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pilottj

Reasons for more Study Sim GA

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Hey all, I had to get this off my chest after what I saw at an airport today.

For simmer enthusiasts who have no interest in flying for real, ignore this post.  Please continue to enjoy your simming as you like.  This is intended for those who are looking to use FS as a gateway to real flying.

I think one of the biggest misconceptions that flight sim brings is the notion that airplanes are more capable than they actually are in real life scenarios...ie "The AP will save me if I get disoriented or in unusual attitude situation" or "The high performance airplane is easy to fly, I can fly without checklists or without memorizing Vspeeds."    News for some, the AP will not save you in unusual attitude...you will save you, via your training and mastery of the aircraft.  And when you overshoot base to final in your slick virtual speed monster and invariably get into cross control stall, which in FS you simply maneuver out of because the FS version handles like a slightly cleaner Cessna at low speeds...while in RL, you would be a in a smoking crater before you have time to say "What happened?"


Reasons for more 'study' level GA planes.  An airplane is so much more than a fast travel tool, and I beg of those learning via FS to fly with hopes of RL flying, I hope you consider taking the time to really learn and understand aircraft operation, systems, and ALL the aircraft's capabilities for what ever you want to be qualified for.  There are many reasons for this.


Many reasons, but a big one is learning why doing to the little things (ie good planning, WX, W&B, preflight, checklists, thorough runups...etc.   Today I was hanging out at KSEZ Sedona while stopping by on roadtrip.  I stopped by because I had some free time and wanted to do a little plane spotting, and chat with some of the locals at the FBO.   I watched a Cirrus pilot who was clearly in a hurry and perhaps inexperienced in hot and high conditions, rush through his preflight (I would hate to look at his W&B calculations if he even bothered to do them), quickly floods the engine, spend forever cranking, finally starts, taxis out like a teenager driving a stickshift for the first time, does the shortest runup in history, then bolts out.  The weather was VFR, on a warm day with a typical Southwest warm day density altitude.  There was some weather in the area but not anything significant to get ahead of.  I can only imagine the ear beating my instructors would have given me if i departed like that.  A check pilot would have busted me before I even turned on the master switch with that kind of irresponsible operation.

It kind of reminds me of that saying motorcycle guys say alot, "If you are in a hurry to get somewhere, you probably shouldn''t take a motorcycle"  I believe this is very true for airplanes, or any "risky" activity that requires a clear head.  The fastest way to embarrass yourself or worse is to be in a rush.  If you can afford something like a Cirrus and are in hurry to get somewhere, why not just hire a Netjets charter or something, you can afford it.  Funnily enough there is quite a difference between flying to your aircraft's capabilities, and being in a hurry...like having a sports car or motorbike....you should enjoy what it can do for sure, but don't be in a rush to do it.

This isn't a rant on Cirrus pilots or the plane, I've met quite a few who are excellent and highly competent pilots, all of whom I would be happy let myself or a loved one ride with  The plane is a fine plane, one that deserves more proficient pilots than it sometimes gets, much like the V Tail used to be.  While many pilots who fly HP aircraft such as the Cirrus are highly competent and well trained (Cirrus has done a great job improving their safety record through improved training and design), there are a few bad apples that see their plane as a simple A to B tool and never bother to actually become proficient...they turn on the AP as soon as they are airborne and turn it off on short final.  They invariably get into preventable accidents for dumb reasons and we all pay for it through higher liability costs -> higher rental fees.  As you all know, flying is expensive enough, we are a long way from the days when even a lower end wage job with some frugal spending would still get you a few hours a month in a local rental Cessna.  High time experienced pilots get into dumb accidents too, for similar reasons of laziness or over complacency.  If enough accidents happen then the FAA steps in and finds reason for more regs.  Please don't give the FAA more reason to reg us.  Many of you know thick the FAR/AIM is...lets not make it thicker.

Another piece of advice to help you live longer, always see yourself as a student, no matter how many hours or ratings you have.  There is always something to learn from and get better at.  Mr Flightchops's videos are excellent and he sets a great example for new pilots.  It is ok to make mistakes as long as you are willing earn from them.  If you can view 'mistakes' as opportunities to get better, you'll do great.  All of us have made plenty of dumb mistakes flying, I certainly have.  Thankfully never enough to loose my license or worse.  I would usually just end up embarrassing myself or whoever I was with.  I've had an occasional ear lashing from ATC for some instruction I forgot, which I totally deserved to be called out..  I've even 'hurried' for dumb reasons too, and even tho I made it to my destination fine, I wasn't thrilled and always told my friends who were going to pick me up, that I would rather be late than end up as a statistic when looking at some questionable weather.

So yes, more study level addon planes that will give you a good scare when they bite you for being negligent or lazy, like real airplanes.  These will give you a much better of idea of what planes can and can't do.  You should really experience in a good addon that lets you know what happens to your performance if you try to take off at MGTOW on a hot summer day in the high desert.  When I was at ERAU, there was a story of some guy with an EZ who tried to take off on a typical 9K ft density middle summer afternoon.  After 2 aborted takeoffs on an 8000' runway, the 3rd attempt ended up with him plowing through the fence on the other end with fatal results.  If he simply waited until the next morning when it was cool, he would be alive.  Some old kit plane pilot had a great saying, he said, for all the fancy IFR bells n whistles, FIKI etc...is a lot of money you can simply spend on hotel rooms while you wait for nicer weather.

