Best way to learn Falcon 4

Posted By: Gigolety

Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 12/22/12 02:33 PM

One day I was thinking about the best way to learn Falcon 4 and looking at my experience along the many years that I flew this
aircraft I finally realized that to learn really Falcon 4 is necessary first to make a step back.

The best Pilot Study path is to follow the military system and to do that is necessary to start to learn to fly but not in Falcon 4.

Falcon 4 is simulating a fast military jet fighter in a complicate enviroment which is a miliatry campaing, so especially the new sim pilot can not learn properfly and quickly to fly such a complicate jet without being frustatred.

The best idea is to start to fly a propeller aircraft on FS or X-plane than learn how to navigate on those kind of propeller aircraft then move into jet aircraft always in FS or X-plane and once you master those aircraft move into falcon 4 and its complex system.

It is basically necessary a step by step approach, which is longer but finally more reqarding and effective!

Posted By: - Ice

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 12/23/12 03:10 AM

That is fine but unfortunately, not everyone has the time, energy, or long-lasting interest to take it step-by-step. I guess you could say there is the "proper" way, like how real pilots do it with all the theory and systems and navigation, etc., then there is the "hardcore" way wherein focus is done solely on the aircraft-of-choice but deep study is done, and then there are other, less realistic approaches as well.

Same goes for learning approaches --- some people can read the manual and then fly, but then there's probably people like myself whose brain goes all "??WTF??" when I try to read the manual first. For me, I fire up the sim and have a go first, then return to the manual bit by bit as I go through things in the sim and as I encounter "obstacles" that I have to read up on. I've found that the best way to get people to commit to study sims like BMS and DCS A10C is to show them what can be done in the sim without whacking the thick manual over their head. I've learned this through my other hobby, tabletop RPGs --- I've had a lot of potential players want to play, but walked away after seeing the "Player's Handbook" and thinking they needed to know all that was in it in order to play. So I quickly hid the manual and would just teach them as they needed it, and THEN introduce them to the manual once their hooked biggrin Nice little tactic, no?

As for the sim, I would say the best way to learn is to fly with someone else online. The best mentor is an established Instructor Pilot that is good at teaching (not all people who are good at something can teach that topic very well), hopefully as part of a virtual squadron's training program. Another option is to simply fly with a friend who knows more about the sim than you and can help you through the basics. If nothing else, at least fly online with SOMEONE else, that way you got two individuals trying things out rather than tackling the sim individually. Attacking the "learning curve" by dividing the work (ie, someone studies CCIP deliveries while another studies CCRP deliveries) makes it easier and less daunting.

For me, I would say the only requirement I would have for any student is 1) a properly installed and configured sim, 2) a working HOTAS/joystick profile and a printout of the command layout, 3) basic knowledge of flight (thrust, drag, lift, weight, pull the joystick and the plane goes up, push and it goes down, pitch, yaw, roll), and 4) a desire to learn. I teach in a sort of step-by-step manner too, but I move on to the "fun parts" (ie, making things go BOOM!) as soon as possible.
Posted By: Frederf

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 12/23/12 11:33 PM

The real life and sim training resources and requirements are so different that apart from the joys of "doing it real" there's little reason to model sim learning very closely to real life training programs. The best training program is of no value if the resources (patience, time, motivation) run out or the goals of the program are not in alignment with the individual.

I agree with Ice that the human element is the most valuable training tool. An IP or even a peer accelerates the process. If DCS ever gets a two-seat trainer with multicrew capabilities it will be the ideal place to be. Most people learn best by doing in order of normal process with immediate feedback on their actions. The manual has none of those qualities and is not a good primary learning source. Someone should not have any hesitation on cracking it open and looking up specific facts, but otherwise it's reference material only.

I've begun formulating a sim-level syllabus and instructional material a few times but never got very far. Trying to cater to a wide possible audience with different goals and without the traditional career background is difficult.
Posted By: Eugene

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 12/23/12 11:52 PM

-Ice is absolutely right. For many people, looking at a book and trying to focus on it, translate to the controls and monitor, look back and forth and all...just not their manner of learning. Reading up on procedures and principles is certainly important. But there are lots of good reasons for flight instructors in the cockpit, besides basic safety.

A good sim friend who is a decent pilot and willing to help out online and in the sim is worth a lot! It certainly made all the difference for me years ago when I wasn't getting all that engaged by Falcon training missions and the manual. Then I came across something that seemed too good to be true - the old Falcon Training School and a great guy call sign "Bouncer." That combined with some simply progressing weapons flying with good friend James helped put everything together. Falcon still took - and takes - a good deal of focus and concentration and practice when starting out, but working with other people sure makes all of that a lot easier and often clearer.

