Flight Training Essentials: Rod Machado's eBooks

As a group who has spent a lot of time dealing with flight simulators ever since they more or less became a thing, we take great pleasure in being able to understand the more advanced side of flight and aviation. A genuine passion for flight has made it much easier for us to learn and understand what makes flight simulation tick and a love for taking in new information and reading about all of the historical and amazing stuff that has occurred since aviation began always keeps us on our toes when flying any aircraft!

However, we’ve all had to use a fair amount of research and information along the way – and one of the things that we all used to help me get a solid grounding on flight training was the e-books prepared by the excellent Rod Machado. A genius in his own right, his texts are one of the most commonly used fonts of information that you are likely to find out there about flight training and becoming a more seasoned pilot in multiple new aspects. The hard decision that you need to make, then, is how you are going to go about doing this – are you going to try and learn it all on your own? Or will you turn to something like this to help you get there?

We, amongst others, have used these books before and can only recommend them further – but what makes them such a valuable asset to learning the trick to flying?

About Rod Machado

The first answer to that question actually lies with the author himself, Rod Machado. A true expert in flight simulation training and using the most delicate and detailed answers possible to help students improve their flight capabilities many times over, his teachings and training is some of the clearest and most professional advice that you are able to pick up out there.

Rod Machado with airplane

A huge part of the effectiveness of this project, though, comes from the sheer weight and power of his knowledge. Machado is a proper fountain of knowledge when it comes to both understanding the reasoning behind certain reactions in an aircraft, as well as the physical machinations that make this occur in the first place.

What you are getting, then, is access into the mind of someone who knows exactly what they are doing – and exactly what you need if you want to get the most effective system possible.

A key part of his teachings, though, is making the hard stuff sound simple. It makes it much easier for everyone who uses these guides to understand the most challenging aspects of flight, using smart comparisons and various different great ways of re-phrasing important aspects of flight into something that everyone can understand and benefit from.

The real power in his various e-books, then, is the power to capture people and give them the information and the advice that they need to become more detailed and more engaged members of the growing flight simulation community worldwide.

So, if you are sick of being taught a lesson by the rather challenging nature of flight simulation, I can only recommend that you check this out; it’s by far and away the most comfortable way of changing the way that you fly for the better in as many ways as you possibly can. Each guide covers various different factors, of course, so you need to know what guide is going to be the most suitable for you – or indeed, what you need to work on the most.

Every guide, though, offers a unique and fresh insight into almost everything!

The Guides Themselves

Each guide is very easy to read and to use, and has been printed in an easy download format that makes it easy to pick up the pieces of what is being said, and put it all to good use as soon as possible. The four guides that we want to look at are;

  • How to Fly an Airplane
  • Instrument Pilot’s
  • Instrument Pilot’s Survival
  • Private Pilot

All four offer a fresh and unique insight into something that you may not have considered, and can be used to either help you learn new skills or become more familiar with things that you are already strong at doing. Whatever you choose, though, you will find that dealing with this kind of literature will make learning easy and it will ensure that your overall comprehension and skill within the virtual cockpit can be honed.

How to Fly an Airplane

Basic Premise

How to Fly an Airplane eBookThe first in the series, this project gives you all the help that you could possibly need in fully understanding what has to be done when you first get into the cockpit, and how to manage everything that follows afterwards. It’s a rather comprehensive and full look at just about all of the smallest details possible regarding what has to be done if you want to become the best pilot you can.

Naturally, the whole thing is built around the basics – it covers the most simplistic things or beginners, whilst also offering unique information and insight for those of a more intermediate nature. Given the fact that flight simulators allow you to go the full hog and have all the “challenges” of real life, or have a more comfortable flight experience, this ensures that you make the right decision based on your own qualities and overall confidence.

This guide, then, is created for those who want to make their flying experience so much richer and far more enjoyable moving forward. With all of the right things in place that will help you understand everything that you see in front of you, as well as make you aware of the most important parts of procedure, this e-book offers all of the help that a beginner could need in making themselves far more comfortable.

This is loaded with the finest details about everything from smart and good practice suggestions right through to understanding the little tricks that can turn the quality and outcome of a flight. That one simple maneuver could be all that is missing from your arsenal of skills – but you’ll learn it here!

However, this guide is not some kind of cheat code or an instruction manual – it challenges you and make sure that you are actually learning as you go. By posing you with various theories and questions, you’ll find that flying some becomes a whole lot more engrossing than it already was. These unique questions and queries throughout the pages make it easy for you to start learning about all of the little things that can really make a pilot move up the ladder.

