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Bina

Need help with Real Flight Planning!

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My Greetings to all Captins,Some days ago I put this post on the Flight Plan Forum but to no purpose. So, I've decided to put it here also in the hope that it'll be read and I'll find some supporters among those PMDG lovers who love to fiddle around FMSs' and the realistic flight planning, in general :). I will be very glad if some real pilots could also share their views on this post.I have recently tried http://rfinder.asalink.net/free/ to compare its return with the FP gotten from a real ELY22 (EL AL Airlines) flight from KJFK to LLBG (Ben Gurion, Israel) but it returned a considerably longer route compared to the latter taken from flightaware.com. I therefore, had and have a serious doubt on the reliability of this flight planner. I guess that it does not take into account some significant factors (in terms of flight planning) such as winds, fuel consumption, etc. Am I correct?Having tried some flight planning resources like FlightAware.com (I think it's No.1 resource of real FPs for today) and its opposite rfinder.asalink.net, I have decided to try to make flight plans on my own like real pilots do. I don't want to say and hope that they will 100% match their real counterparts as one of the reasons is that that AFAIK, different airlines have different flight planning or route selection policies depending on the above and probably, many other factors. I have read about the advantages of FSBuild, i.e. its ability of independent (in contrast to FS Navigator) route selection, easy re-edition of the route through adding some extra data (e.g., en-route weather), etc. Will I be really able to make FPs with FSBuild and tailor my flight plans for particular needs like the selection of a desired airway, etc.? I seriously want to start making my own flight plans. I mostly fly in Europe and Asia. And I often have problem with getting real flight plans for these regions. I just heard about a payware site FBOWEB but actually have not tried it... yet. I don't exactly know whether it's possible to get Real FP there for the above regions. With all respect to what FLIGHTAWARE.COM or FSBuild can provide, it's generally hard to access any such data (i.e., real flight plans for Europe and Asia) through the web (except Flight Plan forum, of course) especially when there are so many airlines and new routes available. I do understand that it may be hard and merely impossible to satisfy my wish to learn and one day to become a "semi-professional" :) "flight planner" by simply getting replies to my questions-to-come from the forum members, fellow captains. But... I wanna give it a try. I am currently not in a position to attend any AOPA or FAA flight planning courses (if any???) or something like this which probably require some $$$ also. As I said, I don't want to be a professional "flight planner" or an ATC dispatcher with all these pre-flight briefing docs and a ready-to-go flight plan to pass to the Captain some minutes before take-off. No. Instead, I would greatly appreciate if somebody could help me to start, to start learning, to guide me regardless of how sharp will be the learning curve. As an option I am also thinking to get some advise from real pilots which often stay at nearby hotels in my city after flights. What do you think, will I succeed in this way? What other options could you suggest? Web sites, guides, focusing on particular levels of flight planning like: "first, start from analysing weather situations at your departure, en-route and destination areas, then follow on with..."???Thank you for understanding!Regards,Rustam

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Hi Rustam,I purchased FSbuild a few months ago and I wonder how I ever managed without it before! It is a very complex program, so be prepared to be patient while learning the tricks of using it. They have good tutorials to follow on the site though and it opens up a whole new aspect of flying long haul. Prepare to spend at least 20 minutes planning a new route for example. Then export it in a PMDG format, load it up using the COROUTE entry in the CDU RTE page and you're away! You can obviously then save a good route for use on another flight.If you are doing an Atlantic crossing I reccommend using https://www.notams.jcs.mil/common/nat.html to get the actual NAT route for the day, then build your plan in FSbuild using that info, plus any additional ATC constraints such as preferred routing from major airports to your NAT track entry point.Ah it's almost as fun as the flight itself...

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Hello Rastam;I'm unable to speak for other nations, but in the United States, airlines (operating under Federal Aviation Regulations Part 121) must employ aircraft dispatchers.These "Captains on the Ground" are licensed airmen (off the top of my head, the Dispatch exam also consists of an Airline Transport Pilot theory exam) and are responsible for fuel, route, NOTAMs, weather, etc etc. If they do not the thinks flight is safe to go, its dealyed or cancelled.Dispatchers are licsened under FAR Parts 121 and 65 (possibly others too) Example I am flying UA837 from SFO to NRT today. I used a flex PACOT (Pacific Organized Track - simmilar to a NAT Track but its for the Pacific) found the JCS NOTAMS site.FSBuild is a great resource for routes/fuel planning etc, I also use the free RouteFinder but will often manually insert the correct DP/SID or STAR and use the Jeppesen enroute charts to head a bit more direct - e.g. J94 out of ORD to the NAT system.The RouteFinder finds the shortest route, its not always the most correct. Also to be taken into account are any restricted airpsace (found in the daily FIR NOTAMS) and also the weather, which can be found at www.aviationweather.govDispatching todays flight to Tokyo took me around two hours. It was further complicated by the fact I could add extra safety by operating it under ETOPS regulations however, this was not possible due to the weather at Anchorage, Cold Bay and Chitose being below ETOPS minima. I kept these airprots as alterantes but did not designate them ETOPS alternates.Wind correction is also important, can be found at www.aviationweather.gov and ftp://weather.noaa.gov/fax/Amaster_index.htmlI find ETOPS/Flight Planning/long haul etc a fascinating subject and will (if all goes well) make my career in flight dispatching. If you have any questions, please ask! :)

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