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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:43 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:35 pm
Posts: 21
Hi all,
Just purchased PF3 today and I am trying to figure out how to get the most of it.
The main constraint I am currently facing is the Departure/arrival runway constraints.
When I create a flight plan I am not sure what the weather is going to dictate as to runway usage plus I prefer not knowing in advance every detail of the route.
So my question is - how do I create a flight plan which provides me the maximum flexibility in regards to runway selection?
Should I just exclude from the flight plan the SID and STAR and let PF3 vector me to the initial way-point and vector me from the last way-point to the DEST airport?
Any better rule of thumb in doing so?

Thanks for the help,

Shom


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:05 pm 
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Do not include SID and STAR waypoints in the flightplan you load into PF3. Tick the Checkboxes for SID and STAR in PF3.

That way PF3 will let you fly the SID and STAR of your choice until the first resp. after the last waypoint. It is up to you to select the adequate SID and STAR according to your first / last waypoint and the runway in use (or just fly any route you like simulating a clearance at pilot's discretion). There won't be any vectoring (you will only be vectored if the SID / STAR checkbox is unticked).

PF3 chooses the active runway according to AI traffic and wind. You can always request a different runway should you feel the need to.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:35 pm
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Quote:
Do not include SID and STAR waypoints in the flightplan you load into PF3. Tick the Checkboxes for SID and STAR in PF3.

That way PF3 will let you fly the SID and STAR of your choice until the first resp. after the last waypoint. It is up to you to select the adequate SID and STAR according to your first / last waypoint and the runway in use (or just fly any route you like simulating a clearance at pilot's discretion).

PF3 chooses the active runway according to AI traffic and wind. You can always request a different runway should you feel the need to.
Thanks for the quick reply!
Any need to define the SID & STAR via the Adjust Altitudes, SIDs, STARs and Holds for Selected Flight Plan screen? Why do you use this screen to define the end of the SID & the start of the STAR?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:22 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 2:22 am
Posts: 476
How you set it up may vary somewhat depending on the specific situation and where you are flying, but as Ralf said, in general, either you are vectored (SID and/or STAR boxes unchecked) or you are not vectored (SID and/or STAR boxes checked). For your departure, if you want vectors, leave the SID box unchecked. Your first waypoint should probably be no closer than about 15 miles from the airport, and PF3 will vector you from the active runway to your first waypoint. However, if there are mountains or other obstacles (where standard vectoring may not work well), or if you want to fly a departure procedure, check the SID box. This will turn off vectoring after takeoff and you will not be given an initial heading to fly, and it is your responsibility to get yourself to your first waypoint. You should include in your PF3 flight plan only waypoints you are certain you will cross, so do not include any waypoints that are specific to individual runways. If flying a SID, your first PF3 waypoint should be a waypoint that is common to all runways, as you don't know which runway will be active. Here are a few threads with some examples and more info:

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2870

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=2744&hilit=soxxs#p16664

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 05, 2018 9:23 pm 
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There is no need to define End of SID / Start of STAR if you don't include the SID / STAR waypoints in the flightplan. The first / last waypoint is considered End of SID / Start of STAR automatically if no End of SID / Start of STAR is defined.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:20 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:35 pm
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Quote:
There is no need to define End of SID / Start of STAR if you don't include the SID / STAR waypoints in the flightplan. The first / last waypoint is considered End of SID / Start of STAR automatically if no End of SID / Start of STAR is defined.
Ok but when using SID/STARs why would I need to define them in this page as well if I’ve checked them in the main SID/STAR page already? What does the program actually change in ATC behavior once I also define these exit and entry point?

I’ve also tried your recommendation but I find it unrealistic when using very long SID/STAR routes (usually into big hub airports).
In these airports (KDFW for example) there are so many STARs that it is hard to find a mutual waypoint which covers most runways. So you are left with the need to select one of the main route waypoints (over 100NM away from the destination airport) as the last flight plan waypoint.

I think a better option in these specific cases is defining a waypoint within the STAR (closer to the airport but also one from which you can be vectored to any other runway) which will serve as the last waypoint and from there get vectored to whatever runway is being used.
I tried removing specific STAR waypoints from sim brief but could not figure out how to do it without removing the whole STAR



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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:26 am 
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If you include all or some waypoints of the STAR it makes sense to define the Start of STAR so that PF3 clears you for the approach at that waypoint, not at the last. PF3 still expects you to reach all the waypoints. You can use that method for example if you want to set some altitude constraints for STAR waypoints.

You are correct that it might get tricky with the very long STARS that exist in the USA. You might need to make some compromises there. (I mainly fly in Europe). As far as I know many of these long STARS are not runway specific but lead to a waypoint after which vectors are to be expected. In that case you should include all the waypoints that are not runway specific.

I use the freeware LittleNavMap. You can load the Simbrief flightplan there and easily delete SID and STAR waypoints. You can also use it to display all existing SIDS and STARS on the map which makes it easy to choose one or find mutual waypoints.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 7:44 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 5:35 pm
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Quote:
If you include all or some waypoints of the STAR it makes sense to define the Start of STAR so that PF3 clears you for the approach at that waypoint, not at the last. PF3 still expects you to reach all the waypoints. You can use that method for example if you want to set some altitude constraints for STAR waypoints.

You are correct that it might get tricky with the very long STARS that exist in the USA. You might need to make some compromises there. (I mainly fly in Europe). As far as I know many of these long STARS are not runway specific but lead to a waypoint after which vectors are to be expected. In that case you should include all the waypoints that are not runway specific.

I use the freeware LittleNavMap. You can load the Simbrief flightplan there and easily delete SID and STAR waypoints. You can also use it to display all existing SIDS and STARS on the map which makes it easy to choose one or find mutual waypoints.
Great info thanks!
BTW I guess I can also delete manually the irrelevant way points from the fpl xml file


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:15 am 
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Correct.

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:51 am 
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Yes, in the US and Canada the SIDs and STARs are often much longer and apply to multiple runways, so you will very often include some of the SID/STAR waypoints in your flight plan if they are far from the airport and apply to all runways. In many cases in the US, the STAR transition is more than 100 (and sometimes more than 300) miles out and this is too far for your last waypoint. Some flight planners will not allow you to remove waypoints from a SID or STAR, the argument being that if you do so you are not flying the "true" procedure. As you said, in these cases you may need to manually edit the output file to remove waypoints that are too close to the airport or specific to a particular runway. It's usually best to have a last PF3 waypoint about 25-40 miles from the destination (I try to avoid less than 20 or more than 50 if possible).

When you reach the last waypoint of your PF3 flight plan, PF3 will either begin issuing vectors to the active runway (if the STARs box is not checked), or clear you to final for the active runway at pilot's discretion (if the STARs box is checked). If you are cleared at pilot's discretion you will not get vectors and you need to get to the final approach course for the assigned runway on your own (you can fly a published procedure entered in your FMC, or fly visually, or whatever). You can also request a runway change if necessary.

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