title: 'that first flight!'


Introduction and set up


Before start

start engines

Time to descend

set flaps and approach speed.

Time to land.

To set ground power,

a top down view showing the weather at KMEM. It's raining.

Introduction and set up

Welcome to your first flight in the pmdg. I hope you will follow the tutorial given in the flight manuals folder, if not you can do any short flight. I recommend kmia to katl. I also hope you took time to familiarize yourself with the pmdg info page. If not, I would go back and do so as I’m not giving any help here, just hints and tips, and very short notes.

Thanks to Tyler C for putting together the main body of notes. I just enhanced it with my own tips and tricks that have helped me during the past year of flying the pmdg. Note that my way of flying is not right, it’s not wrong, it’s just a bit different from the way you might fly. Find your own method. I also have my heading, altitude and speed bug set to keyboard keys in the simulator. I did this in the pmdg options and hotkeys area. I disabled all of the zoom functions in prepared to do this though. Ok, prepare to fly, and happy landing. Before you go, a note on folders, look for where paths are using YouTube and other sources. Also use the simbrief downloader and map the paths to the ones for the pmdg planes you will be flying. This will make it much easier to find the routes and clean them up later.


get flight plan from sim breef.

insure that the flight plan is in the proper folder for the PMDG airplane you will fly.

open first officer pro and connect to sim.

open doors and wait for first officer too enter plane and set up ground power.

wait for first officer to advise you that you can program the CDU.

fuel and payload in FS actions soft key 5 right.

payload on soft key 2 right.

put in zero fuel weight. Can be found on your OFP from sim breef or in some cases your virtual airline will give you a ZFW based on the payload it thinks you're flying with. Enter this in decimal form. This is soft key 2 right. six left returns back to FS ACTIONS.

fuel, softt key 1 left.

enter fuel in pounds into scratch pad and sent to soft key 1 left. This will be a whole number

get cost index from sim breef and either write it down or memorise it

note cruising altitude

calculate reserve fuel and add to notes. This will be in decimal form. For example 7000 pounds would be written as 7.0. 7500 pounds would be written as 7.5.

read and notate the routing, sid, star, and approach. If flying online, write down the sid and first alt you will maintain, if any.

go to the main FMC screen.

find ident page.

go to pos init page, soft key 6 right.

type your icao code into scratch pad and send to soft key 2 left. Note, this is not compulsory but this is generally a good idea. I’ve forgotten to do this many a time.

optionally enter gate if you want.

go to rout page on soft key 6 right.

Type departure icao code into soft key 1 left, then type destination into soft key 1 right.

type your rout name into soft key 2 left.

flight number can optionally be entered into soft key 2 right. Note: there is a shortcut. If you request yore route in soft key 2 left, line 1 will be auto filled. Navigate this page like you normally would by selecting the lines pointing to the path where your plan is located.

activate rout with soft key 6 right. and press execute key.

alt a goes to departures and arrivals page.

select your sid on soft key 1 left.

choose runway on right section before selecting your Sid. This is so you can filter by runways first. I find this easier.

select a transition from sid to flight plan and execute again. If you are on vatsim, you might need to reverse the steps. Select a temp runway until given the correct one by ground. Remember to change your heading before taking off.

Go back to departure and arrival page to assign, in this order, runway, star and approach. assign and execute each.

select ILS and/or transition if needed and execute. If flying online, skip this step.

Run preflight check list in fsfo.

Before start

Wait for APU to power up and you hear the click of the rest of the pumps turning on.

go to init ref page. You can get there with alt I in the CDU panel.

set cruising altitude on soft key 1 right.

press 3 left twice to get ZFW

put reserve fuel in 4 left. Remember to put this in decimal form.

put transition altitude in 4 right. Note: you can change this when descending. Get there with alt plus I, then 6 left, then 3 left.

put cost index into 5 left and press execute.

n 1 limit page.

select take off power on left side and climb power on right side.

take off page 6 right.

enter flap degree into 1 left. I normally set this to 5. You will normally have no reason to change this.

put center of gravity into 3 left by pressing twice.

accept v speeds on right side and execute. This will be sk1r to sk3r. If you need to edit those, turn off the quick reference handbook on line 6 right. Put these into the speed tape. They will be lines 1 right, 2, right and 3 right.

check legs page for rout discontinuities

check ILS approach waypoint and change altitude if needed. If flying online skip this step. You will have no ILS waypoints to deal with.

Go to legs page with alt plus G from the CDU.

rout data 6 right.

six right again to request wind data and six left to load. Execute.

go to descent page with alt plus D and six left.

six left again to request winds for descent.

six right again to load, and execute. Note, you can choose to do this step 100 miles from top of descent. I often do this if I remember.

first officer briefing.

departure flap, departure rating, pacs off, second combo box change to yes. import plan. select approach.

change approach flaps

auto brakes set to 3.

select arrival runway

download weather

click the x button

before start checklist.

start engines

in the mcp panel, select engines

engine 2, engine ignition switch to grd, wait about 15 seconds,

fuel switch to idol.

Wait until you hear ignition on.

repeat same steps for engine 1.

wait for all engines stable.

taxi checklist

reposition after checklist completes

before take off checklist.


Attitude mode on

Runway guidance on

Either set the throttle to 50, or hit toga.

Correct with rudder if drifting.

Set flaps 2 after rotate and positive climb.

Every thousand feet, flaps up a notch until flaps up.

Run after takeoff check list.

Relax until you get to cruise, or if online, set your altitude as directed until you get to cruise. You might need to use level change or alt interveen if in VNav mode.

Time to descend

descent checklist as soon as you start descending.

check init ref page for speeds and flaps for landing and note them down.

Copy value from 3 right into 4 right.

Remember to set speed 250 at or below 10000 feet. I often am set to 250 at about 12000 feet ASL

Follow the star on the way down, check legs for speed restrictions, or distance to destination to know when to slow down in steps.

set flaps and approach speed.

At about 18 miles from dest, I am normally slowed to about 200kts, flaps 1. Judging distance I will be at 170 about 16 miles out or 10 if I’m really pushing it. While I’m slowing down I will be at the following flap positions

190: flaps 2

180: flaps 5

170: flaps 10

Speed brake armed about 10 miles from localizer waypoint

Once localizer is captured, slow to 150 and extend as follows.

160: flaps 15, gear down.

150: flaps 25.

When you hear “approach off” or “vnav off” depending on how you made that descent to your initial approach fix, you will slow to approach speed and go to flaps full.

Landing check list in fsfo

Time to land.

set command b

if command b fails idle at! 20 feet.

reposition to a stand

set parking brakes

turn things off.

To set ground power,

Fs actions, services on 1r, then 6r for wheel chocks. Request ground power with SK2l. You will need to press this twice.

Mcp panel

Electrical, ground power on. APU gen 1 and 2 off. Shut down APU