Okay, I managed to work out how to operate the push buttons. Pity there is no advice on that, in-game.
Done the start-up, take-off and landing and still in one piece! It's really weird, not having a physical joystick to use. Makes precise control pretty difficult. I think it's possible to use my HOTAS, but they are fixed to my desk, so I wouldn't be able to operate many of the VC switches - that's another reason I waited so long to play it again, making sure I had sufficient space around me. Oh well - just have to keep practising with the virtual stick.