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Guest LSangiovanni LIML

Ho do i fly a STAR?

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Hi friends,need help on flying a STAR. I never followed that procedure and i have always been vectored to LOC/GS by approach.Today i'd like to try a new skill...So, how do i select a STAR in FSBuild/FSNavigator if i do not know which Rwy tower will me clear for? I usually fly using Radar Contact and usually i am given a landing prevision as soon as i contact approach. OK. After that what do you usually do?Can anyone experienced please explain in simple words which procedure should i follow?Thanks in advance for helpingLuigi ;-)

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i believe (i'm sure) it is documented in the manualjd

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Yessir!I have printed out the entire book ;-) some time ago; read something but now i need more specific instructions. I usually fly PMDG 737 and while enroute is the FMC who keeps commands; but as soon as center clear me to a lower FL i disengage LNAV+VNAV and fly the plane by myself.Now a simple question: do i have to reach manually the first point of the STAR before to engage again FMC? Which is the correct handling of the entire thing?ForgiveLuigi ;-)

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sounds like we are confusing terms. are you wanting to fly a specific approach? if so, you want to request an iap approach.a star typically ends when approach starts his vectorsjd

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Luigi,Sounds like you're maybe making it all much harder that it really is. A STAR, or Standard Terminal Arrival Route is nothing more than a series of navaids/fixes that they've grouped together and assigned a name. The whole purpose of Departure Procedures(DP)and Standard Terminal Arrival Routes (STAR) is, by definition, to SIMPLIFY ATC CLEARANCES, nothing more. If you have your route programmed into the FMC then there is no need to disengage LNAV mode until you start receiving vectors from the approach controller for sequencing. One thing to keep in mind when arriving on a STAR is that you'll only fly as much of the published arrival procedure as the controllers deem necessary based on traffic volume. Once you start getting vectors off the published STAR by approach control THEN you can disengage LNAV and go to HDG mode. Which is the correct handling of the entire thing? Using the words "correct" or "incorrect" to describe how a procedure may be handled would not necessarily be accurate. No two flights over the same route will ever be identical due to the dynamic nature of weather and traffic volume. ATC has to react to the changes in real time and provide services accordingly. So, if ATC has to keep you up higher a little longer than would be typical on an arrival it's not "wrong", it's just what's needed at the time. Use the aircraft automation to assist you but be prepared at any given time to do what's necessary to comply with ATC instructions.If this didn't help let me know or send me a private message and I'll try again!Mike CollierDispatcher/SOCAmerica West Airlines

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Mike,>If you have your route programmed into the FMC then there is>no need to disengage LNAV mode until you start receiving>vectors from the approach controller for sequencing. That's what i did so far but now most simmers talk about SID/STAR's and this look more professional...Probably, as JD noticed (thanks JD ;-)) i messed up STAR with Final Approach (IAP); so i ask why not to use RCv3 as usual and leave STAR's at their place? Are STAR's really useful?Also, building my flightplan inside FSBuild, how can i select correct STAR for the runway i'll be cleared?And finally, on PMDG forum i read i can insert in FMC a STAR on the fly once approach has cleared me to a specific rwy. Now, usually this happens when about 50 nm off the arrival apt, it's not too late?And also in this case, how do i select the correct STAR from the list?Forgive tons of questions Luigi ;-)

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Luigi,Keep in mind that most simmers aren't professional pilots, or aren't even Instrument rated. This DP/STAR thing everyone loves so much is not even needed in FS. For one thing, there's no ATC program, including FS, that even knows what DP's/STAR's are, much less what they're named. For me, it's unnecessary because there's no traffic.The point of a DP/STAR is, as Mike said, to make it easier for the entire system to know where you're going and how to sequence you into the pattern. Most airports, including KDEN, don't even use DP's if they're not busy. And every STAR ends at the approach handoff point or crossing restriction, just like RC does it. Pilots are told which intercept to cross or enter the approach space, and they may, or may not, be given an approach pattern. Most likely they'll be told where to fly, at what altitude, and what speed, just like RC does. As an airport gets busy, approach plates aren't used - only vectors. When the airport isn't busy, most often the pilot will be vectored straight to the FAF.It's not more professional to use, just sometimes easier for the controllers. Your computer can follow you really well and talk all day without a problem.And most pilots don't want to fly the published approach plate because it takes more time and more fuel and more attention to what they're doing. It's a lot easier to get "Airline 123, fly left then right then right again then descend and call tower at marker". Flying the plate is more for bad weather, especially if there's no radar control or any real control at all and you don't know the area.One thing in my brain is I have this "DP's and STAR's are old technology" thing. I fly free-flight. I'm ahead of the world.Besides, like the real pilots, I want to wrap my hands around the stick every chance I get. The only two times an airline jock gets to actuially fly is initial climb-out and landing. Most airlines require the plane be on auto-pilot for economy. For the intervening 2-14 hours, they just sit there looking at all the pretty lights.I even have a passenger window on all my panels so I can kick back and look out the side at the world passing by, eating my bag of peanuts. For 99% of a flight, FS a nothing more than a passenger simulator. Needless to say, just like in the real world, I really start to get excited with that initla descent call, and I can actually start doing something.

