Flight1 FSi Panel


Introduction

[Reviewed By: Mike Cameron] FSiPanel is a new program for FSX and Lockheed Martin Prepar3D V2.1, 2.2 &2.3 to allow home flight simulator pilots to train like real airline pilots do.    It was developed by an airline pilot with 15 years of experience who is also a huge fan of the MS Flight Simulator and wanted to develop a tool to provide proper approach training on the highly sophisticated aircraft available today for the home simulator.    He became frustrated that after landing and to practice another approach, the whole airplane had to be repositioned on the ground, FMS reprogrammed, etc.   This process could take another 15 minutes before you would be able to practice this approach again.  With FSiPanel, this process only takes a few seconds.    

The program consists of an instructor panel with a weather engine allowing pilots to train in any kind of IFR approach at any airport in the FSX/P3D world. FSiPanel will prepare the aircraft for you in the following way:

  • Position the aircraft in Final, Downwind, Base, Vector or Takeoff Positions.
  • Spool up the Engines.
  • Trim the Aircraft.
  • Automatically sets the NAV Setting for the Approach.

When everything is ready, the program will let the pilot know and allow them to take control and fly the selected approach. This program can be used on a single station or as a client/server to allow for the most realistic training experience. I will be using the single stand-alone installation of the program. FSiPanel is designed to help train you on some of the high end simulated aircraft available today in the same way pilots train in an airline environment. There are currently eight aircraft supported by the program today and more will be added based on user requests on the user forum at www.fsipanel.com. Also located there are demonstration videos and charts of the supported features for each of these aircraft in FSX and P3D.   The eight aircraft that are currently supported are:

  • iFly – 737NG (All Variants)
  • PMDG – Boeing 737NG (All Variants), 747/747F and 777-200LR/777F
  • Level-D – Boeing 767
  • Aerosoft – Airbus X (requires registered FSUIPC)
  • Majestic – Dash8-Q400 (requires registered FSUIPC)
  • A2A Simulations – Accu-Sim C172 Trainer

I will be reviewing this product using the A2A C172 because I do not own the other featured aircraft.  I hope other general aviation aircraft will be supported in the future. The A2A Cherokee 180 has just gone into beta testing, so a second GA aircraft is on the way.  The Cherokee 180 will require the registered FSUIPC.  Rather than summarizing the various program features here I will go into more detail about them during this review.


System Requirements & FSX Limitations

Microsoft FSX or P3D V2.1, 2.2 or 2.3
Windows XP, Vista or 7
Processor: 2.8 GHz
Memory: 1GB
Hard Drive: 2.7GB
Video Card: 256MB

FSUIPC Version: 4.4928 or above and paid registered version for aircraft mentioned above. I asked on the support forum why the registered version of FSUIPC is required for some aircraft and Jean-Pierre Garraio who developed this program responded right away. “On some aircraft, I can’t do all of the settings using the standard FSX keys or offset, so the premium FSUIPC is required. The Cherokee for example needs a Linda script to configure the autopilot as a rotating switch which is used to select the desired mode.  In FSX, special addresses are used to engage Heading, etc. and this is not possible with Cherokee 180. A script is then created at runtime to set and check all required settings for your flight.  Only the registered FSUIPC can execute scripts.” I want thank you John-Pierre for this easy to understand explanation. As most FSX users that are looking at this program already know, FSX is a 32bit program that unfortunately has some limitations. For example, when you load a new flight several times, FSX will use more and more memory resources until the simulator finally crashes. FSiPanel monitors FSX memory usage during your training session and if memory use comes close to this limit, the program will close FSX, clearing memory and restart it & load your next approach. I will have to see this in action because I usually need to reboot my computer before restarting FSX.  So far on the several approaches that I have completed and reloaded, I have not had this issue on my system.   The current FSX memory being used is also displayed on the bottom right corner of the primary approach setup screen for your reference. This feature is enabled on the FSiPanel Setup window and if you know memory is an issue on your system, you can have the program close and restart FSX after every flight. This procedure will not affect your training scenario except for the time that is required to be ready to fly and this depends on your FSX startup time.  


