Accomplishing realism took a lot of trial and error for me. When I started out, I climbed at +7000fpm and had no idea what my cruise altitude should be, what waypoints to use, how much fuel I needed, etc. Today, about a year later, I’m much more professional and realistic with my flights. Here’s a basic rundown of how I plan and perform my flights…
Stage 1 - Planning
This is probably the most time consuming stage. I begin by deciding what route I’m going to fly. Typically it’s to/from an airport with IFATC. If I know a flight that fits my time range (the amount of time I want to set aside for flying), then I’ll go to FPLtoIF, make a plan, and go. If it, I’ll use the random flight generator. From there, I pick a gate suitable for my aircraft (utilizing personal knowledge, and online resources). Once I’m spawned in, I paste my generated flight plan and get going.
Alternatively I use SkyVector. I won’t go into detail about that here, but I did make a tutorial about using it (link at the bottom).
Stage 2 - Flying
Once I’m ready for pushback, I’ll follow proper ground procedures (check out IF Checklists for more on that) and make my way to the runway. From there, I takeoff (after requesting), climb at an initial rate of around 2300fpm, using speeds depicted in the climb profile for FPLtoIF. Once I’m cruising, I’ll leave my device and go live my life, coming back periodically to check in.
Stage 3 - Descent
Once I see I’m getting close, I’ll calculate my TOD to make sure I’m Atleast at FL100 by 25nm away (FL of cruise-100/3+25), and also calculate my rate of descent (M•1000•3). I make my descent, land, taxi to a gate that can hold my aircraft, and disconnect.
Like I said, getting to where I am now too a lot of trial and error. But, using resources such as tutorials here on the IFC, and google searches has helped tremendously in being more professional. (PS, sorry for the Gettysburg address 😂)