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Consolidated Advice for Primary

Hammer10k

Active Member
#1
Just finished Primary and wanted to consolidate the advice I got from the Sirs and Ma'ams on Airwarriors, past threads, IPs, students in the pipeline, etc.

Part I – Pre-Primary

Read “Moonwalking with Einstein” by Josh Foer if you’re a reader. It’s about memorization. The better you are at that, the easier Primary will be for you. Especially emergency procedures. Also read “The Like Switch” by Jack Schafer. There are always benefits to being a good person. The IPs and Sim Instructors are all solid individuals, and it's nice to be able to genuinely show appreciation.

I installed Flight Sim X on my PC with the T-6B software from Iris Simulations. It was an enormous pain in the ass but paid off dividends for practicing before events. You’ll drop several hundred bucks on the setup, not to mention if you have to buy a PC. If you go this route, please send me a message. The game was designed for older operating systems so there are ways to install it incorrectly.

Most importantly, find people ahead of you in the syllabus and constantly get their advice. This includes whether or not your squadron does the NATOPS Brief. If so, learning the NATOPS Brief a couple weeks out from your start date is critical. Otherwise, you’ll be playing catch up all the way to your first block of flights. Learning the EPs ahead of time is also a good idea.

Part II – Primary

Primary is front-loaded in every block. What you’re expected to know on Fam 1 is close to what you’ll be expected to know on your check-ride. Hitting every phase hard from Day 1 is essential. The best advice I got from an instructor is that you should be studying 12-15 hours a day for each block until you start flying. After that, you’ve got to give yourself time to sleep and chill for the flights.

Ground school is a ton of info and much of it is more than you need to know. Don’t sacrifice learning the checklists/EPs/course rules/comms/maneuvers to get a 100 on the systems tests when a 90 will do. Every afternoon after your classes, head over to the Sim Bay and sit in the static trainer. Run your checklists until you know them cold - EPs too.

Once you’re eligible to stand in the Practice Sim line (after Cockpit Fam), you need to be #1 in that line everyday. Practice Sims are allotted times to use the simulators without an instructor. These are the key to early success in the landing pattern. When most students are learning how to land an airplane, you’re perfecting the pattern in each flap configuration.

Utilize www.t6bdriver.com for the sim briefs. Memorize scripts if you have time. This will allow you to brief the instructor, instead of falling into the Q&A trap. Driving the briefs sets a good tone and often results in General Knowledge 5’s.

For Instruments specifically, I went to Office Depot and bought foam poster-boards to draw the approaches on. You’ll know ahead of time which approaches you’re flying in the sims, and these are often the same ones you’ll see in the plane. It takes a lot of time but it shows initiative.

Don’t forget to take care of yourself and enjoy your hobbies. It’s possible to work as hard as you can and still take the occasional night off. You want to be able to decompress so you can be 100% in the cockpit.
 

Hammer10k

Active Member
#4
Add ons: Download the digital copies of the NATOPS and FTI. This will save a ton of time looking for information (using Control + F) as well as not having to lug the books around. For instruments, use https://www.e6bx.com/e6b/ for jet-log calculations. The whiz-wheel just takes too much time.
 

Hammer10k

Active Member
#8
It obviously worked for you, and congrats, but holy shit dude. I don’t think I ever spent more than a couple hours a day actually studying.
I agree - this definitely tapered off. At the beginning of Contacts and RIs there was enough material to study, but I was running on fumes towards the end. Limped through forms.
 

Pakol

Learner's permit
#9
Awesome Gouge, man.

I can't agree with you enough on the pre-studying bit. Going into the first block of sims having the Checklist and EPs cold was so money, and going to the plane with that, plus Course Rules, Limits, the NATOPS brief, contacts maneuvers, and a fair amount of time in the OFTs in the pattern really took the edge off.

