Jump to content

What to do when given new waypoints or told to switch plan on the fly?


Recommended Posts

Hi-

I'd consider myself to be an intermediate pilot - I can fly VFR, know most ATC communication, can fly IFR with advance preparation, and so on. Something I've had trouble with is when I'm flying my flight plan and ATC will tell me to fly DIRECT (insert point here). It's pretty hard for me to quickly just switch my plan - I usually have to pause the flight, open the map, and drag my flight plan over to the point if I can even find it. I use all freeware aircraft, and only one has an advanced FMC that works. 

 

Also, this may be a bit of a weird question, but when you're cleared for an IFR SID, how do you write it down? Some of them are hard to make out, as often times they're not really words. I mean I get if you fly out of the same airport every time, you get to know the various SIDS/STARS, but if it's my first time flying there, I usually can't even repeat back the instructions as I have to scroll through tens of pages of charts and SIDS and STARS to find something that remotely sounds like the name. 

 

Thanks for the help!

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Manny Rollin said:

 

I'd consider myself to be an intermediate pilot - I can fly VFR, know most ATC communication, can fly IFR with advance preparation, and so on. Something I've had trouble with is when I'm flying my flight plan and ATC will tell me to fly DIRECT (insert point here). It's pretty hard for me to quickly just switch my plan - I usually have to pause the flight, open the map, and drag my flight plan over to the point if I can even find it. I use all freeware aircraft, and only one has an advanced FMC that works. 

Typically speaking ATC won’t give you directs to fixes or waypoints that are not on your flight plan or SID/STAR. From there it’s just a matter of selecting that in the FMC/GPS. Even the default FSX GPS can do a direct to a waypoint so take a look and see if you can figure out how to do it on said aircraft without pausing for long (or even at all if you can help it).

 

6 minutes ago, Manny Rollin said:

Also, this may be a bit of a weird question, but when you're cleared for an IFR SID, how do you write it down? Some of them are hard to make out, as often times they're not really words. I mean I get if you fly out of the same airport every time, you get to know the various SIDS/STARS, but if it's my first time flying there, I usually can't even repeat back the instructions as I have to scroll through tens of pages of charts and SIDS and STARS to find something that remotely sounds like the name. 

So when I fly into or out of an airport I’m not familiar with I always brief myself on the possible SIDs/STARs I could receive based on my flight plan (usually your first enroute waypoint for SIDs and your last enroute waypoint for STARs). This works pretty good with airports that have RNAV or hybrid SIDs/STARs. Even with airports that only have vector SIDs (e.g. Vancouver) it may help to read the names of ALL the possible SIDs you might receive so you at least somewhat recognize the name of the SID when you pick up your clearance. The nice thing is there usually aren’t too many vector SIDs at an airport, and in North America (not sure about Europe) I’ve found that the most commonly used vector SID usually starts with the airport/VOR name. Another thing you can do if there are multiple aircraft going to the same destination as you or in a similar direction as you are, listen to what SIDs they are getting cleared on cause there’s a good chance you’ll get the same thing. One final tip is to look at the runways in use (ATIS) and that will allow you to eliminate any of the SIDs/STARs that only apply to the inactive runways. Although it can still be confusing from time to time, being prepared and having an idea as to what to expect goes a long way. Hopefully the above tips help you out with that a little.
 

Remember there is no harm asking a controller to repeat a part of a clearance or a direction. It’s much better that you do that then pretend to understand or read back something you obviously can’t do and end up causing havoc in the controller’s airspace. If you can’t find or comply with a SID, ask for vectors.
 

If you can’t comply with the instruction at all the magic word isn’t ‘please’. It’s ‘unable’. Don’t be afraid to use it when it’s justified. Again a controller would rather know sooner than later if you are going to follow his instructions or not.

 

Hope this helps you out a little!

Cheers!

  • Like 1

Josh Jenk

CZVR S2 controller

TRHzE8k.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are using FSX, you should have a look into "vasFMC". This is a freeware FMC that can be implemented in most if not all aircraft panels. You should, however, keep its navigation data (AIRAC) more or less up to date, because waypoints, airways and procedures change regularly.

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

If you are using FSX, you should have a look into "vasFMC". This is a freeware FMC that can be implemented in most if not all aircraft panels. You should, however, keep its navigation data (AIRAC) more or less up to date, because waypoints, airways and procedures change regularly.