Installation

FSiPanel uses the Flight1 “Wrapper” system for purchasing, activation and installation. I am going to summarize the steps involved to install a product for the first time using this procedure as well as the reinstallation procedure which is what I will be doing because this is a review product. If you have never purchased a product that uses this method, I recommend visiting the Flight1 website located here for detailed instructions including pictures.

http://www.flight1.com/view.asp?page=wrapperinfo#newpurchase

This method of purchase, activation and installation is very quick and easy. Download the Flight1 from the product and run this file from your hard drive. This will open a very simple to use screen. The top button allows you to enter your Flight1 account information and is optional unless you would like to reinstall your software without a software key. Buttons two and three are required and self-explanatory; enter your personal information with button 2 and payment information with button 3. After entering the above information the “Click Here for Secure Purchase” will now be activated and by clicking on this your payment information will be validated & approved by the Flight1 secure servers. Once this is done, the core setup program will unwrap and create a unique key file that will be used for reinstalling the software unless you have decided to use the Flight1 account keyless reinstall procedure. The Flight1 program will recommend a folder for storing this key file & core setup program and I always recommend backing it up on an external hard drive or cloud storage along with original Flight1 file, core setup file and proof of purchase. The Flight1 program also provides a four digit password (last 4 digits of your credit card) that you will also need for reinstalling your program. I write this down on the product invoice and store it along with the other documentation. The purchased program will now install just like other Windows programs, accept the default installation directory or browse to one that you created and follow the on screen instructions then “Close” to complete the installation.

To reinstall, click on the “Click Here to Reinstall” button on the bottom right of the same screen that was used above. A new window will open and you will be presented with two options. The top option is to reinstall using the key file which is what I will be using and the bottom option is for the Flight1 account keyless option. You will need an open internet connection for both options.  Click on the “Select Key” button to locate your key file then press the “Validate” button.  You will then be asked to enter the four digit password that you were provided during the purchase process. Similar to the original purchase procedure, your credentials will be verified and the core setup program will unpack and you will be asked if you would like to run the program installer at this time.   This is all very self-explanatory and a very easy procedure. A 47 page user manual is included and I highly recommend reading this to get the most out of the FSiPanel program.


FSX, FSUIPC & Program Setup

There are a few extra steps before you can start using the FSiPanel program. First download and install the latest version of FSUIPC, this program requires the free version 4.4928 or later and the Dash 8 and the Aerosoft Airbus X requires the paid registered version of FSUIPC. Now start FSX, open FSUIPC and switch off FSUIPC Wind Smoothing. If it has not already been done, uncheck “Pause on task switch” on the General, Program Settings page in FSX.  I am going to be using FSX with this program but it does work with P3D V2.1 through 2.3. In P3D, select Panel Serialization under the General options. Unlike most other programs that use the Flight1 E-Commerce system, FSiPanel still requires that you register the program on the system that you will be using and generates a license file that is stored in the application directory. I recommend storing this license file in the same backup folder as the Flight1 key file for safe keeping. After all of the required information is entered, press on the “Register FSiPanel” button to activate the program. You will then receive an email with a verification code that you will enter on the new window that has opened. At first I could not understand the reasoning of a second activation procedure after I had already done this with the Flight1 program, but now I understand.  Most programs that use the Flight1 system, every time that the program is updated, you need to download the updated Flight1 file again and reinstall the program in order to use the updated program. Every time you start FSiPanel, it checks for updates and if available will download and install the update for you without having to use the Flight1 method which is a wonderful time saver. There was already a program update after I first installed FSiPanel. The first time that you start the program after activation or in my case updating FSiPanel, the installation option window will open (Stand Alone, Server & Client), I am going to use the Stand Alone option but if you would like the most realistic training experience, install on a server and client machine. The manual does a great job explaining this procedure. Select visibility in meters or statute miles, FSX or P3D, let the program create a personalized airport database (stand-alone only), this will take some time depending on the amount of scenery installed on your system. 

