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FS Instant Approach Version 1.4 published April 6 2012 - now you can instantly set visibility for all your approaches!
If you have not yet tried this fun new add-on for FSX and FS2004 you can download a demo for free from
This new version is a free update to registered customers.
You can now set the visibility for all your approaches so you can practice anywhere in the world with the same level of difficulty. Handy for testing and improving your skills on those difficult instrument approaches.
Remember that you can also set wind direction and speed, local time of day, and wind gusting too!
Hello. In this video I'm going to give you a quick look at the new feature that we've added to FS Instant Approach Version 1.4, and then the remainder of the video will be a complete description of the features of FS Instant Approach.
The new feature that we've added in version 1.4 is the ability to set the visibility for our approach. We can do this, as is normally the case, we would pick an approach airport for example, or we can pick a random airport that we want to do our approach at, and then in the section down here, we can set the visibility for the approach. So, let's say for example, we wanted the visibility to be two miles, perhaps. What this means now is that we can set all these other options of course if we wish, the winds, the elevation of the runway. We can set gusting winds and so forth, the time of day.
When we press Connect, we will then cause Flight Simulator to put us on approach to that airport with, in this particular case just to draw attention to the feature of version 1.4, we now have visibility set at two miles. We can then fly that approach and then when we've finished, we can come right back to this and practice another approach at another airport. We can pick another airport by entering a code in here if we wish. Or we can pick a random airport, select our runway, and then Connect again.
So what it means is that over and over, probably taking only about five or ten minutes for each approach, we can practice many approaches at many airports all over the world with exactly the conditions that we want. So that's the new feature, visibility. Control of visibility is the new feature that we've added to FS Instant Approach Version 1.4. Now this video will continue by going into a video that we've made previously, which gives a complete overview of all the features of FS Instant Approach.
Hi, this is a quick overview of FS Instant Approach for FSX and Flight Simulator 2004 by FS Inventions. We've just published version 1.3, which has got some new features, and so I'd like to give an overview of the entire product, and then we'll end up discussing the new features in version 1.3.
FS Instant Approach is an add-on program for Flight Simulator X and Flight Simulator 2004. It runs it at the same as Flight Simulator and the purpose of the program is to enable you to set up very quickly, with minimal effort, the aircraft on approach at any runway in the world, and you've got lots of different parameters that you can change as well to make the approach setup just exactly the way that you would like it.
The program has four separate screens. You begin at the information screen which gives you an overview of how to get the program started, and then most of the work is done at the flight plan screen here. It's this screen I will now discuss in detail.
The first thing that you can do is you can enter the code of the airport that you wish to perform an approach to, so you can just enter that directly in here. So, for example, we might decide that we want to do an approach to Chicago, and then if I click the approach airport button, we will then see the information on Chicago. Over here, we've got a list of runways at Chicago that we can choose from to do our approach at, and of course if we click on that, we'll see the information on the runway changing over here.
Alternatively, we can approach a random airport. This is a very popular feature because it basically takes us all around the world, flying at different airports and landing at different runways. It can be an interesting way to practice your approaches. To do that, all we have to do is click on the Approach Random Airport button. So here for example, we're in Trenton. We click it again and we're in Ashtown, and if we click it, we'll be going all around the world to different airports. Of course those different airports are going to have their runway information here.
Now, if we want to, we can control what type of random airport we're going to get when we click on the Random Airport button and we've got quite a few controls that enable us to do that. We've got a filter which enables us to tell FS Instant Approach the initial letters in the airport code, and this will tend to restrict the random airports that we're looking up by geographical region.
So, for example, if I put a K in here and then I say Approach Random Airport, I'm only going to get airports that have an airport code that begins with K. alternatively, I can type as many letter as I'd like in here. Alternatively, I might say EG and if I approach a random airport, now I'm going to get, as we can see, airports that are in the United Kingdom, which is what EG means in the ICAO code. Or alternatively, I could say EK, and then if I click on this, Random Airport, I'm going to get airports, for example, in Denmark.
So, we can filter that, there. If we want just any old airport then we'll get rid of that. We can also filter by runway types. So, for example, if I want to practice approaches to runways that have the Instrument Landing System, ILS, I can turn that on ILS Only. So now I will only get ILS runways. So if I approach random airports, we will see that I'm getting ILS information here, that's the ILS frequency which I would need to tune into my NAV1 radio.
But that can be done automatically. We'll get to that in a moment. Approach another airport, and again, we're only now getting ILS airports. Alternatively, let's say I specifically don't want ILS airports. So I can go to the opposite of saying No ILS and I will not get ILS airports over here. Then alternatively of course, we can have all types included and that's what the All switch is for, there.
Now, we can also filter the type of runway we get by runway elevation. So, if I turn this on, now I could for example, say that - we've got the minimum and maximum elevation here, so let's say I wanted the minimum elevation to be 10,000 feet. So, now if we go for random airports, we're going to get airports that are way up there. We've got 12,000 feet on this randomly selected airport and we've got 11,000 feet here. We're probably going to see a lot of airports, for example, in South America.