Squadrons used to perform this role for a lot of people, and there are still some groups of guys out there that do this valuable service.
Posted By: Snakeyes

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 12/25/12 06:33 AM

I tried more than once to sit down with the big binder and learn to fly Falcon 4. I never was able to put it altogether and fly the campaign missions with a good deal of success. Then I started watching BeachAV8R's training video series for Falcon 4. I would watch a video, fly the mission and then watch the video again until I got it down cold. That worked best for me. I was finally able to follow the mission plan, navigate, make TOT, deliver the weapon payload (A2G) and navigate back to base successfully. Thanks Beach!
Posted By: NamelessPFG

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 12/25/12 07:26 AM

I didn't truly start learning Falcon 4.0 until I started flying multiplayer with other people. That did so much more for me than consulting the manual while loading a pre-set training mission. Too bad I haven't had a chance to fly with that group in years.

That said, the current DCS modules have a far better in-game training setup (for the A-10C and a fan-made Black Shark 2 set, anyway), as it's interactive and actually highlights the objects of importance. That hands-on approach with explanations helps me understand better.

On top of that, it's not immediately obvious which of the numerous control bindings are the most important until you start flying for a bit. You may even find that the actual HOTAS controls may omit some important things in favor of relatively trivial features. Again, in comparison to DCS, Falcon's user interface doesn't really filter control types by location or what systems they pertain to. You have to scroll through a very long list in order to find what you want, and said list doesn't have the best organization of bindings.

Worst of all is when the manual actually turns out to be wrong about something, like how to land. That AOA indexer? It's lying to you and will make you crater every single time if you go for the green circle in the middle. What you really do is line up a certain AOA line that appears with the landing gear down at about 3 degrees glide slope, the top of a bracket toward the left side linked to the AOA indexer (it'll show the red V if you're on the truly correct alignment), the flight path marker, and the start of a runway together. Doesn't help much for instrument landings, but if you can visually align those four things, you'll make a good landing every time.

If anything, the barrier to hardcore flight sims like these is that there generally isn't as much effort being spent to make them easier to learn. People are intimidated by all the unfamiliar switches and MFDs at first, and sometimes things don't transition seamlessly in someone's mind between the manual and the actual sim experience.

But when you do finally master all those various subsystems, you'll wonder how you lived without them as you blow away the enemy and return home in one piece with the satisfying feeling of having mastered a complex military jet.

So who's willing to take some of us under his wing and teach us how to handle a F-16C? It's been said here several times already - having a human mentor who can answer your every question and point out your mistakes, someone who you can interact with, helps immensely.
Posted By: - Ice

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 12/25/12 12:49 PM

sSnakeyes, that is exactly what I mean... and even the Falcon 4.0 and Allied Force manuals were excellently written compared to what's available for BMS today. If it was hard for a new pilot to learn 4.0 or AF before, that learning curve just turned into a CLIFF for BMS. Plus the downside that those manuals don't exactly "work" for BMS anymore --- sure the theory is there, but "learning" this sim means you have to DO what you've learned in theory and again BMS trips all over itself.

NamelessPFG, I agree that DCS has better training materials (if they work!) due I guess to it being a newer engine. However, not all is taught in the tutorials and in fact, the community-made tutorials has been more help, better presentation, and more-to-the-point. Sadly, BMS does not have this quality of tutorials; a situation I hope to remedy soon.

Have a look back at the Falcon 4 forum, I'll start a thread there regarding tutorial sessions. Maybe we can get a SimHQ group started.
Posted By: Gigolety

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 12/25/12 08:35 PM

I agree with you that time is really a #%&*$#. I did this method and I took 2 years to reach the level I consider correct and doing by myself and off-line. I did with a civilan licence on my pocket and some extra-knowledge that it was an advantage and even in this case I took 2 years to reach a serious military skill level.

In any case this can be reduced to maximum 6 months with theory and practical training if you have a proven system. What is just necessary is to learn to fly a simple propeller aircraft and know how to taxi, aviate, communicate. Then learn how to make some basic aerobatics and finally move into VFR and IFR navigation. Finally on the prop final step would be to learn how to fly formation, rejoin and side switch.

Once those are mastered it would be useful to move to Falcon. The problem is that in Falcon is complicate to apply a really important concept: you must stay in front of your aircraft. Which translated is like to say you have to anticipate the next step. This aircraft fly at the slowest speed during cruise around 300 kts so for rokies this is overwhelming so it is necessary to have the basis steps done on something slower and easier to handle.

Een more MFDs, and radar system are distracting and it doesn't matter if you are flying with someone else or not, confusion is behind the corner. Even more it is overwhelming to have to understand all that information without knowing the basic, it is like placing the coach in front of the horse.
Posted By: - Ice

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 12/25/12 09:36 PM

I respectfully disagree.

Why learn VFR and IFR if you'll almost never use it in Falcon? Heck, it'd be "cool" to learn proper ILS landing with proper pattern procedures, but that's just icing on the cake. If you can land your aircraft using the AoA bracket, AoA indexer, and FPM, you're good. Most "basic" missions take place in fair weather anyway; you can leave the low-vis or night ops stuff for later.

I do agree with you with regards to "being in front of your aircraft." You should always be two steps ahead of the plane, anticipate what is to happen, and make corrective action as soon as possible. However, again, I do not see the need to practice on props just to do this. Simply load up the Viper with two or three fuel tanks and as much heavy bombs as you want to carry. Acceleration will be slower and the drag/deceleration will be decent, so practice with that. I guess unless the pilot wants to do air-to-air missions specifically, this config will pretty much be the norm for A-G ops.