In fact, this e-book is also perfect for anyone who is a trainee pilot and wants to help improve their own comprehension. Even though simulation and reality still differ, you can pick up a lot of great techniques from this that would make excellent sense for use within a professional flying environment. Use the information here as an information sponge, improving you outside the cockpit.

Screenshot from the book, "How to Fly an Airplane"

Key Features

  • Take in the most basic fundamentals of what makes a good pilot separate from a poor one, ensuring that you can pick up all of the right habits whether it’s for simulation purposes or for helping you mold yourself as what will potentially be a long and fruit career in aviation

  • Make your training and your progression far more enjoyable – when you have someone who knows what they are doing teaching you, it is so much easier to legitimately improve and grow as a pilot. Now, you won’t be dealing with ridiculous trial and error sessions or scurrying around researching online

  • Learn and practice at your own pace, ensuring that you can become a more refined pilot as time goes on and to help you move at a level that suits you. No more fast tracking or being out of your depth, as everything can be taken as slowly as needed

  • Take on key practices that are vital to becoming a top pilot such as managing checkride maneuvers, ensuring that you can become more familiar with these typical situations. When you can find the solution so easily, life in the cockpit becomes so much easier to manage and to improve within

  • Learn about the incredibly important stick and rudder style which is used by many pilots across the board. It’s a flight style that helps to augment strengths whilst limiting weaknesses, making it a hugely popular form of flying for those who need to find a new style of actually flying!

  • Find out the keys to avoiding irritating problems such as spinning and stalling when you are flying – if you are trying to get a head of steam built up and cannot seem to create any momentum, this vital chapter can be just what you need to avoid this embarrassing scenario

  • Learn some of the most useful and practical skills possible about flying - removing a lot of the typical doubts that surface when trying to learn how to fly a particular form of aircraft along the way. This smooth’s out the rough edges in your flight style, making you a much more accomplished pilot

  • Professional words of advice and facts that can help you get used to flying virtually, or indeed help you prepare for a career in the real thing. Aircraft tactics and fundamentals are taught here en masse, helping you ensure that you make the right decision consistently

Instrument Pilot’s

Basic Premise

Instrument pilots handbookFor many pilots, the hardest part about learning how to fly an aircraft – virtually and otherwise – is learning how to manage instrument flying. It’s not quite the musical parade that it sounds, unfortunately, and for a lot of simulation users it can be a step too far in their learning and their development early on. For anyone in this position, the second in the line of e-books by Rod Machado can act as the perfect source of inspiration. These are detailed and energetic writings that help inspire and ensures that readers can understand key concepts of aviation, basic and advanced.

This ebook, then, concentrates on the importance of instrument fling and how to actually deal with this properly. It’s been thoroughly prepared and managed by a large team of researchers and analysts, ensuring that the teachings are more than just the amateur theories of a simulation fan. In this package, then, you will be gaining a unique level of access to the brilliant world of instrument flying – and how to manage it like a professional. For those who are ready to take their game on after the first book, this is probably the best place you can start.

It’s thick to the brim with detail and information about using the litany of instruments open to you; this allows users to start learning how to deal with everything from a quick GPS reading to utilizing the right instruments to successfully navigate a rather aggressive storm, regardless of your experience.

The entire plan for this project was to create something that would be easy for people to understand, and the premise here is to take the mystique and the challenge away from dealing with GPS approach technology as well as various other support tools that are vital during any flight.

In short, you’ll be picking up a thorough level of tuition from an expert with more than four decades of real-life flight – and multiple years of simulation – experience teaching you. This allows the teachings to be engaging, fun, and authentic all at the same time. In short, it’s the perfect tool for anyone who wants to see their services become far more effective as a pilot by mastering the challenging act of using instrument flying.

The rewards from learning everything in this book, though, are very much worth your time and patience – flying as a professional will never have been so easy!

