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tup61

What do you do when the charts are confusing?

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Every now and then I fly into an airport of which the charts don't make any sense to me. I simply can't connect the dots. And even my Fenix A320 makes a total mess of everything with the calculated path going in various circles and all over the place. I wonder what you all do whenever you get into such a situation? I tried to edit the flightplan in the MCDU so it would make a bit more sense but even though that may work it feels wrong or odd: after all, real world pilots should be able to actually use these charts and fly the published approaches, right? What if a real world pilot can't make sense of it all?

Example for those who would like to see one: yesterday I flew into LFSB and I had two STAR-charts, ARPUS, LUMEL & STR 8K ARRS, a chart just called ARRS and the approach was ILS X OR LOC X RWY 33. Even though I came from the north I was assigned the LUME8K STAR (Simbrief) which is in the south, which required me to fly north again after flying down there to get to ALTIK where the approach begins. Problem here is the ARRS chart shows a few waypoints that don't show up on ARPUS, LUMEL & STR 8K ARRS... That ARRS chart starts on TRA, which resulted in a too sharp corner I couldn't possible make, and after RIGVI, the last point I had to suddenly fly down to LUMEL: I just don't see that connection on the chart. I do see how to get from LUMEL to ALTIK (after looking a bit longer) but it has me arriving at ALTIK in an impossible angle. And to make it all worse the Fenix MCDU had me going in opposite directions everywhere.

Well... I am sure no one can make sense of my example anymore LOL just as I couldn't make sense of it all. But anyway, the question is: how do you handle charts you simply don't understand?! (And I also wonder how real world pilots handle those charts... because I am sure they must be quite confused too every now and then.)

 

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I panic

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8700K Delid @ 5GHz | G.Skill 32GB DDR4 @ 3600MHz | MSI 1080 Ti Sea Hawk X | Windows 11 Pro | Monitors: Acer XB270HU / LG 27UK650

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They do make perfect sense.

One chart is for published database procedures, the other one "ARRIVALS" is based on standard RNAV airways (they have a suffix of "R" or "5", the latter meaning rnav 5).

Based on your description, you choose the inappropriate STAR, a better one would be STR 8K which ends at IAF ALTIK, where you are a able to receive vectors for both RWY 15/33 approaches.

Edited by SAS443

EASA PPL SEPL + NQ , EFIS, Variable Pitch Prop / B23 / PA28 / C172S pilot
i9 9900K  | ASUS ROG Strix RTX 2080 Ti OC | 32 GB Corsair DDR4 RAM |
MSFS | X-Plane 12 | P3D v5

 

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Hello tup61.

Be assured that the charts do make perfect sense to real world pilots. It is a case of making use of the correct arrival and approach charts for the assigned runway. I'm typing this as a quick reply without having had a look at the airfield and charts you mention. I'll have a look later, as will other folks I presume.In the meantime here is a link that may help you understand the charts better. It is a lot of detail but read through it at your leisure.

https://ww2.jeppesen.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Introduction-to-Jeppesen-Navigation-Charts.pdf

Best Regards...Kenny

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42 minutes ago, SAS443 said:

They do make perfect sense.

One chart is for published database procedures, the other one "ARRIVALS" is based on standard RNAV airways (they have a suffix of "R" or "5", the latter meaning rnav 5).

Based on your description, you choose the inappropriate STAR, a better one would be STR 8K which ends at IAF ALTIK, where you are a able to receive vectors for both RWY 15/33 approaches.

Thanks, I will have to look at that R or 5 later on. So I shouldn't have used that chart at all...? The thing is that all those waypoints did show up in the MCDU flightplan after importing the Simbrief plan. So Simbrief was wrong? Anyway, that was the reason I also checked out that chart.

And concerning the choice of STAR: I fully agree with you however... also here I usually fully trust on Simbrief and Simbrief came up with this STAR. So... maybe I shouldn't trust SB completely anymore and always look if the STAR (and everything else) makes sense before I accept a route? That would be a shame because that would mean I'd have to dig into the charts when setting up a flight on Simbrief already... which sort of defeats a lot of the purpose of SB for me. 😉

I wonder why SB came up with such an odd STAR which even the MCDU couldn't make sense off...

31 minutes ago, kenny584 said:

It is a case of making use of the correct arrival and approach charts for the assigned runway.

Yes, it clearly is but apparently Simbrief was the main cause of the confusion here... And thanks for the link: I think I've glanced over that information before a little bit a long time ago but clearly this pdf doesn't need glancing but a thorough read. 😉 I have saved it to my PC and will keep is close at hand for future reference.

Edited by tup61
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You should always check what Simbrief is giving you! It is not God and cannot be assumed to be correct at all times.


Bill Casey

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3 hours ago, tup61 said:

also here I usually fully trust on Simbrief and Simbrief came up with this STAR.

