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Guests without experience in the simulator

Started by Jørgen B. Nielsen, December 06, 2021, 10:33:14 AM

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Jørgen B. Nielsen

My sim is finally in an operational state. This has lead to guest wanting to try their hand at piloting a "737-800". Many of them are without any piloting experience. I therefore find myself in the situation where I try to teach some basic flying skills within a very short time frame.

My current approach is to have the plane ready to go at the runway. I give a short introduction to the main information in the primary flight display before takeoff. During takeoff and climb out I have them follow the flight director to let them get a feel for the controls, before we circle back to attempt a landing.

What are your approaches when it comes to teaching guest basic piloting skills?

navymustang

Same thing - just finished a major conference on military training where I had the 737 sim. Non-pilots and non-737 pilots alike came to the booth. I had engines running, on the runway and ready to go. As you said, just a quick brief and off we went.
In some cases after flying for 5 minutes I would use the instructor station to set up a 10 mile approach to a landing. Then again - coaching as much as possible, and then biting my lips when they crashed to avoid embarrassing them  :)
My 737-800 full-scale cockpit has been sold. Now onto my full-size military helicopter project. An AOPA member and LifeTime member of National Association of Flight Instructors. Please note that I am a self-employed professional cockpit builder that provides consulting to defense contractors and civilian schools and airlines.

RayS

Also same but I take it a step further, instructing my guests that if a control/lever/doo-hicky can't be moved with 1 finger, don't attempt to use your entire body to manipulate it, for example the landing gear. It has a latching safety relay that actually works.

I had a guest over to fly the 1900 and she had zero flying experience. She was impressive at handling the aircraft.

Others.... Not so much. :-) If they want to crash or something I let them, just not into buildings.
Ray Sotkiewicz

bernard S

okay  I add my two cents ... firstly just having a completed sim that fkyable for most its sensory overload .. its not the flying they interested in it pushing buttons and turning switches  get them make a radio call and have them taxi nothing over complex or demanding anything more and one is expecting too.much

sagrada737

December 07, 2021, 06:31:04 AM #4 Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 06:37:27 AM by sagrada737
Hello All,

This is an interesting topic...   It's also clear that each of us have their own way of orienting Guests to the Flight Deck and controlling the aircraft, as it relates to a full-scale 737 Sim.

A few of things I do first is to caution the guest how to get into and out of the seat, and not hit their head on the Overhead Panels.  It's amazing how many people bang their head trying to get into/out of the seat... 

Once they are in the seat, I explain to them how to adjust the seat position/height.  That out of the way, I go through a quick (non-technical)explanation of what "all this stuff" is in the cockpit.  I then ask them to take hold of the Yoke and move it, to get a feel of forces involved -- same with the Rudders.

Once that is out of the way, I chat very briefly about CA and FO responsibilities, and the what, when, how, where regarding the demo flight.  I comment that although this is a full-scale Sim, a lot of the parts and knobs are plastic -- So... "DON'T man-handle them, or they can break!  Got it?  Great!"

It's important to verbally explain in basic terms what you are doing, and what you might expect them to do.  This applies to startup to shut down.  It is easy to overwhelm your guest if you "just do stuff" on the ground, and in-flight", without any explanation.

On take-off, explain briefly the quick sequence of what's happening.  Let them bring the Gear Up.  Enroute is a further opportunity to allow your guest to fly the aircraft under manual control, explaining control basics to the point where they can reasonably handle the aircraft.

On Approach and Landing, there's another opportunity to explain what is happening  --  all the way to touch-down.  Of course, once the wheels touch the runway, you still have to fly the aircraft, so allow them to use the Rudders to keep the aircraft on centerline. 

Another important thing to explain is the Sim Display.  Most of us either have LCD monitors, or a projection system. It's usually the case that the graphics eye-point compromises the view of the FO side.  In this regard, it is important on taxi out, that you line up on a taxi line, and explain to your guest that you are looking straight down the taxi line.  "Now, turn your head to the left until you too are looking straight down the same taxi line.  If you want to see what I see, look in that direction."  If you do not explain this, your guest can quickly become disoriented both on the ground and in-flight -- especially on final approach.  On Final Approach, lined up with the runway, I will tell them, "I am looking straight at the runway, do you see what I see?"  Most of the time they need help to turn their head to see what you see.  I'll often use a laser pointer to show them where to look.

