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mikeymike

IFR Plates SID/STAR

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Hey guys,

My question Is that sometimes when I plan a flight depending on the airports. 
For instance ksfo to eddf which I get from Flightaware and the last Waypoint is ROLIS

now if I go into the FMC it shows ROLIS1L

and ROLIS1B 

which do I choose? Lol sorry if it’s a stupid question I’m still learning.

thanks 

mike

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Posted (edited)

It varies between airports, generally in Europe you will have STARS like that with multiple subversions (B, L etc) based on different runway assignments, different ATC flows, traffic volumes etc.  In this case though, both of those stars are for the 25 runways.  I’m not overly familiar with EDDF operations to say exactly why different ones would be assigned in this case, but I’d say you’re probably ok to use whichever one you want.

One thing I’ll do is that if I’m flying a heavy that will need more time to descend and slow down, I’ll choose the longer routing to give me more breathing space.

Edited by regis9
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Dave

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Posted (edited)

Which STAR the FMC inserts depends upon a few things, much of which is determined by the data you put into the FMC yourself, i.e. if you tell your FMC that the wind is from 250 degrees, then it is going to assume that you will likely be arriving at the airport and landing on a runway with the heading of 250 degrees, and from that, it will then possibly put a STAR (standard Terminal Arrival Routing) in your lfight plan best suited to getting you lined up for that particular runway and then it might also put in some waypoints to transition you from your main flight route onto that STAR routing.

Because of the fact that weather can and does change and is often completely different at your destination from what it is at your departure location, no airliner crew in the real world is ever really absolutely certain what runway they are going to land on for certain and therefore what STAR (if any) ATC will prefer you to use. STARS are simply a way for ATC controllers to ensure that as many arriving aircraft are coming in to line up for an approach in a recognisable fashion, rather than everyone simply turning off the magenta line of their route and heading straight for a runway, which would of course be chaos.

So. What do you do? Well, you do the same thing which real airliner crews do, and simply accept what the FMC says, okay it, and then en-route, you find out what the weather is doing at your destination and when you know that, you surmise which is the most likely arrival runway and from that which is the most likely STAR that ATC would want you to use, and then you modify your flight plan accordingly. Typically this is something you would be doing either just prior to, or whilst on your descent (figure on it taking about ten minutes, but don't forget that you are doing the job of two pilots, so don't be afraid to use the pause button or to change the flight simulation rate to a slower speed).

So how do you figure out that stuff?

Well, there are a number of way it is done in the real world and a number of ways you can do it on your simulated flight too. In the real world, most airliners have an ACARS (Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System) which is basically a fancy cross between a fax machine and a mobile phone text messaging machine. It is used to send and receive important operational messages to and from the aircraft to locations such as the airline's operations centre, or the ATC at the destination airport, or the service agent at the airport. So it is possible for a real airliner to get a message saying something like 'we are currently only using Runway 15L for arrivals owing to maintenance work on the ILS of the other ruinways, so expect to use the STAR BINGO2, and expect a visual approach to 15L'. Or something like that. More recently, modern airliners have been using FANS (Future Air Navigation System) for this kind of thing, and that is like a more modern souped up version of ACARS, usually with a touch screen whereby you can receive ATC instructions as text and you can reply either by typing or selecting a few 'preset' messages, simply by touching them on the screen. GA aircraft often have a similar avionics capability via their GPS installation which can overlay datalinked wether info.

Now you may see this getting simulated in flight sims in the future, but at the moment you haven't really got that capability, so you will have to use the older methods airline crews used (and they still do use these methods too, because not every airliner has all that fancy ACARS and FANS stuff). Typically, this will mean either tuning into the arrival airport's ATIS frequency and listening to what runway it is using and what the weather is.

The problem with that in the real world is that ATIS is limited in range, so there is another radio network which airliner crews can gain this information from, and that is Volmet. Now what Volmet is, is a longer-ranged radio network all around the world, which transmits weather reports for numerous airports within the Volmet Station's area of responsibility, and these are updated every 30 minutes, so are quite current. Now up until very recently, you had no Volmet in P3D, but lucky for you, there is now an add-on which can add it to your sim which has literally just been releeased, and coincidentally, I've just reviewed it on my youtube channel today, so if you click the link at the bottom of my posts and look for my most recent video channel review, you can learn all about that.

In concert with all that stuff, what you will also want to do, is get hold of the plates for your destination airport too, so that you have an idea of what these STARS do. Oh, and always if you insert a STAR into your FMC flight plan, check it on the PLAN page and toggle through the waypoints to check two things. First, make sure there is no gap (discontinuity) and also check that every turn is a smooth one, which it won't be if you pick an inappropriate STAR route.

When you know the wind direction at the airport, you'll have a good idea of the runways they are using, and from that you can choose an appropriate route. Note that some FMCs allow you to input a secondary route plan, and if you have that capability, it will let you have two educated guesses at the most likely arrival procedure, and put both of them into your FMC so you can easily switch when on the descent, or you can use it for the go around procedure if you prefer.

Edited by Chock
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Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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Thank you for the Informative responses,

much appreciated.

back to the drawing board and taking the advise above and putting it into practice.

cheers

mike

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1 minute ago, mikeymike said:

back to the drawing board and taking the advise above and putting it into practice.

That is all part of the fun of learning this stuff. Remember to keep it fun, if it starts to frustrate you, have a tea or coffee and chill out for a bit and then go at it again. We do this for fun after all. 🙂

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Alan Bradbury

Check out my youtube flight sim videos: Here

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Just now, Chock said:

That is all part of the fun of learning this stuff. Remember to keep it fun, if it starts to frustrate you, have a tea or coffee and chill out for a bit and then go at it again. We do this for fun after all. 🙂

I’ve always admired you for your in depth informative posts.

i have learned a lot from them.

thank you!

and yes it’s all for fun.🙂

mike

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