Aviation questions

Hi community,

If you have any questions about aviation, aeronautics, meteorology, aircraft systems, procedures, you name it. Post them here and I’ll do my best to guide you towards an awnser.

I’ve been active in aviation for 23 years as pilot and instructor. On singles, twins, turboprops and jets, up to the Boeing 737

Nowadays I spent many hours on standby in hotels and would love to make myself useful and share some of my skills with the community.

So please don’t hesitate to put your question below.


Is there a general reference for what mixture to use at a given altitude for GA planes? After a little research I learned the POH for the CubCrafters CC-18 should work well enough for the CC-19 aka the XCub in the game, but I can’t find such documentation for the //42 FreedomFox/Fox2 as they are experimental class kit planes. I understand if you can’t give specifics, but could you point me to a book or resource that might help me understand when and why to adjust the fuel mixture?

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I suppose beginner questions are acceptable.
Here’s my question: when you make a flight plan on the MSFS world map, most of the preset approaches in the pull-down other than “direct” are way off the course, some zigzag like crazy adding over 150 NMs to the direct course. Is this realistic? Why pilots would want to fly these kinda approaches? If pilots have the choice why not fly the direct approach ? Thanks so much….

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Hi Folks,

We’re going to move this to #self-service:basic-gameplay-help

However, we strongly recommend questions and answers be couched towards the knowledge in the simulator - and they have been so far - so thanks to all for that.

As we are all aware, not all aspects of aviation, technical or otherwise, are completely emulated. As always we kindly remind everyone this is a discussion board primarily for the sim, not general aviation topics. Please keep that top of mind. Thanks!


IRL, I nearly always file direct, and get it most of the time. Using VOR navigation harps back to non GPS days.


Aircraft engines are equipped with mixture controls mainly for three reasons, engine optimisation, fuel saving and engine cooling.

Optimum (best power) mixture is used in normal situations and will give the best engine life. Fuel saving and cooling are for responding in emergency situations.

As the aircraft climbs into thinner air, the mixture can be leaned to maintain the optimum mixture.

A lean mixture can give you a little more range if you are about to run out of fuel.
However a too lean mixture can cause engine damage in the long term.

a rich mixture can cool an engine that is close to overheating, but too rich a mixture can cause the spark plugs to foul and cause engine problems as well.

On flights below 5000ft, leaning is usually not required, but can be used, if wisely, to improve engine performance.

At higher altitudes it may even be necessary to keep the engine running.

The best indicators for a correct mixture are CHT, Cylinder head temperature, which is most important but slow to react, and EGT, exhaust temperature, which reacts almost instantly.

Firstly: if the POH has a leaning procedure specific for that engine, that’s what you’ll use.

If not, but the aircraft is equipped with an EGT indicator, lean the mixture until you are at peak (hottest) EGT, and then slightly enrich to obtain the optimum fuel-air ratio and be on the safe side.

If you don’t have an EGT indicator, lean until the engine runs rough, then enrich slightly until it runs smooth again.

If the propeller has a fixed pitch (not adjustable) you can lean to obtain the highest RPM.

In all cases, keep an eye on the CHT temperature after leaning. When in doubt, stay rich of peak.

Enjoy your flights!


Hi @NormalAlmond941

I think you are referring to the SID’s STAR’s and Transitions.

When flying on instrument flight rules, generally routes start with a SID, (Standard Instrument Departure). there is an enroute segment, either Airways or direct segments from point to point, then there is a STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route). and finally the instrument approach and missed approach procedure.

The extra turns before the instrument approach can be there either for avoiding high terrain, noise abatement or traffic flow.

When a route is for terrain, you should strictly adhere to them to avoid flying into a mountain.
These Innsbruck charts for example

When a route is for noise abatement, you should also adhere to them, sometimes these are conditional, for example, the noise abatement transitions at Schiphol are only used at night.

