by Alfred Poor
Situation Files and the Disk
What’s on the disk? It’s simple—the disk included with this book includes 30 situation files, one for each of the Cross Country flights.
How do you use these files? That’s just about as easy. First, you have to copy the files from the disk into your PILOTS directory for FS 5.1 on your hard disk. Once you have done this, they will become available on the Options Situation menu.
All the situation descriptions start with “XC” for “Cross Country”, which means that they will appear at the bottom of the list of situations in the FS 5.1 program. The situation names correspond to each flight, which match the codes used on the headings of each flight. For example, the first flight in this book is in the Chicago area, and as the first flight in that area, the code for the flight is “CH1”. The situation file for this flight is named XC-CH1.STN, and the title starts with “XC-CH1-...” The code for each flight is shown with the disk symbol at the end of each chapter.
To make use of these situations, start FS 5.1 as you would normally. You can use the default configuration for your startup setting, or you can choose to use a different situation file as your startup. A custom situation file lets you configure the program the way you want; I use one that uses the Cessna, but sets the engine to fixed pitch, turns on the mixture control, turns off coordinated flight, and sets the scenery complexity to the maximum level. Your startup situation can pick a different aircraft, or some other customization feature; use this feature to customize the program to match your preferences.
After the program has loaded, you can then use the Options Situation menu to load the Cross Country situation for the flight you want to take. You could also follow the directions in each chapter to set up for the flight yourself, but the situation file gives you the advantage of being able to restart without having to enter those settings all over again. (The reason that I wrote all the instructions in each chapter—even though I provide the situation files—is so that you can still fly these trips even if you should lose the disk.)
The situation files make it easy to position your aircraft, ready to start each flight. If you want to add some more realism to your flights, don’t be in too much of a rush to take off—the next appendix has a number of suggestions on how you can make your experience seem even more real.