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Run-ins with Rod: A rant by Switchdoc

Pro Member Trainee
switchdoc Trainee

Soo.... this Rod character upset me mightily last night.

I passed all of the first lessons and flew my small plane solo successfully and decided I really needed to get a handle on some of the navigation stuff.

So, I fired up the VOR flight lesson, read through it, didn't quite get it, and thought "thats okay Rod will walk me through it".

So I flew the lesson and he stepped through it again, and then handed me the controls. At this point I realized there was SOMETHING I was supposed to be doing, but he hadn't explained it very well. I was hoping he'd provide a little more guidance once he realized I wasn't really doing that well.

But NOOOOO!!

All I got was Rod screaming in my ear. "You are too far right!" "You are too far Left!" And then the kicker:

"I can see you are distracted right now, lets try this again later." Then he ends the flight without so much as a 'Seeya later'.

Man was I steamed!

Look jerk, hows about a little more info and a little less screaming random directions at me?!?! I'll show you distracted!! Where the <expletive> is the passenger eject on this danged thing??? *shooof!* HAH! Who's distracted now Rod?? Huh??? Hey! Yer too far right!! BWAH HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! <thud>

He needs to give you a little more time on the more complex lessons if he isn't going to explain very well. Evil or Very Mad

Thanks for letting me vent!

-Switch

p.s. I think a little ejector that throws a passenger out of the cockpit with a parachute on/off button would be highly amusing addon. 🙂

29 Responses

Pro Member Captain
WarHawk42 Captain

VOR's are pretty simple once you understand exactly what a VOR is. It is nothing more than compass points only they are called radials, there are 360 radials which correspond to the compass points.

When flying to a VOR set your dial to center the needle and that gives you the heading to the VOR, if the needle drifts to the right you are going to the left of the VOR and need to correct your course to center the needle once again by turning to the right, Just the opposite if the needle drifts to the left. Once you have centered the needle you need to resume the course the VOR is set for.

If you were going to far one way and then the other you were correcting but then once centered you didn't adjust to the proper course, causing you to zig zag back an forth.

The closer you get to the VOR the more critical small errors become. Think of it as somewhat like a pie slice. When on the outer edge of the pie crust the distance from one edge to the other is greatest and becomes less and less as you move towards the point of the pie. Radials act the same way, as you get closer to the VOR small errors show up as large changes.

Alternately you can rest the dial to center the needle and adjust your course accordingly, but that isn't in the lesson.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

switchdoc wrote:

Soo.... this Rod character upset me mightily last night.

Don't feel bad about it switchdoc, join the club. I've had exactly the same experience you just described the first day I ran fs9. I decided then to ignore the condescending, arrogant 'funnyman' and haven't called on his 'guidance' since.

I must have read literally thousands of posts since, advising newbies to go through Rod's lessons and all will be fine. I suppose this is one way of doing it - for my personal taste - no thanks.

Just because Rod's flying lessons are integrated into MS FS does not justify the blind belief that those instructions are the cream of the crop.

The FS community worldwide spawns hundreds if not thousands of newbies every day and my estimate is that not a minority but the majority struggle with the way those lessons are designed and presented. So the newbie gathers all his courage and asks for help in a forum which apparently exists exactly for that purpose: To exchange ideas and experiences AND to help those who are just starting out.

Sadly, the oh so common reply to the newbie's cry for help is a wagging finger and the stern advice to go and do the lessons. (I like to call those 'helpful' uber-serious enthusiasts "FS-Fundamentalists") --- What kind of help is that??

There are other and to my thinking better and more enjoyable ways to learn the ropes in MS FS. I speak from experience. As we are all individuals, we learn and comprehend in our own, individual ways.

As an infant, you learn how to ingest food because that is the priority. Tablemanners you will learn when you're ready for it.

An FS newbie's priority should be enjoyment -- worrying about the 'proper' procedures should be approached on a 'need to' basis.

I am having fun. I was able to enjoy the adrenelin rush of successfully and neatly landing the 747 after only a few weeks. I flew the heavies for two years by hand, using GPS only. After two years I decided to explore the autopilot, lodging a flightplan and similar 'serious' stuff. I'm still only mediocre in taxiing properly... so what?
Did I approach the whole thing from the wrong end? I don't think so.

I bet you a Dollar there are thousands of kids worldwide who have been using MS FS for weeks, still trying to figure out the AP, flap settings etc and generally how to get the bird off the tarmac. They could be flying by now and attempting their first landings, but sadly many will never enjoy this aspect of FS due to the outdated approach of the FS lessons and the arrogant behaviour of those who have no better advice for those asking for help than sending them back into the silly little Cessna, which, in FS is certainly no fun to fly.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Insight Chief Captain

lol switch doc

Rod is one of those guys who tells jokes that make you just wanna give him a big ol' slap in the face 🙂

Pro Member First Officer
kianok First Officer

Well put Tailhook Clap

Being sent off to re fly the lessons and made to feel like a naughty school boy who hasn't done his homework is no help at all.

If the lessons were so complete and such a universal learning tool for all I doubt i'd be asking for help in the first place.

Guest

Thanks for the commiseration guys 🙂

I've had okay luck with Rod so far... he taught me how to take off, how to land, provided a mediocre amount of information on turns and altitiude...