When there is a long zig-zag, this is usually for traffic regulation. ATC will clear you to fly the procedure, but often give you a direct to a point closer to the end when it’s not too busy…
a good example of these are the Munchen approach charts

If you fly online, you may ask (or even expect) a shortcut. Consider this in your descent planning. This is also the most difficult part of flying airliners, planning a descent without knowing for sure how many shortcuts you can expect.

Also when a certain route is assigned, but there is a thunderstorm in the way, you should tell ATC and fly around the thunderstorm instead of strictly following the route.

I hope this clarifies it a bit!


@Ricovandijk Thanks for your kind offer to share your aviation knowledge with us .

I would be most interested to hear your opinions on the MSFS version of the PMDG 737, when it is released, - if you chose to get it and pass on your 737 Experienced knowledge, as it relates to the MSFS version.

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I have all the PMDG products available to date; the MSFS 737 series as well as soon as they release :slight_smile:

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Hi - I am looking for any pointers on the Embraer 190/195 on MSFS 2020 (current on patches) - when I take off and land, I’m good with the engine power. When I want to have a direct flight (no flight time after take off) I am unable to get the engine power to support the airplane in flight.

Thank you for your time!!

What altitude are you trying to fly at and what are your throttle/mixture/rpm settings at?

The Flight management computer in a modern airliner has become an integral part of the aircraft systems.
Although it is possible to operate the aircraft with an inoperative FMC, you’d have to set all the speeds and thrust limits manually.

When the FMC is working, it is designed for airline operations and does not support anything else very well. A route of zero miles will prevent the FMC to calculate a climb segment, cruise altitude, fuel prediction etc.

The easiest solution would be to load the FMC with at least a departure runway and a SID, or a random waypoint a couple of miles away from the airport. This allows the FMC to calculate your performance figures and operate normally.


With due respect, my answer is relevant to the sim. The question was is zigzaging realistic? I answered the question. I presumed that the questioner was asking about real life operations, due to the word “realistic”.


Which part said your inquiry was not compliant?

The reminder was a pre-emptive post because many many topics like this have been attempted in the past, and all of them ended up going off the rails.

Ok, thanks. Just a general comment and then I’m finished. This is billing itself as a simulator of real life. Real life operational practices should be valid I would think. I am I would think that questioners would want that. If not, then I will shut up. BTW, I am a CFI-I

I find it difficult to fly for more than 60 min which severely limits flights of over 100 min in a Cessna 172.
Is there a way to file a VFR flight plan for a long flight of 2-7 hrs my by setting up the computer to skip the time needed to fly from my origination to multiple waypoints by skipping the in-between?

Thanks in advance,

The sim has a feature where you can increase the SIM rate, as needed, (withing certain Limits).

You can accelerate the time by pressing R + [num +]
It allows you to speed the sim from 1X up to 32X.
with R + [num -] you can slow down time back again.

You can also assign different keyboard assignments or even joystick buttons to ‘Increase Simrate’ and ‘decrease simrate’.

I highly recommend using an autopilot, and make little steps in accelerating time. so go to 2x speed, see how it goes, can you go a bit faster? then try again and to 4x speed. Be careful because at too high speeds your computer may not be able to keep up with all the computations it needs to do, but on a fast PC you should be allright.

Another option is to split your flight in shorter sectors, or even two separate local flights, one at the departure and one at the destination airport.

All the best!

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I have a question regarding landing lights, specifically pulse lights, or as some call them-wig wags. PMDG is getting ready to release thier 737, and in one of the videos they described pulse lights and the settings for them. I’ve tried looking online and couldn’t find much info on when they are appropriate to use. I understand when landing lights are required, but haven’t read much on pulse lights. Are pulse lights mainly based on company SOP’s or are they more pilots discretion(for the aircraft that have the option)?

Only flew GA so never a flown an aircraft fitted with them.

Issues with them being “ON” apparently include excess drain if you already have a borderline electrical system in a smaller aircaft and also, at night, they can be distracting for the pilot (especially in cloud) and lastly potentially blinding for other aircraft, particularly in taxi.

If your electrics can handle it and it is daytime you potentially could just leave them on.

At night I suspect they would not be in use until at altitude.