your brain, as you have to think about how you'd explain it to someone else who is reading what you write, and to do that, you have to understand what you are writing and express it clearly. If you can do that, you know the knowledge is in there good and proper.

Good luck. :cool:

 

Thank you for the advice :) I will definitely do that. I’m sure that will come in really handy for the ATPL ground school content.

I’ve heard from many people that they mainly revise the question bank for the ATPL exams. I don’t know if this is true, or how much this would actually help in comparison to learning the material itself.

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6 minutes ago, mattria said:

I’ve heard from many people that they mainly revise the question bank for the ATPL exams. I don’t know if this is true, or how much this would actually help in comparison to learning the material itself.

Well, I'll defer to those that have done it but my own view on this: the training is there for a good reason - to make you a safe pilot. Not purely to pass an exam. 

If you learn and understand the content, you will be able to answer the questions and, perhaps more importantly, you will understand why the aeroplane flies and behaves in a certain way (and this will carry through in to your flight training). If you just learn the answers to the questions by rote, you may pass the exam but you will lack the understanding that underpins the rest of the course and your aviation career. And what happens if someone asks you a question you haven't learnt the answer to? 

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On 9/20/2017 at 7:24 PM, mattria said:

I’ve heard from many people that they mainly revise the question bank for the ATPL exams. I don’t know if this is true, or how much this would actually help in comparison to learning the material itself.

Depends on how the exam is presented. I sometimes proctor exams in my job (not for aeroplane licences, the exams I teach people stuff for and oversee are for computer movie special effects programs so they can gain Adobe and Apple certifications, but the principle for all exam study of any technical subject is the same regardless of the subject matter).

What I always tell people when training them prior to their exam, is that any practice exams (especially ones in the multiple choice answer format) can fool you into thinking you know the subject, when in fact you are just getting used to the questions, and if you do practice exams a lot, you end up repeating a practice exam and knowing the answer is B before you've even read five words of that particular question. This means you'll get a high mark on the practice exam, but it doesn't mean you're learning the stuff, you are simply learning the wording of the questions. It's something to be wary of, because it can fool you into thinking the exam will be a breeze, and worse, it means you don't know the subject as well as you think you do.

Most multiple choice exams have four answers, and of those four, one answer choice will be stupid and clearly not the right answer, another answer choice will be obviously not the answer if you think about it for a second or so, and of the last two answer choices, one will be the right answer and the other will be almost the right answer, but not quite if you take the time to think about the question properly. This means that unless you are stupid, most multiple choice exams are really presenting you with a fifty fifty chance of guessing the answer correctly. But, that 'almost right answer' can confuse you when actually taking an exam and you are feeling a bit stressed, so here a good tip:

If you ever do a multiple choice exam, the moment you see the question, cover up the answers with your hand or a piece of paper, and just read the question, then think about what the answer is, and when you know your answer, only then look at the answer choices. This way the 'almost right' answer choice will not mislead you into picking it when you are a bit stressed under the actual exam conditions.

Another good tip with exams is that there actually is usually a clue as to the correct answer in the question's wording, so don't just skim read an exam question, really read every word of it. This is particularly important if you get a question which says something like 'Which is not the way this works...'. If you rush to read that question, you'll miss the word 'not'. It's also possible to miss instructions on questions such as 'pick TWO answers' when you are stressed under exam conditions. So reading the questions carefully is critical, and if it is an oral exam, then listening to the questions carefully is the same and you shouldn't be afraid to ask them to repeat the question either.

Last but not least, with written and multiple choice exams, it's often the case that you will find the answer to a question on an exam is actually mentioned in a later question, so with any exam, take time to review all of your answers before you submit the thing.

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I fly the Airbus, and when my girlfriend was upgrading from the CRJ to the 320, we purchased FS Labs add-on for P3d. From a flows and SOP perspective, it was fantastic for her, and as someone with almost 6500 hours on the airplane, I was pretty impressed with the detail for a $100 add-on. In her opinion, it was money well spent, and she used it to augment the CBT and other training her airline offered. So, from that perspective, either FSX or P3d are pretty helpful, but to learn/train for airwork, I'm not sure how helpful it would be...

Just my 2 cents. :) Best of luck with your training!

 

 

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21 minutes ago, skelsey said:

Well, I'll defer to those that have done it but my own view on this: the training is there for a good reason - to make you a safe pilot. Not purely to pass an exam. 

If you learn and understand the content, you will be able to answer the questions and, perhaps more importantly, you will understand why the aeroplane flies and behaves in a certain way (and this will carry through in to your flight training). If you just learn the answers to the questions by rote, you may pass the exam but you will lack the understanding that underpins the rest of the course and your aviation career. And what happens if someone asks you a question you haven't learnt the answer to? 

