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New pilot on the network - Needs help

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Hi there!


I'm kinda-ish a new pilot on the network. I have been registered on the network for a good time now, but I still can't figure out the magic.


I would like to know how I fill out a flightplan to use on VATSIM. I don't know if it's useful for you to know, but I'm using vPilot. I don't know if it's in vPilot the flightplan is going to be filled our where it is, but now you know that it's that I'm using.


I've got the PMDG 737-800. I'm not a professional. I can fly the default FSX Boeing 737, but I'm still trying to learn how to fly the PMDG 737, 'cause the APU and such things like that is not like the default one, where it's just 2-3 buttons I need to pull. There's a whole lot of buttons that can do a whole lot of things, and I'm NOT sure what all of them do. I cannot shut down or start up the aircraft as I can with the default Boeing 737. With that said, I would like to add that I don't use the FMC, and therefore I don't add in my flightplan in that. I'm just flying by autopilot. But because the PMDG is much more advanced than the default Boeing 737, I don't know how to make an IFR landing. I hate visual approach landings. Either I'm too high or I'm too low. And if I'm too high, I need to lose a lot of speed to make a rapid descent. With a rapid descent, I don't mean it's 10.000 ft in 30 seconds. And if I'm too low, I need more speed to keep my aircraft flying forward and not making it stall, and then I have to lose speed when approaching the runway so that I'm not coming in too fast.


In short, I need a general understanding of the PMDG 737 and the VATSIM flightplanning. I don't know any good tutorials on YouTube which just showcase how to start up the aircraft with APU so that I can have GSX running while I set up my autopilot and requesting clearance, and I need a small bit of help to the autopilot and a WHOLE lot of help to the IFR landing.


Does anyone know a good and simple tutorial which a beginner pilot as me can be using? It shouldn't be too hard to understand.

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Mika, welcome and I'm sure you'll get the hang of it, just takes practice.


For the flight planning I would use the likes of www.simbrief.com , it uses real world routing and ALL the calculations are done for you! You can even prefile your vatsim flightplan from the simbrief page (actually takes you to vatsim prefile, but everything is filled out for you). Then from vPilot you can import flight plan (give it a few mins to update the server).


As for the PMDG, you will learn to love it and it's complex nature. Go to youtube and search PMDG NGX Cold and Dark there are a TON of videos. Some of the best are from the big streamers such as Matt "Belynz" Davies; he has A LOT of tutorial videos and goes slow enough to follow without any bravado.


You may want to check out VATSTAR (Vatsim training) or another Virtual Airline that provides training. They are all free and volunteer based but very good. Someone will chat with you (various ways such as teamspeak) and literally walk you through it.


Good luck and keep at it!



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The key thing to keep in mind is to keep your expectations reasonable. If you're just figuring out how to file a flightplan, don't expect to know all the ins-and-outs of the PMDG's FMC within a week, or even a month.


Start with the basics of reading and flying SID and STAR procedures, & work up from there. The knowledge base you need to build took many of us *years* to acquire. Don't be in a hurry to be an expert. Take things one step at a time.


Lindsey -- thanks for the mention!




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  • 2 weeks later...

I mean no disrespect or discouragement, but honestly in my opinion this is a symptom of a larger issue that is often experienced on the controller side. That being, pilots who want to immediately jump in one of the most complex machines that flight simulator has to offer and go with limited knowledge or abilities to handle mere basic flying skills. In this case, the author humbly cites their own inability to even hand fly an approach. Instead we're talking about complex procedures, planning, etc.? On the controller side, conditions permitting, I am going to p[Mod - Happy Thoughts] out visual approaches like candy as they reduce workload and improve efficiency on my end. The concepts of flying a cessna in the pattern and on approach are the same concepts fior flying a 737 in the same capacity. It's about proper set up, and maintaing an appropriate decent profile, in turn keeping speeds appropriate. Crawl before walking, and certainly before running. It's a marathon, not a sprint.

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