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Guest ianjf

Using PMDG 737NG with Flight Plan and FMC Navigation??

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Guest ianjf

I have recently being using flight plans to navigate from 1 airport to the next, I downloaded the demo version of FS Navigator.Created a flight from Dublin Airport (Ireland) to Heathrow Airport (UK). I then chose autoroute from FS Nav. I then exported the flight plan to PMDG route file, and also exported it to FS2004 Flight Plan.My first Question is:=====================If I use a flight plan to file an IFR flight with ATC and also setup the FMC at the same time with the same route, as soon as I take off, ATC vector me away from the waypoints on the FMC and then I just end up flying to what the FS2004 ATC tell me to do, which is never anything like the FMC setup. If I try to Intercept the FMC course I am then vectored away from it again?? Although I may fly a very similar course it renders the FMC useless!!! So can I not use FMC and ATC at the same time??If I only use the FMC and not ATC, I can fly LNAV as programmed all the way to destination on the FMC. Only problem is that FMC is a bit static, A to B with no intervention, at least ATC gives you issues to follow.My Second Question is:======================If you are creating a flight plan from one airport to another, how do you know what destination runway to put in?? I have often built a plan for Heathrow say, and I may have programmed the FMC to arrive at Heathrow Runway 09L, and when I get into London the tower tells me to land maybe on runway 27L. Can anyone please help me with the correct procedure for planning flights from one airport to another. I download Airport charts for navigating around airfields etc, Since everything is programmed on the FMC etc, I dont see the need for SID/STAR or approach charts? I just need to know the correct procedure for selecting destination airport and runway for FMC programming.My Last Question is:====================As soon as I start to desend with the 737NG I get an "Air Cond" warning light, light up on the annuciator panel, can anyone tell me why the Air Cond warning light comes on during flight?Thank you,Regards,Ian.

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A partial reply Ian.I never use the built in ATC, having been involved with VATSIM for a number of years the default ATC makes me cringe.To select the correct runway for take off and landing you need to know the wind direction at departure and destination airports and you take off and land into wind. I assume the default ATC takes wind direction into account.There are two 'gotchas' in the above. Parallel runways and calm winds.If there are parallel runways, as at EGLL, and lets say the wind is 260 at 15kts, then you could land 27L or 27R. However there will be a preferred runway, either L or R, and I'm sure someone will jump in and say which it is ;-)If winds are calm then it could 09 or 27 and again there will a preferred runway but doubt that the default ATC will take that into consideration.IIRC people who do use the default ATC cancel their IFR flight once aloft so they can fly the FMC route and only ask for clearance when near to their destination, and you can ask for a different runway I believe.The reason you get the 'Air Con' warning is because you have not set the correct cruise or landing altitude. The landing alt should be the altitude of your destination airport.HTHDave

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I put in the destination runway when approach assigns it. You can change it in flight so just enter your expected one to get going estimated by destination weather. Wind direction is not the only priority, however, as terrain clearance, approach path, runway length, and runway navaids all determine selection. A navigable crosswind or small tailwind might be tolerated to get the overall best landing.


Ron Ginsberg
KMSP Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Puddles
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Guest ianjf

Thanks for that Dave.That makes sense about the Air Con warning alright, as I never really bother setting altitudes on that as it seems to always be fine up to CRZ altitude, so I will give that a try anyway!Shame about the ATC, because the Interaction is good, makes the whole experience feel "More Real". So how good is the VATSIM?I heard its the way to go? Can you integrate that with FMC or is it again, just like a replacement for FS2004 ATC?I think I tried using something like VATSIM before but hadnt got the time to invest into it, as there seemed to be too much documentation to read about it all. I am looking for some sort of solution that would implement both ATC and FMC is that possible? I take it real pilots use both????Thanks Again!!

