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Guest reggiemental

Planning the approach - help needed

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Thanks to the help I've received here I can now set up a flight using the flight planner/GPS.However, this brings me to another query:Say I'm setting up a route from EGBB to EGLL. Ok, I set for either VFR or IFR and select VOR to VOR.I then go into the flight planner to check the route. At EGLL I want to use either RW09L or RW09R so ideally I want to be approaching (I assume) from around 20 or so miles from the west. The FP shows the final leg from a VOR straight to the airport, which is a 90 degree angle from the path of the runway. Please can someone explain what I'm supposed to do in this situation? Do I (in the FP) select another VOR waypoint due east of EGLL and then plan my approach from there? Or am I meant to be using a chart other than the standard EGLL airport chart? Is this where SID's & STAR's come into the equation?Sorry if the above sounds dumb to you guys!At present I'm approaching EGLL and on the last leg, using the GPS, I choose my runway, then tune in NAV1 to the correct frequency, and then select 'Activate Vectors' but then seem to end up just flying above the airport in a random fashion. If I switch the NAV/GPS button in the AP to NAV my aircraft (737/400) just sets off on a sight-seeing trip towards Gatwick! If I select GPS then it flys over EGLL but doesn't seem keen on doing anything else!Ok, I've tried the same final leg and then selected 'Activate Approach'. The aircraft then tries some great banking maneuovers but then sets off (as I think it's still too high) on a totally different course.I've been knocking off the AP and manually 'flying' the a/c due east of EGLL, setting up the approach course and then switching the AP back on. I know this is wrong but at least I can get to land the #### thing!Any help much appreciated!On the same subject, is it possible to 'tell' the FP that I want to fly each leg at a different altitude? Most of my approaches are too high and I'm struggling to pick up the glide slope because of it.

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Take your aircraft to EGLL - open the GPS and PROC pages and select an Approach for the runway you want - with a transitions - not Vectors.Write down the waypoints for the approach - then update your flight plan.When you are flying to EGLL and the ATC assigns an approach - do NOT accept it - tell ATC to Standby, then select the alternate approach with transition you have built into the flight plan, ask for that approach.If the original runway assignment by ATC was not the one you want - ask for the new approach, then ask for the new runway.If you fly the approach on GPS mode and your aircraft is too high at the holding waypoints, the GPS will put your aicraft into a holding pattern until you descend to the proper altitude.Most of the time we are too high because we are flying too fast.Another issue can be AI aircraft - if the airway ATC traffic is very heavy, your aircraft can fly many miles past a trigger point before the ATC que gets to playing the voice file of your altitude change message.But, you can request a different altitude - increase or decrease - at anytime on your flight. You can start descending early anytime you want by stepping down to a lower altitude.The ATC will not let you descend below the MSA - Minimium Safe Altitude - for the area. Should not be a problem near London.

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I use Super Flight Planner which is free. Being free it has some oddities and some features that aren't either explained/implemented. However, it can be used to build flight plans that can be exported as FS9 plans (.pln) It does include some 1500 SIDs/STARs for major airports in the folder dpstar. Some of these have inaccuracies but as they are written as XML it's quite easy to change them to match the SIDs/STARs given in the charts. They are just a sequence of waypoints and, being XML, the meaning of each field is obvious.

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Many thanks for your help guys. It is most appreciated. Time to go and put it into practiseCheers,Paul

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