A new window will open that is composed of four tabs, Paths, Options, Aircraft and Troubleshooting.  The “Paths” tab contains the paths for the simulators, simulator document locations, some PDMG; Level D & Aerosoft options folder locations and the Active Sky for FSX & P3D weather folder location.   The locations should already be entered but if the simulator and the simulator document locations are incorrect, there are browse buttons to locate.   I also needed to use the browse button to locate the Active Sky weather folder location.  The second tab is “Options” and this is where you enter the default options for the training scenarios.   For now I just used the default options and will comment further about these during the review.   I do want to comment about a very important feature at the bottom of the options screen, “FSX Memory Leak Protection”.  There are five options with this drop down box to help with the FSX memory problem that I mentioned in the introduction. The manual does an excellent job explaining these options so I am not going to go into detail here.   I will say that if you have never had any FSX memory issues as described in the FSX Limitations section then you can select the “Off” option but if you often encounter memory issues, select “Extreme” to have FSX freshly restarted before every flight.   I am going to be using a new option “FSX Clear Unused Memory” which was part of the update right after I installed FSiPanel. I will explain the Aircraft tab below.  The Troubleshooting tab is used for sending a report to the developer if you are having program issues.


Importing Aircraft into FSiPanel

Since I am going to be using the A2A Cessna 172, I am going to explain the procedure for this aircraft.   The other supported aircraft require different procedures so read the manual for the other aircraft.    For the Cessna 172, load it in FSX with the Clear Weather theme, on the ground at any airport, day and time.    Open the A2A Maintenance Hangar and clear all malfunctions.    Start the engine using cold and dark procedures or auto start, adjust the power for an RPM of 1000 to 1200 RPM, and turn on the Master Avionics switch, all radios, GPS, Transponder and ADF.    Verify that the mixture is at the full rich setting.    Start FSiPanel and click on the Aircraft tab and select “Add Extended Mode A/C” button, a new window will open where you select the aircraft variant & livery, a Situation Name with aircraft settings will now display in the middle of this window, an automated description will be displayed (change it to suit your preference) and press the “Proceed” button.   A message window will open to verify that the simulator is running with your desired aircraft loaded with the views set.   Select “Yes” or “No”.   It will take several seconds for the import process to complete and when finished you will be asked if you would like to use this aircraft now, select “Yes” on the new window.   I did not have any issues with this procedure and the manual does an excellent job explaining the process for importing the A2A Cessna 172.    The 172 is now added to the Installed Aircraft list and is ready for use.    Appendix 8 of the manual explains how to import your other aircraft as a Basic Mode aircraft in FSiPanel.   I followed these instructions and imported the Alabeo Cessna 207 Skywagon to my list of available aircraft.   Exit this page and Training Scenario window will open.   I am going to divide this window into several sections.


Setting up an Approach

Before flying an approach, FSX needs to be running with any aircraft loaded on the ground or the default Trike Ultralite in the air.   The Training Scenario window will display the currently selected aircraft at the top left of the screen.    Clicking on this aircraft name will open the Installed Aircraft window if you would like to practice with another aircraft that you have imported for this training session.    This window is very nice looking, not cluttered and for the most part self-explanatory.   Most of this window allows you to setup simple approaches and the bottom contain tabs to open new windows for returning to the Setup window and other program features.    There are two methods for inserting your aircraft into position for approach.    I will first use the easy predefined Quick Sets then will try the advanced method.    The Quick Set values were defined on the Options screen during setup.    First, press the “Select Apt” button at the top of the screen under your selected aircraft.   This is the first thing that I love about this program, how easy it is to use.   If you know the airport that you would like to practice at, type in the ICAO code in the box provided.    I will comment about the “Random” button in the next section.  

