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MistyBlue

Real world SID/STAR Procedure Question

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I know this question has probably been asked a dozen times and if there's a better post already established along these lines, please direct me there and forgive my ignorance.Right now I know enough to be able to fly a basic FMC pre-programmed route from takeoff to landing using SIDs and STARs. But I know I'm just scratching the surface and I want to get up to speed before the NGX is delivered. First and foremost...how are the SIDS and STARS that are used in a real world flight determined? For example, who dictates what SIDS and STARS I should fly? Does corporate issue a route from gate to gate based on weather or other factors and provide that to me via ACARS in advance? Obviously the real world is very dynamic so what happens when the wind changes and a different runway is chosen? Is a different STAR used? Who decides that? Or do I file an entire plan from gate to gate and that is subject to change by ATC along the way?Then, nearing arrival, who/what determines what STAR is used? I'm guessing it's based on current weather and traffic conditions. So do pilots enter the STAR and runway at the top of the descent (or thereabouts)? Or is the STAR that's filed always flown regardless, and just the runway changes at the last minute based on current conditions?The videos I've watched and the tutorials I've seen all start with a predetermined SID/Route/STAR flight. But I know a lot of background planning is left out. So basically, I'm just trying to determine HOW I should choose, follow, and adjust my flights along the way.I welcome your thoughts on how you do it and appreciate the advice.

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In the United States, you file for it and fly it. Outside of the sim, your dispatcher will file everything for you and you're all good to do. You just do the flying.If you're not with a company that uses a dispatcher, you're on your own and you choose one that fits your route of flight. Either way, over here, you just set the whole route in (minus the runway and approach for the arrival airport - that's assigned later on).In the EU, they assign you one when you get closer to your destination field.

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In the EU, they assign you one when you get closer to your destination field.
Although in the EU you always know which STAR to expect so it's not really neccasary to specify it in your flightplan.

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Look for a SID or STAR that has: - your departure or arrival runway - a point along your flight planOf course, in some places it gets a little more complicated than that (some depend on weather conditions, noise abatement considerations, or even the serviceability of radio beacons), but this is a good way to get started.CheersNick Jones

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So essentially, you can set up a SID without an approach runway. Just set the SID and transition up and then decide the runway one you have it. But that would create a DISCO right? So then I'm guessing real pilots have to close up the discontinuity while in flight.

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So essentially, you can set up a SID without an approach runway. Just set the SID and transition up and then decide the runway one you have it. But that would create a DISCO right? So then I'm guessing real pilots have to close up the discontinuity while in flight.
Yes, it's quite standard to set up a STAR without an arrival runway. Usually you're told what approach to expect when you contact approach control about 40nm out. You just load it into the FMC... Whether you close the DISCO or not depends on the situation - if you're gonna be vectored by ATC at the end of the STAR then you actually wouldn't - you're going to be in HDG SEL and LVL CHG or V/S at that point anyway.ATC publishes a lot of preferred routes that the airlines' dispatchers know to use too - those tell them what STAR and over what "gate" fixes/VORs to file over for flights coming from certain directions etc.

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The videos I've watched and the tutorials I've seen all start with a predetermined SID/Route/STAR flight. But I know a lot of background planning is left out. So basically, I'm just trying to determine HOW I should choose, follow, and adjust my flights along the way.
In the sim you are your own dispatcher and (unless you fly online) your own ATC as well. So it can sometimes be difficult to determine which SID and STAR to fly.One way of doing it is to find the charts for your departure and arrival airports, look through the SIDs and STARs and pick the ones that best match the direction of your flight plan. Another option is to use a tool like Flightsim Commander or Aivlasoft EFB (my favorite) that can show you the SIDs and STARs available at an airport on a map.

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Yes, it's quite standard to set up a STAR without an arrival runway. Usually you're told what approach to expect when you contact approach control about 40nm out. You just load it into the FMC... Whether you close the DISCO or not depends on the situation - if you're gonna be vectored by ATC at the end of the STAR then you actually wouldn't - you're going to be in HDG SEL and LVL CHG or V/S at that point anyway.ATC publishes a lot of preferred routes that the airlines' dispatchers know to use too - those tell them what STAR and over what "gate" fixes/VORs to file over for flights coming from certain directions etc.
Interesting topic,Ryan, How would this workSTAR into YSCBThe "normal" RWY is RWY 35 with a STAR of POLLI RYW35 POLLI, but if wind/weather ATC tells you it's RWY17 it looks like a totally diffrent STAR MANDA MANDA RYW 17Could you explain how that works?I would have thought before even walking onto the plane the Captain would know the RYW in use and enter that STAR and if that changers in flight enters the new STAR and cleans up the DISCO's etc in the FMC.It would be nice to know from you how this works IRL.