If you don't mind me piggybacking a little, I'll drop a few more things:
- Group study in ground school, just do it, it's worth it. Try to keep group studying if you can.
- When you get OFTs early on, practice the pattern almost exclusively, If you get a UTD, practice course rules and high work.
- Have flash cards for: EPs, Limits, Notes/Warnings/Cautions, Course Rules, Comms, Contact Maneuvers, the Pattern. I try to get a rep in for each one daily.
- Definitely know the checklist cold, including Before Exterior Inspection. Know the Overspeed Governor Checklist, After Takeoff Checklist, Ops Check, Climb Checklist, Pre Stalling/Spinning/Aero Checklist, Descent Checklist, and Before Landing Checklist like you know your EPs.
- Ask a completer to do an exterior inspection on one of the hangared planes with you.

I'm still a baby in the FAM block, but I've had 2+ months of nothing between starting ground school and now to contemplate my navel, study a bit, and talk to the guys ahead of me. If you can pre-load a bunch of the memorization you can spend more time getting your discuss items down (you can pre-study that too, I certainly should...) and learn how to fly the airplane with few distractions.

I'd like to hear more about your home sim setup, if it helped in instruments, and if it's any better than the FMS trainer.

Enjoy your stash job, definitely hoping to join you there in pre-strike pergatory.
 

Hammer10k

Active Member
#10
Awesome Gouge, man.

I can't agree with you enough on the pre-studying bit. Going into the first block of sims having the Checklist and EPs cold was so money, and going to the plane with that, plus Course Rules, Limits, the NATOPS brief, contacts maneuvers, and a fair amount of time in the OFTs in the pattern really took the edge off.

If you don't mind me piggybacking a little, I'll drop a few more things:
- Group study in ground school, just do it, it's worth it. Try to keep group studying if you can.
- When you get OFTs early on, practice the pattern almost exclusively, If you get a UTD, practice course rules and high work.
- Have flash cards for: EPs, Limits, Notes/Warnings/Cautions, Course Rules, Comms, Contact Maneuvers, the Pattern. I try to get a rep in for each one daily.
- Definitely know the checklist cold, including Before Exterior Inspection. Know the Overspeed Governor Checklist, After Takeoff Checklist, Ops Check, Climb Checklist, Pre Stalling/Spinning/Aero Checklist, Descent Checklist, and Before Landing Checklist like you know your EPs.
- Ask a completer to do an exterior inspection on one of the hangared planes with you.

I'm still a baby in the FAM block, but I've had 2+ months of nothing between starting ground school and now to contemplate my navel, study a bit, and talk to the guys ahead of me. If you can pre-load a bunch of the memorization you can spend more time getting your discuss items down (you can pre-study that too, I certainly should...) and learn how to fly the airplane with few distractions.

I'd like to hear more about your home sim setup, if it helped in instruments, and if it's any better than the FMS trainer.

Enjoy your stash job, definitely hoping to join you there in pre-strike pergatory.
Great stuff man. Thanks for the input.

I've attached a picture of my setup. FSX was great for BIs and RIs as I could log additional hours, but there's really no sub for the practice sims. If you're doing those everyday during RI ground school and in-between sim events, you'll be money. FSX also doesn't have FMS capability, but really, the FMS lab is all you need for those events.

If you're in Corpus I'll definitely be around to help. Marines slots are back open so you've got a good shot.
 

Attachments

Pakol

Learner's permit
#12
I've attached a picture of my setup. FSX was great for BIs and RIs as I could log additional hours, but there's really no sub for the practice sims. If you're doing those everyday during RI ground school and in-between sim events, you'll be money. FSX also doesn't have FMS capability, but really, the FMS lab is all you need for those events.
I'll be damned, that looks right.

If you're in Corpus I'll definitely be around to help. Marines slots are back open so you've got a good shot.
That's what I like to hear, and yup, I'm over at 27.
 

Hammer10k

Active Member
#14
A good way to exceed MIF in the first block is to get through the checklist fast enough that you get the ECS running so your IP isn't sweating as much.







Spoiler alert: You will never be fast enough.
There is a direct relationship between the amount of time that passes with the canopy closed and no AC and the amount of tension in the cockpit haha
 

Hammer10k

Active Member
#15
The administered course rules book is not as effective as the "Cubic T-6 Course Rules" binders you can locate at the simulators. These binders have full-color, drawn out explanations of course rules. If you can get your hands on the updated, colorized PDF copies, this is the best way to study course rules. The regular book is better for specifics but lacks the visual aspect.