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Thread: No Need To Remain In The Shadows

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    At the edge of the foothills west of Denver, Colorado, USA.

    Default No Need To Remain In The Shadows

    Those of you who've been monitoring the forums for anything more than a few days will have noticed that I'm an active poster ...

    Trust me, it was not this way for me at first. In fact, while I started with this site as an observer sometime in the late 90s, it was quite literally several years before I was able to screw up the courage to ask my first question in the form of a post. At any rate, our goal is to get you to feel comfortable participating immediately, first in this forum and then later (or whenever you're ready) in what I call the "specialty forums".

    What is unique about this forum is that collectively we are going to get your questions answered if at all possible, after which we're going to show you how we obtained that answer. This is exactly the reverse of most informal membership policies on most sites, which effectively say "You may ask your question here only after you have exhausted all other alternatives."

    But how do you learn what the alternative methods are? Well, you'll see. We'll teach you not only how to conduct searches, but also where to conduct them. (The internet can be surprisingly valuable even regarding matters relating to Flight Simulator.)


    Now ... Am I an expert user of FS? No.

    I'm not a rookie, but then I have no idea how to tweak my FS installation for maximum performance, for example. It's not that this kind of thing isn't worth doing, it's that the subject holds no particular interest for me therefore I haven't absorbed a lot of information about it.

    Similarly, the contents of .air files remain a mystery to me, as do anything beyond the basics of configuring a computer system. (My biggest decision is usually whether to go to Best Buy tomorrow versus the day after. )

    Yet I should be able to develop answers to FS questions, even when they have to do with things I knew little about when I saw the question -- because I'm a very good researcher, when I want to be.
    Last edited by xxmikexx; 04-29-2008 at 09:08 PM.
    Digital abstract art copyright 2010 Mike McCarthy, all rights reserved.

  2. Default

    "No Need To Remain in the Shadows"?

    Newbies should not hesitate to ask questions.
    We need new questions and ideas. That's how we
    all learn.
    Last edited by Captain America; 04-29-2008 at 09:09 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    At the edge of the foothills west of Denver, Colorado, USA.


    Captain America,

    I second your post. None of us was born knowing this stuff.

    I'm now going to stop preaching at wait for the first question that nobody else was able to get around to.
    Last edited by xxmikexx; 04-29-2008 at 09:13 PM.
    Digital abstract art copyright 2010 Mike McCarthy, all rights reserved.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Ellwood City, PA

    Default Ten Steps for MS FS Beginners

    No matter what version of MSFS you start with, there are a few things you can do to make things a lot easier and less frustrating, not to mention a quicker way, to enjoy this great hobby. Once you have loaded the game try following these steps.

    1. Go to the quick start and just fly, it's really simple. Ha!
    2. After a couple of hours or so you will probably have taken off, landed, crashed a lot, and then pretty much gotten bored with the whole thing.

    Now, if you're more than just casually curious, then follow the rest of these steps. You should get familiar with the various controlling elements of flight with your flight stick or yoke and/or pedals and some key controls. Using the outside view, walk around the plane and move the controller. When you pull the stick forward and back watch the trailing edge of horizontal tail section, the elevator, move. Twist the controller, or use the pedals or keys to move the rudder and observe the trailing edge of the vertical tail (vertical stabilizer). Now observe the wings. When you move the stick from left to right observe the ailerons on the trailing edge of the wings. Notice that when one side goes down the other side goes up. There's nothing wrong with the controller, or the plane, that is perfectly normal.
    Program a rocker switch or learn the keys to operate the flaps and watch them move when you hit the keys/buttons. That is pretty much what controls the fixed gear Cessna. Although, on the real aircraft you could observe the trim taps when you move a trim wheel, in MSFS you can not. Learn the control keys or program rocker switches to trim the elevators and rudder. You will use the elevator trim much more than the rudder trim until you are doing a lot of hand flying in real world conditions, but it's nice to have the ability. Oh yes, it's pretty obvious what the throttle does by just the sound alone. 

    There you have it. Just about every aircraft you fly will have all these controls. Not too many, when you
    think about it. Just a few more controls than what you have in your automobile.

    3. Go to the Default Airport of whichever version of MSFS you have and load the Cessna 172.
    4. Take off and climb to 3000 feet at a speed of 80 kts (on the airspeed indicator).
    5. Once you reach 3000 feet, trim the aircraft to fly straight and level at a speed of 100 kts.
    6. After you've achieved that, make a turn, keeping the aircraft flying at 3000 feet and 100 kts.

    Hit Ctrl/z (Control z) on the keyboard twice and to observe the frame rates. If the frame rates are 20 FPS (frames per second) or better, it's not the game or the computer that's making this difficult. It is you. No problem, you can only get better with practice. If your frame rates are 10 or less, it's not you, it's probably that you have too many sliders too far to the right and your computer can't handle it. There are some good articles in here that explain how to improve frame rates and get the maximum out of the computer. Until you get good enough to fly straight and level and turn at a constant speed, just leave the settings low or at the defaults. Once you know the capabilities of your computer, and what it will handle, then you will be confident that you are learning to fly and not trying to accomplish the impossible, which is attempting fly an aircraft in conditions that your computer can not handle.

