FREE FLIGHT: JET AND NAVIGATION GUIDE
This guide will help you if you are new to flight simulator. I started as a complete novice and worked this out for myself over the space of a couple of months and practiced and practiced.
Apologies it’s quite long, but there is no way round it. I should also point out that it will only work in fine or good weather conditions, as you need to see the runways from some distance.. However, IT ALSO WORKS for night flying as well, as the runway lights are clearly visible from some distance.
I also know that not everyone will like it. But it works for me, especially as I enjoy the views while flying rather than doing detailed technical missions.
As a novice, to get flying jets you don’t need to go right through the all the training and missions. Here’s what I think you can get away with.
Student Pilot 1-6
Private Pilot 1-2 plus Air Traffic Control
1-6, 8 and Telluride Landing.
It is extremely important to do Tutorial 8 over and over again. This is the one that will get you in the position to fly jets. Once you’ve mastered taxing, take off, speed and turns, save the mission before you are directed to land. It is the landing that you will need to practice many, many times.
I have flown with the Bombardier CRJ 700, Boeing 747-400, but this is tailored to the Boeing 747-800.
On the Flight Planner page – after you have selected your airports, you need to select an IFR flight and Direct GPS. That way when you are flying you will get all your instructions and directions from Air Traffic Control.
GETTING READY FOR TAKEOFF
When the plane opens up on the screen (with the ATC window loaded) move the ATC panel across to the left hand side of the screen with the mouse – so it sits to the left of the altitude indicator.
Then hit ctrl 3. This brings up the GPS receiver display. You need to resize this and move it to top right of the screen in a small box size. You will need this especially for the landing and as a means of countdown to see how much of a flight remains.
Back to the ATC. Do things in this order:
Hit 1 – Tune Clearance
Hit 2 – Request IFR clearance
Hit 1 – Read Back
Hit 1 – Ground
Hit 2 – Request Taxi
Hit 1 – Acknowledge Taxi Clearance
Hit 3 – Turn on Progressive Taxi
The progressive taxi will then place yellow markers which can be seen from most plane views which will then take you to the correct place as you taxi and go to the correct runway.
When you get to the edge of the runway area – the ATC window will change, and on position 3 it will say Request Take Off clearance. Hit 3. You will then get take off approval assuming there are no other planes waiting to land or take off (if there are just hold on and eventually you will be given take off clearance)
Then hit 1 to acknowledge take off clearance.
You need to hit F7 twice to give yourself some flaps at the second position.
Move the engine to around a quarter power and let it settle for a few seconds. You are moving forward a little at this stage. Once it appears to settle, push it forward to full throttle. Wait till the speed hits 140 and then take off.
Pitch up to between 15 and 20.
As soon as you are able lift up the landing gear. Then put the flaps back to zero by hitting F6.
While you are doing that – you will get your first instruction from ATC. Acknowledge that by hitting the appropriate numbers.
While you are climbing – keep watching your speed. Generally I find its fine to be at full throttle till about 3000 feet, after that start reducing the throttle to get back to between 60 and 70 N1 and maintain the rest of your climb at around 60 to 70. 60 will be the speed to level off at – I cruise at around 280 – 290.
At this time you will be getting instructions from ATC about which direction you need to turn to (“World Travel 1232 turn left heading 320 – maintain 6000 feet”). After you’ve followed that first instruction and are proceeding, look at your GPS screen at this stage. You will soon see a red navigation line. You will get turning instructions from ATC until you are heading in a straight direction on the red navigation line. ATC will then say proceed with your own navigation. Don’t worry about that – you will still get all your turning instructions from ATC.
Once on that – I go onto the autopilot
USING THE AUTOPILOT
This relates to the Boeing 747 – 800 – but the 400 and CRJ Bombardier are similar.
I don’t use the autopilot for turning – I like to do that myself so that I remain engaged with the flight. And I respond to the directions from ATC to do this. But this will take care of things while cruising.
Unless you are particularly dextrous, I go into pause to do this.
On the far right on the panel – on the altitude dial put the mouse over it till you get the plus sign, and select your altitude. After that – hit the CMND A panel and ALT and that will hold your height.
Then do the same with the HDG.
For speed you need to move the arm switch to on. Then select your speed. Then hit the panel below.
I also select the GPS switch on the panel.
I accept that the autopilot is a lot more complex than this. But I like this way as it allows a compromise between manual flying and being on automatic pilot.
You will hear from ATC as you start to approach your destination airport.
It will be something like this “you are 54 miles west – turn left heading 220 expect Vectors ILS Runway 9R” Make a written note of the runway – it will prove useful later.