As for the systems, well, it is quite complex due to the amount of ordnance that is available to the Viper, but I think if you narrow it down to delivery methods required, then you only really have CCIP and CCRP weapons to worry about. Dropping a MK-82 slick won't be different from dropping an -84 or JDAM in CCRP mode, LGBs simply need a designator turn after release, etc. These are the basics, and should be easily grasped by the new pilot. Variations to the technique, ie lofting or pop up attacks are just icing on the cake and the pilot can practice these by himself once he knows the basics. Also, knowledge of weapon employment is not dependent on knowledge of other aircraft systems --- it doesn't matter if you don't know how TACAN works, you'll still be able to drop bombs. The extra knowledge **might** come in handy in some situations, but it's not a requirement, IMHO.

While teaching this stuff can easily take months, this is more due to the fact that some people can only fly once or twice a week. I would say 1-2 lessons taking about 2 hours per lesson, maybe 5-8 lessons (depending on the learner's initial level and needs), and a new pilot will know enough to be a decent wingman and can contribute greatly to a flight's damage-dealing potential. If you insist on going about this alone, well, you can bury yourself in the manual and spend the next two hours finding the cause and solution to your problem --- or you can fly with someone who can spot your mistake as you do it and actually spend the next two hours practicing how to get it right.

Will he have intimate knowledge of the aircraft and its sub systems? Nope. Will he know what to do in an emergency situation? Probably not. Will he be able to recite takeoff speeds based on aircraft configuration and weight? Not even if his life depended on it. Will he be able to understand and communicate using brevity? Probably, depending on how closely he's studied Top Gun, Iron Eagle, and other such films biggrin "If I hit the brakes, he'll fly right by!"

Will he be able to spread the love in the form of pretty orange explosions? Definitely. And I think this is why people fly BMS to start with. Otherwise they would've just stayed with FSX and purchased a 3rd-party aircraft.
Posted By: Snakeyes

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 12/25/12 10:30 PM

- Ice, I don't currently have Falcon 4.0 installed. Is the latest version of BMS solid for multiplayer flights? From what I've read, it looks like it got new multiplayer code.
Posted By: - Ice

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 12/26/12 12:01 PM

BMS is pretty solid. I say that because it is not 100% crash-proof, but mostly my problems occur in the 2D environment. Once in the pit and flying, it's all good --- I've never flown wondering if the game will crash at any time, unless it is a server-side issue, usually bandwidth.

You don't have to install F4.0 to get BMS working, the BMS installer will only look for the F4.0 .exe. By all means, give BMS a try biggrin Check HERE for my install guide.
Posted By: Snakeyes

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 12/26/12 01:48 PM

I'm going to install BMS today and have a look at it. I saw your install guide and I'll use that to get started.

Posted By: - Ice

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 12/27/12 03:52 AM

No worries, glad to have helped.... though I take no responsibility in the number of hours you will lose in said simulator. biggrin
Posted By: CTR69

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 12/27/12 11:34 PM

I learned by repetition, doing startup, takeoff and then various weapons missions MANY times, basically jumping between the AF manual, YT and in game mission. Once you're successful in campaign, try the MP.
Posted By: JonnyD

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 12/28/12 09:02 PM

Originally Posted By: CTR69
I learned by repetition, doing startup, takeoff and then various weapons missions MANY times, basically jumping between the AF manual, YT and in game mission. Once you're successful in campaign, try the MP.

What he said ^^

with tons of flying around getting the feel before attempting anything involving ordnance (though reading up on radar and weapon systems - repeatedly)
Posted By: Snakeyes

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 12/28/12 09:18 PM

That is what I have done in the past. Pause the sim and read some, unpause and keep flying unless I need to pause again. I bought the Falcon 4.0 binder on day 1 and I've kept it all these years. I tried different flavors, Free Falcon was the last. I have not tried BMS that I can recall. Flown online with friends and joined a VFW squadron for awhile. I haven't touched Flacon 4.0 for at least a year, maybe longer.
Posted By: TommyGun

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 12/28/12 09:35 PM

The TE Editor is an invaluable tool. With it you can create any type of mission you want and orchestrate all actions in it to your liking and needs, e.g. to practise the usage of various weapons. I'd risk a statement that 90% of what I've learned throughout all these years I owe to flying self-made TE missions and repeating them till I have mastered a specific aspect of the A-A or A-G combat, plus, sure enough, the compulsory reading (and the manuals are many wink ).
Posted By: - Ice

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 12/28/12 10:25 PM

But that's the big black mark of Falcon BMS. In older F4.0 or AF, you can fire up the TE and "follow along" with the manual, pausing as needed, reading, then doing. However, this is not the case with BMS. The default manual has nothing about the training TEs. Trying to do the training TEs using the older F4.0 or AF manuals only leads to confusion --- my favorite example is the 3rd TE, Day Landing Final Approach. From the name itself, final approach, but when you start the TE, you aren't on final approach. If you contact tower, it will instruct you to turn downwind, base, and final. Even if you don't contact tower, you're angled about 30-degrees off the runway centerline --- no way set up for a final approach.

