One of the scenic wonders flights on Fs9 is the alps approach into Sion. It is really beautiful but i Thought id try it and approach it properly on an ifr flight from Paris in a Learjet. The vector approach took me to final, about a mile from the runway but at 12000 feet! Obviously this is impossible without nosediving. Is this a bug in the ATC or am i to assume that this is only a landing to be attempted in a light aircraft? When i reported i was going around and missed approach, they vectored me to turn left, descend to 3600. This took me straight into the path of a mountain! Has anyone else had problems like this?
I find it has to do with the aircraft you fly. I only come near that with either my mooney, caravan, or Dash-8. I find that the jets come in a little too fast. Also, just how on departure ATC gives you different departure altitudes that seem pretty random (even when your SID has a specific altitude), the approach is no different.
The approaches to Sion aren't coded in FS9, so you just get a rudimentary vector to final. There are several people looking at the XML code that creates these approaches, and they are created by a series of vectors (usually to waypoints) coded in XML. Sion has no vectors, although it has three waypoints (all to the east).
I thought I should add this - if you decompile the appropriate scenery BGL file (AP949150.BGL contains Sion) using BGLtoXML (use the XMLshell GUI interface) you'll end up with an XML translation of the Sion data (and all the other airports in that BGL). You can cut & paste the Sion data out to another XML file - along with the XML headers and footers that will help the file compile again - and then edit raw XML into the file to describe the approaches you want to add. In the same way that an addon AFCAD file overrides the deafult data, so an addon approaches file will override the defaults described in AP949150.BGL. You don't overwrite the original - you layer a new file with the Sion approaches in it. This way you can direct aircraft along the valleys, over the various waypoints at appropriate altitudes and get them making the correct approaches to the runway. The IGS approach to Sion is angled (about 7 or 8 degrees as I recall) and this can be coded. Sadly I don't think there is any way to code departues in a similar way, so all those expensive little aeroplanes will still blunder into (and through) sheer rock faces - it gives the old "cleared direct" a whole new meaning ...
If you want to see what people are up to on this XML approaches deal there are threads on several sites (eg PAI and Avsim) that talk about the issues.
Sion airport and its ATC are very poorely made. First, the actual default runway is the 25, not the 07 as in MSFS. Then, I have realized that AI planes all approach this runway 07 at 12,000 ft, as redjay said.
I think this altitude issue comes from the runmay error. On the runway 25 approach, you start your VOR approach at 17,000 ft due to the relief, and then you descent at a very high rate. At one nm of the runway, you then have to turn left to get aligned, after passing the VOR.
Sadly, I have explanations, but no solutions 🙂