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blaird22

Racing real-time flights

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Hello Captains,

I'm curious if anyone else races actual routes.  I've been doing this and it's added a new level of interest to me.  If you haven't done this, I suggest you give it a go.  Here's what I've been doing:

Find a route on FlightAware that you'd be willing to fly.  For me, it's usually in the 300-600 mile range.  FA provides altitude and routing.  I simply configure that aircraft, use the FA flight plan, and take off once FA says "en route".  Pretty much all of the flights are within a minute or two of each other by the time you land.  It's pretty impressive how accurate the routing/terrain/timing/airspeeds/etc are

I use FlightPln Go to connect a tablet to my sim.  This software has aviation overlays that you can compare to FA's overlays to get a VERY accurate comparison.  Am I the only one doing this?

Side note, I live close to KSAN.  It's a great feeling to race and beat an aircraft, then walk outside and watch the same plane on short final


Brian Laird

Too tall to fly for real, so I sim instead

i7 6700K | EVGA GTX1070 (8GB VRAM) | 16 GB DDR4 RAM | Asus Z170-A MoBo | HTC Vive | Saitek x52 Pro, Multi-panel and instrument panels

Prepar3d v4 | Have but don't fly: FSX, FSW, XP11, FS2 (retired now that P3DV4 is out)

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I've done that too, it's a lot of fun.

On a side note, I'm in Ocean Beach. I get the same thing, but on the departure end of the runway :)

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42 minutes ago, adf said:

I've done that too, it's a lot of fun.

On a side note, I'm in Ocean Beach. I get the same thing, but on the departure end of the runway :)

Oh cool!  I'm in North Park, a little north of Balboa so I see them 2-3 miles before landing.  It's cool when they switch it up and I can see the departing aircraft

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Brian Laird

Too tall to fly for real, so I sim instead

i7 6700K | EVGA GTX1070 (8GB VRAM) | 16 GB DDR4 RAM | Asus Z170-A MoBo | HTC Vive | Saitek x52 Pro, Multi-panel and instrument panels

Prepar3d v4 | Have but don't fly: FSX, FSW, XP11, FS2 (retired now that P3DV4 is out)

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...and for additional realism, I load www.liveatc.net/ and listen to the Departure, Arrival and Tower freqs, listening for the RW aircrafts clearances.  I'm in Palm Springs and enjoy flying Westjet flights from Vancouver to Palm Springs as described in this thread and hearing the Towers clearance for landing and then watching the plane out my window.

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Norman Henderson

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Slight drawback is if ATC makes amendments to a flight plan en route, you might not necessarily pick it up in the simulator. Been on flights where the controller gave the flight some kind of shortcut before.

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Captain Kevin

8e9bfe368edaef204bfa6a1373fc6422.jpg

Air Kevin 124 heavy, wind calm, runway 4 left, cleared for take-off.

Live streams of my flights here.

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17 minutes ago, Captain Kevin said:

Slight drawback is if ATC makes amendments to a flight plan en route, you might not necessarily pick it up in the simulator. Been on flights where the controller gave the flight some kind of shortcut before.

Yes that definitely happens. If I see them take a detour, I will try to follow with the heading hold.  FlightAware is really good at that real-time stuff (based on my experience at least).  I just wish they would show the runways they're cleared on AND the cost index they are using


Brian Laird

Too tall to fly for real, so I sim instead

i7 6700K | EVGA GTX1070 (8GB VRAM) | 16 GB DDR4 RAM | Asus Z170-A MoBo | HTC Vive | Saitek x52 Pro, Multi-panel and instrument panels

Prepar3d v4 | Have but don't fly: FSX, FSW, XP11, FS2 (retired now that P3DV4 is out)

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1 hour ago, blaird22 said:

I just wish they would show the runways they're cleared on AND the cost index they are using

As for the first one, probably hard to pull off since you wouldn't necessarily know early on what runway they would be landing on. That can change even as late as final approach. Heard on LiveATC a Delta flight that was originally going to land runway 4 right at JFK, and they asked if they were able to get 4 left. They ended up landing on 4 left. As for the second one, probably hard to pull off since that's likely not something that FlightAware would know. That comes down to what the airlines decide to use, and it's likely not going to be in any flight plan.

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Captain Kevin

8e9bfe368edaef204bfa6a1373fc6422.jpg

Air Kevin 124 heavy, wind calm, runway 4 left, cleared for take-off.

Live streams of my flights here.

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