Then there is "Sim Sickness"...   It is rare, but it does happen to some people...  Be sure that there is adequate ventilation in the cockpit, and ideally, that there is some kind of direct forced air pointing at your guest.  A stuffy cockpit coupled with the "crabbing effect" of the Display, can worse case make your guest physically sick.  So...  During the flight, always point out things of interest inside/outside the cockpit, keep a verbal dialogue going with your guest, and frequently ask them how they are doing.  That said, make sure you have a "barf bag" on hand, but make no mention of Sim sickness to your guest, and it won't enter their mind.  If they become "quiet" that's the first warning sign of Sim sickness.

Lastly, know your guest and discover what thier interest is in "going for a flight".  Try to zero-in on what they seem to be interested in during their flight experience.  For some, it's all the  technical stuff, and for others, it's just seeing the countryside.  So in this regard, be sensitive to what is fun for your guest, and encourage them to have a nice flight.

Anyway, just a few thoughts you might consider...

Mike

Full-scale 737-800 Sim; P3d v4.5x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP,  FlightIllusion hardware.  3-Optoma ZH406ST Laser HD projectors, with 4K inputs from a single Nvidia RTX-3090 GPU, resulting in a 210 deg wrap-around display.  6dof Motion Platform using BFF 6dof motion software, driven by a Thanos Servo Controller to 6.2 KW Servos, Lever type actuators.

RayS

Mike, I like your comments about sim sickness. I had a guest over once and he did start feeling queasy after landing.

That was pre-cockpit ventilation. After that day I installed some forced-air vents and an overhead fan to pull air through the cab.

He flew it again and was fine with the ventilation.
Ray Sotkiewicz

Jørgen B. Nielsen

Thank you all for interesting feedback!

I use 3 65" LCD panels for the outside view and have personally experienced how disorienting it is when the graphic view point is adjusted for the capt seat while I'm if the fo seat. So usually, I sit in the seat with the wrong view as I know where to look.

I have also experienced the point about that people might find all the switches an knobs interesting. Once I had a friend over, testing the sim for the first time. In the middle of my atempt at introducing all the different systems, I had to help with the kids for a short while. When I came back, both engines where shut down and most of the overhead switches where toggled. The aircraft systems turned out be of great interest.

blueskydriver

December 07, 2021, 10:44:54 AM #7 Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 11:34:46 AM by blueskydriver Reason: Grammar change for auto replaced words…
Oh Sim Sickness, is a big thing for Karen! 10 minutes and she's out of the sim lickty-split!

For me, I do get motion sickness from flying in a real airplane, riding in the backseats of a car, and even mowing the lawn (1 acre). And, from time to time I get sim sickness.

Thus, I've always taken Dramamine an hour before any motion type activities, even for the sim sometimes.

Usually, I ask anyone planning too visit if they get motion sickness. If they do I just ask them to take a non-drowsey Dramamine one hour beforehand, as well as I keep some extra readily available for them here. That and barf bags!

In all these years only had one kid use a bag and one adult get queasy, but had a few older adults who did take the Dramamine I had here....

As they say "an ounce of prevention is worth a ton frustration" Well,  few ounces of anti-motion sickness Dramamine is worth a lot more than a ton of someone's lunch all over your cockpit! Ewwww! Imagine cleaning that from your sim, let alone the never ending smell!!!

John
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

RayS

I usually fly Delta IRL and I don't know how a few Official Delta Barf bags ended up in the seat back pockets on the flight deck....
Ray Sotkiewicz

bernard S


sagrada737

December 07, 2021, 04:39:45 PM #10 Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 06:00:08 PM by sagrada737
Of course, most folks do not have a collimated display...  That said, fixed eye-point display or collimated, if ventilation is not adequate in a closed space that has visual movement, such as in our Sims, it can potentially lead to various forms of Sim sickness for some folks -- young and old.

I think the point of this thread was consideration toward our guests that might go with us for a Sim flight.

Another thing that I do with a guest, is to ask them "Where in the world would you like to fly?"  Then I setup for that location and show them the sights, which I find holds their interest better.