I entered KBOI for Boise Air Terminal-Gowen and some basic information is now displayed on this window.   To fly an approach into this airport, press the “Select this Airport” button and this airport will now be displayed on the main Training Scenario window.   Now press “Select Rwy” and the available runways at KBOI will be displayed in a new window.   I want to practice an ILS approach so I select Runway 10R from this list.   All of the pertinent ILS information is presented on this list, I recommend writing it down for reference.   Selecting one of the large aircraft icons on this screen will position your aircraft in the simulator at that position and the aircraft icon will be highlighted to indicate that this is the approach position that you have chosen but nothing has happened with the simulator yet.   If you click on the runway icon, your aircraft will be placed in the takeoff position to practice all phases of the flight.  

Except for the downwind and takeoff quick sets, FSiPanel will calculate the ideal altitude for the selected position based on the ILS Glideslope angle if available or 3 degrees if there is not a glide slope for that airport.   If you select Vectors or Base, the program will calculate the altitude to allow you to intercept the Localizer at 0.7NM or the custom value that you entered in Options.    The Downwind Quick Set will place you on the downwind leg at the AGL Altitude and lateral distance from the runway that you entered on the Options page of the Setup window.    For this scenario I selected the 8NM Final Quick Set, the aircraft icon position is now highlighted and a Position Summary is displayed.    Select “Move A/C” to move your aircraft into position in the simulator and while this is happening the aircraft icon will blink.    According to the manual, it says to wait until FSiPanel asks you to take over the controls. 

I was not sure what exactly that I am supposed to do here, stay in FSiPanel or open FSX.    After some time, I decided to open the FSX window so that I could see what was happening.    I determined that it is ok to have the simulator window open while the scenery loads, just do not touch your controls until you are asked by the program.    After the scenery loads, FSiPanel will slew your aircraft into position, start the engine, turn on the avionics, tune the NAV radio to the proper ILS frequency and set the correct course.     It is hard to read the messages on my screen grabs but after this procedure, a message will display that FSiPanel is properly trimming your aircraft.    The autopilot is turned on but you need to set Approach mode for the autopilot to fly this approach.   Another message will display that says for the pilot to adjust power and set flaps.     After the autopilot captures the Glideslope, just sit back and observe the process similar to being in an aircraft with an instructor.  

Remember the autopilot is still flying the approach and adjusting the trim but you are responsible to adjust the power and flaps.   This process is very useful for learning approach procedures, especially watching how the Glideslope works on the CDI in the Cessna 172.     If at any time that you would like to take control of the aircraft, hold the brakes and the simulator will pause momentarily and will reset at the beginning with you at the controls.     A message will display reminding you to have the autopilot turned on and set for Approach mode.    I decided to hand fly this approach and when you land, you are presented with two options.    The Landing Report button is now displayed in FSiPanel and a message is displayed in the simulator to set the proper Transponder Code, 7701 for approach practice and 7702 for crosswind practice and release the parking brake to load the approach again.   Clicking on the “Landing Report” button opens a very detailed report of your landing and as you can see, I did not do so well with my first approach.      Here is the reason why this is such an awesome program, If I would like to practice this approach again and again, all I need to do is enter the 7701 Transponder code and release the parking brake.  

FSiPanel will then reload the flight again and I could repeat the approach as many times as I would like until I felt comfortable.   For this first approach, I do not know if I was tired but it took several tries before I received a Landing Report with all green & dark green results.    Everything that the introduction said is correct, it would only take a few seconds to reload the flight to practice this approach again and again which is wonderful.    Also, I never had a memory issue once!


Random Airports & Customized Approaches

Suppose that you would like the challenge of flying an approach into an airport that you are not familiar with, FSiPanel provides a very easy method for doing this.    Instead of typing an ICAO code, press the “Random” button and this opens a window where you can select some parameters for the airport selection.    There are drop down lists for minimum/maximum runway length, Country and type of runway pavement.   There are also clickable options for ILS yes or no and for Localizer only runways.     This is another reason why I love this outstanding program; you have some control over the randomness of the airport selection.    The minimum runway length is from 1640 feet to 13,125 feet and the maximum selection is from 1640 feet to no limit.  

