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Fritz1965

Active runway at destination

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I have been using Topcat as one of the tools for flight planning, but I'm still trying to figure out how to determine what runway to anticipate for arrival. It sounds like a newbish question, but when my destination airport has two or more possible runways (26, 34L, 34C, 34R, etc.....) based on wind direction and speed, how do I plan my arrival? Is this something that is done during the latter stages of the flight, during descent? -Michael Tucker-

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Just look at the TAF (Terminal Aerodrome Forecast) to see the forecasted winds at your arrival airport. For hops around the States or Europe, this should be fairly accurate. But when there are multiple runways matching the wind direction, it will still require a bit of guessing... Hope it helpswink.png

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I think that in real world operations, you'll be told by a ACC (Area Control Center) which arrival you'll have to do. You actually plan your flight to a fix where the STARs tend to initiate, and you'll receive your descent plan some minutes before you reach this fix. In places without a STAR, I think the usual is proceed in a CDAP (Constant Descent Approach Path) until reaching the initial approach fix. Of course, this generally works if you're flying on-line. In off-line, AI FSX control, the best method might be what Henk described (you could also open the map and check the actual condition on that airport, but that won´t help with multiple runways).

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Thanks for the reply, it helps out a lot. Now I need to learn to program the FMC "on the fly". This all came about when I used TOPCAT to determine my landing runway, and I also use ActiveSky Evolution to add to the realism. I was flying from KPHX to KSFO, which is not a very long flight. I downloaded the current weather in SFO using TOPCAT and it appeared to be a northbound landing. By the time I got there and tuned to the ATIS, I found that landings and departures were southbound. Either the wind changed direction or I completely goofed up during my flight planning, but for some reason I could not tune in the ILS frequency for the runway in use. I missed a step somewhere- I thought I had programmed my new approach runway into the FMC and I did enter the correct frequency in BOTH NAV radios (double- and triple-checked it) but I could not capture the glide slope. After two missed approaches, I ended up doing things the hard way and hand-landing the airplane. -Michael Tucker-

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I use a few things as my "ACARS/Datalink" Example: Below is a link to plane-mad and when searching for weather at airport it also gives to the expected RW in use based off the wind. http://www.plane-mad.com/airport-weather/usa/los-angeles-international-lax-klax.html Also: I use this website for METAR TAF etc. Gives nice indications of weather. http://www.checkwx.com/wxmain/code/KLAX As for SFO landing you should pretty much know your going to be given a 28 RW for approach in the sim at-least based of the AFCAD file.

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I think that in real world operations, you'll be told by a ACC (Area Control Center) which arrival you'll have to do. You actually plan your flight to a fix where the STARs tend to initiate, and you'll receive your descent plan some minutes before you reach this fix. In places without a STAR, I think the usual is proceed in a CDAP (Constant Descent Approach Path) until reaching the initial approach fix. Of course, this generally works if you're flying on-line. In off-line, AI FSX control, the best method might be what Henk described (you could also open the map and check the actual condition on that airport, but that won´t help with multiple runways).
I think you have the CDAP wrong. It's used at the start of the FAF not the way you mention. It's a non precision approach to a runway! You say you use the method to fly the STAR to the IAF when VNAV a FLCH are for that. MDA - Min decent altitude for the approach as baroDecent rate - VREF / 2 * 10... So a 150 knot VREF / 2 = 75 75 * 10 = 750fpmTDZE - TD Zone Elevation rounded up to the nearest 100th, 10 feet would be 100 feet So say 10 TDZE would be rounded up too 100 feet in the MCP window, find MDA and set to baro mins, then set the calculated decent rate in the VS MCP window about .5NM the FAF. You will then notice the green prediction bar on the ND line up damn near the start of the runway. So if CDAP works as you mention there would be no reason for TDZE or MDA as you still be at a altitude between cruse and initial approach altitude and the computation would be worthless until final approach. Source: http://www.skybrary...._Angle_Approach 600px-CDA_1.jpg

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Lots of great info, guys :)I have to make a major correction.... I was at KSEA, not SFO. I don't know where my head is, LOL. Anyway, weather forecast indicated that I would make a northbound approach and as I said in my last post, I ended up having to set up for a southbound approach. I already have those websites in my Favorites list; they will definately come in handy! -Michael Tucker-

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One technique that works well is to put a second runway in the secondary flight plan. that way, if ATC changes runways, it would be easier for you to handle. Of course, this doesn't always work in the real world, when Chicago Approach changes runways on you 3 times...mad.gif Paul

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I have been using Topcat as one of the tools for flight planning, but I'm still trying to figure out how to determine what runway to anticipate for arrival. It sounds like a newbish question, but when my destination airport has two or more possible runways (26, 34L, 34C, 34R, etc.....) based on wind direction and speed, how do I plan my arrival? Is this something that is done during the latter stages of the flight, during descent? -Michael Tucker-
Topcat has a feature that shows the most favourable runway, based on the weather report. After it picks a runway you can see if other runways would fit aswell via the dropdown menu. It will show head or tailwind. And even crosswnds

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EFB from Aivlasoft also will give you expected runway if you go to route setup then select the runway you want for arrival it will say "Winds from 132 favours runway 13L13R" ect

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You can guess all you want, and take a look at forecasts and whatever else, but in reality, you're only really going to get the runway in the descent. The final confirmation would be when you check in with approach and the controller says "expect visual runway 19C." Yes, you can be on company comms and get what they're landing right now, further out, but weather can change, so that "advanced" company or ACARS message of what's going on may not be what's going on when you get there. It's a big sim-ism that the whole flight is set up before departure. I think it's second only to the whole autoland-is-a-norm fallacy.

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If you're flying with real-world weather, there's a website (name escapes me) that'll let you listen to live radio traffic at a lot of airports (at least in the us). When you start your descent you could surf to it & listen in on real-world atis or approach.

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EFB from Aivlasoft also will give you expected runway if you go to route setup then select the runway you want for arrival it will say "Winds from 132 favours runway 13L13R" ect
I think EFB takes it a step further and bases its expected runway not only on winds but also the AFCAD for the airport and what traffic is doing. EFB from Aivlasoft is an epic add-on. Very pricey so I hesitate to recommend it, but it is worth it in my opinion. Has a month trial period that I recommend everyone try out.

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I think EFB takes it a step further and bases its expected runway not only on winds but also the AFCAD for the airport and what traffic is doing. EFB from Aivlasoft is an epic add-on. Very pricey so I hesitate to recommend it, but it is worth it in my opinion. Has a month trial period that I recommend everyone try out.
EFB also has Digital ATIS capability now and that will get you detailed runway info much further out. Ray

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