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?
Steam gauges coupled to a Garmin 430 or 530 are IMO preferable.
You didn't say whether or not the FBO has a good Simulator. I would try to find an FBO with a good simulator and get up to speed in the sim before jumping into an aircraft.
To the OP: What's wrong with a simulator? As a CFII, My students who were trained primarily in actual IMC and in simulators were consistently learning faster and had more confidence than the hood people, and at lower overall expense. I've always found hood time to be less valuable, even for mSDy own currency.
IMHO, unless the sim can be configured to display the same layout and configured for the same avionics, training time in the plane will be more beneficial. An hour+ of sim time for regaining your scan proficiency etc might help initially, but today’s IFR is being very familiar with the buttonology of the new navigators in the plane you would likely be doing your IFR flying. Throw in some turbulence, maybe a bit of real IMC, engine noise, background ATC chatter, a holding instruction change and a busy airport....all done to help prevent a helmet fire when it really happens. As an aide, for the Garmin GTN series, a free app is available that is somewhat helpful, but be aware, the app lags Garmin firmware updates for the box in the plane.
Bottom line, welcome back to GA!
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?
On the other hand, I think s long as you are mindful of these limitations, using a desktop sim can be an advantage.