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Runway/Star Transitions

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Dear all,I have to admit that I'm still a bloody beginner with Flightplans and FMC (and the 744 in general). However, having read the FMC documentation, several explanations about SIDs and Stars I feel I'm slowly getting to terms with it.From Gatwick EGKK to Hamburg EDDH for example, I got a route from vatroute. Start of the route was Dover DVR, and so I could find a SID that ends in DVR (I believe it was DVR8M or so, don't have FMC or charts in front of me now, sorry) which then seemlessly integrated into my flightplan - not even a route discontinuity.Now, the given route to EDDH ends at RIBSO. What I'm now trying to figure out is, how by looking at the airport/star charts I can figure out which one would fit best from RIBSO. Additionally, choosing a runway _and_ a transition and then choosing a star for that runway (not all of which I can always find on my chart, although both the FMS cycle and the chart are up-to-date) I also get the offer to choose a transition for that Star. Blindly choosing something that looks sort of allright gives some really weird zigzag and circles on the map.It's also not always clear to me to which runway a certain star belongs, I seem unable to read the charts properly. The FMC tells me, though; and I hope that is a reliable source.Could one of you experienced guys please take a little time to point me to some more literature or explain in an example how you choose, given your last route point and a "guessed" runway (based on wheather), the best possible star/transition from there? There must be a way to properly choose the in-between the last route point and the runway - I leave ATC out of the picture for now, as of course they might mess up your fine plan anyway. If could spare a word what the "transition" on both runways and Stars are for and whether I have to choose either/or or both, that'd be greatly appreciated.As always, many, many thanks in advance,Stefan

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Hi Stefan!A STAR, as its name states, is a TERMINAL arrival route, not a runway approach route. By studying the available STARs for an airport, you can determine the one that suits your arrival track. Some airports have no STARS, some a few, and the busiest having several. Transitions, when available, give routes between a route's waypoints and the beginning of a STAR. A STAR will not usually guide you any nearer to an airport than one of the arrival points. In the case of Heathrow, there are no transitions, just 4 STARS - BIGGIN/WEALD, BOVINGDON/BOVVA, OCKHAM/TOMMO, and LAMBOURNE/TAWNY. From each of these arrival points, you may then choose a runway approach appropriate to the wind vector.Depending on the source of your route, you may find that the last waypoint corresponds to the first waypoint of a transition or STAR. Unfortunately you will often find that this is not trrue. You may then have to experiment by choosing the most likely transitions and STARs, and test them out using your FMC in STEP mode. When you find an appropriate one, execute it into the FMC. Sometimes you may find that the last route waypoint is the airport itself, or a waypoint a long way from the airport. This may then involve deleting/adding waypoints from your route to make the desired arrival and approach.The same is true of departures. Find the SIDs appropriate for your take-off runway (given the current wind vector) and choose the one that gets you neatly to the first waypoint of your route.As you say, then the ATC may disregard your careful planning and ask you to alter your flight plan! Or he may just ignore all your hard work and issue vectors to your runway approach. Please don't argue with him. He will probably have other traffic movements in his thoughts, and trying to keep you separated. After landing/establishing en-route, you can always open a private discussion with the ATC, and if he is not too busy, obtain an explanation why all your hard work was ignored.I hope that this helps you on your way,Regards, Richard


Cheers, Richard

Intel Core i7-7700K @ 4.2 GHz, 16 GB memory, 1 TB SSD, GTX 1080 Ti, 28" 4K display

Win10-64, P3Dv5, PMDG 748 & 777, Milviz KA350i, ASP3D, vPilot, Navigraph, PFPX, ChasePlane, Orbx 

