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iGuardian

Alingment problem

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Hi Everybody,I am new to FS 2004 and to flying overall. I started with lessons to learn how to fly in the simulator using Cessna 172. But I

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Are you flying using the keyboard, or do you have a yolk, or joystick for flying? Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like -M.Twain

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I am flying using the Saitek X52 System, witch includes throttle, joystick and built-in rudder in joystick.>Are you flying using the keyboard, or do you have a yolk, or>joystick for flying? >Part of the secret of success in life is to eat what you like>-M.Twain

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You could be me muttering those words. There's lots of advice out there but I still think it comes down to reading what ever you can find and then practice, practice and more practice. Watch your instant replays over a couple times from outside the plane at all angles to see what you have done. Then practice some more. View the analysis and practice some more. Make some landings using the rear and side spot view and you'll get a better feel for whats happening and be able to line up better which hopefully you can then translate into doing from inside the plane.I'm still relatively new to the sim and I've made maybe a couple hundred landings and still only really ace about 1 in ten.Find a couple strips close together somewhere where you like to fly and using the "save flight" feature fly back and forth between the two making touch and goes. You can restart that scenario anytime you've got ten minutes to spare.For touch and go practice I like flying around the UK where there is a nice country airport uusally with sight of wherever you take off from. Also start your practice with no winds, it makes quite a difference and with time add some wind at various angle. In real life it takes a long time to get landings right and it does in the sim too.

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Ailerons are not used to correct alignment, the rudder is.To check on alignment, when looking at the runway draw an imaginary dotted line running all the way from the centreline back down from the airfield in the direction of the approach path. Thats your initial lateral alignment for landing. Once roughly aligned you now need to compensate the relative direction of the aircraft for the windspeed and direction. You will have received these from the ATIS from the airfield, as you approached.If you have aligned correctly to start with, but find yourself drifting off to the right then you need to realign the nose of your aircraft somewhat to the LEFT of that runways imaginary centreline. The direction of travel of an aircraft is not necessarily the direction in which it is currently pointed.Of course, in FS you also have the luxury of setting up the wind to run directly down the runway, and I would do that to start with, until you are more comfortable with what each of the controls do, and what side-effects they might have. Then try changing the wind direction a few degrees at a time, until you can correct the aiming point of the aircraft to compensate for the wind speed and direction. In really extreme cases you might find you are looking out the side windows at the runway, even though you are tracking straight down your imaginary centreline!;)Allcott

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Yep, what Allcott said. Spot on. But for real fun, download and install one of RealAir Simulations aircraft, or even their free flight model for the default Cessna 172. Then you'll have an aircraft that slips and spins realistically, and you can do proper crossed-control side-slips in cross-wind landings.Cheers,Noel.

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A couple of suggestions: First, start practicing on a long runway, 7500 ft or more. The longer sight plane makes it easier to judge your path versus the runway.Second, instead of landing, try a "low pass" - fly about a hundred ft above the runway for its entire length. Use landing configuration (flaps and gear down) and hold a speed 10 to 15 knots above stall. When you can do this, try it at 50 ft. When you can get to 10 ft, landing is just a matter of gradually reducing the throttle.It's a little like trying to figure out how to ride a bicycle on a narrow sidewalk. It seems impossible at first, but with some practice, you will make control inputs without even thinking about it.BTW, I had a terrible time learning to line up a real 172 on short final until my instructor told me to "crash it into the numbers" (the numbers on the approach end of the runway). I was ready to do just that, but as we neared the numbers, the instructor told me to pull it back (the yoke) and hold the plane just above the runway. He pulled back the throttle and we settled on the runway. I soloed 2 days later.Dale

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Yeah, it's the `sight picture` lesson all real pilots have to learn for themselves. For me, the `cure` came from focussing at the far end of the runway and instead of aiming short, aim long. Treat the end of the runway like the end of the pendulum on a grandfather clock, swinging that end into the correct position for landing - it was explained to me like cutting a straight line with a pair of scissors - if you look just in front of where the blades are cutting, you cannot keep it straight. If you forget looking anywhere near the actual cutting point and can just accept the cut will be in a straight line, then you can use the tip of the scissors to make accurate, dead straight cuts as the line follows the nose.In aviation terms, if the top edge of the runway is in line with the bottom edge, and stays there, like so:final_22.jpgyou ARE aligned, whatever the nose of the aircraft may be telling you.Allcott

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Thanks for the detailed explanation Allcott. I think I got it now; it makes perfect sense. It's like when you drive a car you have to look far and if you look right under the hood, you end up correcting all the time. Thanks again everyone for the tips. When I get home today I'll start practicing.

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