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Landing RWY at Destination

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Hi Guys,I think I know the answer to this, but is there any way to know the landing RWY at your destination airport (using real weather) prior to taking off. The only way I can imagine is to go to the destination airport, find out what they are currenly landing at, and then switching to your departure airport and start the flight. This helps in programming the FMC, and finding out if MS ATC has you planned for a non-real life landing rwy (very frustrating upon approach - mountain in the way).Thanks in advance,John

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Check the TAF before takeoff if the airport has one. It will give you an idea of the forcast winds at your destination. Really, you won't truely know until you get there. In my understanding, you normally wouldn't program the FMC for the arrival segment until you get the "expect for runway ." from a controller.----------------------------------------------------------------John MorganReal World: KGEG, UND Aerospace Spokane Satillite, Private ASEL 141.2 hrs, 314 landings, 46 inst. apprs.Virtual: MSFS 2004"There is a feeling about an airport that no other piece of ground can have. No matter what the name of the country on whose land it lies, an airport is a place you can see and touch that leads to a reality that can only be thought and felt." - The Bridge Across Forever: A Love Story by Richard Bach

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Hi John. I have experienced the same frustrations. What I do is use a little program that is here at AVSIM called "AWIS" by Nick Ruisi. It changes the first page (briefing page) of the FS9 default kneeboard. It puts 4 links on that kneeboard page. You can access NOAA Metar, US national radar, Pireps (ice, turbulence, sky conditions, and my favorite - a decoded raw TAF (terminal area forecast) including current winds, temp, pressure, etc. plus forecasts. Just type in the airport 4 letter code - for example KCVG for the Greater Cincinnati Airport.This works 90% of the time. The runway I guess at is usually right.I also look for if I will cross a weather front enroute. Additonally the FS9 weather engine or ATC seems to sometimes make things difficult.I have also read that several of the pay and freeware flight planning programs available can help with this. I do not use any yet so I can't be more specific. I have also seen a lot of simflyers setting their own weather which could also control you destination active runway(s).Just remember that the "AWIS" is reporting real conditions at your destination. I usually download static real weather so I use "AWIS" immediately. FS9's weather engine and the real weather may not agree as the flight progresses. I guess I could update the real weather every 15 minutes.This also won't help if there are parallel active runways except you can ask ATC for the runway you put in the FMC. I usually do not accept the ATC vector to final approach. I have already input the correct STAR into the FMC. If you select an alternate approach and have the charts in front of you you can usually match up to the STAR. Then If there are 2 parallel runways and you request the "other" one you will not only get it but there will be less chance of a go-around from AI suddenly jumping in front of you or not getting off the runway in time. If you have TCAS capability you can also watch for AI "interference".IMHO, the name of the game is to use the FMC VNAV and LNAV abilities until I intercept the ILS. I prefer to use all of the fancy hardware so do not manually fly that often. Sorry to be so long-winded but your question seems like a pretty complicated one to me.Hope some of this helps you out.DanS

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Well, in real life you are never 100% sure which runway will be in use by the time you get there although often you can guess correctly in advance. To mimic real-life operations you should be able to handle the flight assuming runway might change in the last moment.Michael J.WinXP-Home SP2,AMD64 3500+,Abit AV8,Radeon X800Pro,36GB Raptor,1GB PC3200,Audigy 2

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One of the most important real world skills with an FMS / GPS is being able to reprogram the STAR / Approach / Waypoints / landing runway enroute.There is a reason that the "Direct to" button is the one most worn in real world aircraft.This is a skill everyone needs to learn and develop in FS.Along with getting a weather brief before the flight as described above, knowing and being prepared for alternate approaches and landing runways is a skill everyone who wants to fly "realistic" must master in FlightSim

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John,I guess we have to make do with the limitations of the sim. One of these sims, you will be able to get that information when you plan your flight. Otherwise.. go with what you already know.1. The 'preferred' runway in any direction will usually be the longest runway equipped with an ILS or other navaid.2. ATC will 'usually' vector you into the wind at your destination.3. If the wind doesn't favor the runway you want, shift the wind while enroute. That way, you force the issue. Not realistic, but it works.This is probably the answer you knew, but hope there's something in here that helps.Cheers,Bob

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Myself, I just wait and go with what they give me when I getclose...Being as they will vector me where they want me anyway, I don't see much point in knowing which runway is in use, as theywill determine the point at which I start my descent...Of course, in the real world, I'm sure they probably do, at least for the airlines, etc..Even many private pilots probably knowwhich is in use when they take off, but that can change...I hear some comment about mountains...I've never been vectored into a mountain yet...They will have me increase altitude to get over it , when mountains are an issue...Maybe I just lead a charmedlife, and pick the right airports, but so far, being directed intoa mountain has not been a problem..IE: I fly into Thompson FallsMontana sometimes, as I like the terrain around there, and so farthey thread me right into it. With the rough terrain around there, it would be easy to have a bad day if the vis was bad...But so far,they have never steered me into a mountain. Is this a common problem for some? Maybe I just haven't flown into a "problem" airport...MK

