Max cloud coverage at ground altitude and night time landing w/ 4 engine airbus

I did a blind landing with the four engine airbus. using the vfr map. using compass airspeed and altitude.

How difficult is it to do one without the vfr map?

It will take ages to even find the runway, I have to fly consistently at 300 altitude and as low speed as possible to detect it. I have less than a second to detect it. And keep requesting airport directions from atc to get to the middle of the runway. But what follows next is complete blind calculation of how far off alignment I am as I slowly turn to align with the runway. And then again calculate how far off alignment I am as I make my u turn to land.

Maybe I will have to train during clear day light. To get a feel for it. the timing of the turns. maintaining stable low altitude and speed.

With a small aircraft its easy. as soon as I see the middle of the runway directed by atc direction request, I emmediately turn to landing side and do a small u turn and I land. But the 4 engine airbus is crazy slow in turning. It is inevitable I will lose sight and have to rely on compass and relentless clear day training to get it so spot on that I can easily do it in night blindness with fulll ground level full density cloud.

Problem is, every direction has different turning time for alignment. This is probably going to be the most difficult challenge of the game.

The annoyance is also, the weather preset doesnt apply at all after session creation and after loading session.

I think the best approach is to stopwatch different turn speeds, straightline and then again turn speeds and their timing. Do same directional approaches. And then graduate to any directional approach. which is going to be crazy difficult.

But start off easy during the day with vfr map. to get the right timings.

I think te easiest beginning is to, (appart from maintaint low speed and altitude), do a 45 angle to the runway and fly straight for 5 minutes, then calculate timing for straight line perpendicular to the runway and and then turn to runway alignment. Different directions have different initial turn speeds. But making a big u turn or with long straight line 45 degrees will diminish areas off alignment on landing.

I think the stopwatch will be the ultimate tool here.

I finally did it. on the 4 engine airbus. low visibility ground cloud cover and nighttime.

For example:
Fly low altitude like 500. Or whatever is low. 18 percent trim nose up. Flight direction and autospeed off, disable autopilot (on) on dashboard. speed or air brakes fully deployed as mapped in controller config. Flaps to full 30. engine to 74 or 75 percent. stable 170ish knot speed. between 150 and 180 depending on what ur doing. so it doesnt matter.
Request landing. example get runway 27 (west) and approval. Ask for directions, it will point you to the middle of the runway.
For example, runway 27. Run parallel to runway 90(east) or 270(west) degrees on your compass. Keep asking for directions untill airport is said to be tree o clock or nine o clock. Then turn completely perpendicular to the runway. So in this case airport directions gives 3 o clock 6 miles = turn to 0 or 360 degrees, north. Thats 90 degrees to the right clockwise. And stay in that direction in the mentioned state of the aircraft.

Now here is the trick. Get your stopwatch ready. camera to front and up high for visibility. Fly low. and look to the right, total right 90 degree right turn camera as you maintain direction altitude and speed, which should be stable by itself. keep going untill you see a runway going perpendicular to your craft bellow you, and exactly AT THAT MOMENT OF CROSS OVER, simultaneously start your stop watch timer and emmediately max turn parallel to opposite of runway (90 degrees is opposite to 270 on compass) minus 15 degrees, as best as you can, make this turn. in this case I maximum turn to 75 degrees on compass, leaving 15 degrees. (always leave 15 degrees. No matter what runway you’re going for.) Stay on that trajectory untill stop watch says 1 minute and 30 seconds. then maximum Turn your aircraft, consistently max, in this case clockwise, to the remaining 90 degrees and 180 degrees and keep turning without interruption as best as you can, untill you reach 270 degrees and maintain it and you will see the runway 27 pop up right before you in a short while.

Can work with any runway but you do need the number of the runway from landing request atc. and requests for airport direction after landing request. and a stopwatch and the mentioned aircraft state. you’re basically making a tear drop loop, can be clockwise or anti clockwise, depending on from which of the two sides you approach the runway. And your runway number.

so if runway is west. airport direction three o clock. Turn north. Look right untill you see the runway perpendicular to you. Then simultaneiously start stopwatch and maximum turn east (opposite) and leave a 15 degree gap. Keep going that direction untill ur stopwatch says 1 minute and 30 seconds, then do the full remaining turn all the way to your runway number, 270= west. Stay that heading and runway 27 shows up in front of you.

