Today I want to talk about how repetition and interleaved learning can help you master the sim piloting skills of take offs and landings using MSFS.
Repetition is the act of doing something over and over again until it becomes automatic. Interleaved learning is the practice of switching between different topics or skills in a random or varied order. Both of these methods have been shown to improve retention and transfer of knowledge and skills in various domains, including aviation.
Why are repetition and interleaved learning important for take offs and landings?
Well, these are two of the most critical and challenging phases of flight, and they require a lot of coordination, precision, and situational awareness. They also vary depending on the type of aircraft, the weather conditions, the airport layout, and the traffic situation. Therefore, it is not enough to just learn how to do a take off or a landing once and then forget about it. You need to practice them frequently and in different scenarios to build your confidence and competence.
MSFS is a realistic and immersive flight simulator that allows you to fly anywhere in the world with any aircraft you want. You can also customize the weather, the time of day, the traffic, and the failures to create realistic and challenging situations. MSFS addons like location manager and aircraft manager provide features that let you save your favorite locations and aircraft settings for easy access.
For example, let’s say you want to practice take offs and landings at KLAX Los Angeles International Airport in California, USA. You can use the location manager to save this airport as one of your favorites, and it will automatically show you how many runways and parking spots are available, as well as the ILS frequencies if any. You can also use the aircraft manager to save your favorite aircraft types, livery, fuel load, weight and balance, etc.
Then, you can use the location manager toolbar in fly mode to quickly switch between different runways and parking spots without having to go back to the main menu. This way, you can practice take offs and landings from different directions and distances, with different wind speeds and directions, with different traffic patterns, etc. You can also use the aircraft manager weight and balance toolbar additions to change your aircraft settings on the fly, such as changing the fuel, passenger, or cargo load.
By doing this, you are applying repetition and interleaved learning principles to your simulation based training. You are repeating the same skill (take off or landing) multiple times until it becomes second nature. You are also interleaving different variables (runway, parking spot, weather, time of day/night, position, distance, bearing, height, speed ) to make your practice more varied and challenging. This will help you improve your memory, adaptability, and problem-solving skills. You can also complelty randomise all these variables to really test your skills.
If you want to see how this works in action, check out this video where I demonstrate how to use the location manager and aircraft manager features in MSFS. I also show you some examples of how I practice take offs and landings at Bora Bora Airport in French Polynesia using these features, in addition to pointing out other features using Lukla (height AGL estimation) and KLAX (ILS training).
You can use it for all sorts of scenario based training:
- Take offs
- Take off emergency procedures
- Go around
- Landing emergency procedures
- Varied landing approaches
- ILS familiarisation and training
- Whatever you can come up with!
To get the best out of Location Manager it’s best to watch the above video, and also refer to the extensive notes in the Tips section: How to best use Location Manager
Future improvements to this process could involve things like:
- Improved failure triggering in take off/landing (currently set via the failure menu before flight)
- Traffic issues impacting the pattern sequence
- ATC instructions
- [insert here]
Will see how things progress! I hope you enjoyed this blog post and learned something new.
Feel free to send comments and feeback via the Contact Form, I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time, happy flying!.