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dannyterrazza

FSX flying mode

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I wonder which mode you use while flying from a point to point. When choosing IFR and VOR-to-VOR, ATC always says different things from what I planned in my FMC. If I choose VFR, they don't assign me runway etc. Is there any fix for that or I shouldn't use ATC? Thanks

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MicroSoft's ATC has always been very weak and not entirely realistic.  There are add-on programs that will greatly improve ATC, but from what I can see, none of them are perfect.  I do know that IFR flying either VOR-VOR or GPS, ATC will direct you in what appear to be some odd vectors.  ATC is usually routing you out of controlled airspace around airports, so you get a vector that does not follow a direct route.  When flying VFR, you are pretty much on your own, ATC leaves you alone and you must decide which runway you wish to use.  It is best to check the ATIS at your destination shortly before you arrive to find out wind direction and which runways are being used.

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FSX default ATC is faulty - and still it resembles RW operations: IRL you get vectored off your programmed approach very often and have to revert to less automated flying (selected modes like HDG SEL and FLCH, for example, instead of managed modes like LNAV and VNAV).

 

There are workarounds for payware addon that let you fly your programmed route but I don't know default ATC well enough, I must admit ...

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In order for it to work correctly, the flightplan in FSX needs to be the same as the one in your FMC. One way to accomplish this is Simroutes, which lets you put in a plan and then download it in FSX and various other formats (including PMDG which you can load using the company route function). You then have to put the file into the appropriate folder (the one in documents for the FSX plan file) and you can load it by clicking load on the select a flight screen in FSX.

 

The problem is that if there is a single waypoint that isn't in FSX's database present in the plan, it won't load it. What you can do is update this information from the same source as the magnetic variation update in the PMDG forum and/or manually edit the flightplan to remove waypoints that FSX might not like (which is unfortunately trial and error) and just let it yell at you if it thinks you're off course.

 

There may are utilities that let you do the same thing and might eliminate the second problem, but I don't think there are any free ones.

 

The most realistic solution is to use quality add-on or online ATC, which would also resolve the problem.

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VOR to VOR and FSX ATC don't mix. The nice pretty straight line you see on a map isn't in reality. IIRC, FSX ATC gets upset if you're three miles off track, but that's not so simple using VORs only. For an exercise, fly from one VOR (don't use the FMC - use VOR nav hold) to another on the track the FSX flight plan tells you to. At half way, swap the one you're using to navigate by and check out how far off track you are. You might be surprised... There is a reason that IFR separations were what they were - navigation by VOR (or old INS systems) is not that accurate. I vaguely remember reading somewhere, a trans-pacific flight by old INS was expected to get you within 85 (yes, eighty five) miles of where you were aiming - close enough to pick up a VOR and get back on track.

 

For my own interest, and vaguely on topic, can someone confirm that VOR radials follow great circles which therefore means you're not actually on the theoretical radial location once the distance gets up? (if that makes sense...).

 

Tower/Ground should give you a runway if arriving or departing VFR. No one else will.

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If I choose VFR, they don't assign me runway etc.

In fact, ATC does, but only when you contact the tower, which is most likely too late for planning your STAR. As someone else stated, you could try to get ATIS instead, but IIRC, that's very limited in range, too, at least in FSX.

Depending on where exactly your problem is, one of the following might help:

Situation 1 - More or less your complete flight plan in FSX differs from the one you entered into your FMC: Most likely you use some thrid party program for flight planning. These programs usually have the option to export/save your flight plan in FSX format, which allows FSX to read it and supply you with ATC along this route. If you don't do that, but instead creat a new flight plan in FSX, and enter the one from the third party program into your FMC (which may use more realistic and/or accurate routes), ATC is based on the FSX plan, hence you might have problems.

 

Situation 2 - You're being vectored away from both the "raw" route and the planned STAR on approach: That "zig-zagging" is a known problem, but for many airports you can override it. When you get the first approach instructions don't simply read them back, but rather choose "select different approach". In many cases you will find various approaches listed, and usually one of them includes a waypoint that is also part of your STAR. Select that one, and ATC will clear you to that waypoint without further advice regarding your direction. As soon as you reach that particular waypoint, they will clear you to the RWY and hand you over to the tower freq.

 

I hope this could help you.

Flo

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Situation 1 - More or less your complete flight plan in FSX differs from the one you entered into your FMC: Most likely you use some thrid party program for flight planning. These programs usually have the option to export/save your flight plan in FSX format, which allows FSX to read it and supply you with ATC along this route. If you don't do that, but instead creat a new flight plan in FSX, and enter the one from the third party program into your FMC (which may use more realistic and/or accurate routes), ATC is based on the FSX plan, hence you might have problems.

 

I am using Flightsim Commander and I export in PMDG format. If I export in FSX format too, will it fix my problems? Also why I can't export route with SID and STARs?

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If I export in FSX format too, will it fix my problems?

It should. You'll need to load that flight plan in FSX, though.

 

 

 


Also why I can't export route with SID and STARs?

You probably can't export the SIDs/STARs in FSX format (I don't know why), but IIRC you should be able to export it in PMDG format.

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I don't use the ATC in FSX due to various short comings although I do monitor it just to have some background chatter.

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I use FSCommander and combine it with FSX-format flight plans and can use either - the SIDs and STARs also translate to FSX format plans. You are welcome to experiment with our flight plan set - see:

 

Added in edit:  You can try the links below but I just checked and apparently there is a problem with DropBox at this time - if you e-mail me directly at txhills-fsx@att.net I would be happy to send you the flight plan set directly.

 

http://www.ifrjethops.com/ifr-flight-planning - go to the bottom of the page (just above the route map) for the links to our flight plan set in both FSX and FSC formats (and the first link, the Flight Plan List, to translate the name/number format to specific routes, SIDs and STARs)

 

And - try VATSIM for a better ATC experience.

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I don't use the ATC in FSX due to various short comings although I do monitor it just to have some background chatter.

Ditto

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For my own interest, and vaguely on topic, can someone confirm that VOR radials follow great circles which therefore means you're not actually on the theoretical radial location once the distance gets up? (if that makes sense...).

The radial radiates out in a straight line from the VOR and therefore follows a great circle from the beacon. Not sure what you mean with the second bit. A radial always goes out from the VOR. Your own bearing from the plane to the VOR is not a radial.

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