At this stage – I come off the auto pilot as there are many more turns to be made after this point.
The next important instruction you get is to start your descent.
Things get to start complicated now, and there is a lot to do. I go into pause to do some of this to give me time to think. It only takes a couple of minutes and it is worth it for getting set up properly. Don’t feel bad about this – there is no co pilot!
So assuming you have gone into pause:
Activate the autobrake on the main panel by moving the mouse onto it. Click it on to level 2 if it’s a normal length runway at a big airport. Put it on 3 at a smaller airport or if you think it will be a tricky landing.
Next you need to set up the GPS navigation in the right hand corner.
Click your mouse onto the button on the panel marked PROC.
Then Hit Select Approach
Then you need to make sure you are on Vectors in the top panel.
Then put your mouse on the down arrow and select the approach you have been given from ATC eg ILS 9R
Then click on Enter
The panel comes up with Load or Activate – click down onto activate.
Hit Enter – then a screen comes up with lots of info – ignore all that.
Then you get some choices – you need to select Vectors To Final
Then hit Enter.
You get radar type map back on the screen.
At the bottom – look to make sure the initials VTF are there to confirm you have done all the above selection properly. Also there are some code words for your runway – they can be any initials. But its important to note what these are.
Back to the GPS in a moment.
To descend – throttle back to almost nothing, and pitch down 1 or 2 notches below the centre line. This will give you a nice even descent. If you are asked to, for example, to drop to 3000 feet. At about 3,600, bring the engine back to about 50 N1 and then slow your descent to 3000 feet.
You may also be turning during this time.
The next big instruction from ATC is along these lines “you are 21 miles East – turn left heading 170 maintain 3000 feet until established on the localiser”
Under this method you don’t have to worry about the localiser.
Start to turn as directed.
Now pay close attention to the GPS. As you start to turn towards 170 for example you will see a red line appear on the display. That is your navigation line into the airport. Keep turning until that is approximately north on the GPS display. This will involve some left and right turns, and you will find yourself going beyond the 170 navigation for example.
Make sure the plane is roughly on the red line, and you will start to see a green indicator appear as well - guiding you in. By the side of this will also be the code number as mentioned above.
Once you have done all that – look for the airport. All you need to do for that is hit the W key so that the front panel of the aircraft disappears and you are left with the altitude indicator and the speed dial. As you move along the red navigation line – the airport runway will come into view. You have to look closely – but you will see it and the red lights.
As soon as you are happy that you can see the runway return to the main panel by hitting W. Drop the landing gear, add two notches of flaps, and contact ATC.
They will tell you how close you are. All you need to do during this stage is keep hitting 1 for ATC when you get a chance, right up to where you are cleared to land.
As you add the two notches of flaps - the speed from where you were at 50 N1 will start to drop.
Have another check by pressing W to line up visually with the airport and make sure you are on course.
Then go back to the main panel. Apply full flaps. Once you have done this – you won’t need the main panel again – but do a double check you have engaged the autobrake and lowered the landing gear.
Hit W so that you have the altitude meter and speed dial. Because you have hit full flaps speed will drop. You may need to give it some extra throttle to keep it between 160 and 180.
Its very important to keep your eye on the speed throughout this time.
As you get close to the runway – get the speed down to 140. Then when you are just before the beginning of the strip – turn the throttle to zero. Under this method I have never found any need to arm the speed brake (I did it once – and it made things more difficult).
Land as you have practised. When the front wheels are down – hit F2 to apply the reverse thrust. Keep your finger on F2 until you are doing a speed of 60, and then hit F1 to cancel it. Shortly after this you will come to a halt.
Just after you have breathed a sigh of relief – ATC will contact you.
Turn next taxiway.
Once you have found that - ATC will say Contact Ground.
Then from your choices – hit request taxi to the gates.
Follow these instructions through in the normal way, making sure that you end up by hitting 3 so that you turn on the progressive taxi so you find your way to the gates.
Before moving off – make sure you set the autobrake to 0 and hit F6 – so that you have no flaps.
I hope that is useful. The last bit with the GPS looks complicated, but once you are used to it, its fine.
As I said this method won’t satisfy everyone, but I like it because I have to do a full manual landing. Getting that right, for me, is the best fun of Flight Simulator.
Feel free to post any questions.
Welcome to FlyAway!
Great guide. I'm going to try it later
hi, this is not ILS approach. Can someone please post a quick and easy guide to ILS jetliner approach and landing? I landed perfectly in one of the missions, but when I fly free flight i cannot get the localiser beam and get in the glideslope. Can someone please help me?