perpendicular runway flyover does not show the runway lights clearly from the front. Thats why you have to look right, before you cross over the runway, so you can clearly see it passing bellow you, and simultaneously start timer on cross over and turn opposite runway number, minus 15 degrees, till 1 min 30sec to do the full remaining max turn to your runway number. and hold there to see it and land.

no vfr map used, low visibility. 4 engine airbus. Low clouds. At night time? Not possible? Well…?! IT IS POSSIBLE NOW! :grinning:

The lower the visibility, the lower you have to be in altitude and that is crazy hard. I suggest practicing low altitude balance training first. at some point you have to 50 altitude above ground to even be able to see the runway lights. Not to mention, you had to do a crazy perfectly timed manouver to even get a chance of seeing the lights.

74 engine percentage = 1 min 30 sec
76 engine percentage = 1 min 20 sec

Not sure if you’re aware, but there’s an entire method of flying devoted to doing this called Instrument Flight Rules (IFR). Some of the methods you are talking about are called dead reckoning (using speed, heading, and timing to navigate) and timed turns. For the latter, we generally we use an instrument called a turn coordinator that indicates a standard turn rate of 3° per second.

Even more accurate is instrument navigation, using GPS and/or land-based signals to maintain a specific horizontal (and often vertical) track to guide you when you otherwise can’t see the ground.

Welcome to an amazing world!

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haha I didnt know that, but this was a fun challenge. And what you mentioned made no sense to me. I have zero experience in the flight world obviously. Where do I learn navigation skills anyway?

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I’m very glad you’re interested, but it’s a VERY large question with a very long answer. Pilots spend dozens of flight hours and many months learning how to fly solely by reference to their flight instruments (displays, gauges, etc), and that’s only after they’ve already learned how to become proficient at flying using mostly outside visual references (the ground, the horizon, etc).

I would recommend to start with basic aviation concepts and work your way up - the terms and acronyms alone take a while to absorb.

But if you want to dip your toes and perhaps pique your curiosity, YouTube “ILS approach” and check videos from Fly8MA, LewDix, TheFinerPoints, and MZeroA. All are certified instrument flight instructors. Boldmethod also has good reading and video resources. I also stream twice weekly (channel in profile) and cover/demonstrate some of the concepts, but the audience is fairly broad and we jump from topic to topic. That said, I will usually take time to answer chat questions to the best of my ability.

Either way, just remember that these concepts are meant for people who have learned a lot of other stuff and are at the point in their journey where they are learning more advanced concepts like this, so a lot of jargon and terminology will fly right over the head of someone who isn’t in the same place in their journey.

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If you use the in game flight planner to make an IFR route and include the approach at your destination airport, it will program everything into the flight computer on your plane and you can let the autopilot fly the plane.

As mentioned above you can watch some tutorial videos on YouTube by searching Flight simulator 2020 ILS .

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Thanks you all very much. it was allot of fun tho.

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I love that you went and solved the problem having no prior knowledge! There are definitely other aspects that go into doing that type of maneuver safely, but the point is you worked within the sim to get it done, and now it’s possible to open up a much broader perspective using known techniques. The sim is a great place to explore possibilities and learn more about the physical world.


yeah, I love the term you gave me, dead reckoning. It’s so illegal and deadly to do this kind of thing. A potential collision wiith the atc tower can hardly be mitigated. And for gaining altitude while turning I would probably have to recalculate for 78 percent engine power. to avoid colliding with large towers.

It’s amazing, today I did a 76 engine power. And I forgot to look at the stopwatch. I was two seconds too late in my final turn. 1 min and 22 seconds. And I arrrived exactly next to the runway. exactly as predicted. Also as predicted on which side of the runway I would arrive. It amazes me every time how consistent these airplanes fly and how accurate the instruments are.

And also what an amazing game this is. Love it so much.

As if this is not already dangerous enough, now I’m going to attempt to do this in full storm and max ground cloud coverage. Hahaaha. The sim allows me to do this. I love it so much.

I’d probably have to spent billions of dollars to do this in real life in my own airport and airplane in the middle of nowhere. And I’d most likely crash. Plus waiting for a storm with near zero visibility would take forever.

This game is that amazing.