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Assuming your destination airport has ATIS available, you can have that frequency ready on your kneeboard (FS kneeboard or physically beside you), tune it on COM2 when you're still a good way off, and listen to both COMs so you can find out which runway is active at the time you receive the ATIS signal. You can use the default Garmin to double check that the ATIS frequency on your approach plates matches the frequency in FS. Reggie is definitely right, though, in saying that being able to adeptly handle active runway changes is a very important skill to real world pilots and those who would simulate them realistically.Kevin

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Try landing at Innsbruck. The ATC happily guides me straight into a mountain every time I try to land there, so now I only do it VFR.

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Thanks for the messages.I totally agree that handling runway changes is very important, and I welcome that challange. Perhaps I didn't make my message clear enough. I get frustrated when ATC assigns a landing RWY that would never be used in real life. For example, at KBUR, they never land RWY 26, as there is a mountain on final and descent is impossible. Circling to land doens't work either as that same mountain causes problems (at least in a 737).The reason I wanted to know the landing RWY was ahead of time is to decide on using ATC, or just without it for that particular flight.Thanks for all the help!- John

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This is where having the appropriate approach plates is vital to realistic flying in FS.The default ATC is relatively dumb and generally gives you a straight in approach from 20 miles out and more. I've been cleared for the approach at 63 miles and handed off to tower!!! Likewise at KLAS which has mountains to the north and west, I got vectored on a course that would have killed me...using pilots discretion, I took matters into my own hands :-DI am sure that if there is a mountain on the approach to Innsbruk then the real world approach would not be straight through that mountain! In that case, follow the real life approach charts, cancel IFR, go VFR and contact Tower on your own. Not realistic if you are flying an airliner, BUT, the only work around I know that keeps me alive!Mike T.

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That's a definite issue with FS2004 because it does not see Rwy 8 and Rwy 26 as different runways - only different ends of the same runway. The way the approach system works at KBUR you are either assigned to 8/26 or 15/33.Because the Rwy 26 end does not have an IMC approach (I think - haven't checked the XML code) - only in visibility below 3 miles will FS2004 consider Rwy 8 available and Rwy 26 not available.This is a case where you would most likely want to set your own weather.A workable visual approach to Rwy 26 would be similar to an Offset LDA - coming up from the DARTS intersection on a course close to 275 magnetic to intercept the Rwy 8 ILS back course about 2-3 miles from the Rwy 26 threshold at about 1300-1800 ft altitude - 500-1000 ft AGL.But given the usual visibility in that area - I doubt a similar real world procedure would be legal.After further checking - the minimums for the Four Stacks visual approach to Rwy 13 at KBUR are 5500 ft ceiling, 5 miles visibility.It's fun to watch AI heavies make a 45 degree turn to a 1-1.5 mile final at PHNL Rwy 26L but I'd be hard pressed to do that in a B737 by hand - though I'm sure many real pilots around the world do that daily.

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Actually, I have flown into Innsbruk...I flew the mooney from LondonCity, to Innsbruk about a month ago. Threaded me right in there. No mountains in the way... Dang...I'm starting to think I *must* live a charmed life...:) MK

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This is where having the appropriate approach plates is vital to realistic flying in FS.The default ATC is relatively dumb and generally gives you a straight in approach from 20 miles out and more. I've been cleared for the approach at 63 miles and handed off to tower!!! Likewise at KLAS which has mountains to the north and west, I got vectored on a course that would have killed me...using pilots discretion, I took matters into my own hands :-DI am sure that if there is a mountain on the approach to Innsbruk then the real world approach would not be straight through that mountain! In that case, follow the real life approach charts, cancel IFR, go VFR and contact Tower on your own. Not realistic if you are flying an airliner, BUT, the only work around I know that keeps me alive!>>>>>This is what gets me...I've flown into both of those airports, KLAS many times, and never had a problem with flaky ATC instructions... Makes me wonder if maybe some peoples ATC gets corrupted or sumtin...I've *never* had that happen yet, and I file a flight plan nearlyeverywhere I go. The only weird thing I see with the ATC is poor aircraft spacing on busy approaches, "there is a fix for this, butI forgot what it was", and sometimes they run me waaayyyy too far out, when doing an approach to some runways...IE: lets say I'm running a737 into Houston Hobby...Now lets say they assign me runway 31L approach...They will run me way out into the gulf of mexico, before turning back towards the airport...I don't know where they get that published approach, but in the real world, I don't think they run them*that* far out...But as far as being vectored into a mountain, I haven't seen that yet...And I've flown several hundred ATC flights so far I bet in 2004...Makes me wonder how I keep avoiding those...MK

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