IFR Recurrency After Medical Hiatus
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Like the pilots in the "Rusty Pilots" thread, I experienced a medical problem that grounded me for a few years. Fortunately it seems OK now and since I never tried to renew my medical during my illness, I'm now good under BasicMed. 
Well, I went back to the FBO I'd been flying with before the medical issues and their website looked a lot different but they were fine with my resuming with them. I took the BFR so now I'm current for VFR flight -- I didn't even try to get current in the airplane I had the BFR in because it was a model I hadn't flown in about 20 years. Now I'm thinking I should probably regain currency on instruments. But, I adopted the "glass cockpit" G1000 suite around 2005 and since then, all my flying was with that rather than with conventional "steam gauges". Well, you guessed it, the FBO went downmarket since I flew with them last and there weren't any G1000 aircraft available at the time I resumed flying (this was in February).
Then the FBO sent me the good news -- they were bringing in an SR22! I have about 6 hours in an SR20 and I'm sure an SR22 would be a lot too expensive for regaining currency. I'd first have to check out and Cirrus has a rather regimented program for that -- my 6 hours in the SR20 got me about halfway through it and when I'd spent $1000 I figured it wasn't practical. So, the FBO hasn't solved my problem. It doesn't seem there are other sources of reasonably priced, glass cockpit aircraft nearby that are available both for training and rental (Easton, Md.) A Cessna 172 would be fine, I have hundreds of hours in those, and I figure modest speed is helpful when you're trying to get back into the IFR routines. I am old enough to remember steam gauges and I suppose getting current with them would only require limited retraining, but I really like the situational awareness the G1000 provides. I figure it's safer.
Suggestions? There are LSA's available (at Bay Bridge Airport for example) that have a sort of glass cockpit. I've actually flown one a couple of times. Are those practical for instrument instruction? I know you can't actually file with them but surely that's better than a simulator. Does it make sense to regain currency with an LSA and then check out in the SR22? 
Regards,
Steve
13 Replies
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1021 Posts
In order to fly an S-LSA under IFR, it not only has to be properly equipped per 91.205(d), it must also be approved for IFR operation by its manufacturer under the ASTM standards.  To my knowledge, only two are so certified -- the Evektor SportStar MAX and the Zodiac CH650, and I don't think Chesapeake Sport Pilot has either.  While the rules are different for E-LSA's, I don't think anyone offers E-LSA's for rental, just S-LSA's.
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You can fly IFR in a properly equipped LSA. You just can’t do so on a Sport Pilot license. If the RV’s at Chesapeake Sport’s are equipped I think that would be an excellent option.
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Try X-plane. Will help you with your procedures, scan, and fun too! You will be surprised how many mistakes that can be corrected just by using a simple platform!

Good Luck getting back into the saddle!
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I also use X-Plane, and while it's great for procedural stuff (akin the chair flying to keep procedural stuff up to date), there are limitations when it comes to preparing for a real aircraft.  First there is no muscle memory, and if you're never going to get to a real aircraft it doesn't matter.  Next is what you do with the sim.  Several times I have "flown" my Instrument checkride, but without someone monitoring what I'm doing- or asking me to do something that is unexpected- it feels weird. I think having at least an instrument rated pilot, or better a CFII with you at the computer, would be advisable.  My third point is:  In the desktop sim you are 2-3 feet away from a flat 2-dimensional display, so your eyes never get to focus at infinity,  as they have to when you either break out on an approach or remove the view limiting device.  So be prepared to get a surprise when you first fly a real aircraft to minimums on an approach procedure.

On the other hand, I think s long as you are mindful of these limitations, using a desktop sim can be an advantage.  

 
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Yes, X-Plane. It runs on Mac, PC and Linux. It's superb.

I purchased it via the Steam store which makes it easy to install on different systems. Here's their website: https://www.x-plane.com/
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I have the same issue.  Long hiatus for medical issue, all good now. 

Does anyone have any reccomendations for a great flight simulator I can fun on my mac or if not in a pc sim on mac?