Please help me land my plane! I am no pilot, but I do enjoy flight sim. I can take off and fly, but I am having problems landing. My question is: when I see the flight path on the gps, what should my altitude be? Then, what should my altitude be when I cross the threshold of the runway. I keep landing too short of the runway and crashing. I'm just glad I've not got anyone on board. Also, please explain the use of flaps on the descent. I would really like to land a plane appropriately.
Welcome to FlyAway!
I'll beat the other guys to it and give you a tip:
Go through the Private Pilot lessons built into the sim. I had very little patience for them at first but after sitting down and really going through them it definitly enhanced my abilities (plus, if you pass your private pilot checkride you get a cool certificate I totally still have mine!).
After you've got the basics, we'll be able to give you more refined advice about landing the different planes.
About the altitude question, you can assign that for your flight plan on the second page of the default flight planner (the one with the map). If you're flying VFR (visual flight), then you fly on the "500s", so like 1500, 2500, 3500, etc. If you're going east (a heading of 001 through 180) then you'll be flying on the ODD 500s, i.e. 1500, 3500, 5500, etc. If you fly west (181-360), you'll be flying on the even 500s.
Any altitude about 18000 feet (I believe) has to be IFR flight (instrument flight). Those fly on all the 1000s, so FL180, FL190, .... FL380, FL390, etc. The same rules apply, westbound flights are evens, eastbound are odds.
When you start talking about approach/landing altitudes, Rod (from the FS lessons) will give you some help with that!
Hope this helps!
Welcome yea go with the flying lessons its helps a lot you may find them a bit boring they are realy long I had lots of fun trying to learn how to do everything cerrecly
If your not into taking a full se of lessons at least try the introductory one given by Rod. It takes a few minutes and gives you an excellent idea of landing procedures.
Take a small prop not a jet to start with.
...or, fly your prop airplane to to about 20 feet above the runway threshold at about 80 knots and cut the throttle and fly level (using 20 deg. of flaps). While looking outside AND using the VSI, try keeping the VSI on zero (0). As speed "bleeds off", the VSI begins dropping below zero. Every time this happens pull back on the stick a little to keep it on zero.
Note: Flaps are used as air brakes to slow you down. They also allow you to descend at a steeper angle while holding your speed in check. Additionally, they add lift as well which is why they are sometimes used on take-off. Remember anytime you are generating lift you are creating drag so only about 20 deg. max flaps on take-off.
use atc they will tell you when to decend and at what altitude, look in aircraft info and it tells you when to use flaps, a good rule of thumb is speed 150 kts flaps 30, fly autopilot so when atc give you instrutions simply enter them into the correct setting ie: altidude, heading etc, make sure you have tuned the ils into nav 1 the radio freq for the airport runway atc will tell you which runway you are cleared to land on, when one dot below on your ils press "APP" this will lock on to the localiser freq and automatically bring you down on to that runway, also make sure your gps has been set for that runway via the "Proc" button it tells you how to set it up in the gps explained in learning center.
Good old visual flying tip, often repeated.
When you have the runway in sight and you are lined up, fix the threshold on a spot on the windshield. Apply/reduce power to establish a steady descent to keep the threshold in the same position on the windshield (check the aircraft specs for the best approach speed).
Use the relative movement of the runway threshold from the 'spot' to giude your throttle reaction. If the runway threshold appears to move above the 'spot' then increase power until it returns to the spot on the windshield. If it sinks below the 'spot' then decrease power.
If the runway appears to move to the left, apply slight left rudder and bank and vice versa. In a crosswind there are two techniques to keep the nose pointing down the runway but let's leave those until later.
BTW, flaps are used to provide additional lift at slower speeds, not to slow you down. Besides speed brakes, the most efficient way to lose speed is to reduce the throttle to idle and hold the nose up.
flaps are to give the plane extra lift, which means it can come in slower