Home Simulation: Part 2 IFR Student / IFR rated

Check out their line of headsets, camera cables, and LED lighting today!

flight sim

Home Simulation: Part 2 IFR Student / IFR rated
by Michael W. Wojcik

Getting into the soup.

Some of the most enjoyable experiences of using flight simulation at home is when I began working on earning my instrument rating. Most pilots agree this is the most difficult, hence most rewarding when completed. The flight school I went to had an APPROVED PCATD that along with my instructor, I used to practice and learn the new concepts. Interestingly enough it seemed to be broken more often and much quirkier than the unapproved version I owned, but this time was allowed to be entered in my logbook.

A very practical part of the home version was learning how to configure the aircraft radios and navigation equipment, instead of being in the aircraft as the Hobbs meter ticked away. When it came time to actually fly, I had a clear vision of how I wanted the cockpit organized.


dme arc on flight simulator xTrying to grasp hard to master ideas as compared to reading it in a textbook is also a plus. People look at me kind of funny when I tell them I love ADF approaches. This mental exercise and getting over the hump of actually tracking an ADF, instead of homing was very rewarding. Even rarer still, is the DME arc approach. There were none within reasonable distance for a flight lesson at my location. We may have run it a few times on the flight school system, but I actually mastered the principles at home.

Flight simulator can open up the whole world to you of fun and interesting approaches. Execute an NDB through a narrow pass in Alaska. Try your hand at a visual or a challenging VOR in the mountains and thinner air of Colorado. Perform a DME arc with multiple step downs in the tight and busy airspace of Maryland; it is all at your fingertips.

A few more tips and tricks I found useful:

Add distractions to help hone your scan, turn the sound up, add weather, turbulence and random failures. Remember Aviate, Navigate then Communicate.

As compared to actual flight, I find you need to dial in more wind on the sim to actually see its effects with reference to navigation aids and instruments.

Save old charts and maps for some fun and nostalgic sessions. Things may be decommissioned in the real world, but still available to you in the world of simulation. This weekend I’m going to Blue Ash and shoot the NDB-A!

Happy flying real or imagined.

VISIT OUR SPONSOR for Training DVD's, affordable headsets, cable adapters, headset parts, LED strobes and lights, and more! They cover ALL EXPENSES for iFLYblog.com to keep it coming FREE to you FOREVER!



Subscribe to the iFlyBLOG Mailing List to get the latest blog posts and news to your E-Mail instantly! PLUS TWO FREE eBooks!

learning to fly


Share it