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MattM1121

Any hardcore IFR/IMC pilots out there?

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Howdy folks,I was wondering if anyone else out there are hardcore IFR simmers. Firstly, how do you manage your weather? I've given up on ActiveSky. It just doesn't work for me. 90% of the time the destination weather is wrong. Instead of 2600' ovc at KGEG I'd get broken at 10k' with 30mi visibility. With REX there's no way to set custom weather. (As far as I can tell) So I've given up on 3rd party weather engines. How do you set up an effective IFR/IMC situation for your favorite destinations? Any tips or tricks?Do people fly minimums? And what level of instrumentation do you use? I used to fly a single prop with dual DME and ILS. That has to be the most challenging. Charles Gulick was actually the one that got me started on that back in the mid 80's. Knowing what radials needed for waypoints, etc... made for great simming. Right now my favorite flight is with the Flight1 ATR72-500, FS2Crew, FS Flight Keeper, and Radar Contact. I got to thinking a while back about how I used to fly IFR with my old Atari/Atari ST computers. We didn't really have any type of GPS then. We really did have to rely on the dual DME/ILS Instruments. I have some nice single prop's that I purchased a few years ago. The 172 and a Piper. One day I decided to fly from KOLM to KPAE ILS 16L. Since it had a procedure turn I thought it should be a pretty good flight. I can tell you that it didn't go as smoothly as I had expected. When I begin to rely on GPS/RNAV, etc... I seem to lose the touch of shooting ILS manually. Anyway, I'm eagar to hear from other simmers out there about how you do it. Thanks,-Matt

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You do bring up a very good point. I have only once in the past year and a half had to divert due to weather in the sim being below minimums (was at CYVR during a snow storm)Maybe the way you have active sky set up prevents what your seeing as I have had some CAT I and II approaches that were quite exciting. What is your supression settings like in AS? As well what are your FSUIPC visibility transition set to?For example if your limited to FL100 your weather will not change until you head down below that. Add the gradual transition (so you do not go from 20 miles to 1/2 mile in an instant) will also factor in. The sim may not have time to "catch up" to the loaded weather due to the settings your using. (Am I making sense? :( )I fly mainly the big iron in the sim but I do love flying the VOR/DME approaches in birds such as the TM2 and even in some of my G/A airplanes.


Al Stiff

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You do bring up a very good point. I have only once in the past year and a half had to divert due to weather in the sim being below minimums (was at CYVR during a snow storm)Maybe the way you have active sky set up prevents what your seeing as I have had some CAT I and II approaches that were quite exciting. What is your supression settings like in AS? As well what are your FSUIPC visibility transition set to?For example if your limited to FL100 your weather will not change until you head down below that. Add the gradual transition (so you do not go from 20 miles to 1/2 mile in an instant) will also factor in. The sim may not have time to "catch up" to the loaded weather due to the settings your using. (Am I making sense? :( )I fly mainly the big iron in the sim but I do love flying the VOR/DME approaches in birds such as the TM2 and even in some of my G/A airplanes.
I'm in the process of trying to figure out why ActiveSky ASE isn;t working for me. My current problem is that after ASE sets the initial weather, it never updates the weather again. No matter how hard I kick the computer, cat, or dog, it just doesn't change. How did you set up the CATI weather in ActiveSky? Do you manually set the weather? Boy, I think I've had one exciting CATI, but that weather I set up myself. Just thinking how exciting it would be to fly out of KSEA and gradually get into minimums at my destination airport. That would be so cool. <<sigh>> In the mean time I set the weather manually. I was wondering if other people did it too. My ASE is networked, so that may be part of the problem. Who knows....I'll give it another go tonight. Do you do timings from LOC to MA to see if you're close or not? One problem that I haven't researched yet was ILS with no DME. How do you stay within 10 DME with those type of charts? There's no DME to tell you how far out you are. I haven't done a DME ARC in ages. I should try that again some time.What about NDB? Does anyone try those? I mean you really have to put on your aviator hat for that type of approach. Right?I nearly forgot how exciting all this can be. I just got back into simmming after taking a few years off. Might as well share my pit too. Now I can't wait to get home. :(

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I used to fly a single prop with dual DME and ILS. That has to be the most challenging. Knowing what radials needed for waypoints, etc... made for great simming.
That gives me the most enjoyment. I cut my teeth at DC3 Airways...the old ways, for sure. Now I'm flying RealAir's 172 exclusively.

