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J van E

ProATC/X problem

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Yes, I know they have a forum of their own but after spending 10 minutes to re-register I found out I didn't have access to ANY of the support forums so that's why I am asking this here...

 

I started using ProATC/X again (after a few years of not using it) in P3D v3.1 and I like it but I keep on running into the same problem: whenever I pass the last waypoint of a STAR before the first waypoint of the approach ATC clears me back to that previous waypoint and I end up flying in circles around it. This has happened on all my last flights (3). Anyone has an idea what might be the problem?

 

Example:

 

I was assigned the RANUM STAR:

https://www.ippc.no/norway_aip/current/aip/ad/enbo/EN_AD_2_ENBO_4-11_en.pdf?cachebust0615

After passing GISDO and flying towards the assigned OSLIP IAF:

https://www.ippc.no/norway_aip/current/aip/ad/enbo/EN_AD_2_ENBO_5-1_en.pdf?cachebust0615

I was cleared to GISDO again. I was vectored there using HDG and it kept on clearing me towards it even after passing it a few times.

 

I'd like to solve this problem because so far I do like ProATC/X, even though it doesn't do VFR. I specially like the unobstrusive interface (no huge panels on screen like Pilot2ATC) and full support for AIRAC (unlike PF3). Somehow P2A v2 still attracts me although it's a shame it doesn't interact with AI. ProATC/X doesn't do that often but it does do it. ProATC can also automatically plan the correct SID and STAR based on ASN weather: in P2A you have to plan things yourself and it can only use real time weather from another source. I probably will try the P2A v2 demo whenever it will be available because it can do VFR.

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ProATC sometimes does that. I've noticed it also. Sometimes it's a fault in the correct order of waypoints, but sometimes the reason is not clear (at least not to me). I guess you know this already, but you can bypass this by asking ATC a direct-to clearance to the next waypoint. It's not a real solution, but al least you can continue your flight.

Als je het nog niet wist, probeer het maar eens Jeroen.

 

regards,
Jan

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Ah, clever about that direct to: didn't think of that.

 

Dat ga ik zeker proberen, Jan! ;)

 

BTW I am surprised how easy it was to get into ProATC. Of course I used it before but that was years ago. It certainly doesn't seem to be a complicated ATC addon (unlike others). Easy to use and I am flying with procedures and all within no time, really! Works even faster (a lot faster!) then setting up a flight with Plan-G and then figuring out the procedures myself using charts online and the GTN 750.

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I agree. One weak point of ProATC is the planning of trans-atlantic flights. I doesn't know NAT's and it just generates a whole bunch of waypoints across the Atlantic.

When flying trans-atlantic, I always use PFPX (with actual NAT's) and then import it into ProATC, but quite often it still doesn't recognise the NAT-route and generates it's own route across the Pond, sometimes in one go from coast to coast. In that case I have to add the NAT-route manually.

Otherwise: it's indeed a great ATC tool!

 

regards,

Jan

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import it into ProATC, but quite often it still doesn't recognise the NAT-route and generates it's own route across the Pond, sometimes in one go from coast to coast. In that case I have to add the NAT-route manually.

 

ProATC uses a different route naming for coordinate waypoints, than PFPX (more info on the support forum). If you enter they waypoints in ProATC compatible format (and don't let ProATC to autocalculate) the route, you should be fine.

 

Other option would be to export SquwkBox3 format out of PFPX and then import it into ProATC. If you do so, please double check the resulting ProATC flight plan, because sometimes PFPX adds departure and arrival waypoints, that shouldn't be in the plan (this is the reason why I import all of my routes using copy/paste flight plan import).

 

---

 

As for missed waypoints. I does happen from time to time. This is why it's good to have the ProATC's moving map open during the flight. As already mentioned, requesting DCT should get you out of trouble.

Edited by Jarkko

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New buyer same problem. Happened twice here, not the third time, however.

 

I discovered myself the option "Direct to" as a workaround, but got a "Negative".
It would be nice if there were an option to simply update the active waypoint manually in such cases, but there is not or I was unable to find it so far.

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If you get "negative" as a reply, you are already on the arrival or approach phase of the flight (where ProATC will deny DCT requests). If it happens too often, please post a log on the forum. There usually has been a good explanation what has caused the missed waypoint (I usually get a missed waypoint once every 80 flight or so => about once a year).

