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RFields5421

Real life final approach ??

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Ok here is the situation Flying a heavy into a airport like LAX where there seem to be a long final with traffic. You are aproaching to enter the patern from say 150nm out. The wind shifts so your runway shifts from 7l to 25R. Now what happens.do you reprogram the FMC? Does ATC just move everything around? What? this seems to happen a lot in FSX I plan for a certain approach and when I get there it all changes.

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In real life or in the sim?In the sim the chances are FSX won't change the runway in use and you'll have to land with a tailwind. No reprogramming necessary. If you're performance limited and can't take the tailwind you can land on the reciprocal runway, reprogram the FMC (just put the new runway in) but you'll be head to head with the rest of the traffic but hey, it's only a sim.In real life you will be being vectored anyway so ATC will just tell you which runway you're landing on (and you have to reprogram the FMC and a whole host of other things, navaids, minima, speeds, autobrake, rebrief) and vector you round.Either way, a last minute runway change isn't usually much of a big deal. In fact, at Frankfurt they generally won't tell you what runway you're landing on until they've vectored you to an equivalent late downwind or base ... and I've had them change their mind after that.Hope this helps,Ian

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In real life you would be vectored by ATC. At busy periods there may well be more than one aircraft established on the ILS (I've seen up to 4 at Heathrow). It would be dangerous to allow pilots to do their own thing under those circumstances.

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Ok here is the situation Flying a heavy into a airport like LAX where there seem to be a long final with traffic. You are aproaching to enter the patern from say 150nm out. The wind shifts so your runway shifts from 7l to 25R. Now what happens.do you reprogram the FMC? Does ATC just move everything around? What? this seems to happen a lot in FSX I plan for a certain approach and when I get there it all changes.Fortunately, or unfortunately depending upon your view, the Flight Simulator runway assignment process was changed in FSX to be different from FS2004.In FS2004 when a runway was in use - the airport could not be turned. A runway in use meant any aircraft assigned to the runway, even an AI aircraft 100nm out. This had the practical effect of not allowing busy airports like KLAX to be turned.In FSX, the system has changed to allow the airport to be turned when the weather shifts. The problem is that aircraft assigned to the opposite end of the runway will continue their taxi out or landing on that opposite end. This will present you, the user pilot, with more runway changes in FSX than you saw in FS2004.You have to be ready to use the "Direct To" button and to reprogram the approach at a moment's notice. These are essential real world skills which folks who want to fly 'realistically' need to master.Or you can ignore the system and fly your programmed approach.The real world KLAX will not turn the airport for a few knots of wind shift. Landing with a small tailwind occurs quite frequently at real world airports, especially those in compilicated airspaces.Los Angeles is an excellent example. KLAX does not turn their airport without coordination with SOCAL approach - and KLAX, KLGB, KSNA, KBUR, KONT, KVNY, KSMO and more airports all work together in a predefined process. The AIRSPACE has a landing & take off pattern - not individual airports. The AIRSPACE has to work to avoid crossing patterns.I guess that's one of the things I wish FS could do much better - coordination of a region. Because I can't count the number of times I've seen KBUR landing on Rwy 8 and KLAX landing on 24/25

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in real life you would never have such drastic changes, you would have this all pre-planned. The only changes you might make to the approach would be either requesting or told to land on another runway, such as taking 25R instead of 25L. Unless things suddenly changed to the opposite direction above 10kts or so which rarely happens in los angeles!

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I'd say your comments are a little misleading (and I assume incomplete). On a global level, flights are never "pre-planned" per se. Yes, you submit a flight plan, but, once submitted, you are subject to the vagaries of the weather and ATC, who can and will send you all over the place depending on your destination and the weather and traffic levels.Perhaps what you meant was that flights are totally controlled by ATC, and pilots have to deal with changes in their flight plan all the time, but they are typically prepared for those changes and have various possible changes preloaded so that it only takes a couple of button presses to make the required change?I have no experience with heavies, the biggest airplane I've ever flown was an Arrow, but I've seen the runway switch direction several times while I was on approach, at four miles out on my approach, much less than 150 miles away from my destination. Of course, I imagine it's a heck of a lot easier for me to deal with a change in runway direction than it is for a commercial flight.I'd be interested in understanding how commercial pilots are prepared for the changes they have to deal with, and how those changes are input to the FMC. I own the Level-D 767 and F1 ATR, but have not yet learned how to use the FMC, and it seems all quite complicated to me at the moment. Even running and making changes to a Garmin 430 and AP is complex to me at the moment.Is it possible to preload changes into the FMC, and then choose which change to implement at any given moment? Are these changes "brought to the top" and ready for input automatically?For instance, I understand there are "preferred" routes between destinations, which pilots become familiar with the more often they fly a particular route (and these preferred routes are published I think?)?Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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"On a global level, flights are never "pre-planned" per se. "I think what Al is saying is: In RL, you will normally be advised miles out of a runway change at your destination. I flew recently into KDEN on UA, and of course was listening to Ch9. The moment we were handed of to Denver center from Salt Lake center, our pilot was advised of a revised clearance, and asked when he wished to copy. The runways and SATRs in use at KDEN had changed.Tower and TRACONs will never change a runway when you are on approach (or extended approach), unless something really big happens, or the weather really goes bad- and then will offer vectors to a hold or another runway.Bruce.

