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Next Step to learning to fly

Controlling your aircraft, using the autopilot etc.

Next Step to learning to fly

Postby georgem1956 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 12:08 pm

I've added a yoke, rudder pedals throttle controls and have been practicing with the C172. It was rough going at first, I zigged and zagged on take off, had the hardest time lining up the runway for landings, in flight the plane wanted to be all over the place, had to constantly mange it. All in all I think I've got an understanding with the Cessna.

Now, I want to learn what it would take to work towards my private pilot's license, as much as can be done with a simulator at least. Where do I go to study FAA regulations? How to use electronic navigation, radio communications with the tower, flying into and out of a busy airport, filing a flight plan. IFR flying. Heck, even setting the altimeter (I set my Com1 radio to the automatic broadcast frequency of 119.65 at the airport that FG starts you at with the Cessna but it stays silent, doesn't give be the barometer readings for the day).

There are beeps and tones, lights that come on when I fly over certain spots, what does it all mean? I get the tone when I reach 1000ft in altitude, at least I think that's what the beeping is for when I hit that altitude. I fly out a certain direction from take off, if I go far enough a tone starts to beep and a light comes on in the instrument panel. I can't really read it, but I assume it's some sort or marker. It stops when I turn and leave the area.

So what would be the next steps towards a license? Is there an online syllabus that I could follow? Are there free instruction guides that would lead me through what is needed to pass the FAA's test? I am assuming there would be a test.

George
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Re: Next Step to learning to fly

Postby stuart » Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:20 pm

Hi George,

I'd start with the FAA website itself. It has some pretty good free resources.

https://www.faa.gov/training_testing/training/

https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/

Specifically, the Airplane Flight Handbook and Instrument Flying Handbook are very good references.

Good luck!

-Stuart
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Re: Next Step to learning to fly

Postby ludomotico » Wed Aug 29, 2018 1:53 pm

(I'm from the JAR world, not FAA. Things are slightly different in both words)

The first step towards a commercial license is a private license such as as the PPL, a sport license or a ultra-light model license. You can fly single engine planes under VFR with any of these licenses. In the solitude of the cockpit, you can use IFR as a guidance during your navigation but this shouldn't prevent you to plan your trip using visual references. Check these books:

- "Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge". Syllabus and basic knowledge about the aircraft, meteo, rules...: https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policie ... ndbook.pdf The theory test is going to be about the information in this book and takes several months to prepare.
- "Airplane Flying Handbook": Much more fun and practical book. It includes maneuvers and recommendations but assumes you are also reading the other book at the same time. https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policie ... _handbook/ The practical test involves the maneuvers and procedures described in this book.

This is the basic knowledge you need to get any of the private licenses. You usually prepare both tests, theory and practice, in parallel and it takes from 6 months to a year, depending on your budget and time constrains. If you aimed to a PPL, then, once you passed both tests and have a PPL license, you can look into IFR rating:

- "Instrument Procedures Handbook": https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policie ... _handbook/

Without additional information, I don't know what these tones and beeps you hear are. If they are related to IFR (VOR? ADF?) or the autopilot, switch the instrument off until you know how to fly visually :)
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Re: Next Step to learning to fly

Postby georgem1956 » Wed Aug 29, 2018 2:21 pm

I don't think it's related to VOR or ADF or Autopilot. I haven't gotten that far in the tutorials to even turn them on as yet...they may be on and I don't know it...I'm going through the tutorials maybe it'll become clear as I progress.
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Re: Next Step to learning to fly

Postby sim » Wed Aug 29, 2018 3:09 pm

Meanwhile fly Fightgear as much as you can, circuits and bumps the more the better.
So take off climb to 1000' level off and turn left 90 degrees, after one minute turn left for downwind
and look left to see the runway, you should now be thinking how far downwind to fly and how far that
runway to your left is. Looking down at an angle of 30 degrees to the runway looks comfortable so
turn slightly away if you're higher and move away from the airfield until it looks right.
(or vice versa if you're too far out!). Fly on downwind passing the the runway threshold to your
left, keep heading downwind getting ready to turn left onto your base leg.
As you turn remember you are using the base leg to adjust how far back from the runway threshold
your turn onto final approach is. Check your height, ease throttle to give a slight descent as
you traverse base leg. Try to start final turn early remember the idea is on completion to have
wings straight and level and runway in line directly ahead.
Final turn should not be below 500 feet but anywhere up to 1000' is fine as you will have plenty
of time to assess whether the approach is under or overshooting the point you intend to land.
Student Pilots should close throttle completely once on finals and use full flap for the ideal
approach and raise the flap a little if undershooting rather than resorting to throttle.
As for the landing itself, main thing is maintain a steady airspeed during approach and commence
levelling off as ground nears and horizon seems as though it is rising to shoulder level.
hold it there by slowly easing stick back until airspeed is lost and wheels settle on their own. :wink:

Not like this though!
Last edited by sim on Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Next Step to learning to fly

Postby tdammers » Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:19 pm

I'll add one more thing: once you have a decent handle on your aircraft, try joining a live ATC session. Check http://flightgear-atc.alwaysdata.net/ for info. This is a great and cheap way to practice radio communications, and also getting used to multitasking (fly and manage the aircraft, navigate, and talk on the radio, all at the same time).
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Re: Next Step to learning to fly

Postby georgem1956 » Sun Sep 02, 2018 12:28 am

Wow! Thanks tdammers. The ATC tip is great! Looking forward to that step.
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Re: Next Step to learning to fly

Postby bbuske » Sun Sep 02, 2018 10:42 am

Can do some mp flying with an experienced co-pilot.

I am also working on publishing some training videos. I just had some issues with the recording. The tool I use apparently just records the screen and it’s sounds but not the microphone and what I am saying.
Ben

PPL(A) (2009), CPL(A)(2011), ATPL(A)(2015)
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