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Zach

How Would You Do This?

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HeyI got this game a few months ago, and I've learned pretty good how to fly and land, but I`d really need some help from experts.I would really like to know how to fly from take off to leveling off at cruising altitude step by step in this following case:I`m starting from EFHK (Helsinki, Finalnd) and I`m going to Paris, with an IFR flight plan, and I fly a airbus a320.Now I`d like to know every step that an expert pilot would do :(. When to switch to autopilot and when to switch the heading between the waypoints.I also have problems with keeping the plane at the GPS track even though I have the right heading :(I know this is alot to ask but please :)thanks.

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This is a pretty loaded question. Especially given that the default jetliners in FS9 and FSX (I'm assuming you have X since you're flying the A320) are incredibly dumbed down versions of the real aircraft. I'm not familiar with the Airbus aircraft, so I won't try to explain too much on those procedures.I can tell you that autopilot is typically switched on around 200 feet AGL (above ground level), so take note of your elevation at the airport either via airport charts from www.myairplane.com or just from the altimeter reading.As for switching heading between way points, I'm not sure what you mean here. Could you elaborate a little more.Lastly, if you're flying with real-world weather on - or any weather set that has wind - you cannot track a course by following that course as a heading, you must turn slightly into the wind until the course can be held. Think of it like trying to line up with a dock in a river. The faster the river, the more you have to point upstream to keep in line with it. You can also predict these angles before hand with some flight planning. You just need to know the courses and the winds aloft for your altitude. These can be found at aviation weather sites though I'm not sure which site covers Europe. Someone else would know that answer better than I. To get the wind correction angle, look online for E6-B applications, or you can always buy a real one for around $10 that's made of card-board or thin plastic (the more durable metal ones are around $25) and input your course and the wind speed and direction. Whatever the correction angle is, add or subtract that from the course to get the heading. Once in the air, you'll need to find tune your heading as you go since winds constantly change, but at least you have a starting reference.

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Ok to be honest there is no definite answer to your question. When an expert pilot would switch on the A/P depends on company procedures, personal preference amongst other factors. If the pilot one day decides to hand-fly the departure, then he will do so and also does in the real world.Anyways, as John already correctly explained, if you want to be on automation as much as possible, engagement would happen shortly after take-off. Again, there is a technical limit (e. g. the A/P will simply not turn on below let's say 150 ft RA or so), but there might also be company limits.Now on to the next question: I'm also not quite sure what you mean. If you reach a certain waypoint that requires a heading change afterwards, for the sake of simplicity why not start the turn when you're overhead (like a 'fly-over' waypoint). It's not something airliners would do, because they (usually) utilize 'fly-by' waypoints, especially en-route. That means the turn will be initiated before reaching the waypoint, yielding the smoothest possible transition between the leg before and the leg after. How long before simply depends on the turn radius that you will achieve with your current speed and bank angle. But this is all stuff done by specialized systems, so you'd never calculate such a fly-by waypoint by hand (at least I'd never do it LOL!!!).If you want to fly your Airbus similar to how real autopilots would fly their route (like John, assuming stock aircraft here), you might want to flip the NAV/GPS switch to GPS (it's in every stock aircraft, just go look out for it, it's gotta be somewhere) and engage the autopilot NAV mode. That way the A/P will follow the route that you have generated in the flight plan dialog (which should also be in your GPS).Other than that, you might want to specify more concrete questions, as something like 'every step how to do that flight' could, as also John said before :(, lead to replies ranging from 'gear up, autopilot on, two coffee' to 'why do aircraft fly'-like multiple page reads (if someone took the time to write!!! :()Keep askin'!Etienne

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HeyThanks for the quick replies. Yeah perhaps the question is maybe a bit extensive.But I have two other questions that should`t be :(.When I have switched to GPS from NAV and I hace clicked the NAV hold button, what should I enter course box, or more clearly,where do I find the course that I have to follow? Because I look at the NAV Log but I can only find the heading.:)thanks

