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A few questions from a new pilot

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I picked up FSX recently on Steam; it's the first flight sim I've played since Chuck Yeager's Flight Simulator when I was a child.


After doing what I assume is the typical stuff - flying around my local airport with the little ultralight, seeing how accurate the map is - I embarked on my first real flight, heading from my local airport in Long Beach, CA all the way to Aspen, CO to do a little skiing and relaxing with some hot coco. Despite a few rough encounters with some mountain winds, and having to turn off the Air Traffic Controllers who kept wanting me to fly my Beechcraft Baron all the way up to 30,000 feet, I made it.


Now I'd like to do something more challenging than flying over the desert. I've got a friend in Tokyo, and thought it might be nice to pay him a virtual visit. Thing is, I have no idea how to plan a route, schedule refueling stops, or any of that kind of thing. Heading to Aspen was literally a straight line, and while I had used most of my fuel, there was no need for a pit stop on the way.


So some suggestions on how to plan out a route, which aircraft would be fun to use, etc. would all be appreciated.

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Open up the flight planner and tell it where you want to start, where you want to go, and where you may want to pause for fuel (as waypoints). Make sure you have an idea of you plane's range and allow for reserves, alternates and the like. Me, I get on Skyvector or Airnav webites and plan my route there with the charts they provide. I can estimate the bird's fuel, reserve I may need for diverts, headwinds, and so on. I can pick where I choose for making a fuel stop, and so on. Then I just make a flight plan in the sim to match up. PlanG, I think it's called, is an outstanding tool for such things, and I hear FSNav is pretty handy...Both freeware available on this site. Remember, this is your world. You can land where you choose, a Cessna on a Carrier or a 737 on top of a building if you want. You need ask permissions from no one. All depends, naturally, how "realistic" you want it to be. Do you want to "file" a flight plan with the "FAA"? Pretend to do so.

And always remember, the Pilot is the final authority on where that plane goes, how it get's there, how it lands, and so forth. That's YOU. You don't even ned to listen to the ATCs if you don't want to. I never do, I just ignore them and leave the radio set to 121.5 (Guard). Less distracting, although it IS considerate to ask permission to land at a busy airport. Prevents mid-airs and mid-ground (??) collisions. Assuming you have AI traffic on.

Have fun, try a VOR-VOR flight plan, not a GPS Direct type. MUCH more fun!



Had a thought...then there was the smell of something burning, and sparks, and then a big fire, and then the lights went out! I guess I better not do that again!

Sgt, USMC, 10 years proud service, Inactive reserve now :D

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Regarding the aircraft, assuming you have only the default aircraft and are flying from LAX to Japan someplace, you have multiple options.


If you want to...


-fly nonstop, the B747 is the way to go.

-fly in just a few legs up the west coast of North America, over to Alaska and down the east coast of Asia, you have your choice of the A321, B737, CRJ-700, Learjet 45, and maybe the Beech Super King Air 350

-fly leisurely, taking your time, the Cessna 208 or 172.

-fly with a challenge, old school-like the Douglas DC-3 or even the helicopters


Like PhantomTweak said, it's up to you what you fly, where you fly, and how you fly.


Personally, I would fly the multi-leg route using the B737 (as a beginner). The A321 can be a bit tricky handling for a novice. Learn about flaps and flap speeds and the other things about basic flight before venturing into the big bird, the B747.


A few things to remember about the B737, and you won't go wrong.

-Cruise speed below 10,000 ft. is 250 kts.

-No faster than 320 kts above 10,000 ft.

-Around FL240 (24,000 ft. Anything above 18,000 is FLXXX, FL is called Flight Level in the US, everywhere in FSX) you can switch over to mach speed and set your speed to 0.79m.

-Climb no faster than 2500 fpm (feet per min).

-at FL180, set your altimeter Standard to 29.92 (or press B when above 18,000 ft)

-gear and flaps are both up above 250 kts.


Those are a few of the basics.

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Welcome to the forum(s). If your interest turns to navigation there is lots of good information and instructions to be found here: http://www.navfltsm.addr.com/index.htm .



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Planned out my route with your suggestions - fly up the California coast, on through to Canada, then Alaska, Russia, and finally down to Japan. Hopefully I've placed the waypoint airports close enough that I won't run out of fuel in my Super King Air. The trip from Alaska to Russia looks particularly long.
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Fuel And Payload dialog box can be accessed anytime to change fuel quantity. It's under the Aircraft drop down menu.

Fuel Stations:


If you park close to these, your fuel quantity will go up to 100% immediately. They are usually found in the parking area.


Fuel trucks:


At airports that have fuel trucks, press Shift-F to call for one. They will park next to your plane and bring up the Fuel And Payload dialog box.


Not all airport provide fuel. The GPS has info about fuel availability for all airports.



When on a long flight, save the flight once in a while. That way the flight can be resumed in case of a computer or FSX crash.

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This trek is giving me a lot more respect for actual pilots. I can accelerate time, alt-tab to a web browser, or fiddle with any of a number of things on my desk while I fly. Actual pilots are stuck in a tiny cockpit for the long haul.
Checking out the porn sites on their IPhones or IPads or taking naps. ( I hope not!) Better yet....taking selifies while the emergency parachute lowers them into the Pacific.


In case you really wonder what pilots do on long flights.

Still thinking about a new flightsim only computer!  ✈️

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