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J van E

Airspace: how do you deal with it?

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I am currently using the GTN 750 which I bought last weekend. Great add-on. I usually fly in Norway and whenever I used the default GPS I always turned messages off because I hated that blinking yellow sign. The GTN 750 has an even bigger message icon blinking all the time. Now I noticed you can turn off any or all messages concerning airspace which is great because now I don't have to turn messages off every time. But after doing so I thought it's in fact a shame to not use that option... So for the first time in my live I am wondering how to deal with airspaces in the sim. I wonder if you can even deal with them at all...? Whenever I get a message about an airspace which I am about to enter I always think 'Ok, thank you, so what...?' Afaik you can't contact anyone about this (although I sometimes do see a message in the ATC menu about entering an airspace) and I also never had an angry man on the radio asking what the heck I am doing there.

 

So... are airspaces 'functional' at all when it comes to simming?

 

I also wonder if you all plan a flight taking airspaces into account. For instance do you plot your flight around airspaces or not. Again, so far I simply ignored it all but I think it's time for me to step it up a notch.  :wink: Well, if possible. So... how do you all deal with airspaces?

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Depends how realistic you want to be....

If you fly on a network, maybe it is a good idea to be aware of airspace, above all if ATC is online and therefore the airspace they are controlling is "active". As a VFR aircraft, you need to be aware of airspace so you can interact with IFR and VFR "properly". As an IFR aircraft, you will be in controlled airspace anyway, at least most of the time.

If you fly by yourself, then does it really matter? You can do whatever you want or force yourself to be airspace aware. If I fly by myself, VFR, I am aware of the airspace and try to simulate clearances, etc....but I guess I cannot do more, really.....

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If you fly by yourself, then does it really matter? You can do whatever you want or force yourself to be airspace aware. If I fly by myself, VFR, I am aware of the airspace and try to simulate clearances, etc....but I guess I cannot do more, really.....

I fly by myself, yes. But as I understand it the sim doesn't really matter about airspace? So you can simulate it yourself as you say but there is no way the sim will play along? Pity. Still, I think I will see if it works if I plan flights around restricted areas and so on. I want some more realism but without having to go online.

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Use your own discretion.  It depends what my mindset is as to how realistic I want to be.  Some days I just can't be bothered with the planning and thinking and I just want to fly.  Other days I'm up for following the rules....

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Hi Jeroen,

 

If you know you're entering someone's airspace - contact the respective tower via the sims ATC menu and request a transition... I've never heard it denied ( only Bravo can deny in real life )... I usually use VFR Flight Following via Default ATC (EditVoicePack) when VFR and RC4 when IFR... To me - it's much more immersive working with ATC... I wish there was someway to improve the VFR Flight Following interaction a bit... I use Flight Following all the time in the real world - ATC knows your destination and will facilitate proper handoffs to controlled airspace as required - I don't think that's done in the sim...

 

Regards,

Scott

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I wish there was someway to improve the VFR Flight Following interaction a bit

 

Like some intelligence around traffic alerts. I've had more than one "...traffic at your six o'clock, report when in sight..."

 

Um...well maybe if I had a bubble canopy...

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I usually use VFR Flight Following via Default ATC (EditVoicePack) when VFR

I also do that sometimes: does that mean you automatically are allowed to go through airspaces? How would that go in real life? I can understand that if you don't use flight following you have to make contact yourself. I will see if what you say (contact ATC) is always possible in P3D. I do like the interaction with default ATC during VFR: gives you something else to do.

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Hi Jeroen,

 

For VFR - you have to look at the charts for area you are flying - while most countries have similar rules - MS probably treats them all the same... In the US - only Class Bravo requires "permission" to enter the airspace when VFR - you need to hear the words "cleared into the bravo" - they are the biggest commercial airports KJFK, KEWR, KLGA, KDCA, KBOS and their airspace normally extends up to around 10,000 feet... Class C and Class D only require that 2-Way radio communication be established with ATC to enter their airspace - these means you just need them to acknowledge your call sign... On Class C Airports - KMHT, KALB, KORF, KABE there is usually a note on the sectional to establish communications with ATC if traveling within 20 NM of the respective airport - even though there is no ring on the chart - these airports have a much lower ceiling and only extend up to around 4,000 feet... Class D's are the smallest controlled airports KPOU, KRDG, KSWF and you just need to contact them just prior to crossing their airspace boundary - they usually only extend up around 2,500 feet above the airport... So if you fly above there ceiling there is no need to speak with them...

