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sidfadc

"Field in Sight" - or is it?

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Maybe this is my old tired eyes I dunno.  However I like to fly without airport markers because it ruins the view.  When flying VFR I really struggle to see the field even on clear skies, if the area is more familiar I kind of "know where to look" but in unfamiliar territory I sometimes can only spot the field from say 3NM out.  First problem is the zoom function in the sim doesn't zoom in enough, in XPlane you could zoom in quite a distance to help spot the field.  I've also noticed none of fields have a beacon?  I'm sure they all did on launch day, this really helps.  At night its less of a problem because you can spot the runway lights.

So does anyone else struggle with this and if so looking for tips!


Thomas Derbyshire

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They way most airfields blend into the landscape it is hard to spot them sometimes if they don't have a beacon, but I guess that's part of the immersion. Grass airfields are sometimes next to impossible to distinguish from other fields. A (digital) map of the area can help to find specific landmarks like roads, lakes etc. to help find the airfield.
VOR stations sometimes can also help to find the direction or even pinpoint the airport.


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Posted (edited)

If I am struggling I just cheat and turn on the VFR map in GPS tracking mode.  I know it is not realistic in a basic steam gauge aircraft but I sort of see it as being like having a handheld GPS in my pocket.

It can actually be like that in real life at a new small grass strip airfield where you are unfamiliar with local landmarks.  You know the ones, where yu have to do a low flyby to get the sheep and kangaroos off the runway.

 

Edited by Glenn Fitzpatrick
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I can see a lot of the bigger airports from 5-10nm out in VR, where I cant zoom. For those tiny gras strips it is kind of realistic to overfly them anyway before if you are not familiar. 

But yeah... would be nice to be able to see them a bit more clearly. 

  • Upvote 2

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36 minutes ago, sidfadc said:

Maybe this is my old tired eyes I dunno.  However I like to fly without airport markers because it ruins the view.  When flying VFR I really struggle to see the field even on clear skies, if the area is more familiar I kind of "know where to look" but in unfamiliar territory I sometimes can only spot the field from say 3NM out.  First problem is the zoom function in the sim doesn't zoom in enough, in XPlane you could zoom in quite a distance to help spot the field.  I've also noticed none of fields have a beacon?  I'm sure they all did on launch day, this really helps.  At night its less of a problem because you can spot the runway lights.

So does anyone else struggle with this and if so looking for tips!

Yes, absolutely I do too.

This is how it is in real life. FSX/ P3D and XP cheated us - showing the Airfield from 30 Miles out. In real life you can struggle to see that farm strip from 3 miles out.

Embrace it. You're flying like it is when it's real.

Aviate - NAVIGATE - Communicate. (Capitals used for emphasis) 😉

 

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Kind of like in real life, they are hard to see.  Reminds me of an incident.  I remember a long time ago, I dead reckoned my way to an airport on a cross country.  Time was up and I'm looking out the window but no airport in sight.  I check my calculations and my numbers are saying it has to be here.  I got myself so frustrated, I slammed the yoke.  Everything in the aircraft hit the ceiling and if it wasn't for my seat belt I would have also.  Scared the bejeeses out of me and I never did that again.  The airport,... it was right below me out of sight under my airplane (cherokee).

LouP

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This is one of the immersion improvements I love in MSFS.  Airports (especially smaller ones) don’t stick out like a sore thumb anymore and can be challenging to find.  Even KBUR at night can blend into the ground lights of Hollywood.

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The real fun starts when you fly in real life at night and try and find the airport, especially in a big city. 

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1 hour ago, sidfadc said:

First problem is the zoom function in the sim doesn't zoom in enough, in XPlane you could zoom in quite a distance to help spot the field.

Sounds like a you're cheating,..... 🙂

1 hour ago, kakihara123 said:

For those tiny gras strips it is kind of realistic to overfly them anyway before if you are not familiar.

He knows....... ⬆️

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Posted (edited)

Overflying is standard stuff - even when you're well familiar with the field.. then joining the Pattern on the Downwind.

Gives you a fighting chance of getting the conditions, sniffing out the Traffic and slotting yourself in if you're only on A/G for RTC.

Know what I mean?

Edited by Will Fly For Cheese

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1 hour ago, Will Fly For Cheese said:

Yes, absolutely I do too.

This is how it is in real life. FSX/ P3D and XP cheated us - showing the Airfield from 30 Miles out. In real life you can struggle to see that farm strip from 3 miles out.

Embrace it. You're flying like it is when it's real.

Aviate - NAVIGATE - Communicate. (Capitals used for emphasis) 😉

 

Totally agree it can be hard to find the field in real life what bugs me in the Sim how you can see the airport beacon or any land mark beacon from 30 nm away, I wish they would fix that as it destroys visual nav at certain times


Wayne such

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Jetman67 said:

Totally agree it can be hard to find the field in real life what bugs me in the Sim how you can see the airport beacon or any land mark beacon from 30 nm away, I wish they would fix that as it destroys visual nav at certain times

Airport Beacons are visible from an awfully long way away depending on your altitude - that's the point.

They're being used less and less (blame RNAV) and I would hope the sim updates will address that as time goes by.

This is the Southend one that it is still very much active and can be seen from about 40 miles away in CAVOK at night.

Also, it looks like some weird kind of robotic Owl about to take flight.

2177716-4d5e146b.jpg

 

Edited by Will Fly For Cheese

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12 minutes ago, Will Fly For Cheese said:

Airport Beacons are visible from an awfully long way away depending on your altitude - that's the point.

They're being used less and less (blame RNAV) and I would hope the sim updates will address that as time goes by.

This is the Southend one that it is still very much active and can be seen from about 40 miles away in CAVOK at night.

Also, it looks like some weird kind of robotic Owl about to take flight.

2177716-4d5e146b.jpg

 

I can understand night time but during the day a regular beacon is not usually visible from a long distance but in the Sim it's very bright from a long distance during the day


Wayne such

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Yes,..my poor old eyes struggle to see the grass strip landing runways as they blend in with surrounding scenery but I have SkyDemon tethered to MSFS on my tablet so I use that to see where I'm going and it's not cheating because SkyDemon is something real VFR pilots use. 🙂

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Sometimes the beacons are only visible after you have landed. If you fly away from them, after they are loaded, they'll be visible for 100nm...🤷‍♂️


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