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My Lessons Learned about flying the default A320

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As we all know, the default A320 has several issues, many of them related to MFS' general autopilot simulation.

In a flight I had to do do for a guide I write for the German gaming website GameStar, I had to fly from Denver to San Diego. I know this route from past flights with X-Plane (in Toliss' A319), so planning etc. was easy. After two failed attempts yesterday, today 90% of the flight in MFS went fine today -- until MFS crashed near San Diego and I had to restart. So these are the lessons learned (and they may differ for you ... unpredictability is a key issue I have with MFS' airliners currently):

1. Always plan the flight completly on the world map. Pretend that you already know which STAR and approach you'll have to fly at your destination and select it, so the plane will be filled with the complete flight plan right from the start. Set a custom weather preset, so the winds match your plan.

2. Always start with running engines on the runway. I noticed that the plane is not initialized properly if started cold & dark at the gate.

3. Never ever use the nav log in flight to change position. This messes up the flight plan and the autopilot will try to fly (back) to the first en-route waypoint, before it starts to follow the flight plan again. (Workaround: Use selected mode with headings).

4. If you use virtual ATC, always readback the messages. Otherwise, it will cancel service, and if you file the IFR plan again in flight, it will tell give you a vector basically making you return and descend to your first en-route waypoint.

5. Ignore the altitudes MFS puts in your navlog. These do not conform to the altitude restrictions of the selected procedures.


So, basically, try no to touch anything or deviate from the plan you made on the world map, otherwise it will all become a mess.

My flight was finally okay. The plane even captured the ILS correctly and without issue. But flying airliners in MFS is really not very enjoyable, if one has always to be afraid that something goes wrong without any plausible reason.

Edited by MarioDonick
  • Like 1

Mario Donick .:. vFlyteAir

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Thank you Mario! This is very helpful. 
I’ve got real world Citation and X-plane 737 experience but this version of the A320 is challenging for me. 
Question for you... Have you found a way to get the MCDU to communicate with the autopilot to leave cruise altitude for approach and landing? I’ve tried setting the altitude in the autopilot to the final approach altitude or zero, but it won’t leave the cruise altitude. I’ve only been able to manually manage altitudes and VS from the autopilot. I was hoping for something like the X-plane 737 that will leave cruise and follow the descent profile from the FMC and STAR. 
- Paul

Edited by SonicRobot

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