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Basically it is very simple:Airpot DEParture enroute ARRival airportIn EU (and AUS) we file from airport to entry point of enroute section, fly the enroute part (=often an airway) toexit point of enroute section for arival at the airport. We do not specify the SID/STAR, only those waypoints.SID = Standard instrument departure is the routing used to get from airport to entry point of enroute sectionSTAR= Standard arrival is the routing used to get from exit point enroute section to airport.In EU (AUS) there is a SID resp. STAR for each runway to the "start of enroute point" resp. "end of enroute point".In US you have the same except that the last few NM you are often vectored to the airport: - the SID describe the initial routing but then you are vectored by ATC - they vector you to your enroute entry point- the STAR ends in a waypoint from where you are vectored by ATC to the airport/runway(I believe this vectoring is around 10-20 NM typically, depends on airport)They vector you to/from the runway that is in use at that time.(so they do not need a procedure for each runway)So for YSCB we would file YSCB - POLLI - (enroute section). No matter if runway 35 or 17 is in use, the SID POLLI runway 35 or POLLI runway 17 is flown. (ATC clearance)It means that there is a routing from runway 35 resp. 17 to POLLIFor arriving, you might expect a POLLI to RUNWAY 17 also, except that based on terrain, noise and flow of air trafficthey want you to fly around and approach from the north avoiding these sensitive and danger areas.Therefore no POLLI STAR for runway 17 but other arrivals (like MANDA). This mean that you will have to use another "entry-point" for the STAR.

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Hi, this is not an advert for Just Planes, but having read the previous posts and the various versions of replies, it is worthwhile buying the Air Canada 777-300ER where you will get info from the Captain covering all the aspects of sid/stars, despatches and the feedback between the crew and despatcher en-route. I found this DVD a mine of information not found in any other and will be very useful when PMDG release their 777. richard welsh.

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Interesting topic,Ryan, How would this workSTAR into YSCBThe "normal" RWY is RWY 35 with a STAR of POLLI RYW35 POLLI, but if wind/weather ATC tells you it's RWY17 it looks like a totally diffrent STAR MANDA MANDA RYW 17Could you explain how that works?I would have thought before even walking onto the plane the Captain would know the RYW in use and enter that STAR and if that changers in flight enters the new STAR and cleans up the DISCO's etc in the FMC.It would be nice to know from you how this works IRL.
RNAV STARS that lead you onto a particular approach like these are a little different. I'm betting what will happen here is that the approach controller and the center controller are in communication and if the winds change and necessitate a different approach, the center controller will tell the pilots to change their STAR to the appropriate one before they reach the transition point. I'd assume before the flight that the dispatcher probably knows what ATC is currently using too and that will be the STAR that gets entered in initially.

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Some airports in Europe have multiple departure routes (SIDs) from the same runway to the same waypoint. With Amsterdam EHAM as example, if you depart 36L for a flight via the ARNEM intersection, you would normally use the ARNEM1V departure. At night (between 2300 and 0630 local that is) you will be cleared for the slightly longer ARNEM1Z departure route for noise abatement reasons. Then, if you depart runway 24 towards the ANDIK intersection, you mostly use the ANDIK1S departure, which passes on the east side of the airport. However, when runway 27 is in use for landing, you can often get the SPY2K (Spykerboor2k) departure route passing on the west side of the field, to avoid the incoming traffic.In Frankfurt EDDF, there are also different departure routes to the same waypoints, depending on climb performance and/or aircraft class and/or night/day. Don't know any example by hard by the way.Anyway, just look on the charts and most departures in Europe are easy...STARS are often straight forward. For Germany and Austria you file them in your flightplan, in the rest of Europe you should not file them. But often there is only one arrival available from your waypoint. Some example's where that is not the case, arriving at EHAM via RKN (Rekken), NORKU or EEL (Eelde), you can be cleared for the A or B arrival. Normal only the A is used, but if it is very busy they can assign bravo for delaying purposes or to join the NARSO holdings at higher altitude and further away from the field.Then in Copenhagen and Stockholm there are RNAV and NON-RNAV departures. Not sure about Copenhagen but what I understood is that iin Stockholm the RNAV arrivals are used during low traffic, and that the NON-RNAV's combined with radar vectoring is used in dense traffic.AFAIK a big difference with the USA is that the STARS in Europe often start at a lower level, maybe even in the bottom airspace. In USA the stars that I have seen on charts start from cruising level. Because of this flightplanning in Europe can be a pain, some airways are closed for arriving/departing traffic, other ones obligatory and when flying to smaller airports located between bigger ones it can be very hard to find a valid route.Dion Mollert.

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Yes, it's quite standard to set up a STAR without an arrival runway...
Thanks for correcting me Ryan. Meant to say STAR but can't go back and change it now. And thanks everyone for the great wealth of info!So we've determined that typically you'd plan your entire route, including STAR, in advance but not the final runway. Then, based on weather and ATC at the destination, you'll be vectored (at least here in the U.S.) to a final approach so you then select the landing runway at that time.What about enroute? I'm guessing when you are planning, you should be trying to use the airways as much as possible. But with the advent of GPS, more direct routes are possible. So are pilots allowed to deviate from airways, or are they required to maximize the use of airways?

