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Old 19th Apr 2017, 19:44   #41 (permalink)
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The accomplished glider pilots in my experience have usually impressed me as long as they appreciate it is still a little bit different and they still need to learn. Generally tend to fly very accurately and good awareness. Infact one in particular left me speechless come PFL's when she went and found a thermal and managed to maintain height in a PA28.
They also seem to be very comfy with the idea of landing in a field as prior to starting that lesson we were airborne she asked about the glide characteristics of the 28 and I jokingly said pull the mixture and find out. She didn't think I was joking.

Model pilots I can't really see having an advantage or a disadvantage.
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 22:21   #42 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Piltdown Man View Post
The radio bit will come with practice. You will that a standard procedure is use for most calls - Who you are, where you are what you want. You will them be told how to get what you want. And if they speak too fast, you are ask in plain language "Please speak slower" and they will.
The two words that were like magic to me when I was a student pilot: say again.

Every time ATC gave me way more information than I could process, those two words made them condense it into something far more concise and understandable.
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Old 19th Apr 2017, 23:45   #43 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by scifi View Post
Hi... I am just wondering what our resident Instructors think of Model Aircraft Fliers, especially those that can perform aerobatics such as Spins, Avalanches, and Rolling Circles, with their 'Arising Star' models.
several keen aeromodellers I taught years ago were great because they were very enthusiastic about aviation generally, aircraft specifically and keen to learn more and knew a lot of the terminology already. That makes for a great student and is a good foundation for an aspiring pilot. I don't recall they had any bad or good habits or enhanced skills though.

re transfer of skills, I am not an expert in any way on model flying but think most flying models have vastly more thrust, vastly less inertia and vastly greater ability to handle G (proportionally) than their full size inspiration meaning their pilots may understand some of the principles but actual control inputs and procedures would probably not transfer well. (NB May be wrong here). Many can with full throttle fly ballistically - not something your average GA aircraft could aspire to!)

In addition a model flyers ability to always simply perceive the aircraft's attitude because you can see what it is doing probably does not translate to how you perceive attitude when actually in a cockpit. I think getting a good understanding of attitude and how to judge and control it is important.

I wouldn't see model flying skill as a positive or negative to learning to fly - the operation of a model is very different in physical actions from flying either a real plane or simulator. (Again this all in my opinion and out of ignorance - I haven't flown models since my early teenage years decades ago and even then I spent more time fixing crashed balsa wrecks than I ever spent flying them )

Like I said though - (and as @Armchairflyer said earlier with simulators) - if it is an inspiration to learning to fly, then that is a huge positive

Originally Posted by scifi View Post
There are also Glider Pilots (and/or Model Glider Pilots.) who must have picked up some habits along the way.
I would say if they have been taught well they will generally have good habits. I have never had problems with glider pilots transferring to powered aircraft. In fact most tend to have a good feel about how to use their feet, better than a lot of power only pilots when flying aeroplanes where good rudder skills matter. They do tend to miss their bit of wool on the nose though
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 10:04   #44 (permalink)
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I used to think Model flyers would find training easy, until I had one as an ab initio student. He struggled but was progressing slowly. Unfortunately he gave up.
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 11:00   #45 (permalink)
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Back on the topic of simulators, they are great fun, and can be useful towards latter parts of your training, such as nav ex and instrument appreciation, but can definitely be a hindrance when starting out, as you effectively teach yourself to only look at the instruments.

I distinctly remember my first few lessons in 2011. I'd been simulator flying since I was 9 years old on FS2004, then at 11 I got FSX, and kept flying with this. Fast forward to me being 15/16, and I had 7 years of flight sim 'experience' under my belt. I could conduct a perfect flight, handle emergencies and my use and understanding of most of the instruments was great.

Then, I got into a real plane and went for a flight. It was so difficult for me to get out of the habit of relying purely on instruments, and looking 'outside' the aircraft was an alien task. After a few hours, I started to realise that all I had 'learned' on FSX wasn't very useful when it came to transferring skills. At the beginning of my training, I was hours behind where I was expected to be, I believe mostly, down to my simulator flying.

Fortunately, I took a break from flying for 5 years, and didn't really touch a simulator much in that time. When I came back to it in 2016, I was ready, and managed to gain my PPL in minimum hours (but only because I picked up things like the navigation and the small amount of instrument flying a little bit quicker than was expected (according to my instructor).

