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Choosing Runway For Arrival?

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Firstly I'd like to say sorry if I'm missing something here as I am not a real world airline pilot.My question is:Lets say I start a flight from LAX-SFO in an aircraft with a full fmc system (so I can choose runways and approaches).Do I have to choose an arriving runway before i leave my departure airport? Is this how its done in the real world?I ask this because some times i choose the "wrong"runway e.g. at Heathrow they were using one runway for takeoffs and one for landings and i choseone of the runways before I had even taken off but when i was on approach realised I was landing on the runway that they were using for takeoffs which meant i ended up doing a very frustrating go around because an aircraft was taking off on the runway.How do i make sure there is no traffic whilst I'm landing and make sure i choose the correct runway for arrival?Sorry about the essay and the short questions are in the line above this one.Thank you for taking the time to read this and a response would be very much appreciated.ThanksRichy

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Firstly I'd like to say sorry if I'm missing something here as I am not a real world airline pilot.My question is:Lets say I start a flight from LAX-SFO in an aircraft with a full fmc system (so I can choose runways and approaches).Do I have to choose an arriving runway before i leave my departure airport? Is this how its done in the real world?I ask this because some times i choose the "wrong"runway e.g. at Heathrow they were using one runway for takeoffs and one for landings and i choseone of the runways before I had even taken off but when i was on approach realised I was landing on the runway that they were using for takeoffs which meant i ended up doing a very frustrating go around because an aircraft was taking off on the runway.How do i make sure there is no traffic whilst I'm landing and make sure i choose the correct runway for arrival?Sorry about the essay and the short questions are in the line above this one.Thank you for taking the time to read this and a response would be very much appreciated.ThanksRichy
rc will pick the runway at the arrival airport based on the what the ai are doing at the arrival airport. you may not know this, until you get your weather about 50-60 miles out.only pick the arrival runway prior to starting rc, if you want to use a specific runway, regardless of the ai and the wind. you might want to do this if you want to practice a specific approach, or you want to enjoy specific scenery, or land on a famous runway, like at kai takjd

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Brilliant !So I just leave the arrival runway blank and atc will assign me to the runway.Would you say the fact I had to go around was due to me landing on a runway that was being used for takeoffs even though I had selected the runway in rc?Thank youRichy

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Brilliant !So I just leave the arrival runway blank and atc will assign me to the runway.Would you say the fact I had to go around was due to me landing on a runway that was being used for takeoffs even though I had selected the runway in rc?Thank youRichy
Richy,As a sim pilot who uses the FMC for every flight let me add a few comments of my own.I always enter an arrival runway when I build my plan. Yes, things may change during the flight but it's not a big job to select a different one using the FMC when you're around 50 miles out and have tuned into arrival ATIS and have got the wind direction.Regarding landing and take-off runways Heathrow works best with the northerly runway assigned to landings and the southerly to departures. The Aerosoft Heathrow Extreme has this arangement and it works very well for a busy airport. This is also used at Frankfurt. If you have AFCAD you can also change other airport layout to this layout.Many of us use AiSmooth to space out arriving Ai aircraft This works further out than RC's range and greatly reduces the posibility of other aircraft being on finals with you. It's available in the AvSim library.I use FS Flight Keeper and it has an excellent weather reporting system that tells you what runways are in use when about 40 miles out. Expensive to buy for that one feature but it does have many others including full airport layouts based on your own setup which is invaluable when taxiing at unfamiliar airports.Hope that helps.

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Richy,As a sim pilot who uses the FMC for every flight let me add a few comments of my own.I always enter an arrival runway when I build my plan. Yes, things may change during the flight but it's not a big job to select a different one using the FMC when you're around 50 miles out and have tuned into arrival ATIS and have got the wind direction.Regarding landing and take-off runways Heathrow works best with the northerly runway assigned to landings and the southerly to departures. The Aerosoft Heathrow Extreme has this arangement and it works very well for a busy airport. This is also used at Frankfurt. If you have AFCAD you can also change other airport layout to this layout.Many of us use AiSmooth to space out arriving Ai aircraft This works further out than RC's range and greatly reduces the posibility of other aircraft being on finals with you. It's available in the AvSim library.I use FS Flight Keeper and it has an excellent weather reporting system that tells you what runways are in use when about 40 miles out. Expensive to buy for that one feature but it does have many others including full airport layouts based on your own setup which is invaluable when taxiing at unfamiliar airports.Hope that helps.
Thank you.Yes it isn't hard to select a new arrival when 50 miles out so I'll probably just do that.I just did a short flight to Heathrow and let atc select my runway and it turned out pretty good.I too use ai smooth I was just wondering whether I'll usually have to go around if i land on a runway that is being used for takeoffs even though I'm cleared to land.Thank you for all the help it's much appreciated.Richy