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You have to look at the log to see what happened. My suggestion is to register at their forum, post the problem, along with the log of the flight you are having a problem with and they will give you a solution. A;s as Jarkko suggested always look at your moving map as you pass a waypoint, to see if the next waypoint shows up. 

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If you get "negative" as a reply, you are already on the arrival or approach phase of the flight (where ProATC will deny DCT requests). If it happens too often, please post a log on the forum. There usually has been a good explanation what has caused the missed waypoint (I usually get a missed waypoint once every 80 flight or so => about once a year).

 

Yes, that is true. I tested PRO-ATC/X on a short flight. I lost a waypoint and when I asked for a direct I was already on the arrival phase.

I will try this again on a longer flight. Thanks for your input.

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Yes, that is true. I tested PRO-ATC/X on a short flight. I lost a waypoint and when I asked for a direct I was already on the arrival phase.

I will try this again on a longer flight. Thanks for your input.

 

You will get  a negative if you are too close to the next waypoint that you want to go to. I have asked for and received direct to's after entering the star, many times. 

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ProATC uses a different route naming for coordinate waypoints, than PFPX

 

I assume that's on the list of bugs to be fixed? After all, it is a specific format selection in PFPX. They should surely match! (And of course both should abide by normal rules for ICAO Flight Plans)

 

Pete

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You will get  a negative if you are too close to the next waypoint that you want to go to. I have asked for and received direct to's after entering the star, many times. 

 

Yes, this is exactly what happened. As I said, it was a short flight I made for test. I bought the product two days ago and tested no more than 3 times so far. I am positevely impressed, though.

So you are telling me that in general when I ask for a direct, I get it, unless I am on the Arrival or Approach step, is it correct?

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I assume that's on the list of bugs to be fixed? After all, it is a specific format selection in PFPX. They should surely match! (And of course both should abide by normal rules for ICAO Flight Plans)

 

Pete

Hello Pete,

 

Unfortunately Jan hasn't stated which flightplan format he tried to import, PRO-ATC/X imports FSX plans generated by PFPX without issue including the NAT waypoints it is not however aware of the active NAT tracks.

 

EDIT:

 

Squawkbox plans do not contain NAT waypoints, only the track designator which PATC cannot interpret

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Unfortunately Jan hasn't stated which flightplan format he tried to import, PRO-ATC/X imports FSX and Squawkbox plans generated by PFPX without issue including the NAT waypoints it is not however aware of the active NAT tracks.

 

Thanks for correcting me!

 

I meant to say: about copy/paste import NAT track waypoint from other sources than PFPX (I know I said PFPX, but that was a typo). First think you need to do is add a DCT between NAT track waypoints and the ProATC's coordinate format was different than the source (I don't know which), that some of the ProATC users were using.

 

EDIT:

 

I have to search the forum for the right coordinate format, so it will be easier to give examples.

Edited by Jarkko

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Did another flight and first of all: ProATC is totally awesome when it comes to ease of use. Simply entering the departure and destination is enough to get you going: you don't even have to think about procedures because ATC will assign them to you with name and all. (You CAN already see them during the planning phase but you don't have to.) During the last flight I got unexpected direct to's twice during departure which saved me some time. That was quite nice. But the approach went wrong again. But this may also have to do with the AIRAC not being in sync with the GTN 750 database. It's a pity the latter doesn't support Navigraph: I will have to wait until I can get a hold on the right database upgrade to match whavever Navigraph cycle I can get. In the end I closed ProATX and simply flew the assigned ILS myself. ProATC also was way too late with the TOD: I ended up some 4000 feet too high at a certain moment and had to dive down with 2000 f/m to make the assigned altitude at the last waypoint of the STAR. Seems like it doesn't read the f/m I set up in my Legacy profile...?

 

But well, there is more than enough to like about ProATC: as I said I like the very mimimal interface. You can interact with ATC simply by pressing numbers and without using a popup screen or panel (unless you want to ask something specific). And creating the flightplan has never been easier. Since I already own this one I might as well forget about the others.

 

Think I will buy the latest Navigraph AIRAC cycle now (1602) and hopefully I will get a hold on the same cycle for the GTN 750 soon: that might solve various problems I am having now.

