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Guest BlueRidgeDx

How compatible is the use of SIDs and STARs with FSX AT...

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Can anyone clarify whether we can use SID and STARS (approaches and departures) along with FSX ATC? How compatible are the SIDs and STARs with FSX ATC as it is the ATC in FSX which dictates our approach out and in of airports.From about 70 miles away from the airport until ATC gives the heading to intercept the ILS it is the ATC that dictates which heading we should fly and the altitude. So where does SID and STARS come into the FSX ATC system?Even when departing the airport no sooner the Ground control hands over, the first instruction is to turn heading

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Sure you can. You enter the SID or STAR into your flight plan, and ATC will faithfully guide you through it.When you get close to the airport, ATC will give you vectors-to-final. You *DECLINE* this request (tell ATC to "stand by"). Then you select the approach that you want from the menu presented to you in ATC.ATC will then let you fly the approach and won't yell at you. RhettAMD 3700+ (@2585 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2gb Corsair XMS 3-3-3-8 (1T), WD 150 gig 10000rpm Raptor, WD 250gig 7200rpm SATA2, Seagate 120gb 5400 rpm external HD, CoolerMaster Praetorian

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You have to file the SID or the STAR as part of your Flight Plan in FSX.EDIT ******Sorry Rhett, I cross posted on top of youEDIT *****These approach /departures have been avalible since the release of FS9. Many Users never explore the full potential of the default ATC and continue to use it as a Novice hand holding type ATC. As a Pilot you have to do your part also and stop asking for the vectors to the default final approach fix (FAF). If you download the following KATL there is a readme on how to add the CANUK STAR to your FP. The CANUK STAR entrance starts 335 Miles from KATL over Jacksonville, Fla. (CRG VOR). Once you are within the Canuk Transition zone (70 NM) then you tell ATC you want the correct entrance WAYPOINT for any of the 3 runways (based on winds) on the southside of the Main Terminal. If you have ever flown into KATL in real world the SID /STAR's and Transitions are identical to what a real plane flys arriving /departing from /to the NE, NW, SW and (SE CANUK arrival).http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID...fcad&DLID=96100My files also include the correct STAR/Transitions for other airports like EHAM, KASE, KMSP, VHHX, LOWI, etc. Many of the FSX STAR /Transitions to final also have holding patterns that the default ATC requires you to enter for a minimum of one circuit prior to flying the approach for the active runways. This gives you time to descend to the correct altitude if by chance your entrance to the Transition is high. The holding pattern also allows you to space yourself properly between AI traffic so you do not get a go around. Transition holding patterns are set 1000 ft higher if located on a proceed direct to the FAF then the AI traffic so all AI Planes fly below you (1000 ft spacing) inbound on final.The default FS ATC has many other features such as published missed approaches that they direct you to with a required holding pattern. The User Pilot makes the choice wheather to fly the Novice hand holding techniqes or the more advanced published approaches /missed approaches. Once you master the more advanced ATC system in FS then you load your SID /STAR to the default GPS reciever. If you "LOAD" and "ACTIVATE" the published approach /departure the autopilot in GPS mode will do all the flying for you. The GPS mode is very useful when inbound to a airport that uses LDA, SDF, GPS, RNAV, VOR, VOR DME Arc, NDB type approach Transitions to final as per the FS ATC which doubles has a learning curve tool.Before anyone else here or elsewhere tells you it can't be done please read the documents in the learning center.

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When ATC will let me fly the published SID/STAR including altitude restrictions, radials and whatever else is a published restriction, then I would say it let's you fly SID/STARs.Being vectored along under ATC control without regard to the published restrictions is not my idea of flying a SID/STAR. What's the point of SID/STARS if ATC is going to hold your hand to each waypoint and give you conflicting altitudes.

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>When ATC will let me fly the published SID/STAR including>altitude restrictions, radials and whatever else is a>published restriction, then I would say it let's you fly>SID/STARs.>>Being vectored along under ATC control without regard to the>published restrictions is not my idea of flying a SID/STAR.>What's the point of SID/STARS if ATC is going to hold your>hand to each waypoint and give you conflicting altitudes. Because that's how it is in real life? Understand that SIDs and STARs are mainly for use if communications are lost. By having them included in your filed flightplan, ATC will automatically assume you are flying the flightplan as filed, if for any reason radio contact is lost.ATC always trumps anything you may have in your filed flightplan.

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Agreed, but SID/STARS are not just for lost commicantion, they are preferred routes in and out of the airport, and help ease the burden on ATC.All I am saying is that if you want to fly a real SID/STAR and not just follow a similar course, then the default ATC will not let you do it. How are you going to fly a procedure radial when ATC wants you vectored straight to the next waypoint, cause that's all it knows how to do. And forget altitude restrictions.At least products like RC4 are a little more realistic. It will assign you an initial altitude restriction, then usually release you to fly the rest of the SID. And you can usually get a good portion of the STAR in before ATC wants you vectored, and even then, you can ask to fly the whole STAR and ATC will be there to hand you off to tower.

