Strick and Rudder flying - my body is my enemy

23 Replies

Strick and Rudder flying - my body is my enemy

Posted by Torsten Jaekel on Jun 11, 2019 1:44 am

Dear AOPA community,
I do my private license right now. We (the CFI and me) have established an evaluation system, a scoring system, in order to 'measure' my progress in flight training.
Very interesting results (based on spreadsheets and graph):
All, what I could learn, e.g. taxiing, communication, rules, math, airspace and checklists - works fine.
All what I can nail  into my brain, I can remember, recall etc. works fine and it can be improved 'easily' (I am an electronic engineer: math, knowledge, backgrounds etc. are not an issue).
But based on the 'flight big data analysis' it comes to this conclusion:
all actions which are related to control the airplane, where your muscles, arms, body sensors etc. are involved (smoothness on flight controls, pitch and power management, keep altitude and speed etc.) are 'bad' and no improvements.

How to improve my 'mechanical, body-related motion' flying skills?
I am not surprised, because I thought already this way: "how to learn why and how an airplanes flies, what are the rules, how to do the math, what is airspace ..." is not difficult for an engineer. But if you can "really fly" (in terms of 'mechanical management of the flight controls") is a completely different topic.
("engineers can design airplanes very well, they know so well why it flies, but how to fly an airplane - potentially they are not capable to do so."  ;-)  )

How could I improve my muscle and body 'intelligence' in order to fly an aircraft?
Even I am aware of the "stick and rudder" skills (I've read all books ;-)  ) - how could I 'train my body' (arms, legs, hands, fingers), not just my brain, to make smooth control inputs, to fly
professionally (I climb always in turns, I am too low or too high, I am pretty rough and late on corrections)?

Is it an issue of the age (58 years old)?
Is it an issue with health and fitness (e.g. less muscle strength, lazy on sportive exercises, unknown body motions needed)?

Sure, the longer I will practice it might improve. But what are the 'tricks'? How to focus on 'mechanical body actions', how to train my body, not just my brain and mind only?
My 'body should fly not just my mind'.
I am aware of this 'fear' since the beginning of my flight training and it is my biggest one: 'your brain knows everything, but your body is unable to turn it into flight').

Does it make sense to 'go drastic', e.g. to book some aerobatic flights?
Or is it just a question of time, keep going with small steps with my CFI, e.g. to improve steep turns, slow flight (until it seems to be 'settled' in my 'body brain')?
(and it might take much longer for my body compared to my brain in order to get it?)

Thank you for any thoughts and suggestions.
I want to be 'perfect' in all, not just the 'theoretical, written' stuff (which I could do with 100%). My enemy is my body: 'act smoothly without actively thinking', not my brain knowledge as:
'why and how to do is obvious and clear'.
'Why my body does not behave efficiently like my brain?'
Is there a 'red line' not to cross? If does not work out practically - should I stop flying?

Best regards
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Re: Strick and Rudder flying - my body is my enemy

Posted by R Michael Moore on Sep 12, 2019 11:32 pm

Thank you for your dedication to the OP.   However you chose to exclude one critical phrase from my post.   

"Please consider that this thread may also be of benefit to other readers as well."

The world of sim based training for real world flight is expanding by leaps and bounds.    My earlier posts show just a few of the available and affordable resources for those interested.  

Good thing the folks at Redbird and the Flight Training Professionals attending the Redbird Migration are moving forward.    

The common objective should be appreciated and encouraged.   That is to get people into flying at the lowest cost and in the least time - consistent with safe flight.


Re: Strick and Rudder flying - my body is my enemy

Posted by Ronald Levy on Sep 13, 2019 11:32 am

I'm glad you realize that while valuable in many situations, sims aren't the answer to everything, and that the sort of flight simulation devices you mentioned are unlikely to be of any value to the OP in dealing with the problem he described.

Re: Strick and Rudder flying - my body is my enemy

Posted by R Michael Moore on Sep 13, 2019 8:45 pm

Thanks.   Never said otherwise.   The benefit of modern flight simulation is a matter of fact - as are the very substantial savings available in training cost.   We should be doing all we can to help make flight training more and more affordable.   

Readers of this thread may appreciate this recent article from Flying Magazine.   See the RED highlights below.   Actual savings of over 35 hours proven !!!     Just be aware you don't need an AATD or BATD to achieve dramatically reduced training hours.   My rig is around $3,000.    You do need a CFI who appreciates and is familiar with sim based training and related scenarios, including transition to real world flying.   BTW - generally a simulator is more difficult to fly that the real aircraft.   This is why the sim based learning in hands of a knowledgeable CFI easily transfers into actual flight.   There are a few progressive and very skilled CFI's who provide remote flight training via screen sharing.   This is definitely part of the future.   

FLYING MAGAZINE - March 6, 2019

Learning to Fly

Simulation plays a significant role in the booming flight-training marketplace because, as FlightSafety International’s general manager of Visual Systems Ed Koharik notes, “flight training is all about how you accelerate the training and learning process, increase capacity of the system or speed up the training process.” Speeding up training is where simulators shine. One success story has been at the U.S. Air Force’s Pilot Training Next program where qualified pilot candidates have been turned out in less than half the original 220 hours it used to take.

The team at Redbird was so certain a decade ago that using flight simulators in conjunction with airplanes was a winning combination, it created a Part 141 flight school that doubled as a research lab in San Marcos, Texas.

Redbird’s Josh Harnagel says, “We believed you could use a simulator to improve the skill set of a VFR pilot just learning to fly. Current schools graduate a private pilot with around 75 hours.” The company believed a more realistic number of logged flight hours, including some 20 in a simulator, would be closer to 40 total. “Because we were a proficiency-based Part 141 school, we graduated a private pilot with 32 total hours although our average was about 37 hours. Part 61-trained pilots averaged about 45 in the airplane and 25-30 hours in an AATD.”

Many flight schools liked those numbers because students experienced more-realistic training scenarios than they could in airplanes.

This higher-order realistic pilot decision making is the bread and butter to what you can do with a simulator, Harnagel added.