editmonkey wrote:Between the flight computer, graphs, tables, figuring out the weights, balances, distances, wind factors, contingencies, and then actually flying and navigating it must take days to plan, and then how do you actually fly when you’re constantly having to calculate and navigate. I’m getting task overload just reading about it
It is quite a bit of work, especially if you do it all by hand. I found it useful to go through the process to be sure I understood everything. I even think the whizwheel is quicker for some things (like conversions) than a calculator although arguably not as quick as "Alexa, what is xx in yy?".
In the real world you will be reading the SAME tables and graphs each flight, as you will likely be flying the same aircraft (or at least same type) - so you won't have the overhead of working out how the information happens to be presented and how to interpret it as it will be the same as the last time and the time before that.
Do bear in mind that you can use late-20th century stuff before reaching for the 21st century. So, weight and balance calculation is a simple spreadsheet (you can dip into the 21st century and use Google Sheets if you like) - you can even write it yourself without much effort. I also used a spreadsheet for nav (downloaded this time), so I could input wind at 8.00 in the morning and have my PLOG ready a few minutes later (direction / distance read off the map and pre-populated the spreadsheet). I double-checked one leg with the whizz-wheel. With mostly pre-populated spreadsheets, it is only a few minutes to get up to date figures.
There are also rules of thumb that you can substitute. e.g. Cessna 152 consumes 6 gallons/hr. It's almost certainly less than that, but if you are going for a 1hr lesson and have 12 gallons in the tank, you know it's Ok.
By all means get a SkyDemon subscription, eventually - I waited until I had my PPL. Skydemon light can also be used (which needs Internet Explorer with Silverlight). And if eventually fly a modern aircraft with glass cockpit, W&B can just be input into the avionics there and then as well as fuel load/consumption.
BTW, if you do do a W&B calculation for a Cessna 152 with full fuel, if you and/or your instructor is not svelte you are likely to find it too heavy. But is the runway is 2-3x what you in theory might need, it's not necessarily as much of an issue.
I'm not saying you don't need to do the calculations - just there are quicker ways of getting the answers.