So for practicing into short fields, select 1640 feet for both the minimum and maximum.   I am going to use the two extremes for this review, 1640 feet minimum runway length and No Limit for the maximum length.   What I like about the Country option is that there is a drop down list that limits the selection to that country which is great if you have new scenery installed and want to practice approaches into that country’s airports.    Of course you always have the option of a truly random airport selection, just select the name at the top of this list, “Random”.    For the review I decided to stay in the United States.    The only feature that would make this even better would be an additional drop down list for states or provinces to limit the selection even further.    

The “RWY Pavement” allow you to limit the airports to a type of runway surface type, so if you would like to practice your grass airstrip landing skills you would select this option.    I selected “Not Specified” along with my runway length selections so that I could have the maximum number of airstrips for the program to select in the United States.   Finally the “Runway with ILS App” options are self-explanatory.     What all this means is FSiPanel is not just for ILS approach training but all types of approach training, I love this program’s customizability and ease of use.    After you have made your selections, press the “Search” button to search for airports that match your criteria and if you wanted an airport with an ILS, a runway with an ILS will automatically be selected for you.   If you do not like the selected airport, press the “No Thanks” and the “Search” button again for a new airport.    This process is also very fast which I like.    

I decided to try having FSiPanel find an airport without an ILS so I selected “No” for that option and the program selected North Lakeland Airport (IN31) which has a 2200 foot grass runway and pressed the “Select this Airport” to load the airport information into FSiPanel.   The program remembers your “Runway with ILS” selection so if you would like to practice at an ILS or Localizer enabled airport, remember to change your selection.

Rather than selecting one of the Quick Sets for this training session, I want to explain how to customize your approach.   This is done by clicking on the “Select Fix” button located below the “Select Rwy” on the main Training Scenario screen.     This opens a new window that allows you select a custom ILS or final approach, custom base, downwind or vectors and left or right hand traffic pattern training.    What makes these approach options different from the Quick Sets is that all of these approaches can be customized for that training session.     For this flight, I selected “RH Downwind” for Runway 41 at IN31.   The RH Downwind icon and “Move A/C” button are now highlighted in green.   A diagram of your approach is also displayed with your aircraft position.  There are also some parameters listed next to the “Move A/C” button in X, Y, Z and Alt values which are also displayed on the diagram of your approach.    

These vary depending on what type of approach you select.   Clicking on the text of these values will open a new window and you enter a new amount for that leg of the approach or a custom altitude.   I want to point out a very valid point from the manual; FSiPanel does not factor terrain when preparing an approach, so keep this in mind when you start customizing these values.    This is very useful if you want to setup an approach to reproduce an approach from an approach chart.   When you are ready to fly the approach, click on the “Move A/C” button returns you to the main Training Scenario screen which allows you to add any other challenges for this training session which I will review in the next section.    When you are ready to fly your approach, click on the “Move A/C” button on this screen and your flight loads just like the Quick Set approaches.    When my flight loaded, I was on the downwind leg for IN31 and I could see the airport in my right window.  

This airport has a grass runway so I turned off the autopilot and hand flew this approach.   The Landing Report did not generate for this approach so I asked about this on the support forum and Jean Pierre responded quickly that with the program version that I am currently using, the Landing Report is only generated for ILS approaches but will be added in a future update.   When this feature is added, it will be very helpful because some of these non-ILS airstrips are very challenging to land at.   The “Slew A/C” button is explained in detail in the manual so I will only briefly explain it here; this function only moves the aircraft in its current FSX state into position rather than turning everything on as with the “Move A/C” command.   I decided to try this out with the Alabeo Cessna 207 that I imported into FSiPanel as a basic aircraft.   I started the 207 in FSX and made sure the radios and light switches were turned on.  I then selected the 207 in FSiPanel and setup an approach to Vandenberg Air Base and used the Slew Mode button.   This worked great for this aircraft; FSiPanel even automatically tuned the ILS frequency, set the course and placed me at the proper altitude.   Even though I was using a basic mode aircraft, the Landing Report is still generated which is nice. Setting the proper Transponder code and setting and releasing the parking brake allow you to re-fly the approach just like the Move Aircraft feature.