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Brilliant !So I just leave the arrival runway blank and atc will assign me to the runway.Would you say the fact I had to go around was due to me landing on a runway that was being used for takeoffs even though I had selected the runway in rc?Thank youRichy
go arounds could be caused my ai taking off into your path, or your gear wasn't down. without a .log, i can't say why you got it. probably the aijd

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There are two issues here that need to be clarified. One is pre-take-off selection of a runway in the FMC and the other is in RC pre-start. My practice is to let RC determine the best runway according to its priority of AI use, runway facilities, and weather, and then listen to the announcement entering approach. If a STAR is involved and it is runway specific, it will be in the flight plan which also gets loaded into the FMC as well (if you import the plan) as it gets loaded into RC and I base the choice looking at the expected arrival weather METAR forecast and also best runway facilities according to the aircraft capabilities. Many runway specific STARS have initial common points until close to the airport at which point you can be vectored off it to a different runway RC selects or fly an IAP to that or a different runway using your own navigation taking a chance of AI conflicts. If available you might select a parallel runway if AI are not using it. Many instrument equipped aircraft have a TCAS which shows the position of AI and their altitude trends that can provide you with a situational awareness to avoid conflict especially at large busy airports. In addition listen to the AI chatter (interactive, not precorded) that RC offers so you know how AI are using runways.It is important to land in the same direction as AI to avoid opposing traffic confliction. This might entail airport terrain and other issues where the headwind or tailwind is mild enough to allow changes from a headwind preferred runway within an aircraft's wind restriction performance (crosswind and tailwind limits). I therefore modify the arrival runway in the FMC including the full ILS or LOC, VOR, or NDB procedure (but not STAR from the FMC database), or whatever is available if the runway RC announces is acceptable or modify it for one I will request on a runway change. If you do not want to take vectors then you select an RC IAP approach for either the runway RC advises or one you can choose. An IAP approach allows you to let you or your navigation equipment perform the HNAV and VNAV without directions from RC until you are on final. There are certain conditions where vectoring is not the best choice and that may be due to high terrain obstacles in the area causing RC to bring you in too high close to the airport requiring perhaps a steep descent when RC uses its standard pattern entry. To avoid this, fly a published approach using IAP mode and procedure navigation from your FMC, GPS, or manually fly (via autopilot control manipulation of altitude, speed, and heading or by hand control with yoke and throttle) the approach plate if you have it for the runway selected. Terrain and your direction of entry may require you to perform a procedure turn or circle to land within the terrain safe area noted on the charts using visual reference to the runway when weather forces the choice of a runway not in line with a near straight in approach or standard rectangular pattern approach.In most areas runway choice is routine and can be anticipated preflight for loading into your FMC. Weather and other determining factors can change during flight so know how to manipulate your navigation gear and try to have approach plates available for arrival should changes be required or a non-rectangular or straight-in approach is impractical.All this information has to do with anticipating the arrival runway but not dictating it to RC preflight, whether to allow RC's choice of runway, how to deal with a change, and whether to override RC's runway choice and navigation commands.For US controlled airports I download the charts at no cost in a single bundle from flightaware.com entering the airport ICAO code in the box that leads to airport information, selecting terminal procedures, and selecting the bundled charts to download in a single .pdf.

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There's a lot of good advice in here.Another work round is to use AFCAD and designate the shortest of 2 parallel runways the landing runway and the longer one the take off runway.If the parallels are on the same side of the terminal and similar lengths,use the inner one for take offs only and the furthest one for landings only.This seems to happen at Las Vegas in real life for example and the AI should use it so therefore RC4 will use it.In UK Manchester uses both 23L and 23R for take off but only 23R for landing.And so on.At Heathrow they change them every hour to lessen the noise problem.If you change a runway's priorities with AFCAD it's a good idea to rename the old one to avoid CTDs.Having flown jump seat a few times the crew usually plan for the arrival runway when en route when they get a weather update from live ATIS 150 miles or so away.The area ATC will also usually advise inbound aircraft of the STAR and runway in use.Often at 100 miles out or more.Inbound to Heathrow from the north for instance they are over my house in the cruise 150 miles out and usually start descent above me.At that time they are usually already in possession of the STAR and runway in use.In fact it's usually given to them 200 miles out.Things can sometimes change but that's what happens.I went into LAX once in the 3rd seat of a 747 and it happened there too.The UK charts are avilable on line too,via the www.ais.org web site.I think you have to register but it's free.Many other countries charts are on line too.