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Guest ianjf

Thanks Ron,I will keep that in mind, maybe change mid-flight if need to.So when you a setting up FMC initially, where do you get the destination weather situation from?Also when you choose a certain runway to land on would you just choose a runway or choose a STAR also, and if so is the STAR just chosen at random or again would there be a particular STAR in use at a particular time or can you choose any of them.I just want to try get it as realistic as I can.Thanks Ron.

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I see in your reply to Ron you want to get it as realistic as possible Ian, then it has to be VATSIM ;-)VATSIM is not like the default ATC, VATSIM controllers are real people carrying out the same service you would get in the real World. They have radar scopes to see the aircraft and control you from start up to shut down.You use the FMC as you would if flying on your own without the default ATC. As long as you file a valid flight plan you fly the route programmed into the FMC. The only time you would have to disconnect the FMC and fly manually or use the MCP is on approach when the controllers often vector you off the published STAR to bring you into the runway.You really need to know how to choose SIDs and STARs and how to read the charts even though the FMC has those procedures programmed in.There is a lot of reading to do because VATSIM tries to make the experience true to life but once you master the dos & don'ts the experience is truly imersive.I strongly advise you to visit the VATSIM web site http://www.vatsim.net/ and especially visit the Pilot Resource Centre http://vatsim.net/prcIf you take the plunge I'm sure you will become adicited :-)I should add that there are other on line networks that perform a similar function to VATSIM, such as IVAO, FPI and others, but VATSIM is the main one.

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Guest ianjf

Vulcan,Again thanks for the information.I am currently looking at the VATSIM website at the moment.So I have got the SB3 software and I am currently working through the documentation :)I will give it a go, as it sounds like the system to use alright.Hopefully it wont be too overwhelming but im sure I will get used to it at some stage :)Thanks again for all the helpful information.I now look forward to getting the most realistic experience out of FS which I can.Best Regards,Ian.

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I use Radar Contact for ATC. You'll find discussions elsewhere. It just fits my personal needs other than on-line ATC.I have most of the high altitude charts I need as hard copy as well as all the terminal information.Where possible the STAR is chosen by the direction of arrival to transition from the enroute airways or directs. STARS often have multiple entry and exit points, the latter to serve the runway in use. Frequently ATC can break you out of a STAR for its final stages of approach. You are committed to ATC instructions, not a STAR or DP. DPs are chosen similarly.In Europe STARS and DPs are often chosen by the departure and arrival runway direction and of course your intended route direction. I use best guess here. In the US at complex airports you may find the same situation. Where multiple busy airports exist in close proximity such as London, New York, etc., you will find that not only horizontal separation is used but altitude separation as well.I suggest you look at www.flightaware.com and pick an airport of interest. Look at the patterns and click on a few arrivals and departures and note the entry in the route window showing the filed plan which may include DPs and STARS. Then click on the RESOURCES tab and choose to download the all-in-one .pdf which will get you all plates for that airport. Compare the plates to the routes. (This is for FAA airports only including Alaska and off-shore.)A couple of years ago I bought the FAA published US high altitude enroute charts. The entire collection is about $13 US being on four double sided charts.Many VATSIM sites in Europe, etc., offer detailed airport and terminal charts such as the SAG (Switzerland, Austria, Germany) if Europe is your area of interest. If you choose to download them be courteous and download during none-peak on-line hours. Take advantage of time-zone differences.As you look at the charts and see the different filed FPs, I think you will get the idea.US airport terminal procedures and airport diagrams are available from the on-line resources section at www.naco.faa.gov but for each airport each plate is an individual .pdf. Be aware that these are current charts and can have some discrepancies with your FMC database and FS9 afcads and scenery. Updated scenery and updated AFCADs are frequently found in the AVSIM library.Last, be very familiar with in-flight FMC editing to accommodate ATC changes. Besides the freeware tutorials mentioned and the manuals that came with the PMDG, there is an enjoyable tutorial-manual book published by former UA captain Mike Ray for $30 at www.utem.com. The book has also been picked up by several on-line fs shops and is also available from Amazon. It is called P SIMULATOR SERIES - FLYING THE BOEING 700 SERIES FLIGHT SIMULATORS. While not NG specific, it fits very, very, well. It centers on the FMC but goes into various nav procedures as well such as ADF, etc. Flight operations are included such as proper IAS speeds for various stages and other interesting items interweaved with his practical hints on flap schedules, etc.