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Its allowed to use non airway routes, at least in the US, but the vast majority of flights still use airways. Personally I always use real life flightplans so I dont have to waste my time plotting my route from airway to airway. Thats not a fun process. I get my flightplans from flightaware.com, simroutes.com, rfinder.asalink.net/free/ and my VA. For european flightplans I use vatroute.net and plans from my VAs.

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Hi Captains. Another hint:If you are close to your top if decend point tune in the airport ATIS freq and you will know which rwy is in use and weather conditions. This can help planning your approach.

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Hi Captains. Another hint:If you are close to your top if decend point tune in the airport ATIS freq and you will know which rwy is in use and weather conditions. This can help planning your approach.
In FSX?? I found at least for me that the arrival ATIS only work within 75 miles of the Airport and some times the top of decent is beyond that.

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In the EU:dispatcher files your flightplan.Basically there's a thing called flow control.What happens is, you as either pilot or dispatcher file the routing you want to use (having taken due care and attention to NOTAMS that might prohibit the use of airspaces/airways)This is first sent to the CFMU to be validated and checked (and coordinated to all affected TMZs). It can then either be accepted and filed (by CFMU) or be rejected.concerning the SID STAR issue. Really it's up to you to decide which one you use, obviously taking into account the restrictions imposed on some SIDs/STARsAlso, obviously an airline will always want to keep the routing distance minimal and hope for the shortest arrival. (not in fuel planning though!)If the problem arises that you expect runway XX with STAR A, and wind changes into runway YY with STAR B (which has a different initial fix) usually the plan will remain the same routing, but somewhere along the final part of the routing they will give you a direct to the initial fix for STAR B, or they vector you all the way in.It's really up to ATC, remember flying off route is not prohibited unless explicitly mentioned (f.e. turkish airspace => only allowed on the airways) The only main consideration flying off route is military airspaces, PRD zones, TMA's and minimum off route altitudes (grid MORA's)Though in general we tend to prefer using the airways as they have usually been established for a good reason and assure good traffic flow.What I usually do is prepare for both of the arrivals. Once you get within range for ATIS reception (usually 160nm) you'll know what to expect. If not: ASK! ;)

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t's really up to ATC, remember flying off route is not prohibited unless explicitly mentioned (f.e. turkish airspace => only allowed on the airways) The only main consideration flying off route is military airspaces, PRD zones, TMA's and minimum off route altitudes (grid MORA's)Though in general we tend to prefer using the airways as they have usually been established for a good reason and assure good traffic flow.
You can validate your routes in the IFPUV (CFMU) yourself if you are interested: https://www.public.c...spec/index.html and then go to the IFPUV editor.About direct routings in Europe, they are limited and depend on the FIR. In the Netherlands and in Belgium it is forbidden, but there are a few exceptions (f.e. ASDAK dct LNO for Eindhoven EHEH arrivals). In Germany it seems to depend on the FIR, but IIRC a 40nm direct is allowed in most. In Austria directs are prohibited.BUT, that is about the flightplan. Even if you are not allowed to file directs, ATC can still give you a shortcut.
What I usually do is prepare for both of the arrivals. Once you get within range for ATIS reception (usually 160nm) you'll know what to expect. If not: ASK! ;)
Flying on IVAO, I mostly prepare for one runway if that is obvious. If the winds are unpredictable I plan my descend to be able to make the shortest approach and level off in between if needed. But often it depends on the airport, so get approach charts and just keep the altitude restrictions printed on them. In most cases you are able to make your approach without problems if you do that.Dion Mollert

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In FSX?? I found at least for me that the arrival ATIS only work within 75 miles of the Airport and some times the top of decent is beyond that.
Well if you have no clue what rwy is in use it can help. I don't know how fsx works in offline I only fly in vatsim and it works for me.Or fly with real weather and you can download real metars from the internet.

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I really haven't gotten into VATSIM yet. Really a bit reluctant because while I know some basic aviation phraseology, it's geared toward GA and not heavy aircraft. I'd prefer not to embarrass myself and upset the controllers until I know what I'm doing :( I generally fly offline and use realtime weather. This way all my apps (RC4, ASE, TopCat, etc) are in sync and I can use real world otherwise it's a bear to get everything right. I just wish all my apps would report exactly the same weather for the same airport. Seems like each app has its own realtime source and they vary between them which sometimes creates some odd results.

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I really haven't gotten into VATSIM yet. Really a bit reluctant because while I know some basic aviation phraseology, it's geared toward GA and not heavy aircraft. I'd prefer not to embarrass myself and upset the controllers until I know what I'm doing :(
We'd be delighted to have you. The general pilot group on the network right now isn't exactly the greatest, so if you can file a flight plan that isn't IFR GPS DIRECT (unless it's satellite field to sat field), and can turn left and right without a 10 second delay, you're set. If you file a remark that you're new on the network, we'll slow the clearance rant down a good bit so you can write it all down. Having GA experience, you'll actually be ahead of the game. Just don't file "RW PILOT"...

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