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Did another flight and first of all: ProATC is totally awesome when it comes to ease of use. Simply entering the departure and destination is enough to get you going: you don't even have to think about procedures because ATC will assign them to you with name and all. (You CAN already see them during the planning phase but you don't have to.) During the last flight I got unexpected direct to's twice during departure which saved me some time. That was quite nice. But the approach went wrong again. But this may also have to do with the AIRAC not being in sync with the GTN 750 database. It's a pity the latter doesn't support Navigraph: I will have to wait until I can get a hold on the right database upgrade to match whavever Navigraph cycle I can get. In the end I closed ProATX and simply flew the assigned ILS myself. ProATC also was way too late with the TOD: I ended up some 4000 feet too high at a certain moment and had to dive down with 2000 f/m to make the assigned altitude at the last waypoint of the STAR. Seems like it doesn't read the f/m I set up in my Legacy profile...?

 

But well, there is more than enough to like about ProATC: as I said I like the very mimimal interface. You can interact with ATC simply by pressing numbers and without using a popup screen or panel (unless you want to ask something specific). And creating the flightplan has never been easier. Since I already own this one I might as well forget about the others.

 

Think I will buy the latest Navigraph AIRAC cycle now (1602) and hopefully I will get a hold on the same cycle for the GTN 750 soon: that might solve various problems I am having now.

 

Having one database in Pro ATC and another in your nav unit is like using maps with different data in them. Lot's of room for errors. 

  • Upvote 1

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I ended up some 4000 feet too high at a certain moment and had to dive down with 2000 f/m to make the assigned altitude at the last waypoint of the STAR. Seems like it doesn't read the f/m I set up in my Legacy profile...?

 

Can you please post a log on the support forum (instructions under "Requesting Support"). Your account is now active and you have full access to the forums.

 

The profile for the aircraft in ProATC's config has to be conservative. If you enter -2400fpm as average descent rate (above FL100), you will have to dive like mad.

 

As for AIRAC, it's vital that the aircraft and ATC have the same AIRAC cycle. Otherwise the option is to have the ProATC moving map open and fly in heading mode to match they waypoints in the AIRAC version imported into ProATC.

 

EDIT: I was just informed that Navigraph might not have AIRAC for the GTN750. That would be a bit of a shame really.

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Thanks for making my account active, Jarkko! I immediately posted something there because I just bought Navigraph cycle 1602 for ProATC (after yet another approach going wrong) but can't get the AIRAC alignement done because of f5.csv missing. But anyway, the next time something goes wrong I will upload that report!

 

And yes, Navigraph won't work with the GTN 750 but I have access to GTN 750 updates (I currently use AIRAC 1601 for it) and within a month I expect to have the 1602 navdata so it will sync well with the 1602 Navigraph I just bought. Hopefully that (and solving that alignement problem) will solve everything.

 

BTW I set -700 f/m in my profile for as well above as below FL100 hoping that would would take care of the TOD problem but it didn't help. Maybe I should set it to -300 or so (a very slow descent) and then maybe ProATC will set TOD sooner (at which point I will of course use -700 anyway. :wink: )

 

EDIT

Holy cow, you are too fast, Jarkko! The problem with alignement is solved already! :smile:

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I use -800fpm below FL100 and -1300fpm above FL100. It gives me a very early descent (which I prefer), when flying with the A320 or B738.

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I use -800fpm below FL100 and -1300fpm above FL100. It gives me a very early descent (which I prefer), when flying with the A320 or B738.

Jarkko,

 

Do you mean you set these descent rates manually (in-flight) or can they be set as an option in in Pro-ATC?

 

regards,

Jan Aalders

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Do you mean you set these descent rates manually (in-flight) or can they be set as an option in in Pro-ATC?

 

These are are "set and forget" values that you set for your aircraft inside ProATC before the flight (Data > Aircraft).

 

In your flight plan, you then select which aircraft you are going to use for the flight. The values stored for the aircraft are then used to calculate the TOD for the flight.

 

I have create a single generic profile to use with A320 and B738 and another when flying with the MD-11.

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Jarkko,

 

Do you mean you set these descent rates manually (in-flight) or can they be set as an option in in Pro-ATC?