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Could one of you experienced guys please take a little time to point me to some more literature or explain in an example how you choose, given your last route point and a "guessed" runway (based on wheather), the best possible star/transition from there? There must be a way to properly choose the in-between the last route point and the runway - I leave ATC out of the picture for now, as of course they might mess up your fine plan anyway. If could spare a word what the "transition" on both runways and Stars are for and whether I have to choose either/or or both, that'd be greatly appreciated.
Stefan, as for what runway to use, there's any number of ways to do it, and frankly, if you're not using an ATC program it doesn't really matter. Personally, I note the ATIS of the destination before I leave and then tune it in as I get close and typically land on that runway, unless its an idiotic default choice by FSX. A STAR really only gets you to a point, typically out away from the airport. From there, you would typically be vectored to an IAP (initial approach point) and then fly the charted approach. If conditions are VMC, you would typically be vectored to final. If you're not using an ATC, then you can assign yourself vectors. You may have to manually input the IAP you want (usually there's more than one). One thing I like doing is using charted transitions or initial approaches that you can find at some large European airports. These are typically off radial/DME fixes and GPS fixes. I don't know Hamburg at all, but I googled the charts and found RISBO. I also located a "transition" from RISBO to say Rwy 23. You'll see lots of GPS fixes. You may be able to put those into the FMS (they also might not be there), that will guide you on a patttern out north east of the airport and then onto a final for 23. I don't think these are used in practice very often, but they are kind of fun to fly if you're not using the ATC, and it lets you play with the FMS more, which I always like.

PMDGAirbus.gif

Doug Orvis

PP-ASEL-IA (USA), Based at KHEF

 

Picture courtesy of Kyle Rodgers

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Dear Richard,thanks for taking the time to answer. First of all, I have to apologise for at least not completely understanding the whole purpose. I've been kicking and screaming at my brain cells, but these chaps really resist... It might have to do with the fact that I'm German.Maybe let's start with the definition for "terminal": I think I'm not mistaken that not the passenger or air terminal is meant, but the "final" part of the routing to the runway. As far as I could see in most maps I bought, there are STARS available for "RW nn from the East/North" or similar, others are by name like STAR Biggin (don't have the Heathrow Maps, though - I avoided that crowded beast till I'm more familiar with Vatsim and ATC in general).So, if I don't find a STAR that begins where my route ends, I just make up a route from the end of the route to the begin of the star? In the case there are transitions, what do they actually _mean_? Do I need to choose one, or is that just a bonus? In which case would I choose one, in which cases not? I had one STAR to EDDH for example, that routed me to LBE, then to two other waypoints, back to LBE and then to some more weird circles - not to mention the increased fuel burn for an additional thirty-some miles. If only someone could throw some light upon this...If, like you say, a STAR might not get me any closer to the airport, why would I choose one? If I haven't filed one, would ATC still make me use one? [1]Let me say again I'm terribly sorry to waste all your time here, but it would certainly help to have a Pro explaining what he'd do when flying to a yet unknown airport. What maps do you look at in which order, and why? How would you file the flight plan - with STAR or without? How do you choose the transitions for STAR and runway, and why not another transition? How would transitions actually be reflected in the flight plan, if at all?I just realise this is not only PMDG related, so please don't hurt me for posting here... A quick hint would make me look for another forum if I bother you wrongly here.Many thanks in advance for every hint or pointer to suggested reading,Stefan[1] Btw, regarding your concern: I would never dare questioning ATC; they will have reasons. Maybe with one exception I came across on my first flight: I was heading 096

