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Guest PizzicatoUK

Question about flight planning

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Guest PizzicatoUK

Hi guys, I brand new to Radar Contact (having only bought it at the weekend) and currently feeling a great mixture of excitement and fear whilst working through the manual. Daunting stuff and I haven't even fired it up yet. :)At the moment, I'm still just using the default Flight Planner in FS2004 and haven't invested in any of the more complex, fully featured flight planning software that's out there. Even if I did get another software package, I wouldn't have the first clue about what it means to actually build a flight plan in the real world sense of the phrase. That being the case and not wanting to completely overload my already heavily taxed brain, I was wondering if it's reasonable to continue with the default flight planner in FS2004 for the time being? (With regard to Radar Contact, obviously). What do I lose by not learning something like FSBuild straight out of the gate? Basically, what I'm trying to get at is that I feel like I'm at the bottom of a very steep, daunting mountain (RC4) and, from reading the documentation, I'm kind of feeling that I should be simultaneously attempting to climb an equally terrifying mountain (flight planning). For the sake of my own sanity, I'd like to approach these two tasks independently, so I'm looking for some advice about basic flight planning with the terrified new guy in mind. Thanks in advance for your help.

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Guest PizzicatoUK

Gah! So the VERY next thing I read in the manual after posting that message was...FLIGHT PLANNING...followed by the start of what seems like a long and suitably in depth breakdown of what's required. What a phenomenally stupid first post in this particular forum. Sorry for wasting your time, guys. :)

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Guest j-mo

Hee, heh, don't be so hard on yourself. We've all been there.You've probably read up on it by now, but it's pretty simple to let FS build an IFR flight plan and then let RC read it, just as FS ATC would read it. If you're using a 3rd party aircraft where you have to program the FMC (PMDG, for example), just make sure it matches your flight plan in FS.

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Go ahead and use the FS flight planner to create some IFR flight plans for the tutorials in the RC manual. Go ahead and fly them with default aircraft to keep things simple.When you are comfortable with this then you can think about the features offered by advanced planners. Some are freeware and can be used.FS Build, among others, is popular with advanced aircraft users such as the LDS and PMDG models which contain FMCs. They create a plan and then export in the FMC format of the model as well as an FS plan format for RC and some weather appplications. This gets everything synced up so they are all looking at the same plan waypoints.Take baby steps and you will not get overwhelmed.You do not need a complex airliner to use RC. Just use a model with a capable IFR panel set of instruments and I recommend a simple autopilot. Know how to manipulate the aircraft including auto-pilot controls before you even think of flying with any ATC application such as RC. Getting the correct heading control, speeds, and altitudes is necessary to comply with ATC commands in all phases. Know how to lock your AP to the avionics for ILS and LOC approach navaids. Turn your AI down to zero and with small aircraft with RC not running practice airport pattern circuits to get familar with approaches using navaids.When you start using RC ATC departures and arrivals can get pretty busy and manipulating the aircraft should not exert too much concentration on your part regarding how to accomplish that. This way you can concentrate on meeting the demands of ATC and what to expect when the time comes. When you are comfortable turn up FS AI to increase the realism of the environment.Real pilots must know how to manipulate their aircraft well before they even think of IFR flying.You can get some nice straight-forward lessons on GA VFR and IFR flying at www.stoenworks.com. Hal Stoen was a corporate pilot and is a certified flight instructor. You'll get some practical advice and some interesting stories to entertain you.

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