What really set me off was, if he'd have given me 5 more minutes to fruit arounda little bit.. watch the VOR dial, etc, I'd likely have figured it out on my own. When the lesson cut off short before I'd even had a chance to figure out what I was doing wrong I wanted load up a 747 and and pilot it into a mountain with him tied to the wing! 🙂

Tailhook, you are exactly correct in the assessment that coming here is an option I would expect most people take AFTER having problems with the tutorials, and I would expect those folks who get the answer "GO TAKE THE FLIGHT LESSONS" probably commit ritual suicide on the tarmac shortly after reading those replies.

In all earnestness, a huge THANK YOU to those folks who have already helped me with so many simple questions, either in direct reply to my posts or in replies to those who asked before me!

-Switch

Pro Member Trainee
switchdoc Trainee

Dargh! Oops, that was me ^^^!

I didn't realize I hadn't logged in!

-Switch

Pro Member Captain
WarHawk42 Captain

Anonymous wrote:

I would expect those folks who get the answer "GO TAKE THE FLIGHT LESSONS" probably commit ritual suicide on the tarmac shortly after reading those replies.
-Switch

When I tell someone to go through the lessons it's someone who jumps into the sim and has problems flying a 747 or some such plane. If they don't know flight basics that is not the place to start. It's my opinion anyone who is serious about learning to fly don't start at the top. It doesn't work that way in real life and it's not the best way to do it in the sim either if you are serious about it.

To those people I do recommend they take the lessons, then if they need help I will help them.

Pro Member First Officer
PH First Officer

On a positive note regarding Rod....even if you crash he is happy to get straight back in the plane with you....unlike most instructors!

Pro Member Trainee
switchdoc Trainee

On a positive note regarding Rod....even if you crash he is happy to get straight back in the plane with you....unlike most instructors!

Ha! A very good point PH! 🙂

Guest Ed Guest

I think the best way to use these lessons is this: fly it once with Rod, and if you have a problem, set up the flight and do it on your own without Rod. Practice it a few times on your own, at your own speed, then try the lesson again. You may find that what virtual "Rod" says makes a lot more sense.

And do it in a plane that's easy to fly, not a freakin' 747! 😂

And a word in defense of Rod, who is getting hammered here. . .

I'm sure all of you realize this, but most of the problems people have with the lessons isn't with Rod, the problems come from the way MS has programmed the lesson. Rod isn't in your computer yelling Turn right! Turn left! He spoke each phrase once some years ago, in a sound studio. The programmers wrote a line of code that says, in effect, "If the aircraft is off course by more than X degrees, play phrase Y." How often the program runs that line of code and plays Rod's phase is a decision made by a programmer, not Rod himself.

I've gotten a little annoyed with the lessons a few times, but if I was going to learn to fly in a real plane with a real instructor, I think Rod would be a fine choice, because in tense situations, a sense of humor (even if it's corny) is a good thing to have.

Ed

Guest

Rod Machado is one of the leading aviation writers and speakers. He is a resident writer for the AOPA pilot and Flight Training magazines. He has published a library of books on aviation.

Setting up the flight senario for yourself without a prohrammed instructor nagging at you would be OK except that without the knowledge of how VOR navigation works might be difficult. Read the chapter on VOR Navigatiopn in the Learning Center. It has pictures too if you're having problems with the words.

Pro Member Trainee
switchdoc Trainee

Heh.

To clarify, I am sure Rod the real person is a great guy 🙂

My beef was that Rod the simulated instructor cut my flight so short.

And yes I'll be continuing to read the lesson info and talking to folks here as well.

-Switch

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

Anonymous wrote:

Rod Machado is one of the leading aviation writers and speakers. He is a resident writer for the AOPA pilot and Flight Training magazines. He has published a library of books on aviation.

Credentials are just that - credentials. As meaningless as numbers if used for the purpose of proving a hypothetical point.

During the '80s Baghwan Sri Rajneesh was one of the leading "Gurus" on a worldwide scale. He wrote numerous books and held countless speeches which have been published and re-published. Millions of devotees worldwide worshipped him as their God.

Do those credentials qualify him to guide me in my spiritual well-being?

It should be pretty obvious to anyone who reads this thread, that nobody has any beef with Rod the living person. Criticism is directed at the lessons as such.
To type 'Rod' is so much easier and quicker than to type "Microsoft'. -- Aahh... I hear you say: What about MS?
Well, using 'MS' instead of 'Rod' would take the personal touch out of this debate.

Guest

Baghwan Sri Rajneesh - What's he got to do with it? Is he any good at teaching VOR Navigation? Being a spritual guy I suppose he might come in handy in the cockpit when you're heading towards the ground wishing you had paid more attention to the lessons.

M$ didn't just guess at what the instructor response should be for someone who isn't ready to move on. The lessons in FS are designed and based very much on advice from Rod Machado (actually takes longer to type than Microsoft) together with a good selection of other experienced pilots and instructors. BTW, Rod Machado is a flight instructor, author, educator and speaker. A pilot since 1970 and a CFI since 1973, he has flown more than 8,000 hours and owns a Beech A36 Bonanza, but I guess that doesn't match Tailhook's experience, knowledge or qualifications in advising M$ where they are going wrong.

There's a reason why it takes a minimum of 40 hours flying time to get a PPL no matter how good you think you are or might be. And there's a pretty comprehensive theory test to be passed first that requires a great deal of reading and learning.

I'd like to see the requirement for everyone to have to successfully progress through all the ground school and air training stages, starting in the low and slow stuff and not being able to move on until having completed the theory test, all the lessons and all the checkrides. That would really be 'As Real As It Gets' but many people would complain about it being too difficult or taking too long and simply give up.