There are a few other position options on the Advanced Position window, X NM Final, Takeoff (selected runway, LH or RH Pattern) and Airwork (10,000, 20,000 or 30,000 feet).   The “X NM Final” button allows you to enter a custom final approach distance and is useful if you are flying a fast aircraft and need more time to descend or the opposite, less distance if you are in a slower aircraft landing at a busy airport.   You can also change the glide slope angle with this option.    The Airwork options places your aircraft above the airport at one of those height options and it is up to you to land your aircraft safely.    When I tried this feature with my Cessna 172, it loaded the aircraft with the engine off, so it was up to me to get it started or try to setup an emergency landing.   I love the challenge that this feature brings to the program.   The final advanced position option is for practicing pattern work.  When I tried this feature with the A2A Cessna 172, FSiPanel loaded the aircraft in a cold and dark state so I decided to perform the full A2A preflight procedures to have the most realistic experience.     This is a wonderful way to explore new airports and scenery.   To summarize, there are many options to create a customized approach into a random airport in the world.  The best part is that this program is extremely easy to use and it only takes seconds to reload your flight to try again.   For all of the flights that I have attempted so far, I have had two things in common, clear skies and no winds.   It is now time to add a couple of new challenges to my approach training, weather & failures!


Weather, Failures & Snapshots

So far all of my training sessions have been with good weather, no wind and a reliable aircraft.    For the ultimate training experience it is now time to add the other two training features to your approach training, weather & failures.   I will start with the FSiPanel weather feature first and will comment about failures later in this section.  These two features are even more challenging if you are using FSiPanel on a server/client installation. Before adding the weather options to your training session you first must decide what program that you would like to use to load real world weather which is selected on the Options screen on the Program Setup window.   Right now the only two options are FSiPanel and Active Sky Next.   I will be using the FSiPanel real world weather for this review.    

Pressing the “Weather” button at the bottom of the Training Scenario screen will replace the approach Quick Sets at the top screen to the various weather options for your training session.   These options are all self-explanatory and if you quickly want to set the visibility for your session, just select one of the Visibility Quick Sets from the top of this screen.    These Quick Sets only set the visibility and if you would like to add winds and other weather parameters, simply click on the custom buttons below these Quick Sets.   Selecting one of these buttons opens a new window where you type in the setting that you would like to use and the program provides examples of the format which is nice.   The “Phenomena” button is for precipitation options but is not available and will be greyed out until you enter a cloud layer.    

I love the customizability and ease of use of all the FSiPanel training options.   For this practice flight into KAAO Runway 18, I am going to keep it pretty simple.   I am going to use the Cat II visibility Quick Set which is 300 meters and will enter winds of 180 degrees at 15 knots without gusts.   If you want more of a challenge, enter the winds as more of a crosswind component, increase the wind speed and or add gusting conditions.    There are also four buttons on the Set Winds window (HW, TW, LXW or RXW) to automatically set the wind direction based on the runway heading.    For example if I want to practice a right crosswind landing into Runway 18 at KAAO, I select “RXW” and 271 is automatically entered, all that I need to add is the wind speed, very easy.  

