Any SID and STAR tips?

  • Right now Aerofly FS 2 is my main sim and I am loving it but the more I use it, the more problems I have with arrivals. I like to fly in and out of airports I don't know but way too often I find out during approach that I am heading into a mountain and the approach (and automated FAF) is wrong or at least not convenient. Now I know (or at least hope) that this will be solved whenever ATC will be released but I was wondering if anyone here has a tip on how to sort of simulate a SID but specially a STAR in AFS2 in the meantime.


    There are a few problems here:

    - first of all you have to figure out which (SID and) STAR you need

    - whenever you have found the STAR you have the problem that the automated FAF it totally off which may make 'copying' the STAR into the planner a problem

    - next problem might be how to manage constraints


    Is there anyone here who is actualling using STARs in a certain way? How do you figure out the STAR? Do you download the charts and fly the STAR by hand? Do you program it into the plan as good as possible? Do you have any other tips on how to fly approaches more realistically and without flying into mountains?


    I used to have various addons to generate flightplans including SID and STAR but I don't have those installed at this moment and besides, afaik they all need P3D to be installed too. I would like to be able to fly with SIDs and STARs without having to install P3D and those addons. So any tips to make this sim even more of a sim are welcome! ;)

  • What I tend to do is add the waypoints which line up to the runway to the flight plan. On the navigation map, if you click on the triangle down the bottom left it will display all the waypoints. I don't bother looking up charts, there's little point unless you want to be that exact.


    Here's hoping ATC isn't too far away. With the recent plane improvements and upcoming Netherlands scenery, the desire for better IFR operations has become higher. :)

    - Ashley

    P3D v4 / AFS2 / XP11 | Intel i7-4790K oc'ed @ 4.6GHz | 16GB RAM | 8GB Nvidia GTX1070 | Windows 10 64-bit | Oculus Rift

  • What I tend to do is add the waypoints which line up to the runway to the flight plan. On the navigation map, if you click on the triangle down the bottom left it will display all the waypoints. I don't bother looking up charts, there's little point unless you want to be that exact.


    Here's hoping ATC isn't too far away. With the recent plane improvements and upcoming Netherlands scenery, the desire for better IFR operations has become higher. :)

    That's what I've done so far but even then I manage to be blocked by mountains. Like yesterday I flew into KRNO runway 34L and plotted a plan that would lead me around the mountains I saw on the navigation map. But during approach I noticed there still were mountains/hills almost blocking my way (I ended up flying too low and had to stop descending a bit to avoid them): they had a sand color and hence I couldn't see on the map that they were mountains. It simply isn't always possible to see where the mountains are. And besides, the programmed constraints simply were too low because they don't take the terrain into account at all.


    Yes, here's hoping for ATC but I don't expect ATC this year already. Maybe, perhaps, who knows, next year. Until then I'd like to prevent problems during approaches like I am having now.


    (And btw another thing that is annoying me is the huge amount of runways that have an ILS according to the planner but who don't actually have one once you get there...)

  • Yeah it takes some good guessing to get it right. Otherwise you could use a software like LittleNavMap to see where the STAR goes and what waypoints it may go over. Being too close to the mountains is no fun, especially if you don't want to see any pop-in. :P

    - Ashley

    P3D v4 / AFS2 / XP11 | Intel i7-4790K oc'ed @ 4.6GHz | 16GB RAM | 8GB Nvidia GTX1070 | Windows 10 64-bit | Oculus Rift

  • Otherwise you could use a software like LittleNavMap to see where the STAR goes and what waypoints it may go over.

    Problem is that LittleNavMap requires a sim to be installed to get its data from.


    BTW Something that doesn't help is the altitude that AFS2 calculates for the FAF (which can be seen on the MCDU in the Airbus): I noticed it's around 2000 ft above the landing altitude. 2500 or even 3000 might be better!

  • You can right click any point on the nav chart and add a checkpoint at that location. No need to use the closest intersection. You can also click and drag any flight path to a new location, just drag it to where you would like to have it.


    "BTW Something that doesn't help is the altitude that AFS2 calculates for the FAF (which can be seen on the MCDU in the Airbus): I noticed it's around 2000 ft above the landing altitude. 2500 or even 3000 might be better!" J van E


    If you are above the published FAF you will not be able to intercept the Glide Slope at that point.


    Regards,

    Ray

    When Pigs Fly. A steely-eyed Sierra Hotel record setting F-15E Strike Eagle simulator pilot. 8o

    ready for some voices in the sky? now available . . . Aerofly FS2 RC ATC https://afs2rcatc.com/


  • Yes, I know how to edit a plan, that isn't the problem. ;) Creating a plan that doesn't endanger lives is. ;)


    In the Q400 I always descent to an altitude of 3000 ft above the landing altitude: can't remember ending up above the GS at anytime. 2000 ft will surely get you below the GS but you will also have a far greater possibility of meeting a mountain. I just flew into KRNO again after descending to 3000 ft above the landing altitude and that worked fine. The suggested altitude of 2000 ft above the landing altitude (which btw isn't a published FAF but an automated one: AFS2 doesn't use published approaches and constraints yet)) would have worked in this case but it would have had me flying over the hills at an uncomfortable altitude.


    I guess that in the end I am just ready and (too) eagerly waiting for the ATC update... ;)

  • Obviously fly manually or select levels and climb/descent rates via the auto pilot. I don't use the route for landings as the auto final leg is dumb stupid, just enter the waypoints as accurately as you can and monitor your progress with nav aids and a map display (if available) together with the star (or sid) and an approach plate.

