by Jonathan M. Stern
The easiest and cheapest way to plan IFR flights on Flight Simulator is with a handy little shareware program called FSPlan. Admittedly, FSPlan does not do all the planning required by the Federal Aviation Regulations for IFR flights, but it does work quickly, prints the results to your printer, and uses the scenery database from your Flight Simulator program to provide a routing.
FSPlan was written by John Trindle of T-Square Company of Williamsburg, Virginia. During the day, John works on another PC-based simulator, the IFT-Pro by Flight Deck Software. At night, however, John writes programs for Flight Simulator.
FSPlan may be downloaded from Library 6 in the FSForum on CompuServe. After downloading and installing the program, you need only identify the departure point, destination, and type of aircraft (currently Lear or Cessna), and the program provides a flight log using a routing along VORs included in your Flight Simulator scenery database. FSPlan does not give airway routings, only VOR to VOR routings, irrespective of any airway structure that may exist.
An example of an FSPlan-generated flight log for a flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco is contained in Figure 15.13. You should note that FSPlan does not take into consideration such things as temperature variations and winds aloft. The beauty of FSPlan, however, is in its simplicity and the fact that it makes use of a database that matches identically the NAVAIDS contained in your specific database.
Figure 15.13. FSPlan easily generates a simple flight log that does not take winds, pressure, or temperature into consideration.