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Some Tips For Learning How To Fly – Student Pilot Journal Part 3

Student Pilot Mickey Wu travelled from Taiwan to Melbourne to learn how to fly. He returned home to Taipei having completed a CPL, MECIR, Multi-Engine Class Rating, and 5 ATPL exams. In his third journal instalment, Mickey talks about finding the right attitude for straight and level flying, and teaching his mum how to fly using a simulator!

Challenge Accepted

Written on January 15th, 2021

Let’s bring the storyline back to the current day. Well, current at the time of writing. January 2021 in Taipei, Taiwan.

I bought a used set of Logitech controls and Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. I wanted to stay sharp. The practice was alright, but without expecting to do so, I actually ended up teaching my Mum how to fly. I found that teaching someone how to fly is not an easy task. The reaction of the aircraft after each input has become second nature to me, but it’s not like that for those who are just starting to learn.

Me: “Mum, this is not straight and level flying. Are you going up or down?”

Mum: “……down.”

Me: “Good. So do you push the control or do you pull to fix it?”

Mum: “……push.”

Me: “Okay, let’s see what will happen.”

Mum (five seconds later): “Hey Mickey, the houses are getting bigger and bigger really quick!!!”

Me: “Tell me about it.”

Warning on the screen two seconds later: “You just damaged your landing gear.”

Just the landing gear?! Wow, that is forgiving!

My instructor once said that sometimes you have to let go and let the learner see the consequence of his or her action or inaction. Obviously, they didn’t let me learn this in a real aircraft, and so my landing gear (and the houses) were safe!

But it’s interesting to see that the way my Mum and I learn things is so similar. Like mother like son. But I have faith in her. My goal is to take her to her first solo on Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. I give it two months. Challenge accepted!

Microsoft-Flight-Simulator-2020-YMMB-DA40
Challenge accepted! Mickey is teaching his mum how to fly using MS Flight Sim 2020!

The Right Attitude

Written on January 17th, 2021

The “attitude” of an aircraft is an abstract idea to me. It can look like it is straightforward on the aircraft’s artificial horizon, but in terms of the real visible horizon, it’s quite intangible. But it’s obviously very important when learning how to fly, especially for straight and level flying.

LTF Instructor Shannon taught me to judge the attitude with the position of the visible horizon in relation to the dashboard. For instance, on a cruise climb in a Sling 2 we position the horizon on the dashboard. To climb at Vy (the abbreviation for the best rate of climb), the horizon goes through the top of the PFD (Primary Flight Display). And to climb at Vx (the abbreviation for the best angle of climb), the horizon cuts through the middle of the PFD.

It may sound weird, but it works quite well. And for straight and level flying, we put four fingers on the dashboard and the visible horizon stays at the top finger. For a cruise descend, we put five fingers instead. Last but not least, for an approach, we use a “half-land-half-sky” attitude. Of course, we have to adjust the power setting accordingly.

It’s hard to judge the attitude at the beginning when you’re learning how to fly, for straight and level flying and for climbing and ascending. I even had doubts about the whole idea, considering that my visual perspective is different from that of Shannon’s. In addition to that, my four-finger attitude is not the same as that of LTF Instructor Alexey (Alexey is very tall and has huge hands).

But the key is to have a mental snapshot when your instructor says, “OK, this is the straight and level flying attitude.” Memorise what this attitude looks like from your perspective, and set it that way next time you need it. Trust me. It works!

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A big part of learning how to fly is learning how to trust your instruments

We would like to thank Mickey for contributing these journals on learning how to fly in Melbourne. Stay tuned for the next journal entry!

If you are interested in finding out more about our flight training courses and online learning options, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Training with a Melbourne Flight School – Student Pilot Journal Part 2

Student Pilot Mickey Wu travelled from Taiwan to learn to fly with a Melbourne flight school. He has now returned home after completing his CPL, MECIR, Multi-Engine Class Rating, as well as 5 ATPL exams. Mickey is sharing his flight training experiences with us in a series of journals.

Hidden Tiger, Crouching Dragon

Written on January 1st, 2021

Learn To Fly, my Melbourne flight school, is a place full of so much talent. The Flight Instructors are the ones who set up the framework and foundation. And sometimes it is my classmates that inspire me and help to build my own character.