 

When VFR - you would need to make sure you follow the communication requirements for the given airspace or you could get into some serious trouble...

 

Hope this helps... For me it would be kind of boring flying around without obeying the various rules... I strive for the most realistic experience I can obtain from the sim...

 

Regards,
Scott

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Hi Jeroen,

 

I've never heard it denied ( only Bravo can deny in real life )...

 

I've been denied to class D  several times ... Just saying

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Hope this helps...

Sure does! Thanks for the airspace tutorial! Much appreciated. I will give it all a try the coming days and see if this is something to keep paying attention to or not. :wink:

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airspace can be simulated very well in the sim. But not easily :(

Default scenery bgls contain all the definitions.

 

I've stripped out all the UK old 2006 data from the default files and built my own spreadsheet that automatically creates correct airspace xml code from the current UKAIP data. Then it just needs conpiling through the P3D sdk.

 

The default plus any ATC addons (I use voxatc) use it quite effectively most of the time.

 

Unfortunately there are no user friendly utilities that will update airspace boundaries :(

Happy to share my work on the UK by PM if anyone wants to look at it...

 

Cheers K

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Thanks for the pdf, Scott! And I think I'll pass on giving your method a try, Kevin. ;) I fly in FTX Norway btw: I wonder if Orbx did work on the airspace or if that it's all default?

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I dont know that orbx do airspace definitions Jeroen. Would be a nice plus if they did, but the architecture of the core default files doesnt make it easy to support, so I suppose the answer is no :(

Who knows, maybe I'll look at Norway someday... when my family is grown up and my wreck of a house is repaired :P Cheers K

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For visualising airspace have a look at this, from 13 minutes on:

 

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You can visualize each airspace from FSX/P3D without any other tools in VfrFlight.

 

Here is the video:

 

 

I am working to include this in Vertical Profile, along the route.

 

Z5saYXL.jpg

 

As you can see, you can plan your route to fly below some restricted airspaces.

 

Although, it is more useful in real world flying. For example, in Poland for violating restricted airspace without clearance, you can go to 5 years to prison. Well, this is a 'dead law', usually its unintentional and ends up with admonition, but well... My instructors always said to me - remember, you can be the first one ...

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P3D stock ATC handling airspaces in a funny way. In real life you do not have to ask permission to enter class Charlie airspace (by FAA rules) all you have to do is established a two way communication. The only airspace you must get explicit clearance is class Bravo( given that  you are on VFR flight plan).

 

Also In a beautiful world of airspaces there are  special use airspaces that not included in the sim. For example you don't have to call controlling agency and get clearance to fly restricted airspaces :)

 

 

 I don't see any reason to bother with airspaces in the sim really. There is instrument rating in real life that make pilot life easier. Just file a IFR flight plan and don't worry about airspaces no more. If you don't get cleared, you wont have a chance to bust it :)


IMC ?

Don't really see how IMC can affect the fact that pilot may not be cleared to particular airspace.

 

I've been denied to enter class Delta on few occasions when ATC was overwhelmed with traffic flow. I was asked to stay outside class D and call back in XX minutes. On one occasion airport was closed due to to accident so Delta was denied for all airplanes disregard if they were on VFR or IFR flight planes.

 

There are also TFR (temporary flight restriction)  that pop up like mushrooms and can deprive pilot to fly anywhere at anytime unless the follow particular TFR rules..

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You can visualize each airspace from FSX/P3D without any other tools in VfrFlight.

 

That looks pretty cool - I had not heard of VrfFlight. Is is possible to overlay the maps on the 3D projection?

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 I don't see any reason to bother with airspaces in the sim really. There is instrument rating in real life that make pilot life easier. Just file a IFR flight plan and don't worry about airspaces no more. If you don't get cleared, you wont have a chance to bust it :)

 

I don't now how it is done in the US, but in EU you can do it even with VFR (well, sort of). You can check in to a Flight Information Service, which is not mandatory for VFR, but if you tell them your plans, they would inform you if there are some restricted airspaces ahead.

 

I just wrote 'sort of' before, because it is not a good habit. This should be part of your preparation before flight.

 

That looks pretty cool - I had not heard of VrfFlight. Is is possible to overlay the maps on the 3D projection?

 

Not yet. But I like this idea :) I will research how much work it would take.

 

Thanks.

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Voxatc has a cool uk expansion pack which conforms to CAP413, the CAA radio telephony manual. With that it also does FIS, also unique things like MATZ penetrations. Airspace can get very real and very interesting, IF its coded right and used right, with the right addons ;)

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