View Full Version : Learning to Fly by a complete novice

04-22-2019, 01:05 AM
Hi all.

I have always wanted to learn to fly. That was top of my bucket list. However money and health issues have more or less curtailed that. My heart says "i most probably should not be a pilot. Money says I will never be a pilot.

So Flight sim (X Plane 11) is the nearest I will get.

So my question is; Who has made the best learn to fly u tube videos? Using the Cessna 172 to start.

Also any recommended reading.


04-22-2019, 08:00 AM
If you are an EAA Member, check out EAA Virtual Flight Academy for FSX.


04-22-2019, 08:11 AM
I don't know much about Youtube tutorials, but I can offer thoughts on reading material. A word of caution, though, that simming forums, Youtube videos and other materials from those who are not real world pilots (perhaps some of them too) will often (not always) have some distorted ideas of how things work, so be careful of your sources and you may want to check one source against some official sources. Of course here at the EAA forums you'll likely get some pretty good answers, but those simming ones offer information about the sims (as opposed to actual flying) that is rarely available here.

This FAA page (https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/) has links to all manner of handbooks and manuals (free) published by the FAA, including the Airplane Flying Handbook (https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/airplane_handbook/) (this links to PDFs) and others that can help. On the Flightsim.com Forums (https://www.flightsim.com/vbfs/forum.php) there is a section called Real Aviation Tutorials & FAQs which has a number of Q & A topics that include much of the basics of real world flying (most of it applies to sims, as well). Your questions have also been asked in both the FSX and X-Plane sections on that forum, so a search might be productive. And, of course, things unique to each of the sims are asked and answered there, too. The book Stick And Rudder by Wolfgang Langewiesche is a marvelous look at how airplanes fly from a pilot's perspective (rather than that of an engineer), and offers a number of tips (and a LOT of understanding) and is something I always recommended to my students.

For certain specific questions (propeller, airfoil, VOR, etc.) Wikipedia often gives details that may even be more than you want to know, but can usually help understand many things.

When you start getting into navigation, this site (http://www.navfltsm.addr.com/) has a lot of good information and procedures aimed specifically at simmers (learn to fly the airplane first, though), and the FAA site above has manuals on that and a lot more.

One last caution: It's a LOT easier to learn things right the first time, rather than learning something wrong, then having to relearn it right, so since you're not under the "care" of a CFI you'll need to be careful what you accept from various sources.

Bill Berson
04-22-2019, 08:49 PM
I also recommend Stick and Rudder, for all pilots at any level.
Might get involved with RC models at a local model club. Some of the members might have an airplane and offer a ride.

04-23-2019, 03:50 PM
From above "The book Stick And Rudder by Wolfgang Langewiesche is a marvelous look at how airplanes fly from a pilot's perspective (rather than that of an engineer), and offers a number of tips (and a LOT of understanding) and is something I always recommended to my students."

Even better is "See How it Flies" Google it. download it FREE. Is is a modern version of the pre WWII "Stick and Rudder". Better than NASA for an explanation of how wings work.

The "aero inovate flight simulator" is very good for flight training. Can't find a link but will try to post one in a few days when able.


04-23-2019, 05:05 PM
Since seeing your post above, I took a look at See How it Flies (I'd never heard of it before) and it does have a lot of good information, but in spite of disclaimers in the text, in the first section he is sounding a lot like an engineer trying to get his point across with a mixture of lay terms and engineering terms, and I'm having a little trouble following some of what he says, though if I went back through it a time or two I'd probably nail it down. He, at least some times, uses "energy" in a similar sense to the way Wolfgang uses the term "buoyancy."

So in that first section I much prefer the style Wolfgang uses vs. the one jsd uses. However, I'm not going to go through the whole thing at this point. A quick look at the TOC shows:
Airspeed Is Related to Angle of Attackso I naturally had to take a glance. This caught my eye:

I have mentioned that the trim wheel really controls angle of attack but to a good approximation controls airspeed.

He's misleading the reader a bit there, since the trim tab controls the elevator (or stabilator), which in turn controls angle of attack. Why is he talking about the trim wheel (it may not be a wheel at all) when it is NOT the thing you use to fly the airplane? It's only there to take pressure off the pilot's hand and feet.

So from my admittedly preliminary look, I'm not impressed, and I'll continue to recommend Stick And Rudder.

04-23-2019, 05:53 PM
Well, Mikiko, there ain't any simulator that will compare to the feeling you will get actually flying the airplane. So look up a local flight school, schedule a "Discovery Flight" and go have some fun. Health is not an issue, as the CFI will have it under control. And you won't miss the money but you'll always have the experience.