My classmate Terry is an exceptional pilot. He flew the Sling 2 and converted to a Diamond DA40 later on. He is very devoted, and creates his own system to take in and digest the knowledge from the textbooks. Terry also takes flash cards with him everywhere he goes, so he can review VMC (Visual Meteorological Conditions) requirements or air laws whenever he wants.

His notes on airspeeds and the use of the CR-3 (Jeppesen CR-3 Flight Computer) are so concise and accurate. I wish I had taken a screenshot of it. I admire the way he answers his Flight Instructor’s questions. He can quote the rules in the AIP (Aeronautical Information Publication) with the right reference, not missing a single word. And when he says it, he beams with confidence.

Brandon is another hero. He has flown the Cessna 172 all the way from the beginning. I would say Brandon is a born pilot. There were more than six months that he wasn’t able to fly, when pilots were unable to attend their Melbourne flight school due to the coronavirus lockdown. But once he came back, he flew as if he had never been away.

Preparing for a flight is not an easy task. Measuring distance and track, checking the weather, drafting a fuel plan, submitting the flight plan…  you name it. What makes Brandon incredible is that he has three jobs to support himself flying. And he makes it all work. Every time when I felt lazy, I thought of Brandon. And that helped me to pull myself together and do what had to be done.

Terry is the best advocate for practice makes perfect, and Brandon’s story always motivates me to keep going at the right pace. I never tell them, but to me, they are the tiger and dragon.

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Brandon Smith with his Cessna 172 aircraft at Learn To Fly

You Have To Leave Something Behind To Move Forward

Written on January 4th, 2021

At certain points of life, you may feel that the burden on your shoulders is so heavy that you cannot breathe. The pressure from your workload keeps you awake at night and makes you reluctant to get up in the morning. But then it is time to hop in a Sling 2 and go for a spin. Well, not really a spin.

The Sling 2, designed and built by Sling Aircraft, is a one-of-a-kind aeroplane. It’s like a sports car in the sky, light and agile. The real-time response to the control inputs builds confidence in the pilot. It’s like an iPhone 5, sharp and smart. The intuitive touch screen interface integrates all the information you need. The exchange of information between the aircraft and the pilot is so instant, it’s as if the pilot were the brain and the aircraft were the extension of his or her body. At 55 knots, slightly faster than what you usually do on the M1 highway, you can defy gravity and take to the sky.

With a Melbourne flight school, you don’t even have to fly far to enjoy the experience of flying. A trip from Moorabbin Airport to Portsea on the Mornington Peninsula to see the shimmering water of Port Phillip Bay is just as good as an orbit around Melbourne’s CBD to feel the vibe of the city from above.

The point is, once airborne, you feel that the worries that have been occupying your mind are left in oblivion far behind. The pressure that was suffocating you becomes so trivial, far below. And that is the magic of flying, because you can savour the purity of the blue sky, and all your troubles are left on the ground.

It’s Just Like Making A Cup Of Coffee

Written on January 6, 2021

“Once airborne, you feel that the worries that have been occupying your mind are left in oblivion far behind.”

That was what I wanted to say about flying. And, well, that is partly true. The fact is, there were moments when I found myself so task-saturated that I actually didn’t have time to worry or even think about anything else.

Shannon helped me to overcome this ‘tunnel vision’ mindset. One day when we were flying back towards Moorabbin Airport, he asked me:

“Mickey, who is your favourite athlete?”

I replied “Lewis Hamilton” without even thinking.

I was so immersed in the pre-landing checks that my brain didn’t actually have time to think about anything else. Shannon took over control, and said:

“I think that you can see the mindset that you need to have when flying in some professional athletes. They are very calm when they play, but you can tell they are still thinking. You can tell from looking at their eyes. They play with their brain. Good pilots are no different.”

He then explained that if we visualize and actually think through the situations we might experience before the flight has even started, then we can focus on more things during the flight.

That problem had been haunting me for a long time. It was not until a couple of months later that I fully realised this philosophy. I was coming inbound from Brighton, and I was thinking about how stunning the beach was. I was also on top of everything else I needed to think about in the plane. It was at this point that I actually started to reap the fun of flying.

Learning how to fly is like making a nice cup of coffee. It takes some skill and some pressure to make the crème, and it takes some time to get the grind and drip right. But it is worth the wait, and when done properly, it tastes delicious!