And Switch, I'm pleased that you are going to persevere with the lessons and reading material but be honest, it wasn't Rod the instructor that cut your flight short. You cut your flight short because you couldn't fly within the tolerances stated in the pre-flight briefing. But don't worry, that also happens to many people in the real world, even during their checkrides.

Failure is a part of the learning process and makes the successes all the more sweet. The secret is being able to work out where you went wrong and fix it for the next time. You still might not make it to the end of the lesson but you should get a little further each time until you can fly the lesson over and over without a problem.

I've had an instructor ranting on to me that I was trying to kill him with my short-field landing technique. On a cross-country he told me I was lost and I didn't have a clue where I was, together with a few other well placed and intentional distractions just to see how I reacted. It's all part of training. In the air, personal attitude is as important as aircraft attitude.

Don't feel bad about not being able to fly a perfect NAV lesson in 15 minutes. You are not alone. There are some here handing out advice who haven't managed to stay the course and those are generally the ones that tell you the lessons are not important. Wait until you get to the ATP lessons and checkride.

One person I would refer you to is Don Wood. Read some of his posts. They are a mine of excellent aviation information and advice based on many years of experience. Difficult to find because he posts as a guest but well worth the effort to seek out.

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

Whenever anyone says "What has one thing got to do with the other", it implies that the person just never comprehended the basics, such as... one plus one equals two.
That 'comparison' you seem to be struggling with is called an analogy, you'll find the definition in your dictionary.

I can't say I blame an instructor for ranting at someone who lacks the ability to concentrate on more than one thing at a time.

On the bright side, I do appreciate your effort for reiterating what I must have read a thousand times before from different sources. At least you didn't waste any ink and paper, seeing that we've arrived in the 21st century.

You'll be surprised to hear that not only do I study Don Wood's contributions to this forum thoroughly and with great appreciation - but that I keep a special 'Don's Lessons' folder.

My criticism was directed at the way the lessons are presented and laid out in general in FS, I thought I'd made that clear. Since you apparently perceive the slightest constructive criticism of Microsoft as abhorrent, I fail to understand why you would refer to them as M$ instead of MS.

As far as

...Tailhook's experience, knowledge or qualifications in advising M$ where they are going wrong...

goes, I have been an MS customer for many years and have spent more money on MS products than I care to remember.
I think - as strange as it might sound - that I have actually paid in cash for the right to criticize MS if I find it appropriate, further, in my own little way I am contributing to the satisfaction of a huge community by precisely doing that. Without criticism no improvement to commercial products will be made. And that is a fact.

If you are so horrified of any kind of criticism, I can only conclude that you're one of those unfortunate human beings who, in our day and age still suffers the burden of a totalitarian system.

All right, now that I've said my piece (I reside in a democracy, you see), I want you to know that I bear no ill-will whatsoever toward you - on the contrary - I admire anyone with the courage to speak their mind rather than just agreeing with the rest of the flock for convenience's sake. I sincerely appreciate your input.
If I had one request, it would be for you to give yourself some kind of a name, any name... it makes conversation so much friendlier.
Why not call yourself Rod ?

Your good friend,
Tailhook
😀

Rod Muchadoo Guest

Tailhook says >> All right, now that I've said my piece (I reside in a democracy, you see), I want you to know that I bear no ill-will whatsoever toward you –<<

Thank you, Tailhook. I can rest assured knowing you’re just going to love this response. Let me see if I can follow your lead and add some personal comments and a sarcastic tone to my response. (I didn’t realize just how much I had written until I posted this. Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did writing it.)

Tailhook says >> Whenever anyone says "What has one thing got to do with the other", it implies that the person just never comprehended the basics, such as... one plus one equals two.
That 'comparison' you seem to be struggling with is called an analogy, you'll find the definition in your dictionary.<<

The lack of comprehension might mean that the analogy was completely irrelevant to the subject. I don’t have a dictionary to hand right now but I thought an analogy is supposed to be in correspondence with, or with similarity to, the subject. If we were talking about religious ethics then your Guru reference might be a little more relevant.

But, let me start out by saying that I must agree with you and your logic because I wouldn’t want it to appear that I couldn’t do the math. Anyone who can’t comprehend that: 1 flying expert plus 1 spiritual expert equals two good approaches to learning VOR Navigation must be off their trolley or flying with one blade short of a turbo-fan. Or in math terms, and I’ll use their initials, 1RM + 1BSR = 2 VOR WTF (Windows Training Flights). Now who can’t see that?

However, a diversionary tactic is often used to deflect the uncovering of an embarrassing lack of experience towards an alternate item in an effort to distract the topic to another area of debate. Or it can be used to change the subject completely in an effort to divert attention away from the original subject where that person is not comfortable having been challenged to justify themselves. And when challenged, another common response is to open up with personal criticism of the challenger’s intelligence. For example, suggesting that failing to comprehend what an analogy is, basic math and the English language, is an attempt to diminish the validity of the original question or statement when unable to provide an intelligent response. I’ll comment more on that later.

This is similar (but not an analogy in this case) to what a flight instructor or examiner is doing when attempting to distract the student away from the important matter of flying the aircraft. It becomes especially effective during a busy period such as landing, when the brain is already busy dealing with a multitude of tasks and thought processes. It tests the student’s ability to prioritize and deal with the important things and remain in control whilst putting aside the distraction. Most people learning to fly manage to do that but it doesn’t stop it being a factor at any time in a flying career. Anyone who can’t do it from the get go probably doesn’t make it past the first grade.

