Sunday, February 04, 2007

Instrument Flying

In the early stages of flight training you are taught to fly the plane "visually" with only occassional glances at the instruments. Having spent quite a bit of time on flight simulator learning how to use the instruments I initially found this a hard habit to crack but 80 flights later I've got it just about sussed. Now they've told me that I can only use the instruments and they make me wear a hood to stop me looking out of the window (see above). Yeap, I'm on to instrument flying and after a stressful start due to a very steep learning curve I'm now quite enjoying it.

As well as instrument flying in the aircraft we spend a lot of time on simulators. The FNPT2 (pictured) is a fairly high-tech piece of equipment with a 120 degree wrap around screen. The students flys these with an instuructor sat behind monitoring
progess via computer.

Finally, there are a couple of stand-alone simulators (FNPT1's) which students can use at any time. This is where I have spent a good portion of the last week learning to fly holding patterns and runway approaches.