Lately something new has emerged in my life. When i get off work i want to relax by flying somewhere over beautiful scenery. That has become a new love.
To keep my brain engaged i was trying to navigate. In MSFS it does not seem very straightforward.
Im embarrassed to ask because i know it must be under my nose. Im trying to understand where are the VOR, NBD, TACAN, ect listed. And yes, while i fly some aircraft that have GPS, i find that boring. Maybe ill want to learn that later. For now i just want to use VOR, NBD (If thats even in MSFS) and TACAN.
MY biggest challenge has come from simply finding information. i.e. I was looking in Skyvector and in MSFS and cant figure out how to get VORs so i can make a route. Perhaps someone can point me in the right direction. I know how to VOR , just dont know where to find the freqs.
But it actually is! Classic instrument flight is brilliant in how impenetrable the symbols and rules are at first glance and how totally logical it all is after an hour of study. It is the absolute opposite of musical notation.
As for TACAN, even though I know it is a totally different thing, I just make it synonymous with VOR/DME as the stations are often colocated.
What really surprised me with this little exercise is how nearly all of the NDBs have been decommissioned. I knew this happened way back when but it just didn’t register. Back in my early days, the Caribbean “WATRS” airways were often called “colored” airways because the names were something like “Green 452” (G452) and “Red 455” (R455) and were based off NDBs with crazy long ranges. “Amber 555” (seen in the screenshot) still exists but only 1 pilot in 20 are probably old enough to know it was once called that. Now all are gone (and probably have been since the early 90s).
If you do use skyvector and find the NOSS chart symbology less than intuitive, each chart has a full key on the foldout. Just use the individual chart feature of skyvector, not the “World …”, to see it.
There is one more avenue, though plotting it yourself I think is better.
On the map screen in MSFS when you are picking your departure and destination fields there is a drop down below that that will allow you to select VOR-VOR, High Altitude Airways, and Low Altitude Airways, as well as GPS direct.
I don’t use it much, but I think that the virtue of using this method is that it might allow you to pull down the Nav Plan via the toolbar at the top of the inflight menu and you would have headings, distances, etc.
When you look at this stuff (or similar) every day, for years…looking back it’s kind of amazing how your brain, with training, can ‘filter’ out things.
Just grabbed this randomly. Is from an enroute radar (“Center”, or ARTCC in the USA) - the data blocks histories are the first give away (“left leaners” we called them - if ‘leaning’ right means something else - un-corelated). It’s also kind of old based on the callsign’s - TWA for instance.
And the altitudes of the higher ones are all odd (didn’t look that close); it was before RVSM (had to use 2000 feet between everyone above FL290).
And it’s all one color so yeah, 90’s or earlier.
Some facilities wanted dashed lines for the jet routes/airways, some wanted solid. I’m not sure it was an option until the mid-90’s. The ‘picnic table’ symbols are mountain peaks (obstructions).
Something about this image makes me think it’s a simulation (in the sim’ lab). They also have the velocity vectors run way out, likely for ‘effect’ (makes it look more ‘busy’ than it is). You could do 0 - 8 minutes. I preferred them ‘off’ til I needed to ‘predict’ (WAG) something in the next few minutes - quick twist of the wrist and back.
This!!! Is what i needed in game. Huge thanks. This just made my weekend. Yes, i can fly GPS. IM SURE a monkey could too.
This requires finnese and skill, so im sure to botch it up lol.
Thanks. Im going to program my freqs.