Instrument pilots screenshot

Key Features

  • The entire plan and process of instrument flying is explained to you in depth, helping you overcome a gap in your learning or outdated methodologies that may have since been improved or updated in any capacity. Never miss a trick with the teachings found within this brilliant ebook collection

  • Pick up everything that you need to know about handling your cockpit, as all of the basic instruments around you will become the perfect tool for learning and improving with instead of being advanced tools that you never even bothered trying to use, such was their incredible levels of difficulty

  • You’ll get to learn the basics of weather forecasting, too, which is one of the most important parts of being able to fly a successful and problem free flight. you’ll even pick up a bit of geography lessoning’s as you learn how to judge storm severity through the clouds alone

  • Take your skills as a pilot to the next level with a range of detailed and impressive designs and ideas that are built around giving pilots a much greater level of command and control over nearly every aspect of the cockpit – learn about the more advanced tools as you go

  • Help you develop and improve your decision making and the time it takes to actually make these decisions – it only takes a brief matter of time to make sure that this occurs, especially with the insight and the wealth of examples that can be provided to coincide with this project

  • Clear and effective information about how to use more advanced features such as FAR, as well as helping you understand the methods used to deal with losing your communication abilities and the like. these emergency guides will help you make sure that you never need to lose another flight again

  • Navigation tricks are taught en masses to help you get used to managing the map and finding your way to the destination with the minimum of detours and fuss, providing you with an ability to manage an on-time and incident free flight that ticks all of the required boxes for performance

  • Instructions about how to manage the right flight instruments as you fly, making it easier for you to experience a far more authentic and enjoyable side of flight. these teachings will help you start to manage your flights far more effectively than you could have done in the past

Instrument Pilot’s Survival

Basic Premise

Instrument Pilots Survival ManualAs you will no doubt have noticed in the previous book, learning how to fly using instruments is the next step for any pilot who intends to improve and become the most talented and trained pilot that they are capable of doing. However, the main thing is also survival.

This book, then, follows up the second edition with a huge range of tips and points to make sure that the teachings you leave here with will actually help keep you alive when you are flying. It’s designed to give that level of response, making your life so much easier.

Now, instrument pilots can start taking the kind of risks that a real-life equivalent would and ensure that they will come out of the other side; presuming, of course, they did everything correctly. This should be the go-to location for anyone who wants to become a more talented and effective pilot without having to go through a professional training regime!

This will cover some of the hardest parts of flying such as managing your instruments and ensuring that the flight never loses its main aim, which is getting everyone to where they need to be without anyone being harmed if possible.

Therefore, everything that you learn in here is about making sure that instrument flying can be mastered and minimize if not completely eradicate the problem that you will come up against as you fly. Safety tips are loaded into the pages here as you will start to find out the most effective way of keeping yourself alive as you fly, taking away a lot of nagging little questions and queries you had about managing flight safety in the right way and ensuring that it could all be managed in the best way possible. If you need help doing so, this is the place to be.

This complements the original handbook perfectly, by the way, so if you are looking to read one you should really think about reading the other. Many of their ideas and theories cross over and it can be beneficial to get the “second opinion” from the other book. This helps you really get in touch with the most important aspects of instrument flying, but doing so in a safe and intelligent manner. Avoid any of the problems that can come up with changing to a more advanced form of flying by using the teachings here.

Screenshot from Instrument Pilot's Survival Manual

Key Features

  • Take away the inherent fear that remains about taking off in something like this, removing all of the conventional fears that abound from dealing with a wholesale change like instrument flying. With this guide, you’ll learn how to make the right decisions and how to gauge every available option for success

  • It’s about being able to really control flying property, and remove the lack of control that many pilots can feel when they start to delve into the rather challenging world of instrument flying. It becomes much easier to take on the key concepts, and learn how to avoid serious danger

  • In this guide, you also learn the massive importance of having a log that you can refer to inside your mind – creating that constant conversation, always second guessing your decision and keeping you alert, is a big part of staying safe when you are dealing with instrument flying at first

  • Learn key and useful ways to augment and improve your anticipation – if you ever intend on being a professional pilot then this is a skill set that you almost certainly need. it also helps you develop the skills needed to spot danger before it gets out of control and makes life tough

  • Learn how to utilize scanning instruments better than before, as well as make sure that you are doing so in an efficient manner that ensures no time is wasted and that you can then get back to concentrating on what is ahead of you during the flights duration

  • Help yourself become a more comfortable pilot when situations unfold that were not expected – it’s easy to miss something and find yourself in the midst of a storm before you know it! With this guide, though, you’ll learn the “Houdini” maneuvers that will get you out of the situation and back on your feet

  • Gain vital experience in managing radar reflectivity, which is one of the most important components of staying safe when you are flying in instrument styles. This will help you take on a more comfortable style of flying as you master things like NXRAD radar section management

  • Get to grow and love the usage of an IFR flight planning system. Learn how to generate the right changes and operate with the correct solutions, helping you find the level of fluency that is needed to take you to that next level as soon as possible, improving management skills massively

Private Pilot

Basic Premise

Private Pilot HandbookAs the last and final part of the puzzle at the moment from Rod, this final e-book gives you the teachings that you may have felt were missing from the last three editions. This is aimed at those who have done their education and feel fully confident stepping into the cockpit; they just want to raise their level and consistency to that professional level!

