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Question about SIDS/STARS

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Hi all,I'm getting very used to VATSIM now, and hate to fly offline! I'm want to make it more realistic however, and want to start flying SIDS and STARS. When I'm planning, can I basically pick my own SID based on the active runway, or do I have to fly on the controllers choice of SID. If so, how do I know before I submit my flightplan?Same for arrival, do I just pick my STAR and make contact with ATC, or will I be given one to fly?As I don't have SID/STAR charts at the moment, I'm very reliant on those built in to the MCDU of the PSS Airbus, should I make this apparent in my flightplan (Would it make any difference?)Many thanks,Gareth Evans

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I am also just starting on-line flying. FSBuild will generate a flight plan (there are a lot of stored plans) with SID/STARs, but I don't know if these are the ones controllers would use.Dave Hinson

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Gareth, You can also use ServInfo (a very useful program) and it will display the flightplan of any flight currently in the system. Also, if you go to the homepage of the local VATSIM operations (Phoenix, for example) they list the preferred SID/STARs for their area.Dave H.

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Thanks guys. So basically, I can pick a SID that coincides nicely with my routing (based on a 'preferred' list that may exist) and choose a STAR based on an arrival point. The choice of each is down to me (within reason) and not prescribed by the controllers?I'm just trying to avoid steaming in to someones airspace on a totally inappropriate flightplan!Thanks again,I fell more confident now, and ready to give it a go online rather than practicing offline or specifying no SIDS/STARS in my flight plan.Regards,Gareth Evans

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Gareth,People "steam in" with "incorrect" routings all the time - it's part of the life of both a controller and a pilot.Your best bet of course is to visit the ARTCC websites and take a look at the preferred routings they have there. Choosing a SID/STAR is often more complex than you think - and it's really through experience that you eventually know what to fly, and when to fly it. So - don't worry about it - if you come in on the wrong arrival - the center controller should let you know right away, and at that point you can either get out the proper chart, get a "simplified" routing, or just get some vectors in.The controllers should never be "upset" with you, nor should you ever be embarassed by filing an incorrect flight plan. We're all here to help each other out - this is fun remember?To get a listing of ARTCC websites in the USA: www.vatusa.orgSome other good ARTCC websites:BostonOaklandNew YorkLos Angeles(Many others but those are my favorites)Have fun,Ian Elchitz/CYWGOakland ARTCC

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A lot of the ARTCC's have letters of agreement with their neighboring Centers. It is a good idea to check with the VATUSA web pages for the centers you are flying to. Also the controllers there at the center will make any necessary changes to your flight plan as needed. Such as anything going to KORD from the South and East must fly the KOKOMO One arrival,that is the prefered routing, etc. for the other centers.Mark TomassoniStudent 3

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OK, thanks all, I'm getting the hang of this now! As long as I put in some careful planning, noone will made if I'm not to far off the mark, and correct me if I'm wrong.I'm having a ball learning all this stuff, and never fly offline now. I'm at work too late every night this week, so I'm planning my first full SID / STAR route for this weekend! Thanks again,Gareth Evans

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