The Setup

Today was an IFR type of day.  However, I am not quite ready to be unleashed into the fluffy stuff.  So we decided that some basic maneuvers in the sim would be a good course of action. The 5 T’s, Time, Turn, Twist, Throttle, Talk or slowly burning into my mind.

My instructor informed me that we would be working on basic maneuvers including climbs, descents, turns and some VOR tracking.  Basically putting to use the pitch power graph that I built in our previous lesson.  I spent a bit of time trying to memorize the pitch power graph and I do believe it helped with my workload in this lesson.

In order to put it all together, we would be performing some basic patterns that are meant to simulate the type of maneuvering that one would do for a departure, approach, etc.

Example of one of the patterns:


Pattern A


It doesn’t look like much but if you get behind the airplane it could get really messy.  At the moment, I have the ability to have my instructor freeze the sim if I need to decompress or to think through what is next.  When you’re in the soup, that is not an option.

I think that I did fairly well thinking through and verbalizing my way through the patterns.  I honestly thought they were a lot of fun but then again, I am on the ground sitting in a building.  It will be a lot different when it really counts.  One of the issues that I exhibited in the beginning was that when I would go to change the heading bug “Twist”, I would slightly bring the yoke with me as I reached to the right.  This would steepen the turn and cause the standard rate turn calculation to be off.  I was able to manage that a little better as the lesson progressed.

The Lesson

So, first off, my instructor had me take off from an extremely low visible situation.  The idea was to fly the directional gyro and hit the numbers just like a normal takeoff except I can’t actually see where I am going.  In real life, I would never do this but it is technically a legal for part 91 operations.  It is the case of just because it is legal, doesn’t mean that it is smart.

I was instructed to takeoff and track to the LIB VOR.  So shortly after takeoff my first goof came into play.  I setup the VOR frequency and as I lifted off, I was waiting for it to come alive. Waiting… waiting… waiting.  Then I had a feeling that I am sure will become super familiar in the near future.  That feeling of something doesn’t seem right here and I am not sure what is going on.  It turns out that I entered the frequency into the Nav2 so the VOR2 was actually tracking but I was looking at VOR1 which is really controlled by the GPS Radio.  My instructor saw that I was confused and politely paused the sim so we could discuss.  Again, not something you can do when you’re in the soup and ATC is barking at you.

Once that was all sorted, I tracked to the VOR with some climbs, descents and speed changes.  This was the warm up for the pattern work.  (See the “Pattern A” above).

I actually felt pretty good performing the two patterns that we worked on today.  Pattern A was more about timing and turns.  Pattern B added speed changes and a step down descent at the end.  The final maneuver was a missed approach in which I learned a new memory aid,  Cram, Climb, Clean, Cool, Call  (Neato!).  At that point the lesson was over, we didn’t actually execute any missed to a hold.  At this point we had been going for nearly 2 hours.  I think my brain was probably as full as it would get.

You can really see how things are starting to come together.  At each turn I would go through the 5 T’s, (Time, Turn, Twist, Throttle, Talk).  I think I have that burned into my brain now. lol

Here are the results:


Pattern A


Pattern B











(Below is the plotted patterns on the sim.)

Actual Pattern


You can see that they sort of look like the pattern that I was shooting for.  Of course they also look like they could be a virus as well.

Overall, I am enjoying the training so far and looking forward to the next lesson.  I look forward to performing these patterns in a real skyhawk.  I will try to remember to record my flight and link it with Cloud Ahoy so we can compare the sim session with real life.

On a side note:  I moved my blog to a new server, setup SSL and in the process borked the image viewer/uploader.  I think I worked things out but it took me hours during this post to figure it out.  Stupid wordpress update.