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Cross country flight planning - tools, resources, charts

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Cross country flight planning - tools, resources, charts

Postby mudrd8mz » Thu Oct 15, 2020 1:03 pm

Good day.

I would like to ask for tips and suggestions with flights planning. I am flying the excellent Piper Seneca II. I found Flight Simulator Navigation a great resource and I am generally practicing ADF/NDB, VOR and DME navigation and ILS approaches. I do not use GPS an any autopilot features. I mostly fly in Europe.

When planning my flights, I use Instrument Approach Charts (ICAO LOC) from the The European AIS Database. I usually print them out for all possible runways on the destination airport and use the one most appropriate depending on wind and ATIS.

The approach chart gives me the IAF (initial approach fix) so my next step is to plan how to get to it. I tried to refer to STAR and SID a bit, but I found them more usable for bigger jets with programmable route manager. So instead I often just use SkyVector and try to come up with a plan myself where I could use purely NBD and VOR.

How do you plan your flights and do you have some suggestions of other resources or procedures I could/should follow?

Thanks in advance for sharing.
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Re: Cross country flight planning - tools, resources, charts

Postby Knüppelrührer » Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:09 pm

Thumps up for your airmanship! We need more of those pilots!

Without looking up the regulations, arn't smaller aircraft also binded to SIDs and STARS, unless instructed otherwise by ATC? The latter being the case most of the time, although SIDs are more often followed due to noise abatement.

No magic trick for flight planning here. When underway VFR, I generate pdfs from skyvector and mark the route on it.
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Re: Cross country flight planning - tools, resources, charts

Postby Fritz » Thu Oct 15, 2020 11:03 pm

I also use SkyVector for planning, displaying it on a 2nd monitor. I'm using the "flight plan" feature, which marks the route and tells you distance, course, and ETE (no PDFs needed). I've added a GPS to my plane recently, but I use it mostly as a backup (and to have something to play around with on long flights :) ) while doing the route planning from VOR to VOR, if possible.
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Re: Cross country flight planning - tools, resources, charts

Postby daweed » Fri Oct 16, 2020 7:20 am

Hello

I use to go to simbrief to make my FP and skyvector to extract the FP file.
I try to use EAIP for charts when available.
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Re: Cross country flight planning - tools, resources, charts

Postby mudrd8mz » Fri Oct 16, 2020 11:03 pm

Unexpected surprise today! I had a nicely prepared flight plan and I expected VOR-DME CHARLIE 115.35 south-east from EDDF Frankfurt as published in SkyVector. But it turned out there is no DME in Flighgear and Charlie is only a plain VOR. I guess things like that happen?
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Re: Cross country flight planning - tools, resources, charts

Postby Fritz » Sat Oct 17, 2020 12:39 pm

Yes, NDB and VOR data in FG can be outdated and/or incomplete while it's reasonable to assume that SkyVector is as up-to-date as possible. From my experience from flying around the world (including areas most FlightGear pilots will never visit), what's most likely to be completely missing in FlightGear are NDBs. VORs are usually there, but may have different frequencies.

I always double-check using the SkyVector data on the internal FlightGear map if I don't get a signal immediately.
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Re: Cross country flight planning - tools, resources, charts

Postby V12 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 6:31 am

mudrd8mz :
FG is open source project developed and maintained by volunteers. All nav data with guaranted cyclic updates are payware. All freeware nav data are outdated.
Best way for serious flying is Navigraph subscription, that 40 EUR yearly is not terroristic, You will obtain fresh data monthly. Even better solution is Ultimate subscription for nav data and maps.
FG accepts XPlanes 10 nav data format and Level-D procedures format. With that data You can fly very realistic on all online services like VATSIM or IVAO, You will not overload ATCs with step by step vectoring.
When I started use FG, I spent many hours with calculating approaches to some airports - for example Innsbruck, Samedan, Sion, old Quito etc. With SIDs, STARs and approach procedures it is simple, even in night.
Fly high, fly fast - fly Concorde !
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Re: Cross country flight planning - tools, resources, charts

Postby mudrd8mz » Mon Oct 19, 2020 3:12 pm

Knüppelrührer wrote in Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:09 pm:Without looking up the regulations, arn't smaller aircraft also binded to SIDs and STARS, unless instructed otherwise by ATC?


I am pretty sure they are. What I wanted to say (sorry for not being clear) is that I found most SIDs heavily relying on GPS fixes and it's not always easy (if possible at all) to follow them via VOR, DME and ADF only.
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Re: Cross country flight planning - tools, resources, charts

Postby Knüppelrührer » Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:32 pm

yes, more on more RNAV-approaches come up. It makes sense for flexibility and infrastructure costs.
But I am not sure, if following a magenta line gives the same satisfaction as nailing a classical VOR/DME, DME-arc, circling to land or similar imstrument approach.
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Re: Cross country flight planning - tools, resources, charts

Postby mudrd8mz » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:45 pm

Knüppelrührer wrote in Mon Oct 19, 2020 7:32 pm:not sure, if following a magenta line gives the same satisfaction


I tried. It definitely doesn't for me. For me personally, the nostalgic joy of doing things the old "hard" way (and there are older and harder ways, I know), is what makes it entertaining for me. And I am pretty sure I am not alone. Thence this whole thread ;-)
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