Learning to fly, or thinking of learning? Post your questions, comments and experiences here

Moderator: AndyR

By SimFlyer
#1683691
@Flyin'Dutch'
Thanks for that excellent follow-up!

Feel is very different and unless I get one of those full-motion simulator, there's no comparison at all. However, the act of doing certain motions or looking at certain gauges and knowing where to look or what to do, that, I feel, is the value of practicing in the simulator. Like you said, better than doing nothing and I think better than armchair flying as well.

It is not putting a student from an aeroplane to a simulator and gauging how he does in the simulator, it is putting a student in a simulator so that he doesn't make a hash of it when he gets into the aeroplane. Like I said earlier, the idea is to practice and hopefully the skills do not decay as much during the break. Imagine if a half decent student were to come back to flying after 2 months or more of no flying, how would his skills be if he did nothing, or if he armchair flew, or if he had simulator practice?

Might not be a big difference (no way to really make a scientific study on this) but as I already have the setup, why not, eh?


@RichJordan
Thanks for your input! What add on did you use? I'd love to get your thoughts on how practicing nav is less useful? I don't have much flight time yet so can't really compare ORBX scenery to real life but suffice to say I was able to guesstimate the airfield's location in real life due to certain landmarks but struggle to do this in the sim.... maybe due to the lack of detail or lower resolution (comparing real life to a computer screen).
#1683703
SimFlyer wrote:Any thoughts appreciated! Cheers!

I'm confused about your reason for having breaks, it reads as though you desire them. :?

Is it for financial reasons. or limited time off work?

What do you consider a concentrated period? How many hours, over what period of time?

Sounds to me the best option for you would be to do the whole course in one concentrated period. If you can organise 4 weeks off work just go do it, live and breath aviation from your eyes open in the morning until they close at night. :thumleft:

Get the theory done first though. :D
#1683837
A break would presumably be followed by a refresh and recap lesson,so about £150 away. 4 breaks, £600 to get up to speed each time......

only about 10% (it's less!) of a total PPL training -course so hardly a deal-breaker to someone who can afford that sort of expenditure on a hobby,anyway.

Looking at it another way, an hour's hire for a spamcan burger-run is ~£100.......for the extra £50, you get a safety- pilot and some instruction,which seems a better deal than just an aimless bimble (though I always enjoyed that and always got to have a bit of a play :wink: )

All this is academic, anyway. The UK weather, and number of frustrated students all clamouring for a slot of an instructor's hours, (further limited by short winter daylight ) means the OP is highly unlikely to be wanting to take breaks. Needing to, for fiscal/domestic/income reasons, is another matter.
By SimFlyer
#1683952
Desire them? Good Lord, no! I can organize 4 weeks off work, but will the weather cooperate for those 4 weeks? The timeframes I can see is either a 3-month period for intensive training or 12-18 months being quoted as how long most other people take. As I cannot be off work for 3 months, then I will have to take a break or two one way or another. Might as well try to do it in an organized fashion.

@cockney steve
Hopefully just 2 or 3 breaks, or just 1 if I can help it!
#1683953
SimFlyer wrote:I can organize 4 weeks off work, but will the weather cooperate for those 4 weeks?

There's no guarantees in life, however head off to sunnier climes and 4 weeks will allow some slack, jobs a good un. :thumleft:

Tis how I did it, learn from my mistake though and do the theory before you go.
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By Lerk
#1683965
Lets assume you can pass in minimum hours (more likely if you do intensive imo).
Then you’ll need ~48hrs. Over four weeks that’s only 2.4hrs a day not including weekends.

Another option would be to book blocks interspersed with less frequent but still regular lessons.

Especially the first 10-20 hours where you are learning to fly the aeroplane would see a benefit to doing in a compressed timescale. But this benefit would be lost if you didn’t fly at least once a fortnight.

As you get further along in your training you’ll get to the point where you’ll be taking longer nav routes anyway.
#1683967
SimFlyer wrote:Even if I could, how could I do it in 4 weeks

What are you looking at being advertised at 3 months? Flying 15-20hrs a month is not very intensive. As I've said that's how I and hundreds of others did it, over 3-4 weeks.

Your'e asking for advice/suggestions, you're being offered them and seemingly resisting? :?

Maybe you need to research what's involved a bit more? :wink:
Students with average skills can do the entire flight training in four weeks or less.
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By JAFO
#1683971
There's a possibility that you're over-thinking this, @SimFlyer, pick a place you like, book the first few lessons, see how it goes, do as much as you can. Take a couple of weeks off work and start out with more intensive training if you can.

And take time off from the simulators while you're learning to fly, honestly, you won't be helping yourself IMHO.
By SimFlyer
#1684782
I guess I was looking at places like Bartolini and other schools that mostly quote 3 months for PPL training.

Miscellaneous wrote:Your'e asking for advice/suggestions, you're being offered them and seemingly resisting? :?