Mike Stanton

AI Made Easy

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Firstly, how do you manage your weather?
Why Active Sky and all that nonsense? :( You know what I use? I'll give you a hint: It's in the sim itself. Remember the real-world weather option on the sim? It's provided by Jeppesen mate. I don't think you need to search for more.I've seen that it is pretty accurate. I load up the sim with Jepp weather and then check the metar's for the airport and guess what. They completely match. Winds, visibility, temperature and even altimeter settings. Look no further! Use the Jeppy weather! No third party add-ons and such.By the way, if you really want to make your flying interesting try an old jet with analogue instrumentation and avoid the use of FMS and GPS for navigation. Now try fly that in nasty weather with complicated procedures :( Why? Easy, you get to practice your real piloting skills and you surely need them with the speeds a jet aircraft flies at. I use Leonardo's MadDog with FS2Crew, Jeppesen weather (or online server weather if I fly online, which is most of the times), no FMS navigation (only use it for performance calculations and time and distance estimates, which means I fly conventional nav), hand-fly all of the DP and arrival procedures. And I am a happy simmer :(

Ed Ocampo
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AVSIM Online
eocampo@avsim.com

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Hey Matt love your cockpit setup! :( Great idea with the laptop as well...is that your attic? If so it is a great idea for a set up like that. I am fortunate enough to have an extra room in my house to use as an office so I stay out of the wifes way. If I had an attic I would use that roof slant for some kind of overhead panel!Like I said I do most of my simming in the big iron (PMDG/PSS/LVD). So I am flying with the "works" as far as NAV equipment goes. If you look at my profile it has a link to my FS blog (and on my FS blog you can see link to other FS blogs too). It has some of my virtual flight's on there (and screen shots of the approaches, look at February "legs" series for some CAT I).I use real world weather for my flights and rarely if ever set up IMC on purpose. I would check your setting in ASV6 and FSUIPC. I am not saying it works out perfect for me each time but I get a good mixed bag using RWW. If it is really foggy here at home (CYYZ/CYTZ/CYKZ) I do run the sim in RWW and do some touch and goes on insturments. It's a close as I get to setting up IMC conditions on purpose.Fun stuff.....And for the record I have an old set of Jepp charts, the NDB approach charts don;t even go in my binders! They stay in the box (shows how many NDB's I have done huh?).If you want a fun approach try the PMDG 747 on runway 10 using the VOR. No G/S there and hard to judge!And check out Ed Detorit's videos on YouTube. He has some awesome FS flying skills and does some really tricky approaches>>http://www.youtube.com/user/edetroit


Al Stiff

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I use Active Sky 6.5. I imagine the requirements for the FS part of the setup are the same for all AS versions. For ASE make sure your updates are current - there has been at least one service pack.First the FS steps. Turn off dynamic weather control in FS, Be sure you save all parked flights and your default flight with the Clear Weather theme. Then when you create a flight or bring up a saved one then FS weather is initiallized to basically a blank and there is no FS weather to contend with. Let AS do all of the manipulation. Don't mess with FSUIPC settings as that should be taken care of by AS. Unless advised as occasionally on the support forum leave FSUIPC weather settings at default. Check all of your options in ASE regarding weather changes.Before I fly I download the weather archive for that day but at the Zulu time of the departure flight I am going to use. Since it is not daylight worldwide at the same time it is important to be using the correct time of day for the area the flight originates in. Think of the atmosphere being heated by the sun or in a cool down cycle affecting visibility, mountain winds, fog creation or dispersal, and convective storms.AS works better by loading the flight plan into it. I generate the full navlog getting weather at departure asnd destination and along the route including full winds aloft. (I use FSBuild for planning and it interfaces to AS for fuel planning, etc.). The report also gives me the data applicable to aircraft performance especially for entering into an FMC/FMS type of managed flight.Using the above method AS has presented the predicted weather when I reached destination.As for selecting the weather type I saved archives of downloaded weather into region, season, and weather type such as US-upper midwest- summer-TRWs-100604-1400Z. For the US I get a radar summary image or area radar image and put it in the same folder. I amassed a collection over time so Ipick one of those if I wish instead of current days weather.Works for me :)


Ron Ginsberg
KMSP Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Puddles
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I have made a little slide show on how I set up my weather. In my honest opinion it makes for realistic weather at all levels of flight.