Dead reckoning is still used by pilots in bits and pieces! Elements of it are used in certain combinations with some instrument approach procedures or or other navigation techniques. It’s also still taught as one of several primary navigation methods for student pilots in visual conditions, mostly just to hone the relationships between speed, time, and angle (plus the effect of wind on all of that) and the skill it takes to navigate doing that alone, which is what you were doing.

Certain flight computers also use it internally, making calculations based on their ability to detect very small changes in acceleration and deducing where the plane must be, while receiving periodic position updates from other nav equipment.

But as a stand-alone technique in an operational sense, in the age of all our advanced navigation equipment and outside of the scenarios I mentioned above, it’s increasingly rare, but mostly used for the enroute portion of flying in visual (not cloudy) conditions by aircraft that don’t have that advanced equipment. And it remains a somewhat viable, short-term backup if everything else fails, or it’s simply done for fun.

Either way, it’s very legal and safe if you do it within certain constraints. Low-altitude turns while on approach in bad visibility is not one of them, but it’s sure fun in the sim!

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Much respect for pilots who learn all these things. It’s super fun. How much technology has advanced.
I think full cloud coverage to ground altitude is a very rare thing. When a storm is included. In the game I had to watch onboard instrument to keep my aircraft stable. While at the same time look out of the right window. And the cloud density is very dynamic. Sometimes I can’t even see the runway at 100 altitude. Sometimes its visible at 230. Beautiful weather effects. The clouds are really dynamic. And the wind has such a big impact in timing. I had huge tail wind during manouever. Which ment like I had to subtract 10 seconds or so.
Even the lightning strikes could potentially blind me and veil the runway as I crossed over. How the clouds react to the lightning strike light.

But the ability of the huge aircraft to remain stable even with such big side winds. That was awe inspiring and very fun at the same time to manage.

It’s amazing how in this sim so many things affect so many things. I really love it. Also how they have managed to run it on the xbox.

Reminds me of project car 2 days. When the whole sim managed to run on a ps4 slim. In all weather conditions with full grid a. i. cars. Even simulating traction when wind blows sand on the track. Little details like that. I love that.
Or how in mfs ice crystals form on the windows when on high altitude. Absolutely love it.

And then kunos simulazione managed to get Assetto Corsa Competizione to run on a tiny little playstation.
And now. Asobo Studio has managed to run Microsoft Flight Simulator on a small xbox. The mother of all sims.

Almighty software engineers! hahaha

def very intelligent people behind this game.

Its a whole world of possibilities to explore. Big thanks to asobo studios.

Somone on ea forums predicted that in 15 years, all simulation games will be up to current industry standards. I can only dream about it ofcourse. Sounds very exciting.

I heard about nano chipp coolers. Maybe one day I will pop open my mobile phone and run mfs, hahaha.

So exciting the tech industry is.

Well, in xcloud I already can play mfs on my phone. For just 14 dollars a month or so. The value of mfs and the ability to play it on my phone. Just 14 dollars. It just blows my mind away.

“Hey friend. Wanna fly an airplane with me?”
“For free?”
“Why not? You are going to do the flying. I’m just the passenger.”
“No you can fly your own airplane.”
“I don’t have that kind of money.”
“You don’t have 14 dollars?”
“14 dollars?! What kind of airplane are you talking about? sitting on a broken cesna and using a catapult to launch ourselves into the air?”
“No, we can fly any airplane you want.”
"How? Did you rob the bank? "
“No, On your phone. via xcloud you can fly the full newest microsoft flight simulator all over the world and in any weather conditions, in any airplane you so desire. .”
“Sounds like fun. Lets gooooo!”

To be fair its probably 70 bucks if you dont have two gamepads. but still its just a wonder.

Sorry I’m mumbling a bit off topic. But I have to say then again. 100 bucks for an xbox elite controller with its own case, full 100 percent accurate and durable thumbstick sensors. You can say goodbye to ontroller drift. totally worth it. Can always accurately fly any airplane. Which is topic related because you need to be accurate to pull this off. hehe

A typical precision instrument approach will get you down to 200’ above and 1/2 mile from the end of the runway, where you must have at least part of the runway environment in sight (and some other conditions) to continue the approach and land. Some approaches will get you even lower and closer than that, but that’s only at the largest airports with specially-certified aircraft and aircrew.

In real life, I make approaches down to 200’ in small aircraft regularly. It’s very satisfying to break out of the clouds or take off a view-limiting device and have the runway right there where you expect it to be.

Stop by my stream sometime and I’ll demonstrate!