No more IPCs for me...

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by smv, Jan 31, 2020.

  1. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    I no longer have any excuse to not stay instrument current. Not owning an airplane and having limited reasonable access to rentals, it has been difficult staying current.

    In the last two days I have done eight approaches.

    Steam Gauges Panel w/"G530":
    LDA 26L - PHNL (I have actually done this one "IRL" in a C182 at night during my training. Quite the challenge with the trade winds blowing. 26L appeared off my left wing when the foggles came off)
    LOC BC 13 - KMOT
    ILS 30 - KLGB
    VOR/DME 15 - KMTN (VOR only, no GPS)
    VOR 13 - KMTJ - (VOR only, no GPS)
    RNAV (GPS) 11 - PAKT to LPV minimums

    "G1000" Panel:
    NDB-A - KEYW
    ILS 6L - PGUM (Had to do my first approach on my new t̶o̶y̶ tool back here where I got my pilot license so many years ago... :))

    20200130_150719.jpg
    20200201_111720.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
  2. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    6,668
    Location:
    Wichita, KS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    MauleSkinner
    I’d still recommend regular IPCs...bad habits creep in pretty easily, and an extra set of eyes is good.
     
  3. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    3,105
    Location:
    KLAF
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    455 Bravo Uniform
    Very cool. You can do multiple loggable flights and approaches every day of the week, right?!

    If you could, after the next time you fly in IMC I would like to have your thoughts on how proficient you felt after all of the currency work on this sim.

    It seems very cost effective and efficient for currency. If it gave some amount of proficiency that you could actually discern, that would be a bonus.
     
  4. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    I am slowly working my way back up to the point where I can competently start exercising the privileges of my CFI-I. After five years of doing little more than the three hours required for primary students, I was a little rusty during my last IPC.

    I plan on using my FR to keep me on track and up to speed on the latest developments. As a freelance, it can be difficult to keep abreast on the latest "trends". ;)
     
    denverpilot likes this.
  5. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    As many as I can stand.... :D

    Eventually it will come out in the wash... A sim with a QAG and LOA is not cheap. Toss in "Complex/High Performace" and the interchangable panels to swap between Steam and a "G1000" and it about doubles the cost.

    Funny side story - When I first told my wife of my plan to buy a basic bare-bones sim, her first question was "What will it do for you?" Her second question was "Are you sure that is the one you need? Is there a better one that will be more capable for you in the future?"

    Yah... She is a keeper. :p
     
  6. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    Ok... I just ran the numbers. A quick search on the interwebs shows me the cost to rent a C182RG wet ranges bewtween $180 and $325. There may be cheaper or more expensive ones available and I did not check if any of them were G1000 birds.

    Based on those costs, in order to fly the roughly 11 hours Hobbs time I have used my sim the last three days, it would have cost me between $2,000 and $3,600. That is if I did not take a CFI-I along. This also does not take into account the fact that most of the approaches I did in the sim were started between 5 and 20 miles from the IAF and I did not "fly" out there just running the Hobbs to get there. Some of that 11 hours was spent getting familiar with the sim and not all of the approaches I did were logged. In the future my time will be a lot more efficient.

    Not to mention the vastly wide array of approaches I did that would not normally be available to me around here.

    Yah... I think I made the right choice.

    :)
     
    denverpilot likes this.
  7. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,565
    Location:
    Hipsterdelphia PDX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mike Brannigan
    Is there a certification requirement for that equipment? Seems like a pretty great thing to leaseback to a flying club or willing FBO if it's legal to log, even solo.
     
  8. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv

    Absolutely.... The average off-the-shelf sim will not have a Letter of Authoriztion (LOA).

    https://simulators.redbirdflight.com/certification/faa

    So long as I keep a copy of the LOA and Qualification and Approval Guide (QAG) readily available to anyone who uses the sim, Redbird renews the LOA every five years, and I fly the approaches in "simulated instrument conditions" (IE zero vis) all the way to the DH/MAP, I can log "Simulated Instrument" time and all of the approaches as if they were done VFR in an airplane under the hood with a Safety Pilot or in actual IMC.

