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Attn: Beta Testers - FS2004 ATC questions

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Hi guys,Now that the NDA is released - I have several questions. As some of you may know, my background is in ATC - so I'll keep the questions concise....1) Does ATC provide any sequencing to AI and user aircraft to prevent the "rash" of go-arounds that occur in FS2K2?2) Does ATC provide any kind of separation from conflicting aircraft during the enroute phase? (i.e. is there any vectoring around traffic - or just the standard traffic calls and alerts?)3) Is it possible to deviate around weather without being harrassed for flying off-course.4) Under any circumstances, will ATC ever terminate your IFR flightplan without you requesting cancellation?5) When flying a STAR, does ATC ever break you off with a vector to final (which is realistic) or is it always a "canned" procedure?6) Is it possible to request a temporary frequency change (so you can take a bathroom break while flying real-time)?7) Is "Position and Hold" on the runway implemented?8) Did they remember to include SOUTHWEST Airlines this time :-)?9) Are intermediate climb altitudes issued with the initial clearance (i.e. if your crusing altitude is FL280, will Clearance Delivery issue a lower initial altitude along with "expect FL280 within 1-0 minutes").10) Are multiple runways assigned based on wind, weather, and aircraft performance... or is it still just 'the longest' runway?11) Is it possible to shoot non-precision approaches(NDB,GPS,VOR,etc.) or is it still the ILS or nothing?12) Is there any word on an ATC SDK for third-party developers?Please be honest - I'm not necessarilly expecting MS to implement any of these features (I'll be buying FS2K4 regardless)... I'm just curious to see how much thought and effort they've put into ATC this time around.Thanks,Marc

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8) Yes. That was never really a problem FS02 since any callsign could have been added in a matter of minutes with editvoice. Editvoice should also work with the FS04 voicepack since the makeup of the gvp has not changed, as far as I know from discussions during the beta.9) Yes.10) Yes. Runway assignments are based an aircraft size and wind. Big planes get big runway, small planes get small runway. The ATC will not change runways constantly with constant changes of light and variable winds. It will require a significant change of wind before ATC will change active runways.

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1) AI Aircraft set-up farther out now thus less over shoots.2) No3) You can request change in altitude now, have not tried any deviating myself though.7) Yes10) Yes11) Yes

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Can I add to that list with these few questions:13) Have you noticed any reducement in unnessecary traffic calls like when your taking off and hear about planes that are not a factor and ATC takes up air time by saying theres a plane behind, below and slower than you report insight?14) When coming in on an IFR flight and handed off from APP to TWR does the tower still say "make straight in approach?" or did MS remove that part?15) Does tower still keep saying "turn next taxiway." after you land?16) When flying VFR into Class B airspace do they give you the option to request Class B entry earlier then when your actually in class B?17) Are there any new call signs like Flight Safety or Embry Riddle?18) At big airports where there is more than one active is ATC still using just one freq for all runways or do they use more than one where real airports do?19) If planes are landing on a parallel runway and is cleared to land and you are taking of on a different runway that is parallel do you still have to wait or do you get cleared for take off since you dont have landing traffic and your runway is clear.Many thanks on any insight.Kilstorm

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#7 is a yes for sure?!!! If so thats great news! Oh man does that help in getting traffic out quicker? Is that done when an AI departs and no other AI is cleared to land so they have you on and hold now?Kil~BTW guys thanks for finally stepping up to the bat and talking about something other than weather. To me besides hearing about the new weather engine, details about the second generation of ATC and how they are making steps to create a real feel of controlling a/c is very important to the overall sim.

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7) Yes - for sure13) Still get some calls for aircraft behind.15) Yes, might be a little more spaced now though, not sure.17) Not that I know of.18) More then 1 freq. I know Toronto uses 2 for example.19) You can land, take-off, or a combination can happen at the same time.