An analogy to that for FS would be someone bursting into the room or the phone ringing and interrupting you just as you cross the threshold. (Now that’s an analogy).

Tailhook says >> I can't say I blame an instructor for ranting at someone who lacks the ability to concentrate on more than one thing at a time.<<

Assuming more into what was said is a common fault of someone trying to impress others. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard it said but you should never ASSUME anything because doing so can create an ASS of U in front of ME - and everyone else in this case. I’ll leave the readers to conjecture their own interpretation of your position.

Just for the record, here’s a little more detail. The instructor I mentioned was not my regular instructor. He had been assigned to assess my progress. He had already tried a couple of diversionary tactics to distract me before he went into the ranting, distraught passenger act to see how I would respond to an unexpected event and one more thing to handle at a critical time during a short field landing. Later, the ‘you are lost’ act was intended to have me take my eyes and mind from outside the cockpit and away from the instruments to checking the chart and to hear my justification for confirming my position without detracting from flying the aircraft. Both are perfectly feasible situations that can arise and he was out to check that I did actually have the capacity to deal with them. I’m still here and still flying so I guess I must have passed.

How you can assess my ability to multi-task from a response here is actually beyond me and must therefore be an unfounded personal attack. You haven’t got the first idea of who I am. But you said you didn’t intend any ill will towards me so that’s OK then. You might be surprised to learn that I have been in the aviation industry for more than 17 years.

Some of the money you have spent on M$ products must have included the purchase of their exclusive Crystal Ball software. The ‘cheap shot’ personal comments are an attempt to profess your superiority over someone who has had the audacity to compare your flying experience to a 30+ year professional. ‘Cheap’ probably because of the lack of available funds you have due to the amount you’ve spent on M$ software. Don’t you think that our mutual friend Rod and the many other contributing experts, actually reviewed, and probably flew, these lessons after they were put together and agreed they were ‘As Real As It Gets” before allowing their names to be added to the product? I didn’t see Baghwan Sri Rajneesh listed but I might have missed it because it’s such a common name. It’s a pity M$ didn’t look at your purchasing record and include you in the debate. Have you thought about offering your services to them for FSX?

Tailhook says >> On the bright side, I do appreciate your effort for reiterating what I must have read a thousand times before from different sources. At least you didn't waste any ink and paper, seeing that we've arrived in the 21st century.<<

And a likewise complimentary salutation to you too. I don’t know how many times I’ve read the “Don’t bother with the lessons, they’re a waste of time” comment put out by some apparent expert who can take off in a 747, press a few buttons, use GPS, auto-pilot, and auto-land and think they’re flying the aircraft. The same people who wouldn’t have a clue about the effort and commitment it takes to actually achieve that status and do it right without any of those auto aids and then have the impudence to bemoan the software not being realistic. Not aiming at you specifically here Tailhook but what’s your hat size?

Your awareness of the century we’re in also shows remarkable powers of observation. I, and no doubt many others, would have never known had you not mentioned it. It makes sense now what all that fuss was about five years ago. Coupling the ‘Crystal Ball’ module with the ‘Stating the Ridiculously Obvious’ software is a scientific break-thorough and probably comparable to the moon landings. Is it freeware? Any idea where I can get it? I hope you patented the idea. Though don’t make the mistake of adding your ‘How to Make Assumptions’ software. It’s known to have an adverse effect on everything it’s linked with.

Tailhook says >> You'll be surprised to hear that not only do I study Don Wood's contributions to this forum thoroughly and with great appreciation - but that I keep a special 'Don's Lessons' folder.

My criticism was directed at the way the lessons are presented and laid out in general in FS, I thought I'd made that clear. Since you apparently perceive the slightest constructive criticism of Microsoft as abhorrent, I fail to understand why you would refer to them as M$ instead of MS.<<

I was actually guiding Switch towards Don’s posts but I don’t suppose you could mail all Don’s posts to Switch could you? I’m sure he’d appreciate not having to search through all the threads. Maybe there should be a Pilot’s Advice forum - and I’m being serious at this point. Other than the originator of the question, the ability to post responses would be restricted to those who can provide a copy of their ticket. It could be restricted to non-FS software related issues and real advice for the technicalities of flying, like VOR Nav for instance. It might help new people to this site determine who is speaking from experience from those who think they know the answer. Just a thought.

The use of M$ in place of MS is actually a subtle criticism of their approach to selling software ‘games’ that purportedly reflect the ‘real world’, but it appears that recognizing subtlety is not one of your strengths. Let me try to explain. Take FS for example. They sell a product that has the sub-title “As Real As It Gets” and yet allows someone to take off in a 747 right out of the box, lulling the poor user into thinking they can really fly. Making FS any more realistic, as I previously suggested, by adding training and flight standards that have to be passed, would render the product saleable to a relatively limited marketplace. People possessing the willpower, commitment and attention to detail that learning to fly proficiently, accurately and within the rules demands, would be a much smaller target. That would be a far less profitable product for M$. Hence the $ sign.