Thanks to A2A and others now intent on doing Study level sims for taking the time and effort to make their sim aircraft in a way to help make the user understand why doing the little things are so important, and why taking your time to do things right will help you live longer as a pilot and help all of us who are trying to get current and back into flying.  
 

Anyway sorry for this little 'rant'/plea.  Seeing that irresponsible pilot at Sedona irked me a bit because I try hard to study and at least stay mentally 'current' even when I'm not legally current,  I know this is kind of a similar issue in many other circles outside of flying...ie drones, gun ownership...etc.  Thankfully the great study sim addons we do have makes staying 'mentally' current enjoyable. I just wish there were even more addons that properly convey that Russian roulette-esque relationship of flying and ADM (Aeronautical Decision Making).  That proper flying sequence of dynamic scenario -> recognition of problem or variable -> choice -> action=> consequence good or bad which is a lot of what being a pilot is all about.

The silver lining may be that Aviation, has a strange way of humbling some egos, because an airplane doesn't care about who you have to meet, nor your social status, nor who you are trying to impress.  The best training airplanes will often let you know when you are being negligent, often with some embarrassment which will give you good reason not to make that mistake again.  


Cheers

TJ

Edited by pilottj
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I actually enjoyed reading that "rant". I'm just a layman who's had a few hours gliding experience (non-solo) before finances said otherwise, but I am interested in real aviation.

IMHO, certainly for GA, the AP should be just a tool - a helping hand whilst you plan ahead and/or enjoy the scenery whilst looking out, not so you can fall asleep for an hour etc..

If you're not enjoying flying your GA plane then why bother? I'm not saying never use an AP - hand flying can be tiring after a while depending upon conditions.

Airlines use the AP after 400 feet for passenger comfort - the plane can fly itself smoother than the pilot it seems :tongue:, but when you're on your own or with a couple of friends/family then it's different I think.

As an aside - some of the autopilots in FSX aircraft won't recover from unusual attitudes - they don't react quick enough or with enough authority hehe. :wacko:

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2 hours ago, HighBypass said:

Airlines use the AP after 400 feet for passenger comfort

Actually, as far as the US carriers are concerned, a lot of pilots hand-fly them as much as they can. I've also seen the Airclips videos of the Lufthansa Cargo 777 pilots that were hand-flying as much as they could. In fact, on the approach to Narita, the First Officer not only flew it by hand, but he also did it with the flight director turned off. There was another video where an ERJ First Officer on his IOE flew one flight completely by hand. Ultimately, it depends on the carrier's operating procedures, but it's definitely not accurate to say they all do it this way. I mostly fly the heavy jets in the simulator, and I certainly don't put the autopilot on at 400 feet. I hand-fly as much as I can, and if the flight is short enough, I might not even touch the autopilot at all.

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They showed us some collected data on my airline. On average, most people turned on the ap 2000’-5000’. airbus guys turned it on lower, e190 people hand flew longer. people usually turned off the ap on landing at 1200’

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Posted (edited)
On ‎5‎/‎31‎/‎2019 at 7:22 AM, pilottj said:

Hey all, I had to get this off my chest after what I saw at an airport today.

<Snipped wall of quoted text for brevity!>

Best Rant I have read in a long time...

I agree entirely, our sims do support more immersion, and pre flight I enjoyed, especially when my CFI had me open up the cowling to inspect the engine, which is not often done in preflight, since critters can make nests in them due to their warmth and that can certainly cause an issue when a panicked cat starts clawing at your engine hoses that you did not know about, it happened in my dad's car once, we saved the cat and our sanity and let the guy scurry away.

And lets not forget water in the fuel, which can happen, I hated checking the fuel because I got the smell all over my hands which would not go away for three days, even after repeated washing, but it was the price I paid for the euphoria of getting safely into the air and back home again.  In trikes, there is one bolt, the OMG! bolt, that must be closely inspected before I and my CFI would fly the trike.  Because loss of that OMG! bolt--well, hence the name, falling out of a formerly good airplane.

I do like the in flight immersion of aircraft I have purchased these days, especially VSKYLabs Light Sport, Gyrocopters and copters for Xplane11, pity they do not produce for P3DV4 as well, which I also have.  I have the still in development Lockheed Beta recently posted about here which is a great, outstanding, excellent simulation of pre flight prep and in flight engineering as well as piloting.  So developers are listening, adding more and more ommmph to our aircraft add-ons since our systems can actually now run our sims at the top of their game, with most sliders right.

John

Edited by n4gix
<Snipped wall of quoted text for brevity!>

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@John_Cillis and everyone else reading this thread.

Please, for the sake of sanity please highlight and DELETE most of your quoted text.

It is totally unnecessary, and more to the point is grossly unfair to our other members who log in on their tablets or smart phones, or have slow internet access.

Thanks in advance! :happy:

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18 hours ago, KevinAu said:

They showed us some collected data on my airline. On average, most people turned on the ap 2000’-5000’. airbus guys turned it on lower, e190 people hand flew longer. people usually turned off the ap on landing at 1200’

Exactly. Definitely not accurate to say that the airlines for sure use the autopilot right after 400 feet.

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Sorry guys, I should have been more clear: Airlines may use the AP after 400 feet.. and a big thank you to any and all crews who hand fly their planes for at least a little while. :cool:

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