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Taiwanese student pilot Mickey after flying his first solo in the Sling 2 aircraft

We would like to thank Mickey for contributing these journals on learning how to fly in Melbourne. Stay tuned for the next journal entry!

If you are interested in finding out more about our flight training courses and online learning options, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Starting Flight Training in Melbourne – Student Pilot Journal Part 1

Taiwanese student pilot Mickey Wu has just returned home after an amazing experience training with us at Learn To Fly. Mickey’s achievements are inspirational to other pilots. His time in Melbourne was affected by a COVID19 lockdown that meant he couldn’t fly for 3 months, however he still managed to complete his Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL), Multi-Engine Class Rating, Multi-Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR), and 5 Air Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) theory exams. Mickey has been kind enough to share his experiences in a student pilot journal series. In part 1, he talks about starting flight training in Melbourne.

Tap the Brakes, Positive Rate, Gears Up

Written on December 30, 2020

Light shower of rain, 11°C. In other words, a typical winter day in Taipei, Taiwan. Now I am sitting in front of the window, staring off towards the south in the distance, as if Moorabbin Airport were right there behind the overcast clouds. I can see Carrum, and I can see runway 35L. There is the windsock by the northern run-up bay, and I see the Diamond DA40s parked on the apron. It was an amazing year of flight training in Melbourne – I think I miss the sky there already.

I went from piloting the single-engine Sling 2 to the twin-engine Piper Seminole, and from flying circuits around Moorabbin Airport to as far away as Ninety Mile Beach in Gippsland.

There were frustrating moments for sure, like having trouble with radio calls or actually getting lost during lost procedures. Sometimes I even sat in my car for hours, thinking I would never make it. But my Flight Instructors always said, “don’t worry – we’ll get you there”, and that is all you need to hear when you have days like this.

Bob Tait (one of the most respected authorities for aviation theory) says long-term memories are subject to errors. Sorry Bob, but I beg to differ. I’ll say, these memories are vividly engraved in my mind, and just like a good wine, they taste even sweeter afterwards.

This is my adventure starting flight training in Melbourne with Learn To Fly at Moorabbin Airport. It is the adventure of an ordinary guy with an extraordinary dream. So, fasten your seatbelt. Tap the brakes. Positive rate. Gears up.

Sling Aircraft Pilot Training
The Sling 2 is an excellent aircraft for starting flight training.

Day One, Meeting My Flight Instructor

Written on December 31st, 2020

Just like college tutors, Flight Instructors come from different backgrounds and vary in their fields of aviation expertise. For example, at my school, Learn To Fly in Melbourne, some instructors are experts at flight theory, and some specialise in Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) operations. They are all great instructors, and they all have a unique teaching style. This means that they are able to help different students in their own ways.

On my first day of flight training in Melbourne, I met my first Flight Instructor, Shannon. Shannon is a composed and knowledgeable pilot. On the first day of flight school, he showed me how to read the weather forecast. I loved the way he put together bits and pieces of weather information. It started with mean the sea-level pressure map on the Bureau of Meteorology website, so we had a big picture of what was going on with the weather. Following that, he explained how the weather on GAFs (Graphical Area Forecasts) corresponded to what was on the pressure charts. Then he referred to the TAFs (Terminal Area Forecasts) of the aerodromes on our planned route for a more close-up look. Just after that brief, I already felt that I could give a more persuasive forecast than most of the weather reporters do on TV.

Shannon may seem calm and composed on the outside, but he actually also has a warm and playful heart with a great sense of humour. The first aircraft I flew was the Sling 2 and as I recall, when Shannon demonstrated the pre-flight check, this was what he said:

“Now to measure the fuel quantity, we use what I call a high-tech measuring device.”

With a complete poker face, he took out a wooden stick with a measuring scale drawn on it. The corner of his lips lifted – in other words, he knew that his joke totally got me. There were times when I just did not get his punch lines. I could sense his disappointment in the awkward silence. However, it never stopped him from bringing some fun to the flight!

I feel lucky that Shannon was my first ever Flight Instructor, because that gave my flying career a really good start.

We would like to thank Mickey for contributing these journals on learning how to fly in Melbourne. Stay tuned for the next journal entry!