Take a look at how much a real, airworthiness authority approved, PC based flight simulator software package sells for. You could pay $5,000 and still have it tell you you’re not good enough because you don’t meet the standards. Or would it become something else you would blast because you didn’t like the ‘stupid instructor’ sat next to you failing you because you don’t meet the standards? In FS9, all you need is a reasonable knowledge of the subject and to fly within the required accuracy standards without ‘auto’ anything, and you will not get those annoying ‘too far left’, ‘too far right’, ‘too slow’, too fast’ messages. But you do get to hear other stupid messages like “great job” and “that was almost perfect’. Can’t stand that.

Tailhook says >> As far as
Quote:
...Tailhook's experience, knowledge or qualifications in advising M$ where they are going wrong...
goes, I have been an MS customer for many years and have spent more money on MS products than I care to remember.
I think - as strange as it might sound - that I have actually paid in cash for the right to criticize MS if I find it appropriate, further, in my own little way I am contributing to the satisfaction of a huge community by precisely doing that. Without criticism no improvement to commercial products will be made. And that is a fact.<<

The largest piece of software I purchased from M$ was in the ‘lots of tens of thousands of dollars’ range. The annual maintenance and support fee alone might possibly outstrip what you’ve ever spent on their products. They didn’t ask for my opinion of the lessons in FS either. Wonder how much you have to spend with them before they take any notice? It looks like they only go to experts in the aviation industry. That’s not fair is it?

Your criticism will probably not be seen by M$ so it was wasted. And that is a fact. Now if you said you had written to M$ and shared with us their reply, offering to incorporate your recommendations, that would definitely be worthy of more credibility. What you did was to write your opinion of the software, not to M$ but to someone having a problem. It really isn’t helping to resolve the problem by blaming the software and advising them to just fly around until you get the hang of it and to look elsewhere for knowledge. The poor guy needs help and not your opinion of the software.

Admittedly, Switch didn’t have a good opinion of it either but that really wasn’t the root of his problem. In good customer relations one of the first lessons to learn is how to get to the root cause of the customer’s frustration. It usually takes asking ‘Why?’ a maximum of five times. Let’s try using Switch’s post as an example. 1. Why was Switch upset? His lesson ended too early. 2. Why did it end too early? Because he didn’t meet the standards. 3. Why didn’t he meet the standards? Because he didn’t understand the subject and the object of the lesson before attempting it. 4. Why? Because he thought he could do it alone and struggle though without the necessary knowledge. 5. Why? Because he was embarrassed to ask for help.

(Switch – this is not an attack on you. It is an honest observation).

Switch’s embarrassment in asking for help was masked by attacking and blaming the software. But he did have the good sense to come looking and ask for help. This time it was out of frustration but I am willing to wager that he doesn’t hesitate to ask for help in the future. As long as he gets help and not more inept opinions of the software he’ll be good for increasing his knowledge and getting through the lessons. He realized his mistake, took preventative action and has fixed it. A lesson well learned that will hold good for life.

My comment about your experience was a screened elicitation for you to identify what experience you have in giving or receiving flying lessons or even in writing training software. Maybe even any spiritual teaching you might have done. But look at the response it generated from you. As you do not appear to have any experience in that arena, and embarrassed to admit it, you unfortunately chose the personal attack option for everyone to see.

No, the lessons are not real (or should that be Yes, the lessons are not real? – could you check that in your rudiments of grammar book for me. I seem to have misplaced my copy). In a $50 (or less if purchased within the next ten minutes) off the shelf software package that is attempting to be all things to all people, what do you expect? I think I paid well over $1,000 just for reading material and a training DVD course then $25 an hour for a qualified instructor to help me put it all together in the air. Then there’s the fee for the privilege of being tested. And they are all ongoing costs. So a one time $50 payment for an application that I can use to practice navigation is a bargain even with some of its known faults.

The ability to be a competent trainer involves having a multitude of skills and alternative methods for teaching the different individual human requirements for learning. M$ had no real option in keeping the price low to taking the simple ‘You’re not good enough’ approach. Maybe they took a lead from the Weakest Link show. Imagine it. You’ve been flying for three hours and you’re about to land but you forgot to lower the gear. Just before everything goes black you hear, “You are the weakest link. Goodbye.” Just like the real world. Or would you prefer the software to say something like, “Now you have forgotten to do something haven’t you? Let me help you remember. Was it the Flaps? Noooooo. Was it the auto-brakes? Noooooo. Was it the Landing Lights? Nooooo. Was it lowering the Landing Gear? Yeeaaaah. Would you like to invoke the auto Landing Gear lowering option so you don’t fail the test and before that nasty Rod instructor guy says something to make you look stupid?”

If the product was really that good, then a few thousand flight instructors would be out of a job. A 1 hour flight lesson will cost you more than $50 and successful VOR Nav will entail more than a few 1 hour lessons practicing and demonstrating your proficiency in using it, all the time being assessed by an instructor and ultimately by an examiner.

Tailhook says >> If you are so horrified of any kind of criticism, I can only conclude that you're one of those unfortunate human beings who, in our day and age still suffers the burden of a totalitarian system. <<

I actually welcome criticism. I learned a long time ago that only your friends offer criticism to help you improve. Your enemies don’t tell you where you’re going wrong and take advantage of it or they use it to try to make you look stupid.

I’m sorry to have to break this to you and burst your bubble and I’ll try to let you down gently. You might want to sit down. Ready? Flying is a totalitarian system. There, I said it. I think it’s best to get bad news over as quickly as possible.