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Seems to much for me to do considering the Jeppy weather is trustworthy (at least, in my experience). :(


Ed Ocampo
Staff Reviewer
AVSIM Online
eocampo@avsim.com

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Seems to much for me to do considering the Jeppy weather is trustworthy (at least, in my experience). :(
Is it though? I used to use the Jeppesen real world weather in the sim EXCLUSIVLEY. Right after MS shut Aces down, I noticed my weather was wrong just about every time I'd run the sim, and I don't fly as often as I once did because of it. I figured MS didn't want to spend the $ on a discontinued business model. I started setting weather to one of the pre-sets, or customizing the weather based on local reporting. But, I'm hearing several people saying that it's still accurate for them, and several that are using 3rd party WX programs. Does anyone know for a fact that Jeppesen is still supplying real world weather in the sim? I'm guessing that it's more "regionalized" than it once was, but I don't know for sure. I've been away from FS for a while and I'm very curious...I'll have to check it again, but your feed back is very much appreciated. Thanks!

Mike Stanton

AI Made Easy

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Seems to much for me to do considering the Jeppy weather is trustworthy (at least, in my experience). :(
I may have to disagree with you on FS real-world weather, Ed. After using the default online weather for years I finally got Active Sky a couple of months ago because I was fed up with getting "no" weather at places like LOWW, ENGM, LTBA, etc... The FS weather will only provide updates for these airports (and to many others) only once in every hour so after a few minutes it's back to clear skies, calm winds and 15C. How satisfied you are with the stock real-time weather probably depends on where you fly but I had to stop flying to these "dead spots" it was so annoying. Needless to say when I got ASV6.5 my FS was literally reborn. Now I can fly anywhere with genuine real weather, such a relief :( That said, I agree with you on the accuracy of the FS online weather, when of course it is able to retrieve it. The winds and visibility as well as the temperatures were most of the time quite accurate, at least in my experience. However, I must say Active Sky is on another level when it comes to clouds and gradual visibility. The radar feature also helps you plan your approach way before FS ATC gives you clearance.Matt, once you'll get AS working for you with all the correct settings, you won't be able to fly without it. Don't hesistate to post your questions here, the AS team provides great support.Hey, Mike, it's nice to see someone else who's enjoying the Real Air 172, too. Coupled with the TSS soundpack, it's amazingly fun to fly!

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HelloI have used both ASky and real world weather in FS9.The one thing that stops me using the FS9 real weather more often is the huge and sometimes violent wind shifts that can have your aircraft bouncing around the the screen with airspeed changes that can go from m76 one minute to m89 the next.The speed and simplicity of FS9 real world weather are its plus points for me,the wild weather changes its negative ones.I do use Asky most of the time,but its archived weather downloads seem to get slower and slower(I quite often give up and use a stored archive).If you could combine the speed of FS9 RW weather downloads and the stability of ASKY (Asky actually presents a much better looking weather environment as well IMHO)that would be good news indeed.Its a pity there isn't a sort of ASKY lite that downloads and is ready to go quickly like FS9 RW when you want a quick flt,and quick weather,but minus the wild wind shifts and speed jumps that are FS9 RW Weathers trademarks.PS Perhaps more people are using Asky these days which could account for the slow archive downloads.cheers Andy


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I was wondering if anyone else out there are hardcore IFR simmers. Well, you can count me in.Firstly, how do you manage your weather? I've given up on ActiveSky. It just doesn't work for me. 90% of the time the destination weather is wrong. Instead of 2600' ovc at KGEG I'd get broken at 10k' with 30mi visibility. I use VATSIM and Squawkbox all the time. With REX there's no way to set custom weather. (As far as I can tell) So I've given up on 3rd party weather engines. I checked the box for using REX to upload to VATSIM.How do you set up an effective IFR/IMC situation for your favorite destinations? Any tips or tricks?I use what there is RW today. Real pilots do not enjoy flying in thunder storms, doing min approaches or circle night approaches. Your skill would be to know when to divert to your filed alternate and hopefully you have enough fuel to meet FAA requirements.Do people fly minimums? And what level of instrumentation do you use? If I have to I will fly a min approach. My setup has most of what I need. I do exactly what I did in RW flying (gear down one dot above GS, etc).I used to fly a single prop with dual DME and ILS. That has to be the most challenging. Charles Gulick was actually the one that got me started on that back in the mid 80's. Knowing what radials needed for waypoints, etc... made for great simming. I fly all jets, mostly military.I have some nice single prop's that I purchased a few years ago. The 172 and a Piper. One day I decided to fly from KOLM to KPAE ILS 16L. Since it had a procedure turn I thought it should be a pretty good flight. I can tell you that it didn't go as smoothly as I had expected. When I begin to rely on GPS/RNAV, etc... I seem to lose the touch of shooting ILS manually. Practice, practice. Go on VATSIM and tell the controller you want to do missed approches with published holds. Do several of them and you will find that they get easier over time.Anyway, I'm eagar to hear from other simmers out there about how you do it. There you have it!Good luckEd

