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Benjamin J

Flight planning - a tutorial?

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I seem to have a really great problem with flight planning, even though programs like vroute make my flight plans. Specifically, my problem is that I seem to have great trouble understanding the charts. I mean, sometimes I do it well, other times it's a total mess. And then, when I think I understand it and enter the info into the plane's FMC, I got such a weird arrival procedure that I'm completely baffled as to what has just happened. Anybody any advice on some document that can properly teach me how to read charts and plane the flights properly?An example: I had figured out how to arrive at UUDD. I had to take a specific arrival route, after which I could use a specific STAR to end up at runway 32R. But when I go into the PMDG 747's FMC, and dial in the selected arrival, STAR and approach procedure for RWY32R ILS, I got a very weird jumble of lines and waypoint all over the place that is impossible to fly. What did I miss here? Am I supposed to only do one of the selected things, not all?*sigh*Truly depresses me. VEery time I think I understood something, it appears I didn't - didn't at all understand it.

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Hey, what arrival route did you want to fly into UUDD? I just checked the charts, and although the Russian routings seem to differ quite a bit from other procedures I have seen, it should be possible to come up with a flyable solution. Just as an example, I just used RouteFinder to make up a simple route into UUDD, and that one ended at BITSA. Now looking at the charts I might take BITSA32A or BITSA32B as my STAR, these two end in the fix SKURA. SKURA in turn is one of the IAFs for ILS 32R. So I suppose you would have to select for instance BITSA32A, ILS32R and select SKURA as the transition. You could possibly select other transitions like GLOKA, VERAN or AKSAN (looking at chart 31-4) but those truely dont make any sense since that very arrival route via BITSA only ends in SKURA, not in one of the other fixes. So in case you get presented a selection of different transitions you might end up with a route disco if you select a fix that is not appropriate.Other example, take the SKURYGINO32I routing, that one ends in GLOKA. So you'd have to take GLOKA as the approach transition, SKURA would most likely not work here.RegardsEtienne

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Are you an updated nav database? You may need an AIRAC update. STAR's change all the time. Is the STAR you want comming up on the arival page?In the real world dispatch prepares our flight plans. If i need a route for FSX I jsut go to flightaware.com and look up real world routes recently filed.

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Etienne: Yours sounds much the same like mine. Except mine went like this:- The arrival route took me from BP to VINLI and LEDNI, thus ending at WT.- This enables me to use the following STARS: Kartino A/I into runway 14 L or R or Kartino A/K into runway 32 L or R. Airport information suggested, however, that 32R was open for landing, so I took Kartino A into runway 32R- This one ended at SKURA, and it gets me right into ILS 32R.Wait a sec... I only now see the tiny "WT32A". This is not what I selected in the PMDG 747 FMC... I guess I selected a wrong STAR approach, which ended up sending me all over the place. As a matter of fact, I think I might have selected Aksininyo as a STAR... At the time, I was searching in the FMC, and noticed how none of the STAR names seemed to really match the actual ("normal") names, and so I falsely assumed AO stood for Kartino. Now I see the names are written below the STAR's name in tiny letters.So, I think my problem isn't so much in the planning, as knowing where to look for what info. Thanks, I guess, Etienne! It was your post that made me realize this!threelittlefish: it's all up to date, but thanks for trying to help. I think I know where the problem is now :(People, if you know of a place I can learn to read these charts with more precision, a place that tells me what all the symbols mean, I would be very pleased. I'm convinced that this is my problem, not so much my flight planning.

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Hey Ben, so yeah you might very well have googled on your own already, but I found this and especially that. They look quite similar, I haven't checked in depth to be honest. Anyways, I remember the real deal of Jeppesen Airway Manuals have a LOT more information to it, but maybe this could get you started.Those Russian charts, as I already mentioned, look interesting to me since their procedures seem to differ quite a bit. Not that they are different in a way they couldn't be flown, I just think they have tons of NDBs that construct their procedures while in some western places there are more and more RNAV/FMS transitions and stuff like that. Just looks very unusual to me. Also I see airlines carry extra altimeters and conversion tables to get along with the metric altitude values.Oh, and by the way I kinda implied you were referring to Jeppesen charts at all. It could very well be you had asked about NACO/FAA charts (not for Russia though...), which I have difficulties with at times since I'm not used to them, or maybe also LIDO if you have connections to some airlines. I've mostly used the Jepps though and found them to be most convenient. Just a matter of practise, and maybe taste. :(If you need anything, feel free to ask. I will try my best to help and also learn new things along the way whenever possible.RegardsEtienne

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Thanks for the links Etienne! For me the second one came out a bit weird, might be a browser incompatibility. I could download the PDF of the first link however, and I'll go read it when I can.In the meantime I tried the approach using the correct STAR, and all turned out as expected. It flew it the way it should have, although I have great trouble getting the PMDG 747 to actually capture the localizer (already posted about it in the relevant forum). Anyway, the mumbo-jumbo of waypoints that come after the runway, and, supposedly are unnecessary, seem to be there for the event of a missed approach, which is something I discovered while looking at youtube tutorials. So, most is clear now.The charts I use come from Navigraph, so honestly I would have no idea if they are Jeppesen or whatever... As a matter of fact, most of the acronyms you used in your post I did not understand and I actually have very little knowledge of all these techniques and procedures :( Yeah I know, I should learn those first before trying to fly the PMDG 747, but I do know how ILS works, and that's what I've been doing until now. Once I get my PMDG 747 to actually land, I'll go do some of the tutorial flights about navigation, me thinks...

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Ben, right here is that second link again (actually the original one I got directly from Google), without that fancy menu stuff. Maybe works better. The menu still comes up once I press that little "Show" link at the top of that very page. Anyways, give it a try if you like. I tested IE8 and FF3.5, they seem to work.Ok well if you have Navigraph charts, then they are simply Navigraph, not Jepp. They might look different. Basically all charts, no matter where published, contain more or less the same data. Still there are many little varying details and exceptions though. I'm sure there are more instrument rated folks around besides me, so again, if you need anything, feel free to ask or also shoot a PM if you like. I will be glad to assist.RegardsEtienne

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