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leftseatguy

Geographical awareness during flight

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Guys, I have a question which I hope someone may be able to answer:

 

During the course of flying the PMDG 737 NGX along flight planned routes I often don't really have much idea as to where I am in relation to towns and cities on or near my route. I noticed this particularly on a recent flight over the Philippines and into Taiwan where I crossed a number of islands on the way. It would have been nice to have had some idea what they were called, and perhaps the names of some of the towns.

 

Is there some software available which would provided an online map which I could refer to during the flight?

 

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Regards,

 

Dennis Hickman

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FeelThere Wilco has a program called MAP! but I don't know if it works with just their planes or any plane.  It provides a map gauge that will show you exactly where you are.   If you fly online, I just turn on VatSPY which shows my plane position and all other players planes around me in real time (well, almost real time).   FS Dream Team also maps an add-on that shows places of interest on screen as you are flying and names them.

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While running FSX, you can start up Google Earth and toggle on the map overlay mode, which will enable you to identify not just the towns and cities that you overfly, but also the major highways and streets.

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Hi,

 

If you type "fsx online map" on a search engine like google, you will find some interesting links to softwares and modules which allow to follow your position to a map.

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I use PFPX for flight plannning, and while enroute PFPX provides place names for the navaids; for example, I just over flew Churchill Canada and checking wikipedia I discover that it's the polar bear capital of the world.... I often use wikipedia when I'm over new territory and it's something I find interesting during long trips like KSFO-EGLL.  Also, FSX map will give you the navaid name and often that is enough to locate the place.

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I am using Plan G. It synchronize with P3D/FSX and I can see where my plane is at all time. I can also see all the VOR, Airport and runway information. There is also anothe programm call FSCommander that is pretty darn good. They are payware but worth the $$$.

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Like Dan, I refer to Wikipedia throughout my flights. It gives, of course, so much more information than just place names.

 

I have learnt so much about our world this way, and Wikipedia tempts me to surf all over about related topics.

 

A happy bunny!

 

Cheers, R

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The best way for me to see my current position on a map is with the iPhone/iPad app FSFollow. It connects to FSX and shows your position and altitude as well as the flown track. In addition, you can follow other aircraft flying with FSX and using this app. It's even possible to transfer simple screen shots. You can find the manual here: http://www.positiongames.com/PositionGames.Com/Free_PC_Client_files/FSXFollow%20Manual.pdf

The cost (USD 2.99) is more than adequate and the app is still being updated regularly.

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http://www.fsxtracker.com/download

 

It's free, bug free, works like a charm, has online map and terrain modes.

 

All you have to do is create an account, run the client and load a flightplan into FSX

 

It also automatically logs all you flights / times / distances / fuel burn etc.

 

 

 

 

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Many virtual airlines employ tracking software that will display your position, along with other active fights, on a map on their website. 

 

Andrew Jones

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I use OpusFSI that can open a moving map with both AI aircrafts around you and the weather, a drop down box to select what weather you want to see. Turbulence, cloud cover and so on..

Including airport info.

 

All in one. Weather, cameras that also shakes in turbulence and more, and now latest added is the moving map with AI and weather. Google + some more. Buttkicker support, TrackIR support.

You can zoom in all the way to the airport for taxi if you like.

 

Have look at their site.

 

http://www.opussoftware.co.uk/opusfsi.htm

 

Best of all is that it have a very small footprint in memory, no crazy huge GUI like ASN.

 

/Per W

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I use PFPX for flight planning so I always make brief notes, before exporting and printing the flight plan, on the geographical area my route will be taking me over (including preferable airfields for enroute diversion as well as frequencies of major navaids to confirm position checks enroute) . Sometimes I even add them to the flight plan remarks in PFPX with the waypoints on my route as a tag on which area I'm cruising over.

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Most of the suggestions above, while very good, assume that you don't know where you are now, and would like to find out (I use planG when I am lost). However, if you are willling to put a little more effort into your planning, you might find you get more pleasure out of your flight. It is not for everyone, but if you plan your flight (even very loosely) as you would a cross country VFR flight, then you will have a plan that includes your landmarks. For example, my plan might include, "I expect to cross Lough Ura at 10:21 with the railway on the left and the road in front. If the railway is on my right, then I am too far north".

