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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 2:33 pm 
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The title says it all, really...

Here I am, sitting in my shiny new office, polishing the newly minted key to the executive washroom, and thinking "Hey, I'd better get some work done, sometime!"

So, before I head out to the Golf Course this afternoon, I thought I would solicit the opinions of our membership!

What do you want from the Academy?

We have a basic framework already set up and posted - please review and comment on this (on here or in private if you would prefer).

Are there any additions you would like to see?

Other areas of the online flying world you would like to see covered? (we already have Frank standing by to help with FSinn issues - many thanks!)

I have my own ideas - would like to see yours before I start to implement things.

Many thanks in advance,

Rich.

[Now, when is that secretary I requisitioned starting?]



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PostPosted: Mon May 05, 2008 2:41 pm 
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Pooley's Thread From General Discussion

Just to link this valuable info in here...continue the discussion




Edited By CVA1409 on 1209998546



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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 5:41 am 
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To briefly summarize and add to my previous discussion:

As a novice pilot, I can do a lot of the basics fine: hold a steady heading/altitude and understand some of the more complex IFR approach techniques as well as am familiar with some complex procedures.

However, I am far from being a 'by the book' simmer and knowing how to hold, execute complex atc requests and rely far too much on the autopilot until I'm established on short final. Despite the practice with these things in the in-game tutorials, its a whole different beast when you're scrambling to comply to a controllers request and you have a lot on your mind. I think mainly what I'm looking for in the Academy is USEFUL resources and PERSONAL guidance from an instructor in getting practice with complex procedures and even learning new ones I didn't know existed in the first place. Hope that helps Richard!



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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 3:07 am 

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I want to pipe in here - even though I'm not offernig a training solution.

I've gota tell you this.. I started seriously flying FS online in 1999 with CVA. In those days, there was very limited autopilot, we were all on FS9. FMS FMC were not available, except throught the old SB module.

I learned more about flying and navigation during that time than any other period. VOR's and radials were the only guidence. Heck, you were lucky to somehow locate a fix like BOOTH ( a major fix for arrivals into CYVR).

I remember flying many many flights with Mr Wegner in those days. I think the thing that motivated us the most was being able to brag to the other about being able to fly a proceedure like the pro's - we had to do it with VOR radials and such.

Even today, I know Ben prefers to fly vor radials and jetways without the help of a FMC - that's why you see so many local flights for him.

Practicaly, longer haul flights without an FMC is really a drag. The constant monitoring of vor's and radials just wears you down. I myself prefer using an FMC.

But saying all that, I know that both Ben and I have aquired the skills to fly into ANY airport in the world without the help of a FMC. My point is this: In the last few weeks there have been numerous posts about starting out with commuter aircraft at CVA and building their hours up to fly the big iron.

I can say that those hours on the commuter aircraft are invaluable to learing how to fly "manually" without the help of the FMC. Learn how to track radials with vor navs, learn the tracking techniques to a NDB, learn how to fly those 10nm radial approaches without the FMC.

You will find that once you CLEARLY understand how to do these proceedures manually, you will be able to FULLY UNDERSTAND the functions of th FMC and how it works.

I REALLY CAN'T STRESS THIS POINT ENOUGH - START YOUR FLIGHT SIM EXPERIENCE BY LEARNING HOW TO NAVIGATE WITHOUT GPS AND FMC. YOU REALLY WILL LEARN FAR MORE AND THOSE "COMPLICATED ATC INSTRUCTION" WILL BECOME A SIMPLE ROUTINE.

<<<<<<<<<CVA222 steps off of the soap box>>>>>>>>>>>


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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 11:31 am 
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Hear. Hear.

I also learned that way, although not to the level of expertise that Bob and Ben and many others have.

If I may offer a suggestion, perhaps an accreditation from CVA that recognises having passed a test in VOR nav would be nice, espicially if it was offered at the lower levels of hours in small a/c (which normally don't have FMC anyway). It could be a written test, or it could be a video flying test, or it could be an online copilot test these days!

By the way, maybe the LA ARTCC accreditation and training could be made use of too? I've never looked at it, but....



