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Canadian Automated Pilot Selection System (CAPSS)

Weiner

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I am heading to the Aircrew Selection Centre at the end of November or early December, and I have quick preparation question.  From reading up on this site, it seems that the main part (or possibly all) of the CAPSS process deals with instrument training.  From what I found on another site, it states that the main items that will be dealt with in the test are: straight and level flight, straight climb, straight descent, standard rate level turns, climbing turns, descending turns, take off, and landing.

From this, I am wondering if a good way to prepare would be to practice with Microsoft Flight Simulator by setting up a flight itinerary and following it very strictly?

An example would be following a schedule like this:
1) Take off and climb to 1000' at a rate of 500ft/min on the runway heading of 280
2) Turn at a bank of 15 degrees to a heading of 190
3) Fly straight and level at 110kts for 5 minutes
4) Perform a climbing turn to a heading of 100 degrees with a bank of 15 degrees and at a 500ft/min rate of climb and continue climbing until 2000'
5) Fly Straight and Level at 110kts for 10 minutes
6) Perform a descending turn to a heading of 10 degrees at a rate of 500ft/min until 1000'
............ Follow a schedule like this covering all the topics mentioned above back to the runway, then land... And make it an hour or so to practice concentrating for that amount of time or longer.  I'm guessing that it would be best to make the weather good and foggy to clear the visual references, or just make the console as big as possible to fill the screen.  And I am also hoping that we don't have to perform the maneuvers with crazy crosswinds or turbulence. 

So in this long winded question, I am basically asking if this type of practice would be the best way to practice with a simulator, and if it isn't, any input would be appreciated. 

Thanks
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On another note, for people researching the Aircrew Selection Centre, here is the best information I found on the centre and the automated pilot selection system.

Journal Article regarding the CAPSS
http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3717/is_200204/ai_n9065404

These ones seem to have the best tips for the ASC and CAPSS
http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/30704.0.html
http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/28790.0.html

And here is a good motivational thread if things go south...
http://forums.army.ca/forums/threads/23206.0.html

The CAPSS
http://www.atlantissi.com/products/apss
 

Zoomie

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Seems like you have done all of your research and I commend you for that...

What you undergo at Trenton is Confidential in nature and thus cannot be discussed on an open source such as these means. 

I think your training plan has great merit and can only assist you in the end.  There will not be wind shear or turbulence as what you are "flying" is not a flight simulator - only a device by which the military screens potential pilots.

Good luck and keep us posted.
 

Weiner

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Thanks for the input,

I kind of figured that I wouldn't be able to get much more info because of the whole confidentiality thing.  I'm really looking forward to going up and seeing what it is all about.

Just hope I don't have to do it twice  ;D

 

jmnavy

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I'm a pilot applicant too, waiting to go to acs hopefully sometime after the new year.  I don't have any real flying experience so I've been focusing my training on MS flight simulator too.  One thing I did that has worked really well is to buy a usb yoke and pedals on ebay.  If you search for "usb yoke" on ebay you'll usually find a bunch of people selling.

The most popular ones seem to be the CH Products yoke and pedals.  You can usually get the pair on ebay for around $200 to $250 or buy them individally there for around $130 each.  I don't think the company ships to Canada but here are some links so you can see what they look like.
yoke http://www.chproducts.com/retail/y_fsyusb.html
pedals http://www.chproducts.com/retail/pedals.html

They were really easy to install and work really well with msfs.  Some sites list them as being compatible with windows 98/2000/ME but I've been using them with XP without a problem.  The trim wheele is uber-sensitive but I don't think the CAPSS instrument panel has a trim wheele anyway (from what I saw in the CAPSS candidate study guide but I could be wrong about that)  They do have some canadian online stores listed that sell them but they seem to cost around $160 each.
http://www.chproducts.com/retail/world.html

Antoher thing that helped me was booking a couple of hours on a simulator at a flight school.  It costs about $100/hour but I found it very helpful.  The instructor there was able to help me correct a few things I was doing wrong.  I would say that and the usb yoke/pedals have been equally good investments if you've got a few bucks to spare.

hope this helps.  Good luck!!
 

