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How to update PMDG procedures

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Hi there 747 and 737NG Driver. I see some confusion and misconceptions about the SID/STAR/IAP database made for the PMDG 747 and 737NG. I thought I would have a go at explaining how to avoid the recurring problems I see in forums and in the email I get. First, an overall explanation of what is available, where to get the data and how to use it.The SID/STAR/IAP database is derived from the DAFIF (Digital Aeronautical Flight Information File) database. It is the only on-line, worldwide, free digital database I know of. This database is made for the U.S. military but does not contain all the SIDs/STARs/IAPs that are available in the civilian world. My guess is because only airports and SIDs/STARs/IAPs that may be used by the military are included. This unfortunately leaves many SIDs/STARs/IAPs missing, especially outside of the U.S.. The DAFIF, despite it's shortcomings though, contains about 1740 airports, is current and is updated on the 28 day AIRAC cycle.If you just bought the PMDG 747 or 737NG. First things first. The SID/STAR/IAP database that ships with the PMDG 737NG is an old cycle. It contains errors and outdated data and will cause problems if not updated. So, one of the first things you should do after installing either aircraft is to go to http://www.navdata.at and download the current AIRAC cycle for navigational data and then go to my site at http://PlanePath.com or the PMDG site and download the current SID/STAR/IAP cycle. Obviously you must then install both databases. Because the DAFIF does not have all the worlds airports there are a few individuals that have stepped forward to write SIDs/STARs/IAPs for missing airports or to add more procedures to existing airports. I have a tutorial (Terminal Procedures Design Tutorial at PlanePath.com) for those of you that would like to try your hand at designing SIDs/STARs/IAPs. Some of these individuals have their own web site where you can download their work while others upload their work to http://www.navdata.at. At this site one can then download individual airports or download an AIO (All in one) file which contains all the uploaded airports in one file. Herein is one misconception. Some people think that since www.navdata.at provides current navdata he also produces a complete set of current SID/STAR/IAPs and distributes them in that AIO file. Not true. Www.navdata.at does NOT produce any SIDs/STARs/IAPs. It provides a much needed central place to upload SID/STAR/IAPs that other people have made. So, that AIO file is NOT a complete set of SID/STAR/IAPs and second, it is only a compilation of those files uploaded by others. Also keep in mind that the files uploaded to www.navdata.at may not be current as it is up to the file's author to keep the data up to date and that might not happen. Never the less this is a valuable service, just be aware of these limitations. In actuality it takes getting my SID/STAR/IAPs, the www.navdata.at AIO file and any other private site airports to get the maximum available airports.Once downloaded all these airports must be installed. The proper way to update the 747 and 737NG SID/STAR/IAPs is to install my set by overwriting the previous cycle in the FlightSim/PMDG/Sidstars folder. Note that this may leave some older files that didn't get overwritten. Next install the AIO file, possibly overwriting my airports. Lastly, install any airports from other private sites, also overwriting my airports and possibly the AIO airports. You may or may not want to overwrite some of the AIO file airports, however, based on when those files were written, their accuracy and completeness. Whew, done.Now a few problems that keep cropping up.1. Runways not found. A common problem if the default SID/STAR/IAP database is not updated. This can also happen if the AIRAC cycle is not the same as the SID/STAR/IAP cycle number because airport runway numbers change periodically from one cycle to the next. The cure, update the AIRAC and or SID/STAR/IAP database to the same cycle number. Don't forget to check the other 3rd party airports too. They may be using old runway numbers or radio navaids.2. Missing SIDs/STARs/IAPs but some do show. This can be caused by the restricted DAFIF database. The cure, either find SIDs/STARs/IAPs someone else has written or write the missing SID/STAR/IAPs yourself.3. No airports or SIDs/STARs/IAPs show up. The common problem here is that the files did not get installed properly. Usually they are put in a wrong folder. For my files read the "Read This First.TXT" file for installation instructions and lots of other useful stuff. Please note that this same problem shows up for the navdata database too. Usually what happens is the installer was not pointed to the master FlightSim folder but to the FMCWP folder.4. Lastly, if you get an FMC error, don't overlook the possibility that the SID/STAR/IAP could have an error in it. In this case you'll need to write the author for assistance or fix it yourself.I hope this helps decrease potential headaches for you when flying the PMDG 747 and/or 737NG.Regards,Terry YinglingPlanePath

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