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Getting in the correct mindset for IR training

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Getting in the correct mindset for IR training

Old 25th Jan 2023, 22:36
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Getting in the correct mindset for IR training

I'm planning on starting my IR training in the UK soon. I'm assuming it will probably be the toughest part of flight training so far and if I can get myself into the right frame of mind in advance it will be of some help. So far, I've been advised to check out the Pooleys Instrument Flying & Radio Navigation book. I was wondering if anyone else had any suggestions for anything else to take a look at or think about in advance in order to help.

Thank you!
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Old 26th Jan 2023, 02:19
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It depends on how your brain works. I found the IR to be the easiest course so far - no need to look out of the window or at charts - just follow the instruments. I too was convinced that it would be hard - like some kind of black magic - but it's actually very straightforward. You'll spend most of your time flying NDB holds and approaches and there are many apps and simulators to help with that. When I did my IR training I got 6 hours into the course and the instructor said we covered everything, the rest is just practice. The course is overly long for what you need to know. The best preparation you can do is to know your checklists by heart and when to do them, but you'll have plenty of time on the course. It's not like a 45 hour PPL where you struggle to get everything done, you'll know what you're doing after 15 hours.
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Old 26th Jan 2023, 06:37
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Before you start the course, do 60 hours of seriously accurate VFR flying so it's second nature (from a senior IRE).

Phil
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Old 26th Jan 2023, 07:21
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Originally Posted by paco View Post
Before you start the course, do 60 hours of seriously accurate VFR flying so it's second nature (from a senior IRE).

Phil
60 hours? what is that number based on?
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Old 26th Jan 2023, 08:47
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Originally Posted by rudestuff View Post
It depends on how your brain works. I found the IR to be the easiest course so far - no need to look out of the window or at charts - just follow the instruments. I too was convinced that it would be hard - like some kind of black magic - but it's actually very straightforward. You'll spend most of your time flying NDB holds and approaches and there are many apps and simulators to help with that. When I did my IR training I got 6 hours into the course and the instructor said we covered everything, the rest is just practice. The course is overly long for what you need to know. The best preparation you can do is to know your checklists by heart and when to do them, but you'll have plenty of time on the course. It's not like a 45 hour PPL where you struggle to get everything done, you'll know what you're doing after 15 hours.

Going back quite a few years when I did my IMC, NDB approaches were quite difficult as I could never get lined up on the runway. Then the penny dropped, I never would, the instruments line you up on the antenna, not on the runway. an NDB approach is only meant to get you to a minimum height at which you need to be visual, or it's a GA.

The point I'm trying to make is not to beat yourself up about things not going smoothly all the time, try to understand what's going on, get a good mental picture.

Once I had that cracked, my IMC flying training was great. Never used it in anger, but that wasn't why I wanted the rating either.
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Old 26th Jan 2023, 09:46
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Originally Posted by golfbananajam View Post
Going back quite a few years when I did my IMC, NDB approaches were quite difficult as I could never get lined up on the runway. Then the penny dropped, I never would, the instruments line you up on the antenna, not on the runway. an NDB approach is only meant to get you to a minimum height at which you need to be visual, or it's a GA.

The point I'm trying to make is not to beat yourself up about things not going smoothly all the time, try to understand what's going on, get a good mental picture.

Once I had that cracked, my IMC flying training was great. Never used it in anger, but that wasn't why I wanted the rating either.
Absolutely, the track of a non precision approach can look abysmal on the screen but still be acceptable as long as you don't bust the platform or minimums. Once you understand where the needle should be pointing at each corner of a potato shaped NDB hold, everything becomes quite easy.
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Old 26th Jan 2023, 11:27
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Accurate trimming along with being well organised and always being ahead of the game.
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Old 26th Jan 2023, 12:25
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hamburger boy - that came from a very senior IRE who has been it seen it done it forever I would agree with it. Accuracy has to be second nature. One less thing to worry about. Also, use navaids when VFR. Would recommend flight sim if you have it, even better virtual reality.
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Old 26th Jan 2023, 12:30
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Originally Posted by golfbananajam View Post
Going back quite a few years when I did my IMC, NDB approaches were quite difficult as I could never get lined up on the runway. Then the penny dropped, I never would, the instruments line you up on the antenna, not on the runway. an NDB approach is only meant to get you to a minimum height at which you need to be visual, or it's a GA.

The point I'm trying to make is not to beat yourself up about things not going smoothly all the time, try to understand what's going on, get a good mental picture.

Once I had that cracked, my IMC flying training was great. Never used it in anger, but that wasn't why I wanted the rating either.

