Flight Plan Route Description

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

When opened it will show the route description for the current flight plan which also contains information about speed and cruise altitude if enabled.

The upper part of the dialog shows the route description input field and the lower part 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 lower output field if that is the case.

For long flight plans it can happen that far away waypoints are added if names are not unique. Remove these manually if needed.

Many waypoints and airways will not be found if route descriptions from the latest AIRAC sources are used together with flight simulator 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.

Otherwise, use an AIRAC cycle from the online services that is closest to the flight simulator navigation data age at the end of 2005 if a navigation data update is not an option.

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.

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: Copies the current description as plain text to the clipboard.
  • From Clipboard: Inserts text from clipboard to the input field. The inserted text is converted to upper case and all invalid characters are removed from the text.
  • Update from Flight Plan: Creates 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 prints any messages, warnings and errors in the lower output field. 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:
    • Add departure and destination airport: Note that disabling this option will result in a route string which cannot be read back into a flight plan.
    • Add DCT (direct) instructions: Add DCT for any direct waypoint connections in the flight plan.
    • Add cruise speed and altitude instruction: Add cruise altitude from flight plan and ground speed as set in the flight plan dock window.
    • Add SID and STAR: Add SID and STAR names if any are used for departure or arrival.
    • Add generic SID and STAR: Add the generic SID and STAR keywords if no real SID and/or STAR were selected.
  • 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 creating 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 simply appended to the flight plan. Alternates cannot be used in combination with an approach procedure.

SPEEDALT: An optional entry that contains the cruise speed and altitude. See below for a details.

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.

Ignored Entries:

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

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

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