    Being a Basic Aviation Training Device (BATD) you cannot log PIC, "Flght" Time, takeoffs and landings, or anything else you normally find in your logbook.... Just Sim Inst and Approaches.

    When I first started looking at these I discussed the leaseback option with a local flight school but they wanted to retain 100% control and ownership. Just as well anyway. This morning I did three ILS approaches in my robe and slippers and never even left my living room. :)

    Did not have to worry about getting on the schedule. Did not have to warm up my truck (it was 8°F when I got up). Did not have to drive to the FBO through the new snow that fell last night...
     
    Jim F, denverpilot and schmookeeg like this.
  9. Jim F

    Jim F Filing Flight Plan

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jim
    Wow! Very nice. I am also considering acquiring a BATD simulator for the same reasons, namely currency and more importantly proficiency. I am planning on looking at some of the simulator options at Sun and Fun.

    Looks like yours is the Redbird TD2?
    How is Redbird to work with?
    Did you look at other options?
    Any other thoughts or recommendations?

    Congratulations on your commitment to proficiency.
     
  10. Brad W

    Brad W Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2019
    Messages:
    330
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    BLW2
    i love that idea.... how nice it would be. Could be an interesting way to knock off my rust.
    I remember about 16 or 17 years ago the flight school I was renting from at the time had a similar rig you could fly dual with an instructor. That thing always frustrated me because the thing, though configured to simulate something...say a C172....actually acted a bit different....power setting to performance I mean. Also the switch layout etc was very non-standard. Looks like these newer ones have the garmin button layout and such, so that's a huge improvement.
    My problem (beyond the budget thing, and how much these sims cost) is being an aircraft renter. Different planes have different set-ups so it would hardly make sense to for example have the g1000 set-up if nothing I have has a g1000 panel.
     
  11. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2018
    Messages:
    1,672
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Juliet Hotel
    Cessna ceased production of the C182 RG in 1986. The G1000 panels didn't come along until MUCH later. Out of curiosity, why are you basing your numbers on rental of retractable 182? A practice approach is a practice approach as far as your logbook goes. A pilot who does all their practice approaches in a rented C150 is legally speaking just as IFR current as one who does all practice approaches in a 747.
     
  12. TheGolfPilot

    TheGolfPilot Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2015
    Messages:
    773
    Location:
    Modesto, CA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Golfpilot
    I have used these redbirds in the past. As an IPC "cheat" it is dandy. But I think my X-plane 11 setup at home with just a logitech joystick is a better, simpler, more practicle setup for "practice" I fly 400+ hours a year though so meeting the minimum requirements is very rarely an issue. If it were I'd go fly with a friend in my Archer. I generally like to practice lost vacuum approaches at home. I had an actual failure just a couple weeks ago and I believe it was my sim practice that made it a total non event. Passenger didn't even know there was an issue.
     
  13. tsts4

    tsts4 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,001
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Auburntsts
    I bought a Redbird TD back in September and love it. Redbird was great to work with both on the purchase and helping me get it setup up once it arrived. For me the decision really wasn’t so much about cost as I own a plane, but rather time and weather. Here in FL flyable IMC is hard to come by and trying to match my schedule with a safety pilot and sometimes even a CFII to keep current much less proficient just wasn’t working. Now with my own BATD it’s a non-issue.
     
    denverpilot likes this.
  14. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    3,105
    Location:
    KLAF
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    455 Bravo Uniform
    This is for meeting the legal requirement. There is no good or bad way to meet a legal requirement. Either you do or you don’t.

    Sure, we can argue that 6 approaches in actual to mins is better than 6 above mins which is better than 6 under hood, which is better than 6 in a sim.

    But in the end, 6 is a legal requirement and it’s questionable whether how you get those 6 to stay legal makes one person any more proficient to be incrementally and measurably safer on a future flight. That’s why currency does not mean proficiency. But sure, I’d rather have all 6 of mine in actual down to mins.