Ron Ginsberg
KMSP Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Puddles
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Missed your question on weather.Since I use RC4, not real-time on-line for ATC, using Active Sky 6 I download current weather or archived weather for the time of the flight. AS6 also coordinates with FSBuild 2.22 for GS planning as applies to fuel planning.AS 6 manipulates the FS9 weather, after completing weather writes to FS gives it the correct ATIS and METAR when the REFRESH AI command is given so all weather related items including AI patterns are coordinated.If you fly on-line ATC with VATSIM I believe you can get weather data/ATIS there, as well as query your enroute and destination weather.


Ron Ginsberg
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Guest ianjf

Hi Dave,Tried out VATSIM last night and was quite impressed by it. Nice that you can fully utilize the FMC as part of your flight plan. I just had a couple of questions about it though. I set up a flight from London (EGLL) to Amsterdam (EHAM), when I logged into VATSIM and ran SB3, I only had a text interface (As I have no Mic yet) but I thought I could have heard voices and send back text no? All I got was Text all the time, I have never heard anyone speaking?? Is there something I need to do to hear actual voice communications?Also when I flew from EGLL to EHAM, as soon as I was handed off to London CTR, they advised me I was leaving their airspace and then there was noone to talk to for the rest of the flight and the approach?? I had to monitor UNICOM. Is this because there was no ATC logged in for the EHAM area??If so could you possibly reccomend an area to fly where I would have full coverage for the entire flight including appraoch etc. I suspect some areas are better than others?Thanks Dave,Ian.

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Guest ianjf

Thanks for that excellent information Ron.The Flightaware link is really great. Makes all the difference to have the full charts available. I think I will check out the book on the Boeing 700s also.Just as a matter of interest. About what you mentioned on AFCADs etc.I use FS Nav for my flight planning and then export it to FS2004 and PMDG. While using VATSIM, I only use the export to PMDG option.What systems do I need to have up to date??? Does FS Nav have to have the latest information downloaded into it (I presume it does) and does the PMDG FMC need to have an up to date database in it also, or once FS Nav is up to date will that suffice??I just want to try keep them similar so the charts from the flightaware site match up with what the simulator is running also.Thanks again,Ian.

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The flightaware and FAA charts will be current within one cycle. The flightplans on flightaware will be current data.Sometimes there will be big changes to airports such as an added, deleted, or restricted runway which will change all terminal information including approaches, DPs, and STARS. Route changes are less frequent.The trick is to get it all matched up: The AFCADS, sceneries, FMC database, and flight planner database.I have found that with minimal changes, I can use a DP or STAR from flightaware such as changing a starname2 to starname as an example looking at my charts. These charts are close to the "freeze" I placed on my FS9 world data date.Yes, it is a challenge to keep things coordinated. Coordination, not the last AIRAC cycle is the key, so see if you can get a near common AIRAC cycle to match FMC and in your case FS NAV.If you fly with the likes of VATSIM then I would imagine your data has to be coordinated with them.All-in-all, my experience shows not too many discreapancies and when they were it was easily fixed.Here is a PMDG 737NG plan.Generated by Fsbuild 2.210LSZH1DIRECT1 N 47.4645 E 8.5493 1416 1411 N 47.4668 E 8.5354 1416 11416--1000000-1000000BREGO2DIRECT1 N 47.3898 E 8.3462 0 000AFOLT2DIRECT1 N 47.2365 E 8.4607 0 000DEGAD2DIRECT1 N 46.4362 E 8.6184 0 000ODINA2DIRECT1 N 46.1045 E 8.6651 0 000EVANO2DIRECT1 N 45.3376 E 8.7609 0 000NEDED2DIRECT1 N 44.6940 E 8.1407 0 000BORDI2DIRECT1 N 44.0232 E 7.7520 0 000LERIN2-1 N 43.3970 E 7.4509 0 000LFMN1-1 N 43.6604 E 7.2176 13 05L01 N 43.6501 E 7.2068 13 113--1000000-1000000Since the coordinates are given for each waypoint perhaps the waypoint database currency is not as important. FSBuild converts DPS and STARS to waypoints so that can take care of that part if you do not wish to use FMC database STARS and DPs. For arrival I do use the IAPs in the FMC database though as a backup to see it on the ND. I either take vectors for a merge or follow the IAP procedure on the ND with chart in hand using the MCP at that point until the LOC is captured.


