The idea of using Foggles is to simulate flying through clouds or flying to where you can’t look out your windshield. Regular everyday private flying is done following VFR (Visual Flight Rules). This is where you are focused looking outside and just glancing at your instruments every five or six seconds. When using Foggles, flying at night or flying through clouds is where you’ll use IFR primarily. IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) is understanding how to fly by your instruments. Learning to fly using your instruments is very important when learning to fly in general because it gains your skills of what the instruments are doing and how to use them effectively to get you where you want to go. VFR flying, which is most common, is looking outside your window and using reference points to get you where you are going as well as to keep you from crashing.
When learning to fly with IFR, you need to pay attention to the “six-pack instruments.” The six-pack instruments are the primary six instruments you’ll be using. On top of the primary six is the magnetic compass. These are: (all borrowed from Wikipedia)
The altimeter shows the aircraft’s height above sea-level by measuring the difference between the pressure in a stack of aneroid capsules inside the altimeter and the atmospheric pressure obtained through the static system. It is adjustable for local barometric pressure which must be set correctly to obtain accurate altitude readings. As the aircraft ascends, the capsules expand as the static pressure drops therefore causing the altimeter to indicate a higher altitude. The opposite occurs when descending.
The attitude indicator (also known as an artificial horizon) shows the aircraft’s attitude relative to the horizon. From this the pilot can tell whether the wings are level and if the aircraft nose is pointing above or below the horizon. This is a primary instrument for instrument flight and is also useful in conditions of poor visibility. Pilots are trained to use other instruments in combination should this instrument or its power fail.
The airspeed indicator shows the aircraft’s speed (usually in knots ) relative to the surrounding air. It works by measuring the ram-air pressure in the aircraft’s pitot tube. The indicated airspeed must be corrected for air density (which varies with altitude, temperature and humidity) in order to obtain the true airspeed, and for wind conditions in order to obtain the speed over the ground.
The heading indicator (also known as the directional gyro, or DG; sometimes also called the gyrocompass, though usually not in aviation applications) displays the aircraft’s heading with respect to geographical north. Principle of operation is a spinning gyroscope, and is therefore subject to drift errors (called precession) which must be periodically corrected by calibrating the instrument to the magnetic compass. In many advanced aircraft (including almost all jet aircraft), the heading indicator is replaced by a Horizontal Situation Indicator (HSI) which provides the same heading information, but also assists with navigation
The turn indicator displays direction of turn and rate of turn. Internally mounted inclinometer displays ‘quality’ of turn, i.e. whether the turn is correctly coordinated, as opposed to an uncoordinated turn, wherein the aircraft would be in either a slip or a skid. The original turn and bank indicator was replaced in the late 1960s and early ’70s by the newer turn coordinator, which is responsive to roll as well as rate of turn, the turn and bank is typically only seen in aircraft manufactured prior to that time, or in gliders manufactured in Europe.
The VSI (also sometimes called a variometer). Senses changing air pressure, and displays that information to the pilot as a rate of climb or descent in feet per minute, meters per second or knots.
The compass shows the aircraft’s heading relative to magnetic north. While reliable in steady level flight it can give confusing indications when turning, climbing, descending, or accelerating due to the inclination of the Earth’s magnetic field. For this reason, the heading indicator is also used for aircraft operation. For purposes of navigation it may be necessary to correct the direction indicated (which points to a magnetic pole) in order to obtain direction of true north or south (which points to the Earth’s axis of rotation).
Back to Foggles
All in all, whatever set of Foggles you decide to go with, just make sure to use them effectively.
Up In The Air
Flying today was pretty interesting. I flew for about .4 hours (24 minutes) using the Foggles after taking off. Following this, James and I flew to the Aurora Airport for some more landing training. On top of landing, I spent some time working on flight patterns at the airport. I feel much more comfortable with my pattern flights (however my crosswind to downwind turns tend to cause me to elevate…which I need to stop!), but my landings still need a lot of work I feel. Though I’m getting a better understanding of landing, it still isn’t the easiest and will take more practice. On top of this, my take offs are going great as I’m getting much better with my rudder control down the runway.
Overall, yesterday’s lesson was a lot of fun and difficult, but I’m getting a much stronger grasp of all the different concepts.
One thing I really need to work on is my scheduling. Though I’m getting a great amount of time flying, I feel I’m not spending enough time with my studying. This is something I really want to work on since it is very important.
Total Flight Time: 9.2 Hours
Total Ground Time: 3.2 Hours
Total IFR Time: 0.4 Hours
September 22, 2010 / Jason /
Categories: Private Pilot Completion
- Total Flight Time: 218.5 Hours
- Pilot In Command Time: 125.7 Hours
- Solo Time: 100.8 Hours
- >50NM Cross Country Time: 60.5 Hours
- >50NM Cross Country Time (Solo): 27.8 Hours
- Night Time: 7.1 Hours
- Simulated Instrument Time: 4.8 Hours
- Landings (Day/Night): 521 (499/22)
- Flight Training Received: 92.8 Hours
- Ground Training Received: 30.8 Hours