Using Flightplan, you can easily create a planned approach for any airport (or glacier, lake, etc.). Using the Lap Timer, Cockpit Map will record your progress along the flight path, but only if you are under the assigned altitude. The video shows examples at Sedona and Castillion.

The key to creating an accurate landing practice is to set your waypoint pins at a known distance from the runway (using the 1000 foot radius cirles on the map), then calculate the planned altitude for that point in space based on a 3° glide slope. From the threshold of the runway to your first pushpin forms a line on the ground. The 3° glides slope forms a line from the runway threshold out into space at 3° from ground level. Using these 2 lines we can form a triangle with our last line perpendicular to the ground (straight up at 90°) and intersecting our glide slope. You can actually tilt the satellite map in Flightplan to better visualize this. Using some high school geometry and the 2 pieces of information we know (distance & glide slope) we can calculate the length of the 3rd side of the triangle which will give us our correct altitude to be on the glide slope using: altitude = distance * tan( slope ).

For example, 1000 feet from the threshold of the runway, with a 3° glide slope would be calculated as 1000 x tangent( 3° ) = 142.5465431. Note that the result will be negative as it is sloping downward, but for our purposes it doesn't matter we just need the absolute number. The calculation will also work fine in meters of course, the result will be in meters. The above formula can be pasted into any spreadsheet to look up the tangent for us.

Once we know that our glide slope will rise 142.5 feet for every 1000 feet on the ground, we can easily determine our altitude at any point along the glideslope. If I want to know what the altitude should be at 5,000 feet away from the threshold, it's 5 x 142.5 or 712.5 which is your planned altitude at that point in space, to be on a 3° glide slope. Again, any spreadsheet can be easily setup to do the math for you, the full formula would be as follows: distance * tan( slope ) + runway elevation = planned altitude.

At Sedona the runway is at 4,800 feet AMSL (above mean sea level) so at 5,000 feet away from the threshold of the runway you should be at an altitude of 5,512.5 AMSL. Because our runway elevation of 4,800 feet plus our planned altitude of 712.5 feet equals 5,512.5 feet.

Once we have added the push pins to the map at the intervals we want (2,000 feet was the example in the video) and set the altitudes we just calculated, we can turn on Lap Timer in Cockpit Map and use it to track our progress. As each waypoint is reached, Cockpit Map will check the waypoint for a non-zero altitude, if there is one (the glide slope in this case) it will check your in-flight altitude (actual, not necessarily the displayed) and if your are under the assigned altitude it will record your time enroute between the previous waypoint and the current one. Once you've landed, check your Lap Report and if you missed any altitudes, there will be no time recorded for that waypoint.

Distance mode was mentioned in the video, but it warrants further explanation here. In the video, the Distance Mode was set to a Fixed 500 feet to make it easier in-flight for the purposes of making a video (talking while flying can be harder than you think). But a consequence of this was that each waypoint was detecting me 500 feet away from the actual coordinate even though I was only moving at 65-85 knots (500 feet would be around 400 MPH in Normal racing). Since the altitudes are calculated for the exact point in space at the push pin, it would be incorrect for the point in the flight path my aircraft was passing. In other words, Cockpit Map started checking the altitude of my aircraft against the altitude of the push pin while I was still 500 feet away from the push pin itself. So if the push pin was my 3,000 foot marker but Cockpit Map recorded my aircraft at 3,500 feet away from the threshold, the planned altitude should actually be 71 feet higher than what's set on the waypoint.

Conversely, Cockpit Map will continue checking your altitude for a full 500 feet AFTER you pass the push pin as well. Meaning that if I was above the glide slope at the time I passed the push pin, but decended low enough over the next 500 feet, the waypoint would still get recorded. This situation is obvious in flight because you will see the Lap Timer record your waypoint long after you've passed it. There is no delay, the moment the Lap Timer records your waypoint is the moment that you were within the appropriate radius around the waypoint (500 feet in this case) AND you are flying at or below the planned altitude for the waypoint.

You can visualize the waypoints as a cylinder rising from ground level up to your set altitude. With a Fixed Mode of 500 feet, there is a 1,000 foot plane in space that your aircraft must pass through. If you are way too high, your wheels will miss the cylinder in space that the waypoint is watching altogether and it will not be recorded.

In a perfect world, for a landing practice you would probably set a Fixed Mode of 50 (the minimum), and set your altitudes to be calculated at the distance to the threshold + 50 feet. So for our 3,000 foot waypoint mentioned above, we would calculate our altitude at 3,050 not at the actual 3,000 feet where the push pin is (which is 434.7669564). I would set my altitude for the anticipated point in space my airplane is going to pass through the imaginary cylinder 100 feet in diamenter (remember 50 is our radius) that starts at ground level and rises to 5,234.76 feet at Sedona. If you are going to use these settings will need to be very close to perfect on your flight path.

You could probably set the Distance Mode to Pro Mode as well if you are trying to perfect your approach. At 65 knots in Pro Mode your imaginary cylinder will be about 110 feet across (65 knots is 109 feet per second). However in Pro Mode this is dynamic so at 85 knots the cylinder will be 143 feet across, so in reality Fixed Mode will give the most control. For a landing practice you would probalby want a static target size given that your speed will be gradually decreasing (or at least it should be), but it's entirely up to you how precise or imprecise you want Cockpit Map to force you to be.

Flightplan is a Google Maps flight planning add-on for use with Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020. Flightplan can be used to create and share your own flight plans using an interactive Google Maps drag-and-drop interface complete with terrain elevations, landmarks, streetviews, etc. Click on the interactive map to drop a pin at any location on earth, plus edit your aircraft and flight plan settings before you get in the cockpit.

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Flightplan is always free to use for editing and modifying flight plans, a Google Maps API subscription is required to continue using the map features. Software updates and upgrades are free for life.

Note: Each PC can be registered to only 1 user, so please make sure you are using the same PC you run Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 on when you open Flightplan for the first time.