There is no democracy in the cockpit or in a PIC’s authority to make decisions and issue instructions or commands. One person is in command and everyone does what the pilot says. Whilst you take the high moral stance regarding living in a democracy, (just where is El Dorado SH anyway?), if you fly as a passenger in real life you have actually paid to place yourself under that nasty old totalitarian system. All perfectly legal in your democratic world. I bet even with your attitude towards democracy you do exactly as you’re told on an aircraft and without question.

You see, in some circumstances not only does totalitarianism work, it is absolutely necessary for order and safety. Maybe you should consider filing a lawsuit against the airlines because they are taking away your democratic right to be consulted by the pilot before he makes a decision especially when you have paid money to be part of that flight. As it stands, you either do as you’re told or risk not flying with that, or any other, airline again.

Everything considered I suppose it comes down to personal character and self-esteem. You might be easily satisfied by sitting in front of a monitor having pressed a few buttons, watching the AP do its stuff and all the dials, screens and gauges flickering happily away whilst you repeat the mantra, “I know I can fly. I don’t need lessons. I don’t need to be tested. I could pass all the tests if I wanted to.” All that you have really done is learned how to operate the software.

Or maybe you want to achieve something and be able to say, “I accepted the challenge. I studied. I overcame the standards. I completely understand what’s happening. I can successfully fly all the lessons and checkrides without getting those annoying messages or getting kicked back to the classroom.” I don’t know about you but this is my approach.

On the posting name front, for some reason yesterday I couldn’t make a post if I entered a name. I’ll try with this and see what happens. I guess if it works you’ll see the name and that should bring you running.

Well my good friend, don’t take any of this too personally and please read into it my warped sense of humor that I have incorporated. Most of what I’ve seen you post is good advice for using the FS software. BTW, have you tried the lessons recently? With the experience you have gained you should have no problem now. Let us know how you get on.

Rod Muchadoo

Pro Member Trainee
switchdoc Trainee

Hello all, me again. 🙂

I'm not in any way trying to step into the debate between Rod Muchadoo and Tailhook, but I feel like it might be a good idea to clarify my position because I want to be a long term member here and I want everyone to know and understand me because my goal, as I learn more, is to become a helpful member of this great community of enthusiasts.

As far as I am concerned both of them are great because they took the time to respond to my post, which as I have stated previously was not always even remotely a guarentee in some of the other forums I tried before finding a home here.

I guess the first thing I should make clear is that my original post really was meant entirely in jest. I was indeed frustrated with Rod the automatic flight trainer. But, the feeling almost immediately gave way to seeing the humerous side of it.

Being brand new to the community here, I decided a humerous rant on the topic would be a perfect way to introduce myself, in a way, to the rest of you.

I am sure people buy flight simulators like this one for many reasons. For me, it was to get a taste of something I might never get to do in real life, namely flying a wide variety of planes to and from a wide variety of places without the dire consequences that would normally stem from being in a real plane, full of real people, who don't necessarily see the humor in hitting a mountaintop at 600mph because the pilot was trying to figure out how to get the gear down and didn't notice the hillside closing in.

I say that to say this: I don't take this too seriously. Ultimately its supposed to be an escape for me. It's designed to be fun and thats how I look at it. They day it stops being fun, I'll put my joystick away or maybe get a copy of Combat Simulator and practice blowing stuff up for a while 🙂

So, when I ranted about Rod, it was designed to be a humerous tale of my most recent experience... one of many I hoped to share as I made the progression from flightsim newbie to someone who can (someday, with work) stick a landing in a 747 with only one engine in a game that is close to, but entirely unlike, real flying.

Rod pissed me off, and its funny, because its a game. Thats amusing to me, thus the purpose of my rant.

I actually think the flight lessons are a valuable tool and accept and appreciate the fact that if you don't do them right you fail. Otherwise how could you have any sense of accomplishment when you succeed?

I can tell you I proudly printed out my solo flight certificate after I passed that first set of lessons. I was thrilled because it had been new, difficult, and took a couple of tries. I had never done anything like it before, had to work at it, AND I passed anyway.

I can also tell you I enthusiastically passed it to my wife who looked at it, passed it back, and gave me a "Good Job" in the same tone you might use congratulate a 30 year old who announced he'd just ridden his first bike without training wheels. We all know, in a real Cessna, a computer game certificate doesn't mean much. 🙂

So to recap, frustrated with Rod's early cutoff of my training lesson? Yes. In a real and serious way? Definitely not. It was FUNNY. So I wanted to share it.

I may have made a slight misstep when I responded to the post about folks who come in and say "You have to do the lessons" without any answer to the original question. I believe I created the mental image of a pilot committing ritual suicide on the tarmac after hearing such a thing. Perhaps such a thing is not humerous in any connotation, but it was definitely meant in jest regardless.

I can imagine someone might be frustrated if that was the ONLY answer they got, but my experience on these boards so far has been that's not the case. In fact the first reply to my post was more details on how to use the VOR. Had that post ended with, "so now go try the lesson again!" I would have enthusiastically embraced such an idea as sound logic. Passing the lesson would give me a good idea if I knew what I was doing or not. Of course there are restrictions and a way to fail... how else could I know if I was doing well?

