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How to make a detailed flight plan?

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As a novice I've been using FSX mainly to navigate around UK scenery (with the excellent Horizon scenery add-on). One facility I'd now like to use is flight planning. But although I have had some kind help on this here a few months ago, I've not yet mastered it.I can make a plan for a basic Airport-to-Airport route, but that doesn't cover the sort of thing I want to do. I want to make a route that looks like a car, bike or hiking journey, following roads, rivers, national trails, etc. IOW, customised by me based on a detailed map. I realise FSX insists it must start and finish at airports but I can always ignore those sections. But it's setting up the detailed intermediate waypoints that has me stumped.Ideally I'd like to be able to create my route in say Google Maps or Google Earth or Memory-Map (all of which I can do, usually finishing with a KML or GPX file). But how exactly do I then IMPORT it into FSX please? Presumably I use the GPS features of FSX? But the Help seems very complicated and so far I've been unable to find a simple worked example. Can anyone step me through this please?BTW, note that my sort of route doesn't have to be realistic in flying terms. A 12 mile hiking path up a twisting mountain valley at 1000 feet AGL is the sort of thing I have in mind!Finally, how do I get my plane to use autopilot to follow a regular flight plan please? I've made my first one for Geneva to Turin, modifying the default by dragging and deleting waypoints. I have that loaded now as I sit in my AirCreation Trike Ultralight on the runway at Geneva. What steps are now necessary to get into a fully-automated flight please?-- Terry, East Grinstead, UK

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>BTW, note that my sort of route doesn't have to be realistic>in flying terms. A 12 mile hiking path up a twisting mountain>valley at 1000 feet AGL is the sort of thing I have in mind!>>Finally, how do I get my plane to use autopilot to follow a>regular flight plan please? I've made my first one for Geneva>to Turin, modifying the default by dragging and deleting>waypoints. I have that loaded now as I sit in my AirCreation>Trike Ultralight on the runway at Geneva. What steps are now>necessary to get into a fully-automated flight please?Why not just have the map in front of you, and navigate according to the map? The skills for navigating in the air are much the same as on the ground -- map and compass. All you need to worry about is the initial heading to get from the nearest airport to your start point, and then just head on up the valley (or wherever). The kind of trip you're describing is pretty standard fare for an aircraft such as the trike (which doesn't have an autopilot, btw). If you're not comfortable with trimming the aircraft for straight & level flight, you could always use something like the Cessna 172, and set the autopilot to altitude hold. Then all you need worry about is steering - and that's just a matter of following the road/valley/river...If you've already made a flight plan, you can make the autopilot follow it by setting the NAV/GPS switch (not part of the autopilot itself) to GPS, and engaging NAV hold on the autopilot. You will also need to engage ALT hold if you want the plane to maintain a constant altitude.

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Terry, you can manually add non-airport waypoints whenever/wherever needed once the FSX flightplan framwork exists.on-the-fly method: I'd be positioned between airports, say, at a road intersection that I want to include in the plan..1. open flight planner and edit the flightplan map - zoom in to add a wp spot close to the current (FSX won't let me add wp to the exact current position)- save change and exit out of flight plan without moving location.2. open/edit .PLN file and edit the newly created wp with more exact coordinates if desired (usually from the info line on screen. Default format is dms but decimal minutes seems to work fine.UserN38

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I create a lot of custom flight plans for the group I fly with, and its very simple in FSX. First decide on a plane and how long you want the flight to be. Then go to the flight planner, and select your destination and departure locations, and the 'GPS - Direct" option. Go to the 'Find route' map page, you will see a straight red line for a course line. Zoom in on the map, scroll it if needed to see other location you want to visit, then LEFT mouse click and HOLD down the button and DRAG the red line to where you want to go. Its just that simple. You can add as many waypoints as you want. If you make a mistake or change your mind, go to the list on the right side, select the waypoint, and delete it.If you really want to add to the experiance, get the 'FSWidgets' thing others have mentioned, and you can watch your flight over a Google map, with your FSX flight plan superimposed, its a hootHope this helps XP Pro SP2-FSX SP2AMD FX60-8800GTS-2 Gigs RAMFEX-GEX-UTUSA-FSGenesis-and a bunch of other stuffComputer optimized by www.fs-gs.com

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Thanks a lot for all the very helpful replies. I'm going to get stuck in and try those practical suggestions asap.-- Terry, East Grinstead, UK

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