Many old-time simmers have fond memories from the first flight instructor they probably ever had: Rod Machado. The friendly and humorous voice of the flying lessons featured in FSX (and actually going back to FS2000), was sadly left out of the latest version of Microsoft Flight Simulator, but you can still learn how to fly with Rod’s extensive teaching materials.
Over the years, Rod Machado garnered recognition as an accomplished teacher and flight instructor, and while many of us had the opportunity to interactively learn with him in older versions of Flight Simulator, newer generations are not so lucky. Thankfully, Rod sells his huge catalog of educational content for those looking to take their first steps into the world of aviation!
Take, for example, the Private Pilot Handbook. It continues to be widely regarded as one of the best books for those studying for their private pilot’s license, with Rod’s engaging and easy-to-understand writing style. While not exactly dedicated to flight simulation, these teachings obviously transpire from the real world to the simulator, and there’s no better way to learn than from a realistic source meant to help real people fly a real airplane.
Rod has a wide variety of materials to help you learn how to fly. Another great example, albeit a significantly more comprehensive one, is the 40-hour Private Pilot eLearning Ground School, an interactive online course that prepares students all the way up to the private pilot knowledge exam. The course goes over many essential topics such as engines and electrical systems, FAA regulations, airport operations, navigation, weather, and much more. It’s a very in-depth, highly approachable learning system that is both full of knowledge and compelling to go through.
Many of these topics covered in the Ground School course can also be purchased as standalone eLearning modules, if you’re looking to learn just about a specific subject.
Many of us were eager to get Rod’s virtual “certificates” that attested to our proficiency in what was thought in FSX and earlier versions of the simulator. It’s unfortunate that this same experience can’t be had with the beautiful visuals of MSFS, especially knowing how this new platform has brought such a massive new audience to the world of virtual aviation, many of whom are eager to learn how to realistically fly an airplane. The included lessons in MSFS are better than nothing, but without Rod’s reassuring voice instructions, the immersion factor of feeling like you’re not alone in the airplane is completely lost.
To see everything that Rod has to offer, check his Aviation Learning Center, from where the different books, interactive courses, and other materials can be purchased. A great resource to enhance your knowledge of aviation!
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