ATC offering wrong cruising altitude

Simbrief To MSFS 2020 question

When I import my flight plan into my MDCU from Simbrief, I can see my cruising altitude on the F-PLN …but during flight ATC never calls out the correct flight plan cruising altitude, my F-PLN cruising altitude could be set for FL390 and ATC will say maintain 15 000ft… do I have to keep requesting altitude increase till I reach my cruising altitude or am I doing something wrong.

The crz alt can’t be imported into MSFS ATC - when importing or creating flightplans via MCDU. Simply: ATC doesn’t know your crz alt. ATC only “knows” it, when you used the MSFS planner (world map) to create a plan.
This is the status right now. Maybe Asobo will do something about it later on.

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I quickly stopped using MSFS ATC and went back to PF3, which I have used for years, and it works perfectly with MS 2020. I got really discouraged, when flying VFR at 5,000 feet and approaching an ILS approach, ATC would tell me to climb to 8,000 feet. I quickly decided each time that would happen to cancel IFR, and fly the approach myself. This just doesn’t happen with PF3. Plus I like the 140 different ATC voices instead of just 2.

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You can ask the in-game ATC for a higher cruise altitude. It’s an option in the ATC menu.

What’s the program your using!

Higher is typically not a problem.

The real issue is when you’re flying a small GA, entered a flight plan for 8000 ft, and it suddenly tells you to climb to FL240 when you’re 10 miles from your destination. You can request a lower altitude (like the 8000 feet you’re currently at), but it will expect you to first climb to the designated altitude before it will allow you to fly at the altitude you’re currently flying at. And obviously, if you’re flying a C172, that FL240 isn’t going to happen. Nothing left to do at that point but cancel IFR and finish off your flight VFR instead.

ATC has some serious issues.

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LittleNavMap does a good job of being preserved when imported. Just don’t touch it after you load it, otherwise the default MSFS planner steps in and unwinds everything. Go straight to Click to Fly.

ATC improvements are needed, no question, that’s why it’s on the “Backlog” which in Agile Development terms is actually the total share of work remaining, not implied that it’s being held back by other factors.


I only fly the a32NX (320neo)

Then you should be able to request a higher altitude without issue.

I did a voicepack for PF2 in 2008, wonder if any of it is still in there…

I have found that in those cases, if you just ignore ATC and follow common sense and start your approach, ATC will eventually catch up and start giving you proper instructions. Not excusing anything but this is a workaround.

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In many cases though, if I didn’t follow instructions, ATC will cancel my IFR plan for me. That’s why I just cancel it myself and go about my business.

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I have never had them cancel IFR unless I fail to respond to commands. In the case I’m talking about, you are minutes away from an approach. The ATC occasionally says “please expedite your climb/descent to XXX”. I ignore that. But if they say, change frequency or turn right/left to heading ??? then of course you respond.

The only command you should ignore is the “expedite your climb/descent”. If you’re still getting IFR cancelled then record the session or take extremely detailed notes and contact me to help.


That PF3 program looks nice but you are giving up a lot in order to use it. It’s a trade off. You get a more mature software program with few bugs, but you you loose the Azure voices (which are better), the integrated menu, and the ease of use of the native ATC. Configuring all that stuff for PF3 is quite a bit of work and has to be done Every Single Flight. I’m not saying that it’s too much work, but it’s a judgement call. It’s not definitively better than the native ATC, it’s a choice you have to make of whether the tradeoffs are worth the benefits to you.

I get my flight plans from Simbrief. I select the FP in PF3, and in MSFS 2020 by loading in both. The only thing I have to do then is set the Star waypoint to begin the star. ( I use a star on every approach so that I don’t have PF3 vectoring me). That’s it. Takes me 2 minutes at most to set up a flight. The Azure voices ( all two of them) are very nice, but I prefer the 100+ voice variety I get with PF3.

I use EFB to select my approach, and the advantage of that is EFB inputs into the GPS, the waypoints in the approach you are using, automatially. Once PF3 gives me the landing runway, I select the approach to the runway ( visual, LOC, or GPS) and EFB sends that to the GPS in the aircraft. Couldn’t be easier.

Happens to me all the time with default ATC asking me to climb to an attitude that requires an Oxygen tank and masks fitted to the Piper Seminole, when around 10 nautical miles from the destination using the default flight planner VOR to VOR navigation with a cruising altitude of 7000 ft. I have ATC and all traffic turned off. Only ground traffic is active.


I get a similar sort of thing, i am landing at Aberdeen, with 6 miles to go…from 15,000 to 3000 at 250kts…ive never been on a a real flight that has done that…would be nice to have some ATC that follows with the flight plan…please…pretty please…begging on my hands and knees please.

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Though there are a number of issues with the built-in ATC, erroneous altitude assignments are the worst. As has been mentioned, ignoring improper assignments gets the job done most of the time, but inappropriate altitude assignments for light GA aircraft can get ridiculous (and become absolutely nauseating if early in a flight, as they will not stop for a long, long time).

Under those circumstances, If it’s available from the menu, I cancel IFR, then request “flight following”. Flight following works quite well and has never interfered with altitude assignments - it also behaves very much like IFR communications. When close enough to my destination to begin descent for the approach, I reactivate the original IFR plan and continue the approach.

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Flight Following is great for GA!