Are you working to obtain your instrument rating? Are you instrument rated but need to review holding patterns and inoperative instruments? Well I have discovered two simple and inexpensive training aids to benefit any instrument pilot.
Pieper training aids Holding Pattern Aid and Inoperative Instrument Aid are well worth the small investment. Both products use a static cling decal that can easily fit in your bag and can temporarily and quickly be stuck to a windscreen or other flat device.
Watch the video review of Pieper Training Aids instrument training tools on YouTube:
One of the more difficult maneuvers to master during instrument training is the proper holding pattern entry. Pieper Training Aids has come up with a simple in cockpit training aid to help you visualize the entry and is a great tool for both students and instructors alike.
Included in the Holding Pattern Aid are two Right Hand Pattern and two Left Hand Pattern Decals. Let’s see how they work:
1. Turn direct to the holding fix;
2. Overlay the Right Hand or Left Hand Holding Pattern Aid on your Directional Gyro with the large arrowhead pointing toward the inbound heading of the hold;
3. The quadrant on the bottom of the Holding Pattern Aid indicates the entry procedure.
Note: If it is a teardrop, the TDEL (Tear Drop Entry Line) indicates the appropriate heading to turn to after crossing the fix to execute the teardrop entry.
In this example we are told to hold on the 160 degree radial. Once we are heading direct towards the VOR we obtain the Right Hand Holding Pattern Aid. Then place the Aid over the DG( Directional Gyro) with the arrow head on the inbound course and the the tail on the radial. In our example we place the arrow head on the 340 radial inbound and the tail will fall on the 160 degree radial.
To determine the type of holding pattern we look which quadrant the bottom of the DG is within. In this case it is a teardrop entry. To aid us in entering the hold a Tear Drop Entry Line, labeled TDEL, shows us the proper heading to fly. In this example we are to fly a heading of 130 degrees and then turn right to 340 for the inbound leg.
Now lets see how it looks when we use it in the airplane with a few examples.
We are told to hold on the 300 degree radial. We turn towards the holding fix on a heading of 180. Next we take the holding pattern aid place it no the DG (Directional Gyro) with the arrow pointing towards the inbound heading of 120 degrees. To confirm we have the correct inbound heading look at the tail and make sure it points towards 300 degrees.
Since ATC (Air Traffic Control) and pilots always talk about radials from the holding fix I found it was easier for me to start with placing the tail on the radial first then confirming the inbound heading.
Continuing on with our example the third step is to look at the bottom of the DG and see what quadrant we are in. We read direct off the training aid and our initial turn will be to the right to towards a 300 heading. In the center of the training aid the holding pattern is depicted helping us confirm this is a direct entry.
Some of us who are used to the thumb method can try and confirm our analysis by placing your right thumb on the DG and seeing that we are in the direct quadrant. If you don’t use the thumb method there will be another video depicting this.
We wish to hold on the 210 radial with right hand turns. We are continuing towards our fix on a 180 degree heading and place the arrow head on the reciprocal of 210 which is the 030 heading. We then look down to the bottom of the DG and notice the entry is a teardrop. This is also can bee seen by visualizing the entry on the holding pattern drawn on the center of the training aid.
The Tear Drop Entry Leg or TDEL is a great tool in determining the proper heading turn when entering the holding. In our example we need to turn towards a 180 heading. which is depicted by viewing the TDEL.
We told to hold on the 160 degree radial left turns. Remove the Holding Pattern Aid for Left Hand Patterns and Place the large arrow on the Inbound course of 340 and the tail on the 160 radial.
We simple look down and see the entry is a teardrop with a 190 heading after we cross the fix. Again simple and easy to use.
Another great tool manufactured by Pieper Training Aids is the INOP sticker. The wonderful thing about this tool is simply stick it onto the inoperative instrument such as the attitude indicator and you will instantaneously have the instrument covered. Since it uses static cling you will no longer have to wet the back of the sticker which is common in older Inop training devices.
When you want to remove the device simple pull it off the instrument and stick it to the windscreen or other smooth flat surface. When you are ready to use it again, peal it off the flat surface and place it over the instrument you want to cover up and simulate being inoperative.
After using Pieper training aids in the airplane we wanted to see if there was any application in the simulator. I found the tool helpful as an aid in the simulator while teaching holding pattern entries. The inop sticker was not quite as useful since the training device can simulate system failures more realistically.
I would recommend Pieper Training Aids Holding Pattern Aid and the Inop stickers because they are easy to use, low cost, and are a great training tool. To find out more about Peiper Training Aids go to PieperTrainingAids.com.
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