The rest of the weather options are equally easy to set, just follow the example at the top of that settings window.   Below the right set of options is an option for controlling the simulator date & time, to the right of this is “Set Weather” to load your weather into FSiPanel and next to it is “Send Weather” to send the weather to the simulator.    If you would rather train with real world weather, simply select the “DL Actual” or “DL Historical” buttons.   Selecting these will open a new window to select the actual weather for the selected airport from the previous 7 hours for “DL Actual” or 24 hours for the date you select with “DL Historical”.   The simulator time will automatically change with your selection so if you would like to practice with these weather conditions during the day or night, simply adjust the simulator time option using the option mentioned above.   Personally, I like to get flying as quickly as possible, so

I will be using real world weather for my training sessions but the easy to use custom options are there if you want to use them.

The last three program features are Failures, Snapshot & Sim Controls.     This has turned into a rather lengthy review and I did not use these features so I am going quickly summarize them here.   Except for the Ifly 737 which includes random failures, selecting “Failures” opens a new window to select which engine that you want to control the engine failure options and when you select that engine a second window opens with these options.   These are all self-explanatory and with the two options that require user input, a window opens for you to enter the setting.    After setting the failure and weather options, you return to the main Training Scenario screen where you load the approach with these options for the ultimate training challenge.   The “Snapshot” button is greyed out on my screen grab meaning that this feature is not available with the A2A Cessna 172.   Very quickly, it allows you to save a snapshot of your aircraft on final, after you have stabilized the aircraft following an engine failure, crosswinds, etc. with the approach setup properly.  You manage to land your aircraft but are not happy with your landing skills, simply click on the “Load Snapshot” button on FSiPanel to load this training session again.   The nice thing about the Snapshot feature is that if you would like to alter the weather or failure settings, simply change them first than load the snapshot with these new challenges.    Finally, “Sim Controls” allow you to control some simulator functions and these should all be self-explanatory or refer to the manual for more detail.


Test System

Hardware:
Computer Specs:
Intel Desktop Computer
Intel i5 4670K 3.4Ghz Non OC Processor
8GB DDR3 1833 Memory
2TB SATA HD (7200 RPM)
NVIDIA GeForce GTX550Ti Video Card with 1GB GDDR5 Memory
Logitech Extreme 3D Pro Joystick

 

Software:
FSX with Acceleration, Windows 7 – 64 Bit
REX 4 Texture Direct
DX10 Scenery Fixer
FSX Fair Weather Theme

Flight Test Time:
25 hours


Conclusion

Hopefully everyone reading this review managed to get through this rather long review.   Utility programs are sometimes difficult to review because unlike scenery and most aircraft, it is hard to summarize what I like or do not like about the program.   I have to try to explain how I used the program and with programs such as FSiPanel with a lot of wonderful features, I simply need to add more detail to the review.   If you own any of the aircraft listed in the introduction and would like to practice approach procedures similar to how airline pilots train then FSiPanel is the program for you.   Most programs that allow you to practice airport approaches require you to setup the approach every time that you want to try it again.   With FSiPanel, you simply enter a Transponder code and release the parking brake and you are back in the air in seconds. The program is compatible with FSX or Prepar3D V2.1-2.3 so no additional purchase is required if you own both FSX and P3D.   The developer is constantly updating the program and listens to his customers on the support forum.   The update process is also very easy and is handled within FSiPanel, rather than having to use the full Flight1 installer every time there is an update, which is terrific.    This program is highly customizable and extremely easy to use.    Everything from installing it as a stand-alone or in a server/client setting to customizing your approach with weather and/or failure challenges added to your training session.   The manual is well written and I recommend reading it to get the most out of this terrific program.    I did have a minor issue of when I loaded an approach into FSX every once and awhile, I would be on the ground with the engine off instead of in the air like I was supposed to be, but this could have been a simulator problem and not an FSiPanel issue.  When this would happen I would use “Sim Controls” to change the altitude and this seemed to correct this issue, the aircraft would also be properly setup for approach after doing this.  To conclude, I highly recommend FSiPanel and it is now a valuable addition to my simulator utility collection.  

I want to thank Flight1 Software and John-Pierre Garraio for providing the review copy of FSiPanel and if you would like to learn more here is the product website: http://fsipanel.com/index.html

With Greetings,
Mike Cameron