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James Bennett

How much setting up do you do before the plane is in your hands?

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So tell me, i'm curious, how long do you spend setting FSX/FS9 up before the aircraft is on the ramp and the controls are at your hands?

 

For me I spend at least 15 minutes finding the right charts whilst clearing my desk, setting my screen and chair up, plugging my joystick in, gathering resources such as food and drinks, and booting up FS in the correct way before i'm actually in the sim ready to play. Sometimes it can take 20/25 minutes on a bad day if FS is not behaving or I need to mess about injecting REX weather or textures.

 

I'm trying to reduce the time i spend messing around pre-flight because it annoys me to no end and often the thought of having to do so much work before flying means I can't be bothered and end up not flying! 

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Ha. Join the club. At least 15 minutes here, not including the time spent figuring out where to start and where to end.

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I used to spend 20-30 minutes.

 

But since I purchased PFPX I usually fire up my sim computer and get FSX started.

 

Then load the plane at the departure airport. Then go over to my non sim computer and get everything ready in PFPX while FSX loads the flight. PFPX is done (route/fuel/weather) long before the sim has loaded me in the plane at the gate/ramp.

 

I also have all my charts in PDF on my tablet.

 

All in all it takes about 15 minutes before I push back.

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After about 45 min I am ready to push back.

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I hope to have a Surface RT soon, which i will put my PDFs on for charts etc. This should in theory reduce the amount of paperwork that needs done pre-flight.

 

Before anyone asks why i'll have a Surface and not an iPad, the place i work are giving their staff them for free ;)

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For local flights (whole Europe) I need 5-15 min preparation. Usually 5 min to load FSX world, and rest while IRS is being aligned.

 

For long haul, I need about 1 hour to prepare whole documentation and to go to local copy center to print all that. Cannot fly long haul without printed OFP and charts. 

 

I connect joystick/yoke during before engine start checklist, because I need clear desk for prep.

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A valid question, one I was chewing over with another simmer on Teamspeak just this morning.

 

The prep time required to do a successful FSX commercial passenger flight - regional, say KSFO - KLAX - KSAN will often put me right back into the seat of the A2A C172R at Diamond Point, or other such PNW airfield for a sight-seeing flight, and setting the Maddog aside (again) because of this.

My physical "flight deck is set up ready to go, but the paperwork! Aaaargh! A one-hour flight will often add another 45 minutes to the front end, and I have just too many interruptions that get in the way. 

 

Of course - the good side is - when the time is available and that successful flight happens - then I am in Nirvana for another couple of weeks!   :lol:

 

All the best,

 

pj

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PFPX has conveniently reduced the "prep-time" before flight, I'd say in my case it's been cut in half.

Nowadays, intra-european flight with the NGX requires approx 15 minutes of planning before I sit in my virtual office at the gate.

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Wow - so it is not just me that spends a long time setting up. I use paper charts now and plan the whole thing with wind and times for the stop watch from point to point. Saved my butt recently when I got to PAJN and it was closed to VFR when a system had moved in faster than I expected. I am a GA guy.

 

One thing I finally did that has saved me allot of time. I built my cockpit gear into a cabinet and added hinges. I used to hate moving the keyboard, clamping down the yoke, 2 throttles, trim wheel, setting up the panels. And then did not want to take them down again to work.

 

I have this built now but here are the plans I used:

Cockpit.jpg

 

CockpitUp.jpg

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Usually spend 20 minutes on short/medium haul and 40 minutes planning out long haul, 5-10 minutes loading the flight, then an hour at the gates for setup and ground services if it's a commercial flight. PFPX made things lot easier. I used to find ETOPS alternates by looking around maps and googling airports. That was horribly tedious. But with PFPX, now I end up obsessing on things like CMFU validation, finding the most wind-efficient route, calculating w/ different weather sources, and it might even end up taking longer… the thing is I enjoy every single minute of flight planning now. When I’m in PFPX I’m completely into my role as dispatcher, and when I get into the plane as captain I can focus on flying the plane. It’s nice to hit the “request” button and know that every detail is in order. Then at T/C I allow myself to go grab the drinks and snacks.  :Cuppa: :smile:

 

I will say, however, that I still do bush and GA flight plans manually, and pick and choose my nav aids/airways by hand, then make calculations for fuel/eet with pen and paper. That takes about 30 minutes as well, but I have a lot of fun doing it.

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<5 minutes:

 

1) Enable Internet conenction

2) Start TrackIR

3) Start SPAD Saitek driver controls

4) Load FSGRW weather

5) Disable Internet connection

6) Run P3D

7) Creat flightplan within P3D

8) Download relevant chart to my iPad

9) Select Aircraft

10) Open relevant aircraft checklist

11) Inject FSGRW weather

12) Preflight complete -> Go fly!

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5 seconds.

 

1) ctrl-e

2) Firewall it!

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I aim for 15 mins prep for airliner operations.

Some aircraft will demand a little longer (eg.. NGX), and some a little shorter (eg. Coolsky DC-9 where I tend to use the auto-config system to get to 'ready for starting' state.

My flow looks something like :-

  • Decide airliner, airline and the origin/dest
  • Go to RouteFinder and generate route
  • Go to Simroutes and create PMDG or FSX format file (eg .rte or .pln)
  • Pop the created files into the required folder
  • Start FSX
  • Go to starting location with aircraft; I tend to estimate fuel. Not fussed about strict fuel planning.
  • FSX automatically starts Opus and loads real weather for me
  • Start to plug the route into the FMC, if I was able to create a file (eg .pln or .rte) then I will enter it that way, if not I'll plug it in manually).

The aircraft that I do the most set up on is the Airbus Extended because I use the checklist / FO system from cold and dark on every flight. Just particularly enjoy it on this aircraft. Others, like the NGX I start with the APU on and ready to start engines.

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The quickest way to get the plane into your hands I can think of is

 

  • to save a flight before the TOD
  • and to reload that flight for
    • landing on a different runway
    • flying a different STAR to your destination
    • changing your destination
    • changing weather/time/season/... whatever

Should work in a similar fashion if you save a before-takeoff situation (just before applying T/O thrust).

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Start FSX

 

Thought you ditched fsx  and went  to p3dv2?

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