Going to UPT. Need instrument training..

SMan

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Gentlemen,

I have a FY'03 UPT slot with the ANG and since I have a significant wait ahead of me, I'd like to do some prep work before I get there. From what I've read and from my discussions with those who have gone before, the most beneficial thing I can do to prepare for UPT is to get an instrument rating. I know some people may debate that as the most important thing to do, but regardless, that is what I'd like to focus on. Currently, I'm not too confident in the instrument arena, but I'd like to change that.

Unfortunately, I don't have the means to pay for flight instruction or ground school and so I was curious to know if anyone had some instrument training videos they aren't using anymore that they'd be willing to part with for little or no $ (or know where I could get some). I realize that watching instructional videos isn't the best way to learn, but I think it would be better then doing nothing. I think it would at least provide me with some of the key terms and basic principles involved in an instrument rating.

Thanks!

PS. I've enjoyed reading the numerous posts on this message board. Thanks for the insight and information! Keep it coming!
 

AlbieF15

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Its been quite a few years (1988) since UPT, so T38 dude and some others may have some better advice.

My two cents--civilian training emphasized a lot more cross check type stuff, with an emphasis on partial panel skills (important for planes with a single vaccum attitude indicator)

Military teaches control instruments (RPM guage, ADI (attitude indicator)) and performance instruments (altimeter, airspeed, etc). My impression was always civilian emphasised a "sacred 6" composite scan, while the AF emphasized about 80% ADI and 20% everything else. This may sound risky to a light plan pilot, but in my F15 the ADI has an AHRS mode and an INS mode, and if either fail a warning light and flag are displayed. The civilian must continually compare his attitude indicator to other instruments to be alert for failures. Additionally, precession and drift don't affect the HSI...it is slaved to the compass. All this is more advanced than the simple DG in SEL planes I flew my IFR training in. While most of the basic principals of one type of training will apply to the other, flying a turbine T37 and T38 (or T1) will involve some different habits. While some gain may be achieved by expanding your general aviation skills, there is also a chance you will have some "negative transfer" and have some habit patterns that while appropriate for your current environment may not be what your UPT IPs are trying to pound into your brain in the jet and sims.

So--if I were you--I'd fly now for fun and general improvement in air sense and airmanship. Get the Inst rating if it is a goal--but don't bust a gut or budget on it. Perhaps the T-1 has modernized the training program, but you won't be doing NDB or GPS approaches in UPT. I would suggest instead of a ton spent of an inst rating get a few hours of aerobatics with a good instructor. Again--doing a snap roll or loop in a Citabria will be quite different that doing a loop in a T-37, but you can gain some confidence and airmanship that may help you down the road--and its a lot of fun. I had 700 hours and a CFII when I went to UPT, and I had been inverted only twice. The first time was when a CFI tried to impress me by rolling inverted in a non-aerobat version of a 150 (and I WASN'T impressed by the breach of discipline). The second was when a buddy took me up in a T-34 and did some loops and Cuban 8s. If I were walking into UPT anytime soon I'd spend the money in that arena instead.

As a final note--there are tons of stories of guys with lots of civilian time that flunked out of UPT. At the same time, I know an F15 Fighter Weapon School grad who once flew regionals, and a bunch of very successful AF pilots who had civilian time prior to joining and going to UPT. Work hard, understand that sometimes the way you have been taught previously may not be the way the military wants you to fly, and keep a healthy, hard working attitude and you will do great in UPT. The guard doesn't sent dirtbags to UPT--they picked you for a reason and I'm sure you will do well.

Send a PM if you need more stuff.

Albie
 

MDPilot

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Agree with Albie. As a former UPT T-38 IP myself, the hardest student I ever dealt with was a CFII who adamantly refused to fly instruments the "Air Force way". But he was working himself to death flying an ILS at 160 kts in the 38 while doing it. I started introducing multiple emergencies, and he finally realized that the AF way was, in fact, easier and allowed him more time to concentrate on things like emergencies, flying lead, employing the weaponsystem (future use in our case). If you are dead set on getting an instrument rating, fine, just realize you will be starting all over at UPT. Your money would be much better spent on some light acro training and spin training, IMHO

Mike
 

SMan

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Thanks for the input on the acro/spin training, etc. I agree that it would be nice to educate myself in that arena prior to UPT. There is a solid acro/spin training school where I live (from what I understand) and so I'll take a little deeper look into what they offer.

Forgive me for my ignorance on this subject, but in regards to instrument training, I realize that I'll have to "re-learn" things the AF way if I get my instrument rating prior to UTP, but aren't there things such as ILS approaches, etc that are the same whether you are mil or civ? Aren't there some commonalities in the two that I could learn beforehand? If you are landing at a civilian airport, aren't there certain procedures that are standardized across the board? If so, are there some you'd suggest that I brush up on? What about navigation? Isn't that a big part of instrument training? Are there commonalities between mil and civ flying in that regard?
 

