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Why assign destination runway and STAR in the initial flight plan?

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I am a bit confused by the fact that flight planners such as FSBuild and others provide the opportunity to assign the destination runway and /or STAR when the flight plan is first created. It seems that the assignment of the arrival runway and the STAR would not be known until the controller at the destination airport makes the assignment. Or are the flight planners allowing for exceptional circumstances or is it simply that I do not understand what is normal procedure. I would very much appreciate someone clarifying this as I am just now starting to fly aircraft that includes the FMC and would like to start using SIDS and STARS.

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RC needs the waypoints of a SID from just outside of 30 nm out and for a STAR around 35 nm out. These procedure waypoints should be common to your departure and arrival runways where the procedures are specific to particular runways. In FSBuild their is a non-sticky option to build and export from the edited created route table grid as opposed to the route plan box which makes this possible to in most cases get common procedure waypoints only included. By doing this you can accommodate RC's pick of the best runway based on ai patterns, weather, and runway properties. Take a deep breath and read the attached hint sheet about FS Build options and using with FMC and ATC for dynamic wather and traffic situations. Pay particular attention to paragraph 11: ---------------------------------- FSB tips: 1. Include this line in FSbuild.cfg:NAVCHKDUPDIST=100This decreases the chance of using the wrong duplicate named local (to the airport) waypiont from a nearby airport. Local waypoint names are not exclusive. It decreases the database search when it is named in the route to within a 100 nm radius of your airport. You will find these in terminal procedures such as "D" number something within a SID or STAR to define a merge or turning point. 2. When doing a Auto Generate (Route) be sure the SR (Stored Route) button next to it is "up" that is not highlighted. Auto Generate will use a stored route if found by default and most are out of date with old waypoints and terminal procedures. Having Stored Routes off forces it to search a path with fresh data. (Now off by default in version 2.4.) **REVISED 6/16/11** 3. FS Build database updates will be exclusively released through navigraph.com. It should be part of the FMC data line. For those not familiar with Navigraph each subscription term (cycle) includes multiple format downloads at no additional cost. This is very convenient for aligning FMC/navigation equipment databases with the flightplanner so among other things ATC data and your nav equipment data should match as you send a plan to ATC and then load it including terminal procedures into your FMC. The 2.4 upgrade includes the thirteenth cycle of 2010. The FSB upgrade is free to 2.x version users and is available via your order history on simmarket.com. 4. Where an airport uses specific runways for different terminal procedures select the runway using an estimate based on weather and if the runway fits your aircraft requirements before doing the Auto Generate. This helps select the correct SID and STAR for the runway and direction of departure and arrival. 5. After the Auto Generate and/or first build look at the map created to spot any obvious errors. In the route grid look for any sudden non-sensible changes in direction or extremely long legs not in the correct direction creating a zig-zag in the map. (See item 6 following to correct). 6. Be aware there is an option you can set for each session titled "Build Route from Grid Table". It does not stick between sessions. This lets you build from an edited route grid that you may have modified without recreating the table with the same error on your next build/export. For example you might wish to drop an errant waypoint when proofing the map and rebuilding. 7. Sometimes the name of a procedure (SID/STAR) does not match the name exactly in a published route and the procedure will not expand into its plan waypoints in the grid table. You can click on the arrow in the SID/STAR box to see what close name is in the FSB database. (Another reason to keep up with AIRACS.) For example KMSP has a current real such as this one:http://flightaware.c...P/DP/WAUKON+TWObut the FSB database only has UKN2. (It does have UKN3 now with the latest available AIRAC update). If so in the route line just change UKN3 to UKN2 so it will expand. Here's a real route from flightaware.com for KMSP to KMDW: KMSP UKN3 DBQ CVA MOTIF3 KMDW that can be pasted into the FSB route line. If UKN3 or MOTIF3 does not expand in the route grid to individual way points look in the upper part of FSB in the airport section dropping down the SID or STAR box to get the available version and substitute that label in the route line and rebuild. Note that the SID and STAR dropdowns may follow the chosen runway in certain areas. 8. Sometimes it takes a second build to get the map to move and/or magnify. The mouse scroll wheel lets you magnify. Just click on the portion of the map you want to center on and scroll to magnify. 9. If you click on a line in the route grid table to highlight it, the waypoint on the map will turn red. This is useful for finding errant waypoints that cause an error in the path. That line can then be edited or deleted and a rebuild accomplished with the build option to build from the route grid table. 10. If you are running a weather program such as active sky, first build the route in FSB exporting to FS9 using an anticipated cruise altitude and specify the nearest aircraft profile. In AS get the weather you wish to use. (I always get the weather for the zulu time of the departure in FS since time of day affects weather characteristics). Import the plan into AS via the new route button, check the altitude and choose an appropriate true airspeed in knots (this is your no wind ground speed). Process the route. When it is finished click the button to print a hard copy of all. Use this AS navlog for METAR data at both ends and winds aloft and temperature aloft that can be used for FMC data. (You'll also get your estimated average wind at your specified altitude - handy for FMC data.) Leave AS running. Now go back to FSB and your chosen aircraft profile. Enter the surface temperature from your departure METAR, then estimated total taxi time, hold time, and extra time (sometimes called discretionary fuel). Now turn on again your FS9 export along with any FMC export you might use. Rebuild and you'll see the messages regarding the export completion. On the route selection on the left which brings up your route window select the navlog tab and click the .pdf to save the navlog in a file or the print button to get a hard copy so you can easily reference the estimated fuel and other data. This estimated fuel has now taken into account your winds aloft data - no need to enter it in FSB. Now that you have the hard copy and exported your route, you can first optionally save the plan by selecting flightplan window, then clicking the category tab, then select user category. Now click file, save from the menu bar. The name you might want to embellish. Click Save Route To User Flight Plans. For another session, you can recall this working plan and just build. 11. If you are using an aircraft with nav equipment that has its own terminal data procedures in its nav equipment (think FMC) you might wish to use step 6 above to take out the waypoints of the terminal procedures keeping just the transition points and build and export with just them. This easily in most cases lets you select the SID and STAR assigned by ATC on your nav equipment by providing a clean legs list in your nav equipment. If you need ATC to monitor the waypoints of the terminal procedure than just export all. To keep ATC and you nav equipment in sync, you might consider importing the full plan into your nav equipment and not using your nav equipment procedure database. This is kind of long but through experience I've described some tricks I've used watching out for any pitfalls. Be sure to check the FSBuild forum for updates.

