The last push in the Seneca

Now that the Commercial Pilots Licence has been completed I must now study for the Multi-Engine Instrument Rating (MEIR).  This consists of mostly flying in the FNPT II simulator which is essentially a Seneca cockpit nailed to the floor with a projector screen showing the graphics from something like flight simulator 4.  The graphics however, do not really matter too much for the MEIR because we are supposed to be in cloud at all times anyway, so 95% of the time we are just looking at a white screen if we look out of the window.

The MEIR requires us to rapidly get back the skills we were learning in the Warrior back in August, so I was straight back onto Rant V3 which I had purchased during the Warrior phase.  RANT stands for Radio Aids Navigation Tutor and was designed by a former RAF and CAA examiner who actually comes to examine people here at Jerez, anyone who is considering studying the ATPL or even just an Instrument Rating should consider RANT as a must-have.  It is not expensive to purchase, has some fantastic tutorials and the V3 has an extensive UK database and can link up with GPS systems you may use in your aircraft.  This all makes for a highly customisable and realistic study aid which I am using extensively for NDB holding and practising SIDs/STARs and other procedural approaches.  RANT is particularly useful for practising NDB holding and for those using it I would recommend that you use the wind set to “forecast” and don’t set the wings to turn to rate-1 straight away, this makes it as realistic as possible and amazingly you will be able to pick out whether you are overshooting or undershooting very quickly in the aircraft just from using this program for practice.

I am partnered up with my Thomas Cook colleague, Josh Rumbol, and we are back-seating every one of each others flights and simulator sessions in order to learn as much as humanly possible.  This is making for very long and tiring days and I have to confess, my cycling has now taken a complete back-burner averaging around 6 hours a week, which is a real shame because I got quite a few hours in on the gym bike out in the Maldives and thought I could keep some good fitness levels up.

The hardest thing I am finding with the way this course is run is that the FNPT II simulators feel nothing like flying the aircraft, and of the 3 simulators that are here they all behave totally differently and so this makes hopping between simulators and then between simulators and aircraft very difficult when just getting through the lesson is difficult enough as it is.  I think the instructors take account for this, but it’s not much consolation when you are physically wrestling with one of the wretched simulators because it will not behave as it should do.

The time until our IRST is very tight, we will be taking them the first week of February and we are not even 1/3 of the way through the syllabus.  A lot of the aircraft are also coming up for annual checks as well as have quite a few break-downs, this coupled with Seville limiting the number of aircraft airborne in the local area under IFR rules to a single aircraft is making for very frustrating progress.

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~ by globalste on January 12, 2012.

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