MDPilot

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Sure there are some things common about instruments. But realize that the UPT syllabus is constructed to take someone from no knowledge on any given subject, to proficient knowledge and skill. What little knowledge you might pick up now will be replaced in the first few weeks at UPT, (you will be literally memorizing AFMAN 11-217 Instrument Flying) and then you will realize that you were spinning your wheels before. At least spin training and acro will acclimate your body and mind to some new sensations, which is much more important. If you really want to get ahead, about a month prior to starting, memorize the T-37 (or T-6 depending on where you are going) boldface. That will get you up on everyone else by about a week. Anything more is wasting your time. But then again, it's your time to waste, I guess.
 

Otto

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It helped me!

SMan,
While I haven't been flying as long as the other guys, I can tell you from my own personal experience that having the instrument ticket really made things easier on me while going through UPT. I had 200 hours of civ time when I went (Private with Instrument). They are right when they say the Air Force teaches you a different scan (which you must have to fly faster aircraft) but there's a lot more to instrument flying than just a scan. There is knowledge you must know about the air space system, approaches, the equipment you use, etc. While there is an instrument checkride during the T-37 phase of training, the Air Force never really concentrates on instruments. My experience was they were more concerned with the contact (basic flying, acro) and formation...the instrument rides were just kind of scattered in with those other phases. Because of this, having the instrument ticket allowed me to concentrate on that other stuff and not have to spend as much time studying the book knowledge required for the instrument rides. Why do they not emphasize it more during T-37's? During that phase of traning they are trying to sort out who will go to fighters and who will go to heavies. Fighters do a lot more visual flying so they focus on that during T-37's and then get more into instruments during phase 3 (T-38's/T-1s). So.....with that said, you can get through traning without the instrument rating but it will make life easier for you if you have it. My 2 cents.
 

NWA-AirGuard

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I'm a former T-37 Instructor and student check pilot and last flew the tweet in 98. Every student I saw that was really good at accomplishing the checklist and flying the VFR overhead pattern was always really good at everything else. The first thing you're going to learn is how to accomplish the normal checklist (ie preflight, ops checks, landing cahecks, etc.). In my 1400 hours of instruction and giving checkrides, I would say about 90% of the time if the student was bad at doing the checklist, he/she was bad at flying and the other way around. If the student was good at the checklist, he/she was good at flying. The other big or bigger part was the performance in the overhead pattern. If a student was excellent at the overhead pattern, then almost always the student was excellent at instruments, formation, acro, etc. I think if the student was great at the basics takeoffs, landings, and checklist, then they were very comfortable in the jet and could easily learn the more advance manuevers. So like they others recommend, basic air sense and airmanship skills will serve you better than an instrument rating.
Also, I had a range of students from 0 time to over 2000 hours. Attitude and study habits made the biggest difference, not ratings or flight hours. Good luck.
 

BRlinepilot

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My 2 cents from a tweet IP...........I had 400 hours of civilian (light aircraft) time before I went through UPT (when we had to walk 3 miles to the flight line, bare footed in the snow....) and I had an instrument ticket. Some say that having an instrument rating develops bad habits, but I'd have to disagree. Some high time civilian pilots who go through UPT have a difficult time mainly because they are too head strong and think that they know more than the IPs. If you have a good attitude and are willing to listen and learn the AF way, I would say having an instrument ticket would be very helpful. From my personal experience, UPT was a pleasant experience for me, mainly because I had some flying experience under my belt; having the experience gave me confidence, and as you know, confidence is a big part in whatever you do. I also flew acro before entering UPT and it helped somewhat, but most people don't have problems in acro; it's much easier doing acro in a jet vs. under powered props. I would spend the money on the instrument ticket if you can afford it. Overall, having civilian flying experience has helped me quite a bit; after all, stick and rudder is what it takes to fly ANY aircraft. The difference between civilian flying vs. military flying is that military flying is very regimented; as long as you have an open mind, willingness to accept the "AF Way", decent hands, good study habits, and a good attitude, you will succeed in UPT. When you get there, fly hard, study hard, and don't forget to play hard! Good luck!
 

maverick_fp00

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Well, I hope to be in your spot one day - going to UPT and all. I'm going to have to agree with some of the previous posts about the instrument training. I have my private and some instrument training completed. Now, this is just me, other people might have a different opinion, but if I was in your position, I would spend some money and get a little instrument training done that way you have the basic idea on the different types of approaches and an idea of how they work, also when you get to UPT you would have already done certain approaches so when they stick you in the T-37 not EVERYTHING would be totally new, you would have a general idea and I think it might be a little easier.

