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How to Use Microsoft Flight Simulator (Jumpstart Course)

An introduction to the basics of using MSFS, with a focus on real-world training applications

Overview

If you’re like many of our students, you recently purchased a flight simulator after hearing how it can aid your flight training and make you a more proficient pilot.

We understand. You’re an aspiring pilot, but perhaps not much of a computer enthusiast or gamer. Maybe you’ve installed Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 (MSFS), but you’re overwhelmed by basic things like how to interact with cockpit controls and set your views. Or perhaps you’ve also wondered how to optimize your simulator’s performance by tweaking graphics settings.

If so, this class is perfect for you!

Note: This class is focused on the operation of the simulator, not techniques for actually flying the aircraft.

What prior students had to say: 

  • Very helpful explanations and tips. Well presented.
  • I have been using both programs for a little while but I did learn a new trick or two. The presenter seemed knowledgeable about the subject matter.
  • Non-technical language used in the presentation, directly covered some of the specific questions I had. The reference sheets are very useful.
  • Excellent introduction to MSFS.
  • I enjoyed the variety of topics covered.

Syllabus

1
Intro
Meet the instructor and Flight Sim Coach
2
Sim Basics
Windowed vs. full screen mode, using World Map to set up a flight, panning your head, removing yoke, and takeoff
3
Ribbon Menu + How to Pause
Learn three ways to pause the sim in MSFS
4
Configure a new flight
5
General Options
Learn about frame rate, a basic way to optimize your graphics, how to adjust sound settings, how to change the cockpit interaction system, and how to set up a replay mode
6
Assistance Options
7
Control Options
Understand how control sensitivity sliders work and make your controls feel more realistic
8
Cockpit Interaction
Sample Video
Learn how to pan, zoom, and translate your view. Learn how to tune radios and save/retrieve views.
9
Training Tips
How to start in the air, on final approach, and how to quickly reposition the aircraft
10
Enhancing Your Sim Experience
A discussion of online ATC networks, add-ons, and VR

Instructor

Mike Catalfamo

Mike Catalfamo

FAA CFI, CFII, ATP
Founder of Flight Sim Coach. I’m a former airline pilot & Boeing engineer. I’ve been a desktop flight sim user since 2000, and I am passionate about helping pilots and enthusiasts use desktop simulation to achieve their goals as efficiently as possible.