If you are interested in finding out more about our flight training courses and online learning options, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Instrument Rating (IFR) Flight Training – A Whole New World Of Flying

We recently published a blog from airline Second Officer Vincent Mok, who talked about how important completing an Instrument Rating (IFR) flight training course was to his career. An Instrument Rating really does open up a whole new world of flying for you. It allows to you to plan and fly in a far greater range of light and weather conditions. No longer restricted to daylight and clear skies, it can also drastically reduce the time it takes you to build flight hours.

What is Instrument Flight Training?

Under Visual Flight Rules (VFR) conditions, the weather and light must be better than the visual meteorological conditions (VMC), as specified by CASA. You must be able to operate the aircraft with visual reference to the ground, and by visually avoiding obstructions and other aircraft.

Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) Flight Training teaches you to fly using the aircraft’s instruments rather than relying on visual cues. You will become an expert at communicating with Air Traffic Control (ATC). All of your aircraft’s procedures will become second nature to you. You will read your instruments as though you were actually looking at the information they provide physically.

During Instrument Rating training, pilots learn on both the simulator and in the actual aircraft. At Learn To Fly we have both the TRC 372 (Cessna 172) simulator and the Alsim AL42 (Diamond DA42) simulator. Both of these simulators recreate the full cockpit environment of each aircraft with highly realistic features and accurate instruments.

Learning in the simulator is a very effective method of training. Simulator hours are far less expensive that flying an actual aircraft. You can save money by perfecting procedures on the ground, which means there’s less chance of having to repeat them in the air. Simulators obviously also provide a highly safe environment to learn unfamiliar procedures.

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Our state-of-the-art Alsim AL42 simulator is a crucial part of Instrument Rating flight training

What Are the Benefits of Completing Instrument Flight Training?

Having to fly VFR means that you are limited with the number of hours you can fly, often based on things that are out of your control. When you are trying to build flight hours, it can be frustrating when changes in the weather cancel your flights. It can also be frustrating when other flights are delayed and you run out of daylight hours to go flying.

Completing an Instrument Rating training course will allow you to fly in the dark, and in most weather conditions. This means that you will be able to fly when others can’t, and you will build your flight hours far more quickly.

Pilots with IFR training are far more desirable to employers in most pilot roles. In fact for many pilot roles, including airlines, having an Instrument Rating is required.

Aside from the skillset and career benefits mentioned above, instrument flight training means that you can fly in some stunning conditions. You can enjoy the amazing sensation of soaring both through thick cloud, and above it. You can watch colourful sunsets from the sky, and cruise above sparkling city lights.

Night-Flying-Instrument-Rating
Enjoying sparkling city lights from the air is just one of the benefits of completing Instrument Rating flight training.

Meet Instrument Rating Training Graduate Mickey Wu

Taiwan student Mickey Wu has just completed his Commercial Pilot Licence, along with a Multi Engine Class Rating and Multi Engine Command Instrument Rating (MECIR), as well as 5 ATPL theory exams. He completed this in just 14 months, and he was unable to fly during 3 of those due to our forced coronavirus lockdown.

Following his amazing achievements, and before he jumped on a plane back to Taiwan, we had a chat to Mickey about his IFR training and his thoughts on the MECIR course.

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Instrument Rating training graduate Mickey Wu with the twin-engine Piper Seminole aircraft.

What are the main differences in flying during instrument flight training?

Instrument flight training is simpler, but not easier, if that makes sense. This is because it is all process and procedure based. Your planning is simpler. ATC provides you with more information. Learning all of the procedures is hard, and it feels like you are going right back to square 1 at the start. Once you are familiar with them however, everything just feels simpler. You feel like a real airline pilot.

What new skills have you learnt during IFR training?

I have developed a much larger understanding of ATC terminology. My communication skills and the my relationship with ATC has really improved. Instrument Rating training gives you hands-on experience with a lot of things that you learn in theory. Some of these things you might not use a lot in VFR flight. It’s a great feeling when you realise it’s not “just theory” anymore and you put your knowledge into practice.

How have you used the simulators to help with your training?

On the simulators you can train different types of approaches, and some are much harder than others. When you are training in a sim and you make a mistake or you want to do it again, you can just restart. It’s far more costly to do this in an actual aircraft. With my LTF instructor, we trained on the Alsim AL42 simulator as well as the G430 X-Plane simulator.