You would think.  But quite honestly the FAA tests don't directly reflect knowledge you use in flying.  The tests are at least a couple decades out of date and its a rote memorization exercise at best.

Use Shepard Air to study for your ATP written and the oral exam guide if your not doing your ATP in typed aircraft.  If your getting a type ride along with your ATP focusing on the FCOM/Operations manual should suffice for the oral.

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Thanks for the exam advice, I will bear it in mind when studying and completing the exams.

I would think it’s a balance. You of course need to understand the material, but at the same time, you need to pass the exam. The two don’t always go hand in hand with other subjects, so I would say it’s the same for the ATPL exams as well.

I’m positive that complex add-ons such as those offered by PMDG and FSlabs will help with a type rating. I will definitely invest for the purposes of the type rating.

The integrated course im starting is CAA approved, so it’s within the UK. I’m not sure how EASA exams stack up against FAA exams, but hopefully they’re not too bad.

A couple of real world pilots I know have shunned the notion that the ATPL is heavy maths and physics stuff. They all told me that other than probably trigonometry, a 10 year old could probably do most of the maths required, with a little practice. I don’t know what you guys think?

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Congratulations on getting on and finding the money for a course, you've made the first step that most don't.

You seem very level headed about the whole thing which will help, there's no magic bullet to do this, it's just hours and hours of hard work, get your head down, get struck in and you'll emerge the other side with the bits of paper you need to move on, not unlike school really

You mentioned learning to test earlier, at the risk of sounding cynical, do it. You're doing the course to get the license to fly, do whatever it takes to get that license, then you can worry about learning to fly. You'll learn enough (and get enough experience) during the course to set you off on a safe path, the finer points you can pick up in your flying career, for the time being, just pass the test, you'll never learn to fly if you don't.

At this point I trust you have the Class 1 medical and I'll also assume the first stage will be ground school.

In which case, FS will be of no use for the next few months and it will be of limited use in your initial training.

Ground school isn't difficult but there's an awful lot of 'stuff' to know, it's hard to learn it all by rote so you'll naturally have to understand the subject matter (except for air law, that's just an evil memory game, if in doubt, pick the longest answer!). You don't need much maths (make sure you know your 3 and 6 times table particularly well and brush up on mental arithmetic) but being science/engineering/maths based in your thinking will help.

Do the past papers, as many as you can get hold of, there's only so many questions they can ask and when you get to the real thing it gives you a warm fuzzy feeling when you recognise 1 or 2 of them. It also gets you used to the process.

Read the question, again and again, and then read the answers, all of them, again and again. They're sneaky little so and so's and they'll throw in some double negatives or clumsy wording (written in French by a German, edited by an Italian and translated into English by a Spaniard - ain't Europe great) to change the meaning of them, make sure you choose the right option, it's annoying to know the answer but tick the wrong box. You're rarely time limited in the exam so take the time to do each question properly.

As multiple guess goes, it's nowhere near as easy as people have suggested on here (not trying to scare you, it's not THAT hard, just not as easy as multiple guess at school was), one is wrong, the other 3 will be variations on a theme. Some are not entirely right, some are only partly right (but incomplete or contain an element that is wrong) and you will have to choose the 'most right' which sometimes isn't quite as 'right' as you'd like, you will need to know your stuff.

When it comes to flying, FS is of very limited use to begin with, you should be looking out of the window for most of the time and getting a feel for the controls. FS isn't very good at either of those and will teach you bad habits. Same for nav, they just don't 'fly right' so I wouldn't use them for anything more than fun, reminding yourself why you're putting yourself through all this.

Once you get to instrument stuff, FS can be quite good at practising procedures, I wouldn't recommend you 'fly' it, put it on autopilot and get used to interpreting the chart, thinking  ahead and planning your next action (what heading to steer, when to climb/descend etc).

As you said, I found FS only really came into it's own once you get to the type rating/airline phase. Suddenly you'll have flows to remember and I found doing lots of small/quick flights being both P1 and P2 (at the same time which was a bit strange) going through all the motions you would in a real flight very good at cementing the knowledge you have.

I also found you don't really need that complete a simulation to do it, providing the switch/knob/lever is there to see, mentally, you can 'work' it into your practise and it'll stick (I used the Wilco A320 for about 10 years - it was the best available - and it can be best described as clumsy).

Hope this helps, let me know if there's anything else I can help with,

Ian

P.S. Good timing by the way, I think Ryanair are hiring...

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