Weiner

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Funny thing, I did actually pick up the pedals and yoke on ebay this past weekend, I think they were around 260 canadian total with shipping as long as customs don't have their way with my 'gift'.  I'm just hoping that they arrive before the selection centre.  If not, then I'll at least have a good setup to practice with for next time at the ASC (I know, I am extremely confident....).  Plus the pedals will make the sim a heck of a lot more realistic and fun. 

I don't have a pilot's license, but I do have a few hours of flying lessons from this past summer.  I would like to get out to a simulator, but I am hoping that the money was better spent on the yoke and pedals as at least I can get a little readout of my progress with the flight analysis.
 

Strike

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Just remember -- climb: APT (attitude, power, trim)
Decend: PAT (power, attitude, trim)

;)
 

Bograt

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There may or <b>may not</b> be a trim wheel on at CAPPS.
AP and PA

Ask yourself

What maneouver are you performing?

Flying Straight and level? What instrument<b>s</b> tell you that you are doing this? Probably the instruments that tell you you attitude, altitude and heading.

Making a standard rate level turn? What instrument<b>s</b> tell you that you are doing this? Probably the instruments that tell you you attitude, altitude and turn/bank.

Climbing or descending? What instrument<b>s</b> tell you that you are doing this? Probably the instruments that tell you you attitude, altitude, and airspeed, and rate of descent/ascent.

I'm sure y'all know this already.

To sum up. Instrument flying is a continuous process of:
1. establishing an attitude and power setting on the control instruments
2. trimming
3. scanning and,
4. adjusting.

But what do I know, I'm just a 32<b>U</b>.   ;)

Good luck. Have fun. Keep this in mind, ACS is the easiest portion of your journey. :cheers:
 

Strike

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Eww, a 32U! ;D   Just kidding.   We were all there once -- even the Navs.   ;D

 

WannaBeFlyer

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Just remember -- climb: APT (attitude, power, trim)
Decend: PAT (power, attitude, trim)

My civie instructor used the "Climb the apartment, PAT the ground" mnemonic to drill it into my head during the busy times. Worked for me.

In my case, the tasks Wiener listed were covered in the first 10 hours of flight at my school. While I realize pilots with thousands of hours fail ACS, the knowledge of how to climb, turn, descend etc. may be of some benefit to those going to ACS...

jmnavy, I have a detail question about the CH Rudder pedals: Do they control braking ? I am looking to get some pedals and I couldn't tell from the web site you posted if this functionality is included. (Not that it matters, just curious.) I've had a hard time finding pedals in the stores; thanks for the site. My only way of controlling yaw & taxi is with the twist in my WingMan controller.

Good info guys. Of course, with sims like these, you can really prepare for ACS.
 

jmnavy

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Yup, press with the toes to brake.  Left and right brakes are controlled separately, works really nice.

Wiener, don't worry if the yoke and pedals only get there at the last second and you don't get the chance to use it much before acs.  From what I heard this kind of thing will be handy to have throughout all the phases of pilot training.  But maybe some of the other guys and girls who're actually in can back me up on that.

Anyone have any other tools (software, hardware, book, whatever) they can suggest for pilot applicants?  Especially applicants without much/any flying experience (advice other than buying 2 dozen monitors, although I have to admit that my little inner geek does think that's pretty cool! ;D)  From The Ground Up is the first book everyone seems to suggest to me for picking up the basics.  They were right too, I got a lot from it.
 
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aesop081

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jmnavy said:
Yup, press with the toes to brake.   Left and right brakes are controlled separately, works really nice.

Wiener, don't worry if the yoke and pedals only get there at the last second and you don't get the chance to use it much before acs.   From what I heard this kind of thing will be handy to have throughout all the phases of pilot training.   But maybe some of the other guys and girls who're actually in can back me up on that.

Anyone have any other tools (software, hardware, book, whatever) they can suggest for pilot applicants?   Especially applicants without much/any flying experience (advice other than buying 2 dozen monitors, although I have to admit that my little inner geek does think that's pretty cool! ;D)   From The Ground Up is the first book everyone seems to suggest to me for picking up the basics.   They were right too, I got a lot from it.