The other TEs are the same.

This makes learning Falcon BMS very difficult for new guys, however, with a little reading of the old AF or 4.0 manuals (for the theory bits, like corner speed or A-G radar) and a couple of hours stick time with an IP, this will greatly accelerate the learning process, or at the very least lift off some of the frustration of executing some procedures.
Posted By: Gigolety

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 09/04/13 10:55 AM

I have finished after 2 years and half the kind of training I told I was doing in one message, last year.

I can assure before I was just gaming not flying the F-16 on Falcon 4 driving.

Now, it is something more realistic, I have full control of F-16 flights envelope, I have a good Situation Awareness, I can fly as wingman or leadear with full confidence, even as wingman leaving the leader position to the Artificial intelligence.

I know how to perform air-to-air tactics and air-to-ground tactics and I have a good knowledge of VFR and IFR navigation rules and how to make the transition from inside the cockpit to outside (An important concept in military flights).

I definitely recommend to study little by little and then move into the practical part instead of launch the sim and then hit pause and read the manuals.

It is more funny and realistic.

A sum of my program was:

Used IVAO (Use VATSIM if you like) to get info and material about how aircrafts fly and how to manage it.
Got the AFMAN 11-248 got a T-6 aircraft on Flightsim. Start to study the manual and then I created a couple of practical steps (Planned a fly mission on IVAO performing the step taught in the chapter I studied ). So it was possible to learn VFR , IFR and Aerobatic as well military formation (It is necessary to fly in multiplayer with someone).

I did 60 hrs on Ivao. Use this great web-page to get really nice extra-studing material about T-6 T-6 (real material)

Then I move to F-16 on Falcon 4 and I used the F-16 aircraft manual and all the others manual to create this program. Little by little (due to my job , etc.) I reached the point where I am today , where the brevity code is in my mind and it is not a strange language...


Basic Training Step [ 0 to 50 Hrs]

0 to 25 V.F.R. Navigation & Aircraft Performance (Dual)

Start-up and Taxi Procedures

Engine Instruments
Start-up Procedures
Taxi Handling Technique

Take-off and Landing Procedures

Take-off missions
Landing missions
Go-around situation assessments

Take-off performance & distance calculation

Take-off speed, refusal speed and after take-off speed computation

Landing Techniques & distance calculation

Landing speed & landing distance speed computation

Approach and VFR holding procedures over airports

Approach assessments and speed computation
VFR holding rules, spikes and perches

VFR Navigation Techniques

CAS, TAS, GS computation
Reporting point selection
Time and distance calculation between reporting points (Steer points)

VFR Routing and Long navigation missions

Routing, weather and fuel calculation between airports at more than 250 NM

25 to 40 Aircraft Manoeuvres Basic Control (Dual)

AHC (Aircraft handling Characteristics)
Aircraft Handling Exercises and Manoeuvres

1. Horn Awareness and Recovery Training Series

Unload Manoeuvres - HARTS Series # 1
Nose High Recovery Manoeuvres HARTS Series # 2
Horn Demonstration Manoeuvres HARTS Series # 3
Horn Recovery Manoeuvres 50 to 70 HARTS Series # 4
Horn Recovery Manoeuvres 70 to 110 HARTS Series # 5

2. Confidence Manoeuvres
Date Start 08/12/2010

Split S

3. Advanced Handling Manoeuvres

Reversal / Rolling Manoeuvres Demonstration
Vertical Recovery Demonstration
Departure Indicators
Dive Recovery Manoeuvres

40 to 45 Engine Failure / S.F.O. (Dual)
Flame-out Approach (FO) Techniques and Procedures
Straight-in Flame-out Pattern & Approach
Overhead Flame-out Pattern Approach

45 to 50 Refuelling Procedures Training (Dual)
Medium Training Step [50 to 100 Hrs]

50 to 70 I.F.R. Training & Manoeuvres (Dual)
70 to 90 Basic 1 vs. 1 Aerial Combat Manoeuvres (Dual)

Air Combat Training; a general term which includes (D)BFM,(D)ACM and(D)ACT

90 to 100 V.F.R. Formation Training (Dual)
Advanced Training Step [100 to 150 Hrs]

100 to 105 Refuelling Procedures Training (P.I.C.)

105 to 130(110) Advanced Aerial Combat (P.I.C.)

Fighter Proficiency Exercises

Gun Exercises

Offensive Ranging Exercise
Basic Tracking Exercise
Cine Track Exercise
Roll-Slide Attacks -X
Snapshot Exercise
Heat to Gun exercise (Belly/Guns)
Vertical Roll to Six (Snatch Back) - X
Cross Turn Exercise
High Aspect Gun Exercise

Missile Exercises

Random Missile / Gun Exercise
Defensive Awareness Exercise
Low Altitude Training - X
Descent Awareness Training - X
Level Turn - X

105 to 110 Night V.F.R. Training (P.I.C.)