What are the benefits of completing an Instrument Rating?

Completing an Instrument Rating will allow me to build more hours quickly by flying in more conditions. It is required by the airlines, which is my ultimate goal. It will also make me more employable in other pilots roles, including becoming a Flight Instructor which I will find very rewarding.

Why would you recommend choosing Learn To Fly to complete an Instrument Rating course?

I have had the best year of my life in Australia at Learn To Fly. I really enjoyed the people and the atmosphere. The instructors are very supportive and come from a wide range of experience and backgrounds. At LTF you can choose from a range of reliable aircraft. You can choose to fly in a glass cockpit aircraft like the DA42, or an analogue cockpit like the Piper Seminole.

We would like to congratulate Mickey on his inspirational flying achievements during difficult times. We’d also like to thank him for taking the time to share his thoughts and knowledge on IFR training. We will catch up with Mickey again for a blog on what it is like as a Taiwanese student training in Australia, and how training here can help you become an airline pilot in Taiwan.

If you are interested in finding out more about our flight training courses and online learning options, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Flight Training With Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

The wait is finally over! Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 was released globally today (August 18th 2020), and it is packed with some pretty amazing features to further your flight training.

Flight simulation has advanced a LOT – in the last 10 years especially – and what was once considered a bit of a fun game is actually now very useful for actual flight training. In this blog we take a look at some of the things Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 offers. We will also look at how you can use it to further your flight training.

System Requirements

To be able to make the most out of the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 experience, you’ll need a pretty powerful PC. Microsoft recommends an Intel i5-8400 or AMD Ryzen 5 1500X CPU, Nvidia GTX 970 or AMD Radeon RX 590 graphics, 4GB of VRAM, 16GB of RAM, and a 20Mbps download speed. For more info head to https://www.windowscentral.com/microsoft-flight-simulator

There will also be a simplified version released on Xbox, with further details on that available soon. Virtual Reality (VR) support is also on the way, which will make both the experience in general and the training possibilities even greater.

Aircraft in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 boasts an impressive list of aircraft. We’re thrilled to see that the Diamond DA40 aircraft that we train with has been included, along with the Cessna 172. The cockpit environments are highly realistic and detailed, which makes this program even more valuable for flight training.

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The Diamond DA40 cockpit is highly realistic in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

For the more adventurous, you can take the controls of a Pitts Special aerobatics aircraft. Or how about a Boeing B787 Dreamliner? For a full list of aircraft, check out this article https://www.tomsguide.com/news/microsoft-flight-simulator

Airports & Environments

Now let’s talk about airports, because this is where it gets REALLY impressive. You can take off and land from over 37,000 airports around the world. What excited us the most was that the airport list includes our very own Moorabbin Airport (YMMB) in Melbourne.

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Moorabbin Airport (YMMB) runway layout with a Diamond DA40 in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020

The level of detail for airports and their surrounding environments in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 are a sight to behold. Of course, the weather effects are also exciting. You can fly in a full range of light and visibility conditions across day and night. Weather has a significant and highly realistic impact on the performance of your aircraft (including turbulence).

Check out this awesome video of a Melbourne City Orbit flight from YMMB in a Diamond DA40.

Using Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 For Flight Training

To give you the best information on exactly how Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 can be used for your actual flight training, we asked Learn To Fly Flight Instructor David Marien:

“I find flight simulators extremely useful, particularly for maintaining existing skills. I personally use them to practice my instrument approaches and approach plates, briefings and instructing methods. Students can use a simulator to revise and perfect processes and checks for manoeuvres they have already learned with their instructor in an actual aircraft. Circuits, practice forced landings and precautionary search are all excellent examples of procedures where frequent practice on an advanced simulator is highly beneficial to training. Flight simulation also allows you to keep the pilot mindset active until you can return to real flying. Until then, Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is a highly realistic and highly valuable flight training tool”

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Flying at night in the DA40 on Microsoft Flight Sim 2020

Take Your Flight Training To The Next Level Online

With the COVID-19 pandemic still affecting life, we have no guarantees on when flight training will be back to normal. For our overseas students in particular, there are doubts over exactly when it will be possible to travel to Australia for flight training.

We have been working hard to develop our state-of-the-art Online Student Portal, which allows students to continue their training at a level not yet offered by any other flight schools in Australia. We are Australia’s first flight school to adopt the hi-tech V360E virtual cockpit procedural training platform. RPL, PPL, CPL and Airline Pilot Interview theory course can now also be completed online.

