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Guest JeffPreston

FS Flying Instructors, Mr Machado, Mr Smith etc..

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For a long time I have wanted to do all of the FS flying lessons with Rod, in an aircraft of my choice (eg the mooney). Now I have FSX, I have worked out how to and it is a lot simpler than I thought it was going to be (hacking wise). All you do is go into the aircraft cfg file, and replace the "title" line (the first line), with the exact name of the aircraft used in the default lesson (cut & paste). For example the first lessons are "Cessna Skyhawk 172SP" by default. I changed it with a DC3. I just change the original cfg, with Cessna Skyhawk 172SPREPLACE for example. This name doesn't matter, as long as it is unique (ie the only plane with this title). FS uses these "titles" to determine which aircraft to use.NOTE - backup the original aircraft folder somewhere on your PC "before" you change it, so you can go back easily. Incidently you can change the traffic AI the same way. By simply replacing "titles". Missions can be changed this way as well. The only downside with altering the aircraft in a mission, is that the comments relate to the default aircraft. Same with the lessons, but somehow the lessons are easier to believe. Try this one: circuit training lesson at Bremerton National in the DC3 with Rod in the right seat. Very cool.By the way if you substitute a twin engine prop with the first single engine lessons, you will need to start engine#2. If not you won't be able to take off, and you might kill Rod! Can't do that, he won't find that funny!My inspiration for doing this was FS Flying School, which is available by download (very small download and cheap as well), and is simply terrific. I use it with the DC3, flying first officer in the right seat, and the instructor then becomes my Captain - who is very demanding, no-doubt like all real captains. For those simmers without real-world experience, one should keep in mind that before a pilot becomes professional, they have already been a Flying Instructor, and in any case a Captain is not that different.Between Rod Machado's lessons (which are superb and funny by the way), Missions and FSflyingschool you will never be alone in the cockpit again, and will.Mucking around like this has shown me that in a 2 man cockpit, there is always a senior pilot playing the role of an instructor, and the other the student pilot. One more point, I have found that maximum settings (full autogen mainly) and slow frame rates, do not seem to interfere with the instructors speech at all. I like flying at max settings, it makes flying much harder but not impossible, especially landing. I like the extra challenge and the view out the window is incredible with full autogen. It also makes the left seat more critical :)

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One final point, when using Max settings (full autogen), I go into a "window mode" (ie not full screen). Not sure if it improves the frame rate, but I find in a smaller window it makes the view out the window look even more like the real thing. Seems to hide some of FS's imperfections and make the autogen look more real (just a thought).

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Thanks for the link Ryan. This does interest me. I used to fly with VATSIM, but I find the team work of flying is lacking in Flight Simulator and online flying. Some recent multiplayer shared cockpit possibilities is of interest, but ultimately it would depend on the proficiency of the other pilot you share with online. Controllers on Vatsim are very professional and highly trained.Now that I think about it the one thing I miss most about my old flying lessons is my instructor - he was terrific. My biggest shock was when I mentioned I used a simulator, he said to me that he regularly uses Flight simulator himself at home, to practice difficult IFR approaches. He explained to me that there are some complex approaches that are very hard to get right in a simulator, but are even harder to do in real life.HK

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HGNK:Many thanks for the kind words - glad your experience with FSFlyingSchool has been good. Rod is an inspiration to so many of us!Did you ever fly with our Miss Aviatrix? She doesn't pull any punches...

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Not a problem Jeff. I am happy to praise it, because I hope it grows and expands. Great program, and amazingly simple considering how effective it is.My suggestion for future expansion would be:* instructor tells you before you set out that if you didn't check the fuel tanks in your preflight checks, whilst he was finishing a coffee - he will kill you (an instructor said that to me once after I had forgotten! I didn't do it again.)* asks you to check your instruments during turns on the taxiway* asks you to test the brakes whilst taxiing* asks you to check your taxi speed by looking out the side window* goes through the engine run-up sequence* goes through the emergency briefing for passengers/crew* asks you to check the compass with runway heading when lined up, turn on transponder/strobes and identify a visual reference at the end of the runway for takeoff.* tells you that he expects that you have completed your pre-landing checklist at the start of the landing phase (eg BUMFISH).* a visual approach mode for landing, so the instructor does not refer to glideslope (haven't used this enough yet to know if it can already do this. I did read in the manual that there is a work around).* circuit training mode for heavy aircraft. These are what my instructor used to focus on, though he didn't need to ask about the pre-landing checklist, because we always did it together. Just a thought.I would set this up, so that each instructor has his own unique mannerisms and sayings (no doubt you have already thought of this).I should point out that I have only just begun to fly with this program, so forgive me if these points are already included. But I have to say that one of the reasons this program is so great is because it is so simple and the dialogue is kept to a functional minimum, unlike other similar FS software that gets too complicated in my opinion. The best part of this program is the program's ability to sense your flight mode without you having to tell it (except take off). This part is fantastic.I have the demo and intend to buy the key to unlock it soon.Thanks, Henry

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Nice suggestions Henry. Glad your enjoying FSFlying School and I can recommend you get the full version. Being able to fly from and to airports you are familiar with is of great help.

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Henry:Thanks again - this time for the very nicely presented points - a lot of splendid ideas for the product, some of which are already on the way...!And indeed - visual approaches are certainly supported in the current version, based on detailed information on a certain number of airports, but it is a system that the user can, with a little practice, expand.Hoping you like the full version and looking forward to seeing your scores on the web high score tables!

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Zane:Thanks for the positive words!Say - I was down at the FlightOne building on SecondLife the other day. Have you been there...? Life is getting pretty strange...

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