To summarise, flight sims are great fun, but can be detrimental to your learning. I think I'm going to start using mine again as I'll be starting my IR soon, and I understand it could come in useful for that.

Best of luck
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Old 20th Apr 2017, 14:23   #46 (permalink)
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I was taught to fly Models (before PPL.) by a National Aerobatics Champion. We mostly did circuits, and he was extremely critical of any loss of height in the corners, even 1ft was frowned upon... So that taught the basic 'Bank and Yank' technique.

For the landings or T+Gs, we learnt to control the descent rate with throttle, which is a bit counter intuitive to a newby. Also the use of the trimmers was learnt, so that the model could fly 'Hands Off', much the same as in our Cessna.

There are some model flying skills which don't translate to actual flying... The ability to judge Left and Right when the model is flying away and then towards, and making a straight line to a displaced runway, for instance.

My model flying Instructor was quite a perfectionist, and this delayed my passing of the Test, but I was quite happy to have him standing next to me, if only for the company.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 10:32   #47 (permalink)
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Hi TangoAlpha... quote.. I jokingly said pull the mixture and find out. She didn't think I was joking.
Must admit I have never tried that, maybe next time with an Instructor...

On the Ground, after the power checks, it's check idle RPM, to be 500-700 rpm. However in the air even pulling the throttle as far as it will go, I have only ever seen it drop to 1300 rpm minimum... Obviously the windmilling effect.
btw... Just remembered... Many years ago, when I was still wearing short pants, I had a model 10x6 free-spinning propeller on my push-bike. It spun quicker to tell me if I was riding into a head-wind or not ( as if I didn't know.! )

Last edited by scifi; 21st Apr 2017 at 10:51.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 10:44   #48 (permalink)
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Must admit I have never tried that, maybe next time with an Instructor...
I wouldn't really recommend it.

Really it will cause the engine to stop and as long as it is windmilling bringing the mixture back in will cause it to cough splutter then pick back up as normal but if it doesn't it can become awfully embarrassing rather quickly.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 12:48   #49 (permalink)
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Simulators and models are common in the appearance that you are flying, but you're missing many sensations, and unaware of these missing cues and forces. Those cues and forces are important in learning to feel what the plane is doing in the air, and how you should react. The problem is that sim use deceives the "pilot" into thinking that they are having the experience - they're not, they're having a different experience, only loosely related to flying a real plane. The other factor is "no consequences". The careless sim pilot can extend the GA's gear or flaps at 250 knots, and nothing serious happens! Perhaps if doing so blew all the covers off the monitor, and shot all the printer paper all around the room, the "pilot" might learn something!

The over use of instruments is a horrible distraction from learning to be a good hands and feet pilot. One of my formative learning aircraft was a non certified Cub like plane, whose tiny instrument panel was equipped with a compass and an altimeter (legal requirements). So, there was no point at looking at (much less fixating on) the instrument panel. Flying schools like to be seen to have "good trainers", so they promote their aircraft being well equipped. They'd be serving the true needs of early PPL students (and some commercial training needs too, by promoting that their aircraft are great for training because they have only the bare minimum equipment!

Models are excellent - for learning how a plane works. They are distracting in learning how to fly one. Again, they deceive the "pilot" into tolerating careless, imprecise flying, and the only likely consequence of mishandling could be a broken model. The "pilot" does not get the sensations of flying, nor learn the forces the pilot feels (which are a part of the aircraft by design, not coincidence).

Just so that the pilots to be reading here understand, the forces designed into the aircraft controls will allow a practiced pilot to maintain control of an aircraft to a safe extent literally eyes closed. I could bring a GA aircraft to 1.1 of the stall speed, and recover by control feel only - no instrument reference, no stall warning needed, and no looking outside. Those skills must be learned, and sims and models cannot help the new pilot.
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Old 21st Apr 2017, 16:34   #50 (permalink)
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Hi Step Turn, picking up your quote.. 'and sims and models cannot help the new pilot.'

I think it depends upon what you will learn from an early apprenticeship, even if it is only knowing what all the bits are called is useful. Also any aero-modeller who has ever glued his fingers together with superglue, will know why you put the Tailplane on with 2-3 degrees less angle of incidence than the Mainplane. He will also know that ailerons can have differential to cure adverse yaw.

I was intrigued by one simmer, who said he regularly flew a 747 from LHR to GFK in real time on his set-up, relying on the auto-pilot whilst he got on with other tasks around the house.

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cessna 172, cpl, ppl, simulator, x-plane

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