"Spot" mode in FSX lets you replicate the use of a chase plane, a camera-wielding aircraft providing external views of your own aeroplane. By manipulating the spot view, you can look at your aircraft from any angle. Beyond the cinematic aspect of this view mode, it's also useful for taxiing or performing complicated manoeuvres where the default cockpit view is too limited.
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Launch Microsoft "Flight Simulator X" and choose a flight or mission to load. When it has finished, press "P" to pause the game so that you can get a better handle on the camera controls.
Right-click in the main screen of the game, and click "Outside" to see the two spot mode options; choose one of them by clicking on it. Spot mode behaves as though an actual aeroplane is trailing you; the view transitions are fluid and the camera has inertia --- if you slow down too quickly, the camera will pass your aircraft by. "Locked Spot" always keeps the camera in the same position, and allows finer positioning of the camera.
Press "Shift" and an arrow key simultaneously to change the view. In Locked Spot mode, the left and right arrow keys rotate the camera in an orbit around your plane and the up and down keys raise or lower the camera's position relative to your aircraft. In Spot mode, the arrow keys change the perspective completely --- the left and right keys show your aircraft from the left side or right side, respectively; the up key shows your aircraft from the front and the down key shows your aircraft from the back.
Press "Control" and the "+" or "-" keys at the same time to change the distance of the camera from your aeroplane; the "+" key increases the distance and the "-" key decreases it.
Press "P" again to unpause the game when you are satisfied with the Spot view camera position.
Tips and warnings
- To quickly switch to Locked Spot view, press the "F11" key.
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