    Now with a tool like this home simulator, a new question arises. You can use it to meet the minimum legal requirement. But because the cost of each additional approach costs zero dollars, you can now exceed the 6 by ten or one-hundred fold. Now then the question becomes can you also increase proficiency, whereby 6 actual to mins (or any other legal 6 in an actual fuel burning aluminum tube) is not as good as 60 flights in this certified home sim. That’s why I asked our OP to report back the next time he’s flown actual to help the rest of us understand if this is worth a try.

    I’m sure some of the airlines guys can comment because they learn and refresh on sims, but those units are usually closer to the switches, panels, and feel/motion of the real deal. So maybe not apples to apples. Plus they fly a lot more than most of us, so not fair to compare.
     
  15. tsts4

    tsts4 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,001
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Auburntsts
    Not the OP, but using the Sim has definitely helped me flying the real thing. My scan is better as is my overall CRM. While I’ll agree that there’s no substitute for the real thing, IMO using a BATD at home is way better than just getting by with 6HITs every 6-12 months under the hood. Not all of us are lucky to have flyable IMC on a routine basis. So although expensive, it has been worth every penny for me. YMMV.....
     
  16. sarangan

    sarangan Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    791
    Location:
    Dayton, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Andrew Sarangan, CFII
    Could you share what it costs to set this up?
     
  17. tsts4

    tsts4 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,001
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Auburntsts
    the Redbirds start at $7k and go up from there. FLYTHISSIM is a few K cheaper but the reviews online aren’t good. When I was shopping I couldn’t get them to return an email or call so I opted for the next least expensive option which was the Redbird TD.
     
  18. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    3,105
    Location:
    KLAF
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    455 Bravo Uniform
    Is it correct that the company needs to come to your location to set it up so that’s its certified?

    Also, what happens at the end of the 5 years?
     
  19. tsts4

    tsts4 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,001
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Auburntsts
    No, the company doesn’t need to set it up, at least not for the TDs. Don’t know about after the 5 years but I’m hoping the Redbird will receive a new LOA that will be made available to us.
     
  20. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    Yes. TD2. High Performance and Complex. I also got the "Steam Gauges" panel. (see below)

    Absolutely fantastic. I have been on the fence with this for several months. Alex (the salesman) has been very patient answering my questions and playing the "What if?" games with price quotes. Prime example of their dedication to cutomer support: SWMBO decided I also needed their custom table that is designed to handle the weight of the sim but still keep everything in a compact package. It is not cheap but convienience and compatibility were important. Somehow the table got shipped with a piece missing. Since UPS did not deliver it until well after Redbird's support line was closed for the night, it was not until the next morning that I was able to contact them. Early the next morning I had an entirely new table at my front door with instructions to do whatever I wanted with the original. They shipped across the country Next Day Air a 65lb box and did not blink an eye. THAT was not cheap for them...

    I also had a performance issue that I caused by connecting to the wrong video port on the computer (onboard vs add-on video card). I called in, answered by a human, and immediately transferred to Rick in tech support who got me up and running and took the opportunity to poke around in my settings to make certain everything was setup correctly.

    I did look at another, I do not recall who, but as I recall they were more expensive.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2020
    denverpilot likes this.
  21. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    Yup... My first "ATD" time was logged in an ATC610. It was nothing more than an reduced scale panel. No video whatsoever. Just knobs, buttons, and a yoke. Things have come a LONG way since then.

    The positions of each of the individual radios might be in different places, but the knob on each of the devices will be in the same relative place. A KAP AP buttons will be in the same place ever time. As will the instrument in the 6-Pack. (See my pic above)
     
    denverpilot likes this.
  22. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    No "cheat" about it...

    Your X-Plane setup with a joystick will certainly be suitable for practicing procedures. The biggest difference between home-brew simulators and those with an LOA is the tactile experience and muscle memory. I have actual physical knobs and buttons on my screen that I reach out to push or twist, exactly like I do when flying a real airplane.

