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mbattison

Flight diversions

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I note in the pre-flight set-up menu for RC4, there is an option to add alternative destination airport(s). Also some of the add-on flight planners (I use FS Commander 8.4) have these features too.I also note that in the RC4 text window (on the "next" pages), there are options for pilot to request diversion to the alternative airport (if one has been selected on the set-up menu) as well as emergency diversions to the nearest available airport.However what would increase realism on future RC version would be the controller requesting that the aircraft diverts to the alternative airport, could be due to eg weather, heavy traffic or other incident at original destination. Perhaps controller could even give pilot the choice - keep with the original destination but face a possibly long hold/stack pattern, or fly instead to the alternative. Controller could then vector aircraft to the new airport, rather than having to set up a new flight plan etc. mid flight.Obviously the percentage of times that this would happen ahould be kept very low, thankfully doesn't happen too often in real world, but it certainly does happen. If pilot didn't want that option to occur (ever), then simply the case of not entering an alternative airport in the set-up.As RC4 already caters well for pilot requested diversions, I don't see that it would be too difficult to add controller requested diversions.

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i will ask our resident controllers how often controllers divert aircraft.the first reply from one of my controllers, is that a controller doesn't have the authority to divert an aircraft (except for a 9/11 type scenario).it is always the pilot's decision.at least in europe and the US, flow control keeps things moving to avoid delays.i'll wait for the aussies to wake up, and to hear back from the US guys, and let you know what they say.jd

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Thanks... of course I was making the assumption that what happens here in UK, happens worldwide - not always the case.Here we often get a fair amount of weather related diversions, but of course I'm not sure whether this is entirely the controller's decision, or some sort of agreement between pilot and controller. It may be the other situation I mentioned that controller gives pilot a choice of divert or long hold, then the pilot decides dependant on various other factors.Weather or other reasons, I would suggest a probability of around 1-2% of flights to be diverted (or at least given the choice of diversion or an extended hold). I certainly wouldn't expect flights to be diverted on a regular basis, but knowing that it does happen sometimes, albeit very rarely, would add to the realism. Although I'm suggesting purely random flights, it would be even more realistic (although possibly much more difficult to program), if the divert probability increased when bad weather was reported at original destination, especially low visibility or storm conditions.Thanks again for looking into this.

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the first reply from one of my controllers, was from the UK guy. he said it practically never happened. it's always the pilot, the pilot's airline, etc that initiated the diversion. only catastrophic (9/11) type events would controllers start diverting.as expected, the aussie controller advises - "... believe that all nation states that are signatories to the ICAO convention do not authorise ATCs to initiate such diversions, except in extreme cases, e.g. 9/11 type incidents. Diversion to an alternate is a PIC call, not an ATC one."and the US controllers have responded, and they would "never" divert an aircraft, except for extreme circumstances. they will assist the pilot to get to where he needs to go.the way rc does it today, is probably the most accurate.holding set to weather. random holds by the controller based on weather, traffic saturation, time of day, number of runways. pilot elects to go to an alternate, requests it, controller approves it, and off he goes.jd

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Thanks for looking into this anyway, not being in the airline industry (other than the one on my desktop computer), I wasn't sure who actually decided on a flight diversion. As such if it is the pilot [or possibly the airline itself as you mention; I had forgotten that they will likely have considerable say on such matter], then yes RC4 does allow pilots to chose destination airports to fly to. Although I have never done this before, perhaps my correct procedure would be to check destination weather (I use AS6 so this is easy), and then make decision on whether or not to divert. It is VERY rare that I get RC4 holds requested, {"Weather" is selected on the Holding options}, but if/when this occurs that could be a good time to chose alternate.Thanks again..

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the last checkpoint in the .pln has to be a vor, and it has to be less than 5 miles from the arrival airport, for a hold to be possiblejd

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