 

Even if you are on fixed routes, you can map then on sites like simroutes [ http://www.simroutes.com/fb2/showplans.aspx ] and zoom in to find the visual landmarks you can use if your instruments fail. 

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Guys,

 

A huge thank you to all who have taken the time to reply to my question. You have given me lots of great ideas and I am going to take a bit of time to discover which of them will be the most appropriate to provide the information that I am looking for. Basically I think it boils down to the ability to show the following information when required:

 

The names of the VORs (e.g. Compton for CPT, Southampton for SAM etc)

 

Progress along the flight planned route in terms of the current position of the aircraft superimposed over the route line on a map

 

Airspace boundaries (TMAs, CTZs  etc)

 

Danger areas, and areas of high terrain etc.

 

All of this in line with real life procedures and practices as applied to jet airliners such the 737-800 which I normally fly.

 

Once again,  many thanks for your suggestions, I am sure there has got to be a best solution to all of this.

 

Cheers,

 

Dennis Hickman

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Lots of good suggestions here.

 

If you already have PFPX & the NAVDATA & WX Download subscriptions then this is your 'one stop shop' for all your flight planning & situational awareness needs.

 

It can flight plan, prefile, create documentation, export the route to your aircraft in the correct format, sent the WIND UPLINK file to your 777X, & then it can provide the ATC awareness services as already provided by standalones like VATSpy, VATASTIC et al.

 

Why bother running several background programmes when you can use one & take advantage of all it's many resources?

 

My current flight online with VATSIM showing my prefiled route parsed into PFPX with my current & constantly updated position overlayed:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/d89kjblyba8b9xz/PFPX%20World%20View.png?dl=0

 

Current PFPX Wind Data overlayed:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gdwb5nvg3x3x6z3/PFPX%20World%20View%20With%20Winds.png?dl=0

 

Live VATSIM ATC info:

 

https://www.dropbox.com/s/3e7uaog4l21ppmn/ATC.png?dl=0

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I use skyvector cross referenced with my nav display to get an idea of my geographic position on unfamiliar routes. For example I'm currently about 1 hour from top of descent into vhhx after 14 hours aloft from kden. I'm tracking down the coastline of China and don't know the area well. Using skyvector the string of waypoints on the ND suddenly have some geographic context.

 

Additionally I use the airport display on the ND to identify airports I'm overflying and then use Wikipedia to learn a bit about those places below me. Great way to pass the time on a long haul!

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I use Google Earth and PFPX mostly as PFPX has an export option in GoogleEarth format.

 

Second choice i use Aivlasoft EFB

 

Michael Moe

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Guys, I have a question which I hope someone may be able to answer:

 

During the course of flying the PMDG 737 NGX along flight planned routes I often don't really have much idea as to where I am in relation to towns and cities on or near my route. I noticed this particularly on a recent flight over the Philippines and into Taiwan where I crossed a number of islands on the way. It would have been nice to have had some idea what they were called, and perhaps the names of some of the towns.

 

Is there some software available which would provided an online map which I could refer to during the flight?

 

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

Regards,

 

Dennis Hickman

There are plenty of maps and charts available if you look. Knowing where you are is a basic piloting skill!!

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If you're good with ICAO codes, another way is to display nearby airports on the ND and look how far south/north/westerly etc. you are from a particular airport.

 

But yeah, as mentioned in tremedous detail above, proper flightplaning is key!

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If you're good with ICAO codes, another way is to display nearby airports on the ND and look how far south/north/westerly etc. you are from a particular airport.

 

But yeah, as mentioned in tremedous detail above, proper flightplaning is key!

I could not agree more.  When you are planning your route - however you do it, you should have some idea of alternate airports that meet the requirements for your aircraft (runway length width and surface and services provided).  Most airports are located within reasonable distances to cities - some large and some small.  Using the ND to display the airports is always helpful as it provides you with what we call situational awareness; knowing where you are at all times in relation to your route and your alternates.  

 

Print your flight plan, take a pen and make a note of the stations you are passing over on your route and the cities too.  Once you have flown over places a few times, you start to remember where things are.

 

Great suggestions above from the community if you wanted something graphical.

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Just to add my favorite to the list, have a look at SimLauncherX.... (google it ).... it does a whole lot more and it is also free/donation_ware.

 

Baz

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