 

regards,

Jan Aalders

 

He most likely means going into the data menu in Pro ATC and aircraft. Pick the aircraft you are using, and edit aircraft and you can change things like descent rate, length of runway required etc. Then hit save. 

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Tried another flight and this time it failed completely because the ProATC database and the GTN 750 database won't work together (EDDM LOWI). Luckily this isn't a problem in Norway where I usually fly so tomorrow I will do my first flight over there with the databases being as close as possible (ProATC 1602 and GTN 750 1601). You would presume the differences won't be too big... but I might be wrong. It will take a few weeks before I get the GTN 750 1602 database and only then I can tell if ProATC will work with the GTN 750...

 

And btw I got my orders to descent too late again (-700 in profile) and I barely made it with -1500. I will try later numbers later on but for now it seems I simply have to descent faster (f/m) than ProATC thinks I will.

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Some AIRACs cycles have little changes between them, while other AIRAC have huge changes. For example my local airports (EFHK) SID handling got changed completely this year (or was it last year). It has very little in common with the old version (and the change was not for the better). 

 

 

 


And btw I got my orders to descent too late again (-700 in profile) and I barely made it with -1500. I will try later numbers later on but for now it seems I simply have to descent faster (f/m) than ProATC thinks I will.

 

Those values are not exact (I personally use half of the value, that I see the aircraft's automation use).

 

Maybe better value over descent rate (feet per minute) would be angle of descent, but we will see if the name of the options will stay the same or change. The reason is, that the required descent rate is dependent on your ground speed. You have to vary your rate of descent (fpm) as your ground speed changes. 

Edited by Jarkko

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Well, I couldn't wait until tomorrow so I did a flight in my beloved Norway with my updated ProATC AIRAC 1602 and the GTN 750 at 1601. As was my experience up to now those databases don't give any problem over there, unlike with LOWI.

 

I am very happy to say that this flight went perfectly well from A to Z! No more missed waypointsL I closely watched what happened around the last waypoint of the route before the approach and all went well also (I think) because I made sure I was at the correct altitude at that time. (I left -700 ft p/m in the profile but actually used -1500 ft p/m and that worked well.) Could well be that previous problems were due to me still flying too high (and the AIRACs being to far apart). Just before that last waypoint I got cleared for the approach. Perfect. BTW At the start I asked for a direct to because the SID was pretty long and that worked like a charm too.

 

Few odd things though:

 

1. I got cleared for the ILS while the airport doesn't have an ILS and I was assigned an RNAV approach. I even got a ILS frequency from ATC...?!

 

2. ProATC didn't assign/select a transition for the approach but directed my to the middle IAF which would have brought me in a way too sharp angle to do the approach well... so I looked at the charts and choose my own approach transition. When I was flying towards it ATC nagged me once about having to change my heading (because I wasn't flying towards their IAF) but by that time I almost started to turn into that one again so it went well after all anyway. I notice ProATC quite often doesn't select approach transitions. I wonder why. Of course I can add them myself but I like it how I get surprised by ATC... :wink: During the planning I never look at the selected SID and STAR etc. but I click at the calculate button and only note the main waypoints when I have started the flight (in the bottom left corner of the screen).

 

3. As soon as I was cleared to intercept the approach I wasn't given altitude instructions anymore so I decided to descent as I saw fit. At that time I actually should have been descending already but I managed to do it anyway.

 

4. The official charts told me it was a LNAV approach but to my surprise the GTN 750 showed and LNAV+V approach. I don't understand where those differences come from...

 

Anyway, despite these little things all went well. I really like how I don't have to think and look about SID and STAR and approaches and how ATC assigns them all to me (I love that 'surprise'). Works very well and mighty quick: as I said before, I am up and running, well, flying, in no time. Much faster than when I used Plan-G and the GTN 750 planner to figure out SID and STAR etc.

 

I used to fly sort of VFR with procedures, which I followed just for fun, but it is a lot more fun flying IFR with proper ATC controlling me! It's also great that ProATX reads the ASN historic weather without any problems! Hopefully regular VFR support will be added in the future as well as better voices. (They are nice and better than PF3 but far from perfect, although the quality is extremely different between voices. The P2A voices are great but 1. a bit too perfect and 2. there aren't many and they are way too expensive to buy. For now I will stick with ProATC for sure!)

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