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Mag variation on flight sim 2004

Jarvis Guest

Hi, I'm currently using FS2004 to supplement my ATPL course here in Australia.

I've been trying to fly the routes i'm being given to fly for real, on the sim first, to get a general idea of the terrain, time taken, elevation etc on route.

Having planned the route tracks (True North) with nil wind and flown them on the sim, i never seem to end up anywhere near my proposed destination, i've tried appying variation, (still with nil winds), and i end up even further out! All my charts are official and current.

One possible explanation i thought of was whether at nil wind settings, there maybe a default variable wind aloft?

I've checked all the help pages in FS04, and whilst it explains how varition (and deviation), work, it doesn't mention whether it's incorparated into the Sim Charts.

Does anyone know if this is the case or not? Also whether the Australian terrain depiction is accurate?

Lastly, is there a Australia terrain up-grade that can be added on to FS04? (Not that theres much to see once you're west of the great dividing range!)

Thanks in advance. Jarv

Pro Member Chief Captain
tomthetank Chief Captain

As to your 1st question,is fs9 accurate Umm... Dont Know
But have a look here for Austrialia scenery Arrow

http://walhalla.mine.nu/fs2004/australia.php

Pro Member Captain
Sam (SamIntel) Captain

You could try planning them on both your charts and the FS flight planner and then compare them. If you do use the flight planner the rout will show up on your GPS, you could fly by your charts and when you think you got off, you could look at the GPS.

Pro Member Captain
Sam (SamIntel) Captain

To give you an idea of how accurate the Magnetic Variation of FS is I figured out that in FS, the Magnetic varriation is off by about 2 degrees. In KHLN I oriented the aircraft along a RWY that in real life is oriented true north. Heading indictor read 343, that's a mag varriation of 17 degrees, I checked my sectional chart for that area, and it said that the varriation was 15 degrees.
Hope this helps.

Guest

Yeah, ok thanks mate. wonder if they up-date it for the variation changing? (tho it's only a degree or so very occaisionally!)

Strange they don't mention it in the info. And nothing on the sim charts either. Fairly important info i'd have thought?!

Try it...fly a DED reconing track, nil wind, off a good recent chart, hold your heading and start your stop watch and see where it takes you. With or without variation, i've not made it work to with-in a 2 minute ETA yet? Over fairly short sectors yeah, but it shouldn't make any difference.

Don Wood Guest

SamIntel: Something beside magnetic variation caused the difference in your heading since both your instruments and the runway are based on magnetic headings-neither has anything to do with true north vs magnetic north. It is much more reliable to point the nose of your aircraft in a known direction (using a runway centerline or a compass rose), then read the variation on your compass. Any variation is known as "compass error" which can be both measured and adjusted by a good instrument shop. Your heading indicator must always be adjusted at the start of a flight and then checked periodically during the flight. Heading indicators develop error through a process known as precission. I make a habit of checking my heading indicator against my compass at least every ten minutes or so and make the necessary adjustment.

Magnetic variation is the difference between magnetic bearing at any point on the earth which is measured by your aircraft compass and true bearings as shown on charts and maps. You can never measure magnetic variation solely by use of aircraft instruments. You only apply magnetic variation corrections when creating a flight plan from a true course made using a map or chart.

Pro Member Captain
Sam (SamIntel) Captain

Don Wood wrote:

SamIntel: Something beside magnetic variation caused the difference in your heading since both your instruments and the runway are based on magnetic headings-neither has anything to do with true north vs magnetic north. It is much more reliable to point the nose of your aircraft in a known direction (using a runway centerline or a compass rose), then read the variation on your compass. Any variation is known as "compass error" which can be both measured and adjusted by a good instrument shop. Your heading indicator must always be adjusted at the start of a flight and then checked periodically during the flight. Heading indicators develop error through a process known as precission. I make a habit of checking my heading indicator against my compass at least every ten minutes or so and make the necessary adjustment.

Magnetic variation is the difference between magnetic bearing at any point on the earth which is measured by your aircraft compass and true bearings as shown on charts and maps. You can never measure magnetic variation solely by use of aircraft instruments. You only apply magnetic variation corrections when creating a flight plan from a true course made using a map or chart.

I know that the rwy numbers are in mag, but it happens it be oriented true north in real life, whether it is in the sim or not, I don't know.