I guess the other thing I should have said, and it takes a bit of getting used to , is to trust your instruments (and your instructor), they're much better than the seat of your pants.
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Old 26th Jan 2023, 13:21
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Well I believe it differs from person to person for me the IR was easier than normal flying the computer does everything for you, the only thing you have to do is know how to read your chart and put in proper data into the aircraft. It shows you what altitude you should be on when you are on track everything. The only approach where you have to think is the VOR since you need to know/perform your rate of descent properly (with RNP or ILS the aircraft show you if you are in the correct position) + the holding patterns so you perform the correct entry and holding. The rest is much easier than VFR flying especially the landing when you have extremely long final.
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Old 26th Jan 2023, 21:05
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Excellent, thank you for the tips

Originally Posted by rudestuff View Post
It depends on how your brain works. I found the IR to be the easiest course so far - no need to look out of the window or at charts - just follow the instruments. I too was convinced that it would be hard - like some kind of black magic - but it's actually very straightforward. You'll spend most of your time flying NDB holds and approaches and there are many apps and simulators to help with that. When I did my IR training I got 6 hours into the course and the instructor said we covered everything, the rest is just practice. The course is overly long for what you need to know. The best preparation you can do is to know your checklists by heart and when to do them, but you'll have plenty of time on the course. It's not like a 45 hour PPL where you struggle to get everything done, you'll know what you're doing after 15 hours.
That's good to hear! Perhaps I'm putting it on a pedestal a bit...

Originally Posted by paco View Post
Before you start the course, do 60 hours of seriously accurate VFR flying so it's second nature (from a senior IRE).
This I know I can work on. Keeping heading is no problem, but I am conscious I have a tendency to trim slightly nose-down, so that's something I'm planning on putting some effort in to.

Originally Posted by RichardH View Post
Accurate trimming along with being well organised and always being ahead of the game.
Also, with respect to the sim paco and rudestuff mentioned, I'm glad this is worth looking at. I briefly considered it but was concerned I might teach myself some incorrect things, then spend a fortune having to get "un-taught" Anyway, I've taken a look at MS Flight Simulator which I have installed. It looks like there's a free IFR course included which from first glance looks quite basic, but there's also a £20 IFR course in the marketplace which claims to mirror the actual course. Any thoughts/experience with those?
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Old 27th Jan 2023, 06:48
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Just use the flight sim for getting used to which way the needles go, practice tracking on the VOR, ADF, etc. It's very useful for that. Don't forget that things you are used to when visual have to be thought about when IFR - the tendency for the nose to go left in a single when you put the nose down, for example. Also remember that the instruments have a secondary function - if you haven't changed the power and your speed is increasing, you must be descending, hence the ASI is a secondary altimeter and vice versa (very useful for partial panel). And do not underestimate the humble VSI - it will tell you what's happening well before the altimeter does.
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Old 27th Jan 2023, 07:13
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Thank you, that's really helpful!
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Old 27th Jan 2023, 09:15
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Paco offers sage advice. ( Hi Phil)
Ensure your VFR straight and level rate one turns and tracking are perfected. Then the same on instruments.
Ive seen a number of people struggle with NDB holds and the cause has been not getting the basic flying right then as soon as you have to fly and think it falls apart.
itís all about workload management.
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Old 27th Jan 2023, 09:35
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Couple of suggestions.
Make sure you can fly in trim.
Armchair flying. When you start your course and get introduced to approaches, routes and GH etc., spend time, at home learning your checks & procedures - EFATO drills, power & flap settings, radio calls, nav aids, partial panel, unusual attitudes. If you can, sit in the aircraft and run through your checks and learn how to use the nav kit. All of this costs nothing, only your own time - it is very expensive to learn while the aircraft is moving. It will give you more confidence and frees up capacity to fly.
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Old 27th Jan 2023, 16:26
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Originally Posted by hamburgerboy View Post
60 hours? what is that number based on?
Itís obviously nonsense and just plucked out of thin air. Assuming youíre paying money for flying itís wasted time.

If you really need to just sit in flight sim for a bit, itís IRÖ
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 06:32
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[email protected]@cks. You want to waste your money learning basics on the IR course go right ahead. The statement comes from the CFI of one of the top IR schools in the country and Europe. Always use an opportunity for free training. Another point - you want to know your way round the knobs and switches of your potential aircraft blindfold. You won't get that in a sim.
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 10:58
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Originally Posted by paco View Post
[email protected]@cks. You want to waste your money learning basics on the IR course go right ahead. The statement comes from the CFI of one of the top IR schools in the country and Europe. Always use an opportunity for free training. Another point - you want to know your way round the knobs and switches of your potential aircraft blindfold. You won't get that in a sim.
Apologies, misunderstood you there. Didnít realise your school were offering 60 hours of free VFR, would you mind sharing a link? Would be helpful to OP and others thinking about their IR for sure!

Clearly Iím being a tad facetious but unless youíve got an extra £10K to burn, minimum, why would you? IR is as close to playing a video game as flying gets. The sim is perfect for it!
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Old 28th Jan 2023, 17:49
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But the IR is not about flying is it? It's more about fitting into a system so you don't screw it up for everyone else.
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Old 29th Jan 2023, 08:05
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Originally Posted by paco View Post
But the IR is not about flying is it? It's more about fitting into a system so you don't screw it up for everyone else.
But with 100+ hours by this point you ought to be at least moderately competent.

People have been completing their training with 150 or 200 hours for decades without an issue, why the sudden need to change?
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