110 to 115 Night Refuelling Procedures (Dual)

140 to 150 S.A.M. Evasion Technique (Dual)

Visual Lookout Exercise
S Turns
Orthogonal Sam Break

Combat Training [130 to 200 Hrs]

115 to 140 Group Aerial Combat manoeuvres (P.I.C.)

Air Combat Manoeuvres (D)ACM

2 Vs 1 Offensive manoeuvring
Break Away Turn Away
Break Into
Straight Ahead Extension
Lag into

2 Vs 1 Defensive Manoeuvring
Early Switch
Late Switch
Break in same direction
Cross Turn

150 to 200 Air to Air Combat Simulation (P.I.C.)

Basic Ground Attack Training [200 to 250 Hrs]

Now I have 330 hrs and with realistic air refueling settings and Ace or veterans campaigng I have never been shot dwon. Before it was a miracle if I was shoting down someone and sometimes was a friendly. Before if a Su-27 was showing up I was panicking and if they were firing I was praying and crossing my fingers, now they are in trouble because I know when to commit and engage and when to bugout and save the aircraft. Before flying a formation was a true enigma and with the airtifical intelligence as a leader was a no go or an insanity. Today is just a funny game to play. Promotions are natural steps, before was a dream . Now Average is rare, poor is pretty rare and good or excellent rate after a mission are a common result. tanksalot I am really happy about the sacrifice but now it is becoming a real simulator and I enjoy everytime I shot-up the engines.

Posted By: theOden

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 09/04/13 05:29 PM

Very impressive Gigolety.
You've really used the simGame more on the sim side than most others.

Personally the only brevity I use is "Bollocks" and it means another SAM is heading for me :/
Posted By: - Ice

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 09/04/13 08:54 PM

Congratulations on getting to this stage!

However, have you been flying against the AI all this time?
Posted By: Gigolety

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 09/16/13 09:05 PM

Originally Posted By: theOden
Very impressive Gigolety.
You've really used the simGame more on the sim side than most others.

Personally the only brevity I use is "Bollocks" and it means another SAM is heading for me :/

Don't worry, it is just a matter to read and memorize after that you have just to read the brevity code and recall the explanation. There was a good Brevity code explanation made by a virtual F-16 squadron with good examples. I can't remember the name. Let me see.

It should be here but now it is necessary to register. I have old version on cd but I don't know how to upload here. That is nice to have a practical example but it is better if you start to memorize the words.


You may read this too if you like:


Practice with someone you know is good at. Try to join the VFW, they look pretty prepared.

Posted By: Gigolety

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 09/16/13 09:14 PM

Thank ICE,

no I have been on a virtual squadron until 2005 then due to personal life I have to drop and stop Falcon until 2009. Now due to a bad internet connection I am forced to fly locally. I miss the internet flight with humans.

In any case when I was in that virtual squadron there were nice people and really passionate virtual pilots but they didn't have any knowledge about aviation even civil aviation and finally around 2003 and 2004 the main charge were taken by people who were looking to feed the power ego and they were on a power trip. The course were doing was about how to learn to use the F-16 Avionics when in reality they should start from basic airmanship. They could not even say why they were landing low on speed or overunning. One day when I was doing the aerobraking just after touchdown one of them told me to place the nose down at least 3 or 4 time or I was exceeding the runway. I have just read the day before the Bonanni F-4 guide so the aerobraking was explained so I just disregard like if I could not hear.

One day, I was clearly too fast and too long after touchdown so I didn't want ot experience another overrun and I gave power and performed a go-around . Second VFR circuit and this time I watched better the speed and landed right.

One of the leader after the landing asked me with a bit of disrespect what was the reason to make that move, he told me: what was it ? An aerobatic maneuver ? (We were trying to perform aerobatics to resemble the thunderbids. A truly too optimistic plan, taking into account our skills and the Falcon SP3 internet connection system , that had some lag. After a while we drop the idea!)

I forgave him: he was a lawyer. So may be he didn't know what a go-around procedure is all about.

But as you may see, I am not a military pilot. I am not here to impose anything to anyone, I just share a system that basically resemble the real military training system. They don't start to fly F-16 or F-15, they start from basic aircrafts and they move-up, and even with this system some don't achieve the minimum standard.

Viceversa, in this squadron I was enrolled, anybody joining them was immediately place on an F-16 and explained HSD, Radar, HUD and so on so on. How can it work if the guy don't know why an aircraft fly and what is an aileron or a rudder?

One day, the responsible made one fo his marvellous mission and I had to make a strike. I was heavy and with small tankers. So at a certain moment, after abusing the after burner, I had to look for the tanker and try to get it. I was not aware like today, where I know how to manage the fuel and calculate the fuel consumption (We didn't have the F-16 flight maual like today too), so I had to catch this tanker because this genius place the holding pattern of the tanker with legs of 50 Nm. SO I was forced with 900 lbs to reach the first ARIP and then look for the ARCP that it was 50 nm at 20.000 ft when I had to save fuel. Conclusion. dead stick land on a near alternate with some laughs of the others. Normally the holding is not longer than 20 Nm with 10-15 nm as a normal holding leg, unfortunately he didn't consider those values good for him.