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SkullxBones The post topic is asking about what FSX ATC can do and not about what 3rd party ATC can do. >>>Agreed, but SID/STARS are not just >for lost commicantion, they are preferred >routes in and out of the airport, >and help ease the burden on ATC.>>A STAR is defined differently based on what Country you are flying in. The STAR's in Europe are very different then what the USA and other large country's use. Most STAR's in small Country's are actually a entrance (IAF) to a Transition which then leads the Pilot to the IAF for the approach to a runway. A STAR for most large Country's that are not confined to borders start 300 to 400 miles at an IAF from the arrival airport and end 30 to 60 miles prior to the arrival airport. At that point FSX ATC can by request vector you the Pilot to the IAF for the Transition to the IAF of the type approach in use (ILS etc.) >>>All I am saying is that if you want to >fly a real SID/STAR and not >just follow a similar course, then >the default ATC will not let you do it.>>That is not true. In large Country's a STAR is part of your FP. In small Countrys the STAR is not embedded in the FP of FSX but must be requested by FSX ATC which is actually an IAF to the Terminal Transition that leads you all the way to a runway. The FSX ATC understands both types of STARS defined by Country.>>>How are you going to fly a procedure >radial when ATC wants you vectored >straight to the next waypoint, >cause that's all it knows how to do. >>What do you think a IAF or FAF is. Most are a Waypoint or a Terminal_Waypoint. Your statement again is not the way FSX ATC works. When flying a STAR arrival in the FP or a Transition to the Approach IAF you are only told once by ATC that you are cleared and fly direct to the entrance point of the IAF for the Transition. FSX ATC at that point requires you to fly the procedure based on Approach charts. Why? You said it best and that is to also help ease the burden on ATC so FSX ATC honors that.>>>And forget altitude restrictions.>>Why should we forget altitude restrictions. FSX ATC did not forget them. In the USA you file the STAR as part of the FP. When you are 100 to 130 NM's from the Airport (altitude vs distance in a FSX grid) ATC will start your descent. The altitude restriction is in the coded XML. If you ask for the Transition from the approach controller ATC will tell you to descend to the published altitude as per the proper approach plate. EHAM is 10,000 ft for their IAF Transition Waypoints's, LOWI is 13,000 ft. for the holding pattern prior to flying the RWY 08 Localizer, KMSP is 7,000 ft. for the CAT III RWY 35 ILS, KATL is either 13,000 ft or 16,000 ft in the XML based on which end of a runway is the active and what STAR you are transitioning off of to intercept the IAF Waypoint for the Terminal Transition.

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>All I am saying is that if you want to fly a real SID/STAR and>not just follow a similar course, then the default ATC will>not let you do it.Sure it will! You're simply following the easy path and not exploring the many options that are available to you...

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>How are you going to fly a procedure radial>when ATC wants you vectored straight to the next waypoint,>cause that's all it knows how to do.The default ATC handles procedure turns quite well if you know how to ask for the approach and put it into the GPS. Since I fly mainly small aircraft into airport without an ILS, I frequently use VOR or NDB approaches with procedure turns - which the ATC and GPS handle quite well.The ATC handles altitude very well and will put you in a holding pattern if you are off the required altitude.But - the procedures have to be coded into the approach. The approach must be selected both in the ATC window and in the GPS.But the FS default ATC does require that the pilot be familiar with the individual approach and know what is expected. It's not for novices or people who don't want to learn.Also, the FS default approach database is fixed in time - April 2005 we've been told. So some new procedures might not be in the DB.Also, everything we've said about approaches, flying SID/ STAR in FSX applies to FS2004. Those capabilities have existed for almost five years.

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Jim, I know you've done good work massaging the ATC engine to get increased functionality from the FS ATC engine, but I'm a bit confused.As a dispatcher, I file about 250 flight plans a week, most include a DP/STAR. While FS seems to handle the SID/DP part okay, I've yet to see ATC do anything remotely realistic when it comes to flying a STAR.In the real world, we don't ask ATC to fly the STAR. Its in the flight plan, and we just fly it. ATC will give crossing restrictions for one or more of the fixes, or give us a "descend via" clearance. If we're leading the pack, or if its off-peak hours, then we don't begin getting vectors until within about 15 miles of the airport.If it is busy, we might get vectors for traffic or spacing, but obviously FS can't accomodate that yet. Barring that, we usually get vectored into a downwind/base/straight-in as appropriate. All of which are flown within a few miles of the airport.On the other hand, FS behaves quite differently.I input all of the waypoints of my flightplan in the FS "planner", including the waypoints of the destination STAR.ATC may let me fly the initial portions of that STAR, but come #### or high water, at about 70nm from the field, ATC gives me an inappropriate vector off the STAR. From then on, ATC uses vectors that don't match any real-world procedure, and I usually wind up on a 35nm final at 3000ft...From what I gather, to make FS do what it should do automatically, I have to choose not to accept the vectors, and request what amounts to a "full procedure" approach. I understand that doing this may allow me to fly the STAR unmolested, but I don't think it can be called "realistic". Its certainly a viable work-around, but it falls short of being able to say that FS ATC truly supports STARs.I don't say that to trivialize the work you've done. Not by any stretch. I just think its a little unfair for some to say that users are responsible to "experiment" or "explore" the ATC functionality.I think its a reasonable request that the basic ATC engine provide some minimal support for us to file and fly a STAR without jumping through unrealistic hoops to trick it into doing so.Regards,Nick

