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FMS Anxiety

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5 hours ago, Jude Bradley said:

Here's a good guide for the 737 systems and the link below covers the FMC 



Actually, the FMC guide on the site is a bit on the techy side and somewhat limited in usability details, so perhaps not ideal for this instance, can't blame Chris for doing that, otherwise nobody would buy his book. The one in his 737 book however, expands on matters in a more accessible fashion and is well worth reading.

Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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On 3/15/2020 at 6:53 PM, Chock said:

Easy. Just get hold of one (or several) of these books, or the digital download PDF versions if you prefer, but the printed ring-bound ones are better...


If I had to make a recommendation, I'd say get the iFly B737 add-on for your sim:


and then, since the B737 NG is pretty much the ideal FMC-equipped airliner to learn on, get this book to go with it:


That book will really ease you into the subject and make you want to learn it, and pretty soon you'll realise that it's not as complicated as it appears at first glance. 

The thing to bear in mind with the FMC (Flight Management Computer) in an airliner, is that NASA developed the CDU (Computer Display Unit - i.e. the bit you type stuff into) when pocket calculators were starting to become widely available, and so in order to make the CDU not seem scary to professional pilots, they modeled its appearance on the appearance of a pocket calculator. If you'd never seen a pocket calculator before, that would look pretty scary and complicated, even though you of course know that it is not. Same thing with an FMC. It looks complicated, but it is actually really rather simple once you understand how it functions and realise why it looks the way it does, and the above book will make that a painless, fun and easy learning experience.


I've decided to take your advice in this thread.  I will buy the iFly 737 and order the book you recommend.  After reading the reviews on this book, it seems this is the most "painless" way to learn the FMC.

Since most of us are self-quarantining now.....(unfortunately), I feel this is an excellent time to use the abundant time at home to slowly and accurately go through this learning process.

Thank you for your recommendation.


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Well in that case, I hope, and am pretty sure you will, do well with it and enjoy it.

Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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Good luck and don’t be shy with questions!


Current System (Running at 4k): ASUS ROG Maximus XII Hero Z490, i9 10900k @ 5.3Ghz, RTX2080ti, 55" Samsung Q80T, 32GB DDR4 3600 RAM, EVGA CLC 280mm AIO Cooler, Brunner CLS-E NG Yoke, Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS, VirtualFly Ruddo+ and TQ6+

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My two cents - I spent years with the LDS 767 and loved doing VOR to VOR station navigation.  Still miss it.

My ah-ha moment came from going through the PMDG tutorials twice, and then just "fooling around" with it.  It actually will let you do more than you think out of order.  So I'd encourage just playing around by stepping through the various menus.  I always have skyvector open as I'm setting up waypoints, don't forget to hit the exec button when it goes white and to delete any gaps in the way points.  Froogle sim also has a great tutorial a real captain showed him about setting up a flight to do touch and gos at the same airport.  

Good luck!  I spent a few years in your shoes too and there is something to be said about having a real hand-on approach to flying vs. letting the FMC have all the fun. 



Mark Trainer


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