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77west

Monstrous Headwinds!

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Last year when the 767 was doing the Incheon flights I endured a few 12 hour fight times headed out that way. Rest breaks were 3+ hours, which was nice, but ones eyes get very dried out!


Brendan R, KDXR PHNL KJFK

Type rated: SF34 / DH8 (Q400) / DC9 717 MD-88/ B767 (CFI/II/MEI/ATP)

Majestic Software Q400 Beta Team / Pilot Consultant / Twitter @violinvelocity

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I haven't touched time compression since I recorded the Tutorial #1 Video, so yeah, I usually just let the sim comp do its thing and check on it every once in a while.

What do you use for ATC?


Cheers,
Chris Brand
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Just out of curiosity. Do you guys actually sit for those long hauls like 7-10 hours. I mean do you use auto cruise/time acceleration or some other kind of time compression? I would really like to know. I currently use quantum leap from the avsim library.

I do -- to me, the whole point is to simulate operating the aircraft, which means across the whole flight and not just 'poling' it for thirty seconds on takeoff and landing. No criticism implied of anyone else - how one indulges in this hobby is an entirely personal choice -- but I don't really understand taking off, engaging the automatics and going to sleep/down the pub/off to school or whatever and then coming back X hours later to land. Where's the enjoyment in that? You might as well have just slewed to a 10 mile final at your destination.

 

Operating a modern airliner on a long-haul route is about far more than 'poling'. All throughout the flight there are a series of decisions to be made, some larger than others; weather considerations, keeping track of one's position and flight progress, monitoring weather at destination and alternates, thinking about where you would go right now if you had a fire on board or an explosive decompression; what terrain are you passing over, what's the MSA, how much fuel are we burning, what are we going to do about that storm cell up ahead, is our navigation equipment accurate, what's our driftdown level if we lose an engine, what if a passenger has a heart attack -- the list is extensive, and operating a heavy aircraft that can't just drop in to any airfield, often over inhospitable terrain and remote parts of the world where there might not be a suitable airport for hundreds of miles, means the impact of decisions you make now can be magnified further down the line.

 

Having said all of that, I do take breaks, I do accomplish some other tasks during quieter moments and I find more than 6-7 hours starts getting a bit gruelling. But ultimately, the more time I spend away from the flight deck the less enjoyment and fulfilment I get out of the flight. Each, as I say, to their own though!


Simon Kelsey

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I do -- to me, the whole point is to simulate operating the aircraft, which means across the whole flight and not just 'poling' it for thirty seconds on takeoff and landing. No criticism implied of anyone else - how one indulges in this hobby is an entirely personal choice -- but I don't really understand taking off, engaging the automatics and going to sleep/down the pub/off to school or whatever and then coming back X hours later to land. Where's the enjoyment in that? You might as well have just slewed to a 10 mile final at your destination.

Operating a modern airliner on a long-haul route is about far more than 'poling'. All throughout the flight there are a series of decisions to be made, some larger than others; weather considerations, keeping track of one's position and flight progress, monitoring weather at destination and alternates, thinking about where you would go right now if you had a fire on board or an explosive decompression; what terrain are you passing over, what's the MSA, how much fuel are we burning, what are we going to do about that storm cell up ahead, is our navigation equipment accurate, what's our driftdown level if we lose an engine, what if a passenger has a heart attack -- the list is extensive, and operating a heavy aircraft that can't just drop in to any airfield, often over inhospitable terrain and remote parts of the world where there might not be a suitable airport for hundreds of miles, means the impact of decisions you make now can be magnified further down the line.

Having said all of that, I do take breaks, I do accomplish some other tasks during quieter moments and I find more than 6-7 hours starts getting a bit gruelling. But ultimately, the more time I spend away from the flight deck the less enjoyment and fulfilment I get out of the flight. Each, as I say, to their own though!

 

Interesting point Simon... With realistic threats now available to us (storms with turbulence and associated icing and shear provided by ASN, icing effects provided by FS captain, and random failures available through the "service based failures") it is possible to have to be on the alert for the whole flight now.

 

I've found the cons of time compression are as you stated plus:

The weather planning is all thrown off- winds aloft forecast planning are designed with the aircrafts speed in mind, not taking into account arriving at a fix 4x faster... In addition, the TAF you've read for your destination becomes moot, since you're arriving a lot sooner as well.

 

You will however, save money on your energy bill!


Brendan R, KDXR PHNL KJFK

Type rated: SF34 / DH8 (Q400) / DC9 717 MD-88/ B767 (CFI/II/MEI/ATP)

Majestic Software Q400 Beta Team / Pilot Consultant / Twitter @violinvelocity

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What do you use for ATC?

 

VATSIM, but I have vPilot in a networked config, so I'll very frequently walk away from my sim rig as soon as I go uncontrolled, and then just take my laptop running vPilot around the house with me to see if I get a contact message. Since the headset is on that computer, I can also respond to the message without even going back down to the sim rig.


Kyle Rodgers

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If you check flight plans right now on FlightAware for airline flights going from places like New York, Boston, Philadelphia etc. to destinations like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, or San Diego, you will see the that they are routing way up to the north - across southern Canada, Minnesota and Montana, before finally turning almost due south to fly across Colorado Utah etc. to reach their west coast destinations.

 

That explains why here in MT I have been seeing more planes in the sky than normal and at weird angles. Usually we see east west traffic but the last day or so a lot of NW SE. Must be diving down into the destinations. Makes sense.


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Russell Homan

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VATSIM, but I have vPilot in a networked config, so I'll very frequently walk away from my sim rig as soon as I go uncontrolled, and then just take my laptop running vPilot around the house with me to see if I get a contact message. Since the headset is on that computer, I can also respond to the message without even going back down to the sim rig.

 

I do the same although I have a wireless headset and often have music playing while doing stuff around the house. I also sometimes route the audio via the home theatre so if I am in the living area or kitchen I can be prepping dinner or something and still stay alert for vatsim notifications.

 

I no longer fly offline except for a test flight or something scenery related.

 

All flights on vatsim online.

 

I try to do fuel and position (and WXR!) checks at least every half hour to hour on a long haul.


Wes Meyer

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