Put ladies underwear over your head covering one eye and attach a cardboard tube to the other eye attempting to drive you car in this fashion....... ;D

Worked for Nick cage didn't it ?

  {professional driver on a closed course. do not attempt at home}
 

jmnavy

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women's underwear eh?

yeah, I was warned I was giving up some of my masculinity leaving the navy for the air force.  ;D
 
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aesop081

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jmnavy said:
women's underwear eh?

yeah, I was warned I was giving up some of my masculinity leaving the navy for the air force.   ;D

Actualy...that tecnique was portrayed as *cough* ARMY  *cough* aviation  :p
 

WannaBeFlyer

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Thanks jm for the pedal info. In terms of additional flight training manuals, Private courses will hand you a second text in addition to "From the Ground Up" called simply "Flight Training Manual". In this text all manoeuvres such as climbs, turns, spins, stalls, emergency procedures, aerodrome procedures etc are explained in depth. When I was working on my PPL, this was the manual my instructor asked me to read before each lesson (Not sure what the CF uses since I am not a CF pilot but I thought it might explain the basics for you.) It certainly was used frequently during my PPL training. Think of "From the Ground up" as the dictionary for flying and the Flight Training manual as the "how to fly" manual.   It is $16 and available at any flight school or Chapters. Here is a link (hope it works) <a href="http://www.chapters.indigo.ca/item.asp?Item=978077155115&Catalog=Books&Ntt=flight+training+manual&N=35&Lang=en&Section=books&zxac=1"> Flight Training Manual </a>

Back to sims, if you want to day dream or add a touch of the CF to your sim, you can visit , <a href="http://www.flightsim.com"> FlightSim.com </a>and download CF aircraft add-ons for MS Flight Sims. (I attached some examples). Personal favorite is the Snowbirds add-on complete with "Snowbirds.....smoke on......now!" and "Snowbirds....check...in.." sound files. They are by no means actual replications but they are fun.

For those who are on a budget, there is a free flight sim   <a href="http://www.flightgear.org/"> Flight Gear </a> which I have never really tried.
It is NEVER better than the real thing, but about $150 per hour cheaper than actual flight training! Enjoy.
 

Bograt

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Things you may hear at ACS

1. "Check Heading"
2. "Check Speed"
3. "Check Rate of Turn"
4. "Check Altitude"
5. "I was told that I was going fighters"
6. "Civilian pilots make more money anyways..." (Usually said by person who said #5)
7. "Thank you <insert name of higher diety here>
8. "They make your bed, this is cool"
9. "Bend over"
10. "Cough"

For those interested, I have a line of t-shirts that say "I went to ACS, and all I got was this lousy t-shirt..."

(I say that with the up-most self deprecating humour, I am a redoer... I loved it so much, I did it twice... )    ;)


And to get those cheesey feelings going, I have attached something to inspire you. Nothing says Framage like a french fighter driver.

http://www.leschevaliers-lefilm.com/site/intro.html

:clown:
 

Maritime_Matt

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It was pretty interesting- at the NOAB the other week, there were alot of folks who failed to make aircrew- MARS ended up being their second choice- pretty much all of these people got that offer.
 

Weiner

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Quick Update: Finally got booked for ASC, Dec 5 - 9th.  Hope to get the Yoke and Pedals this week for a good solid week of practice beforehand.  Anyone else heading up that week?
 

Matty B.

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Not going when you are, but I'm going there soon. It would be great to know how you did, so keep us informed!

I was interested in your posts, because you are so keen on flight sims. I have my license (cadets) but I think I'll focus more on algebra / trigonometry / calculus when I prepare for ACS... just to keep my mind keen on learning for what I need to know to do well on the simulator. I find flying for real to be way different than flight sims... once you experience gravity, it's much different (just my opinion). But eh, you might be on a good track here... let us know how it went!!! :)
 

Weiner

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I'd have to say that our session went quite good and we had a 100% pass rate for pilot.  Ok, so we only had 4 people, but still, I think it's pretty good.  Packing up and heading to Toronto in a few hours.  Needless to say, we are all pretty stoked.
 
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