    20200201_114339.jpg 20200201_114420.jpg
     
    Jim_CAK, denverpilot and Skyrys62 like this.
  23. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2017
    Messages:
    2,734
    Location:
    KY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Meet the Fokkers
    I have a few hours on the TD2 at a local airport. They lease it from a doctor who owns it.
    I also have X-Plane/3 monitor set up. Honestly, I don't see a lot of difference in them other than the controls are better on the TD2. (I haven't put much money into mine).
    If I were to add the better controls, the only benefit at that point would be log-able time.
    I'll fog everything out at 200ft-700ft depending on my mood and practice with the Garmin 530W/approach plates on the iPad, etc. I have FlyQ connected to X-Plane and it overlays the plates which is cool. Definitely less overwhelming when in the actual plane working with a 530.....

    ..and if you can trim a sim, you can trim anything!

    My first IMC flight I ever did on the sim, I was at 1200ft in the soup, and decided I would mess with the 530W. About 15-20 seconds later I hit the ground at high speed.
    I sat there a few seconds and said to myself "no fu**ing way"
    Total eye opener. It's never happened since...and taught me what I feel is the most important first lesson: how quickly it can go wrong.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2020
  24. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    I have been away from the IFR game on a regular basis for some time. I only barely managed to be able to stay legal. Although I have done a couple approaches in recent years to actual minimums, I just was not able to do it often enough to stay comfortable, let alone proficient.

    With the 20 or so approaches I have done in the last few days I can already feel the rust being knocked off.

    One of the requirements set forth by the FAA to be able to log an approch in an ATD is that the approach must take place in simulated IMC all the way to minimums. As such, the weather is set to Overcast to the DH/MAP for each approach I conduct. One of the greatest things about using the sim for approaches is eliminating all of the "unecessary" Hobbs time. Within five minutes of deciding I want to conduct an approach I can be head down in the clouds tuning a radial.

    I can also conduct approaches that I will never be able to conduct in real life. The RNAV-F approach into Queensland, NZ for example. I did that one three times yesterday. I did not log it, but I sure enjoyed it! :)
     
    Skyrys62 likes this.
  25. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    Why the 182RG? Good question.

    Of all the High Performace Complex airplanes in my logbook, the 182RG has the most hours. The TD2 simulates the HP/C airplane with all the knobs and levers. The flight profile and performance is based on the 182RG (when using the G1000 panel, the MFD even shows picture of a 182RG and confirms that is the profile you want it to use).

    So when comparing the operating expenses of the sim as compared to an actual, it only makes sense to compare apples to apples... :)
     
  26. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    An AATD needs installaton and certification. A BATD does not need installation and certification. The TD/TD2 is a BATD. All that is required is to follow the QAG to the letter (no additional software installed, only using the hardware designed for the system, etc).

    Some time prior to the end of the 5-year period, Redbird will reapply with the FAA for a new LOA (as they have done in the past) and things will continue as usual.
     
    denverpilot likes this.
  27. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,565
    Location:
    Hipsterdelphia PDX
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mike Brannigan
    Amen. I will never believe that the FRASCA is not an instrument of satan. :D
     
    Skyrys62 and denverpilot like this.
  28. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2015
    Messages:
    3,105
    Location:
    KLAF
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    455 Bravo Uniform
    So the 5 years is based on Redbird’s cert date, not the install, correct? If so, do you remember when it expires? I reached out by email to Redbird this afternoon to ask more questions. Thanks again for sharing guys.
     
  29. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    Standby for sticker shock. :confused:

    Here was my final quote. Note that they were running a special that expired 03 Jan for free rudder pedals (required under the LOA/QAG) so the current price would be $549 more.

    The RealNav subscription is not necessary for loggable approaches. The salesman even suggested that I need not renew the subscription unless I want to ensure the data stays current for real-world operations. For example, if minimums change or frequencies change (or airports go away like KISN) then the updates will change that but not having a current update does not invalidate the LOA/QAG.

