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Seldonman

Mr. Sid Star

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I just posted the following on the new comers sight but thought I would also post it hear as this site may be more germaine to my topic.

 

Hello everyone, I am new to AVSIM but not to FSX. However, I still consider myself a novice but want to make a concerted effort to learn to fly the PMDG 737 NG. To that end I have purchased the plane and also Mike Rays book on the Boeing 700 series. I am also reading the material that came from PMDG. I have successfully flown some of the tutorial flights but I am having trouble getting information on STARS and SIDS. Does it matter what SID or STAR I program into the CDU? Shopuld I just forget SIDS and STARS and use the FSX Flight Plan? Are there charts online that show me SIDS and STARS? I can find approach plates but not SID/STAR.

 

Next question, What is the most common problem that causes VNAV to not engage. I check throttle, autopilot, and the CDU but sometime I can not get VNAV to engage. Should I just use the MCP to control my altitute when I can not get VNAV engaged and continue to enjoy the flight?

 

Thanks for any help anyone can give me.

 

Jim

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Does it matter what SID or STAR I program into the CDU? Shopuld I just forget SIDS and STARS and use the FSX Flight Plan? Are there charts online that show me SIDS and STARS? I can find approach plates but not SID/STAR.

 

 

It can matter since SIDS/STARS depend on what direction you are departing or arriving, go to airnav.com and type in the airport you are looking and you will find all of its associated charts although its only for US Airports.

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Hey Jim, in addition to what Alex said there are a few places of where to go for charts. If you look up the current weather you can guess which runway you can expect to depart and arrive from. Once you've decided upon your route you can then determine which SID/STARs would be appropriate for your flight. I posted these suggestions a few days ago on a similar post about finding SID/STAR charts online:

 

"There are several ways to get charts online. The most simple and quickest way would be just Google them. For instance, I just typed "LOWI charts" in Google, and this .pdf set was the first that came up: http://va-transaero....charts/LOWI.pdf

 

In addition to the sites above, for the U.S. use AirNav, here: http://www.airnav.com/airports/

 

And for the UK here: http://www.nats-uk.e.../index.php.html

 

Anywhere else in the world Google has very very very rarely failed me, just type in the ICAO identifier and "charts" and look for the .pdf's! As said before though while they may get updated they might not be 100% current, but I have seldom come across any problems caused by this, in fact off the top of my head I can't think of any instance that this happened."

 

As for the VNAV question, yes if you cannot engage VNAV you can just use the MCP coupled with V/S mode for altitude control, and the A/T for speed control. Now, as for why VNAV might not be engaging, just double triple check you've gone through the FMC and programmed it appropriately and most importantly activated your route of flight, entering in the pertinent performance information, and check the "Legs" page to ensure the FMC has programmed target altitudes for each waypoint. Also, if this is occurring right after takeoff, ensure you are at least 400' AGL and that you have the aircraft trimmed to where you are aligned with the flight director and NOT putting any input to the yoke for pitch control. If you have done all that we might need some more info about the setup of the aircraft from FMC programming to current phase of flight.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Kyle

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First up, to clarify the terminology a bit, if you can find approach plates, then you have indeed found some STARS, since those approach plates are Standard Arrival Routings (i.e. STARS)

 

STARS get you from a specific point at the end of your route, often called an IAF (initial approach fix) or IAP (I bet you can guess what that stands for) and from there onto an approach to land, whereas SIDS (standard instrument departures) get you on your way after take off and link up to the start of you route, which will usually be an intresection at the start or a junction of an airway (airways are basically the 'roads' in the sky that you fly down).

 

Now, unless you want to use the exact routes that an airport or airline uses in real life, what you can do is simply look at the direction a SID leads off to, or what direction the STAR comes in from, and then use one appropriate to your route by joining the last point on the SID up to your first waypoint on your flight plan, or join the last waypoint on your flight plan to the STAR, which will be good enough to get the gist of things.

 

So, here's an example of how you might do that. Take a look at this link:

 

http://www.ead.euroc..._2010-02-11.pdf

 

Notice that this SID (MONTY/NOKIN ONE SEIRRA/ZULU) is suitable for going off either the left or right runway at Manchester's EGCC airport when the wind is blowing from the East. So you would take off into the wind, heading east, but then turn to head west for the Wallasey VOR and then south for either the MONTY or NOKIN waypoints, where these SID routings end. So, if you wanted to fly from Manchester to somewhere to the south, for example Paris or Madrid, then this would be a suitable SID, since you could link it up to a VOR or waypoint off to the south on your flight plan, perhaps the Honiley VOR a bit further down south for example. This means that you can indeed use the default FS flight planner, and then simply tack a SID and a STAR on either end of that flight plan route.

 

That's basically how SIDs work, they are essentially to assist ATC in having everything going the same way initially when heading in a specific compass direction, so that they can keep airliners apart from one another, although in reality, you would probably go from the SID onto an airway and ATC might even steer you for the airway long before you make it to the end of the SID if there is nothing in the way of getting you onto your route a bit quicker. This would be when you hear ATC saying things such as: 'cleared direct to Honiley VOR' or whatever, meaning you can skip the rest of the SID and go direct to that waypoint.

 

Thus you will find that there are SIDs suitable for departures to the north, ones for the east, ones for the south and ones for the west, and there will be one or more of these for each end of the runways too. This is why airports have what look like a lot of confusing SIDS and STARS, but it is really just common sense as to which one is appropriate to use most of the time.

 

Hope that helps, and with regard to the other question, if you can't engage LNAV and VNAV, it will most likely be because you have a route discontinuity on your flight plan which needs closing, and you have not done that, or, you might not have hit the EXECUTE button on the CDU in order to activate the flight plan in the FMC.

 

To close a discontinuity in a flight plan, you click on the button alongside waypoint below the gap, which places that in the scratch pad on the CDU (effectively this is like hitting Control+C in MS Word to copy a bit of text), then you click on the button to the side of where the gap is (this is like pasting what you copied into the gap), since the waypoint you pasted is identical to the one below it, the FMC will delete one of them and your gap will be closed up. Check all the route pages to make sure there are no other gaps, if there are, rinse and repeat the procedure to close the gaps. When everything is nicely joined up and you have all the rest of the crap you need in there, such as weights, flap settings, V speeds, cruise altitude etc, ACTIVATE the plan and then press EXECUTE, and Bob's yer Uncle, VNAV and LNAV should then engage when you want them to.

 

I would recommend buying access to the Angle of Attack training if you really want to learn all this stuff incidentally. But to be honest, it is all in the manuals that come with the PMDG 737.

 

Al

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To get a lot of Aeronautical charts, you can join up IVAO or VATSIM (it's free), or get an account at Eurocontrol EAD.

 

IVAO and VATSIM also offer you flightplans that are far more realistic then what FSX comes up with. There you can also learn a lot about SIDS and STARS.

 

Best Regards,

Bert Van Bulck

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Thanks everyone for your help. I will be using this in the coming days as I fly off in to the wild blue yonder of FSX!

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