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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 1:06 pm 
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I would like to see the present academy that Ken G made, expanded to include a check ride. This can be done by recording a video in FS and sent in to the Academy department for grading. Once the member has passed the check ride the member can earn a badge for the lesson. Also note this should not be mandatory or this VA. I believe it keeping this place fun and I only would like to give a challenge to those who like to collect awards. Of course the present requirement in hours flown would stand, so as to develop the simmer before he can go to the bigger machines. The academy idea would be used as an opportunity to flash your experience to other fellow simmers for all the hard work and effort he puts into his sim experience.



Edited By CVA9214 on 1210165727



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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 1:13 pm 
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Thanks for the replies guys.

Your feedback is great, as it aligns with my thinking. So here is my thoughts:

I would like to concentrate on training the procedures and techniques for flying on Vatsim. The material we have on individual aircraft operation is great, and will be utilised - but I want to enhance it by developing practical training modules to teach the skills we need to fly every day, regardless of aircraft.

A rough outline (and feel free to comment, PLEASE!)

1) New pilots come in with some kind of flying skill, based on the FS flying lessons - take this as a real-life PPL. I'm not interested in teaching the basics - I feel pilots should be able to fly patterns in a samll GA aircraft, hold altitude, headings etc.. if they cannt - we'll be supportive, but guide them back to the FS lessons.

2) The new modules are based on set tasks, and live ATC support (which is where I come in - and any other certified ATC we have (he hints not so subtlely). The emphasis will be on VATSIM procedures, ATC procedures. Get the new member comfortable connecting to, listening to and interacting with ATC, and used to listening to and complying with the instructions.

The syllabus will contain something like this:

A) Initially, provide some software support - in setting up the system to properly interact with ATC

B) VFR work. GA airdraft. Use a training field, not CYYZ! CYXU, or CYKZ come to mind. Start with pattern work, then airport to airport, Class C transitions (CYTZ-CYKZ, or similar). Would be great to get several students all together, then we can run a real VFR pattern!

Goal: Simple introduction to ATC (giving tower & GND services), and build confidence in visual operations and approaches)

C) Simple IFR. Still GA aircraft. Practice ILS approaches at a satellite airfield. Then cross-country, VOR navigation, ending in ILS approaches. We can then get into cross country, ending in visual approaches.

D) More advanced IFR. Still GA aircraft. Non-precision approaches. NDB, Localiser, ARCs, contact approaches, full procedure approaches etc.... Uncontrolled fields, cancelling IFR etc...


At this point, the students will be fully conversant with all of the options for ending an IFR flight - including cancelling IFR and landing VFR, pop-up IFR clearance etc..

E) ATP IFR. At last, we get into larger aircraft, and move to CYYZ.. Here we cover SIDs, STARs, route planning, holds, missed approaches, reroutes and (shock-horror) Visual approaches (This time is Big A/C).


Of course, as I stated earlier, we will still provide company procedures for the fleet we fly, and training and guidance in flying (and installing!) these aircraft, but my thinking is we can get much more benefit over concentrating on the flight procedures that impact the rest of the network, rather than detailed procedures of flying each aircraft. It is a pre-requisite that you can control your aircraft - fly headings, speeds, altitudes as assigned.

I'm not going to mind which specific aircraft is flown for each module - as long as it is capable of the performance required (some will be long distance, so bigger/faster a/c required. Some procedures will require specific equipment etc..)

And yes - this is very much a copy of the KZLA pilot rating scheme, which I rate highly. The reason I don't just want ot send our pilots there is that there are different ATC procedures in the US to Canada - and for a new pilot this could be confusing. So my idea is train up here, then after, send down to KZLA for the US version, then we end up bi-lingual (or tri-lingual for the francophones among us!)


Now, the bad part - this will take some time to set up, so please bear with me. However, if anyoen is online and requires help - give me a shout. I'm always willing to go thorugh specific items on the fly.

Remember, CYYZ_DEP (or APP) covers CYTZ and CYKZ tower positions, so we can do basic work as well as controlling the CYYZ traffic.

Comments, suggestions welcome!