Ron Ginsberg
KMSP Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Puddles
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Hi Ian,Well that was a quick jump into the VATSIM waters :-)When you send your flight plan you can select voice, text, or receive only. Because I have always used voice I'm not sure if the selection determins the way ATC operates, it may be that selecting text puts SB into full text mode so inhibits receiving ATC on voice. Next time try selecting receive only mode, that way you should be able to hear ATC (providing the controller is on voice) put send your replies in text.I would urge you to get a headset and mike (not a seperate mike) ASAP, it so much easier to talk to the controller than try to fly and type at the same time.Your question about UNICOM indictaes you have not read the information in the Pilots Resource Centre.Whenever there is no ATC you always use UNICOM (text only), if a controller comes on line while you are flying over his airspace he will send you a text message asking you to contact him.Also you need to report your intentions on UNICOM. This is especially true when on approach to warn other aircraft near you what you are going to do; examples are in the PRC.Imagine you are coming into land and another aircraft is about to take off, if you have not said on UNICOM that you are about to land on a specific runway at a specific airport then that aircraft about to take off could easily cause you to abort your landing or cause a crash.BTW You should turn off crash detection and 'pause on task switching' when flying on VATSIM.I cannot recommend an area where you will have full ATC coverage. The whole system is based on ordinary people providing ATC so coverage is hit and miss. However the best time for flying in Europe is in the evening when most people have finished work.You can use Servinfo to check where ATC is or use the Eurobook icon in Servinfo to check what positions will be manned that evening or a few days in advance.HTH

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ORIGINAL QUESTION:If I use a flight plan to file an IFR flight with ATC and also setup the FMC at the same time with the same route, as soon as I take off, ATC vector me away from the waypoints on the FMC and then I just end up flying to what the FS2004 ATC tell me to do, which is never anything like the FMC setup. If I try to Intercept the FMC course I am then vectored away from it again?? Although I may fly a very similar course it renders the FMC useless!!! So can I not use FMC and ATC at the same time??MY RESPONSE:I had the EXACT same problem as I also used FS Navigator to to create my flightplans. My suggestion: don't use FSNavigator to create your flightplans.What I do is, I create my flightplans using the Flight Planner in Flight Simulator. I usually create an IFR flightplan using high altitude airways. I let FS create the flightplan, and then I take note of all the VORs and INTERSECTIONS. Then, I manually enter the route generated by FS into the FMC, and voil

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I think you will find on the FS Nav site a module that will allow it to export to the PMDG format as well as FS2004. That way you will only have to enter your FP once. I do not use FS NAV but I have seen it mentioned. It is either a module or conversion utility.I use FSBuild 2 which I export on a build to FS9 and PMDG, FS9 for AS6 and Radar Contact, and PMDG for loading as the company route into the FMC.With Radar Contact, if you elect to take departure and arrival vectors, from 30 nm from departure and to about 40 nm to destination the vectors will depart at some point from your FP/FMC. Enroute it will expect you to follow the FP you filed and therefore what is in the FMC.


Ron Ginsberg
KMSP Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Puddles
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