    This is why I ran the numbers compared to flying a comperable real aircraft for the hours I have use it so far. :)

    Screenshot_20200201-122242_Adobe Acrobat.jpg
     
    Jim_CAK likes this.
  30. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    The current LOA (attached here) was issued in Oct 2018 and expires 31 Oct 2023. This was a renewal of the previous one that was issued in 2014.
     

    Attached Files:

  31. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    Alex DeBlaze was the guy I worked with. Here is his contact info: Alex DeBlaze <adeblaze@redbirdflight.com>
     
  32. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    An additional benefit is that you can link your sim to your Redbird account. When you are done with your session, the sim uploads the specifics from your flight and from there you can transfer it to CloudAhoy and debrief it as if it were an actual GPS tracked flight. If you have an apple device, you can use a BadElf GPS to send fake GPS signals to your device and use it for SA like you would in the cockpit. I do not have an apple device.

    Here you can see where I turned in a little early off the arc, did not track precisely on the inbound, and broke out before the 10 DME on the inbound and setup for a landing on RWY15.

    This particular approach (VOR-A into KBTM) has killed more than one person forgetting to make the turn outbound. I have done this one in VMC under the hood in a DA42 and even then it was a little spooky heading directly toward that mountain before the turn then passing closely over the hill on the outbound..

    Screenshot_20200201-131201_Firefox.jpg
     
    denverpilot likes this.
  33. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2014
    Messages:
    491
    Location:
    KBIS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    KaiGywer
    You mentioned both KMOT and KISN. Are you from ND?
     
  34. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    I have been known to frequent the area... ;)
     
    KaiGywer likes this.
  35. RingLaserGyroSandwich

    RingLaserGyroSandwich Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Messages:
    153
    Location:
    Annapolis
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    RingLaserGyroSandwich
    I am very close to getting a Redbird BATD or similar right now :)
     
    smv likes this.
  36. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    Really enjoying mine. Been doing a LOT of non-GPS assisted approaches. Going back to basics with VHF navigation radios. Did an ILS to minimums in a moderate snow storm and TOTALLY biffed the missed approach. Lost SA and forgot where I was in relation to the VOR referenced for the missed. As a result I turned too soon and could not understand why my CDI was deflecting the wrong direction. I eventually got it sorted out and did not hit any of the surrounding mountains. Looking at the debrief afterward I figured out what I did wrong and went back and ran the approach a couple more times just to make sure I got it right.

    All before my second cup of coffee this morning. :)
     
    455 Bravo Uniform likes this.
  37. RingLaserGyroSandwich

    RingLaserGyroSandwich Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2019
    Messages:
    153
    Location:
    Annapolis
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    RingLaserGyroSandwich
    I am eyeing the open corner of my bedroom right now. Is WiFi adequate for the computer? Do you need wired internet? No internet?
     
  38. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    578
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    You do not NEED an internet connection but I highly recommend you do. If only for updates and syncing the flights with your Redbird account.* WiFi would be sufficient but the desktop computer does not have a WiFi adapter. There are USB WiFi adapters which should work. There are like 10 USB ports on that thing... I have a crawl space and Jeffries tubes in my walls so it was pretty easy to run a CAT5 from the router to the sim.

    *You can sync your flights by moving the USB "Pilot Key" to a different computer that has an internet connection and the syncing software installed.

    Edit to add: Your "Pilot Key" is an enrypted file you create by creating a free account at https://account.redbirdflight.com/#/register and transferring to a thumb drive. Whenever you want to record your flights you stick in the thumb drive, type in your PIN, then go fly. You can carry that thumb drive to any connected Redbird BATD or AATD and it will capture your flights.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020
  39. tsts4

    tsts4 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,001
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Auburntsts
    I'm not sure about the you don't need internet part of it. IIRC the Nav database had to be updated as part of the certification, at least initially. Alex told me that after the initial update the system didn't require any additional Nav updates to actually operate as long as you didn't care if the database was "expired" which personally I don't. In any event I bought a $20 USB WiFi adapter and it works like a charm.
     
  40. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2018
    Messages:
    1,672
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Juliet Hotel
    What are Jeffries tubes?