"It is much more reliable to point the nose of your aircraft in a known direction (using a runway centerline or a compass rose), then read the variation on your compass."

I think that's what I did?

Don Wood Guest

SamIntel: The only places I am aware of where runways are oriented in true rather than magnetic directions are the few places on earth that have zero magnetic variation. Magnetic Variation at Long Beach is approximately 13 degrees, 50 minutes east (using an old chart-it may have changed slightly over time) which is the difference between approximate runway headings and true directions.

Also, you should be aware that runway headings and runway designations are not exact. Runway designations are rounded up or down to the nearest ten degrees. So, a runway designated as runway 27 may have a centerline direction of from 265 to 274 degrees. The actual magnetic heading is always printed on IFR charts for each runway the chart covers.

If, as you stated, you used a compass rose or a known runway heading, you were measuring compass error, not magnetic variation.

I'm not trying to be critical of you with these posts, As a student pilot, it is very important you understand the difference between magnetic variation and compass error. I suggest you copy these message threads out and sit down and discuss them with your instructor.

Pro Member Captain
Sam (SamIntel) Captain

Don Wood wrote:

SamIntel: The only places I am aware of where runways are oriented in true rather than magnetic directions are the few places on earth that have zero magnetic variation. Magnetic Variation at Long Beach is approximately 13 degrees, 50 minutes east (using an old chart-it may have changed slightly over time) which is the difference between approximate runway headings and true directions.

Also, you should be aware that runway headings and runway designations are not exact. Runway designations are rounded up or down to the nearest ten degrees. So, a runway designated as runway 27 may have a centerline direction of from 265 to 274 degrees. The actual magnetic heading is always printed on IFR charts for each runway the chart covers.

If, as you stated, you used a compass rose or a known runway heading, you were measuring compass error, not magnetic variation.

I'm not trying to be critical of you with these posts, As a student pilot, it is very important you understand the difference between magnetic variation and compass error. I suggest you copy these message threads out and sit down and discuss them with your instructor.

Yea, I am aware of all that stuff. Let me try to explain what I did in a little more detail:

The Magnetic direction for the RWY that I used was exactly 343.5 degreesin real life.
The Magnetic Varraition for that airport that I used is exactly 15.8 degrees in real life.
343.5 + 15.8 = 359.3 Because RWY 34 and where the Magnetic Varriation was measured on the airport is proabye a couple thousand feet difference that would explain for the .7 degree error.(Is that part correct, assuming that the directions that I stated are correct?)

The annual rate of change is 0.1 degree west.

In FS the RWY heading is 343.3 degrees Magnetic, in 2003 the Magnetic Varriation was 16.0 degrees.
343.3 + 16 = 359.3 Because both answers, real life and FS, are the same it proves that my calculations are correct.(Is that part correct, assuming that the directions that I stated are correct?)

Well, according to this more complex method of doing it, I showed that there is no Magnetic Varriation error in FS, as long as you account for the time difference.

The airport I used in KHLN, runway 34.

If I am wrong, and have no idea what I am doing, please tell me, you're the real pilot.

Don Wood Guest

SamIntel: If I understood your last post correctly, we seem to be saying about the same thing but in different ways. I do not understand the utility of finding a true direction (as opposed to magnetic direction) in the aircraft but, assuming the numbers are correct and the compass is adjusted for accuracy, your calculations seem OK.

The reason why I don't understand the utility is because about the only place in flying that true directions are used is in VFR flight planning. Navigation, compass reading, runway alignments, and IFR charts all use magnetic direction. It does not seem to me to be useful, and could be confusing, to make the statment that a runway is oriented true north when, in fact, the magnetic heading for the runway is 343 degrees.

Pro Member Captain
Sam (SamIntel) Captain

Don Wood wrote:

SamIntel: If I understood your last post correctly, we seem to be saying about the same thing but in different ways. I do not understand the utility of finding a true direction (as opposed to magnetic direction) in the aircraft but, assuming the numbers are correct and the compass is adjusted for accuracy, your calculations seem OK.

The reason why I don't understand the utility is because about the only place in flying that true directions are used is in VFR flight planning. Navigation, compass reading, runway alignments, and IFR charts all use magnetic direction. It does not seem to me to be useful, and could be confusing, to make the statment that a runway is oriented true north when, in fact, the magnetic heading for the runway is 343 degrees.

The thing that I did in my last post, did that show that the Magnetic Varriation in FS is correct?

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