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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 1:18 pm 
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CVA9214 wrote:
I would like to see the present academy that Ken G made, expanded to include a check ride. This can be done by recording a video in FS and sent in to the Academy department for grading. Once the member has passed the check ride the member can earn a badge for the lesson. Also note this should not be mandatory or this VA. I believe it keeping this place fun and I only would like to give a challenge to those who like to collect awards. Of course the present requirement in hours flown would stand, so as to develop the simmer before he can go to the bigger machines. The academy idea would be used as an opportunity to flash your experience to other fellow simmers for all the hard work and effort he puts into his sim experience.

Forgot to mention -- and a good reminder -- This will be a non-mandatory scheme. As Frank said, we want this to be fun! I don't want to get into analysing touchdown points, rate of descent at touchdown etc etc... but I am interested in altitudes, speeds, compliance with published procedures and actually landing on the right runway, and stopping on it (and not ending up in a river in BC.......ahem).

I'm nto sure if recorded checkrides will be the way we go, or more online, live check rides administered by ATC - but either way, there will be recognition for the level achieved, and nice shiny virtual badges (If I can get someone to code those for me!). I know they work for me.



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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 1:24 pm 
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well said Richard.



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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 4:54 pm 
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Love it Richard! That pretty much is exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for. I don't want to be taught the basics as you say as there are good enough instructions in the FS tutorials for those. Bob, excellent point as well. I know as a new pilot to the FS world, I rely FAR too heavily on the autopilot. I would suggest perhaps Richard (and maybe you already meant this for your lessons) that up until the complex IFR approaches that use of autopilot be forbidden in training exercises.

I would love to say that I can navigate VOR to VOR without an autopilot (which was covered in basic FS lessons, but I just havn't bothered to do it when I have an autopilot at my hands) but I can certaintly see an FMS coming in handy on long cross country flights!

Another small caviot to the starting small ideal...I may be starting with a FMC-less aircraft however I still use autopilot and GPS...perhaps a recomendation should be added to class one to avoid GPS and autopilot?



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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 6:04 pm 
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pooley wrote:
Love it Richard! That pretty much is exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for. I don't want to be taught the basics as you say as there are good enough instructions in the FS tutorials for those. Bob, excellent point as well. I know as a new pilot to the FS world, I rely FAR too heavily on the autopilot. I would suggest perhaps Richard (and maybe you already meant this for your lessons) that up until the complex IFR approaches that use of autopilot be forbidden in training exercises.

I would love to say that I can navigate VOR to VOR without an autopilot (which was covered in basic FS lessons, but I just havn't bothered to do it when I have an autopilot at my hands) but I can certaintly see an FMS coming in handy on long cross country flights!

Another small caviot to the starting small ideal...I may be starting with a FMC-less aircraft however I still use autopilot and GPS...perhaps a recomendation should be added to class one to avoid GPS and autopilot?

An interesting discussion --- on one hadn I don't want to limit what Pilot Aids the Pilto chosses to loose - from an ATC standpoint we like to see heading/altitude/speed, and don't care how that is achieved.

From a learning point of view, I would like to encourage VOR proficiency - hopefully if I can work the details out, there will be points in certain modules that one cannot program into an FMC. (Visual approaches come to mind..)

But at the end of the day it will be Pilot's choice.. I'm not going to insist on hand flying a STAR - even though with some of these it is possible, and for some an interesting excercise in Nav radio setting and radial interception......


Basically, I want CVA to Pilots to be free of the common FMC errors -- being cleared direct to a fix, yet turning to intercept the original course to that fix (common with FS9 GPS and VasFMC), wrong turns because "my FMC did it" and worse of all (which I have never seen from CVA) "Emergency, my FMC stopped working".



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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 6:57 pm 
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Sounds good Richard, I wouldn't consider flying a STAR or SID myslef by hand, but I like to know that if my instruments stopped working I could still get down safely! Perhaps adding to lessons that it is suitable to do so something like "for an extra challenge, try without using autopilot" or "Autopilot is optional for this exercise" something along those lines.



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PostPosted: Wed May 07, 2008 11:53 pm 
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Ha - I used to ONLY fly STARs by hand, because I didn't know how to program an FMC! Then I got caught with ATC online and he asked me why I didn't make that turn correctly. I had to fess up.

By the way, does everyone remember that there is a little CVA test online somewhere that allows you to get your silver wings in the PIREP area?

Off to Calgary for a few days. See you all when I get back. Have a nice multi.



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