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Stefan,An important thing to understand is that there are variations on what to expect at different airports, especially with STARs.In many cases you'll find that STARs are fairly simple, and are basically no different to your enroute plan in that it's just some extra waypoints to follow. This prompted you to ask why would you use a STAR if it won't necessarily get you closer to the airport? In some cases the STAR is there simply to aid ATC as it funnels traffic into a few predicatable routes, rather than aircraft arriving from wherever they like. However there is often more to the STAR chart than just the routing. Some STARs have altittude restrictions you have to meet during decent, and many show the location of holding points for example.Now, transitions. There are, as far as I'm aware, two kinds. There is a transition from enroute to the STAR, then there are transitions from the STAR to the final approach.Transition from enroute to STAR. So far I've only come across these in the US. Lets refer to the Pawling two arrival into JFK http://www.naco.faa.gov/d-tpp/0912/00610PAWLING.PDFAs you can see, there are three entry points into this STAR, ALB DNY and RKA. These are the transitions, and are what will be listed on the FMC as your transition points. This isnt too different to other STARs as many STARs have more than one entry point (eg EDDH http://edww.de/charts/eddh/eddh_star_2009_05_07.pdf), they're just normally refered to by a different name, or different number at the end.Transition from STAR to final approach. Let's look at the STAR into EDDH again (http://edww.de/charts/eddh/eddh_star_2009_05_07.pdf) and imagine we're coming into land on runway 15 from a RISBO 2A arrival, refering to the ILS15 chart as well (http://edww.de/charts/eddh/eddh_ils_15_2009_05_07.pdf). As you can see, the STAR brings you to the LBE NDB, and the ILS15 chart takes you from the LBE NDB to the runway, providing a complete route with no discontinuities. Now for the FMC. Enter the arrival and runway and you'll see an option for transitions. You'll notice at this point, that there IS a discontinuity. This is because you can arrive via RISBO 2A but not necessarily land on runway 15, or you could just land on runway 15 without an arrival. By selecting a transition you're telling the FMC to transit from the STAR, to the final approach. In this case, you're transitioning from LBE, so select that and it'll complete the arrival and landing.Now for assistance in obtaining a complete route. There are a few methods. You can try http://flightaware.com/ . Not an easy site to get on with, but it's nice because it'll show complete routes including SID/STAR, and they're real word routes actually in use. Only problem of course, is you might find there isn't a real world route for the leg you want to fly. There is also http://rfinder.asalink.net/free/ . Not real world routes, but it's easy to use and is more likely to find routes you want to fly. Also gives SID/STARs.You can also check out FSCommander http://www.fscommander.com/ . Shareware planning app, it'll allow you to select different SID/STARs and display them on the map so you can decide which is most suitable. Should help you get your head around things a bit better too.And of course, if you're not already using it, VATSIM has links to pretty much any aiport chart you could possible want: http://usa-w.vatsim.net/charts/


Jordan Forrest

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Thanks for that reply, that indeed shines a light. Can't wait to get home and play around! I'll check in here later once I could have a more in-depth look.Many thanks,Stefan

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Stefan you'll find the majority of European STARs are set up as N S E W so you only need to know what direction you are entering from and usually end up in a hold.From there you go to the approach part which takes you to the IAF, then on from that to final.I know that is oversimplified but if you google for the airport chart it becomes clearer.John Ellison


supporter.jpgJohn Ellison

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Lord, I can see the light now!Many thanks to you all for your helpful posts. The most important thing for me to understand was, that a Standard _Terminal_ Arrival Route does not necessarily lead a plane anywhere near the airport. What I thought at first, that such route might even include where to park up the plane, really - because of the "Terminal". And then understanding that the STAR transition is the "exit" point of a star, and the runway transition is the "entry" point for the final approach was most helpful.I've had a look at a couple of charts yesterday and flew the route from EGKK to EDDH on Vatsim, and it was easy as cake! My route went from Clacton to RIBSO, and so I chose the CLN8M SID to get me to CLN and the RIBSO2A Star with LBE transition to then enter the approach for ILS RW 23.One thing I remain in doubt about is: Where is the difference between CLN8M and CLN8M? Or for a routing via Dover, there are DVR8M and 8Y - I couldn't figure that one out from the maps, they seem identical... But there are a couple more of these little questions I might refer to in a new post...I'm certain that I will be back with more questions, but maybe some day I can come back here and give back some of that knowledge you kindly made available to me.Again, my most sincere thanks for all your help.Stefan

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One thing I remain in doubt about is: Where is the difference between CLN8M and CLN8M? Or for a routing via Dover, there are DVR8M and 8Y - I couldn't figure that one out from the maps, they seem identical... But there are a couple more of these little questions I might refer to in a new post.
Hi Stefan:Usually, in the UK at least, a differing suffix is related to the departure runway. It may also be that some departures are used when certain radio aids (VOR, NDB, etc) are unavailable due to being offline, something we dont have to worry about in the sim. Normally there is a note on the chart detailing any specifics. I don't have the Gatwick Charts to hand at the moment so cannot confirm what the deal is with CLN8M and 8N. As for having questions about flying her, it's what the forums are for, ask away! CheersPaul

Is there a way to auto ignore trolls, flamers and any post with a +1 in it here?

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Stefan,This is a U.S. based tutorial for SID/STARs, but I think it is very well done and can provide an excellent overview.

Best, Chris K.

Chris B. Trane

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