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Winds aloft question

Irishman Guest

I use the real-world weather download setting for winds aloft. Is there any way to see what they are before starting the flight. I would like to make my flight plan adjustments the old-fashioned way.

11 Responses

Pro Member Chief Captain
Jonathan (99jolegg) Chief Captain

Have you looked on the internet?

No idea where you fly but I'm guessing UK by your username. This is for the US:

http://www.aviationweather.gov/adds/winds/

Irishman Guest

Ha! Sometimes the easy answers are the least obvious. I never thought to look at an actual Winds Aloft forecast on the web. I was thinking I needed to look somewhere in the FSX system to see it.

/smacks himself in the forehead

Thanks!

Pro Member First Officer
Jim (jellrod) First Officer

But the real question you have to ask yourself is:

"Does FSX USE the winds aloft when you down load real weather?"

I've downloaded real weather before and went to a weather page and they didnt really match up - like FSX showed sunny and calm in Nassau, but the REAL deal showed winds at 15 knots and broken clouds.

Irishman Guest

I think it has to do with when the data was received. I imagine things move at a much more relaxed pace in the Bahamas. 😀

Pro Member First Officer
Jim (jellrod) First Officer

Then try it at Heathrow.....worth a shot. I'm truly not convinced that FSX considers winds aloft.

Pro Member First Officer
lionlicker First Officer

In Free Flight you can check the winds aloft before you T.O. in order to decide how much fuel to put in etc..
After downloading Real weather, you then go into user-defined weather>>Customize>>A Specific Station>>choose a station>>Advanced Weather>> then you can check the desired altitude for wind activity.

You can then chech various weather stations along your route to gain an estimate of your average wind experience.

I always back out of User-defined weather using the [Escape] button so as to end up in Real weather mode as at the beginning.

Pro Member First Officer
Charlie10 First Officer

on several occassions, checking "real weather" on the laptop while flying "real wether" simulation, FSX could not have been using the true winds aloft. Other times, I either couldn't tell or it was insignificant.

Pro Member First Officer
lionlicker First Officer

Can I make a series of unqualified statements on this subject? some of them probably just waiting to be blown out of the water?

1) Flight sim real weather is drawn from jepperson but the infomation has to be highly simplified and chromatized so that it will fit into this game application. Otherwise you would have to wait for hours to download tons of gigs of info from the world wide weather info collection system .. bizzo .. whatever you call it. So you can't expect the sim to be very precise.

2) There are a lot of holes in the in the global data ... like I don't think there are many active weather station in the middle of Mongolia .. so the sim weather model (probably at server level) has to fill in the gaps. I believe the FS9 Model was better at this than the FSX model (highly unqualified .. but just an observational supposition).

3) When you participate in a sim you should not be concerned about the actual real weather conditions. You should just hope that the sim weather model is seeded with the real world weather, and is competent enough to throw some fairly realistic phenomanon at you like weather changes, CAT, and some hell jet streams on the nose, a thunderstorm or two, and finally .. a forced landing at some uncontrolled strip thats hidden under the fog. Yeah.. bring it on!

4) For those who use time compression during cruise on long flights(a nessecity I believe), it would stand to reason that [static] real weather mode is more true to sim than [updated every 15min]mode, because as the sun goes down and the moon comes up, the sim weather model would be able to keep in accordance to the natural flow of conditions - - rather than being continually reseeded with present world weather.

Pro Member First Officer
Charlie10 First Officer

Interesting observations/speculations to ponder! Real weather in real flight changes far more than NOAA can keep up with. Wind shears off the end of a runway, micro-bursts from "nowhere", gusts induced by buildings, etc. - always changing. Part of the challenge in real flight is to know your weather better than NOAA. Shooting a VOR or ADF approach you calculate the actual wind direction and velocity to determine your "crab" and your time to minimums/MAP. So, in reality, the simulator gives us a realistic weather challenge.

Pro Member First Officer
lionlicker First Officer

Charlie10 wrote:

Shooting a VOR or ADF approach you calculate the actual wind direction and velocity to determine your "crab" and your time to minimums/MAP.

Thanks Charlie

If you could expand a little on how you calculate your crab (I have a laymans way of calculating wind - given GPS ground track and TAS/bearing) but have not explored crab calculating. And I suppose you have to do it very quickly cos I find landing to be a very busy experience at the best of times.
And also, what do you mean "time to minimums/MAP"?
Sorry if I appear to be milking, but I always hit the real pilots with a hundred questions if I can.

Appreciate your input

Pro Member First Officer
Charlie10 First Officer

You determine your WCA (wind correction angle), crab, while in the holding pattern in a "race track" before going to your approach fix. Minimums, at this point, is how low you can be before you either see the runway, or initiate (MAP) the Missed Approach Proceedure. You can check out a book or two at your local library on IFR flying and navigation. Calculating the crab/WCA becomes second nature like your fingers playing piano. You adjust your heading in the racetrack to compensate for the wind. It will be about the same amount of degrees only the opposite (left/right) correction on the outbound and inbound legs of your holding pattern (race track). The difference between TC (true course) and TH (true heading) - just like a long leg of the flight.

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