I have been trying to find a straightforward, easy and reliable way to convert flight plans created in SkyVector so that they are usable in MSFS. SkyVector.com has an “Export” button with the option to produce output files in various formats so that flight plans created in SkyVector can be exported for use in various equipment. There is a utility program that was developed to convert .fpl format files that SkyVector can produce, into .PLN files for use in MSFS. The utility is available from GitHub at:
GitHub link to MoMadenU MSFS 2020 Flight Plan Converter
The last version of this utility that I have found (v0.0.3) was created back in Oct 2020. It almost works, but not quite! I have discovered that use of an incorrect symbol in the output .PLN file prevents that output file from being usable in MSFS:
When I opened the .PLN file in Notebook, instead of the standard symbol for degree (°) in the latitude longitude definition of each waypoint, the output .PLN file uses a slightly different (º) symbol - which in Notepad is displayed similar to what looks to me more like a superscript underlined (o) symbol. Apparently that different symbol causes problems which render the output .PLN file unusable in MSFS.
As a rough cure for this, in Notepad I edited the .PLN file by replacing every incorrect degree symbol with the correct degree symbol, and saved the edited .PLN file. For example an edited line for one of the waypoints ended up containing latitude and longitude data for the waypoint looking like this:
N19° 17’ 21.779",W81° 22’ 19.369"
where N19° 17’ 21.779" is the latitude of the waypoint,
and W81° 22’ 19.369" is the longitude of the waypoint.
Note that this .PLN file produced by the conversion utility does not insert an Altitude parameter.
By comparison, a .PLN file produced using the native flight planner in MSFS World Map does contain an altitude parameter in addition to the latitude and longitude parameters.
Nevertheless, the edited .PLN file works in MSFS! When I use LOAD/SAVE to load the edited .PLN file, it displays the flight plan properly in the World Map flight planning display.
On GitHub I have raised an Issue describing the problem. Hopefully, the utility’s programmer will correct that in the utility program and re-issue a “new & improved” version, so that the output .PLN file will use the correct degree symbol ° and therefore the .PLN output file will work fine when LOADed in MSFS.
In the meantime however, please let us know if you’re aware of another easy way to convert flight plans from SkyVector.com into MSFS .PLN files.