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awralls

A Hard Day At The Office....

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You'll have noticed the bit at the back of the tutorial where the possibility of performing a turnround instead of a simple aircraft shutdown is described. I didn't give it a lot of thought when I first read it, and I confess I figured it was a bit of a gimmick because for any number of reasons it is often neither possible nor desirable to carry a flight on in FS. Depending on the route just flown, it's usually wiser to restart FS to make another flight. Also, the FMCs of many addon aircraft can get a bit twitchy if you try to set them up twice in one session.However, we're supposed to be flying Regional here and short flights followed by QTRs of no more than 25-30 minutes are the norm for the crews that fly such aircraft, so I thought I'd give it a try. Living in the UK I wanted to model the daily workload of a real ATR-based regional carrier and fly somewhere interesting, so I've pulled the Aer Arann Nov 05 schedule and started flying a full daily tasking for a single crew. Now, before I go on, I should point out that my previous reluctance to try this is due in part to the set-up I use which is involves running FS9 on one machine with 2 monitors, one for stuff like the overhead and FMC panels, and a second machine which runs all the peripheral addons which includes but is not limited to the following:- Radar Contact3.1- ASV- FS Real Time- AISeparation- ATR72FuelPlanner- FlightKeeper- SimHardware FuelLoader- FSBuild 2 for flight planning and basic chart functions- Jep Simcharts- and FSpassengers within FS.Now, you can appreciate that setting up that little lot for a flight can get a little tricky sometimes, and resetting stuff to a turnround is fraught with a number of challenges. However, I can report that it actually works very well using FS2C-ATR to perform a turnround within the normal limits of a proper regional daily tasking. For example, my first experiment involved a simple out-and-back red-eye shuttle from EICK to EGAA. The schedule (real world flight RE301/2) is as follows: EICK 07000810 EGAA 08400950 EICKThe key to this is to do all the planning for route, fuel and wx ahead of the first leg. In my case, I needed to make sure that I had built MSFS flight plans which is what RC uses. For the fuel, I used FSB2 to work out a per leg requirement and then loaded round trip fuel at Cork.The experience was one of the most interesting I've ever had in FS. and I've been flight simming on PCs since FS1 (Tandy TRS-80 circa 1981!) simply because I couldn't go through the usual mental relaxation that follows a landing. The weather out of Cork was dry but with a fair bit of cumulus as the sun came up over the land of the bogs and departing r/w35 meant a straightforward routing more or less straight out. Approach to Aldergrove was a little more complex as ATC routed us east over the city and docks (fine view of the Harlland and Wolf shipyard near City airport) and then back for an ILS approach to 25. And now the interesting bit - taxi in and parking up a few minutes late thanks to ATC. I went through the park checklist and watched the pax debus, but didn't immediately restart FS2C because it defaults to a 15 minute count to chocks and I had a little under 30 minutes to keep to the r/w shedule. Also, I need to fiddle a bit with some of the add-ons. In particular, I needed to save the flight in FSFlight Keeper, finish the FSPassengers session and restart Radar Contact with the return flight. Once this was done, there was just time to get the ATIS and clearance from Aldergrove ATC and set up the FMC (recalculating the weights but keeping the same ZFW as I wasn't letting FSPax load the aircraft for me - still got to think about how to handle this....). I just about completed this when it was time to open the watch, click on the time window and start all over again. At this point I started a new FSPassengers flight and then worked along with Seamus O'Flaherty, my loyal FO (who grew up in New Jersey but has since returned home to Ireland which explains his rather strange accent) to get the flight prepped.Off we go again, this time from 35 and back to Cork via a routing over Dublin with 9/10 clag all the way which just about cleared by the time the threshold at Cork hove into view.I got back after a total time on the flight deck of about 3.5 hours feeling really quite mentally tired. At least 45 minutes of planning preceeded the flight. The turn round at Belfast was extremely busy (even without refuelling) and I felt quite envious of the FO who managed to stretch his legs doing the walkaround. Now, you could argue that there's nothing to stop you doing this without FS2Crew and you'd be right. But using it imposes constraints and restrictions requiring you to work in a way that, to me, makes perfect sense and gives a real insight into how regional aircraft are flown. I got back having put far more work into this trip than I ever would into an 8-hour long-haul across the Pond. I need now to find out what a typical working day for these guys is, and try to replicate that. Aer Arann fly all over Ireland and the UK, so I can see 3- or 4-leg trips coming up that will require even more stringent and careful planning. Sorry for the long post, but I was so impressed by what this add-on has done to my flying, I just wanted to share it with the you.Right, I'm off to Ops to set up for todays sortie - EICK-EIDW-EGNS-EIDW-EICK. This is going to be a long day at the office...Take care,

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Great post Andy. It really gives an insight on just how much this hobby has evolved in the last 5 or so years.

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