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Kyle,Do you realize how important this info is and yet your the first to take the time to answer these questions. Look weather and lighting are for sure the visuals that is going to grab your attention but reading improved ATC with very little mention of how improved is an understatement. Sure the ATC is still away from what ms did for weather but being the fact that they did make many good changes to ATC and its only the second generation is a big deal worth writing about. Just the simple things like position and hold and using two different twr freqs mean so much when adding realism. It just goes to show that MS is trying to create real controlling and not just ear candy. It gives the feeling that hopefully by the 3rd gen of ATC we might be able to expect seperation and sequencing with STAR's and holds and speed restrictions so that our IFR flights go far better than what we have now. I just cant beleive that although the weather is all the rave since its for sure the main selling point of this new sim that the mere fact that the ATC has recieved such nice small things that we havent heard more about it. Any chance of saying if we have static when at the edge of recieving a transmition like how we had ATIS in 2000? That was truely real and cant believe that MS left that out of 2002.KilstormNow if we can just get that Pilot Controlled Lighting...

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For me-the biggy is the ability to request any published approach at any airport worldwide with vectors . This is staggering! I know I have even read in the past that this could never be done considering the number of worldwide approaches. Think how thick a typical approach plate book is-then multiply it worldwide. It is truly amazing. It is amazing to be able to request them on the fly.For me-this, the weather, and the autogen which blankets the whole earth with worldwide buildings, trees, powerlines etc. are gigantic increases in realism.Getting back to atc-it isn't perfect. Yes,there are not some of the items you mention (Stars, speed restrictions, atc issued holds). I am sure the Radar Contact people will fill in the blanks here.For a GA driver which I am however-80% of the time I fly I am doing practice approaches, practice holds (in 13 years of flying I have yet to have atc issue one-and my ifr flying instructor told me when I got my rating 11 years ago that I probably never see one-so far he is right). The other 20% I am flying ifr/vfr trips. Between real weather, and the atc, and the scenery the experience is very real now-and a useful tool for practice.http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/Geofdog2.jpg

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That is go great to hear since thats how I use the sim as well. Do have a question about the VFR flight starting in IFR conditions. I read how if the field is I ATC wont release VFR filed planes. Could you expand on how this works. It seems you could just load up an IFR weather day and then try and take off and see if you have to open up the flight planner to tell ATc where your going but then again maybe not. Also how does VFR AI planes deal with this? To get back to what you find most exciting which is true once you think about how you described the book deal, does the ATC ask how will this terminate or does that sound like future version features? I mean when your clear for the approach and lets say your want to shoot an ILS approach with a tail wind on the active against landing traffic do you get cleared to land or is it cleared for a low approach? It seems that creating this data base is phase on and next version we could hope to get ATC asking how we plan to terminate this approach with a fly the published hold, low approach, full stop, touch and go etc...Kilstorm

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I have a question. Let's say your flying in Great Britian, do the small general aviation AI planes use the "G" registration? or if your flying in Germany do they use the "D" registration ect.? Or is it like FS2002 where all the small general aviation planes use the "N" registration all over the world.

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>>1) Does ATC provide any sequencing to AI and user aircraft to prevent the "rash" of go-arounds that occur in FS2K2?Also, what about AI AC overtaking you when you are on final???Barry

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I've only read but at some point when your on final any a/c that follows will be instructed to go around from what sounds like in plenty of time to not be a factor. Would like to know when this would happen like if once your cleared to land if all other a/c will not and when they check in with Tower if they get a "go around" instead of "cleared to land" and at what point does atc start clearing ai to land after you. It was good to hear that it has been addressed although in a quick fix kind of way but would love to hear more about the full details of how and how well it works.Kil~

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Aircraft are vectored further and further away for spacing/sequencing in Fs2004 and multiple runways are in effect. KLAX has all 4 simultaneous in use, so by nature there are far far less go arounds happening. Also, ATC is smart about the capabilities of an aircraft. For example, in a VFR scenario 2 aircraft are arriving at KBFI from the East, a 747 and Cessna 172. KBFI has a 10,000

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One more question:Did Microsoft fix the ILS tracking?? GS and Localizer? Especially the problem with overshooting the intercept?Thanks!Barry

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Man, oh man, I can't WAIT to get this now. All of these ATC improvements will definitely make it more fun and realistic.

