Getting Back into Flying

Getting Back into Flying

Postby winterhank » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:46 am

I was a commercial pilot with multi-engine, flight instructor, and instrument ratings 15 years ago. It's been a long time since the last time I talked to a controller.

Now, I'm thinking of getting back into it thanks to PE.

I have flown on other online systems but found Pilotedge and gave it a try. Here's what I found:

Pros:
1. Pilotedge Controllers are qualified and mimic a true flight environment
2. CAT ratings ease you though the various situations you will encounter in the real world. I recommend you prepare by planning the flight, reviewing the airspace, and documenting the freqs.
3. Controllers will fail you if you don't follow procedures for the ratings. I appreciate this as I want to know when I screw up because I don't want to in the real world.
4. Controllers are patient and will let you know what you are doing wrong. (I was on last night and it was busy but the controller worked with a pilot for a good 2 hours to help).
5. Price. I can get the same ATC experience flying a real plane at $180 an hour (with the added expense of screwing up) or I can fly PE for my ATC training for much less. No commute to the airport either!
6. I have found that the controllers are consistent no matter who is on. The rules don't change based on who the controller is.

Cons:
1. Many do not communicate at non-towered fields or will take the active without understanding others are in the pattern (and communicating).
2. ATC gets busy just like in the real world. Both a pro and a con. It could be a little while before you can talk - especially during prime time. Better in a simulator than adding engine hours.
3. New VHF communications. I love the fact that the PE VHF system emulates the real world. This can be a problem as well. The static and fading adds to the immersion but found complete drop outs last night 90% into a CAT 8 and had to cancel. Even though I have fiber with 1GB, latency can disrupt (I think). This is probably on my side and will troubleshoot more to try to understand the issue. Not a PE issue/con as it appears I was the only one affected.

I find that PE is the best training opportunity you can find online. The controllers make it happen - and I cannot say enough good things about their professionalism and extreme patience.

I still get nervous when I press the push to talk button but that is fading as I learn from my mistakes so I don't make them in the real world.

What would I change about PE?
1. Expand to the East Coast.
.
Not sure if this is helpful but wanted to give an honest review of what I think about PE. It is a great value for those of us trying to get back in the air.

Regards,
Hank
winterhank
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:54 am

Re: Getting Back into Flying

Postby RogerW » Mon Feb 04, 2019 9:53 am

winterhank wrote:Now, I'm thinking of getting back into it thanks to PE.

What would I change about PE?
1. Expand to the East Coast.

Regards,
Hank


Welcome Hank!

I too would like to see the southeast get included in all this. Yes it's flat for the most part but it would be nice to fly around in the area I live in.

Have fun!
Roger W.
Home: Valkaria, Fl (X59)(but lost in SoCal)
PE Rating: CAT-11, I-2
Experience: RW 7 hrs, Virtual 2500+ hrs
FSX
Aircraft: A2A Cessna 182 Skylane
Tail Number: N7365W
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCitoWLTiAXGgFbagrJnQyrw
RogerW
 
Posts: 77
Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:47 pm
Location: Valkaria, Fla (X59) USA

Re: Getting Back into Flying

Postby kevin meyers » Mon Feb 04, 2019 1:05 pm

winterhank wrote:Cons:
1. Many do not communicate at non-towered fields or will take the active without understanding others are in the pattern (and communicating).
2. ATC gets busy just like in the real world. Both a pro and a con. It could be a little while before you can talk - especially during prime time. Better in a simulator than adding engine hours.


The majority of the airplanes at the uncontrolled fields are drones (not real people...pre-recorded flights to add traffic at that airport) therefore they can’t talk because they aren’t real. The purpose of the drones is to add additional traffic in uncontrolled airspace and you can better your see-and-avoid skills as the drones sometimes may operate with a tailwind at airports since they don’t know any better. Also, after your experience in the real world, surely you have encountered airplanes at uncontrolled airports not communicating on the radios so it’s not all that unrealistic.

If you are getting frustrated by ATC being too busy, consider the WUS package over ZLA. WUS is often far quieter than ZLA. Or, consider flying in ZLA on a weekday morning or early afternoon before the evening spike hits.
Kevin Meyers
Retired PilotEdge Air Traffic Controller / Instructor
Dallas, Texas
kevin meyers
 
Posts: 1695
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 7:01 pm

Re: Getting Back into Flying

Postby winterhank » Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:35 am

RogerW wrote:
winterhank wrote:Now, I'm thinking of getting back into it thanks to PE.

What would I change about PE?
1. Expand to the East Coast.

Regards,
Hank


Welcome Hank!

I too would like to see the southeast get included in all this. Yes it's flat for the most part but it would be nice to fly around in the area I live in.

Have fun!



Thank you sir!
winterhank
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:54 am

Re: Getting Back into Flying

Postby winterhank » Tue Feb 05, 2019 5:40 am

kevin meyers wrote:
winterhank wrote:Cons:
1. Many do not communicate at non-towered fields or will take the active without understanding others are in the pattern (and communicating).
2. ATC gets busy just like in the real world. Both a pro and a con. It could be a little while before you can talk - especially during prime time. Better in a simulator than adding engine hours.


The majority of the airplanes at the uncontrolled fields are drones (not real people...pre-recorded flights to add traffic at that airport) therefore they can’t talk because they aren’t real. The purpose of the drones is to add additional traffic in uncontrolled airspace and you can better your see-and-avoid skills as the drones sometimes may operate with a tailwind at airports since they don’t know any better. Also, after your experience in the real world, surely you have encountered airplanes at uncontrolled airports not communicating on the radios so it’s not all that unrealistic.

If you are getting frustrated by ATC being too busy, consider the WUS package over ZLA. WUS is often far quieter than ZLA. Or, consider flying in ZLA on a weekday morning or early afternoon before the evening spike hits.


I forgot about the drones. Good point and thanks for reminding me. I was cursing phantoms and need to remember not everyone/thing has a radio.
Thanks for the advice on WUS. I'll check that out. Admit I do like the craziness of peak hour though once in awhile. Am sure the controllers don't :)
winterhank
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2019 7:54 am


Return to General

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 6 guests

cron