Sign in to follow this  
aerdt

Help with STAR approach

Recommended Posts

I just started using the Ifly 747-400 with its FMC from the files sections, love this plane (except for the -FPS). I have been trying to understand the manual that comes with it but I am at the stage where the more I read the more confused I get.I am able to program the FMC and fly using SIDSTARS. I am confused about what is standard procedure coming in on a star approach. So here are my questions.1. Since I don't use the FSX ATC when flying with SIDSTARS, At what point in a STAR approach would you normally contact the ATC or they contact you?2. If they vector you off your STAR and you turn off the LNAV and VNAV, which mode do you use to pick up the localizer, the LOC or APP button? And will the program in the FMC have any influence on this? Jeff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

1. ATC always contacts you.2. LOC/APP has less to do with a STAR approach then with the type of approach.I'll try to explain:Inititally, when starting the flight, you file a fight plan with your full SID/STAR approaches that you, the PIC or in some cases dispatch, select based on wind, weather and runway conditions. You enter the STAR at a given "entry point" based on the charts. The charts clearly depict your desired altitude along the STAR and you "just" follow the waypoints until ATC clears you for the ILS approach. In case of an ILS approach, you just follow the procedure and intercept the ILS, capture the glideslope and, well. land. LOC captures the localizer (horiztonally), APP captures additionally the glideslope.Hope this helps,Pat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, That clears it up.Any recommendations for payware ATC programs that work with FSX and SID/STAR capable aircraft?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately, there are no ATC add-ons that really correctly simulate SID/STARS. The closest add-on that can be compared to the "real deal" is Radar Contact. However, it will just keep silent and expects to to follow the SID or STAR, while that rarely happens in real life where you maybe get to fly a part of a SID/STAR and then get vectored around until the final approach. No ATC add-on that I am aware of simulates those procedures correctly, I am afraid.SID/STARs in the simulator are also almost impossible to fly, because the data of the flight management computer systems (usually supplied by Navigraph) for complex add-ons never really matches up with the current charts that can be found online.I suggested already a while ago to freeze SID/STARs to a unified level, so that there are no significant disconnects between the AIRAC/SID-STAR releases from NaviGraph and the SimCharts (or current approach plates), but that's unfortunately far from reality.Pat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pat is right on how the ATC works in real life versus the 3rd party stuff not simulating this aspect the way it's done in real life, even though I've suggested many times exactly how a developer could do it, no one listens.Anyhow, I'm not so sure the SIDs or STARs are impossible to fly. It's true that the data changes often, and many new charts are made as old ones are removed from use, however, I've always created my flights with the SID and STAR data incorporated in the FP. Then when I take off, FS does a very decent job keeping me on to my plan, and any deviation from that is minor. For the approach, you can select from the different approaches once the controller tells you to turn to a different heading and expect runway X. It seems, and I can't always say it's worked perfectly because when I do this, I choose a new approach and find a waypoint that puts me in the IAP for ILS or RNAV inline with the runway. Then just match that waypoint and tell the plane to head to that new waypoint, discarding my STAR half way through. My point is, I remember not finding certain waypoints in the list of approaches into a certain airport and just choosing the closest match via a map (paper), then telling ATC I'll take it, while telling the plane (GPS/FMC) to head to the new IAP I have on paper. It has always appeared as though ATC didn't care whether I was going to the waypoint I told them, but just waited until I was a certain distance out to give me a new descent altitude and to precede to the runway VIA the XYZ approach and to contact tower so they could allow my landing.Yes, this method isn't perfect, and you may be using a new IAP or fix that isn't in the sim, therefore ATC will use the word for the old waypoint, but at least it's better than nothing and allows you to fly the IAP and simulate a real flight without getting hassled from ATC for not turning to a new heading or whatever. Plus, you still get traffic reports and some instruction to descend and contact tower.I've asked and mentioned many times about adopting the strategy of applying true STAR and IAP approaches into 3rd party programs using some methods that would all but make it perfect, but I can't seem to convince anyone how easy it is. I'm not a programmer or I'd do it myself. The only lacking element would be the ability to name the waypoints or charts because those change and no way could anyone include all the words for every fix and chart. Aside from that, you'd be able to use the method MS ATC uses of just naming the fix using phonetic alphabet words (zulu, x-ray, ect...), which is perfectly acceptable and would allow for adding waypoints. The idea of flying a SID/STAR/IAP is completely possible and is close to how MS, RC, and others do it. The only way to make it work is to allow the user to make the FP, forcing ATC to follow it unless you need to deviate, and to allow for altitude constraints in the ATC application that match the real world charts. Allow the user the option to get vectors or to stay on a STAR they chose, which could be from a selection of more than one depending on runway conditions and so on. ProFlight Emulator kinda simulates this but lacks in many other areas. Overall , it's a fairly simple concept and I hope someone does it sooner than later.