    Practice this until you're really bored. After total boredom and/or frustration sets in, walk away for awhile, then come back later and try again. You'll be surprised how much better you do.

    7. Fly some more, try some landings, enjoy the scenery, fly over your house, fly inverted, crash a few more times, and get all that out of your system.

    Now it's time to learn to straighten up and fly right. 

    8. Read about and take a few of the lessons in MSFS and get your solo license. Cool
    9. Once you learn a few of the basics, and can fly, start learning navigation and the terminology.
    10. If you have any hang-ups or there's just something you can't seem to conquer yourself, take a lesson or two from one of the 1-On-1 instructors. A few moments with an instructor can save a lot of research time.

    Congratulations and welcome to this wonderful hobby.
    Acer Predator AG3620-UR308, 3rd Gen. Intel Core i7-3770 processor 3.4GHz with Turbo Boost 2.0 Technology up to 3.9GHz (8MB Cache), NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 SC (2GB), 2 TB 7200RPM SATA Hard Drive, 12GB DDR3 SDRAM, Windows 8

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Westminster, CO


    In addition to Herk's comments above, you might read this article in the Flying Techniques and Real Aviation FAQ on the Flightsim Wiki. It's a set of exercises that can help learn to control an aircraft in FS, based on a similar set of exercises that work well in real life instruction.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by xxmikexx View Post
    My biggest decision is usually whether to go to Best Buy tomorrow versus the day after. )
    You should know better than to do that :-p

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    At the edge of the foothills west of Denver, Colorado, USA.



    I stopped working on cars thirty years ago, and I stopped working on computers fifteen years ago.

    Different strokes for different folks.

    For me, losing time to gnashing of teeth over hardware hassles is no longer worthwhile. If the machine does what I want out of the box, I keep it. If not, I exercise my 30-day no-questions-asked return privilege. But I never tinker with it, not even to add memory. As a result my four computers ain't broke and I have no plans to fix them.

    As I said, different strokes for different folks.
    Last edited by xxmikexx; 05-15-2008 at 11:48 PM.
    Digital abstract art copyright 2010 Mike McCarthy, all rights reserved.

  8. #8



    Fair enough. haha
    I'm currently having bad experiences with my laptop i purchased from best buy. Sure, half of it is because it has windows vista, and... enough said there. But it has some other issues there that I don't usually expect to see from an HP

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    At the edge of the foothills west of Denver, Colorado, USA.



    I'm sorry you're having problems.

    My first piece of advice to newcomers is to try to get opinons from users on forums before making a major purchase.

    My second piece of advice is to put a new computer through its paces well before the return privilege period expires. Even then you can still run into brand/model-related problems as davemead has, either after the return window closes, or after the warranty period expires. Hang out, visit computer-related web sites, and try to get a feel for which vendors are routinely mentioned in close proximity to the word "problem".

    For all these reasons I buy only mid-range packaged systems costing on the order of $600 US, and only from Best Buy. This limits my financial exposure. And if I were to buy a machine from a phone/internet order business it would be from Dell.

    Finally, I don't hesitate to spend an additional $200 for a retail copy of whatever operating system is at issue -- I have zero faith in manufacturers' "recovery CDs" because, as I learned the hard way through my son's business, sometimes they don't even include the drivers for the system that is to be "recovered" -- drivers that aren't available anywhere.

    Anyway, that is how I was able to evict Windows Vista from my most recently purchased machine -- I replaced it with retail Windows XP. For those in the readership who want to consider doing this, it would be best to purchase retail XP right now before Microsoft takes it off the shelves of retail stores next month, I believe it is.
    Last edited by xxmikexx; 05-16-2008 at 07:19 AM.
    Digital abstract art copyright 2010 Mike McCarthy, all rights reserved.

  10. Default

    I see this is already two weeks old from the last post of XXMikeXX but I really enjoyed reading it. Yes I am new and I've been looking through the forums for information on the lessons in FS2004 as I'm very frustrated with with them ending without any indication of whether I passed so to speak. I know I'm not ready for the certificate flight yet but when you do all the turns and descents and then you fly straight and level with no feed back it ruins the day. He! He! So I decided to start the taxiing lessons and I know silence is golden but give a break, I'd at least like to know where I was suppossed to taxi to.
    I've spent a couple of hours looking for info on the FS2004 lessons and apparently I'm not using the correct key words apparently as I've found nothing to help in this category; and these old eyes will only last so long.
    Any assistance you folks might have would be greatly appreciated. I purchased FSFlyingSchool and it looks like I would enjoy this program but already have run into a problem with that one, they haven't gotten back to me with how to add the little fields to the NONILS list where I like to fly in Southern Nevada to practice my landings.

    The General (AKA Dave Patton)

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