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I was actually on a flight last week that had runway configuration changed. We were supposed to takeoff at EWR from 22R and upon reaching the 22R end the airplane wasnt moving for a few minutes until the captain said they had changed directions and that the departure would be delayed 10-15 minutes because of that. A few minutes later he took off from 22R anyway so maybe it was just a lame excuse for whatever.

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During the Aopa expo 2 years ago I had a short night fight from St. Petersburg, Fl. to Sarasota (ksrq) (12 minutes or so in the Baron) and in the middle of my approach for the ils 14 was told to switch to the vor approach for 32! (Something about them getting ready to switch runways and the lights/system taking time to boot up). We had taken great pains to get all set up on the ground before takeoff knowing it would be so short a flight-so much for that. Thank goodness for my other pilot with a flashlight flipping thru approach plates to set up a completely opposite approach and runway as we approached at a rapid pace! http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpgForum Moderatorhttp://geofageofa.spaces.live.com/

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but I've seen the runway switch direction several times while I was on approach, at four miles out on my approach, much less than 150 miles away from my destination.FlightSim 2004 - the real world has much smarter ATC controllers than FS :-)

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I've been fascinated for years about the smoothness with which the ATC system can function in very complex circumstances.One I've tracked many times is turning the DFW airspace.The three primary commercial airports are KDFW, KDAL and KAFW. KNFW can have a lot of traffic, as well as KADS, KRBD, KGPM & KFWS. In the past couple years towers have been added at KDTO and KGKY.These airport primary runways are between 18/36 & 17/35 at KDFW and 13/31 at KDAL and KRBD.The proximity of the various airports and the routings do not allow much room between airports. There are many special routings in the Class B airspace to maintain safe separation.For example, if you follow the ILS approach plate for landing on KDAL 13R in FS2004 or FSX, you will find yourself crossing traffic landing on the 18 runways at KDFW - within a couple hundred vertical feet. I assure you Southwest does not fly just 200 feet over the top of AAL aircraft on final approach to different airports.You can monitor approach frequencies, and one of the things you will hear is controllers tell aircraft A that he will do an approach to Rwy 17C at KDFW, but due to changing weather the next aircraft on the STAR behind him will be assigned to Rwy 35C for landing.AirNav has a beautiful system to watch the incoming traffic split and route to provide enough clearance for all the local airports to make the change at about the same time.Of course the busier the airport, the more complex the turn and the more advance work to get the aircraft lined up for the change without interrupting the traffic flow significantly.Sometimes a takeoff aircraft will get to the end of the runway later than the planned turn time - as described in the post above. I've seen/ listened to some upset pilots at KDFW be told "Sorry, you're too late to clear the incoming traffic, standby for taxi instructions to the other end of the runway."Because that is the part which always amazes me - seeing an aircraft takeoff on a 17 runway at KDFW and see another land on the same 35 runway about three to four minutes later. And I've also seen and heard a couple instances were a controller will say: "Departure says you can go NOW, but you have to turn xxxx as soon as you can and follow xxxx until vectored to join the departure" An aircraft bound for Atlanta can be sent toward El Paso until clear of the changing air space.As with everything in avaition, there is always an exception to every rule and every procedure.I've been in the jump seat of a Challenger or a Gulfstream owned by the company I work for - and watched the pilots swap plates when their landing runway is changed - not just at KADS, but other airports. KSNA was the most complex approach/ airspace I've seen from the jump seat - even without a change in runway.The pilots tell me the key item on their FMS is the "Direct To" button - because they have to be ready.Perhaps the biggest 'failure' of Flight Simulator is that it lets us get away with 'flying' without proper preparation.

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