In the past I have made wire frames of circles, verticals and 45s that I have attached to a tripod. I'm guessing this is like the plexiglas method I've heard referred to by AJ and above. I would like to try it with plexiglas with a partner as well as the cellphone/handsfree observer at 150m but haven't done so.
I don't get a lot of chances to go to the field and practice especially at this time of the year, and it's even rarer I get to fly with other pattern fliers who can help me with my geometry. One thing I have done is at my desk at work - I mark out the lines of the box based on a pilot position right at the edge of my desk in the middle of the computer monitor. At the "ends of the box", a wall on either side about 12' away from the "pilot position", I have taped folded paper at a 45 taped to the wall (at flying height!) to give me an idea of what the 45 looks like at the end of the box. I could add these 45s at intermediate positions but a doorway and other work-related wall-items restrict my freedom to do so.
Another thing I do, given my restricted stick time is to fly mentally every chance I get, usually when falling asleep at night, or when the rare moment of forced inactivity gives me a chance to mediate. I fly maneuvers and schedules, imagining stick inputs, and add variables such as wind correction, flight direction (r/l - l/r). I also use different planes like maybe a p-51, a Beechcraft Bonanza, or a Twin Commander (Bob Hoover!).
One addition I have added in the past few days to this imaginary routine is that I fly following a brightly-colored line that I draw in my mind along what I imagine to be a perfectly drawn maneuver geometry against a huge dark pegboard at the imaginary 150m distance, with little black holes in the grid. When it comes time to do a partial loop, I project an imaginary string from the cg of the aircraft that is the length of the desired radius of the partial loop and attach the string to one of the holes in the pegboard at the distance of radius away from the aircraft. I keep the string length constant for each loop/partial loop in any maneuver.
It really relaxes me and helps me fall asleep. I rarely make it through the sequence (intermediate) before I fall asleep. Also, it's quite hard to make it through several maneuvers without the mind drifting to other things and starting over.
Who knows what effect this will have on my flying, but the hope is that when I am able to fly with other pilots who can help me with the real-world geometry, I will be better prepared to respond to their observations.astl
Lastly, I'd like to suggest that the sim developers get on the ball with creating digital versions of the kind of mental imagery described, above, in their sims, for us precision fliers (pattern & IMAC - what a huge market!) to use while practicing. I use Aerofly 5 and there is available on their forum a field with verticals and horizontals at 150m, but this is a mere hint of the possibilities. When I have more time someday to develop my graphic chops, maybe I'll make some additions.
Last edited by n233w; 12-04-2013 at 11:04 AM.