    I use an iPad with SkyVector which can easily display the plates by clicking on the airport name. SkyVector doesn't really work well with an Android but I'm sure alternatives are out there. It would help if the Aero route self generated fixes could be self-named instead of having a gibberish name.

    I haven't tried to have the SkyVector page open in the same PC that is running Aerofly. There are windows page in view key pad combinations such as 'windows' + m but Aero doesn't facilitate attempted interuptions.


    Has anyone had a STAR or approach plate copy Aerofly route go crazy right at the end? I have had Palm Springs and Ontario go crazy and draw wide convolutions at the last minute or 'progress' to an earlier waypoint! I think the Aero route does not like course reversals near or over 180 degrees. I got the Palm Springs 31L RNAV procedure into a Aero route perfectly fine but it went crazy in actual use. I was using the 737 and knew that something was wrong but did not have a map display to show me the new spaghetti Aero route.


    It would be nice if we could store a complex route for future use or for sharing.

  • Thanks for the SkyVector tip: I was thinking about using Simbrief but SV is indeed easy with all charts a few clicks away. I just have to figure out how to add a SID and specially a STAR to the flight. I'll dig into that: I'm sure there are good tutorials out there for that.

  • Hello,


    Well in my case, I also use skyvector only to get the ILS and other approach data of the final airport. I try to always fly to an airport runway which has an ILS freq because I like to use auto-pilot and APR mode (with glideslope etc.).

    Indeed when defining the plan in AFS2 you have simple waypoints (stars) and VOR's, so those which have a freq you can use with the NAV1 and NAV auto-pilot selectors.

    Most of time as you say there are STARs when you leave the runway from the departure airport but you can easily use the HDG auto-pilot mode and use :

    - the heading compass to the direction specified on your flight plan

    - the clock on the dashboard in combination with the distance also specified on your flight plan. when you know that to go to a waypoint you have to fly a certain distance at a certain speed (the current speed of your plane) then you can calculate how much time you need to go to this waypoint and then after how much time you have to change direction to the next waypoint or after how much time you should capture the freq of a VOR, at the moment you fly in NAV mode.


    I like to fly only with propeller planes and this is the basis of VOR navigation which I find more playful but this is a personal consideration.


    Don't know if this was the subject of your initial request/question...

    HP Spectre X360 15bl100xx

    i7-8550U / 16 GB SDRAM DDR4-2400 / SSD PCIe NVMe M.2 512 GB

    NVIDIA GeForce MX150 2GB

    Samsung LC32H711QEUXEN 32" Curved Monitor

    TrackIR PRO

  • When/if we get smart FMCs and GPSs we will be able to input waypoints from a database or by defining fix bearings, DMEs and/or lat'/long's. At the minute I enter any fixes present on the Aero nav page and manually enter missing ones using the definitions from the plate, that is use the beacon cross bearings or bearing and DME as a guide.


    The best part is defining sensible real world approach fixes instead of the mountain piercing Aero 2,000 ft agl for 10 miles stuck record. The approach plate will give the point where an ILS is likely to become usable but try to avoid a long autopilot run parallel to the localiser and never locking onto it, you need to be crossing over the localiser at a shallow angle for the approach armed autopilot to capture (a short crossing heading-hold on autopilot will sort that out).


    VOR, or RNAV approaches with slightly better weather are perhaps even more satisfying. Even if you are flying manually set the coming fix altitude on the autopilot as a reminder.

    I like to back track the end of the route to work out the nav box usages which will have an ILS on the left/nav1 receiver so that the glide slope is always available, for example working backwards for the nav1 box, select ILS, 2nd last VOR, 4th last VOR ... and for nav 2 select last VOR, 3rd last VOR, 5th last VOR ....

  • Hey J van E,


    I tend to use my Navigraph charts and manually plot the SID & STAR, since no ATC or traffic is available i'll just pick the SID/STAR applicable to the runways I have chosen. Works well for me.


    Haven't had any issues with the route going crazy, if I did I would just fly SELECTED or disconnect and fly manual.

  • Hey J van E,


    I tend to use my Navigraph charts and manually plot the SID & STAR, since no ATC or traffic is available i'll just pick the SID/STAR applicable to the runways I have chosen. Works well for me.


    Haven't had any issues with the route going crazy, if I did I would just fly SELECTED or disconnect and fly manual.

    Do you have access to 1:500,000 visual flying charts? I'd be happy to pay a subscription for full official quality half million/sectional (right phrase?) simulator charts. My days of buying real charts are long over.

  • The flight plan is in the main.mcf file. I have setup different flight plans with SIDs and STARs in the flight planning tool in Aerofly FS2 and saved the corresponding main.mcf files under the respective SID and/or STAR names (e.g. RAMOK.mcf) in order to get a library of SIDs and STARs of given airports in Switzerland. The idea was then to copy the SID and/or STAR parts into other flight plans. This works for simple paths but for complex turns in e.g. a SID the behaviour of the Aerofly flight planner is strange, it shortens its way and does not properly follow the given navigation fixes. That's why I have not pursued this further.


    Edit: the vertical profile of course is not reflected in these flight plans

    Best regards,

    Thomas


    i7-6700K @ 4.0 GHz, Geforce GTX 1080, 32MB RAM, 500 GB SSD, 1 TB SSD, 1TB HD, 32" Monitor 4K, Oculus Rift

    Edited once, last by TomB ().