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Guys, it appears we are talking about two different things. My answer was to the OP question as to how compatible are the SIDs and STARs with FSX ATC. Not how can you make FSX loosely simulate some aspects of SID/STAR navigation. The first red flag that things aren't compatible is the fact you have no way of filing a valid flight plan with procedures in FSX. So right off the bat, FSX is not simulating real flight, we're into smoke and mirrors as far as SID/STARs.And if you can't file a procedure, how are you going to get clearance for it? Even if clearance somehow knew the departure you want, it will never clear you to fly it. Instead you get the canned 'cleared as filed'. Now some might think that gives you the go ahead. It doesn't. Clearance must say the SID/Transition in the clearance to be valid, and since it never mentions any procedure by name that I am aware of, how can anyone say FSX is compatible with SID/STARS?Yeah, you can make it do some of the things in SID/STAR navigation, but it's not a SID/STAR simulator.

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Nick:Thank goodness someone gets what SIDs and STARs are and are not. In the real world flying into and out of Class A, B and C airspace you won't be doing whatever you want just because it says so in the STAR A STAR is nothing but a fixed set of waypoints into and out of Class B and C airspace that makes life easy for ATC in getting all aircraft to enter the traffic flow from a specific entry point. That's all. Its a part of your flightplan and ATC knows it, but all it is, is just a bunch of waypoints just like your other waypoints except all aircraft coming into that airport have the same ones.You don't ask ATC to fly a STAR and you won't get permission to fly your charts unassisted all the way to the FAF. Ain't going to happen. The altitudes on the STAR are there for you as a pilot to have fore-knowledge of what to expect, however, ATC will make you do whatever is necessary to get you sequenced, and in the pattern at his or her convienence and not yours. Likewise, as has been pointed out, if you lose radio contact you can fly the STAR and ATC will at least understand your intentions. If you want to realistically fly a STAR simply put its waypoints in your flight plan. ATC will take care of the rest as they do in real life. And when ATC is ready they will vector you as necessary to the FAF as in real life. Think of it this way. In Class A airspace (+FL180) you are under positive control at all times. You CANNOT start a decent without ATC allowing you and ATC is not going to let you do as you please unless you are given "at pilots discresion".In the terminal area for Class B and C airspace you are also under positive control and can't do anything without ATC allowing you to regardless of what your STAR charts say. So this whole, "handholding" thing stems from a misconception of what a STAR is and isn'tThe problem with both Radar Contact and some other ATC programs is that it allows you to fly a STAR all the way to the FAF which is absolutely incorrect (despite the claims of enhanced realism).SO, yes, ATC will handhold you when you are flying a STAR, that's the way its done in real life. If you don't want handholding then simply fly VFR flights and stay out of the A, B, C and D airspace otherwise that's just the way it is.

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>If you want to realistically fly a STAR simply put its >waypoints in your flight plan. ATC will take care of the rest >as they do in real life. And when ATC is ready they will >vector you as necessary to the FAF as in real life.Mike,Your opening sentence made me think you were agreeing with me, but the above quoted paragraph makes me wonder.Unless we are getting vectored for traffic/spacing, we almost always fly the STAR as published. Obviously, the crossing restrictions printed on the plate are for planning purposes only, and would only be used if you're given a "Descend via" clearance, or you're NORDO.That said, even if I specify a STAR with an RNAV transition that takes me all the way to the FAF in the FS flight planner, at 70nm from the field, ATC WILL vector me off the STAR. That is not usually correct.FS should allow me to fly the published lateral track of the STAR, only issueing crossing restrictions, PD descents, or a Descend via clearance as appropriate.Vectors should ideally only be given passing the last waypoint on the STAR, or at the waypoint that is noted to EXPECT radar vectors thereafter. e.g. "Landing North, expect radar vectors to final approach course prior to NDREA WP." >In the terminal area for Class B and C airspace you are also >under positive control and can't do anything without ATC >allowing you to regardless of what your STAR charts say. So >this whole, "handholding" thing stems from a misconception of >what a STAR is and isn'tExcept for the truth that you're under positive control, I'm not sure I agree. I've never once heard ATC clear us for a STAR, unless it was an amended clearance and the route/STAR was being changed. Or am I misunderstanding what you're saying?Just one of numerous examples: We file the LTOWN arrival into MEM, and unless amended, ATC never makes any reference to it. The only time LTOWN is spoken by ATC is to tell us to "Cross LTOWN at and maintain xx thousand". The LTOWN arrival is in our flightplan and ATC expects us to fly it. >SO, yes, ATC will handhold you when you are flying a STAR, >that's the way its done in real life. If you don't want >handholding then simply fly VFR flights and stay out of the A, >B, C and D airspace otherwise that's just the way it is.I maintain that ATC should not randomly vector you off the STAR more than 70nm from the field. Regards,NickEDITED: Because I re-read Mike's post a couple times, and now I understand his comments better.

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