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  #51  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:59 PM
Andy L is offline
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Originally Posted by Anglachel View Post
As a private (small plane) pilot, I cannot imagine anyone running into a situation like that enough while flying for it to become an instinct. Maybe the kid got that from simulators/games though.
He could have been joking, but he certainly didn't pick up anything from simulators - he was a WWII bomber pilot. Here's a rendition of the story http://fancyclopedia.org/hal-clement

"He once told friends that he had learned to fly before he learned to drive. After the war he was taking driving lessons in one of the dual control cars where the instructor also has a brake pedal. The car in front stopped abruptly and Harry's natural instinct was to step on the gas and pull back on the wheel to fly over it. Luckily, the instructor stopped the car."

Last edited by Andy L; 11-01-2019 at 02:59 PM.
  #52  
Old 11-01-2019, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
First, his son has been taking lessons over the course of a year. I've never heard of a person taking DRIVING lessons for a year.
However, the actual number of HOURS probably isn't all that different. A Part 61 training course for a private pilot's license in the US requires 40 hours of flight time; most people probably have 50-70 hours before they take the tests. Teen drivers in my state (Kansas) are required to have 50 hours of supervised driving before they can have an unrestricted license; most states have some similar requirement for young drivers, although exact details vary (and those learning to drive as an adult may have lower or no minimums). It's just that most people have a car in their driveway, but but not their own plane, so flying lessons get spread out over a longer period, perhaps an hour or two a week rather than multiple hours in a day.
  #53  
Old 11-01-2019, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy L View Post
He could have been joking, but he certainly didn't pick up anything from simulators - he was a WWII bomber pilot. Here's a rendition of the story http://fancyclopedia.org/hal-clement

"He once told friends that he had learned to fly before he learned to drive. After the war he was taking driving lessons in one of the dual control cars where the instructor also has a brake pedal. The car in front stopped abruptly and Harry's natural instinct was to step on the gas and pull back on the wheel to fly over it. Luckily, the instructor stopped the car."
That's a good story at least!
  #54  
Old 11-01-2019, 05:24 PM
Hari Seldon is offline
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My brother was a pilot, light planes only and I sat right seat on a number of flights. He was the kind who checked all the lists but still faced some hairy situations. The worst was when it suddenly clouded up below us and he wasn't instrumented rated. A hole opened up and he was able to spiral into it. He told me that he had to bank at 60 degrees which means we were under 2g acceleration.

One thing that was only briefly touched on was communication with ATC. Although I had earphones on and could listen in, I found it quite hard to understand the instructions. I suppose they are mostly boilerplate and you get used to them.

This morning we have 45 knot winds gusting to 60 and planes seemed to be landing normally (I live under the glide path about 4 km from the near end of the runway and enjoy watching the planes on final approach, wheels and flaps down), but I would have been scared to land a light plane under those conditions, but would not have hesitated one second over driving.
  #55  
Old 11-01-2019, 08:12 PM
Xema is offline
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Originally Posted by Hari Seldon View Post
One thing that was only briefly touched on was communication with ATC. Although I had earphones on and could listen in, I found it quite hard to understand the instructions. I suppose they are mostly boilerplate and you get used to them.
Yes.

Almost everyone is confused and a bit intimidated when first exposed to ATC comms. But, while they aren't quite boilerplate they do follow established forms in fairly predictable ways. With any sort of regular exposure, most pilots get used to them quickly.
  #56  
Old 11-01-2019, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by running coach View Post
When was the last time you landed a car?

The difficulty of landing, at least WRT most small planes, is greatly overestimated by many. When I was learning to fly, I was completely comfortable with the entire landing procedure on my own within a few hours of touch-and-go flight exercises. One day I was landing in a strong crosswind and it was just second nature to come down with the plane nicely banked into the wind, landing on one wheel before gently settling on the other, and it was only later that I thought, "hey, first time I did that -- that was pretty cool!". This was a Piper Cherokee and my understanding is that small Cessnas are even easier to handle. Conversely, the other night I was driving on the freeway on a pitch-black night in a pouring rainstorm, through a long construction zone with narrow lanes marked in orange paint which is practically invisible on a dark rainy night, with no shoulder and concrete barriers running right alongside the rightmost lane. That was far more stressful than any airplane landing I've ever made.
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Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
My father, who was a private pilot, pointed out that Flight Simulator was completely unrealistic. Light planes are designed to be hard to crash, but the software made the slightest error into a disaster.

So it would be easier IRL than in the simulation.
That was my experience, too, but I think it's a combination of interface and the way that some aircraft are (poorly) simulated. I found it relatively easy with a good well-calibrated joystick (you can't fly a plane very well with a keyboard and/or mouse) and the right plane. My favorite was the DC-3, a very nicely done user-provided add-on to an older version of Microsoft Flight Simulator. I once loaded it up with "unlimited fuel" and flew in real time from Toronto to London Heathrow. It took a while (I let the autopilot do a lot of the work), but it was pretty cool finally seeing distant lights and being more or less on track -- I felt like Charles Lindbergh!
  #57  
Old 11-01-2019, 09:46 PM
Magiver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anglachel View Post
As a private (small plane) pilot, I cannot imagine anyone running into a situation like that enough while flying for it to become an instinct. Maybe the kid got that from simulators/games though.
I once got hit by a heavy crosswind in a car and applied left rudder to compensate. The driver behind me was not amused.
  #58  
Old 11-03-2019, 12:07 AM
Melbourne is offline
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Originally Posted by RickJay View Post
.
I believe his son is telling the truth, but consider some of the implications of these sentences. First, his son has been taking lessons over the course of a year. I've never heard of a person taking DRIVING lessons for a year.
Yes, plenty of people take driving lessons for a year. Me for example.

For the rest of us I think it's partly a question of how much experience you've had in related activities: I could drive a (manual shift) truck before I could drive a motorcycle, and a motorcycle before I could drive an automatic car. I was used to riding in a truck, I already knew how they behaved long before I started driving. I couldn't handle the car partly because it was so similar but different to the truck.

I too have heard the story about trying to pull up when the car in front slows, but in my case from someone I've met, not a WWII vet.

And from a flying school where my boss flew 30 years ago, the girl who was told that she was wasting her time trying to learn to fly. She was upset, partly because her driving instructor had just told her pretty much the same thing...
  #59  
Old 11-04-2019, 06:25 AM
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Here's one of my favorite YouTubers, Mentour Pilot, an airline pilot and 737 flight instructor, explaining what a civilian with no flying experience should do to land a 737 NG (using autoland).

(That technology would sure take a lot of the excitement out of the movies and TV shows whose plot centers on a novice having to land a plane!)

Last edited by commasense; 11-04-2019 at 06:26 AM.
  #60  
Old 11-08-2019, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
My father, who was a private pilot, pointed out that Flight Simulator was completely unrealistic. Light planes are designed to be hard to crash, but the software made the slightest error into a disaster.

So it would be easier IRL than in the simulation.
Yes. My dad's take on flight sims is that you really don't have a feeling for what's going on because the visibility "out the window" in the simulations was so lacking and the controls so unrealistic. The newer sims are getting a lot better in this regard tho.

My mom, who also was a pilot, didn't want me developing "bad habits" from my time flying flight sims, assuming I was also going to go for my real pilot's license someday. She needn't have worried: I didn't get my license anyway, having run out of time / money and later on, interest.
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