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A New Project 

 

If you use Tim Arnot's Plan-G flight planning freeware…

 

http://www.tasoftware.co.uk/planG.htm

 

...this may be of interest to you.  What I'm proposing to do may help you benefit from what I'm doing without replicating all my leg work yourself.  

 

I'm slowly populating my Plan-G charts folder tree with terminal procedures.  I have an old (2011) DVD copy of all of the US IAPs, STARs and SIDs. I will also add public domain, non-US terminal procedures as they become available and as time permits, however the primary focus for the time being will be US terminal procedures.

 

What makes this possible is that Tim's software now allows the use of JPG, PDF and LNK files – the latter are Windows Shortcut files. Most terminal procedures are PDF files.  My airport diagrams are JPGs and the LNK files are necessary to efficiently use STARs.

 

To make the files display properly for the correct airports in Plan-G, it's necessary to rename each file so that its filename begins with the ICAO code.  I'm taking that a step further, embedding some additional information within the filename so the entries will sort logically when displayed in Plan-G and give me and any other users some idea what is in each procedure without having to open it and look at it.  

 

A picture is worth a thousand words so here's what a fully populated airport looks like in Plan-G.  It's necessary to right-click on the airport icon in Plan-G, then left-click “Charts” on the fly-out to get the menu of available documents to display like this.  Selecting any one of them from the fly-out displays that file in whatever viewer you use for that document type.

 

y4mNBZRhXreBnaBqtq-GYoLQJ8msg_JLkW1USIwK

 

STARs are unique among terminal procedures in that they may be applicable to more than one airport.  As a result they must be handled a little differently from IAPs, SIDs and the occasional Visual Approach plate.  For STARs I put the parent STAR PDF in a separate STARs folder, then create Windows Shortcut files (LNK files) for each airport to which it applies.  The shortcut files are much smaller than the parent STAR pdf and each one is named so that it will display for the appropriate airport.  For example, the Dallas area STAR “FINGR THREE” applies to five airports in the Dallas area.  I've created five Windows Shortcuts, one for each airport to which the STAR applies…

 

  • KADS – STAR – FINGR THREE.lnk
  • KDAL – STAR – FINGR THREE.lnk
  • KHQZ – STAR – FINGR THREE.lnk
  • KLNC – STAR – FINGR THREE.lnk
  • KRBD – STAR – FINGR THREE.lnk

 

They're identical except for the filenames and each one points to the full PDF copy of the STAR in the separate STARs folder. With those in the Plan-G Charts folder, this STAR shows in the Charts fly-out menu for each airport to which it is applicable.

 

WHAT'S IN IT FOR YOU?

 

Of course you could do what I'm doing but it's a long and tedious job and you'd only be duplicating my efforts.  I propose to share the renamed files with others who are interested, via some kind of subscriber list much like what's available for my airport diagrams.  I expect that the number of files and the volume of data will make e-mail attachments prohibitive, so am thinking of creating a shared Drop Box folder to which subscribers will have access for downloading my re-named files into their own Plan-G Charts folder.

 

I haven't fully thought through all the bookkeeping and logistics of  this, particularly given that I have a fairly large number of these done already, but am looking to gauge the interest level in this.  

 

If you think you might be interested in subscribing to this free service for re-named TPP files via DropBox, please e-mail me by clicking the link below and letting me know.

 

allardjd@earthlink.net

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sounds like more hard work for you John, I am guessing it something I wont need but I imagine it will be good for people who fly stars, well done...if its as useful as your charts then it will be a great addition...

Wayne

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Sounds like a great plan John. :thum: :thum: :thum: :thum: :cool:

 

This brings up a question I always had, are smaller and slower GA aircraft in VFR allowed to fly these or are they only for IFR? I started learning about how to read them when I got the Q400 but have also flown them in my smaller props too but wondered if I would interfere with commercial traffic in RW.    

