From what I am reading, using PF3 is all about your flightplan. (Can't be over emphasized....understood!) That said, I am a novice with the flight planning and it is very complex. Weather, approaches, runways change. And it is made even more complex given the addons used. Is there a way to fly a full flight using PF3 without programming SID/STARS. I've been using PFPX and Active Sky for V4 and to this day (a few months at this point) have not been able to complete a route using PF3....never cleared for the approach, never handed over to approach, never cleared for a runway, told I am off the airway, never given descent instructions. I have no doubt much of this is due to my knowledge of all of these variables, which is why I am asking, if there is a way to fly a route without the procedures and simply receive approach vectors. I know pressing "7" should get me that, but that is implying I am handed over to approach and that a runway is in mind. If this is not a capability of PF3, knowing that will also be helpful. Thanks so much for the kind help.
If you have any doubts about your flight experience then please attach the log files in zip form with a careful explanation of what you think happened or didn't happen.
With PF3 you can fly either with SIDs/STARs or without. I would suggest however, that you read the manual carefully. This is because PF3 allows many different options and you need to know them. Creating a good flight plan is a black art even in real life. As the presumed responsibility is on you the Captain to not have a fpl rejected by ATC. I would start by creating simple routes in your fpl software. Always compare the generated fpl with published charts. for example you will almost always need to adjust your fpl for altitude restrictions etc. I feed my fpls into Skyvector as this will tell me that the airway routes are correct. I have seen numerous PFPX fpls that instruct the user to fly in the wrong direction on airways!! Also the fpl generators payware or otherwise for sim use, contain algorithms that assume that you must and always will fly airways which is useless if I want to fly direct to a waypoint.
As before start with a fairly simple straightforward fpl that is uncomplicated in order to get used to the idea of being under ATC control. Even so it's still not a magic bullet. None of the ATC add-ons or even default are like that. You must pay attention to the controller and follow his/her instructions. PF3 allows your PO to do all of that for you so that you can in effect sit back and enjoy the ride. Don't expect to always have a perfect fpl solution. They almost always will need some tweaking. But once tweaked they work every time. Even real life fpls have to be tweaked and adjusted to conform to local regulations and intentions of the airline/Captain.
PF3 is a steep learning curve but then so is learning about AaTC in real life. At least you won't have to take an RT exam with a 100% pass mark which is the requirement here. If you fail then ENAC the Italian Civil Aviation authority has the option stop your pilot training alltogether. A life ban because one fails an RT exam would not be the best news would it!!