About the acro - I think that's a good place to spend a few bucks, although I can't say much because I haven't done it yet.

Anyway, just something to think about.....
 

bigred

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As a former T-37 IP my advice would be not to worry about the instrument work. You'll have a lot of flights/sims to work on your instrument cross check. The keys to UPT are study, study, study, chair fly, chair fly, chair fly, and party like a rock star on Friday/Saturday. Your first two months on the line will consist of contact flying where the empasis needs to be looking outside. So do yourself a favor and look outside. There's nothing more scenic than Del Rio, Texas when it's 110 degrees outside and 130 in the cockpit with a student who's on his third barf bag. Ahh, the good ole' days, how I miss them.

Good luck:rolleyes:
 

piperdriver99

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upt

hello all,

im also going to upt. I got in with a guard unit. Just wondering the approximate time that i will be going. started the whole process about 2 years ago. The slot is from this past oct to this coming oct. . Also, could a guard unit drop its upts slots? dont know thanks.

go bulldogs
 

Hugh Jorgan

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I'm currently a T-37 IP. Our last class washed out only one student for flying deficiencies. He was a guard guy with 1600 hours, ATP, CFII. He could not get through the first block of training. The previous class had a guy with 2200 hours, ATP, etc. and I took him on a cross-country. He could not fly an ILS, he could not navigate from point to point. He sucked, but he sounded pretty cool on the radios. The posts above stressing attitude, chairflying and the ability to fly an overhead pattern, execute checklists etc.. are right on the mark. Spend your money on VFR flying, kick ass immediately out of the gates and you'll naturally do well in other areas. PS, CHAIRFLY, CHAIRFLY, CHAIRFLY.....TRIM, TRIM, TRIM!!!!!
 

Mud Eagle

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My personal experience in UPT was that learning instruments in the classroom while simultaneously trying to fly the 2400 block in Tweets was the hardest part.

I feel like if I'd had some basic instrument training prior to UPT, I wouldn't have spent so much time wondering "what the heck is this whole Procedure Turn thing?" while I should have been reading 3-3 and chair-flying my spin and acro profiles. At the time I remember thinking that studying instruments and contact flying seemed diametric opposites, so I was constantly sacrificing studying and understanding one in favor of the other. An instrument ground school would have been money well spent for me, as would have a few hours of instrument flying.

While the guys above seem to think that wouldn't have helped much, I think that the disciplined flying required of instrument training and the ability to gain SA simply through nav instrument use is valuable for a guy who's only ever flown a 172 and gotten his PPL.

Now, that said, I also differ with guys above in that I think spending money on acro training is a waste. Nobody that I know of has washed out of UPT because they couldn't fly a chandelle or cloverleaf. Besides, flying acro in a Pitts, Decathlon, or what have you, is going to be different from a stick-and-rudder standpoint than the Tweet or the Texan II.

Instrument flying, on the other hand, is going to teach you to cross-check instruments to maintain (relatively) precise headings, altitudes, and airspeeds, regardless of what you fly or what "concept" of teaching is used (ref Albie's explanation above). Agreed that you will never fly an NDB or GPS in UPT, but at least you'll understand what an instrument approach is, what components it's made from, and how to read an approach plate -- all things that are common to instrument flying, regardless if you're flying a VOR, TACAN, ILS, Localizer, or what have you.
 

OPIE01

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What a good discussion

To the guy who started this thread. "EVERYBODY IS RIGHT." I'm sure that helps you a lot.

My advice is: Buy the MICROSOFT Flight SIM or Get some SIM time at the FBO. Pay for some INST ground training, but only fly it in the SIM. The Sims are very realistic and don't cost a lot.
Ask the Guard if you can use the money they would normal spend a guy for IFT(Intro to Flying Training), since you have a PPL already, see if they will give you some money for some acro and spin training. I know they have to pay for some Flying time if it has been more than 6 months from when you get your PPL and when you start UPT.

I only had the Inst training I recieve in Army helo pilot school, 5 years before I started UPT. As has been brought up before, It wasn't a perfect carry over but I at least knew how to Spell ILS and VOR. And by the Way "T-6s fly GPS Approaches", they are easier than VORs.

As many said before, ATTITUDE, ATTITUDE, ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING. But having some experience in everything, ie inst, Spins, might not carry over exaclty but it does expose you to the enviornment.

Spent the money on some Sim time and some ACRO, and try to fly with some young pilots in your Guard Squadron in a C-150 and pick thier brain.

By the way I was a T-37 IP and am now a T-6 IP at Moody.
 
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