Altitude on an IFR - what am I doing wrong?

Hi everyone,

So I am still relatively new to ‘proper’ flight simming (I’ve been doing it for years on FSX, but never in any level of realism). For this post I am referring to the FBW A320neo in FS2020.

Recently I’ve been getting into doing ifr routes, creating a flight plan in simbrief, and then programming the mcdu myself. Most of it is working fine now, however there are still a couple of things I can’t quite get my head around.

Firstly, when I input things like zfw, cg, block fuel, takeoff flaps etc, I thought it was supposed to calculate the v1, vr, v2 velocities in the perf page automatically? But I have to do it manually by clicking the button next to each one twice, first it suggests the speed, then again to input, is that normal?

Secondly, once I’ve input my flight plan, done sids and stars, got clearance etc, and take off, it seems to spend ages at the initial cleared altitude (from atc), I.e. 6000ft, buy they don’t tell me to go higher. If I do the plan via the home screen, the atc is always in my ear telling me to go faster, slower, climb etc. I’m sure this is something very simple I’m missing.

Thanks in advance

I have the same and I guess it’s ok so far. Many things are calculated from the FMS but the Pilot has to confirm that calculation and need to add it manually for crosscheck. In real life you will get a FPL from Dispatch with all that calculated stuff and I would believe, that the Pilot can and do change V speeds due to weather i.e.

That’s because the ATC and the build in FMS is buggy. If you want a real ATC experience, you should switch off Asobos ATC and went over to VATSIM or similar.

To your questions

  1. Yes. See also for example A320 SimPilot YouTubes.
  2. I concur with the statement made in the above post.

Performance is usually calculated using EFB performance application or manually using airport analysis charts, this is done by the pilots and depending on the final weight and conditions. From dispatch you’ll normally get the operational flightplan, weather and NOTAMs, loadsheet from groundhandling or load distribution is given to the pilots and then a manual loadsheet is performed.

So normally, before flight pilots receive the Operational Flight Plan, weather and NOTAMs, an estimation on the passenger / cargo load and fuel required. The fuel uplift is determined by the pilots depending on this estimated load, weather, expected delays etc.

Onboard you’ll check the weather and other conditions and punch it in the performance app, only weight is now missing. Pilots receive the loadsheet when boarding is completed or a loading distribution and then have to perform a manual loadsheet.

The Zero Fuel Weight is put into the FMS, the FMS comes up with a gross weight which is crosschecked with the loadsheet. The take-off trim is set according the loadsheet. Take-off weight is punched into the performance application and V-speeds are then copied into the FMS.

The FMS might calculated V-speeds automatically but those V-speeds are usually only for non-limiting conditions and not optimised. If field length limited, obstacle limited or climb limited, speeds to be used differ from those calculated by the FMS.

Thats how it normally goes at least, might differ slightly from company to company or aircraft type to aircraft type.

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Thanks all. So I’m reading that unless I calculate the velocities myself (as you don’t get them from simbrief), I can just use the speeds it suggests.

And on the second point, it sounds like ATC is buggy when inputting the flight plan manually? You’d have thought they would have sorted that out by now :slight_smile:

So once I’ve reached the cleared altitude, if they don’t tell me to climb further, i should probably just go to my filed FL?

Yes, and if you still want to use the ATC, ask for higher FL.

Depends, its probably fine but if you want to fly as close to real world as possible you should check if its ok to use those non-limiting, generic speeds. On two engines it probably doesn’t matter, in the real world you always need to be able to either continue the take-off and climb to a safe altitude or be able to stop safely before the runway ends.

For example, when taking off from a short runway, the V1 speed is probably lower than for a long runway as there otherwise isn’t enough runway to stop, meanwhile the V1 still needs to be high enough to also be able to safely continue the take-off. When the runway is long, no terrain or obstacles and not climb limited, the FMS speeds are fine.

If you are not into that kind of realism then don’t bother :joy:.

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