I have - but I don't pay for Navigraph data and also I'm pretty sure the developers aren't really working on it anymore so it's hard to download and make work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One other thing, Manny, relative to the initial post. Most (but not all) intersection names will loosely be evident in the 5-letter coded name. Such as HLLRY would be Hillary or an adulterated spelling such as BRYNN for Bryan. And as stated by Josh, if you are unsure ask the controller to repeat or spell the intersection name.

As for Navigraph, it is most definitely an active and current pay service. You should go to Navigraph.com.

  • Like 1

David Stone

Indianapolis ARTCC ATM

VATSIM Network Supervisor

 

18.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Manny Rollin said:

it's hard to download and make work

Hmm, I opened Google and typed "FSX vasFMC download" and got this: http://c-aviation.net/vasfmc-freeware-fmc-for-fsx/

That's all you need to get going. Give it a try, you cannot lose anything, can you?

Alternatively there's a nice payware product called "ISG - Integrated Simavionics": http://isgsim.com/

Obviously, should you be planning on upgrading to the new MSFS later this month, I'd hold on and wait for this product.

 

Re NavData: I think it's a very good and vital investment to keep you data current to perform professional flights online, should you have the financial resources for it, of course.

Edited by Andreas Fuchs
Link to post
Share on other sites

Re writing down your clearance:

What I do is, instead of trying to write down the entire clearance as I receive it, I write down everything I already know, or what I can guess, before making my call. E.g., suppose I'm flying a route like: EHAM (SID) ARNEM (airway) TEBRO (STAR) EDDL. Now I get the ATIS, which tells me that the active takeoff runway is 06. From EHAM, there are only two SIDs that go to my first enroute waypoint, ARNEM: ARNEM2R and ARNEM2T. I know my callsign, I know my destination, and I can get the initial climb clearance from the SID chart. The only thing I have no idea about is the squawk code. So I write down: "KLM123, Dusseldorf, ARNEM2R, RWY 06, climb FL60, squawk ____". I could narrow down the SID further by listening in on the frequency until someone else gets an ARNEM departure; chances are I will get the same one. I do all that before requesting my clearance. And then when the controller reads out my clearance, I just tick off the parts I got right, and amend the parts I didn't - ideally, I'll just go "check, check, check, check, check, 2345".

Preparation is key.

23.png
Link to post
Share on other sites

Indeed. Keep in mind though that not all controllers will apply nighttime procedures, because traffic spikes occur on different moments than IRL, so even if you're a jet departing EHAM after 2230 local time, you might still get ARNEM2R.

23.png
Link to post
Share on other sites

Night departure procedures for turbine aircraft are often designed for noise abatement.
(routing departing jet aircraft over less noise-sensitive areas at night).
A less-efficient (more track miles) 2T departure does not appear based on lower-traffic-volume at night.

Edited by Mike Sweeney

Mike / 811317
rz0u.png
 

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/6/2020 at 5:32 AM, Manny Rollin said:

 I usually have to pause the flight, open the map, and drag my flight plan over to the point if I can even find it.

Hi Manny,

this should never be the case - pausing is about the worst a pilot can do online as everybody around will keep moving on and a sequence which looked perfectly fine suddenly get's problematic.
If you get a direct you nearly always have enough time to look for the waypoint/s in question - if the controller wants you to take immediate action she/he will give you a vector as it is always the quicker solution. If you have trouble understanding and/or finding it - just ask, let the controller spell the point (which most do anyway if there is a request to repeat such an instruction) - and if you have trouble finding it you can also request a vector towards this point until you have found and reprogrammed your aircraft - "request vector to xxxxx, still trying to find it" - you are already on the right way and the controller knows what's going on. 🙂

Cheers
Michael

  • Thanks 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I forgot to mention: there's a great freeware program available that can be used for planning, monitoring and navigation of your flights: LittleNavMap

You also will have to update its database at least every now and then. Give it a go, it's like an extended GPS/FMS with a lot of functions and can be coupled with your FS.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

What a pity, the thread-starter has not returned to this forum since. All the typing for nothing... Appreciated. I have to admit that this is quite annoying, when members invest a lot of time and effort to help and it is not used. Yes, I know, probably somebody else has or will have use for this piece of information, but still....

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
On 8/5/2020 at 8:58 PM, Josh Jenk said:

Typically speaking ATC won’t give you directs to fixes or waypoints that are not on your flight plan or SID/STAR. From there it’s just a matter of selecting that in the FMC/GPS. Even the default FSX GPS can do a direct to a waypoint so take a look and see if you can figure out how to do it on said aircraft without pausing for long (or even at all if you can help it).

