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Jez(UK)

Gatwick to Shoreham - Plans take you out to sea ???

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Hello everybody,

I've just purchased FSC 9.0 and am getting to grips with it.

But I'm confused.

If I create a Flight Plan from London Gatwick to Shoreham Airport (EGKK - EGKA) and using a Beechcraft Baron 58 aircraft, either the NAVAID or Low Altitude Airways Flight Plan button will generate a flight path that looks strange.

Essentially either button will generate a flight path that will have you fly past the destination airport (shoreham) and OUT to sea !!!

Once out there, the path does a loop back to Shoreham airport ??

This neither looks 'direct' (I'd have expected at least some directness in the flight path) nor correct.....

Please can someone enlighten me ??

I would attach a screen grab but I'm only allowed 20kb for an attachment and this will show you nothing.....

Kind regards,

Jez

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I have to ask Jez... Apart from me, who occasionally uses a flight planner to check distances and headings between airports and their nearest airport, why on Earth do you want to create a 19NM flightplan? You can see Shoreham from Gatwick in the sim... :blink:

If you're trying to test a route, I would strongly suggest somewhere further afield such as Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, Le Touquet... What you are asking the planner to do is something that isn't actually going to work anyway.

The answer to your question is actually caused by your options... If you depart Gatwick in the direction of Shoreham, what is the nearest waypoint on a low-level airway to Gatwick? In this case, there are no airways between Gatwick and Shoreham other than the decidedly not low level UM140 - therefore the planner goes out to MID23, on L151 (which is a low level airway), from there along the low level airway to MID and back to EGKA. That's a valid plan. Not what you wanted, but it is a valid low level airways plan as if it goes direct from EGKK to EGKA, it's never going to use a low level airway.

If I do a NAVAID plan, it goes from EGKK to Shoreham's own "SHM" NDB, then 0NM to EGKA.

What NavData set are you using?

Ian P.

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Hi Ian,

I'm sure my knowledge of Flying is nowhere near your level - I'm getting to grips with flying and flight simulator and flightsim commander.

I'm sure I followed the example in the Help menu and thought that it'd be a nice simple/logical curve into Shoreham from Gatwick (not round the houses.....).

Regarding NavData, I don't know what set I'm using, how do I find out ?? If I do a NAVAID plan, it's not to Shoreham's own SHM NDB that it goes directly to, it goes to to MID28 (from a straight path from Gatwick) and then loops back to shoreham.

Kind regards,

Jez

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Hi Jez,

I'm sorry if my previous post came across as at all superior. That certainly wasn't the intention.

However as I said before, Gatwick to Shoreham really isn't a fair test of any flight planner - it's simply too short. A similar example would probably happen if you did most airports a similar distance apart.

If you look at the planner screen, the blue lines stretching around the map are the airways. There is only one between Gatwick and Shoreham and, rather than heading from one to the other, it passes at right angles between them. If you zoom into it, you will see the name "UM240". The "U" in that signifies "Upper". A "L" would signify a "Lower" airspace route. The two differ in what altitudes they are valid to be used at.

A NAVAID plan will use radio navigational aids - VORs and NDBs - as its waypoints, so why a NAVAID plan would go to an en-route waypoint such as MID28 (which simply means 28NM from MID VOR on a given airway) I don't know. MID28 would be a valid waypoint for a low level flightplan, however, I believe, although my FS PC is currently running something else and I can't check right now.

Regarding the NavData - if you look on the front splashscreen, at the bottom left, I believe, it lists an AIRAC number (e.g. "1012" and the dates it is valid from. The one I have installed on the PC I checked that flightplan on is using the aforementioned AIRAC1012 - the 12th cycle from 2010.

All the best,

Ian P.

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Hi Ian,

And thanks for all of that information.

I certainly didn't take your first post as implying Superiority ! Though I personally have no problem with listening attentively to those who certainly do demonstrate to know more than I do !!

So I certainly appreciate your time and patience in assisting me to understand better the fundamentals of navigation and flight planning. You've been a mine of information.

I'll check the splashscreen later but I'm pretty sure it'd be up to date since I only bought the software earlier this week.

Can I ask one further question about the software ??

Why, when you create a flight plan, and the software knows what plane you are flying, doesn't it enter the altitudes you 'should' (?) fly at ?? Why does it 'fill' these in once you start flying and have made some progress in the flight (I think as you pass over waypoints) ??

If you can answer that, I think I'd be sufficiently armed to leave this forum alone for at least a week !

Once again, many thanks for all your help Ian, it really has been much appreciated.

Kind regards,

Jez

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Hi Jez,

the FSCommander is not a FMS/FMC (Flight Management Computer).

The Button Autoheading uses only lateral navigation.

In other words, the pilot is responsible for the altitude management.

Regards,

Volker

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Hi Jez,

As I said by PM earlier, I'm really not the best person to advise on exactly how FSC works. I'm not part of the development or support of the product, I'm actually just a nosy forum admin who sticks said nose in where he thinks he can help and expects to get it swatted, regularly.