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Anyways, as John already correctly explained, if you want to be on automation as much as possible, engagement would happen shortly after take-off. Again, there is a technical limit (e. g. the A/P will simply not turn on below let's say 150 ft RA or so), but there might also be company limits.
There are also equipment limitations. I know the Seminole my flight school has specifies 150 AGL for the limit, having it on below that altitude is therefore illegal. Then you have jetliners that can run CAT IIIc approaches clear to the ground on autopilot.
When I have switched to GPS from NAV and I hace clicked the NAV hold button, what should I enter course box, or more clearly,where do I find the course that I have to follow? Because I look at the NAV Log but I can only find the heading.:)
Look at the FPL button on the GPS and it will give you the course tracks. I also do not believe that FS's navlogs take wind into account so the course would match the heading on those if that is the case. In either situation, however, flight simulator doesn't really care about the course setting when tracking the GPS, it just tracks it regardless.

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When I have switched to GPS from NAV and I hace clicked the NAV hold button, what should I enter course box, or more clearly,where do I find the course that I have to follow? Because I look at the NAV Log but I can only find the heading.:)
Ok now since we are talking stock aircraft here this is totally unrealistic, but you should be able to find the coure in the GPS as DTK (desired track). Now I'm actually referring to GNS430/530 units, and I can't tell from the top of my mind if the FS GPS does display DTK, I only remember it has way less options than the real ones :( but I will recheck as soon as time permits. Have a look at e. g. the BE58 which is equipped with an HSI. Flip the NAV/GPS switch to GPS and watch the CDI jump to the DTK value, whatever your previous course setting had been.So it is true you do not have to enter anything at all in the course box because it means simply nothing to the GPS.Just as a small reminder: if you approach your destination airport, don't forget to flip the mentioned switch back - for your ILS or whatever you might use for your approach will obviously not react if it's still set to follow the GPS track! :( After doing that, also your NAV button will revert to its usual function (track radials etc).

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HeyWell I did as you guys said, but the GPS just wont track it correctly:(..I have to adjust it pretty often so that it doesnt fly off course totally.And you probobly cant leave the FS for a second during an IFR flight because even if the GPS tracks the current course, you will have to changeit when you reach the waypoints, which I think is a minus when you fly long flights :(, if it is so, that is.thanks

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I have to re-adjust the heading. And I guess that the autopilot won't do that.
Yes it definately will. It won't really let you know about it (by for instance setting the heading bug or such), but it will just hold a heading that will keep you on track. See the image attached, I put some nice colored circles around important stuff that you might want to look for.First of all, note that heading bug as well as course pointer are set to some random value that has nothing to do with the flight plan. Second, note the NAV/GPS switch, that will let the CDI react to the GPS, not to the NAV radio. Third, look at the engaged A/P modi, one of them being NAV (or LOC here on the 'bus, but in this case it simply does the exact same thing). Now have a look at the wind. I put in a nice one-hundred knot cross wind to ensure the autopilot has to apply a noticable WCA, which it indeed does. Looking at either the NavLog or the GPS I can see the DTK on the leg that I am on should be 123

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HeyThanks for the help badderjet, by the way I forgot to mention that I used the High altitude airways and not the direct-GPS, so that might explainwhy it wont track the course :(thanks.

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I used the High altitude airways and not the direct-GPS, so that might explainwhy it wont track the course :(
Hey there,and a Happy New Year!Sorry, could you please explain further what you mean...? I had also used the hi alt AWYs in the above example. It should make no difference at all what mode you choose (hi or lo alt AWY, VOR to VOR, -D-> GPS), as long as NAV/GPS is set to GPS. Of course -D-> will not (neccessarily) track any airway, obviously.RegardsEtienne

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HeyYeah I't works now, my bad. I just got a bit confused with this. :)thanks and happy new year.

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