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, thanks guys, I guess I'll save my money as far as ATC software. A big thumbs up on your ideas to force the ATC to follow your FP and options to fly the STAR or get vectored. I'd even like to have the ATC decide based on traffic. But then they would have to limit it's reach to say a 10 mile radius around the airport so ATC can't interrupt your flight half way though. Now if I only knew how to program.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's pretty much how I handle SID/STARs. However the chart problem still remains: Many, many times I have planned a flight with FSBuild and got a SID or STAR that was either not present in the FMC or not available as a chart.We do have all the charts (SimCharts, real life, Internet), but they often just don't match up. For example, the SimCharts use data from sometime in 2005. Those charts match up perfectly with the initial AIRAC that is used for the current MS-GPS in FSX. For planes without an FMC, this is ideal. However, for the big irons, it doesn't work, because Navigraph didn't make that data available for the FMCs. Flying an ILS, SID/STAR without both plates AND FMC data is pretty useless in eyes, because, well, you need to get both to really accurately fly an instrument approach.You idea for ATC is great. I don't really know why it is so hard to implement. RC could, for example scan the traffic around the airport (simple API call) and depending on size and capacity of the airport can decide to either let you fly the STAR or vector you around.We do have plenty of SID/STAR databases available, but just not a unified one that could be used by an ATC app, FMC and FSX alike.What we need is a unified, frozen AIRAC/SID-STAR database, based on the AIRAC used in FSX -or- a dynamic AIRAC system that allows you to print more simplified approaches based on the data provided.Pat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> for example scan the traffic around the airport (simple API call)Well, if this were true, getting rich would be as simple as going to the bank.But yeah, once you have a SimConnect client set up, one single call can request all the AI object within a certain range. Here's the first challenge: this is relative to the user's plane, not an airport.Next you will need an event handler. Still trivial, but it will be called for once for every object returned, so you have to check whether you have all objects and also take care of handling the case where no object at all is returned.Now that you have all the objects, you must translate their positions from relative to the plane to relative to the airport, hoping that the range available around the plane is large enough to get a usable range around the airport.Next, you would have to decide what is busy and what is not. Using simconnect, I see no way to find out the size of an airport. You can get all kinds of data about the plane, but hardly anything about 'scenery'. There is a call to get VOR's in range which does show whether a VOR has a glideslope, so you might be able to tell something about the airport size from the number of ILS systems.If I'm correct, RC 'decompiles' the scenery files to obtain this kind of information.> What we need is a unified, [...] AIRAC/SID-STAR databaseThat would be great, but I guess that only has a small chance of happening if Microsoft would include an AIRAC database with FS that can be used by external developers. Then end-users should demand add-on developers to use this data instead of their own.If MS would supply one version, Navigraph could still sell updates (Stefan would only have to supoort one format from then on). This way at least on your own computer the data would be unified.Daniel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it doesn't even have to be that complicated.When you're in the vicinity of you destination airport (let's say 50nm) than you can make a call to get the number of AI planes around you (doesn't even have to be the airport). Based on TrafficTools and SimConnect, I think it should be possible to determine the destination of every AI plane, let's say in a radius = distance to airport * 1.5.If, for example x or more AI planes have the same destination then trigger a vectored approach. The routine can be checked every 1 minute or so to cross-check results, but once a vectored approach has been issued it cannot be reversed.I think that would be a simple, but more realistic approach to get a little bit more logic in ATC. Of course, it's very basic, but, hey, the more random, surprising, logical events, the better. ;)Pat

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this