I get the connection parts... 3 planned parts of a flight "SID => PLN => STAR" (But cannot plan it unless I know what it will be... )
My "start up procedure" is always:
1. Charts on kneeboard
2. Launch ASN Weather (load .PLN file)
3. Launch P3D
a. Select Airlines (nostalgic for PAA/TWA)
b. Set APT/Gate
c. Wait for PMDG to do it's thing
4. Set up FMC (Load .PLN)
5. Launch PF3 (Load .PLN file)
6. Play around with FS2Crew ("Good Will Hunting" joke about coffee is played out in my head)
7. Wait until weather is "injected"
7. Clearance / taxi (And reverse thrust out of the gate - much more accurate then pushback)
8. ... Fly
I did a KBOS-KJFK flight again last night (wanted to enjoy the wonderful storm weather and Turbulence!) Started off with SID - SSOXS - but didn't set a STAR because of the weather. ATC departure turned out to be 4L; SSOXS5 is not a valid SID for that runway in the FMC (using AIRAC 1711); only LOGAN2 is used so ATC has to interact after initial clime (Which it doesn't) Hit last waypoint in PLN (SEY) and the 77W went nuts trying to figure out what to do next... took about 2 mins for ATC to give me a runway. Set the runway and "PARCH2.13L / Trans COVIR" in FMC and tried to fly it. About 3 mics from the runway (on approach with g/s locked) .. ATC started nagging me about "maintaining 3000 ft". Additionally; I missed the approach (bloody weather
) and ATC would not vector me back (how do you declare a missed approach?? - no option "9" when in SID/STAR mode it seems)
To be fair, PF3 is awesome if you want to follow the ATC even though it doesn't follow published procedures. The flight I did this morning KBOS => KJFK with no SID/STAR was great accept the issue of departure cleared me to expect FL280 in 10 (but kept me at 3000 until "resume own nav")
Also; once at KJFK - Ground only says "taxi to terminal"... wasn't aware parking was first come/first serve there now...
There are times I want to control where/how I go (flying VHHX/KaiTak and "around" HK for example) and other times I want to "be surprised and follow ATC ... but I always want ATC to talk to me.
If I just want to fly SID/STAR; don't use ATC (thus don't use ASN) ... it's bloody useless and a nightmare to setup IF one gets it right before
connecting to P3D otherwise it's Clapham Junction! I like a lot of things about PF3 (and why I chose it over ATC/X) but PF3's inability to consume NAVAID data, adjust SID/STAR once in progress, and give "expect info" for destination is frustrating with advanced airframes like PMDG.