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Hi Watcher Further to Ronzies detailed explanation In the real world the flight plan will include the expected STAR but not the runway.Today's London to Los Angeles BA flight 283 has the LAX "REDEYE 2" STAR in it's plan and it's 2 hours away from departing let alone landing.Today's Virgin Atlantic flight on the same route is filed including the "SADDE 6" STAR as is the Air New Zealnd flight along that route.Strangely the American Airlines flight on this route which left 2 hours ago had the RIIVR 2 STAR in it's plan. The SID will be given to it on getting it's airways clearance before engine start and the pilot will know the runway from the broadcast information.

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Thank you Ronzie and Chrispeel. Between the two answers I have a much better understanding of how to use SIDS and STARS. I had not realized that there was an upgrade to FSBuild so have installed that. The only question I might have now is whether I will lose any SID and/or STAR that I initially specify in FSBuild when I load the FMC from an FSBuild flight plan that was imported into FSX and is next loaded into the FMC from FSX. The reason that this question arises is something that was said in the Embraer 175 manual to the effect that any runway, SID, or STAR would be lost if the flight plan was imported directly from FSX. However, I suspect that they might be assuming that the plan was build in FSX. Will have to experiment since I assume this advice is particular to the FMC modelling for the 175.

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The PMDGs will load all waypoints in the FSB files exported to their FMCs. FSB expands all waypoints and exports the ones you do not delete to both FS9 and FSX. Not having FSX I can't speak to their flight planner. SIDs can have waypoints over one hundred nm away from takeoff and the same with STARs, at least in some areas. FAA areas for sure. If the Embraer 175 requires the plan be loaded into FSX and can not read the plan directly then the limitations of the FSX planner might apply. I would just load in an FSB produced plan into the FSX planner and look at the waypoint table used for its editing to see what got in there. Then see if the 175 drops them. It might if the 175 FMC recognizes those when you select a procedure (if it has a terminal procedure database) based on the transition point defined in the FMC database. Maybe something is on their support forum. FWIW, FSB developer Ernie Alston has produced a set of instruments that can be added or substituted in many payware and freeware aircraft. Those can take FS9 and FSX plans, or imports directly from FSB. Those also have Navigraph sourced terminal databases. Here's a list of preconfigured panel retrofits free for download if you don't want to do your own (best done with FS Panel Studio):http://isgsim.com/?page=panel_library http://isgsim.com/?page=features is an incomplete list of instruments and a better description is here:http://secure.simmarket.com/ernie-alston-integrated-simavionics-group-1-%28isg1%29.phtml A few more have been added in the current update. As soon as the winter months arrive here I've got a few models I used another type of instruments in that I'll replace with appropriate ones from this suite. I have used FS Panel Studio since almost the beginning of my start with FS8.

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