Wrestling with the Baron

Matt001 Guest

Hi all,

Sorry, Ive been lurking a lot, but I'm posting in relation to this older post:

I have constant problems with the Baron (in both FS9 and X) in terms of maintaining stable aircraft attitude in straight and level flight as well as in climbs and descents. In short, my VSI needle looks like a seesaw in a school yard during play lunch. I've read the Flight Notes in the Learning Centre carefully and tried a combination of power and propeller RPM adjustments with proper elevator trimming and I just can't get that needle to stay put. And this is all in calm weather conditions/clear skies in low density areas (such as Ayers Rock in Aust) where FSX frame rates are good at 18-21FPS and therefore don't interfere with aircraft control. I've also carefully adjusted my joystick sensitivities for elevator control and I don't have any problems with other aircraft of similar size like the Mooney Bravo (admittedly a single engine plane).

It's a shame because the Baron is such a great aircraft in all other respects - if only I could tame it. Do you guys have any suggestions here? Is there something basic that I'm missing? I want to overcome this problem before I get to the instrument lessons that make use of the Baron, otherwise I will undoubtedly hear those dread words: "Since that's not going too well, I'm ending this lesson" (yeah, cheers Rod).

Not relevant to the above, but since it seems protocol to quote system specs: 2GB RAM, 1x 3Ghz Intel P4, 1x Nvidia Geforce 7950GT - an average system but I'm hoping the release of Vista and DX10 (I'll need a new card) will allow me to fly over cities with autogen at 20FPS 🙂 (and if not, well I'm still generally happy with FSX 😉 ).

Would be grateful for any advice from expert sim-pilots re my problems with the Baron.


Perth, WA

3 Responses

Alex The Guest Guest

Well my only suggestion is to adjust the elevator trim, but i think u've already done that, as it says somewhere in you text..

Hey it's great to kno another aussie (i live in Brisbane Q!)


Pro Member Chief Captain
CRJCapt Chief Captain

The Barron is very pitch sensitive and pitch sensitive aircraft can give even real pilots trouble. The tips below assume you're using a joy stick or control wheel(Yoke), if you're not, stop and buy one.

Controller setup:
Ensure that your sensitivity of the Elevator is set to 50%(travel, left-right) with a Null zone of 10%. Assign two buttons on the controller for Elevator trim that you can reach with the same hand used to fly.

Forget the VSI. Fly VMC(Visual conditions) by looking thru the window. Pick a point where the horizon meets the aircraft, this is your pitch reference. For a given power setting, speed and configuration, the same pitch reference will give you level flight.

Fly IMC(instrument conditions) by using your Altimeter as your primary pitch instrument, the VSI is too sensitive. Push or pull the nose of the aircraft based on the movement trend of the Altimeter. What matters is your altitude not the movement of the VSI. You will find that using the altimeter will result in less movement of the VSI. Once you get over the fixation on the VSI, you can use it for reference. Make small corrections, with a 100 ft. deviation of altitude, your descent rate should be 200-300 FPM. Use twice the altitude deviation amount, up to about 500-600 FPM for a unpressurized aircraft such as the Barron. Don't use the trim to fly the aircraft. Trim is designed to relieve pressure on the controls, fly the aircraft by using the controls in the proper amount then relieving unwanted pressure with the trim system.🙂

Matt001 Guest

Hi again,

Alex the Guest: Thanks for your reply. Yeah, I have been elevator trimming. Trimming till my fingers bleed. Which, as CRJCapt pointed out, is most likely part of my problem. Yeah, glad to see another Australian. Possibly the only Perthling, though. No problem with that - I'm best placed for the finale of the Red Bull Air Race this Sunday 😀 A friend of mine has a fifth floor apartment near the Swan River foreshore, so I won't have to worry about crowds and traffic, I'll just sit back on his balcony with a beer with those Extra 300s wizzing around for my viewing pleasure Surprised

CRJCapt: Thanks so much for your extensive and informative reply - much appreciated. I have a feeling your advice is going to be very helpful when I get back on FSX (probably tomorrow night).

Controller setup: I have a Logitech forcefeedback joystick with two of the panel buttons below the stick assigned to elevator trim (from what you've said about over-reliance on trim, perhaps they're too accessible). From you're advice, it seems like my null zone is too large (about 15 - 20 %) and needs reducing. The sensitivity is cut right back to less than 10% at the moment but I guess I've been too extreme there - overreacting to my frustrations. I'll raise it a bit.

Techniques: I'll try those out. They all sound logical and you're right, I have on occasion been attempting to fly the aircraft using the trim controls - and obviously relying too much on the VSI for fine tuning of aircraft attitude. I'll take the steps you've suggested - and especially try to get over my fixation on the VSI (you were spot on about that!). Again, thanks. Great to get such prompt and comprehensive advice. 😀

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