Mike
Full-scale 737-800 Sim; P3d v4.5x with Sim-Avionics (two computers), FDS MIP,  FlightIllusion hardware.  3-Optoma ZH406ST Laser HD projectors, with 4K inputs from a single Nvidia RTX-3090 GPU, resulting in a 210 deg wrap-around display.  6dof Motion Platform using BFF 6dof motion software, driven by a Thanos Servo Controller to 6.2 KW Servos, Lever type actuators.

blueskydriver

After having many visitors, both young and old, as well as 1 or 40 people at a time, I can say there are many variables too it all.

For me, it was usually in between it being a big video game for some and an aircraft for others. Playing flight instructor mostly doesn't interest the young 8-12 yr olds, but it does the teens and adults. However, and staying on topic, if you plan to teach basic piloting skills, tell them that ahead of time...long before they get too your place.

Makeup a simple questionnaire document and have them fill it out beforehand. Ask what they think of flying, if they flown before (front or back) and a place they've flown to before or like too visit.

Thus, I did the setup based on that. I'd use the checklist, let them read it and I'd flip the switches, and then change roles with them flipping the switches. From there my flow was the same, back and forth, be it on the ground or in the air, with using the ever famous "You have the controls, I have the controls" announcements. Sounds silly, but I wanted to follow what they do in real life....

Lastly, I'd also have presets or stages loaded too help. Using the Instructor Station to start from an Approach point say 5-20 miles out and do a landing. Or, on the runway, engines hot, as well as at the gate cold and dark. Believe me when I say there were some folks that wanted white knuckle action right away and others just loved the slow as she goes method...lol.

Have Fun  ;D ,

John

Ps short inspirational story, 3 of the kids (two 14 yr old boys and one 13 yr old girl), outta the hundreds of Young Eagles who visited mine went on as adults to become Air Force Pilots one flying F16's and the other C130's, the third flies regional out of Madison, WI. There can be more, but I didn't keep up with them all....
| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

blueskydriver

For anyone interested, here are links for the Young Eagles Programs hosted by the EAA, and for the Civil Air Patrol:

https://www.eaa.org/eaa/youth/free-ye-flights

https://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/programs/cadets/parents

There are other organizations in different countries that have something similar.

So, if you wanna take it a step further, contact one of them and just offer free familiarization visits, no formal training...you'll have the time of you're life!


| FSX | FDS-MIP OVRHD SYS CARDS FC1| PM | PMDG 737-700 | UTX | GEX | UT7 | ASE | REX2 | AES | TSR | IS | TOPCAT | AvilaSoft EFB | OC CARDS & OVRHD GAUGES| SIMKITS | SW 3D Lights | FS2CREW2010 | FSXPassengers | Flight1 AE | MATROX TH2GO-D | NTHUSIM | 3-Mits EW230Ust Proj |

bernard S

@ Mr Mike thats very true I was just being an arse    have noticed a few want to crash.. when the sim works !!!!

FredK

December 08, 2021, 04:36:55 AM #14 Last Edit: December 08, 2021, 04:46:19 AM by FredK
Quote from: blueskydriver on December 07, 2021, 06:21:53 PMFor anyone interested, here are links for the Young Eagles Programs hosted by the EAA, and for the Civil Air Patrol:

https://www.eaa.org/eaa/youth/free-ye-flights

https://www.gocivilairpatrol.com/programs/cadets/parents

There are other organizations in different countries that have something similar.

So, if you wanna take it a step further, contact one of them and just offer free familiarization visits, no formal training...you'll have the time of you're life!

I am involved with the local scholarship program for high school students who demonstrate an interest and aptitude to pursue an aviation career as pilots (the Williamsburg Aviation Scholarship Program). It is hosted out of the local flight school training facility. "WASP" was also our charity beneficiary for the recent WorldFlight. Many other flight training schools have similar programs that you may want to search out.

In any event be prepared for your sim to take a beating when offering the experience to guests.  For example, it is beyond me how the stem of one of my "bleed" switches broke off during WorldFlight etc., it being a standard industrial quality switch.  Makes one appreciate the robustness of a real aircraft cockpit vs. a home-grown sim. Just be prepared to accept that such will happen.

Fred K
Boeing 737NG-800, Prepar3D v4.5, Sim-Avionics 1.964, SimSync multi-channel (curved screen), Optoma 1080GTDarbee projectors (3), Fly Elise warping, FSGRW weather, FDS OH panels and CDUs, SimParts MIP, FDS SysBoards (OH), CPFlight MCPPro and pedestal panels, FI Gauges, PFC controls, converted motorized TQ (SIOC), Weber seats

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