Sunday, October 10, 2010
Basic Instruments 101
Ah… Basic Instruments. Not called Basic because they are any less sophisticated than any other instruments, but basic because we are learning to fly using only instruments (no outside references) at a “basic level.” Basically (no puns) the student shows up at the appropriate time, and sits in a cubicle waiting for a civilian instructor to come and start the brief off. Most of the civilian instructors have been around for a long time. I mean FOREVER. A couple might have even had a hand in inventing the helicopter. Anyways, the brief normally isn’t too hard or painful… which makes sense. This is “basic” instruments. On to the simulator you go (after the instructor gets another cup of coffee and a pee break) and you strap into that metal box. It is actually a really cool simulator, and makes me wish I had millions to spend on a large video game that doesn’t take quarters. The instructor sits in the copilot seat for these sims (the left seat) and gives you some instruction on how to complete the maneuvers. Most of the maneuvers involve changing an altitude, airspeed, heading, or a combination of the three. The degree of how accurate you execute the maneuver is how you are graded. (Think flying in the clouds, no visual horizon, only flying using the instruments in front of you.) BI sims get repetitive, and some of the instructors are… let’s just say not everyone’s favorite. But mastering a few of the maneuvers here is supposed to increase your instrument scan, and make you a better pilot. Enjoy the pics, more to come!