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 Post subject: Flying Without SID/STAR
PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 5:23 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:27 am
Posts: 8
Hi Friends,

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.

Seth


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 9:59 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 28, 2016 4:43 pm
Posts: 28
Hi Seth,

You are right, the flightplan (+ maybe the IAF distance) is what decides about the quality of your experience. For David and the beta testers it might be helpful if you attach the content of the Logs directory of PF3 as well as your flightplan in a zip file, so they can find out what could go wrong. I'm just guessing now what could go wrong but they can tell you for sure with the logs.
The first thing to make sure is that SID and STAR are deactivated i.e., unchecked on the SID STAR page.
Then you say that you don't get instructions anymore, does that happen after a center frequency switch? I've sometimes had problems that I was getting confused when I did not acknowledge transmissions or I did not check in on the new frequency.
So make sure you always acknowledge (Roger key) before switching and after switching check in (even if they talked to you already) with the 0 key.

Anyways I'm sure Dave March and the crew can help you out if you show them the logs and flight plan and I hope you will have a great time with PF3 , because it's a powerful program.

Best,

David


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:17 am 
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 8:41 pm
Posts: 983
Location: LIMZ
Quote:
Hi Friends,

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.

Seth
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!!

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 11:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:27 pm
Posts: 879
Make sure you save the flight plan without SID/STAR procedures, PFPX can do this.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 06, 2018 12:48 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 2:22 am
Posts: 403
Quote:
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.
Good advice from Vololiberista for those who are just starting out. Also, many problems that users experience are due to placement of the first and last waypoints in the PF3 flight plan. For best results when you are just starting out, try to create a fairly simple flight plan with your waypoints reasonably spaced and with your first and last PF3 waypoints about 30 nm from the departure and destination airports respectively. It sounds like many of the problems you are having may be related to incorrect placement of your last PF3 waypoint. As Voju24 said, make sure the SID and STAR options are off. When you reach your last PF3 waypoint you should then get vectors to the active runway, along with further descent instructions. And save the challenging mountain-area approaches for later, as those are best handled by flying a published procedure.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:43 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:27 am
Posts: 8
Hi All,

Thank you for the kind replies. Everything that you are saying is making good sense. I don't know if it is necessary at this time to send the log files as I'm pretty sure the program is working as it should. I have been using SimBrief recently to compile my flightplans and I think it has been incorporating STARs. (I may need to look into that program to see how to exclude the STARs from the route.) Prior, I was using PFPX and I do not believe STARs were included. It may be time to go back to that. So for the purposes of PF3, maybe my first step should be a short flight using a route from PFPX; make sure first and last way points are far enough out; make sure SID/STARs are disabled in PF3; and request vectors when I get to that last way point. In the meantime, I should also become more proficient at programming my FMCs. Which, by the way, if I am following what you are all saying, when using PMDG 777 and I get my "end of route" message on the FMC, that actually seems like an appropriate message to receive for my purposes for now...and at that point I should request vectors?

Thanks for the help.

Seth


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 10:28 am 
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Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 8:41 pm
Posts: 983
Location: LIMZ
Quote:
Hi All,

Thank you for the kind replies. Everything that you are saying is making good sense. I don't know if it is necessary at this time to send the log files as I'm pretty sure the program is working as it should. I have been using SimBrief recently to compile my flightplans and I think it has been incorporating STARs. (I may need to look into that program to see how to exclude the STARs from the route.) Prior, I was using PFPX and I do not believe STARs were included. It may be time to go back to that. So for the purposes of PF3, maybe my first step should be a short flight using a route from PFPX; make sure first and last way points are far enough out; make sure SID/STARs are disabled in PF3; and request vectors when I get to that last way point. In the meantime, I should also become more proficient at programming my FMCs. Which, by the way, if I am following what you are all saying, when using PMDG 777 and I get my "end of route" message on the FMC, that actually seems like an appropriate message to receive for my purposes for now...and at that point I should request vectors?

Thanks for the help.


Seth

One further point about the use of FMCs. Far too many simmers are under the belief (and this is because of what they see on YT where the YTers never use ATC) that the FMC is some kind of God. It isn't. Real ATC have no idea of your "Best economical flight", or the best point with regard to fuel flow for you to start your descent. i.e. TOD etc. They have no idea of your weight either, other than your general weight category which is already in the fpl e.g. "heavy". In this case their objective is to descend you in a timely manner with respect to traffic separation and other safety issues. This is why PF3 has "at your discretion" built in. As that allows you to descend much closer to the FMCs suggested TOD. With real ATC one does of course have the option to ask for a descent immediately because even though ATC "control" you, you the Commander are in ultimate control and can reject an ATC instruction if you see fit. There are ways of persuading PF3 to allow you to descend as well. There really isn't that much missing from PF3.
One thing I haven't yet tried is to create a fpl that facilitates a continuous descent profile. This happens a lot at busy European airports and has been standard at places like Heathrow for many many years. With this kind of profile ATC will give you an altitude to descend and you have to mentally and manually adjust your rate of descent so that as you approach the target altitude ATC can descend you further. It's quite a skill to judge it correctly. But it keeps you in the loop for sure. You can't just leave everything to the AP. Rate of descent, thrust, how much the speed brakes are cracked open have to be continuously monitored and adjusted by the "human" computer only! When I'm feeling more up to it as it were I must have a go and see how PF3 compares to real life.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 07, 2018 11:38 am 
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Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 1:27 pm
Posts: 879
Quote:
at that point I should request vectors?
Please do not request vectors! After reaching the last waypoint you automatically get something like this:
"J-Bird 1608 Continue present heading expect vectors for the ILS runway 07 Approach"

If you do not receive this, something went wrong along the way.

I have attached some flight plans, corresponding PFPX route files and an AivlaSoft EFB route for you (and maybe others) to try.
For your PMDG 777 I would suggest EDDPEDDG-IFR-high.pln at FL220


Attachments:
EDDPEDDG.zip [5.93 KiB]
Downloaded 20 times

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 2:48 am 
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Joined: Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:27 am
Posts: 8
All good to know. Thank you. (Sorry for the delayed response....work.) So I will not request vectors. When I reach that last way point, just keep flying in that direction until control says something? Should the instructions come almost immediately upon reaching that way point? I find much of the time that they don't. In some instances, I will get lucky and be cleared to lower altitudes and possibly even vectored toward the airport. Once, I was getting close to the airport and even at an appropriate altitude but never handed over to approach or told which runway to expect. This was a while ago, so not sure how to access a log file for that. Regardless, I am sure it was something I did like a missed instruction earlier in the flight or flying at an accelerated sim rate that messed things up. So again, back to the notion that I need a really simply flight plan flown at normal sim rate to figure out where things are going wrong. Thank you again!!


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:35 am 
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Joined: Sun May 05, 2013 2:22 am
Posts: 403
As Thomas said above, if the STAR option is off, you will get vectors automatically on reaching your last PF3 waypoint. Sometimes there is a slight delay depending on the demands on your system, but I have a very old Win XP system and the delay (if at all) is minimal. Continue your present heading until vectored off of it. You are given a runway assignment when you reach your last waypoint, before the actual vectoring begins (once again see the example Thomas provided above).

Results with accelerated sim rate are unpredictable and it is not supported. A lot depends on your individual setup. I would stay at 1X until you are familiar with PF3's vectoring and approach procedures. I will admit to occasionally using acceleration but only at cruise.

If you need to submit a log for review, zip and attach the debug_monitor.log file (located in your PF3\Logs folder) after an affected flight.

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