When you combine the training available on our portal with a highly realistic flight sim like Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020, there are many opportunities to both keep your skills sharp, and advance your training even further from the comfort of your own home.

To find out how our online training options can help you, please email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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Airline Pilot Guest Blog – Why You Should Consider An Instrument Rating Course

Now flying an Airbus A350 for a major international airline, Second Officer Vincent Mok discusses why an Instrument Rating course is so important. He also provides some handy tips on the must-have tools to look at before your first lesson.

All pilots should consider completing an Instrument Rating course which will enable them to fly in Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) conditions. Not only is it an essential step in a professional pilot’s career, but also an invaluable skill for every private pilot because of:

1. Safety

Even though entering cloud or flying in reduced visibility should not happen with adequate planning, Visual Flight Rules (VFR) pilots can still make this fatal mistake. Completing an Instrument Rating course gives you the option of upgrading to Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) for an additional margin of safety.

2. Efficiency

Some seasons are bad for VFR flying. An Instrument Rating increases the likelihood of being able to get to your destination all year round. If you are still training or building hours, completing an Instrument Rating course will allow you build hours and experience faster, with more available days to fly.

3. The Views

There’s just something magical about flying next to clouds, and of course those amazing city views at night!

Instrument Rating Night Cockpit
Completing an Instrument Rating Course allows you to enjoy spectacular views.

I’d like to share with you the tools I used during cadet pilot school that helped me get the most out of my first Instrument Rating flying lesson. They were also essential for my ongoing progress throughout the Instrument Rating course:

1. IFR Cheat Sheet

This free resource (link: weflyplanes.com.au) will be an invaluable tool for your IFR flying. You should be familiar with the whole document before your Instrument Rating course exam and check flight. However in the meantime, you should focus on the following sections initially:

Phraseology

IFR radio calls are slightly different to VFR but are something you can nail before your first flight. You will get more out of IFR flying if you can communicate with Air Traffic Control (ATC) professionally early on.

Alternate Requirements

Knowing these is crucial for IFR flight planning. Use these to check the TAFs (Terminal Area Forecasts), NOTAMs (Notices to Airmen), and aerodrome charts to make sure it’s safe and legal to fly IFR.

Holding Patterns

A competently flown hold is the bread and butter of IFR flying. You should understand holding patterns and sector entries well enough to teach it to other students!

IFR Cheat Sheet

2. Captain Joe’s Sector Entry Tips

While the IFR cheat sheet is great for learning the theory, Captain Joe (link: https://youtu.be/szkZ9VaNfrc) tells you how to fly it. My instructor was amazed at how fast I could work out sector entries during my first IFR flight! Make sure you watch this a few times!

3. G1000 Simulator

Flight simulators are a lot more useful for IFR flights compared with VFR. I practiced sector entries and flew the entire sortie on my laptop before my first IFR lesson. I’d tried X-Plane 11, Flight Simulator X but found the best trainer for IFR procedures was the G1000 Integrated Flight Deck Trainer (link: https://www.mypilotstore.com/mypilotstore/sep/5990).

Learn To Fly also operates a state-of-the-art Alsim AL42 simulator. This simulator provides a highly realistic cockpit environment based on the Diamond DA42 aircraft.

We’d like to thank Vincent very much for contributing this fantastic blog on the importance of completing an Instrument Rating course. Stay tuned for Vincent’s next guest blog on his journey to becoming an airline pilot.

Vincent was successful in his cadet pilot application after completing airline pilot interview preparation courses with Captain Darren McPherson from ACS – Aviation Consulting Services. Darren is a Check and Training Captain with a major international airline, with over 30 years of industry experience. We are proud to offer a range of highly successful airline pilot interview preparation courses taught by Darren. For more information head to https://learntofly.edu.au/airline-interview-preparation-programs/

To find out more about completing an Instrument Rating Course, email [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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How Can Flight Simulators Advance Your Flight Training?

Thanks to advances in technology, flight simulators have become more and more realistic over time. What was once just a fun game for pilots and aviation fans to play on their computer is now an important tool. But exactly how much can flight simulators advance your flight training?

