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The Ten Basic Rules for BVI Pilots
To help you better navigate this document, each of the 10 rules is preceeded with a Topic discussion.
Topic #1: Mode of Flying.
Visual Flight Rules (VFR) are a set of regulations which enable a pilot to operate an aircraft in weather conditions generally clear enough to allow him or her to see where the aircraft is going. Intrinsic in the foregoing definition is the word - see. Therefore, let us completely dispense with the notion of BVI pilots flying VFR - at least at the start. Later you'll learn how to use the Navigation aids and OBS system to actually fly VFR!
Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) are regulations and procedures for flying aircraft by referring only to the aircraft's instrument panel for navigation. Even if nothing can be seen outside the cockpit windows, an IFR-rated pilot like yourself (with some help from Michelle) can fly while using only the instruments. IFR-rated pilots are authorized to fly through clouds. Air Traffic Control (ATC) procedures and airspace rules are designed to maintain separation from other aircraft, and in the case of the Microsoft simulator, ATC personnel provide takeoff, en route, and landing directions and information. Therefore, we now have the first rule:
RULE #1: All flights by BVI member MUST be created as IFR flights when starting out as a new IYP pilot.
Topic #2: How to Properly Load a Flight Plan and a Flight.
Every Microsoft flight consists of three principal files:
1 - The Flight file (with the file extension FLT) that contains critical aircraft information.
2 - The Flight Plan file (with the file extension PLN) that contains the ATC route information.
3 - The Weather file (with the file extension WX) that contains all of the en route weather.
The method for creating all three files is covered in great detail in the IYP Flight Deck Doc located here.
Select the Flight Deck Doc Word document. Then, go to the section entitled:
How to Properly Load a Flight Plan and a Flight.
Failure to properly set up the flight according to these instructions will lead to misery and frustration. The IYP system will probably automatically send you an e-mail telling you that no ROUTE data can be found. Therefore, we now have the second rule:
RULE #2: All flights must be constructed with a PLN file, a FLT file, and a WX file.
Topic #3: Airline Descriptor and Flight Number.
If you will be flying a commercial aircraft, please ensure that you have provided the aircraft with a Airline descriptor and a Flight Number. Choose an Airline descriptor (for example World Travel) and a Flight number like 1123 for the chosen aircraft. All of this information is located in the Details area when you select a particular aircraft to fly. Thus, we now have the third rule:
RULE #3: ALL commercial flights MUST have an Airline descriptor and a numeric Flight Number.
Topic #4: Using SimpleATC+.
SimpleATC+ has been completely vetted by BVI pilots and is thoroughly documented in the ATC Communications section of the IYP site. It can be accessed by going here:
Once on the AYC page, take the following steps:
1 - Click on SimpleATC+ at the top of the document and start by carefully reading the IMPORTANT NOTES.
2 - Scroll down to the section entitled IFR and pick your situation.
If you follow the steps in the comprehensive SimpleATC+ documentation, and speak the proper phrases, you will never need to concern yourself with questions such as: Is the ATC window open or closed? What number do I press on what page? Etc.
RULE #4: Always use SimpleATC+ for ATC communications.
Topic #5: Departing from a Towered or Non-Towered Airport
After you depart from a given airport, ATC will typically instruct you to contact "Departure", who will then provide you with headings, altitudes, etc. Listen carefully, because at some point you will hear an ATC controller say the phrase..."Proceed on course". This is an IMPORTANT reminder to tell Michelle to switch over to the G P S mode. Which brings us to rule number 5:
RULE #5: Always go to the G P S mode of flight by saying to Michelle, "Resume G P S navigation" after you hear ATC say the phrase, "Proceed on course".
Topic #6: Descending to the Destination Airport.
As you approach the destination airport, at some point ATC will give you your first (of perhaps numerous) descent instructions. At this point, your trusty Co-Pilot will say, "This might be a good time to do the descent checklist". Say the phrase..."Descent Checklist". It is imperative that you execute the Descent Checklist, so that as you are descending, your Co-Pilot can remind you to perform the necessary manoeuvers for a proper landing, control your speed, determine your rate of descent, etc. That brings us to rule number 6:
RULE #6: Always execute the Descent Checklist when Michelle suggests that you do so!