 

 

 

While I agree with this here, I also have to disagree to an extent, because you could be given direct to fixes or waypoints that you did not file, but are in your flight plan. Let me explain.

If you filed a flight plan that includes an airway, for example, you could be cleared to a fix or waypoint that is on that airway, because the airway includes the fixes or waypoints you could be cleared directly to. For example, reference:

STAAV EIGHT (RNAV)

VFRMAP

BUNTS TWO

If a pilot filed STAAV8.VERKN HVE J60 PSB.BUNTS2 from KLAS to KPHL, I, as a controller at ZLA, could clear them direct to LNK, IOW, JOT, or even DJB, and that would not be taking them off their flight plan. As they didn't explicitly type those waypoints into their flight plan when they filed it, they included those waypoints by including the airway. So if I clear them to a point further along on the airway they filed, they would not be deviating from their flight plan. They could go directly to that fix or waypoint, and still be on the plan that they filed. This in effect would be giving them a shortcut.

BL.

 

  • Thanks 1

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

27

Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Brad Littlejohn said:

 

While I agree with this here, I also have to disagree to an extent, because you could be given direct to fixes or waypoints that you did not file, but are in your flight plan. Let me explain.

If you filed a flight plan that includes an airway, for example, you could be cleared to a fix or waypoint that is on that airway, because the airway includes the fixes or waypoints you could be cleared directly to. For example, reference:

STAAV EIGHT (RNAV)

VFRMAP

BUNTS TWO

If a pilot filed STAAV8.VERKN HVE J60 PSB.BUNTS2 from KLAS to KPHL, I, as a controller at ZLA, could clear them direct to LNK, IOW, JOT, or even DJB, and that would not be taking them off their flight plan. As they didn't explicitly type those waypoints into their flight plan when they filed it, they included those waypoints by including the airway. So if I clear them to a point further along on the airway they filed, they would not be deviating from their flight plan. They could go directly to that fix or waypoint, and still be on the plan that they filed. This in effect would be giving them a shortcut.

BL.

 

Yes, but those are all still fixes that are on their flight plan, and will thus appear in the FPL page of the FMS (or whatever the page is called on the aircraft type in question).

23.png
Link to post
Share on other sites

And of course there are those places that will typically direct you to waypoints that are not on your flight plan, e. g. Amsterdam. "Callsign, after ARTIP direct Sherra Papa Lima." 😏 In this case, you have time to prepare! 

KntU2Cw.jpg
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

What a pity, the thread-starter has not returned to this forum since. All the typing for nothing... Appreciated. I have to admit that this is quite annoying, when members invest a lot of time and effort to help and it is not used. Yes, I know, probably somebody else has or will have use for this piece of information, but still....

Hi - I'm really sorry! I have been getting the notifications, but my personal life is super busy right now and just haven't had time to respond. I really appreciate your (and everyone elses) help and tips, and plan on trying them out when I have the time to do so. Also, definitely should help others who have the same issues and questions. Thanks again!

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Dace Nicmane said:

And of course there are those places that will typically direct you to waypoints that are not on your flight plan, e. g. Amsterdam. "Callsign, after ARTIP direct Sherra Papa Lima." 😏 In this case, you have time to prepare! 

Thankfully, these waypoints are displayed on the EHAM STAR overview. In most cases, we use SPL, SPY or PAM after the IAF. Depending on traffic, we try to issue the 'after IAF waypoint' well in advance. When in doubt, speak up, radar vectors are always an option.

Martijn

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Manny Rollin said:

Hi - I'm really sorry! I have been getting the notifications, but my personal life is super busy right now and just haven't had time to respond.

Hi Manny, thanks for your feedback, that's all that matters - at least to me. We have those nice like-buttons on the bottom right corner of each post, that's another way of thanking, agreeing or disagreeing to someone's post. Don't worry, I do not take it personal, it just seems to be a trend of recent years and it is not limited to this forum.

Edited by Andreas Fuchs
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Martijn Rammeloo said:

Thankfully, these waypoints are displayed on the EHAM STAR overview.

But even if not: if you are using an airplane with an FMC or a GPS/Garmin 1000, then just hack in the waypoint and go there, as instructed. Just like us in the real world. Happens more often than you would think.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...