Making a flight plan with Pilot2ATC

Pliot2ATC is a companion program that connects to MSFS2020 (and other sims) providing a more realistic and immersive Air Traffic Control (ATC). The in-game ATC is universally known to be awful and I came across Pilot2ATC while looking for alternatives. It is available as a 10 day trial from https://pilot2atc.com/. The author encourages using the trial period to get familiar with the software before you buy the full version, which will set you back $59.95 US.

Back to the reason for this article and that is making the flight plan with Pilot2ATC and importing it into MSFS2020.
The software can seem a little daunting at first, the user interface isn’t the prettiest but it makes up for it in functionality.
I assume you have already opened the software and are presented with a screen similar to mine here:

p2atc screenshot

Let’s plan a flight from Kobe – RJBE to Tokyo Haneda –RJTT.

  1. Click on the Add Waypoint button. (WPT with the green plus sign)
  2. Enter our origin airport ICAO code, which is RJBE, and click Enter.
Add Waypoint screen
  1. Repeat step 3, adding another waypoint for our destination airport ICAO code, which is RJTT, and click Enter.
route displayed

The map should show the basic straight line plan between the two airports and the right hand pane should have your waypoints listed as text.
We are going to populate it with the correct departures, arrivals, approaches, and, airways.

  1. Click on the SID button, a pop-out window appears with the available Standard Instrument Departure procedures, since we are flying East, let’s select a SID with a transition heading East.
    I chose MIDER by clicking on it within the window.
MIDER transition selected
  1. Click LOAD to insert the procedure into our flight plan. You should notice the procedure and waypoints appear in the plan window.
  2. Next, we can add our standard arrival route, click on the STAR button.
  3. Choose the runway, arrival, and, transition you would like.
    I went for RW34L, XACV arrival via XAC Transition.
    Click LOAD to add it to our plan.
STAR Transition
  1. We now add the approach by clicking the APPR button.
    With the correct runway selected, look through the various approaches until you see one that you would like. I wanted an ILS landing so I looked through the available ILS approaches and chose one which had a transition point that worked with the STAR we picked previously.
    ILS – RW34L – I34LY has a transition point at KAIHO which matches out STAR so I chose it.
  2. Once again, click LOAD to add it to our plan.
ILS Approach transition
  1. The plan is almost complete, we have our Departure and arrival set but we can also add an airway to take us from the end transition point of our departure to the entry transition point of our arrival. To do this, find the MIDER waypoint in our plan. On the left of the waypoint there is a triangle icon. Clicking it brings up an options window.
  2. Click the Load Airway option.
  3. We now have the airway options that are available from the MIDER waypoint. We are looking for the XAC waypoint (which is the entry transition into our STAR) so scroll through the options until we find what we need. Its Airway Y71 To Wpt XAC, highlight both options and click LOAD.

Our route is now complete, Top of Descent will be automatically calculated and shown on the map as a green arrow. We can change the Climb Rate, Cruise Alt, Plan GS, and, Dscnt Rate simply by clicking on them within the plan and entering our data. Changing these should cause the software to recalculate the Top of descent automatically.
All that is left to do is export our plan and import it into the sim. If you click the Export button a window appears with various sim options. Tick the box next to MSFS2020 and browse to a save location on your machine using the icon. I also tick the Export SID/STAR/Approach button.
Give it a filename and click the export button and it will be ready for the sim.

From the flight plan screen in MSFS2020 click the load/save option, browse to the Pilot2ATC save location and import the .pln file.

https://vimeo.com/555051232

MSFS2020 ILS Landings Guide – Garmin 1000

If you have been trying to perform an ILS landing using an aircraft equipped with the Garmin 1000 on Microsoft Flight Sim 2020 then there is a good chance that it hasn’t been working. Fortunately, I have a solution. Follow my guide below and you should be happily landing using the ILS system.

Create The Flight Plan

Step 1 is to create the flight plan in the World Map. In the example I used for this guide, I select LSMP as the departure and LSGG as the arrival. The flight plan will default to Direct-GPS, please change this to Low-altitude airways.