Topic #7: Runway Assignment.
At some point ATC will provide you with your assigned approach, meaning they will tell you on which runway you will be landing. This typically happens as part of the initial heading change that takes you off your G P S route as was described above. So, ATC will say something like,
"World Travel 1123. Turn left heading 320. Expect vectors to ILS runway three five left."
You tell Michelle to, "Acknowledge", and then to..."Turn left heading 320." Then, you need to tell Michelle what runway you're going to be landing on so that she can get ready as well. You simply say,
"Load the ILS Approach Frequency for Runway three five left."
Michelle will confirm your request. So now we have rule number 7:
RULE #7: Always remember to load the Navigation 1 radio with the ILS Approach Frequency when approaching the destination airport.
IMPORTANT NOTE: There are exceptions to the foregoing if ATC assigns you to a Visual Approach instead of an ILS Approach. Please refer to the section entitled:
Having Michelle make a Visual Approach
which can be found on page 40 of the Flight Deck Doc by going here:
Topic #8: Let Your Co-Pilot Land the Aircraft.
When making any kind of an approach (ILS or Visual), you need to have Michelle actually do the landing... at least until you get VERY familiar with the sequences on approach. Therefore, say to Michelle,
"I'd like you to handle the landing."
She'll confirm that it's her plane.
This state is "remembered", meaning that she will be doing the landings on all subsequent flights (even after shutting down IYP) without the need for you to re-state this intention.
RULE #8: Always let Michelle do the landing until you become an expert pilot!
Topic #9: Approaching the Destination Airport.
As you approach the destination airport with either an ILS or Visual Approach, your Co-Pilot will at some point say, "This might be a good time to do the approach checklist". Simply say the phrase,
Michelle will ask you if you want her to assist you with the landing. You answer, "Affirmative". She'll ask you to ensure that the last few things are properly set for landing, then she'll begin slowing the aircraft, extending flaps at the appropriate speeds, lowering the landing gear when appropriate, etc. She'll give you a report of the crosswinds, and call out the elevations as you descend towards the runway... "One thousand", "Five Hundred", "Four Hundred", "Three Hundred", etc. So, that brings us to rule number nine:
RULE #9: Always execute the Approach Checklist when your Co-Pilot says so!
NOTE: If you're flying a much slower General Aviation aircraft like a Cessna Skyhawk, then you can wait to execute the Approach Checklist until you are about 15 miles from the airport.
NOTE: If on approach, the Tower controller says, "Go around" because there is an aircraft on the runway, or you're landing out of sequence, simply say the phrase,
"Execute Going Around".
When you give this instruction to Michelle, she will pull up the flaps, slam the throttles to the wall (until you reach the correct go around speed), and climb to an altitude of 2,500 feet above ground level (AGL).
Michelle will automatically contact the Tower or Controller and call for a Missed Approach. (see the SimpleATC+ documentation for details). Then, follow the ATC instructions to repeat the approach.
Topic #10: After Touchdown.
Since you are flying in the BVI mode, after you touch down, Michelle says,
"The Approach and Landing checklists have been completed".
She then welcomes the passengers to the destination airport, and will automatically move the aircraft off of the runway. At that point, please follow the documented procedures in the SimpleATC+ documentation depending upon whether you landed at a Towered or Non-Towered airport.
If you had started the ACARS logging process as part of the Before Start Up checklist before leaving the departure airport, then you need to instruct Michelle to close out the ACARS logging when you reach the destination airport. This close out process is conducted as part of the Parking or Shut Down checklist.
RULE #10: It is EXTREMELY IMPORTANT that you execute the Parking or Shut Down checklist in order to finalize the ACARS logging process.
So... there you have it... the Ten Basic Rules. One more very important rule...
If you have any questions, please visit the BVI members section in the IYP Support Forums located here: http://www.itsyourplane.com/html/forums.asp
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