All Training

How to Use X-Plane (Jumpstart Course)

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


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 get it. You’re an aspiring pilot…but perhaps not much of a computer whiz or gamer.

Maybe you’ve installed X-Plane, 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: 

  • The flight sims are so shockingly complex and getting a “jumpstart” on them was AWESOME!
  • The instructor was knowledgeable and did a good job with the presentation. I enjoyed learning some of the inner workings of X-Plane, beyond basic setup. I didn’t know the GTN 650 was an add on, or even what a plug-in option was. Thanks to this class I was able to get the GTN installed, along with finally being able to sync up with ForeFlight on my iPad. Very helpful! I fly a C172 with both of these, so this makes my sim a more valuable tool.
  • Non-technical language used in the presentation, directly covered some of the specific questions I had. The reference sheets are very useful.
  • Good job covering the basics and tips, tricks presented for both classes!


Meet the instructor and Flight Sim Coach
Sim Basics
Setting up a flight and starting location, clearing weather, panning the view, removing yoke, takeoff, and pausing
Graphics Settings
Learn about frame rate and the general principles of optimizing your graphics
Joystick Settings
Understand how control sensitivity sliders work and make your controls feel more realistic
Cockpit Interaction
Learn how to pan, zoom, and translate your view. Learn how to tune radios and save/retrieve views.
Training Tools
Sample Video
How to start in the air, on final approach, and how to quickly reposition the aircraft
Enhancing Your Sim Experience
A discussion of online ATC networks, add-ons, and VR


Mike Catalfamo

Mike Catalfamo

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.