My flight training resources

I have used many resources in my flight training. Here are some of the most significant:

Microsoft Flight Simulator X: FSX is a great program that has substantially increased my level of performance in the air.

I have configured FSX to look and feel as realistic as possible to provide a more accurate source of flight training:

Me flying a Cessna 172 over Manhattan

Flying a Cessna 172 over Manhattan

Over the years I have improved my hardware in addition to my software, allowing me to practice using controls similar to those of a real aircraft:

IMG_1379

My flight simulator paused as N811JD is on final approach for runway 22 at CDW

With the FSX learning center I can fly with a simulated instructor, allowing me to learn techniques as well as new information while on the ground:

The FSX learning center

The FSX learning center

Flying a lesson with Rod Machado in a Cessna 172

But I have taken FSX one step further with VATSIM , a network that works with many different flight simulators, including FSX.   With VATSIM, I can connect to a network of pilots and ATC, allowing me to communicate with ATC and with other pilots on CTAF, and see other VATSIM pilots’ aircraft on my simulator.   VATSIM has allowed me to become much more confident with flight procedures and communication and paired with FSX it’s a very effective learning tool (vatsim.net):

vatsim_0

And when I’m not in the mood for intense training, even though it can be used as a great tool for learning, FSX is, after all, still a game:

Me flying an SR-71 Blackbird over NJ

Flying an SR-71 Blackbird over NJ

But aside from FSX, I learn from many other sources.   I have a large collection of books that I have picked up over the years from gifts from friends and family and from Amazon (Don’t worry if you don’t see the FAR/AIM – I keep that in my flight bag):

IMG_1371IMG_1373To study for the FAA written exam, I use King Schools’ online course (http://www.kingschools.com):

The homepage to my King Schools course

The homepage to my King Schools course

A lesson being taught by Martha King

A lesson being taught by Martha King

Although I haven’t purchased their private pilot course, I am subscribed to MzeroA.com on youtube and I have read many of their books.   Although King Schools is undoubtedly a great course, just based on the helpfulness of their youtube videos and books, I would have to recommend MzeroA over King Schools – but it all depends on what kind of learner you are.   Here are some of the MzeroA resources that I use:

Jason Schappert of MzeroA.com talking about VFR flight following

Jason Schappert of MzeroA.com talking about VFR flight following

Jason Schappert of MzeroA.com talking about VFR flight planning

Jason Schappert of MzeroA.com talking about VFR flight planning

 

Three books from MzeroA.com that I have found immensely helpful

Three books from MzeroA.com that I have found immensely helpful

Although I’m not that organized of a person, when you’re flying, being organized is key.   I try to be as organized as possible when flying so as to keep my focus on flying instead of trying to find my sectional, for example.   I keep all the resources I use frequently in flight in my kneeboard and other resources I use less frequently close by in my flight bag.   Here are two pictures of my kneeboard and it’s contents:

My VFR kneeboard (I plan to have seperate kneeboards for vfr and ifr)

My VFR kneeboard (I plan to have separate kneeboards for VFR and IFR)

The contents of my VFR kneeboard

The contents of my VFR kneeboard – An E6B is hidden somewhere in there

And here is a picture of my flight bag and headset case:

IMG_1383

My flight bag and headset case

Finally, although it has little to do with actual aviation, here is how I record my videos in the sky:

A GoPro action camera in a skeleton case, a Mini F9 Sport DV action camera, and a Mypilotstore GoPro audio adapter attached to a RAM suction cup mount

A GoPro action camera in a skeleton case, a Mini F9 Sport DV action camera, and a Mypilotstore GoPro audio adapter attached to a RAM suction cup mount

Having sufficient and organized materials for flight training is imperative to staying on top of your game.   Everyone learns differently, but these resources have greatly helped me while learning on the ground and while flying in the air.