To find out, let’s learn a bit about flight simulators first, thanks to Nat Crea from NatVIS Simulator Visual Systems. Nat does a great job calibrating simulators to make them as realistic as possible, and recently calibrated our TRC 472 full cockpit Cessna 172 simulator.

The History of Flight Simulators

The Link Trainer debuted in 1929, and is widely recognised as the first flight  simulator. It resembled an overgrown toy aeroplane from the outside,  with short wooden wings and a fuselage-mounted on a universal joint.  Pumps, valves and bellows created a simulator for flight training that  responded to the pilot’s controls and gave an accurate reading on the  included instruments.

The computer age then arrived, and as a result simulators became far more advanced very quickly. Arcade action style flying games were very popular immediately among games console and computer users at home. Civilian simulators were also popular, with users able to fly advanced jet airliners from their home computers by the early 2000s.

Back in the early days of the first basic flight simulators it was already very clear how valuable they could be to advance actual flight training for real pilots. Even the very first Link Trainer replicated the basic controls and instruments of an aircraft. Today, advances in computers and visual technology make a huge difference in the quality of training that flight simulators provide.

At first, the visual scenery was made only of single white points of light on an otherwise black landscape. Nowadays, simulator landscapes and weather are highly realistic outside the cockpit. Inside the cockpit, technology allows us to replicate almost any type of aircraft, as well as both computer or analogue control systems.

Types of Flight Simulators

There are 3 main types of simulators, and each have different specifications:

Aviation Training Device (ATD):

ATDs provide an approved training platform for both procedural and operational performance tasks specific to ground and flight training requirements for certain pilot licence types.

Flight Training Device (FTD):

This is a more advanced version of a simulator. There are 4 different FTD levels, each with their own requirements for approval. Each level has a different amount of aerodynamic programming, systems modelling, and other technological specifications. Our TRC 472 (Cessna 172) and Alsim AL42 (Diamond DA42) simulators are examples of FTDs.

Full Flight Simulator (FFS):

This is the most advanced type of simulator available, and airlines commonly use them for training. All Full Flight Simulators require some type of motion system, and again there are 4 levels. The two highest levels (levels C and D) must have an outside-world field of view and cockpit sounds in addition to other motion and visual effects.

How Can You Use Flight Simulators to Advance Your Flight Training?

Technology now provides an exceptionally realistic representation of the cockpit, avionics, flight conditions, and also aircraft behaviour.

Flight simulators can advance your flight training exponentially, by allowing you to practice non-standard flight situations under realistic conditions. If adverse weather keeps you on the ground, you can still use a simulator to complete flight training.

Given how expensive flight training is, simulators also offer an extremely economical way to hone your skills. If you are able to spend more time learning your skills in a simulator, then you can use your time in a real aircraft to put those skills into practice.

Learn To Fly’s Flight Simulators

We have a range of flight simulator options, and these can assist with all levels of your flight training:

Fully Immersive XPlane Simulator

Our fully immersive XPlane simulator setup includes TQ6 PLUS throttle controls with reverse, feather and cutoff functions as well as Hall Effect Ruddo PLUS rudder pedals with pressure-sensitive differential brake controls, both from Virtual-Fly. You can also utilise glass cockpit avionics including the Garmin G5 instrument display and G430 navigational display from RealSim Gear.

TRC 372 (Cessna 172) Simulator

Our TRC flight simulator provides an almost exact reproduction of the Cessna 172 Skyhawk cockpit. Every detail is precisely reproduced to exact dimensions. This includes the doors, windshield, seats and also the Garmin G1000 glass cockpit panel.

Alsim AL42 (Diamond DA42) Simulator

The Alsim AL42 is a hi-tech super-realistic flight simulator that  directly replicates the cockpit and controls of the Diamond DA42 twin-engine aircraft. This simulator complies with MECIR requirements  and therefore enables students to become familiar with the aircraft  behaviour patterns, procedures and systems whilst still on the ground.

Flight Experience Boeing B737 Simulator

Students can train on state-of-the-art Boeing 737-800 Full Flight Simulators, thanks to Flight Experience. These simulators are used world-wide for pilot training, and provide a fully immersive FFS experience. They are both certified and endorsed by Boeing.

B737-Flight-Simulator Training

Contact [email protected] or visit https://drift.me/learntofly/meeting to book a meeting and school tour.

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