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michal

VFR Disaster !

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I have just spent a whole weekend carefully compiling accurate VFR flight plans, only to use them in FS2002 and end up completely lost.After checking and re-checking my navigation, suspicion fell on FS2002 itself.Sure enough, tests proved that FS2002 will correctly react to wind direction and strength IF travelling N-S or E-W. True track and magnetic heading all work out correctly.However if travelling at an angle i.e. virtually any heading on the compass exept the above, FS2002 is hopelessly inaccurate - some headings are wrong by as much as 15 degrees.To me this means VFR is a waste of time on FS2002. Has anyone else come to this rather disappointing conclusion ??John A.

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Using an E6B (manual not electronic) in FS 2002 to calculate wind correction angles I can get most courses to work quite well within 2-3 degrees of actual trac. The thing I see that is not accurate is figuring true airspeed. Plugging in the actual OAT seems to throw off the equasion and the higer the altitude the more error I see. The GPS groundspeed and my calculated Groundspeeds using calculated TAS and wind correction from the E6B are very close up to 10,000ft but the higher you go after that the more disparity I see. I think FS does not correctly model TAS in respect to OAT inputs.Geofa do you see this as well??http://www.ktone.org/images/FSD_ken.jpg

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I mostly use MS2002 for IFR practice, but I have done plenty of VFR. I have had great sucess using real world wx/winds aloft and completing flight plans based on my navigation calculations (with CR3 or E6B). Seems to work out as well as it does in real life. Not sure where you might be going wrong.

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There are some areas where the mag variation is a little off - I can't think of any examples at the moment, but this shouldn't make too much difference. Anyway, mag variation does change over time, so maybe some of Microsoft's data was a bit old.I mostly fly VFR in the 172, and don't usually have too many problems, but I have to navigate by airports as landmarks - because the scenery lacks recognisable landmarks for the most part. No railways! And don't get me started on the roads! The exception is, as of this week, in eastern England where I now have the excellent VFR Photographic Scenery from Just Flight/GetMapping.You are better off setting the weather manually for all the areas you're going to fly through - the 'real weather' function seems to be a bit off, with dramatic wind changes that screw up all your calculations.Anyway, being 'temporarily unsure of your position' is all part of the fun ;-) Shame they didn't include pan and mayday calls in the ATC...

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Hi John,I use MSFS2002 as a IFR and VFR trainer and I find it to be very very accurate in all aspects, in fact I practice actual flights in the sim before getting on the real plane, the sectional charts that I have for real life work just fine in the sim, with all the roads, lakes, mountains, airports, etc in place where they should be, so...You might be trying to fly VFR in places where MSFS2002 is not as accurate, in a previous post a person from Israel told me that the sim does not display things (roads, lakes, mountains, etc) right in this part of the world, also, how much "detail" there is in the sim depends on your current display settings, so check that also and pump it up if needed.Now, as far as not being accurate in the headings, I find the sim to be VERY accurate if you know what you are doing, are you plotting your course correctly?, are you computing for the WCA (wind correction angle)?, are you taking into account the winds aloft?, and more important are you correcting for the magnetic heading using the ISOGONIC lines in your charts??? VFR can be very easy if you know what you are doing, or it can be very hard if you don't, there are a lot of little details that reflect in 2 or 3 degrees in the heading you should take, but 2 or 3 degrees over 400 miles can be a lot!In NO WAY am I saying that you don't know what you are doing John, it's just that after doing all the math and the calculations I can fly perfect VFR with no problems in the sim.Best of luck!

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Dear AllMany thanks for your replies and suggestions.I can see that the majority view is that FS2002 is accurate.It does still leave me puzzled, however, because I worked out all drift and correction angles very accurately. I used my own (validated) spreadsheet, and checked all calculations against a proper 'whizzwheel' pilots slide rule.I have now even adjusted the local magnetic variation (3.5 degrees) to the slightly outdated FS2002 value of 5 degrees.( local to Oxford, UK) Yet my true track can be out by at least 10 degrees !However I can see from your comments that the error is more likely to be me rather than the software !!Thanks againJohn A.

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