Flight Plan Route Description

This dialog allows you to create a flight plan from a route description as generated or provided by various online services.

The New Flight Plan from Route Description dialog opens with the route description for the current flight plan which also contains information about speed and cruise altitude if enabled.

The top half of the dialog holds the route description input field, while the bottom half shows any messages, warnings or errors that occur during reading.

The menu button Menu Button provides a dropdown menu than can be used to customize the generated route string.

The description parser will try to use as much of the route as possible even if parts of the flight plan like waypoints or airways cannot be found or names are ambiguous. You will see warnings in the bottom half if that is the case.

If a route covers a long distance and contains a waypoint name which is not unique, a wrong waypoint might be added to the flight plan. Correct or remove this waypoint manually.

Many waypoints and airways will not be found if route descriptions from the latest AIRAC sources are used together with FSX/P3D stock data from 2005. It is recommended to use a navigation data update for the stock scenery when reading route descriptions from online sources like RouteFinder, Online Flight Planner, SimBrief or SkyVector.

If a navdata update is not an option, pick the online service's AIRAC cycle that is closest to the cycle the navigation data of your flight simulator is based on.

Note that even flight plans calculated in Little Navmap cannot be converted back exactly in some cases. This happens due to navaid ambiguities like NDB and VOR stations having the same names or errors in the source data.

The cruise speed and altitude are used to create the flight plan if given. Otherwise the cruise altitude is automatically determined by the flight plan type (IFR or VFR) and the minimum altitude of the used airway segments.

SID and STAR procedures require a navdata update except for X-Plane which already comes with a complete navigation database.

Route Description Dialog

Picture above: A route description that was read successfully with a few warnings about ignored elements. The waypoint LLL could not be found. Speed, altitude, SID and STAR were recognized. The ground speed of 433 knots is calculated based on given mach number 0.74 and standard atmosphere conditions.

Buttons

  • To Clipboard: Copy the current description as plain text to the clipboard.
  • From Clipboard: Insert text from clipboard into the input field. The inserted text is converted to upper case and all invalid characters are removed from the text.
  • Update from Flight Plan: Create the route string from the current flight plan again. Use this after changing settings with drop down menu button.
  • Read Route Description: Reads the route description and displays any messages, warnings and errors in the bottom half of the dialog. The current flight plan is not affected by this action.
  • IFR / VFR: Defines the type of the generated flight plan and the automatically determined cruise altitude.
  • Menu Button Menu Button: Write denotes flight plan to description and Read denotes description to flight plan.
    • Write departure and destination airport: Note that disabling this option will result in a route string which cannot be read back into a flight plan.
    • Write DCT (direct) instructions: Add DCT for any direct waypoint connections in the flight plan.
    • Write cruise speed and altitude instruction: Add cruise altitude from flight plan and ground speed as set in the flight planning dock window.
    • Write SID and STAR: Add SID and STAR names if any are used for departure or arrival.
    • Write generic SID and STAR: Add the generic SID and STAR keywords if no real SID and/or STAR were selected.
    • Write Waypoints instead of Airways: Does not insert any airway names but uses waypoints only.
    • Write Alternates: Appends all alternate airports to the end of the description.
    • Read trailing Airports as Alternates:
      • Enabled: A list of airports at the end of the description will be read as alternate airports except the first in the chain of consecutive airports which will be used as destination. Any airport with a valid STAR in the chain will be treated as destination too.
      • Disabled: Reading simply creates a flight plan with the airports as intermediate waypoints and the last one as destination. See example below.
  • Create Flight Plan: Closes the dialog and creates a new flight plan for the parsed route description and replaces the current plan. You have to click Read Route Description before you can create a flight plan.

Format

The route description has to follow the format rules below:

FROM[ETD] [SPEEDALT] [SID][.TRANS] [ENROUTE] [STAR][.TRANS] TO[ETA] [ALTERNATES]

All elements in square brackets are optional.

FROM and TO: These are the required 3 or 4 letter idents for departure and destination airports.

Examples: KEAT, CYPU, S16.

ALTERNATES: Alternate airports are optional and are added to the flight plan when reading depending on the option Read trailing Airports as Alternates as described above.

SPEEDALT: An optional entry that contains the cruise speed and altitude. See below for a details. Speed is ignored when reading.

ENROUTE: This is a list of either WAYPOINT or an AIRWAYWAYPOINT forming the actual flight plan. The first entry has to be an airport, waypoint, VOR or NDB.

WAYPOINT: A waypoint, VOR, NDB, airport or user-defined coordinates. See below for a details about coordinates. A waypoint can be prefixed with DCT to indicate a direct connection not using an airway. Waypoints can be suffixed with an optional /SPEEDALT value although this is ignored.

Examples: TAU, BOMBI, AST, CL, EDDF.

AIRWAYWAYPOINT: Airway and end waypoint on the airway separated by a space.

Examples: V495 CONDI, V338 YVR, V330 TRENA.

SID.TRANS and STAR.TRANS: Either the words SID or STAR or real SID, STAR and transition names where the optional transition is separated by a .. The generic keywords SID and STAR create a direct connection to the en-route part.