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Howdy everyone,Well I did some more testing last night with ActiveSky ASE. I fired up FS9, cleared all the weather, set the dynamic weather slider all the way to the left. Ok, so the sim is in a "ready" state. I then fired up ASE on the networked computer. Once it fired up I then started WideClient. ASE acknowledged the connection and set the weather just fine. It always sets the weather on set up, but never after so that's what I wanted to try tonight. I loaded my flightplan. KOLM->CARRO->ARPEE->KPAE ILS RWY 16R.But what I did different this time was setting the weather from the "Map" screen. From there I dragged "Instrument <something>.srt" and dropped it on KPAE. At that point I saw ASE was doing something with synthisizing weather. I hovered my mouse over KPAE and the METAR showed miniums. Weahter or not it was set remained to be seen. So I had to put my faith once again into ASE and fly my plan.I flew the Cardinal 177 to 5k' and got on KOLM radial 345 outbound to CARRO. The KSEA radial 230 outbound was the intesecting radial for CARRO, so NAV2 was already set. The very frist thing I noticed was the diffence in the weather experience. I was amazed acutally. The weather was slightly turbulante, and the clould cover was awesome. I've set weather many times with the default FS9 weather engine, but it never looked quite like this. And since I had REX textures, it was really awesome looking. Cruzing at 5k' was turbulant for sure. It wasn't crazy, and it didn't affect my speed like I thought it would. Sometimes using FS9 the turbulance caused 10 knot differences. It was a challange keeping the Cardinal within 300'. By now it was getting exciting.Before I got to ARPEE ATC took over and started vectoring me to ILS RWY 16R. I decided not to use Radar Contact. I didn't want to add any potential issues. I tuned COM1 to KPAE ATIS and was surprised to hear that the ceiling was 200'. Excelent! I thought. I was pretty excited by now.Once I was vectored to final I decended into the soup. I didn't pay attention to when the actual 1/2 mile visibility kicked in, but it was set. Another good thing. After a very intense decent the runway came into sight and I landed the cardnial. Only one bounce this time. :( FS Flight Keeper gave me an 80% rating. I considered this a good test.So it looks like ASE set the weather at the destination airport. However, I didn't notice when I came out of the clouds. I'll have to do some more testing with it. My problem seems to be procedural in nature instead of technical. Tonight I plan on trying to set different types of weather at different airports. KGEG seems problematic for some reason. I've been hating ActiveSky for a few years now, mostly becuase I've spent nearly $150 on the application, so this successful test was really a boost. I was ready to call in sick today and fly the day away. But alas, here I am at work.Does anyone download RW, and then modify it at all? I'm just wondering what types of issues I'm going to run into if I start doing that.

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I use Active Sky 6.5. I imagine the requirements for the FS part of the setup are the same for all AS versions. For ASE make sure your updates are current - there has been at least one service pack.First the FS steps. Turn off dynamic weather control in FS, Be sure you save all parked flights and your default flight with the Clear Weather theme. Then when you create a flight or bring up a saved one then FS weather is initiallized to basically a blank and there is no FS weather to contend with. Let AS do all of the manipulation. Don't mess with FSUIPC settings as that should be taken care of by AS. Unless advised as occasionally on the support forum leave FSUIPC weather settings at default. Check all of your options in ASE regarding weather changes.Before I fly I download the weather archive for that day but at the Zulu time of the departure flight I am going to use. Since it is not daylight worldwide at the same time it is important to be using the correct time of day for the area the flight originates in. Think of the atmosphere being heated by the sun or in a cool down cycle affecting visibility, mountain winds, fog creation or dispersal, and convective storms.AS works better by loading the flight plan into it. I generate the full navlog getting weather at departure asnd destination and along the route including full winds aloft. (I use FSBuild for planning and it interfaces to AS for fuel planning, etc.). The report also gives me the data applicable to aircraft performance especially for entering into an FMC/FMS type of managed flight.Using the above method AS has presented the predicted weather when I reached destination.As for selecting the weather type I saved archives of downloaded weather into region, season, and weather type such as US-upper midwest- summer-TRWs-100604-1400Z. For the US I get a radar summary image or area radar image and put it in the same folder. I amassed a collection over time so Ipick one of those if I wish instead of current days weather.Works for me :)
Hi ronzie,Well, it looks like your input really paid off for me. Lasts night test, with a little bit of your guidence, seemed to help quite a bit. I had suspected that I was doing something wrong, but could never really pinpoint it. A big thanks.

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