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CrashEd

747x Flight Planning - what do I need and what to do

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Now that i'm getting more familiar with flying predefined routes i'd like to start branching out and planning my own flights. So far I've got NaviGraph for airport charts/SIDS/STARS etc and I've also got FSBUILD for route planning. At this point I'm ignoring RW ATC etc until i'm a bit more proficient.Are there any other 'tools' that I may need in order to plan routes?Also, will FSBUILD plan the SIDS/STARS?Is there anything I should watch out for?Is it simply just a case of uploading the file that FSBUILD creates and uploading it into the FMC?


Ed Haslam

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Guest nigvilla

With FS Build I think you have the option to include SID's and STARS in the way the route or plan is built or not as the case may be.Once set up and configured, FS Build will export the plans to a wide variety of add-ons which use either the .pln format such as FSX itself or the rte. for the 747.The route can then be loaded from the 747 FMC. Bear in mind that once you gain a bit more experience (like I did!) you can easily add the SID from within the FMC Departure/Arrival page. The 'clues' to assigning a valid SID will be the runway you are assigned or choose if no ATC, and the first waypoint of your FS Build route. If once you add the SID you get a discontinuity message in the FMC, line select the waypoint immediately below the 'Disco' and enter it into the same line as discontinuity to 'close' the route.STARS can be runway specific, so if, as on longer flights you have no idea which arrival runway you will be assigned, I have found it better to add the STAR through the FMC when you are about 50 to 60 miles out and have relevant weather and runway info.FSBuild works great with PMDG and most of the time you will have no worries as long as FS Build knows where your main FSX installation and add on sub folders are. If ,like me, you run a simple set up with FSX and FS Build on the same drive most of this happens automatically i think!Nigel ThomasUK

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I use FSBuild for PMDG and ASX weather, real handy.The lesson I've learned is to build the FSBuild flight plan without SIDSTARS because their nav data is not always as current as the NAVDATA updates and I use customized procedures. So I just build the plan between origin and destination using the first fix after departure (no SID) and the last fix before arrival (no STAR). Once loaded into the FMC, I then add the departure runway, SID and STAR with approach if known.Best place to get real world flight plans for inside US is flightaware.com and don't forget to read about SIDSTARS in the PMDG OPs wiki-based knowledge base at their web site.


Dan Downs KCRP

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Many thanks guys - i'm just learning about SIDS and STARS so there some really usefull info there. How do you go about updating you navdata and what does it do?Having only bought the PMDG software a month ago, is it worth me doing it?How often should you perform the update?Many thanks,Ed


Ed Haslam

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Guest nigvilla

Ed,Navdata as I understand it consists of monthly AIRAC 'cycles' normally released toward the end of one month for the next. As an example the AIRAC cycle 07/08 has just expired for July 2008 to be replaced by 08/08 and so on.The AIRAC contains data relevant to airways, waypoints, SIDS/STARS, airports basically all the nuts and bolts you need to fly from one airport to the next.You can find loads of useful info at the Navigraph websitehttp://www.navigraph.comIf you use flight planning tools such as FS Build , in my opinion the AIRACS need to match so you are building a plan with the same AIRAC installed in your aircrafts FMC. This avoids finding waypoints , SIDS etc have been re-named or removed or some such problem.I used to update all my add-ons monthly without fail but as there is a charge for the service I am contemplating skipping a cycle now and again.Hope this was more help.Nigel ThomasUKhttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/supporter.jpg

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Nigel,Many thanks for your explanation. I'll have a good look at the Navigraph website when I get back home. Presumably there is a file or files that can be downloaded from their site for the update? Can these also be applied to FSBUILD in order for them both to be 'in sync'?Ed


Ed Haslam

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No. FSBuild does it's own thing.In the US every other cycle is a change (such as current one 0808), with the other half being very minor updates and updates to military procedures. So if you have 0808 you can skip 0809 and not have a problem 95% of the time. In fact, the bound approach volumes are good for 56 days if you buy those for the cockpit.Steve Bell has a good set of UK procedures in the BAC hanger, and I put together a collection of US locations in the AVSIM library.Learn to program and fly the procedures with some short hops that fly just a SID to a STAR such as KLAX-KLAS (LOOP4 DAG KEPEC2) or a little longer KDFW-KATL (SOLDO2 MEI HONIE5). Once you can do these all you have to do is add segments in the middle to fly around the world (almost).Check out the article in the PMDG Ops at: http://ops.precisionmanuals.com/wiki/SIDSTARS


Dan Downs KCRP

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I would take slight issue with using FSBUILD2 for flight planning.I have found that FSBUILD2 is very good at formatting your flight plan for many sims, but it is not so good at calculating a real-world-based flight plan from scratch.RouteFinder at http://rfinder.asalink.net/free/ is a great tool, always uses up-to-date AIRAC cycles, and supports all SIDs, STARs and trabsitions, and daily NATs. Its output can then easily be copied to FSBuild2 if you wish to, for example, create a stored route in PMDG.I find that stored routes can quickly become outdated. So I create my flight plans from RoutePlan and copy the flight plan directly to SB. Entering it again into my PMDG FMS is no great deal.Hope this helps,Richard


Cheers, Richard

Intel Core i7-7700K @ 4.2 GHz, 16 GB memory, 1 TB SSD, GTX 1080 Ti, 28" 4K display

Win10-64, P3Dv4.5, PMDG 748 & 777, ASP4 + ASCA, vPilot, Navigraph, PFPX, ChasePlane, Orbx 

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