Newbie - IFR

Newbie - IFR

Postby cstei255 » Thu Oct 11, 2018 11:47 am

So here's a weird one. I've been a member for a while, but just now feel I might be getting to the point of my first flight on Pilot Edge. My sim is a Jetmax 737 from FDS and I have been using Pilot2ATC for several months now. It's been a good experience to learn the ATC calls, etc. Here's where it's weird - I just went start to finish w/ an IFR flight from KMSP to KMKE - but I couldn't fly a VFR flight - in fact, I wouldn't know where/how to start. After reading much about the different levels that all feels very backwards to me.

So is it suggested that I spend some time learning VFR first or do I give IFR a shot on Pilot Edge knowing I'll come back to VFR....thanks!!

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Re: Newbie - IFR

Postby kevin meyers » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:56 pm ... m-overview

Start with the VFR (CAT) ratings then go do the IFR ratings afterwards. If your only IFR experience is airliner IFR, then you likely still have a lot to learn about IFR flying- all of which will build off of the VFR fundamentals.
Kevin Meyers
Retired PilotEdge Air Traffic Controller / Instructor
Dallas, Texas
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Re: Newbie - IFR

Postby gsuoumu » Fri Oct 12, 2018 6:32 am

Maybe I'm a nerd, but I thoroughly enjoyed the Pilotedge Training Workshops. Scroll to the bottom and work your way up:

I suppose you could start with the IFR stuff and come back to VFR but I personally think your experience will be better if you do VFR first. This will require some GA work though. For me, I felt as if by the time I finished the VFR Workshops I didn't even need to really review the CAT ratings all that much. The workshops are time intensive, but it was worth it to me.
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Re: Newbie - IFR

Postby Keith Smith » Fri Oct 12, 2018 8:11 am


Synthetic ATC systems do a fairly poor job of preparing you to work with ATC. I took a look a several P2ATC videos and many of the phases of flight were inaccurately modeled, to the point where I question what purpose the tool actually serves.

Here's a copy of a post I made on the .org forum regarding a VFR flight that was made using the P2ATC.
And here's the problem with that Pilot2ATC video....the entire flow was incorrect and riddled with mistakes. It's not preparing you to be able to interact with ATC at all.

1) It starts off with the pilot calling the clearance delivery frequency and addressing them as Ground. It responds as "clearance delivery", and then stops responding all together. This would not happen in real life. ATC doesn't just ignore you and leave you wondering what your mistake was.

2) The pilot then swaps to ground and calls for taxi with no mention of where they are on the field, or what their departure request is. The system magically knows where the aircraft is and what they intend to do, then issues a poorly phrased taxi instruction with a needless hold short instruction. The pilots then reads it back with an incorrect readback of the hold short instruction (the runway in the read back didn't match the instruction, even if the instruction was redundant to begin wtih). The system doesn't catch the incorrect hold short read back.

3) short of the runway, the pilot swaps to tower and is then told to "cross runway 34L." That is absolutely not the right instruction. Runway crossings are issued when you are transitioning across a runway (ie, entering then immediately exiting). If anything, it should've been a "line up and wait" instruction, or simply a takeoff clearance.

4) the takeoff clearance contains a VFR squawk code which makes no sense for two reasons, a) the squawk code would've been issued by Clearance Delivery at a Class Bravo airport, and b) 1200 is the VFR squawk code. Class Bravo and Charlie airports issue squawk codes to provide separation from other aircraft while in the airspace, so a discrete code should've been assigned.

5) while still in the Bravo airspace, the system then responds "frequency change approved."

Additional detail on #2: Clearance delivery would want to know a direction of flight and cruising altitude at a minimum. They would then issue a squawk code and VFR departure instructions (which are specific to the airport). After takeoff, since they're in Bravo airspace, they would've been handed to the departure controller until clear of the Bravo, or longer if flight following had been requested.

I don't mean to be harsh on synthetic systems...but this massive list of inaccuracies is precisely what I'm talking about when I say that they fall short of real world fidelity. It might seem as though it's working well to the uninitiated, but users of these systems will be absolutely lost when it comes to actually interacting with any type of higher fidelity ATC system. It truly is negative training. The system is teaching bad habits and completely incorrect flows.

If you view it as a game where you talk to the system and it talks back, giving ATC-like instructions.....great. No harm done. If you are using it as a precursor to actually interacting with ATC, though, I'd argue that it would be far better to use existing online study materials for learning about ATC interaction and then using a human-based ATC system.

I would not assume that a completed IFR flight with P2ATC will prepare you to actually fly with ATC. Instead, I would suggest going through the workshops, CAT ratings, and I Ratings.
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Re: Newbie - IFR

Postby cstei255 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 10:25 am

Will do. Great advice and I'm not surprised that there is much more to learn.

W/ regards to Pilot2ATC, I've tried a few ATC programs and found because it was responsive it felt more realistic vs. using a text box or pre-programmed responses (grain of salt needed as I am not a pilot). Keith makes good points - what I like over other programs what you do get a sense of 'pressure' to respond. So it's a balance. I'm happy for the advice because while I was able to begin to feel the immediate/live response aspect of PTA, I'll use these resources to continue the journey. I see it as a progression - P2A is/did get me started, then PilotEdge will take me further, then real-world - at least that's my plan.

One note of support for P2A, there are many software programs out there covering many facets of flight sim - IMHO P2A is the most responsive to needs and support for the users that I have found. Almost for that reason alone, it was/is well worth it.

Looking forward to learning more and thank you to all of the advice!

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Re: Newbie - IFR

Postby Scott Medeiros » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:26 pm

After watching some of their videos as well, I'd recommend steering clear of P2ATC if you desire to use your sim as a training tool or you want the most realistic experience possible. My reasoning for this is that it will result in NEGATIVE learning, and you'll pick up bad phraseology, incorrect procedures, and overall an misunderstanding of how ATC works in real life. The way our minds learn, whatever was learned first is best remembered. If this was wrong info, our brains will have a harder time writing over that data with new info. As has been stated already, you should start with VFR and work up to IFR since it builds off of what you've learned in the VFR training materials. If real world flying is the goal, I'd focus 100% on using PilotEdge training materials and network for the best understanding of the ATC system. The PilotEdge network is based on real world airspace, frequencies, and up-to-date procedures. The controllers follow the FAA 7110.65 Controller Manual, and pilots are expected to follow applicable FARs and procedures. In essence the PilotEdge network works pretty much identically to the real world, and it will be a much more complete and thorough learning environment for you.
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Re: Newbie - IFR

Postby cstei255 » Fri Oct 12, 2018 1:33 pm

Much appreciated! As I said above everything serves a purpose - I'm already into the PE VFR training videos and plan to stay the course. I will note that I have watched much of real-world cockpit videos (ie. 'Premier 1 Driver') just to get a sense of how it works and feels - much of what is from P2A is in those videos, but I get your point and plan to focus on PE now.


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