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enchantedloom

Phantom unicom strikes again

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I hate to say it, but I still (in 2.0.0.13) can't usually contact tower without somebody claiming to be Unicom answering instead and then understandably refusing to issue clearances. Maybe I notice them more because I fly charter in FSEconomy instead of zooming from hub to hub in a 737. It isn't all airports but it's very common in small to medium towered airports in the US (picking a few codes at random it was true for KSBP, KGCN, KSPS, KTLH, but not KPSP).

 

The crucial factor is whether the AFD lists them as having a CTAF frequency for when the tower is closed. It's usually the same as the daytime tower freq and shows up in P2A as a second Unicom, which is perfectly reasonable. But it always trumps the tower controller (unless I'm explicitly handed off). I call tower and get back "Beech 4AL, this is Unicom, go ahead", except I can't go ahead because they won't respond any further.

 

Could you maybe put in a check to see whether there's a Unicom frequency that matches the tower and make sure tower is always trumps (Trump Tower!)?

 

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Actually,  that's exactly the fix I coded in.  I'll have to see why it's not working.

Thanks for the report.

Dave


I just went to each of the listed problem airports and did the following:

1) Looked up the Tower frequency in the Freq window to the right of  the map

2) Either selected it directly from that window or keyed it into the Radio Freq window using the keyboard

3) Said: "Tower, Eclipse One Victor Bravo"

4) Got the response "Eclipse One Victor Bravo, This is Tower, go ahead."

 

What are you doing to get the error.  Perhaps there's a "hole" in my program logic that is letting you get the wrong controller.

 

Thanks,

Dave

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Well that's weird! Maybe the hole is in my head!

 

Last night I started by repeating the previous loop from KFLG to KGCN. I filed a VFR flight plan, contacted ground for flight following and then again for taxi, and was successfully handed off to tower at the hold point (yay!). It always seems to work if I get explicitly handed off. I flew to GCN, switching to a center controller when asked. Center didn't give me a handoff to tower by the time I was entering class D so I canceled flight following. Then I called tower and got "this is Unicom, go ahead."

 

My memory's failing me now, so maybe you should ignore me while I try again and keep a transcript! Nothing went right yesterday.

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A transcript would be helpful.  Could be just a slightly different phrase would get the right response.

 

Also, you may need to make your Tower radius setting larger so you get transferred sooner.  P2A does not have awareness of the various airspace boundaries, so setting the Tower Radius to a higher number will get you the handoff in time.

 

Dave

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"Tower, Beech Four Alpha Lima" should work if that's your call sign.   Then you should get back, "Beech Four Alpha Lima, this is Tower, go ahead"   Of course, you can also make a request or any number of other phrases, but for testing, just this initial call should do it.

 

Dave

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Today was SO CLOSE! I don't know why but things went better in general and I got some messages I've not seen before, as if the program (or I) had a better grip on things. The only thing I changed was to increase the tower radius to 10nm, although it didn't really help in the end. Here are some transcripts FYI:

 

First I screwed up completely by forgetting to file the flight plan, but I'll include it anyway because perhaps it should still have worked. 

 

Simulator Connected
Recognition Engine Installed
Grammars Loaded
 Pilatus [two one] Four Alpha Lima Ready to Taxi; 
State Change to: TaxiOut
Pilatus Four Alpha Lima Taxi to Runway Zero Three Via Taxiways Alpha,  Hold Short Runway Zero Three
 Taxi to Runway Zero Three via Taxiways Alpha Hold Short Runway Zero Three Four Alpha Lima; 
 Tower Pilatus Four Alpha Lima Ready for Depature Runways Three; 
 Tower Pilatus Four Alpha Lima; 
Pilatus Four Alpha Lima This is UNICOM go ahead. 
 
Back to the ramp and started again. I aborted the second attempt too, although that time I did manage to trigger a state change and got successfully handed off from ground to tower at the runway. So here is attempt three, direct KFLG to KGCN without radar service. I was so shocked when tower answered me in the air that I fluffed my pattern entry! But it all kept on working:
 