Examples: RDHK2.HOLLE, OHIO3.LFK, RDHK2, OHIO3.

Features not supported

ETD and ETA: Four digit departure and arrival time attached to the airport ident are ignored.

WAYPOINT.SPEEDALT: For example BOMBI/N0090A060. Altitude changes at waypoints are not supported and ignored when reading.

Alternates

Example when reading Read trailing Airports as Alternates enabled:

  • KPWA N0169F190 MUDDE3 ATOKA J25 FUZ J33 CRIED J50 LFK BAYYY3.SJI KHOU KCLL KVCT
  • KPWA ATOKA J25 FUZ J33 CRIED J50 LFK KHOU KCLL KVCT

KHOU is read as destination, KCLL and KVCT are alternates for both examples.

Example when reading Read trailing Airports as Alternates disabled:

  • KPWA N0169F190 MUDDE3 ATOKA J25 FUZ J33 CRIED J50 LFK BAYYY3.SJI KHOU KCLL KVCT

Not valid. Error message BAYYY3.SJI not found printed. KVCT is read as destination, KHOU and KCLL are intermediate waypoints.

  • KPWA ATOKA J25 FUZ J33 CRIED J50 LFK KHOU KCLL KVCT

KVCT is read as destination, KHOU and KCLL are intermediate waypoints.

Speed and Altitude

Cruising ground speed and cruising level not separated by a space.

Speed is prefixed with:

K: Kilometers per hour followed by a four digit value.

N: Knots followed by a four digit value.

M: Mach followed by a three digit value. The mach value is converted to knots ground speed assuming standard atmosphere conditions at the give flight altitude.

Altitude is prefixed with:

F :Flight level in three digits.

S: Metric flight level in three digits of tens of meters.

A: Altitude in hundreds of feet in three digits.

M: Altitude in tens of meter in four digits.

Examples:

N0410F310 410 knots at flight level 310.

M071F320 Mach 0.71 at flight level 320.

K0790M0710 790 kilometers per hour at 7100 meters.

Coordinates

Coordinates can be supplied in different formats:

Degrees only (7 characters): Two digits and north/south indicator plus three digits and east/west indicator.

Example: 51N010E

Degrees and minutes (11 characters): Two digits degrees, two digits for minutes and north/south indicator. Then three digits for degrees, two digits for minutes and east/west indicator.

Example: 4010N03822W.

Degrees, minutes and seconds (15 characters): Two digits degrees, two digits for minutes, two digits for seconds and north/south indicator. Then three digits for degrees, two digits for minutes, two digits for seconds and east/west indicator. This format is used by SkyVector for example.

Example: 481200N0112842E.

North Atlantic track points (NAT). Two digits degrees north and two digits degrees west followed by character N.

Example: 5010N.

Coordinate waypoint pairs with degrees and minutes as above and prefixed with north/south and east/west indicator.

Examples: N4200 W02000 or N4200/W02000.

Garmin GFP format (13 characters) north/south indicator, two digits degrees, three digits for minutes by 10. Then east/west indicator, three digits degrees, three digits minutes by 10. This format is used by the Flight1 GTN 650/750.

Example: N48194W123096

Flight Plan Description Examples

Frankfurt Main (EDDF) to Fiumicino (LIRF):

Direct connection:

EDDF LIRF or EDDF DCT LIRF.

VOR to VOR:

EDDF FRD KPT BOA CMP LIRF.

Same as above with departure time (ETD) and arrival time (ETA) which both will be ignored:

EDDF1200 FRD KPT BOA CMP LIRF1300.

Same as above on flight level 310 at 410 knots:

EDDF N0410F310 DCT FRD DCT KPT DCT BOA DCT CMP DCT LIRF

Using Jet airways:

EDDF ASKIK T844 KOVAN UL608 TEDGO UL607 UTABA UM738 NATAG Y740 LORLO M738 AMTEL M727 TAQ LIRF

Same as above on flight level 310 at mach 0.71 with an additional speed and altitude at NATAG which will be ignored:

EDDF M071F310 SID ASKIK T844 KOVAN UL608 TEDGO UL607 UTABA UM738 NATAG/M069F350 Y740 LORLO M738 AMTEL M727 TAQ STAR LIRF

User-defined waypoints with degree/minute notation and an alternate airport LIRE:

EDDF N0174F255 4732N00950E 4627N01019E 4450N01103E LIRF LIRE

Flight plan using SID and STAR procedures with transitions:

KPWA RDHK2.HOLLE ATOKA J25 FUZ J33 CRIED J50 LFK OHIO3.LFK KHOU

Flight plan using the generic SID and STAR keywords:

KPWA SID ATOKA J25 FUZ J33 CRIED J50 LFK STAR KHOU

Flight plan using SID and STAR procedures with transitions and two alternate airports:

KPWA N0169F190 MUDDE3 ATOKA J25 FUZ J33 CRIED J50 LFK BAYYY3.SJI KHOU KCLL KVCT

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