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Guest RichardGilbertSharpe

Gigantic Plateau Anomaly Covering Rapid City (South Dakota) Area

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Hello All: I have discovered by accident a major malfunction in my Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 scenery. I decided this weekend to virtually visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills National Forest in southwestern South Dakota. After I set Rapid City Regional Airport (KRAP-RAP) as the departure airport and the scenery loaded up I noticed that the airport was surrounded on all sides by gigantic vertical walls extending upwards almost three thousand feet to this weird 5,500-foot to 6,000-foot plateau that is quite massive and covers the general Rapid City area. After slewing and flying around the outside edges of the plateau to determine its dimensions, I decided to take a closer look at this abnormal scenery. This gigantic plateau is roughly square or rectangular, its shear walls extending nearly three thousand feet above the surrounding terrain. The top surface of the plateau is normal with regards to terrain mesh, ground texturing, autogen and everthing else scenerywise. However, within this plateau itself is the Rapid City Regional Airport (KRAP-RAP), but the airport grounds are sunk right down deep to about 3,300 feet at the bottom of this nearly three thousand foot hole to its correct altitude matching the surrounding terrain outside of the plateau area. Also, there are numerous other spots atop this giant plateau that are sunk right down to their correct altitude. These other sunken areas within this raised area seem to be ponds or small lakes (water areas). The rivers and streams are not affected in this way, however, and are normally textured across the top surface without any depression. I have never seen anything like this before. I just found it by accident today after having Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 installed for several years, and I wonder if there may be more of them out there in rarely-visited areas like South Dakota.I have had Scenery Solutions-Flight One (Flight1) Software Ultimate Terrain USA with all of its upgrades and Eddie Denney's VMAX Flight Systems RealScene 2004 U.S.A. 30-Meter Terrain Mesh & Landclass Scenery installed for over a year now. I don't think that they are the problem though, as I have never noticed this - so far - anywhere else within the relevant areas of the FS2004 virtual world. It seems perhaps to be a more fundamental problem or error within the Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 software configuration itself. Am I right in assuming this? I don't recall having modified any of the configuration files incorrectly. I carefully uninstalled the only two local and regional freeware sceneries that covered this area and could possibly cause this anomaly. They were Eric O'Link's South Dakota Regional Airports Scenery (sd_apts.zip) and Eric Cagan's Rapid City Regional Airport (KRAP-RAP) Scenery (krap.zip), but it made no difference - as I expected - because both were simple installations not requiring any modifications to the FS2004 software itself other than the usual scenery library entry into the FS2004 scenery configuration file. I tried juggling several sceneries, including Eddie Denney's VMAX Flight Systems RealScene 2004 U.S.A. 30-Meter Terrain Mesh & Landclass Scenery, around within the FS2004 scenery library to varying degrees of priority, but it made no difference, so I put them all back to there correct positions within the scenery library.Does anyone have any idea(s) as to what the problem might be and how to remedy this? Has anyone else ever noticed this kind of anomaly or heard about it before? Please let me know. Thank you very much. Sincerely,Richard Sharpe

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There are a number of gross errors which shipped with FS2004 - I do not know if the one you are seeing is one of them.This file fixes six of the most obvious ones - perhaps yours is one of them.http://library.avsim.net/search.php?Search...t&Go=SearchIf that does not correct your issue them something else is at play here.Keep us posted. :(

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I suspect your mesh(Eddie Denney's VMAX Flight Systems RealScene 2004 U.S.A. 30-Meter Terrain Mesh & Landclass Scenery) is the problem. Try disabling that and see if it makes a change.

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I agree this sounds like the classic problem of a bad mesh file. Since water and airports in fs have their own elevation settings, they will show as "holes" in the bad mesh. You might have a look at the fs genesis freeware LOD 10 US great plains mesh in the library.scott s..

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Richard,I am living in the Rapid City area and had to stop using mesh in the Dakotas for this reason. Doesn't matter which Mesh version you are using either. It is a FS issue dealing with the terrain. Very rolling hills here, and airports at about 3,200ft elevation. Rapid City is right against the Black Hills. I stopped using any mesh when I fly in the Dakotas. The resulting plateaus you describe just look to unrealistic and the trade off is not worth it. I posted about this a couple of years ago when I was just getting into mesh and I had the same concerns you have now. I tried searching for that thread but couldn't find it. It had some interesting information. Good luck and Cheers from Rapid City,Scott

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Unfortunately, Flight Simulators airports are still completely flat, which causes problems with high-definition meshes such as LOD10 meshes. Most major airports have runways nearly 2 miles long and they are never completely flat in the real world and the airport elevation they use for the flatten is always the highest runway elevation on the airfield. The majority of the airport may actually be lower or higher than that point which leads to some airports being grossly higher or lower than the terrain around them.

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OP's problem, as described, does not sound like the "airport plateau" problem with high res mesh, but rather bad mesh.scott s..

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