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Flying on VATSIM - SID, STARS, Nav database

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Flying on VATSIM - SID, STARS, Nav database

Postby camileck » Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:05 pm

I have been getting into VATSIM for some time now and I have several questions related to Flightgear/VATSIM:
1. What are your tips on flying on VATSIM when it comes to FG nav database accuracy? How do you handle SID, STAR procedures when requested by ATC?
2. Do you recommend specific airports to fly to/from that have its in-FG SIDs/STARs quite up to date?
3. Is there any simple way to keep FG fix database up to date (at least for some airpots)?
4. What are your thoughts on flying on VATSIM with FG in general? Is it enjoyable or there are too many work-arounds that need to be apply so that it just becomes tiring?
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Re: Flying on VATSIM - SID, STARS, Nav database

Postby Isaak » Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:29 pm

1. I have a Navigraph subscription and have the Level-D767 procedures and up to date navaids and fixes installed. You can also buy a monthly subscription now and then to keep up to date once in a while if you don't want to pay the annual subscription.
2. No idea.
3. Install the X-plane 10 data via Navigraph or similar. Convert the earth-nav.dat and eart-fix.dat to nav.dat.gz and fix.dat.gz and put them in a dedicated navaids folder in a Custom scenery folder. (There should be a wiki article of this somewhere)
4. I enjoy it most of the time. The biggest issues atm are these for me:
- outdated airport layouts and missing/misplaced buildings
- altitude offsets because of slight differences in weather and the fact that most sims don't seem to calculate pressure altitude correctly. Making collisions possible even if you fly on different flight levels.
- FlightGear's inability to fly/program holdings automatically in the Route Manager requires some manual work at times where you have to hold and thus very busy with communication.

But the downsides are countered completely by the upside of being able to fly on a vibrant network. Especially the events where dozens of planes are entering an airport at the same time are enjoyable.
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Re: Flying on VATSIM - SID, STARS, Nav database

Postby camileck » Thu Sep 03, 2020 8:42 pm

Thank you Isaak! Where do you get the earth-nav.dat and eart-fix.dat from and what do you mean by installing them "via Navigraph or similar"?
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Re: Flying on VATSIM - SID, STARS, Nav database

Postby CaptB » Thu Sep 03, 2020 9:57 pm


Long time VATSIM ATC(C1) here.

1. It's best to have an up to date AIRAC, but is acceptable to the ATC if you don't have one, however you need to inform the ATC of that fact. A note in you RMK will usually suffice, but due to workload some controllers might need to be reminded, especially if you happen to get a clearance that you can't fly or enter a controlled airspace from an uncontrolled(unmanned) one for instance.

2. Avoid very busy airspaces, events or checkouts until you confirm you can fly the route, SID or STAR. There's nothing we dislike more than a pilot who does not know what he's doing in congested airspace, even worse if he's not communicating.

4- Adding to Isaak's comment here. Remember to communicate if you have a scenery problem(outdated airport, missing runways, taxiways etc) it's usually fine, but we'd love to know in advance especially if we're under high workload. As with point 1, it's usually enough to put it in RMK however an ATC might need to be reminded.
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