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Before each competition or training flight make sure that your "machine" (= simulator + aircraft) is set correctly!
It means:

Axis setting Joystick and pedals axes are set according to the aircraft you are going to fly and according to your feeling.
  • Stability - If you can set the stability, check it. The aircraft's stability must be enough for flying loops and rolls but not too much for "flying" spins. Some aircrafts have an recommendation in their documentation.
  • Sensitivity - Same as stability.
  • Null zone - The best is zero or very small value. If you have same problem with your joy and need a big null zone, repair it or buy new one.
Fuel Fuel level is enough for your training or competition flight. For half an hour is OK. No more. More fuel is a ballast.
Payload Payload. Same as fuel. Only you are in your aircraft. No baggage!
Weather Weather. The season is up to you. No wind is recommended. But some clouds are needed! It is for visual reference of aircraft's moving and position in the air.
Time Time. I think it is clear - only daylight time is acceptable.
Altimeter Altimeter. At the latest before taxiing to take-off set the altimeter to ZERO on ground! You need to know the altitude above ground during competition flight.