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There's a lot of good advice in here.Another work round is to use AFCAD and designate the shortest of 2 parallel runways the landing runway and the longer one the take off runway.If the parallels are on the same side of the terminal and similar lengths,use the inner one for take offs only and the furthest one for landings only.This seems to happen at Las Vegas in real life for example and the AI should use it so therefore RC4 will use it.In UK Manchester uses both 23L and 23R for take off but only 23R for landing.And so on.At Heathrow they change them every hour to lessen the noise problem.If you change a runway's priorities with AFCAD it's a good idea to rename the old one to avoid CTDs.Having flown jump seat a few times the crew usually plan for the arrival runway when en route when they get a weather update from live ATIS 150 miles or so away.The area ATC will also usually advise inbound aircraft of the STAR and runway in use.Often at 100 miles out or more.Inbound to Heathrow from the north for instance they are over my house in the cruise 150 miles out and usually start descent above me.At that time they are usually already in possession of the STAR and runway in use.In fact it's usually given to them 200 miles out.Things can sometimes change but that's what happens.I went into LAX once in the 3rd seat of a 747 and it happened there too.The UK charts are avilable on line too,via the www.ais.org web site.I think you have to register but it's free.Many other countries charts are on line too.
Thank you Chrispeel thats cleared things up nicely.So the crew will probably know where theyre landing and their STAR whilst on route.Can the atc in RC give me a STAR aswell as a runway?Thank you also jd youve helped me out a ton.CheersRichy

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Thank you Chrispeel thats cleared things up nicely.So the crew will probably know where theyre landing and their STAR whilst on route.Can the atc in RC give me a STAR aswell as a runway?Thank you also jd youve helped me out a ton.CheersRichy
no stars in v4. you will have to follow the flight plan you loaded, until handed off to approachjd

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Build your flightplan with your expected STAR waypoints in it, and try using just the common points for all runways if you expect to take vectors from RC.Several flight planners have SID/STAR databases that convert the procedures to waypoints. You can then edit your waypoint table accordingly before exporting to FS9, RC and your FMC (if capable).FSBuild users should be aware there is a build option that needs to be enabled for each session that allows building and exporting from the waypoint table. This way you can remove waypoints as needed from the STAR if necessary by editing the table.

Thank you Chrispeel thats cleared things up nicely.So the crew will probably know where theyre landing and their STAR whilst on route.Can the atc in RC give me a STAR aswell as a runway?Thank you also jd youve helped me out a ton.CheersRichy

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no stars in v4. you will have to follow the flight plan you loaded, until handed off to approachjd
Thank you it's very much appreciatedRichy

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Yes Richyboy I 've just heard a BMI flight from Glasgow to Heathrow get his STAR while still in the en route climb over the Lake District.He'll get the runway soon.This is typical.You'll soon learn to adopt the RC4 facilities to facilitate this.

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Well I've just completed a flight from KSLC-KSEA I chose my star once I had been told the runway I was to use (16L) from there i requested an IAP aprroach and that was all goodthen I decended and turned onto final about 12-15nm out lowered my gear and flaps to 20 I got closer and closer thinking I was late being told to contact tower I'm now 5nm out then all of a sudden TCAS screams at me and i notice an alaskan 737 0.6nm infront of me I slowed immediately and decided to click "visual approach" I was then told to contact tower and tower cleared me to land (the 737 must of already got clearance) I landed JUST in time for the 737 to clear the runway.Was this completely my fault because I had come in on my STAR on an IAP approach and made the turns when i wanted too?Can i fix this by requesting visual approach early on or by following ATC vectors?I basically want to make sure I am a good distance behind the other ai.ATC did not instruct me to go around so I decided to land.I have aismooth running.Any help on how to avoid coming in close to other ai?I basically want to fly an IAP approach for the runway atc clear me on but without running into ai conflicts.Maybe its best to take vectors.Thank youRichyP.S i know this sounds very similair to what ronzie posted but I'm still not too sure on what to do.

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Well I've just completed a flight from KSLC-KSEA I chose my star once I had been told the runway I was to use (16L) from there i requested an IAP aprroach and that was all goodthen I decended and turned onto final about 12-15nm out lowered my gear and flaps to 20 I got closer and closer thinking I was late being told to contact tower I'm now 5nm out then all of a sudden TCAS screams at me and i notice an alaskan 737 0.6nm infront of me I slowed immediately and decided to click "visual approach" I was then told to contact tower and tower cleared me to land (the 737 must of already got clearance) I landed JUST in time for the 737 to clear the runway.Was this completely my fault because I had come in on my STAR on an IAP approach and made the turns when i wanted too?Can i fix this by requesting visual approach early on or by following ATC vectors?I basically want to make sure I am a good distance behind the other ai.ATC did not instruct me to go around so I decided to land.I have aismooth running.Any help on how to avoid coming in close to other ai?I basically want to fly an IAP approach for the runway atc clear me on but without running into ai conflicts.Maybe its best to take vectors.Thank youRichyP.S i know this sounds very similair to what ronzie posted but I'm still not too sure on what to do.
when you do an iap approach, rc doesn't know what you're doing, so i ignore you. i sit back and wait until you are 7 miles out. then you're told to contact tower.i don't try to seperate you from ai, until you are on tower frequency. that's why you got close to him, or him to you.jd

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