FAA-Approved Sim for Instrument Currency?

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Scotsman58
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FAA-Approved Sim for Instrument Currency?

Post by Scotsman58 » Tue Jul 03, 2018 3:26 pm

The FAA recently published a final rule that will allow, when it becomes effective, instrument currency approaches to be logged using an approved simulator (being at least an "approved aviation training device" or "ATD") without an instructor being present. Bruceair.com has a good blog on this new rule here: https://bruceair.wordpress.com/2018/06/ ... ncy-rules/.

I wondering if anyone on these forums has experience with the less-expensive ATDs to simulate a Diamond G1000 panel. As far as I can tell, the two most affordable are offered by flythissim (http://www.flythissim.com) and Redbird (the Redbird TD2, https://simulators.redbirdflight.com/products/td2).

It would be great if you could build your own system using one of the popular flight sim platforms (I have X-Plane 11, which I like a lot), but I despair of getting such a system approved by the FAA.

Although it would be a lot of money just for a system to practice approaches (since I already have a powerful computer for my non-aviation uses), I would consider getting an ATD for my home, so I could do some of my currency approaches without waiting for suitable actual IFR conditions or finding a safety pilot/CFI to do them in my plane. And no, I don't think doing simulator-only approaches can keep you truly current and safe, and so I would still plan on doing regular work/IPCs with my usual CFI.
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Scotsman58
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Re: FAA-Approved Sim for Instrument Currency?

Post by Scotsman58 » Fri Jul 06, 2018 3:33 pm

Nearly 100 folks have looked at this, but no replies. No one has any experience with affordable FAA-approved simulators?
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chili4way
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Re: FAA-Approved Sim for Instrument Currency?

Post by chili4way » Mon Feb 25, 2019 2:50 am

Hi Scott, I'm somewhat new to the forum so am still catching up on the many interesting posts like yours.

I faced a similar quandary. I looked at both the Redbird TD2 and the FlyThisSim SD and VX. My interest was in developing and maintaining good buttonology and muscle memory for flying approaches in a DA40 with the G1000 panel. I didn't like the TD2 because the Redbird knobs don't match the actual panel (I don't know why they don't fix this) and it's yoke-only. I didn't like the FTS system because the touch screen emulation might provide a kind of buttonology but no real muscle memory.

What I ended up doing is putting together my own simulator using my existing laptop computer, X-Plane, the STMA-DA40-XP11 model (G1000 option), two iPads, and the Simonic G1000 emulation system (iOS software, bezels, and audio panel), a Logitech Force 3D Pro Joystick (a do-over would probably use the Thrustmaster T.16000M joystick), a Saitek throttle quadrant, the CH Products rudder pedals, an external monitor, and some USB items. [ I later added an external GPU and Radeon RX Vega 56 graphics card to supplement my MacBook Pro graphics capabilities (you may not need to do this.)]

While I cannot say that I saved any money, and I haven't gone through the process to get any "FAA approvals", it really meets my needs. It really helps me maintain proficiency and makes short work of establishing legal currency when the Hobbs is running. Simionic just released an updated version that is based on 1902 nav data and provide an option to emulate synthetic vision. Simonic does not directly support the DA40, but the C182 setting provides the appropriate constant speed prop instrumentation on the MFD.

I took the Pilot Workshop "Getting Started With Flight Simulation" and found some helpful tips in that. I haven't gone all the way to using service like Pilot Edge. If I few within their service area, it would be a great addition to the experience.

Flying a sim is never exactly the same as the real airplane, and I've found what I've put together to be a worthy supplement to real flying.

Here's a photo of my system. You can get a better look at the G1000 emulator on the Simionic site: http://www.simionic.net/WordPress/

PK Sim Setup v1.jpg
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