One day, I did a saturday mission after not flying F-4 for about 2 months. I was number 4, the genius just place the aircraft on route. The others rejoin, I didn't and I struggle because with MIL power I could not catch up. He didn't know what an arcing rejoin was or what to reduce the speed and once everybody is in position accelerate to navigation speed.

So When a couple of Mig-29 I finally arrive to them but once in the fuball since he was not able to manage the formation, I didn't know air brevity code like them. I locked and fired. I finally shot him down. That was the 2nd or third time. Since he was the boss of the squadron one night he threated me, he wss thinking about a suspension if it was happening again, and to pay attention. May be if he was going to learn how to lead we could avoid it, since we were basically unable to defeat an A-22 once they were firing at us. Funny part it is that one night they made a mission about how to learn to defeat the air to air missile (They didn't know a bloody tactics but they were making the teachers). I was the only one to survive just because without realizing I used the M.R.A. definitions and applied to the AGM-54s they were firing from the F-14 (If they were going to get closer they were scared to be kicked dwon!). I survived just because I was lucky, I did the right thing but I didn't know what I was doing. Pure luck! My wingman was shot down.

But his power trip was making him think we were the fools. In fact after a while many moced out of the squadrons.

So it is up to the virtual pilots but if you learn something you may enjoy better the simulator and avoid this creepy stories ahahah.
Posted By: - Ice

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 09/16/13 09:23 PM

+1 to not liking the drama and the power trip.

It seems to me that you've approached this as a real pilot might. Do you have GA experience? Things like VFR and IFR are cool to learn, but not really necessary to enjoy Falcon BMS. Same with night refuelling. Then again, that depends how you define the word "enjoy." For me, if the pilot has the basic navigation skills and can hold formation, he can then start learning A-A and A-G stuff, the "combat" section of combat flight sims. Should the pilot wish to learn more, such as flying heads-down approaches following published plates, cool! Should the pilot wish to learn brevity and apply it, awesome! Again, it depends on how you define the word "enjoy."

And yeah, if someone professes to like the F-16 but doesn't know about aerobraking, he doesn't have a clue and should be disregarded smile
Posted By: Gigolety

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 09/16/13 09:29 PM

It seems to me that you've approached this as a real pilot might. Do you have GA experience? Things like VFR and IFR are cool to learn, but not really necessary to enjoy Falcon BMS.

May be I have some real aviation experience ! ahoy or may be not! neaner

I am not here to force anybody, it is a method of learning. It is up to the individual to accept or not this learning process. deadhorse

If you don't want to study because it is too much I understand, then don't be frustated like we were in that squadron if when we were flying with other squadrons (One Swedish), they were basically killing us like flies .

Someday I was ashamed! cuss

So taking into account that experience I look for a way to avoid it. i didn't want to experience it anymore. That is the main reason.

Cheers guys.
Posted By: Darren

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 02/16/16 03:14 AM

The bms manual makes my anxiety go through the roof.
I read it but my mind rejects it and refuses to commit anything to memory.
I could read the same paragraph twenty times and my mind would reject it.
For a complicated sim like this,manuals are completely useless.
The only way to learn is by someone showing you the ropes in the sim otherwise you will end up losing the plot by reading the manuals.

I was 32 when F4 came out.
I was behind the 8ball from the start.
Most people who are good at this sim started with f4 or Allied Force in their teens or twentys.
My best experience with flight sims was when my mind was still fresh playing the F16 sims on the Amiga a500.

F18 interceptor and F19 stealth fighter and F16 combat pilot also Birds of prey.
A bit of Wings also lol.

Now I'm 49,F4 ring binder still locked away gathering dust,I'm at a stage where my mind is just too old and worn to comprehend F4.

I did get to do a ramp start but that's where my brain's ceiling ends.
Unless you were very spolt and were born with a very strong brain,this sim will leave you wanting to kill yourself.

P.S. I have done everything I have to try to get my mind in condition to play this but you can't change yur brain.
If you're dumb you're dumb and you can't have the privelage of enjoying the sim like the narcissists do.
I have given up alcohol,coffee(over a year coffee free,I run,I exercise,I drum,I'm doing everything I can to try to kick this brain into gear so I can play Falcon BMS but I still get anxiety.

You make me so jealous I just want to jump in the sea.

I also have kerotoconos in my eyes which also makes reading manuals hard but my contacts ar edoing a great job.
I think it's just I wasn't spoilt with a brainy brain.
I still don't understand Fightclub or The Matrix movie.

Should I just kill myself?

Gaming in general is a narcissists playfround really.
You go online ,get called all kinds of names by the Veruca Salts who call you a loser or a fag or RTFM.

