I'm not a pilot nor do I know much about aviation, especially an Airbus, but it's amazing how SimCheck Flight Simulation Software developers have succeeded in simulating an aircraft that feels 'right' without attempting to craft a lengthy definition of that term. Suffice it to say that from a flight simmer's perspective, "They've nailed it!". Congratulations to all persons involved.
The purpose of my post is to share with the community my work in two areas. Well, its not work but rather a hobby isn't it! First, I couldn't find concise procedures to start the A300B4-200 from a cold and dark cockpit so I developed my own scenario. Second, I'm not a very big fan of using the keyboard to access panels nor do I find head tracking devices particularly appealing because of the restriction of head movements the technology imposes in addition to somehow having to attach a device on your head. Therefore, I prepared a short video and an accompanying document to provide a sampling of what I believe to be the ultimate solution to access the A300's panels, or any other FSX aircraft panels for that matter, by using a camera addon, EZdok, made available to the community earlier this year.
Starting the A300 from a cold and dark cockpit
In the context of learning how to start the A300B4-200 from a Cold and Dark cockpit, I read and tested the contents of the Normal Procedures manual and soon realized that I needed a more concise tool if ever I wanted to get off the ground within a reasonable amount of time. The attached document (a two-page JPEG document) is a textual and visual tool that permits me to consistently start the aircraft without any hiccups, taxi to the holding point, take-off, and fly the aircraft manually to the point when the autopilot can be engaged.
Are all procedures required for those first segments of a flight covered? No they're not for the following reasons: first, you couldn't possibly fit them on two pages, and second, when I compared the state of the panels when the A300 is in a 'cold and dark' configuration, I found that many switches were already in the position they should be during a 'cold and dark' start-up. Therefore, all switches that are in their correct position when a 'cold and dark' cockpit is chosen are not covered in my document.
Are the steps to be followed organized in their proper sequence? Highly unlikely. In fact I'm positive they are not! The document is not intended to resemble anything close to 'realistic' procedures but rather a tool to help me as a flight simmer get up in the air from a cold and dark cockpit. And if it works for me, then perhaps my effort can help others get started AFTER reading, at least once, the various manuals provided with the simulated aircraft. I found them to be very informative and easy to read. Should anyone decide to use my version of the start-up procedures in hardcopy form 'more than once', printing the two pages on glossy photographic paper provides clearer and crispier text and images which truly enhances readability.
Accessing the various panels
I've prepared a short video (well, 6 minutes) to demonstrate how easy it is to access the A300's panels using EZdok, a camera addon utility for FSX, that once configured, will allow access to all panels using only joystick and mouse buttons provided you have a sufficient number of buttons and switches available for that purpose. I use a yoke, a separate throttle and a five-button wireless mouse. I also use pedals for rudder and brakes but that 'joystick' plays no role in accessing panels. I believe the video is self-explanatory but I'm attaching a third document which describes my joystick configurations for FSX. The video is available at the following address:
You will no doubt notice an annoying choppiness in the video. Despite my best efforts and having a reasonably powerful rig, I have yet to learn how to correctly configure FSX when using complex aircraft. EZdok is not responsible for the poor fluidity but rather my lack of knowledge and ability to get the most out of my rig.
I hope the information offered proves helpful or at least inspiring to some of you. Should anyone wish to do so, I welcome constructive feedback.
Starting the SimCheck A300 Cold and Dark Page 1 jpg
Starting the SimCheck A300 Cold and Dark Page 2 jpg
Yoke and Throttle Config for FSX jpg