I decided the check out the new training missions, since the originals were… lacking, to say the least. Still working through the first courses, but already finding some weird glitches and information.
In the Attitude lesson, my VSI was doing some weird things… it would show 200fpm but altitude was stable. I only passed with an A by keeping my eyes dead set on the attitude indicator. As for looking out the window… I’d say a mountainous area isn’t the best place to practice keeping your horizon level since the horizon isn’t clearly defined as it would be in flat terrain.
In the Throttle lesson, you need to maintain attitude while decreasing and then increasing throttle in order to pass… the instructor states you will lose airspeed and altitude when decreasing throttle and gain airspeed and altitude when increasing throttle, which is wrong… you’re only effecting speed when maintaining attitude.
Anyone else noticing any oddities in the training?
I agree on all points - much better than the first set of lessons. The mountains made me glad I learned to fly in flat northern Ohio!
I am having a heck of a time getting an A on the landings. I think there needs to be a bit more information on when to add flaps after the downwind leg. It is difficult to get the speed right without floating to far down the runway.
The instructor isn’t talking about maintaining altitude. The instructor is talking about what happens when you add or reduce power. The fact is if you pull power (and do nothing else), you will slow down and you will lose altitude. If you add power you will climb and your airspeed will increase.
I just finished these, and it was a chore. I ended up dumping more flaps during the solo lesson on final since I was too high. I was taught to put in first notch of flaps abeam the numbers, slow down, and then start your descent while still on downwind, which sets you up better for final. Since the instructor has you maintain altitude until turning base, I had luck cutting power after I met the 1400rpm requirement.
Note I said maintaining attitude, not altitude… if I increase throttle and want to maintain cruise attitude, I will need to push forward on the yoke. The aircraft will speed up but it won’t climb. If I don’t touch the yoke however, the aircraft will speed up slightly but then trade that speed for altitude without any yoke or trim correction.
And note the instructor wasn’t talking about maintaining attitude but what happens when you add or decrease power.
So, once again, if you pull power AND CHANGE NOTHING (as was the point of the lesson) you will slow down and lose altitude. If you add power AND CHANGE NOTHING your airspeed will increase and you will climb.
Pitch, power, trim. That’s why Rod Machado’s lessons in FSX, despite all the bad Dad jokes in between, are more technically informative than Captain Jess. And that’s why I kept a copy of FSX all this time, just for the Student Pilot Lessons alone. Let someone take the SP lessons from FSX and they will fly the MSFS C-152 very competently.
Thats how we used to taught students how to fly, its not completely transferrable to bigger turboprops and jets, but accurate for most GA aircraft.
Transitioning from level flight to climb and from climb to level flight we use APT:
- Attitude: increase to climb pitch.
- Power: climb power upon reaching climb speed.
Same when leveling off:
- Attitude: lower to cruise pitch.
- Power: cruise power after reaching cruise speed.
For transitioning from level flight to descent and level off from descent to level flight should be PAT:
- Power: reduce, the nose will automatically drop.
- Attitude: adjust where needed.
Leveling off, carb heat off 100 ft from level-off, 50 ft from level off:
- Power: add to cruise power nose will raise automatically.
- Attitude: adjust where needed.
Difference between the two is that climb speed is usually lower than cruise speed while descent speed is typically equal to cruise speed. During descent there is no or little change in speed and therefore very little trimming is required.
Do you have to maintain ALTitude or ATTitude? If you maintain attitude whilst increasing power the aircraft WILL climb due to the higher airspeed and vice versa when reducing power. When maintaining altitude (meaning lowering attitude as speed increases and vice versa) the speed changes indeed.
I replayed… at first I thought it said to keep cruise attitude, but it does just tell you to keep the attitude line that it draws out the window on the horizon. The lesson would probably be more effective if they just had you cut power and then return to full power without touching the yoke to make their point… I’m probably over-analyzing this lesson and its just confusing me even more in the process lol.
I finally completed all of the lessons… other fun points: getting dinged for not climbing fast enough (we’re in a 152 at 8000ft and you’re asking me to use cruise climb instead of best rate of climb), and the odd uncontrolled airport pattern entry (flying over the field and doing a 90 degree downwind pattern entry?)
Even with the quirks I was able to squeeze A’s… I do miss Rod Machado’s old school lessons, and even though the MSFS lessons were expanded on in SU5 I think it would have been better to have the instructor demonstrate things first while pointing out what you’re looking for on the gauges, before just handing controls over to the student.
It will be interesting seeing first-time simmers going through these new lessons to see if they make sense to newcomers. I watched iJustine go through the original lessons after MS sent her the promo kit at launch and it did not go well lol.
There is no right or wrong time to add flaps. Adding flaps simply allows us to fly more slowly without stalling - which is of course great for landing. If you are struggling to land, add the flaps as early as you can, and stabilize your speed as you approach. Coming in as slow as possible gives you more time to correct mistakes, line up properly, and stabilize your rate of descent. As you gain more experience you can slowly start adding flaps later as you start to feel confident approaching with more speed and slowing down closer to the runway.
Personally I like to be nice and stable with one notch of flaps on the downwind leg and go to max flaps as I turn into final. Then I have plenty of time to trim a lovely smooth glide slope.
If you are struggling to trim and stabilize the aircraft in time, simply give yourself more time by turning into final further away from the runway.
Exactly - pretty much how I learned in real life. Assuming 3 flap settings, I usually add one notch mid-field, one after turning base, one after turning final - with some adjustments if there is a cross wind or gusts. Or, the couple of times I flew a C-150, add that additional notch and the landing feels like you are in an elevator!
I do think these lessons are an improvement from the original set, and I like the scoring showing where you can do better. But man, I hate getting a “B”! I actually missed an A by 2 points! Drove me nuts till I got it.
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