How To Fly a NATrack


NATracks (North Atlantic Tracks) are route segments leading across the Atlantic Ocean from the European to the Canadian/US coast. These tracks change daily in relation to the jet-stream and are generally issued by Shanwick Center (EGGX), Gander Center (CZQX), Boston Center (KZBW), and New York Center (KZNY). Eastbound tracks are planned near the jet stream to give an additional “push” of the high-speed winds aloft. Westbound tracks are usually planned north or south of the jet stream to avoid headwinds of high velocity.


NATracks are standard distinguished by a single letter A-Z, where early letters in the alphabet (A-J) denote westbound tracks and late letters in the alphabet (Z-K) refer to eastbound tracks. FlightSim Commander allows you to download NATracks and to add them to a flight plan.

In this tutorial we will guide you through the basic setup of a NATrack from EINN (Shannon) to KBOS (Boston) while we will focus on flying Prepar3D® 2.3.11345
In use is the flight planner FSCommander There we go!

  1. Start P3D as administrator and park your vehicle @ EINN.
    (We will complete later).
  2. Start FSCommander in P3D mode:
    1. How To?
      Launch FSC with a shortcut with target e.g. D:/FSC95/FSC.exe 2
  3. In the Airport Selection type EINN and press Search by ICAO and then Select.
  4. FSCommander will open, then select GPS from the menu bar and check Connect to FS. At the same time check GPS Window.
  5. In the menu Flight Plan select New and type EINN KBOS  in the Flight Plan Panel and press OK.
  6. To retrieve a NATrack:: select Tracks >>Natrack>>Download NATrack.
  7. After the tracks have been downloaded, select Save NATrack – YYY/MM/DD hh:mm GMTnatrack-01
  8. To have a clear view of what’s happening set your Zoom to 2000 nm and Map> deselect Aircraft on Map
    natrack-02 It shows a curved line representing EINN KBOS and 6 (westbound)  NAtracks
  9. To select a most convenient track place your mouse pointer in the read circle on the track of your choice, e.g. track D and select with right mouse the track to insert in your flight plan.
    There you go! Now first save this state of the flight plan.
  10. After you have chosen this primary route, you must enter a Jetway at the end of the track. On the left side of FSCommander open the vertical button bar and select Jet button which will show you the available Jetways.
  11. Put your cursor in the Flight Plan Screen just above KBOS (in this case ELSIR as the end of the track)
  12. Now enlarge the Jetway area and select the most convenient Jetway by right mouse click on ALLEX (in this case). So far, so good…
  13. natrack-jetroute-chosen-150x150Done … if you are flying wit ATC you must wait to receive the SID and STAR from Tower. For this exercise we use a predefined SID and a STAR:
    1. Select SID UNBE2B and add this SID to the flight plan. Save the plan !
    2. To add a STAR to the flight plan go down in the Flight Plan Panel and select the line just before KBOS (in this case ALLEX).
  14. Select STAR OOSHN2.ENE and add this STAR to the plan; save the plan !
  15. Set your vehicle on a parking of your choice @ EINN, call Delivery and go!
  16. For additional information on flying NATrack with IVAO look here.
  17. Depending of the time of day you might not be able to download Eastbound tracks.
  18.  Remember that the beginning of the track is indicated by the  red circle.
  19. In the next article we will deal with the communications between Delivery – Arrival
Sources used: FSCommander, IVAO OCC