Time to assume the role of being in command, rather than being a drone and trust what a system (that, afaik wont make deeper analysis of a route) gives you.

But take solace in this can happen in real world route software aswell. Some have a notorious tough time depicting/interpret NOTAM SUP's and incorrectly red flags large chunks of a FIR as restricted. (For example during military training exercises, sign of the times I guess). But again, as the PIC I questioned the output and simply called the ATCC, they verified that airspace is open and route software was incorrect.

As the commanding pilot, You are always in charge, @tup61. For instance at the gate before departure, simply review the whole route via ND plan mode. even insert the arrival from simbrief and see if it makes sense. Compare the available STARs and see if there are "better" options if something seems off.

Edited by SAS443

EASA PPL SEPL + NQ , EFIS, Variable Pitch Prop / B23 / PA28 / C172S pilot
i9 9900K  | ASUS ROG Strix RTX 2080 Ti OC | 32 GB Corsair DDR4 RAM |
MSFS | X-Plane 12 | P3D v5

 

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25 minutes ago, SAS443 said:

As the commanding pilot, You are always in charge, @tup61. For instance at the gate before departure, simply review the whole route via ND plan mode. even insert the arrival from simbrief and see if it makes sense. Compare the available STARs and see if there are "better" options if something seems off.

Will do. Instead of checking all charts and options before letting Simbrief create the flight I think it's a better idea (for my flow at least) to accept the SB-plan as it is, import it into the Fenix MCDU, review it, and if, and only if, I notice oddities I will look for better options myself and if needed edit and 'recompile' the SB-plan and reload that updated plan in the MCDU (and the Fenix EFB and FSHud).

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One thing you can do is, use flightradar24 to find a current flight (one you are looking to fly) and compare it's track to what Simbrief calculates. They should match.

If you're flying in Europe, use IFPS validation in the route section of Simbrief.

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3 hours ago, tup61 said:

So Simbrief was wrong?

As I understand it, Simbrief tends to offer you routes flown previously. So if the guy who flew your route 5 days ago had poor choices in his plan, you probably will too.

In the real world, IFR pilots (or for airlines, an operations team) spend a lot of time planning each flight. That's something we don't always have the luxury of doing as sim pilots. There are weeks when I'm very lucky if I can get an hour of sim flying in. I'm not going to spend that hour planning a flight that I then don't have time to execute, I'm just gonna Simbrief it, hop in and get going. If the approach/arrival choices are messed up, I'll fix it on the fly (heh). 

Since I'm not actually going to kill anybody if I mess up in the sim, I can compress flight planning by doing some of it in the air. Once I'm at cruise, I can look at the planned arrival and see if it makes sense, and spend some time while I don't have to pay all that much attention to the airplane fixing any problems.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, airlinejets said:

If you're flying in Europe, use IFPS validation in the route section of Simbrief.

Never seen that option but I will check it out!

4 minutes ago, eslader said:

Once I'm at cruise, I can look at the planned arrival and see if it makes sense, and spend some time while I don't have to pay all that much attention to the airplane fixing any problems.

That's what I usually do too: I hardly ever check the arrival charts before I am at cruise level. Usually it's just a matter of seeing what I can expect but in some cases, like yesterday, it's more a matter of trying to solve an insolvable puzzle and not going cray LOL
But anyway, yes, I can of course change an odd arrival and approach during cruise if I want to. No problem. I did think for a brief moment it would be a problem because I use FSHud for ATC but luckily you can completely change the planned arrival and approach before the TOD: FSHud has a great option for that, so as long as I solve any problems before the TOD will be good! (I doubt Simbrief will make really big mistakes anywhere before the arrival.) This means I won't really have to solve all problems before I start flying. 😉 No need to reload Simbrief too with this 'flow'.

Of course, when I really do have enough time I might check things during the planning phase already. 😉

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Turn off the autoflight and request vectors for an ILS or visual... forget the pink lines. 

That sounds tongue in cheek and it partially is, but I'm partially serious as well.  Of course in reality it's a rarity that a properly trained crew encounters a scenario where the charts "don't make sense" to them, but it does happen that a variety of external threats and internal errors create a situation where there's confusion over where the airplane is going / what it's going to do next.  The old "what's it doing now?" scenarios. 

In these cases, we teach crews to degrade the level of automation until there's no more ambiguity. Maybe this means coming out of LNAV/VNAV into Heading Select and Vert Speed.  Maybe it means turning off everything and reverting to raw data hand flying direct to a station. 

There's always a level at which the aircraft flight path "makes sense" again. 

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Andrew Crowley

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Being a total non RW pilot with no plans to ever go there I rely on the blue arrows to take me where I need to go.  I toggle them off when I no longer need direction.


Noel

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