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I can't seem to find a detailed breakdown of how to use Flight as a PC beyond what to expect of different maneuverability levels, but whenever flying is mentioned I sometimes come accross mention of checks to fly or stay flying. I have also heard that Perfect maneuverability lets you fly any direction with no penalties, so does that need any sort of check to use? If so, what check is this and in which book(s) would I find more about it?

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You are confused -- flight is a skill in 3.0 and PF, but not 3.5. There is no such thing as "flight check" in 3.5. –  starwed Sep 2 '13 at 18:43
    
Ah. That might explain it; some of the books I have might just be 3.0 books compatible with 3.5. ...which would explain why I can't find the spell "emotion" anywhere. –  Cobalt Sep 2 '13 at 18:47
    
It's been a while, but did D&D 3.0 really have a Fly skill? –  Jonathan Drain Sep 2 '13 at 18:56
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I was misremembering that! 3.0 had some oddly specific skills like Scry, but Fly was not one of them. You did need to take the Ride skill separately for each type of mount, which was important for flying mounts. (I suspect it was this I was recalling.) –  starwed Sep 2 '13 at 19:04

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According to Special Abilities (Fly):

Perfect: The creature can perform almost any aerial maneuver it wishes. It moves through the air as well as a human moves over smooth ground.

Since normal human movement does not require any sort of skill check, neither does flight with perfect maneuverability.

Also, as per Movement (Moving In Three Dimensions), a creature with perfect maneuverability has no minimum move speed to stay airborne and can hover, turn, move backwards and move upwards without penalty.

Note that Pathfinder, unlike D&D 3.0/3.5, has its own Fly skill. Creatures with Perfect maneuverability gain a +8 bonus to this skill but must still roll for things like hover, turn and so on.

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