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IAPs - by definition they are IFR procedures but GA aircraft fly them in IMC and for practice/qualification. Almost all are low-altitude procedures and are constructed to accommodate low performance aircraft as well as jets, etc. That's where the aircraft categories (usually A, B, C and D) tabled at the bottom of each procedure comes into play. At controlled airfields, the "full" procedure is almost never flown except for practice. At uncontrolled fields, flying the full procedure is more common, though if the radar coverage is good enough the Center approach controller for the area may be able to give you a vector to the final approach course, allowing you to short circuit the full procedure.

 

SIDs - I believe GA aircraft are expected to comply with these where they exist and where the aircraft is actually departing the area, but they don't necessarily file a flight plan and a VFR flight plan is normally not as rigorous and is not mandatory. See-and-avoid and visual terrain avoidance are assumed and the procedure is not a hard and fast requirement to avoid a disaster if those are in play. If the WX is IMC, those things don't work and the procedures, or vectors, are the only games in town. Sometimes SIDs are for terrain avoidance and sometimes for efficient traffic flow. Whether you realize it or not, when making a VFR departure from an airport that has them, chances are the vectors from the departure controller will look very much like the published SID.

 

STARs - If VFR in a GA type aircraft going into an area with published STARs, you'll probably be talking to an Approach controller unless you get low and fly under the "wedding cake". Of course that only works if you're going into a small field that is not within the inner segment, which goes all the way to the surface.

 

If you're going to a larger field, or even to a small one that's in the inner circle you must be talking to ATC and at some point you'll be vectored into the traffic flow to the active runway(s). Most STARs begin a hundred miles or more from the airport and at a pretty high altitudes so probably you will not be conforming to the early stages of it if you're in a lower performance aircraft. Bottom line is, like SIDs, you'll be getting vectors and may not even be aware of STARs in use for the area, but might well be confirming to them anyway, via the vectors.

 

The advantage to the controllers of SIDs and STARs is that they don't have to tell high-performance IFR traffic every move to make. The IFR flight with a SID and/or a STAR in his flight plan is going to fly the procedure until he gets a hold or a vector telling him to do otherwise, so it's a great benefit to the controllers - they have to talk less and know what to expect from the traffic. It also provides a pre-planned method of merging incoming IFR traffic coming from various directions. The controllers are not making it up on the fly.

 

John

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sounds like more hard work for you John

 

 

I'm already doing most of the work for my own use anyway.  Making them available for others only adds a small rock to the pile, though I haven't worked out all the details of how to do that just yet.  What I do for the airport diagram subscribers is not a good option for these - way too much volume.

 

John

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you see I always thought SIDS & STARS were just for the larger aircraft, but from reading your post above they are used by GA to, I will have to read up on this as I have over the years ignored 2 things one being S & S,  guess I may need these and to do some homework.

 

Wayne

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Just a word of caution here, guys. This does nothing about the problem of disparity between real-world charts and the navaids, runways and waypoints that are contained in FSX.  All this does is catalog the charts available and make them more easily and quickly available for reference, by airport.  

 

This recent post by Quickmarch may provide a solution to that other problem, but haven't gotten into that one yet.

 

http://forum.mutleyshangar.com/index.php/topic/16916-nav-data-tool/

 

John

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This project is at the point where I could use a couple of testers.  You need to have Plan-G installed and be willing to use DropBox.  No need to sign up for DB if you aren't already using it.  That will happen when you accept an "invitation" from me to join a shared folder.  Everything is free.

 

First two e-mails to me get hired...

 

John

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I guess I should update this thread, though it's been superseded by the announcement thread...

 

http://forum.mutleyshangar.com/index.php/topic/17307-new-mh-feature-terminal-procedures-for-plan-g/

 

This project is alive and well but the entire concept for distribution as discussed in this thread has taken a 180 degree turn. Instead of DropBox, Mutley has opened the doors of the very useful and ever-expandable MH File Library. There's a new Catetory, "Terminal Procedures for Plan-G" and I've begun the process of populating it with the fruits of this project.

 

At this writing there are something like 105 IAPs and SIDs packages (each with all the IAPs and SIDs for one airport) and 33 STAR packages. Like airport diagrams, you can expect to see something new added on most days.

 

John

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This is great news John.

 

Please count me in on the subscribers list. (You know that I am a big fan of your tireless work!)

 

JG.

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