Exporting and loading flight plans into MSFS best practice

I’ve recently subscribed to Charts (initially for a month) to see if I can get to grips with charts as I just recently did an FS academy on IFR and wanted to try more realistic flight planning and practicing different procedures.

So far, I’ve managed to plan a few flights (still got a lot of confusion so may have some other questions which I’ll create different posts for). However I’ve noticed something and not sure if this is just how it works or I’m going about it the wrong way.

My workflow:

  1. Create the flight plan in Charts on the desktop
  2. Export flight plan using the fs2000 pln format
  3. Open MSFS and load the flight plan from the More → Load option in the World Map
  4. Start flight

At this point if I open Navigraph on iPad or the inbuilt navigraph panel it alerts me that it has detected a flight plan and asks if I should load it or dismiss it.

If I load it, a new flight plan is created with (MSFS) in brackets that is essentially a copy of the flight plan I already created.

Is this designed for when creating a flight plan in the World Map that you want to import to Navigraph, as in if I created the original plan in Navigraph anyway should I just dismiss it and load my flight from the flights menu? Am I losing any functionality in that way? Is there a better recommended workflow for getting flights into MSFS rather than saving a PLN file and loading it at the World Map screen?

Appreciate any advice on the best or most appropriate way to do it

Hello! Welcome to our forum, we’re looking forward to answering your questions!

Yes! That is exactly right.

If you planned the flight in Charts, I would prefer to load the flight directly from the flights list inside the panel instead of accepting that popup. MSFS may simplify and/or change the route slightly when you import it from the file, and if you then decide to load that flight in your panel you could lose some details yes.

No, the workflow you have described is the best - at least for now!

The panel includes an export option labelled “Export flight to simulator”. This option will make the simulator (and thus the ATC) aware of the flightplan, but not necessarily any of the instruments. More advanced instruments like MCDUs/FMCs in payware addons or the WT Garmin Avionics are actually decoupled from the simulator nowadays, making it virtually impossible for us to make their instruments load the new flightplan after the flight has started.

In the not-too-distant future, we will likely be able to integrate both the simulator flightplan and the Working Title avionics - a move in the right direction, but if you use other aircraft then you will still likely have to export your flight to a PLN file and load that unfortunately.

I hope this clears things up! Let me know if you have any follow-up questions!

Kind Regards,

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Thank you that is great and the explanation about avionics makes complete sense now too. As a slight follow up question when exporting the flight plan to FS there are two different options, one FS2020 and one FS2020 (No SID/STAR).

I haven’t tried it yet, but does the no SID/STAR option essentially instruct ATC not to route me on a SID / STAR and go point to point instead?

This might be useful as I’ve noticed an issue in MSFS where I’m flying NDB/VOR in a plane with no GPS and ATC tries to navigate me via a RNAV arrival procedure. I know I could have the moving map open but I was intentionally practicing NDB/VORs. If the No SID/STAR option works to stop them doing that it could be quite useful

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