Sorry if it seems that way, just saying some of the advice given was most probably poorly understood by myself thus asking more questions. I've never heard anyone say 4 weeks outside of this forum; like I said, schools seemed to say 3 months and the people I've spoken to in schools say 12-14 months, so you can imagine my surprise when you guys here say 1 month! :mrgreen:


JAFO wrote:There's a possibility that you're over-thinking this, @SimFlyer, pick a place you like, book the first few lessons, see how it goes, do as much as you can. Take a couple of weeks off work and start out with more intensive training if you can.

Overthinking is probably a guarantee!! :roll:
I've had a good few lessons under my belt now and I love it! Circuits and radios next and RT scares me more than actual flying! Silly, I know!

I think I'll take it slow for now, a lesson every fortnight or so, then aim for maybe 2-3 weeks of intensive training during the summertime where I can be more lucky in getting 4-5 days/week of flying. To be honest, I was quite disappointed when everyone in the school seemed to say 12-18 months for PPL but with people on here saying 4 weeks or so, I'm thinking getting my PPL in less than 1 year is definitely doable! :thumleft:


JAFO wrote:And take time off from the simulators while you're learning to fly, honestly, you won't be helping yourself IMHO.

I'm getting more and more curious about this now. Can anyone explain why this is so? I'm really confused especially as nobody seems to discourage armchair flying? Like I said, I understand the difference in the sense of lack of yoke pressure making it more difficult to trim and to react to changes in flight characteristics, but is there anything else?
#1684841
Home flight Sims lack
- the feel through the controls and the way that changes with airspeed
- the sensations of movement and acceleration
- a sufficiently wide view of the outside world
- good modelling of the flight characteristics
These are precisely the things that you need to be absorbing into your bones during PPL training. Mixing flight simulator with real flying just prevents that absorption.
It's important that you understand that the fundamentals of being a pilot are not leant intellectually - it's like learning to ride a bike. The intellectual stuff comes later.
Don't spend money on the flight simulator, spend it on more lessons.
You don't have to believe me (and the others with the same message). After all it's your money and if you want to waste it by needing more lessons, that's fine. But I can tell you that instructors' hearts sink when a pupil tells them 'i expect to learn quickly, I've got a sim at home' because they know there will be unnecessary struggles ahead.
(Incidentally the same is true of car drivers - the best flight pupils are folk who've never driven a car!)
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#1684866
Cheers for sharing that @lobstaboy! Don't the same reasons apply to armchair flying? I've never come across any posts discouraging armchair flying.

As I already have a flight sim setup, I only really needed to get a yoke to convert from combat flight sims to civilian flight sims, so even counting the costs of material to create a stand to integrate it to the simpit, it's still less than the cost of a lesson. However, I do see your point of possibly needing more lessons, but that's why I am careful to distinguish between flight sim flying and real flying and not let my simming "contaminate" my actual training. Thanks to your input and those of others in this forum, I'm more aware of this possibility and if it does happen, I will know the possible cause and the fix.


lobstaboy wrote:You don't have to believe me (and the others with the same message).

It's not an issue of whether I believe you (and the others) or not; I appreciate the input but I also want to understand why you and others have this message and not the another message. As an instructor, is it enough for you that the student follows your instruction blindly? Or is it not better if the student understands WHY you've given the instruction? :thumright:


lobstaboy wrote:But I can tell you that instructors' hearts sink when a pupil tells them 'i expect to learn quickly, I've got a sim at home' because they know there will be unnecessary struggles ahead.
(Incidentally the same is true of car drivers - the best flight pupils are folk who've never driven a car!)

I guess that's because it's easier to work with a "blank" than having to teach the student to un-learn certain things? I can totally understand this as I have to consciously have to stop myself from turning the yoke if I want to go left/right and instead operate the pedals. This is funny too as I never have this problem in my simulation time, but maybe that's because I primarily use a HOTAS which automatically puts my brain in a different mindset.... holding a yoke and maybe my brain thinks it's a steering wheel and that's where the issue arises.

The two instructors I've flown with, I never told them I got a sim setup at home prior to flying with them. It was only after several comments that I seemed to know what I was doing that I confessed to having one. I also told them I appreciated the difference between real flight and simming and I try to identify habits I've formed with simming that would be detrimental to real flight ---- such as looking at my instruments too much and to look out more. On a recent flight where the aircraft was being kicked about a lot, it was great to really, really appreciate holding a sight picture out the window and not chasing the instruments around!
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By JAFO
#1684887
You may intellectually understand that the sim is different to reality but learning to fly is not an intellectual matter, it's happening at a deeper level which you can't affect simply by knowing the difference.

There is an old definition of a flying instructor being the person you have to sit next to while you teach yourself to fly and, of course, that isn't true but there are many elements that you just have to practice - with constructive criticism from an instructor - until it clicks.

A home sim won't help with this. Armchair flying is very different as far as your brain is concerned, certainly at the levels at which you're learning the physical business of flying an aeroplane.
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