Building your own Flight Plans
There are 2 ways to create your own Flight Plans in FSBuild.
1. Auto Generate Flight Plans.
If you have no charts or maps
at all, you can let the auto generator build a flight plan
The results of the Auto Generation are displayed
in the 'Route' box.
- Just simply enter the ICAO codes for your departure,
and destination airports.
- Press the 'Auto Generate Flight
Example: Enter the ICAO code for Santa
Barbara (KSBA) for your departure, and the ICAO code for Los
Angeles (KLAX) as your destination.
As you can see the Auto Generator selected the 'KSBA-FLOUT5.VTU-KLAX' route.
FLOUT5.VTU refers to the FLOUT5 SID Ventura transition. So you see the FSbuild Auto Generator
will try to select an appropriate SID or STAR for your direction of flight.
To use this Flight Plan in FSBuild press 'BUILD'.
If you want to keep this route, so that is always available to you, give the Flight Plan a name
in the 'Title' box, click on the 'Add' radio button that is just below the 'Saved Routs' box, then press
the Saved Routes box, and FSBuild will save the routes in a separate file from the Stored Flight
Plans that come packaged with FSBuild.
To Delete a previously saved Flight Plan, you select the Plan from the Stored Flight Plans list.
Once the Flight Plan is displayed in the 'Route' box, you select the 'Delete' radio button, just
under the 'Saved Routes' button, and then Press the 'Saved Routes' button.
Since FSbuild deletes the Flight plan based on its 'title' you can save a step here if you know the
exact title of the route, by entering the route title, selecting the 'Delete' radio button, and
pressing the 'Saved Routes' button.
2. Manual Flight Plan creation.
1.0 The traditional (and realistic) way
The traditional (and realistic) way is to use maps and charts and plot a route you will fly using
the Navaids (VOR's,NDB's etc), Low and High alitude Airways, SID's and STAR's depicted on your various
Lets build a short Flight from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles Int'l using low altitude airways.
Looking at the example Low altitude Map at the top of the page, Santa Barbara is in the upper left
corner of the map, Los Angeles is towards the lower right.
For this Flight say we decide that from Santa Barbara we take Airway 'V25' to the Ventura (VTU) VOR.
Then Airway V299 to the SADDE Intersection. Since we know Los Angeles normally lands to West towards
the ocean we will plan to pass the airport to the North, so we add then V107 to the Santa Monica (SMO) VOR.
Santa Barbara KSBA
Victor 25 V25
Victor 299 V299
Victor 107 V107.
Now we need to convert this route into a format that FSBuild understands and can use.
When manually entering Flight Plans into Fsbuild there's only a few rules you have to follow.
So using the above rules lets turn the above plan into something FSBuild can use.
- All Flight Plans must begin, and end with a valid ICAO airport code.
- For Fsbuild 1.X All Flight Plan items must be separated with a hyphen '-' character (The exception to this
is for SID and STAR transitions where you use a period '.' ). This is not required for Fsbuild 2.X
- When using airways, the Flight Plan must contain an enter, and exit waypoint for the Airway.
Plug this into the 'Route' box, then press the Build button.
The results don't look quite correct,right ? According to the map there's a waypoint (DEANO) along
airway'V25' between Santa Barbara, and the Ventura VOR, but Fsbuild it did not show it on the
active route after your build.
Check the above rules.
FSBuild had a discontinuity between KSBA and V25 (ie KSBA-V25) it cannot insert the airway
because we have not included an entry waypoint for V25. Since FSBuild did not know what to do
with Airway 'V25' it simply skipped it, and continued building the rest of the flight plan from
Okay now go into the 'Route' box and type in 'DEANO' between KSBA and 'V25' (make sure all the items
have hyphen '-' separators between them).
Now press Build again.
You can see now that all the waypoints for the airways along our selected route have been inserted into
the Flight Plan route by FSBuild.
If you want to keep this route so that is always available to you, give the Flight Plan a name in the 'Title'
box and press 'Save Route'.
Okay now try to 'Auto Generate' this KSBA-KLAX route again.
It didn't auto generate, did it ? Instead it loaded up the Flight Plan you just saved. The auto Generator will
only generate a flight plan if a Flight plan between those two points does not already exist in the database.
In general our thinking was the manually designed and stored flight plans by users would probably be better
than anything the auto generator could generate, so Fsbuild will defer to a stored flight plan rather than
auto generate one.
1.1 Manual Flight Plan creation (Using SID's (DP's) and STAR's).
FSBuild has an ever growing database of SID's and STAR's. If a Flight plan contains the name of a SID or
STAR FSbuild will automatically include all the waypoints for that SID or STAR, including the transition
waypoints if appropriate.
For inserting SID's and STAR's are are a couple extra rules that need to be followed.
A few examples below...
- A SID can only be placed immediately following the departure airport ICAO code (ie must always be
the 2nd item of the flight plan).
- A SID endpoint must follow the SID name and be separated by a period '.' character.
- A STAR can only be placed immediately before the departure airport ICAO code (ie must always be the
next to last item in the flight plan).
- A STAR transition must immediately precede the STAR name and be separated by a period '.' character.
- A STAR without any transition is separated by a period '.' character.
- In cases where a STAR has transitions but you wish to bypass the transitions and join the main part
of the STAR use the hyphen '-' character as a separator.
KSAN-PEBLE2.SLI... (PEBLE2 SID Seal Beach (SLI) Transition)
In the cases where you SID endpoint is the same Navaid as your STAR entry point use the period
character to separate the SID and the STAR between the exit/exit point.
KSAN-PEBLE2.PEBLE... (PEBLE2 SID No Transition, exit point is Peble)
...BSR-BSR2 (BIGSUR 2 STAR has no transitions, entry point BSR)
...AVE.SADDE6 (SADDE6 STAR via Avenal (AVE) transition).
...-SADDE-SADDE6 (SADDE6 STAR bypass all the transitions, and join the STAR from 'SADDE').
Example: PORTE3.AVE.SADDE6 (PORTE3 SID Avenal transition, SADDE6 STAR Avenal transition)
FSBuild contains many Airways, SID's and STAR's but not all. If an Airway is missing from the program
you can manually add the airway into the database yourself. Another option is to simply insert the necessary
waypoints that would be on the airway in the flight plan one by one.
North Atlantic Tracks: You can make use of SATCO statand North Atlantic Tracks in your flight plans
if you wish. Below are the tracks are available as...
The Auto Generator.
The Auto Generator creates what I would describe as 'fair' flight plans. Looking on a map you'll likely
always be able to design a better flight than the auto generator could create for you.
The Auto Generator will also select a SID and STAR for the route. However again it only does a 'fair'
job at this. It will pick the 'first' SID or STAR reasonably aligned with your direction of flight. It
may not necessarily pick the best or most practical SID or STAR. What I mean by 'first' is it selects
it in the order it is listed in the STAR/SID database file. If you prefer the AutoGenerator select
a particular SID or STAR over others then you will have to place it first on the list in the database.
The Auto Generator does a fair job for Flight Plans up to 3000 miles, after that you may see some
usual selections. The quality of Auto generated Flights tends to degrade on very long routes. Though
you will get a plan from point 'A' to point 'B', though it may take quite some time for very long routes
(up to 3 or 4 minutes).
The Auto generator generally does not select NDB's unless they are actually on an airway, same for