At least dumb people will look you in the eye and buy you a beer.
Posted By: piper

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 02/16/16 03:50 AM

^^^ Nominated for post of the year! ^^^
Posted By: Darren

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 02/16/16 12:25 PM

Another thing I get completely bored if I stay on the same sim all the time.
I have to give it a rest for a few weeks otherwise I just go into a deep depression.

One session is exhausting enough.

I think I'm just geting too old.

BMS is a sim for the kiddies.
Posted By: schnidrman

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 02/17/16 04:50 PM

Originally Posted By: Darren
I have given up alcohol,coffee

I believe this is where you went wrong... cheers

But in all seriousness, if you really are contemplating suicide over a sim, you need to get help, brother!
Posted By: Ace_Pilto

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 02/17/16 05:07 PM


Jesus dude, it's nothing to get anxious about. Look at it this way:

It takes real college educated, high IQ, highly motivated pilots years with the best instructors and classroom techniques money can buy to fly the real F-16 operationally and many of them don't make it. You're trying to do something that is basically almost as complicated as the real thing all alone! It's natural to feel like you're pushing #%&*$# up hill.

Take a perspective check and approach it with that in mind. Maybe try joining a squadron or something.
Posted By: NavyNuke99

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 02/17/16 05:10 PM

Come over to the Veteran Gaming BMS server sometime. Good group of mature, serious guys who want to have fun and are patient and ready to help.
Posted By: - Ice

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 02/17/16 09:57 PM

First things first --- slow down. Falcon 4 and any detailed study sims are very, very complex simulations. There are people who have been playing Falcon for decades and are still learning new things. I suspect you're trying to "eat the elephant" in one bite. Impossible to do.

For example, I never heard back from you regarding bullseye. Did you ever sort that out? When I first was learning Falcon (Falcon 4 Allied Force), I never really grasped bullseye so I played without it and completed a campaign without ever using it. I also limited myself to A-G roles due to lack of TrackIR and I was terrible at panning the camera and keeping SA. If engaged with A-A, I would just run.

I could've learned about bullseye then. I could've also learned how to pan the camera with a joystick hat switch, or learned how to use the padlock views and the canopy cues (arrows). I could've studied how to do A-A dogfights (I could do BVR, but WVR was my big weakness). I chose to ignore these and instead stick with A-G and build up from there.

You don't just pick up Falcon 4 and two weeks later expect to be flying campaigns like a real-life F-16 pilot. You just don't. It takes **THEM** years and years of practice and study to get to that point, and **THEY** do that for a living. So take it easy on yourself.

Originally Posted By: Darren
The bms manual makes my anxiety go through the roof.

Why? You don't have to memorize everything. You don't have to understand everything. Who cares if the normal fuel flow is from the external wing tank to the internal tank to the forward/aft tanks? If you know how to read the needles, the rest is just icing on the cake.

Don't know how the data link works? Who cares? If you're flying solo, you probably don't need it. If you're flying in a virtual squadron, someone can give you the quick-and-dirty in 5 minutes. Until then, don't sweat it.

OOOO!! BMS 4.33 comes with buddy-lasing capabilities! So what? If you're flying solo, you'll be lasing your own bombs. If you're flying in a virtual squadron, someone can give you the quick-and-dirty in 3 minutes. Until then, you can ignore this.

Originally Posted By: Darren
I read it but my mind rejects it and refuses to commit anything to memory.
I could read the same paragraph twenty times and my mind would reject it.

I suspect you're a bit like me. I don't really grasp info until I find out what it's really for.

I remember back when A-10C came out and someone was saying he loved reading the manual and because of him doing his studying, when he encountered an emergency situation in the game, he knew exactly how to deal with it. Good for him. I probably would've just paused the game and looked up what I needed to do, or most likely just continued on as best I can. I remember people would brag about being able to create a flightplan from scratch using the built-in computer in the A-10C.... okay, cool, but how many times will you actually use that knowledge?

I think you'd benefit best by being demo-ed a procedure then following it, **THEN** going into the manual to see why/how it works.

Originally Posted By: Darren
Now I'm 49,F4 ring binder still locked away gathering dust,I'm at a stage where my mind is just too old and worn to comprehend F4.

You don't need the F4 ring binder. BMS comes with its own manuals. Go ahead and print them out, if nothing but for easy access. It's much easier to reference a physical copy as you play and pause the game. So go ahead. I probably printed out the Allied Force manual 3-4 times. I printed out a full copy of the BMS 4.32 manual, and I'll be printing out a copy of the 4.33 manual soon.

Originally Posted By: Darren
P.S. I have done everything I have to try to get my mind in condition to play this but you can't change yur brain.
If you're dumb you're dumb and you can't have the privelage of enjoying the sim like the narcissists do.
I have given up alcohol,coffee(over a year coffee free,I run,I exercise,I drum,I'm doing everything I can to try to kick this brain into gear so I can play Falcon BMS but I still get anxiety.

