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Choosing the right STAR : how and when ?

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Hi all,sorry if this has already been answered before (as it seems quite needed to plan flights) but i can't find it anywhere...I am mostly flying FS2002 with commercial jets, either PSS A320 or Wilco 767 PIC (just got this one today), and I am using ActiveSky wxRE, and will probably acquire FsNav soon.When I am designing a flight, I first choose the departure and arrival airports, then I enter the departure settings in FS2002 (aircraft, departure airport, time, dep. gate), and start the simulation. I then use ATIS or ground control information to find which runway to use, and then select the correct SID based upon runway and overall direction of flight. What I am still wondering about is : how could I choose the right STAR to use at arrival airport ? and when ? To choose one, I need to know which runway is used for landings, and this is set by the simulation depending on winds I guess (am I right on this ? ActiveSky is setting meteo conditions above arrival area and the AI choose which runway to use. Or it is always the same one that is used without checking wind direction ?). Anyway, I have no means to know the arrival runway to use when I am sitting on the departure airport to enter my flight on FMC. So usually I am keeping a discontinued leg on programmed route,juste before final waypoint (arrival airport) and try to choose the correct STAR during flight. Unfortunately, I am not able to select ATIS or approach control frequency before being too close from final airport (less than 50 miles if I am right, even while entering the frequency myself) and so I am unable to realistically select and enter a STAR in the FMC, being too close... Any way to do this ? did I forget something ? Thanks for your answers, and please excuse my poor english (I am french).Chris

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well, in real life,this is part of flightplanning:dispatch will check your arrival airport and determine the most likely runway(s) in use at your arrival and assign an appropriate STAR to it.you would be told by center which STAR you can expect before you pass the first fix of the STAR. in FS you can also determine the most likely runway that will be used and enter the appropriate STAR into your FMGS

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Sorry, I should sound a bit dumb... but :>in FS you can also determine the most likely runway >that will be used and enter the appropriate STAR into your >FMGS How could I determine the most likely runway in FS ?>you would be told by center which >STAR you can expect before you pass the first fix of the >STAR. Same : how could I simulate this in FS, as ATIS contact or approach frequency initial contact in FS seems to be too close from airport (after initial STAR fixes anyway)... ?Chris

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When choosing a STAR it should not matter which runway you will be landing on. The STAR is an arrival that takes you from the airway to the approach. Choosing an approach you should know what runway you will be using but even that is somewhat flexible IF the approach has circling authorized. If it does than you could fly the STAR and the Approach and then circle to land on what ever runway you need for winds. (Of course following ATC's runway assignment here)Of course, someone more qualified than I am, feel free to jump in and correct me if I am wrong.Ken

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Frequently a STAR is not bound to a specific runway but bound to an entry point into the airport.For example if you are approaching from say, the North West, there will be a specific STAR which will be different from the one used if you approach from say, the North East.So you know which way you are heading and can therefore choose the correct STAR *if you have the charts*.I suggest you down load SIDs & STARs for 2 or 3 airports you regularly use and get familiar with them.If you use ActiveSky you can decode the METAR for your arrival airport, check the winds there and determine the best runway to use.From memory you can adjust the distance to destination at which ActiveSky 'locks' the weather, so if you feel the default distance is too short just increase it.I don't use the FS ATC/AI so don't know how accurate it assigns runways for a given wind direction.Once you get FSNav you will find flight planning far more accurate, if more involved, than the default FS flight planner.HTH

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Ken,there is a respectable amount of STAR's and DP's (especially in Europe) that are dependant of a certain runway,so you should know which runway you'll use to know which STAR you'll get.Chris,in FS you can never never 100% for sure which runway will be used (unless you set it up with AFCAD) so you'll have to anticipate,same as real life.look at the winds of METAR for your destination airport and anticipate the most probably runway and enter the appropriate STAR with your flight planner.btw,FS ATC will start you vectoring from already about 60 miles out,so there is little chance you'll fly a big part of your STAR

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Blowhole is right in general (I guess it's different in Europe though).The STAR only brings you into the approach environment. After that ATC vectors you for the appropriate approach.Selecting the right STAR generally depends upon which direction you are arriving from.Please note that the same can be said for SID's. The runway shouldn't matter, only the direction of departure.Also, please note all airports in real life have standard departure procedures. For example at Concord, NC (KJQF) all departures on runway 20 are told to turn to a heading of 150, climb and maintain 3000', and contact departure on 128.32. Runway 02 departures are told to fly runway heading up to 3000' and contact departure on 128.32. ATC upon contact vectors you for the SID.Hopefully this makes sense.Rich, MEI/II

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"Also, please note all airports in real life have standard departure procedures. For example at Concord, NC (KJQF) all departures on runway 20 are told to turn to a heading of 150, vlimb and maintain 3000', and contact departure on 128.32. Runway 02 departures are told to fly runway heading up to 3000' and contact departure on 128.32. ATC upon contact vectors you for the SID."this certainly not applicable to all airportsyou'll either have regular "pilot nav" SID's (most commonly) where you'll fly the fixed departure route and constraints or either a vector SID where ATC will vector you to your first fix.note that a vector SID can include certain initial climbs for a specific runway

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The only way I have found to fly a STAR in FS2002 is to go in VFR and then on final contact the tower. Not very realistic if the weather is bad. I used to fly a LOT of Sid's and STARS in FS2000 but have gotten very rusty in FS2K2. I can fly SID's in 2K2, if I plug in each waypoint in the SID into the flight planner. Then ATC will vector you on course to the first waypoint and you can fly the SID with no trouble but to fly the STAR you have to cancel IFR before ATC starts vectoring you in and use your own Nav. The trouble is a lot of STARS end with "Expect vectors to RW XXX" I hope FS2004 will allow you to fly a STAR while IFR, and then vector you in from the final waypoint on the STAR, That would be real nice!http://www.ktone.org/images/FSD_ken.jpg

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Ok, it makes more sense for me now...Thanks to all for your answers :-)Chris

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