I don't actually know whether FSC does or does not recognise the aircraft you are flying, I might have to RTM at that point... :unsure:

Edit: Cross posted with Volker - but I also think I misunderstood what you meant anyway. I presume you were referring to having told it what aircraft you are flying?

In case anyone else is interested, by the way, Jez and I have been discussing airways and their usage "off forum" by PM, since this thread was started and he's pointed out that others might appreciate the very broad overview I wrote of airways and how they work. Therefore I'll copy and paste the relevant bit here...

Basically, however, low and high altitude routes follow named airways. Think of them as being the airborne equivalent of the UK A road and motorway networks. If you want to go from London Heathrow to Birmingham International in a car, you'd use the M4, M25, M40 and M42 or M4, M25, M1, M6, M42. If you wanted to do the same in an aeroplane, you'd take off from Heathrow, join an airway, get off the airway, approach and land. That's what you get when you do a Low or High Level plan - you're using airways. You won't use them for very short flights, like you were using, you'll use local roads instead. The equivalent of that is 'to the lake', 'left at the quarry' or 'follow the railway line'. In the real world, to get from Gatwick to Shoreham, you'd just fly direct to Shoreham's NDB.

Airways used to run from radio nav aid (VOR or NDB) to radio nav aid, back before we had navigation computers on aircraft. The INS changed that, by allowing an aircraft to fly to any co-ordinates on Earth, so now airways regularly split and join at waypoints that have no terrestrial representation at all. "CHASE", which is a holding point for Birmingham Airport, for example, is just a point in space which happens to be over Cannock Chase in Staffordshire, so they named the waypoint after it.

A NAVAID flightplan will take you from radio beacon to radio beacon so, for instance, a flight from Birmingham to Belfast might do EGBB WAL IOM BEL EGAA. That's actually the real route, just for the record, but any aircraft with a VOR radio receiver could follow it. It doesn't necessarily follow airways, although that example does. Continuing the Birmingham based theme, flying from Birmingham to Sleap in Shropshire might give you EGBB HON HG SWB SLP EGCV. There aren't any airways that go that way and in fact, FSC would probably give you EGBB SWB SLP EGCV... Ask it and see what it says. ;)

Before any of the more experienced users here start pulling holes in that, yes, I know it's all very simplistic - that was kind of the entire point. It was also written on a BlackBerry, so an entire treatise on IFR navigation wasn't going to be typed out, sorry! :)

Hope it is of use to someone.

Cheers,

Ian P.

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Hi Jez,

the FSCommander is not a FMS/FMC (Flight Management Computer).

The Button Autoheading uses only lateral navigation.

In other words, the pilot is responsible for the altitude management.

Regards,

Volker

Hi Volker,

Thanks for clearing this up for me.

I am an occasional user of Flight Simulator and after having FSX for a good year, finally decided to upgrade / purchase some additional products for it - yours being one of them.

Previous to that I used to use FSNavigator when on FS2004.

I have no problems using your software in terms of it's ease - it does what I need it to do for now (and I'm sure for a long time).

One tiny suggestion, and I'm sure it's not the best place to put this, but from a NEW user's point of view, I find the zoom is okay, but would REALLY like some sort of PAN facilty (I'm using my middle wheel for zooming).

Just a suggestion.

Kindest regards,

Jez

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One tiny suggestion, and I'm sure it's not the best place to put this, but from a NEW user's point of view, I find the zoom is okay, but would REALLY like some sort of PAN facilty (I'm using my middle wheel for zooming).

Just a suggestion.

Hi Jez,

I would also recommend you read the manual.

Zooming with the mouse wheel is explained and described in the manual from page 106 and below.

(Chapter 19, Options Windows, paragraph Flight)

Regards,

Volker

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Hi Volker,

I appreciate it's always wise to turn to the manual for answers first - but I had already read the manual to a sufficient degree and had already read chapter 19.

What I was suggesting was a PAN facility (nothing to do with zooming the magnification) - what is is, is an ability to 'grab' the screen (usually clicking and holding down the left mouse button) and moving the entire contents within the program's window to see other parts of graphic which may be out of view (out of the picture) - a lot of 'graphics' types software have this sort of facility.

My mouse is set to scroll wheel zoom and what that does is great - but a PAN facility would make one's viewing experience that much better than resizing windows either by zooming with a scroll wheel or by 'drawing' a window. Your Chapter 19 mentions nothing about PANNING.

Nevertheless FSC is still a wonderful product and I remain a very happy customer !

Kind regards,

Jez

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Hi Jez,

this is my fault, sorry.

You see, English is not my native language. This function can not be achieved Adequate.

Regards,

Volker

No problem Volker - but I can assure you, your English is at least a million times better than my German, and probably not that worse than my own command of the English language !!

In the meantime, thank you for creating such a wonderful product.

Kindest regards,

Jez

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