Just because your brain goes into a panic state doesn't mean you can't grasp BMS. Just because BMS is geared for the full-switchology simmer doesn't mean you can't play BMS. Like I said, you can turn off Bullseye. You can have unlimited fuel and ammo. You can even enable invulnerability!! Don't know how to start up? Choose TAXI or RUNWAY start. I finished a campaign in Allied Force and never did a cold start. Situation awareness down by your ankles? Turn on labels. One guy ran a crash course on A-A tactics and evasion and we had labels on so we could see, and thus understand, what was going on.

This is a game. A hard-core, full-switch simulation, but still a game. Play it with all the aids you think you need, and then more. Then slowly take the aids off as you gain confidence. Nobody wakes up one morning when they're 30 and just takes a superbike and tears up the track. They started when they were 4 or 5 years old on a bicycle with training wheels and worked from there.

You go online ,get called all kinds of names by the Veruca Salts who call you a loser or a fag or RTFM.

RTFM is an often-used phrase for sims like these, but I find people who are lazy to use this phrase as well. "RTFM" for me translates to "what you want is in the manual somewhere so go ahead and sift through 300+ pages of material for maybe 5 words that can help you because I'm too lazy to help a newbie such as yourself because I never was a newbie, I never asked newbie questions, I was born a god of simulations and I knew how to activate NWS before I even spoke my first word."

So if anyone simply tells you to "RTFM," feel free to ignore them from that point on. The really helpful community members will **STILL** give you a "RTFM" message, but this would be worded in a kinder way and would include which .PDF, what page, and under what heading you need to look at. When that happens, sit up and listen to THOSE folks. Those are the guys you will learn from.

Originally Posted By: Darren
At least dumb people will look you in the eye and buy you a beer.

Ask a stupid question and you'll be stupid for 5 minutes. Don't ask a stupid question and you'll be stupid for life.

Your choice, really.
Do you just want to come here and rant about how impossible it is to tackle BMS?
Or do you want to pick a topic to learn and ask how to go about it?

Do you just want to moan and gripe about how fragmented the information is? (it used to be, but it is less so now)
Or do you want help to know where to look for to study a particular technique?
Posted By: PropNut

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 02/18/16 12:26 AM

Yep, what he said ^

I know the feeling though, I learn a little, start to get comfortable with the sim and then lose interest after a few particularly frustrating evenings in the sim. Then it is off to another game/sim/obsession and after a year or two (or three) back to try my hand at Falcon again.

Someone asked me to create an ICP module for them last week...since tinkering in the shop is my real obsession and my driving and flying sims my excuse, my interest in Falcon (and flight sims in general) is ascending again. Will I actually become proficient this time? Time will tell....and of course there is always Fallout 4, Assetto Corsa, or Euro Truck Simulator 2. biggrin
Posted By: theOden

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 02/18/16 05:52 AM

Yep, what they said ^
(see what I did there?)

Like Ice said, been flying Falcon 10+ years and still learn new things now and then - despite being 49 so age is not an issue.

Do not skip the beer smile

Start off easy, slap two 3-pack Mk 82's under your wings and just fly out and try target something. When bombs don't drop check the 700 page manual for that specific problem and ignore all other text.
(btw, check Master Arm switch smile )

Fly that until borderline bored and then switch those Mk82's to a pair of AGM-65 (Maverick) and repeat procedure.

Your first steps will still struggle and that's when it comes in handy to ask in this forum section rather then searching the manual in frustration (but always try the manual first, will help you in the future).

I have a 4-pack training missions (tactial engagements or TE's as they are known), PM me your email is you think they could help you move deeper into Falcon universe (once down into falcon you will never get out hehe)
Posted By: Darren

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 02/22/16 02:11 PM

I found a great bms Ch hotas profile.
Just very daunting starting.
Playing iracing atm and having fun fun fun.
I want to give bms a real shot before I get old and die :-(
Posted By: - Ice

Re: Best way to learn Falcon 4 - 02/22/16 09:39 PM

I think one thing you have to realize is that BMS is not something you "just pick up." Shooters and racing games are easy enough in that you know what you need to do, you just need to learn the characteristics of your current gun or car.

BMS is easy if all you want to do is take off, fly around, and land. Once you want to start giving the real sim a go, you'll have to commit to it. You'll have to spend a little study time, a little testing time, in order to learn how the system works. Want to land in bad weather using instruments or ILS? You've got some reading to do. Want to learn how to do pop-up attacks or buddy lasing? You've got some reading to do. Even if all it is is asking a question on the forums and reading the answers.... some people make it look easy.... and it is --- once you get the hang of it! The first couple of times would most likely be frustrating.

Take air-to-air refuelling for example. Theory is very easy. Request refuel at 10nm from tanker, link up with tanker, fly to a specific point near the boom, get clearance, fly closer, get fuel, top up tanks, disconnect, say "thank you, bye!" Actually getting comfortable flying so close to the tanker, actually getting the fine adjustments needed to stay there, that needs practice. Lots of it.

If you really want to give BMS a real shot, the community is here ready to help you out. But you'll still need to do the studying and practice.

A little secret -- sometimes, practicing a technique **IS** the whole point of a flight and that becomes a lot of fun! It doesn't have to always be campaigns, you know!
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