Alternatively, we've got a minimum and maximum. We can set them both or one or the other. Alternatively, for example, we might say that - if we go over here - we want the maximum elevation to be sea level. So, now if I select a random airport, I'm going to get airports that are below sea level, as we can see. There's Amsterdam there at 11 feet below sea level. So, we can play with this and select whatever we like. Or if we just want all kinds of airports, then we can turn it off. It's up to us.
That's how determine what sort of random airport we like. But whether we're choosing a random airport or a specific airport, we can indicate the number of nautical miles we want to start out from the runway when we start our approach. So we can select that from there. We select our runway of course, the specific runway that we want to land at. We can also set our initial approach speed from this drop-down here. So we select our approach speed there, and that's the speed that we'll start at with on our approach.
We can also ask FS Instant Approach to automatically tune the radio. If the runway has the Instrument Landing System, ILS, if we check this box here, then FS Instant Approach will automatically tune Navigation Radio 1 to the frequency of the ILS system at the runway that we're approaching. We can also have Instant Approach set the omni-bearing selector on the Navigation Radio 1 to the heading of the runway we're approaching, and that's available on certain aircraft and that will help guide us in as well.
Finally, we can also ask that if ATIS is available - the frequency of ATIS is shown here - if it's available, then we can have the Automatic Terminal Information Service tuned into Com Radio 2 so that we can listen to that as soon as the approach starts as well. So all that can be done automatically if you so desire.
Additionally, we can set the local time of day. What this will do is if we turn this check box on here, we can force the local time of day where we start our approach to be a particular time. As you can imagine, this is useful. If you want to practice daytime approaches, you might set this to noon for example. If you want to practice nighttime approaches - oh, I don't know, for some particular reason we might pick 2:15 in the morning, and then we can be pretty certain that we're going to get darkness.
Of course, the darkness will depend on the time of year and the latitude of the runway that we're approaching, so that's a handy feature there for practicing certain types of approaches. Then, finally, what's new to us in version 1.3 is we have the ability to control the surface wind during our approach. If we want to control the surface wind, then we turn this check box on, here.
Again, this is of course optional. We can set the surface wind in knots, so let's say we want a ten-knot wind, for example. We can decide on the direction of the wind, which we can specify in one of two ways. So if we say, for example, in this case we're landing at runway four, so that more or less is going to be something in the region of 40 degrees. [inaudible 00:11:02] heading there. So let's say we've got a wind slightly off to the side at 60 degrees. So we've got the wind 60 degrees at ten knots.
We can do it that way, or the other way, the other option we have. These two are mutually exclusive. You can't do them both at the same time. The other option, instead of that, is to turn on this check box here, which enables us to set the relative wind direction. Now what that's done is it's cleared the direction that we specified there, because instead what we're going to do is we're going to say - let's say for example we want a left crosswind coming in from about 45 degrees, basically, off the nose of the aircraft.
So that means that we're going to get wind coming from that direction. Or if we want it straight in front of us, we have there. Or of course, we have these other options on the other sides of the control here. So that's just a quick way to specify if we want the wind coming from directions based on the direction of the aircraft. But if you want to specifically enter it in degrees, then turn that off and go over here and you can enter the specific direction that you want, right there.
The final thing you can do with surface wind is if you're feeling bold and adventurous, you can turn on the surface wind gusts. These can be very severe, so they should be used with caution. It makes the plane very difficult to control, but it is a challenge. Also, the severity of the gusts increases with the wind speed as well. So if you have very low wind speeds, the gusts are not going to be too bad. But as the wind speed gets higher, the gusts are going to be extremely severe.
The other thing of course that we can do, let's see... Before moving on to the flight mapping, what I should mention is once you've set all this up - and of course, I've shown us through all the options here. But if you want to you can just click Approach Random Airport. Your basic values are okay, and you click Connect. When you click Connect, that then sets up the approach in FSX. It puts the aircraft on approach to the runway that you've chosen with all the parameters that are entirely option.
If you just wanted to do a quick one, then you literally click Random Airport, Connect, and you're away. Then, in FSX the scenario will be prepared for you, and then all you'll have to do is pop back to FSX and fly your approach. Then you land, and once you've landed, you can come back to this screen and click, ask for another random airport. Click, click, click a few more times if you want something different, and then click Connect, and then you're on approach again to another airport.
The final thing I wanted to mention then is the flight mapping, and that is that after you have landed and completed your approach, you will be able to click on the flight mapping buttons, which will show you the route of the flight that you took on the Google Maps website. You'll be able to look at your routes there projected onto either a map or onto a satellite image, and that can be very interesting.
All those flights that you've made are stored, and if you wish you can even copy the web address or URL of the map that you're looking at and email it to friends if you want them to be able to see the map as well. They don't have to have FSX and they don't have to have FS Instant Approach to be able to look at that information.
That just about wraps it up. That's an overview of FS Instant Approach, which is available from the FS Inventions website, and that's it, and also a quick reference to the new features in version 1.3. So I hope you've enjoyed this overview and have fun. Happy landings.