Rod Muchadoo, mentioned that maybe I was embarressed to ask for help. I appreciate that he took the time to read into the situation to try to understand where I was at with all this. The truth though is, I am far from embarassed. I sought out this forum because I knew I would NEED help. I've posted and received advice already on a variety of topics and had I felt I couldn't figure out how to handle VOR on my own I'd have posted even more questions, up to and including seeing if anyone would hit an online server with me to go through it in person. And, because this is such a great place, I feel supremely confident someone would have stepped up to offer such a service. I will go further to say that such a person would probably have enjoyed teaching me as much as I enjoyed learning, because such is the nature of this game and the caliber of the people here.

My rant against Rod the flight trainer was posted because I thought it was funny. I was expecting humerous responses from others who had also had a flight lesson terminated early and had a similar "You bastard!" kind of reaction. Because it is amusing! A grown man being chastised by a computer simulation. I took poetic license with my outrage to go for a humerous affect, and perhaps I didn't clearly get my point accross that I was joking. This was the same with my ritual suicide comment. It was meant to show the humerous side of getting such an unhelpful post, not to convey that in away way that I felt such responses were rampant here.

Rod Muchado was correct when he said I hadn't completely understood the text portion of the lesson. I read it, didn't get it completely, and decided to do a little hands on with the flight instructor instead. Of course, in real life especially, this is a flawed way to learn anything. I would imagine a real flight instructor would expect you to have a firm grasp on the material before he'd even waste aviation fuel on you.

The problem was I've always been a hands on learner. Show it to me. Let me touch it. Put me in the situation and let me figure it out. So, I was bummed that I didn't get enough time to figure it out in that way. But of course I understand there is no way for a computer generated flight instructor to understand that. The day Microsoft can program that, they've just replaced every teacher in the human race. That, of course, would be unfortunate and unlikely.

So, concerning VOR, I'll figure it out or I won't. If I don't, I can can still do nearly anything I want in the game. Heck, I spent a good 30 minutes the other day doing barrel-rolls in a 737 and pretending to shout "Whhheee!!" over the intercom to my imaginary passangers. I imagine they were not nearly as thrilled with that as I was. I wonder if FSPassengers has a "barf-o-rama" score for that. Wink

Flight points: 0
Number of passenges who experienced total heart failure: 287

If it becomes important to me to learn it (and it likely will eventually as I want to check out some of the ATC controlled multiplayer servers who require you know such things), I'll take steps to do so including talking to folks here, re-running the lesson many more times, and seeking additional resources online. But, it'll be for fun. This is all for fun. Every minute of it. And again, the day it ain't I'll give you a deal on a used joystick. 🙂

This got long and I appologize. I'll close with this.

Thanks for being here, all of you. Thanks for giving me a place to ask questions, share my experience, and in general to get justification that there are other folks out there who think it's as cool as I do to do things in this simulator. This would be a lonely place without you. Tailhook and Rod Muchadoo, I respect and appreciate you because you are here. Work out the debate as you see fit. But, I hope you'll remember you're both folks talking passionately about something worth being passionate about.

-Switch

Pro Member Trainee
nik_simpson Trainee

ROFL hahahahha nice , i don't really understand the VOR lessons either , i just use GPS lol ,and yeah i agree with you 🍻 F*** rod

P.S WTF IS UP WITH his jokes , MY GRAMMA can flip better s*** then that 😂

Rod Muchadoo Guest

Good reply Switch.

Hopefully you're now getting what you need which is far better than some people giving you what they think you want to hear amongst blowing their own trumpet.

Warhawk's and Guest Ed's responses were exactly what I was proposing. I added a few comments about Rod Machado just to give you an idea of his aviation experience and what he contributed to FS.

The factors that you didn't need were first, the response giving Tailhook's opinion of M$ and his history of using FS, and second, the element of personal comments in his reply to me because he was challenged on it.

I really hope TH isn't sitting up all night composing a response to what I wrote. 😳 That would be such a waste of his time and he probabaly needs the beauty sleep. 😀

If you're still having problems with the VOR lesson I'd be more than pleased to transcribe a script of the lesson and add comments to try to explain to you why and what Rod the instructor is asking you to do.

Pro Member Trainee
switchdoc Trainee

The factors that you didn't need were first, the response giving Tailhook's opinion of M$ and his history of using FS, and second, the element of personal comments in his reply to me because he was challenged on it.

I really hope TH isn't sitting up all night composing a response to what I wrote. That would be such a waste of his time and he probabaly needs the beauty sleep.

Just to be clear, this is exactly what I don't want to get mixed up in here. My response was in no way taking sides in this argument. I just wanted to make sure I was clear with what my original intent was since the thread had gotten a little bit off track.

-Switch

Pro Member Captain
WarHawk42 Captain

switchdoc wrote:

Just to be clear, this is exactly what I don't want to get mixed up in here. My response was in no way taking sides in this argument. I just wanted to make sure I was clear with what my original intent was since the thread had gotten a little bit off track.

-Switch

You didn't start this, you were obviously frustrated with the results of the lesson you were doing. Rod is a very well known and respected instructor, the fact the lessons have been condensed down to what they are doesn't reflect on Rod, but rather the constraints programed into the game.

I have looked over a lot of the material you can read and have been through the basic lessons just to check them out. They could be better, some are not as clear to someone who is new to flying as they could be and that leads to frustration.

That is when we come in handy, there is always someone here who can help you over the rough spots.

I do believe though the lessons may be lacking in some respects they are a good place for someone new to flying to start. There is good information in the reading material to.

Rod Muchadoo Guest

I couldn't agree more and I apologize for having had to use your thread to respond to TH.