After changing to low-altitude airways, you will notice an extra field under the arrival airport. This Approach field is where we can specify the ILS or RNAV approach path we would like to use.

Go ahead and select Approach (ILS 22) which will give us a straight approach in to Geneva. With the approach selected we can then click on the Nav Log button to have a look at our cruise altitude and most importantly our waypoints. Specifically, the altitude of the last waypoint before the runway.

You can see here that the final waypoint before the runway is GG808 and it’s altitude is 4000ft.

The reason we are so interested in this point is that it is the Final Fix for the ILS system to use the automatic approach. What it means is that if we are at the specified altitude (here it is 4000ft) as we cross this point then the ILS system can take over and bring the aircraft in to land.

It is possible to double-check the final fix and other waypoints close to the airport by looking at the approach charts (sometimes called plates). these can be found online at various places. I look at these sites first and if I can’t find the information there I will search google:

https://skyvector.com/

https://chartfox.org/

Reading The Approach Chart

Here is the plate for our landing at LSGG.

LSGG_APP2_ILS22

We are looking for the localizer frequency which is displayed in the top left of the plate.

109.90 is the localizer frequency we need to input into our Garmin 1000 when we prepare for take-off. ISW will be displayed next to the frequency when we lock onto the signal at approach.

Input The NAV Frequency

We need to input the localiser frequency that ILS will use when it comes time to start the approach.

Look at the top left of the G1000 display, you will see the NAV1 and NAV2 frequencies, we want to input the frequency for the runway we have chosen into NAV1, in this case, it is 109.90.

To the left of the display is the NAV tuner. You will see two sets of numbers next to NAV1 separated by blue arrows. The numbers on the left have a white box surrounding them, this indicates the frequency we can edit. The large wheel changes the numbers before the decimal point, the smaller wheel will tune the numbers after. Tune the desired frequency then click on the arrows button above the tuning dials. This will move the frequency from the right to the left and store it in the NAV receiver.

Prepare For Approach

I check the VFR map periodically to see how close I am to the final waypoint and then, descend to the required altitude a few NM before the waypoint, please ignore ATC if they start to tell you that you are at the wrong altitude, just trust the flight plan!

As we get closer, the NAV1 should tune into the localizer. I set my PFD display to show both NAV1 and GPS so I can see when the signal is located. A glide slope indicator (white G) will also appear to the left of your Altitude Tape once the locator is locked in.

Coming up to the Final Fix point, Turn approach mode ON by pressing the APR button. Next, change the CDI from GPS to LOC1.

The purple indicator will turn green and so will the glide slope indicator (G). A green diamond should now be visible in the glide slope indicator. This will move up and down as a visual reference to your glide angle.

Approach

If you have switched everything on from the previous steps and you are at the correct altitude (which is the crucial part), the automatic descent will begin. From this point on, you only need to control the AirSpeed using the throttle.

I try to keep the Cessna G1000 to 85 kts for the descent. It is a good point to add flaps during this stage, it will increase the altitude initially however, the system will adjust to keep you on the correct glide path.

The only thing left to do is get ready to remove the auto pilot and flare up slightly as you land.

Microsoft Flight Sim 2020 Garmin G1000 Track Up / North Up

The G1000 map orientation defaults to North Up. You can check the current orientation at the top right of the MFD screen.
The orientation can be changed in the MFD menu.

Follow these steps to change:

mfd map orientation1
  1. On the MFD, click the Menu button.
mfd map orientation2
  1. On the Map Options screen, click the ENT button.
mfd map orientation3
  1. On the Orientation screen, click the ENT button.
mfd map orientation4
  1. Use the FMS Knob to select the desired option for example, Track UP.
mfd map orientation5
  1. Click ENT to save your selection.
mfd map orientation6
  1. Click ENT twice to leave the menu and go back to the MFD map display. Your chosen orientation settings should now be saved.