I need help to plan a flight

Ok, so I want to do a long haul but there are things which I don’t understand like cruising altitudes and step climbing, making a realistic flight plan etc. It would be too long to explain here. Could someone help me plan my flight?

FPLtoIF.com is a great helper for these things ;)

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You could use Flightradar24 to replicate a real life flight, and follow its cruising altitude & speed

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For cruising altitudes, just remember for traveling 0-179 degrees flying IFR, you must fly odd flight levels (330, 350,370) and for flying 180-359 degrees its even flight levels (320, 340,360). This is done to maintain separation in the sky.

Step-climbing is when you start at a initial cruising altitude and step higher up as you fly further towards your destination.
Use the 787 as an example, let’s say you start at FL320 because you’re quite heavy. Over time, you get lighter, so you’re able to cruise higher without the risk of stalling and it burns less fuel. You could do it like this:

FL320 (initial) ---------> FL340 (first quarter) --------> FL360 (halfway)---------->FL380 (third quarter)

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What is IFR and VFR?

Instrument Flight Rules and Visual Flight Rules.

You will most likely be flying IFR, as it’s done with all commercial planes

VFR is mostly for flying GAs.

I’m not too entirely sure

The thing is, if I step climb, how do I know when and to what altitude to climb?

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I could actually learn something from this thread.


If you’re using SimBrief and FPLoIF, it usually tells you what altitude to cruise at initially and at which waypoints to step-climb

But I want to maintain realism. I want to replicate a real flight. Like I want to use the same altitudes as the real flight.

I’m just gonna share how I do my Flight Planing instead of just liking random websites…

Step 1: I usually go to SimBrief, type in the Aircraft I’m going to fly, and Departure + Arrival airports.

Step 2: After doing so, I scroll down to look at the different FPL options given to me, and pick the one that suits my flight best, either because the real-life flight flew that exact routes or that it’s most economically saving.

Step 3: I press on Edit Flight, and then after it has loaded, scroll down to the bottom and copy the XML file.

Step 4: Now on to FPLtoIF.com, where I pick Simbrief Classic and paste in the FPL.

Step 5: Press on generating and Copy the generated FPL, and paste it into my FPL in IF.

One thing I do is check on the flight I’m gonna fly on FlightRadar24.com since I always do realistic flights, so I look up how the real-life flight behaved during flight, when it comes to speed, during climb-out, stp-climb and whatnot. And from there, I try my best to either replicate it or depending on my own aircrafts weight adjust the altitude flown at based on what my plane can handle.

The real-life plane may fly at FL330, then FL350, then FL370. last time it flew the route I’m going to replicate. But at other times it may have flown FL350, FL390, and then that’s that. So I do something similar, that will suit my flight, since the weight of my aircraft isn’t the same of the real-life one, as I don’t know how much cargo it carried, but I go for and approximate number there.

Example: ANA Flight 6, is what I’m flying now in IF, it usually flies something like FL310, FL330, FL350, FL370… But also flies sometimes, FL270, FL290, FL350 or FL310, FL340, FL350, so it depends on wind and weight.

I did, FL270, FL290, FL250, FL370, since that suited me and in favour of the tailwind over the Pacific.


Or you could just trust your gut and determine which stationary cruising altitude you want to stay at, depending on weight and weather.

But when I create a flight plan using FPLtoIF, the problem is that is doesn’t do the approach.

What do you mean by approach?

You can probably search up a Approach chart for you destination airport, and from there add the missing waypoints.

I myself have memorized many of those airports I visit frequently so studying in those approach charts is also a good thing to do for future reference :)

Like the approach into the destination airport. I doesn’t use the waypoints in the ILS approach.

Could you help me plan my flight via PM?

Well, what we like to do is change it ourselves for the FPL to accommodate the ILS approach as well.

What you can alternatively, is to check up, the flight you’re going to replicate, and search after that flight on FR24, and see how it approached into the airport you are headed towards. From there try to with as much accuracy as possible, add the waypoints that are missing to get the perfect approach.

Can we take this to a PM to avoid clogging up this post?