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Does realistic ATC negate the programming of the FMC

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I have just spent hours reading all the manuals trying to get into the realism of this wonderful sim. But my aim was to use it with Captain Speaking 2002.Well my point is if you are going to be spoon fed direction vectors, altitude limits, speed limits by ATC (that are not predictable) what's the point of programming the route from departure to destination? You are not going to use it. You are going to input headings and altitude and speed limits into the MPC. Does anyone know how real pilots respond to ATC instructions all the time using the FMC? I just don't see where full programming of the route can be compatible with ATC instructions?Maybe I am missing something so my apologies in advance for my ignorance but I'd really like to understand as I feel all my efforts to program the FMC are a waste of time. You can do all you need on the MPC in conjunction with ATC instructions.John

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This is a complex subject here so bear with me:With real world ATC (and on VATSIM for the most part) you're only going to get vectored right after leaving your origin and arriving at your destination.ATC does not issue enroute vectors to you to get from one waypoint to another in your flightplan once you're established on your route.Let me explain how it works in Phoenix, where I control online...Let's say an aircraft takes off on the BXK1 (Buckeye One) departure headed for KLAX. The route is KPHX.BXK1.PKE.J4.TNP.PDZ4.KLAX Assume runway 25L goign into LAX unless weather indicates otherwise.Here's the logical chain of events as you fly the flight:1. ATC clears you for takeoff on Runway 26 and vectors you with a left turn to 240


Ryan Maziarz
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By the way, if you'd like to practice this kind of stuff, email me and I'd be happy to help you get on VATSIM and try this out in a live ATC environment at a low-traffic airport like my hometown of Tucson (KTUS). I've done this for other new PIC pilots and it really helped them...


Ryan Maziarz
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Thanks Ryan.This is an amazing reply that just shows how complex own navigation with ATC input can be and how efficient use of the FMC is essential.It also demonstrates to me how ATC add-ons like Captain Speaking which vector you through the whole course and never let you alone for your own navigation are just unrealistic. Feel like throwing it in the bin. Other than VATSIM is there a fairly realistic ATC add-on for FS 2002?Will take you up on VATSIM later as think I need to master many more things to not make a fool of myself! :-)Many thanks for first class replyJohn

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That was an excellent summary of how to use the FMC in an ATC environment. Good info. They only thing I would add is this rule of thumb: Get as much of the FMC programming done as you can in the following two areas: On the ground, and in cruise. If you're in the terminal area (below 10000' or so on the climb or descent), use the MCP.You don't want to be heads down, programming the FMC (particularly when you're the only pilot on the flight deck!) when the calls are coming in fast and furious from ATC. One of the most important things to maintain is situational awareness when you're in congested airspace. Programming the FMC, even when you're experienced, is going to take some time, and you may (!) make mistakes. Using the MCP, however, is simple. Just dial it and go.And as far as ATC addons: There are no computer addons that can compare with a real person looking at you on the radar screen, along with the other people sitting behind their computers flying their virtual planes in your airspace. VATSIM is the only way to go. When you're ready to test yourself, try flying in one of the big flyins and see how you do in a congested environment.Have fun,Jon (KSEA)

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John,I believe the "Radar Contact" add-on is probably a lot more realistic than Captain Speaking, however I doubt anything can compare to live ATC on VATSIM... Once you try that you won't go back - plus it's about to get a ton more realistic with the new ASRC radar client for controlers coming out soon - it's a full simulation of the real world center and approach radar scopes used in the US, and is going to provide us controllers with MUCH better ways of managing the traffic etc...Ryan


Ryan Maziarz
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John,These have been some excellent replies to your question. The problem with Captain Speaking is it is a "canned" adventure. The new version of Radar Contact that will be out, is a "live" computer program, NOT an adventure that will follow the route YOU as the pilot setup, as in the real world. Once you set your route of flight either via the FMC or a flight planner like FSNav it is then "filed" with ATC. ATC may vector your departure and/or approach, but it is up to you the pilot, to navigate from point A to B.One thing that many folks have a problem with ATC and the FMC is VNAV. You cannot predict where ATC will request you to maintain a certain altitude. For example you may request enroute FL350, but ATC may step you there in small or large steps, depending on traffic. The Radar Contact V3 will do this all the time. If you use VATSIM or Radar Contact, you must learn the "rules" of flying with "active" Air Traffic Control, it is NOT canned.CheersBob JohnsonDenver, CO


 

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Excellent reply Ryan!Make sure you have a copy of this text to paste into another message when this topic comes up again!I recently had to hop over to another jet airway inflight by direction of a VATSIM controller, which was a very cool experience!He had a bunch of other (non-PIC aircraft) :) on the airway and although he could resolve the potential conflicts, he saw that I was a PIC aircraft and asked if I could accept an airway change to relieve some of the congestion. http://ftp.avsim.com/dcforum/DCForumID41/104.htmlI had to break out the FMC manual to figure out a few things I hadn't done in a while, but I got it all programmed and executed in a few minutes. It was awesome to watch the fmc perform the task after I programmed it, and its nice to know that the controllers regard PIC'ers as pilots that can handle their commands precisely! :)Regards,Steve Dra


Regards,

Steve Dra

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Yup, I usually know if a pilot puts /PIC/ in his comments that s/he is for real with their knowlege of proceedure etc... It's cool to get those pilots that you can issue precise instructions too and watch them followed nearly instantly... ;)Btw, I passed for my C-1 rating last night so expect to see ABQ_CTR up a LOT more now!Ryan


Ryan Maziarz
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