The entire premise of the e-book, then, is to offer a huge range of effective and useful tips and details about how to fly in the most effective manner possible. It’s built around helping you get to grips with your overall quality as a pilot whether you are someone who has “earned their badges” or is still trying to get used to the rather dynamic world of simulation. Whatever the choice that you decide to make is, you will find that Private Pilot is the perfect compendium to have at your side as you learn.

It’s enriched by professional advice created over four decade within the flight industry, and put together in an easy to read and enjoy format. Learning is made much easier with the illustrations and guides that easily show you exactly what is needed to make the project work out exactly as it was originally intended.

In short, you will find that everything included in the Private Pilot guide is to help you move on from the rater tough learning curve that many can struggle with. Everything is broken down into easy to read chunks that make sense and can give you a genuine sense of satisfaction as you write. In fact, everything that you take on will be dealt with in a whole new manner of thinking and processing thanks to the information in each book, but especially within Private Pilot.

It’s built for helping those who need to improve their decision making and their accuracy, as well as their memory and their ability to concentrate for the flight. It’s not just basic instructions or some simplistic hotkeys to hit when you fly; it’s built around offering genuinely impressive information.

The whole thing is re-forged around the most important details of taking your flight skills to another level, as basic tips and tricks are left behind in favor of helping those with the ambition to improve by giving them key details about the most important aspects of how they fly.

Private Pilot Handbook screenshot

Key Features

  • Learn some of the most difficult aspects of being a pilot that have not already been covered previously, creating a safe haven for yourself that ensures you will be able to improve and grow whether it’s for your own professional career path or just as someone who takes their simulation seriously

  • The idea of this entire booklet is to provide answers where there may be none forthcoming. Flying can become a game of opinions very quickly and this makes it hard to find those definitive decisions that you need to learn about. What you learn in here, though, is built around professional experience and the teachings of some high-end pilots over the years

  • Insights into the overall world of flying and aviation in general are included, helping you make sure that you can adjust your style of flight to fit with the circumstances around you. This teaches you more than the right way to fly; it teaches you the right way to think. A pilots thinking must be calculated and precise, and this does everything possible to make sure that this is the case as quickly as it possibly can be for anyone reading this book

  • A professionally written take on how electrics work within an aircraft to give you greater depth and understanding of what goes on underneath the hood in your aircraft. When you know what actually works and what is going to be the best way forward for yourself, you’ll find that the various options provided in here will help you start to make significant changes to your overall flight understanding and comprehension. Now you can start to work towards being an even better pilot, giving you a grasp on one of the most important aspects of flying any aircraft today

  • No matter what kind of aircraft you are flying, the teachings and tips throughout this e-book are built for you. They are universal tips and concentrate on the way to think and approach any situation, rather than from one specific cockpit or aircraft brand

  • This makes it much easier to understand what is being taught as it’s no longer as circumstantial and specific – now, the procedures and plans that you learn and use as you fly will be totally different to what they would have been previously

  • Many of the tips and tricks in here come from the word and the thoughts of established flight pros and pilots, giving you a genuine insight from the very best.

We no longer stock Rod's eBooks, however, we have a whole flight training section over at SimShack here.

Download iconDon't forget... We have a huge selection (over 24,000 files) of free mods and add-ons for MSFS, FSX, P3D & X-Plane in the file library. Files include aircraft, scenery, and utilities All are free-to-download and use - you don't even need to register. Browse on down to the file library here.

Ian Stephens

Ian Stephens

Ian Stephens is a flight simulation industry expert with over 20 years of experience and also has a keen interest in aviation and technology. Ian spends a lot of his time experimenting with various simulator packages but has a love for Microsoft Flight Simulator X because of the huge selection of add-ons available. However, Ian also has copies of Prepar3D and X-Plane installed.

Ian has been writing for Fly Away Simulation for over 9 years. Should you wish, you can contact Ian via email at ian.stephens@flyawaysimulation.com.


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The content of the comments below are entirely the opinions of the individual posting the comment and do not always reflect the views of Fly Away Simulation. We moderate all comments manually before they are approved.

Peter MillerWed, 19 Aug 2015 10:29:26 GMT

Just trying to help; his name is Rod, not Rob.

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