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basilis203

How real pilots plan their landing?

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Hello,

when i was planning my flight in FSX (in airbus a320 MCDU) the following question has occured:

DO REAL PILOTS GUESS THE RUNWAY THAT THEY WILL LAND ACCORDING TO THE WEATHER IN THEIR DESTINATION?

or they just entry the flight plan with only the SIDs for the departure,no STARs and they wait to get close to the dastination and the ATC guide them through for the landing?

 

If they actually use the plan with STARs and the ATC change the runway they planned,can they change the plan while in-flight?

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They definitely can change approaches in flight.

 

(Your 1st question I'll leave up to RW pilots ... - guess they will program the most likely runway/approach.)

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Hi if you're interested in hearing how late in the approach the landing runway can be changed then take a listen to an Air Traffic Control monitoring program like LiveATC. It's not unusual for planes to be reassigned during late stages of descent. I'm not talking about 180 degree changes but definitely Left vs Right on parallels. Also seems to me that STARs are not used very often - the controller will typically say 'cancel STAR' and take over the vectoring. So if you're going for realism this is something to consider. All this with the usual disclaimer (I'm not a pilot!)

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RW GA pilot so I cannot speak to turbojet / high altitude approach and departure procedures but will give my 2 cents worth.
 
I do not use the automated ATC in FSX - could never understand how to coordinate SIDs and STARs - but do fly VATSIM and other servers with live ATC where for the most part you can plan your STAR ahead of time (SID selection is usually straightforward since you're sitting at the departure point and can pop in the right one).  Most of the time things go as planned - weather at the destination plus information from ATC as to runways in use generally remains unchanged but you should still check forecasts and be aware of the possibility of change.  Usually I file the expected STAR but have occasionally been changed due to changing conditions - once you are cleared as filed you can fly the STAR until ATC informs you of an ammendment or otherwise gives you instruction to deviate.  ATC may ask you to change to a different STAR but if the one you have filed still is usable for the runways in use you can request that you remain on that STAR or request to be handled as a vectored approach if you cannot or do not want to try to load a new STAR.
 
SIDs and STARs were created to relieve some of the burdon on ATC.  In the US, these procedures are followed to a point with radar vectors to approach at the designated point (see the narrative) or earlier at ATC's descretion.  Have not ventured into non-US airspace under IFR but I understand that their approach and departure procedures are much more specific and are followed as published.  Keep in mind that SIDs and STARs (unless the STAR is really a Profile Descent) generally provide horizontal navigation only (along with some minimum enroute and other minimum safe altitude information) so the vertical navigation is given by ATC.
 
Cannot answer your question re: how often SIDs and STARs are followed in the RW - maybe a RW turbofan pilot or ATC can weigh in on that.  But I can say that when listening in on LiveATC at KSAT where I am familiar with the traffic flow I hear aircraft descending via published STARs and ascending via published SIDs on a regular basis but often hear ATC switch them to a vectored approach before the 'expect vectors to final approach' fix (as identified on the STAR plate) and very often hear the initial part of a SID bypassed with the aircraft cleared direct to (some point along the SID) with the pilot then following the SID from there.
 

Some information on IFR flight planning here - http://www.ifrjethops.com/ifr-flight-planning
 

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I can't speak for everyone at my airline, but I try to predict which runway they'll be using at the destination. I'll pull up an ATIS at the destination airport through ACARS to see what the current weather and active runways are. Sometimes they change in flight but that just requires changing a few things in the cockpit and doing a quick re-brief of the procedure. As for the landing itself, I usually just close my eyes and hope for the best. ;)

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I would think if you're looking at the charts, selecting a STAR would be easy to pick out since that would depend on which direction you were flying from. For instance, if I was flying from Chicago O'Hare to JFK, I wouldn't use the PARCH 1 arrival since the initial waypoints for that STAR are well east of JFK.

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Also seems to me that STARs are not used very often - the controller will typically say 'cancel STAR' and take over the vectoring. So if you're going for realism this is something to consider. All this with the usual disclaimer (I'm not a pilot!)

In fact STARs are used very often at major airports with significant traffic flows. At my local KSFO typically Golden Gate Six STAR would be flown if you were coming say from Europe.

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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