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Scott>Needless to say, just like in the real>world, I really start to get excited with that initla descent>call, and I can actually start doing something.Same here, obviously! My question was because on several forums many simmers ask about SID/STAR and as all we want is "as real as it gets" we're looking forward complicating our lifes with real procedures.At the moment i'm quite happy with vectored RCv3 approaches.Just one question: i read on the manual that for airports w/o approach, once METAR given, center should not vector in any case and also should not yell at me if i do not descend right away to final FL. But the other day center continously ask me to "descend and mantain 1000ft." How is it possible?Thanks for helpingLuigi ;-)

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Luigi,RC 3.1 uses the MSA altitude for the final altitude into any airport. I've found that even if I'm cruising at something like 9000', RC tells me to CLIMB to 11,000' (in my case for Boulder Muni, 1V5), when I should be, in fact, descending.This is something I'm dscussing with JD. ;-) Approach will take a look at the terrain altitude below you before sending you to final, but Center doesn't do that. They adamantly stick to the MSA.I keep saying it's a bug. ;-)Try resetting the MSA altitude for the destination airport on the controller page. If you know the altitude you should be, you can editthe a2.txt file (always make a backup first).

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Hi Scott,not sure what MSA stands for...can you please explain a dumb simmer?take careLuigi ;-)

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Luigi,The MSA is the Minimum Safe Altitude for approach. In real life this is more of MVA - Minimum Vertoring Altitude.JD scans 20 miles around all the airports and includes the highest point in the a2.txt file as the MSA.On the RC Controller's page, you'll see the MSA listed. That's the lowest you'll be descended to for final. However, RC will look at your terrain altitude on downwind and base to see what the ground altitude really is where you are and use that for it's final altitude. At least APC does that. From my tests, Center doesn't do that, it uses the MSA. So if you don't have an approach controller, you will be told to go to the MSA.

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Scott,> So if you>don't have an approach controller, you will be told to go to>the MSA.How can i stop center calling me and remind i should be lower at that point? I thought center had to leave me on my own...ThanksLuigi ;-)

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have you reset your altimeter to the local pressure?jd

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Hi everybody,I need some explanation about this argument and I write directly in italian to Luigi. Thanks guys.Ciao Luigi, ho cercato di mandarti una mail privata ma non funziona il collegamento.Riesci a darmi una dritta su come usare in modo corretto FS Navigator e Radar Contact 3 ?Quando creo un piano di volo con FS Navigator, lo salvo nel suo formato, poi lo esporto in formato per FS2002, qundi carico l'avventura in FS 2002 e poi il file *.pln in RC3. Purtroppo RC3 sembra che non veda la rotta stabilita dal piano di volo e soprattutto ignora completamente SID, STAR e FIX.Come posso fare? se vuoi ti do la mia e-mail cos

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When you say RC does not see the route for the DP's and STAR's, RC does see the DP/SID and STAR, but there are rules.When you are given your clearance, you are told "via published Departure Procedures" or if you checked the "Flex DP" box, that's the same as filing a DP. That means you are expected to fly the plan on your own since you filed it. When you are less than 20 miles from the aorport, you need to pass every waypoint within 2 miles. Outside that, pass within 5 miles of the waypoint.STAR's are different. RC basically throws out your plan once you are in Approach airspace. This is normal since controllers have their own idea of how to fit you into their plan. Everyone has to be vectored to a tiny spot (the runway) so they have an idea of how best to do that. Now, you can request IAP (Instrument Approach Procedure) and pick the type you want. Then Approach expects you to fly it on your own since you supposedly know how to fly it, or you wouldn't have requested it.Also, what FIXes are being ignored? You really need to make sure you have enough space between your waypoints so RC has time to see you cross them. FS Nav can have points too close if you use a DP/SID in it.So when you say RC doesn't see the route, does the above cover what your problem is, or is there another problem? Can you be a little more specific as to what the problem is?

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