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The autopilot is much better. The heavies intercept the glide slope and fly the approach without ducking below the glide slope like in FS2002. They also tend not to fish back and forth as much on the localizer as they did in 2002. Of course they respond smoother to the intercept proportionally much better when ATC is stacking them further and further out for spacing so they have more time to make the turn to final. http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/Geofdog2.jpg

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Wow !!!I have to admit that I'm impressed - and I'm not that easily impressed! Many thanks to Geof A, Kevin, and Kyle for sharing. The diverse approaches and the initial attempt at sequencing arrivals (along with all the other enhancements) shows that the MS team is really trying to make this version "as Real as it gets!". I know that catch-phrase has been highly criticized in the past - but it seems the developers are finally willing to put their money where their mouth is.... I won't comment on the other features; but I have 'a little' experience with creating ATC code for flightsims - and it appears that the team has put a lot of thought into this version. I can't wait to try it out! I really hope MS eventually provides an ATC SDK - 'cause I'd love to do some "piddling".Thanks again for the input,Marc

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Oh man are we in for a treat!!! After reading the some of the previews and the lack of ALL the new ATC improvements i felt that the ATC was only touched by allowing higher/lower cruise and approaches requests but the fact that you have more than one tower freq, ATC reconizes what size of plane, and does more controlling like your lear and cessna example...man oh man!!! I mean there is so much that ATC can offer but just to hear that the out of the box ATC takes care of so many aspects of ATC. Do have a question about that Lear over taking...It sounds like the faster plane will pass you (being in the slower plane) so how do you deal with not getting hit? Just stay higher than the glidescope and let the faster plane pas then it will get the go around I'm guessing. I've really only noticed the go arounds like that at bigger airports but the fact that ATC will try and put small a/c on smaller runways and ATC tries to open as many runways as possible it sounds like a go around is going to be a thing that happens once in a blue moon even with UT installed. Of course once the planes land there still is the problem of having the planes clear the active and cross another active in order to make space for other landing planes but neverless this new ATC is going to open up a whole new area of fun and enjoyment.Kil~

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NOt such a problem!On approach to landing, say you are landing at an airport with parallel runways, like KBFI again. You are in the Cessna 172 and landing on 31 R, and a B747 is landing on runway 31L. When tower clears you to land, you will hear

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Here's my .02$ on the lear and cessna example. I've had this happen to me in real life flying a Piper Arrow with a King Air in trail in IMC on in ILS and atc just gave me instructions to make a left 360 which allowed the King Air to slip in front of me. I don't know if fs2004 will allow this but that would be cool.Don BowlerDell 8259 2.53 gig512 mg rdramati 9700 proPrivate, Instrument, Commercial400 hours Airplane Single Engine Land

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Don,Let me get this straight...You were in IMC on the ILS and ATC instructed you to make a left 360 turn to allow the following a/c to land? That doesnt sound all that safe or normal to me or am I missing something?Kilstorm

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I just wanted to says thanks as well to everyone for answering these questions. I've been waiting to hear about the ATC for a while. I just have one little question on something thats been touched on...It was mentioned that airports like KLAX now have all 4 runways operating simultaneously which is great! I was just wondering if they have it where 2 runways are for landing and two are for takeoff or is it a free-for-all on all four runways? I would think they would be able to close runways for takeoff or landing as you can do using AFCAD, but you know what they say about assuming... Thanks in advance...

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Nope. Doesn't sound at all right to me. No controller in his/her right mind would ever do this in IMC.DanEdit: Thinking about this, I suppose it could be done if you're still well outside the OM. Inside the marker, absolutely no way. Seems like there'd still be significant separation issues to contend with.

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