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Guest emergency_pants

a strange thing...

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...I was just flying my first trans atlantic flight using RC3.0 and as I left the coast of N Ireland, ATC told me I was off course, and to fly heading 260'. Thing is, my flight plan, in FS2002 GPS and in FSNav4.0 indicated that I was right over the correct course, which was about 300'. 260' would have pointed me totally in the wrong direction, according to the FSNav map.Then they got arsey, until the fourth time, when I switched RC off. Unfortunately, I could only get VFR on the FS2002 atc. Damn shame... and I'd been flying for quite some time.It seems that there was some sort of discrepency between how the plan reads such a huge leap (from land waypoint East Altlantic towards a land waypoint on the West Atlantic) and how RC reads it.This is a shame... is there any way I can get around this, other than placing random fix points across the atlantic? Is there a guideline for fixing a route across the Atlantic?Is it something that I'm not understanding properly... or is it something between the flight planner and RC?Your help/comments would be appreciated.Many thanks.Simon.

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there are routes across the large bodies of water, with reporting waypoints, and intersections. include those in the flight plan, and you'll be fine. i think scott uses an intersection every 300 miles

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Yep - 300-400 miles and I stick in a fix. I also use the NATs routes, which sometimes will have the fixes listed at about 400 miles or so apart.RC's not real good at Great Circle flying, so it's best to keep legs to no more than 500 miles. 400 works with less fuel loss. 300 is optimal, but takes a while to plot.I can fly 8000 nm this way without a problem.

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Is there a guideline for fixing a route across the Atlantic?Yes, although they're not mandatory, the majority of aircraft crossing the North Atlantic do so on what's called an Organised Track Structure. Unlike their fixed overland counterparts, these tracks - known as North Atlantic tracks (NAT tracks) change regularly (often daily) to take account of the weather patterns over the Atlantic. In simple terms, they usually have waypoints spaced at each 10 degrees of longitude and each track is separated laterally by 1 degree of latitude (i.e. 60 nautical miles apart which, if my memory serves me correctly is the basic Oceanic ATC separation). The tracks themselves are identified by letters - from the beginning of the alphabet for westbound tracks and at the end for eastbound. Here are a couple of examples from today:EastboundX DOTTY 52/50 53/40 54/30 54/20 DOGAL BABANW YAY 53/50 54/40 55/30 55/20 NIBOG TADEXWestboundB DINIM 50/20 48/30 47/40 46/50 BANCSC SOMAX 49/20 47/30 46/40 45/50 RAFINYou can see clearly the 10 degree east/west progression and the 1 degree track separation. For more information on daily NAT tracks and links to other Oceanic sites go to: http://www.natroutes.glideslope.de/You'll also find some suggested tracks at: http://www.vatsim-uk.net/vatsim-uk/ under Oceanic OCA.The next step is to get this track information in your flight plan. I note you mention FSNav4 which, fortunately, contains all these waypoints. The 5-letter waypoints such as DOTTY, DOGAL etc, can be entered as is but the lat/lon ones such as 52/50 (N520000W0500000) etc., need a slightly different format for input. In FSNav you'll find 52/50 is 5250n, 48/30 is 4830n, 45/50 is 4550n and so on.Try entering Track X, above, into FSNav using this format for the lat/lon and you'll find you get a great-circle(-ish) track with waypoints about 350 miles apart which is fine for RC3.Good luckPete

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Pete, Scott, John,Thanks for the info... I usually only fly short hops and despite using MSFS for a long time, I've never tried to fly a carrier route across a major body of water. My girlfriend is currently flying from Heathrow to Auckland via KLAX, so I thought I'd fly it (out of sympathy maybe? hehe) and see what route Air New Zealand takes.The second leg of the journey sees a leg which runs clear across the pacific, via Tahiti, so I'm now in a better position to plan this properly.Thanks for your help.Simon.

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Another option I've used instead of inserting a bunch of way points is to change the setting for heading deviation. If you set this to 30 instead of the default, you can usually fly the circle route without getting yelled at. The problem with this approach is that you can't let your copilot fly the plane - she'll head off on what RC thinks is the correct heading instead of flying the correct route. The FS autopilot in NAV/GPS mode will fly the right route, but of course won't respond to ATC so you have to pay attention and handle any traffic deviations yourself.

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