That offer of help to script the lesson still stands if you need it. 🍻

Pro Member Trainee
switchdoc Trainee

Rod,

That script lesson would be awesome if its not too much trouble.

Thanks!

-Switch

Rod Muchadoo Guest

I'm working on an urgent business proposal but as soon as I get five minutes I'll fly the lesson and put it together for you.

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

[quote="Rod Muchadoo"]I'm working on an urgent business proposal but as soon as I get five minutes I'll fly the lesson and put it together for you.[/quote

Would it be possible to post it here for everyone to use.

Radar

madbrit Guest

Thought I had better revert to my usual posing name. Twisted Evil

Let me know if this needs tweeking anywhere.

The flight path for the lesson is below with ‘FIX’ points 01 – 06 indicated, together with the end of lesson Flight Analysis.

Just for info, on the DME panel the distance shown is a direct line from your aircraft to the VOR station and not the ground distance from the station. So for Nav purposes it is read as 3 DME and not 3 miles. This is why the DME distance doesn’t get down to zero as you pass over the VOR, unless you are doing a very low pass.

You will notice there are some small lines or dots along the horizontal axis of the VOR, usually five. The needle at the furthest line from the center shows a 10 degree course error so each line represents 2 degrees. Depending on your distance from the VOR, they give you an indication of how far off course you are. At 60 DME 1 degree = 1 mile. At 15 DME 1 degree = ¼ mile.

As soon as the flight commences, set the throttle to about 3/4 power so the RPM shows 2400. That will hold your altitude, and with a 300’ tolerance above/below you shouldn’t need to worry about altitude too much. Try not to apply any forward or back pressure on the yoke/stick except in the turns when a very slight back pressure will compensate for the loss of lift as you bank the wings.

You are starting out about 6 DME south of the Paine VOR flying on a heading of 360 at 4,000’. The autopilot is on. VOR 1 (the upper VOR) is tuned to the VOR station and the approach heading is set to 360 or N.

Rod goes through a spiel about VOR radials and frequency and the instruments. The skinny version is that you are flying inbound north on the 180 radial (an imaginary line extending south of the VOR station) with a heading of 360 TO the VOR. Think of it as heading north towards Vortown on Highway 180. At the center of the town Highway 180 becomes Highway 360. They both run North/South so although the name of the road changes, your direction of travel remains the same.

Notice the small triangle, or flag, at the bottom of the horizontal center line, is pointing UP. For the purpose of this lesson this means you are flying TO the VOR.

Around 3.7 DME, (FIX 01) control of the aircraft is handed over to you. You will hear Rod say, “I’m giving you control of the airplane,” and the A/P (Autopilot) light will go off. You have the aircraft. If you have clear weather, as well as watching the needle, pick a point on the horizon directly ahead of you because it will give you an earlier indication of a change in course.

The wind is calm but you will get a little drift of the aircraft that will require you to make heading corrections. The needle represents the imaginary line extending south from the VOR so make SMALL corrections left or right in the direction that the needle swings to bring you back on course. At this distance you probably need no more than 5 degree heading corrections. The earlier you respond to the needle moving, the less correction you have to make.

As you make the correction, the needle will stop moving outwards then start to move back towards the center. As it moves, bring the nose back round to the 360 heading. The closer you fly towards the VOR the more sensitive the needle becomes. Don’t try to counteract with larger control inputs. The same small corrections will also have a greater effect the closer you are to the VOR.

Aim to keep the needle deflection to within the first line either side of the center line.

As you pass over the VOR the needle might swing completely to one side or the other. IGNORE it. Just hold the 360 heading and it will come back to the center. Notice that the TO flag changes to a checkered flag and then to a triangle pointing down. Your are now flying north FROM the VOR on the 360 radial still flying a heading of 360. The needle sensitivity will start to decline as you fly away from the VOR.

About 3 DME past the VOR (FIX 02) Rod will instruct you to turn left to heading 270. Make the turn at 20 degree bank angle. Don’t worry about the VOR needle, just keep to the new heading. You’ll fly 270 for about a minute then be instructed to turn left to 180 (FIX 03). Make the turn at 20 degree bank angle.

Again, after about a minute Rod will set the VOR 1 heading to 090 (E) and you will turn left to 135 (FIX 04). Make the turn at 30 degree bank angle. The needle will be fully deflected to the right but as you move closer to the 270 radial it will begin to move towards the center indicating that you are closing in on the imaginary line extending out west from the VOR. Don’t be over eager to turn left too early to the 090 heading.

Watch the needle and try to keep it moving towards the center as you gradually ease the nose round to 090 (FIX 05). If it stops moving in then hold your course until it starts moving again. If it starts moving out turn back towards the south. The start of the turn onto 090 can be left until the needle is closer to the center and it will require a steeper bank angle to make the turn before going too far south. It’s all in the timing.

With good timing the needle will center as you come round to heading 090 with the TO/FROM flag confirming you are flying east on the 270 radial heading 090 TO the VOR towards FIX 06 as the lesson ends.

Pro Member Chief Captain
CRJCapt Chief Captain

Wow, a war of words. Dictionaries at fifty paces. Bravo, Rod Muchadoo. Well put. I could not have said it better or even close to, the way you did.

Enough said!

Pro Member Trainee
switchdoc Trainee

Wow, LOTS Of detail here.

I'm going to try this out as soon as i get a free moment at the controls.

Thanks!!

-Switch

madbrit Guest

Hope it's working for you Switch.

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