NextWpt: TOD
 Ground Pilatus Four Alpha Lima Ready to Taxi; 
State Change to: TaxiOut
Pilatus Four Alpha Lima Taxi to Runway Zero Three Via Taxiways Alpha,  Hold Short Runway Zero Three
 Taxi to Runway Zero Three via Taxiway Alpha Hold Short Runway Zero Three;  Pilatus Four Alpha Lima; 
 Tower Pilatus Four Alpha Lima Ready for Departure; 
State Change to: TakeoffVFR
Pilatus Four Alpha Lima Whinds are light and variable  Cleared for takeoff, Runway Zero Three
 Clear for Takeoff Runway Zero Three Pilatus Four Alpha Lima; 
State Change to: DepartureVFR
Pilatus Four Alpha Lima have a nice day , frequency change approved. 
 Frequency Change Approved have a nice day South of Four Alpha Lima; 
Four Alpha Lima. Frequency change approved. Report when back on Frequency 
 Four Alpha Lima Roger; 
NextWpt: GRAND CANYON/NATIONAL PARK
 Tower Pilatus Four Alpha Lima; 
Pilatus Four Alpha Lima This is Tower go ahead. 
 Pilatus Four Alpha Lima is Eight Miles Southeast Inbound to Landing; 
State Change to: VFRArrival
[woo-hoo!!!!]
Pilatus Four Alpha Lima Radar Contact.   Enter pattern on  a LEFT forty five to downwind  for Runway Two One Altimeter is Two Niner Eight Two
 enter Left Downwind for Runway Two One thanks Four Alpha Lima; 
 Left Downwind for Runway Two One Pilatus Four Alpha Lima; 
Pilatus Four Alpha Lima  Call turning final for Runway Two One
 Pilatus Four Alpha Lima Wilco Final; 
 Tower Pilatus Four Alpha Lima is on Final for Runway Two One; 
State Change to: ClearedToLand
Pilatus Four Alpha Lima Roger  Whinds are Two Zero Zero at Eight knots  Cleared to Land Runway Two One
 Cleared to Land Runway Two One Pilatus Four Alpha Lima; 
State Change to: LandingRoll
Pilatus Four Alpha Lima exit runway when able. 
 Taxi Runway One Unable Pilatus Four Alpha Lima; 
 Pilatus Four Alpha Lima is clear of Runway Two One; 
Pilatus Four Alpha LimaWelcome to GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK contact ground on One Two One Point Niner,  have a good afternoon 
 Contact Ground One Two One Point Niner Pilatus Four Alpha Lima; 
 Ground Pilatus Four Alpha Lima Request Taxi to Parking; 
State Change to: TaxiIn
Pilatus Four Alpha Lima Taxi to  General Aviation Parking  Via Taxiways Charlie,  Hold Short Runway Two One
{At this point P2A threw an exception - possibly because I accidentally stepped on the controller mid-message}
 
Now the return trip with flight following. It went really well until about 3 miles out. I didn't get a handoff from center so I just tried to contact tower. Unfortunately I didn't think to cancel FF or request a frequency change, but they haven't helped in the past. Either way it all went rapidly downhill at that point:
 
Simulator Connected
Recognition Engine Installed
Grammars Loaded
NextWpt: TOD
 Ground Beech Four Alpha Lima; 
Beech Four Alpha Lima This is Ground go ahead. 
 Beech Four Alpha Lima request VFR Traffic Advisories Two Kilo Foxtrot Lima Gulf At One One Thousand Five Hundred Feet; 
NextWpt: TOD
State Change to: FlightPlanDelivered
Beech Four Alpha Lima Cleared VFR to Two Kilo Foxtrot Lima Gulf with radar advisory service at , One One Thousand , Five Hundred feet .  Squawk Four Zero Three Five advise of altitude changes en-route. 
 Cleared VFR to Kilo Foxtrot Lima Gulf;  At One One Thousand Five Hundred Feet Squawk Four Zero Three Five Beech Four Alpha Lima; 
Beech Four Alpha Lima Readback Correct.  Expect runway Two OneAdvise when ready to taxi. 
 Ground Beech Four Alpha Lima is ready to Taxi; 
State Change to: TaxiOut
Beech Four Alpha Lima Taxi to Runway Two One Via Taxiways Alpha,  Hold Short Runway Two One
State Change to: AtDepartureRunway
Beech Four Alpha Lima Contact Tower on One One Niner point zero ,  have a good afternoon 
 Tower on One One Niner Point Zero good afternoon Beech Four Alpha Lima; 
 Tower Beech Four Alpha Lima Ready for Departure Runway Two One; 
State Change to: TakeoffVFR
Beech Four Alpha Lima Whinds are light and variable  Altimeter is Two Niner Eight Two Cleared for takeoff, Runway Two One
 Clear for Takeoff Runway Two One Beech Four Alpha Lima; 
State Change to: DepartureVFRFlightFollowing
Beech Four Alpha Lima Contact Center on One Two Four Point Eight Five,  have a nice day 
 Center on One Two Four Point Eight Five Beech Four Alpha Lima goodday and; 
 Center Beech Four Alpha Lima Is Level At One One Thousand Five Hundred is; 
State Change to: EnRouteVFRFlightFollow
Beech Four Alpha Lima  good afternoon .  Radar Contact. 
[Eventually I couldn't maintain VFR so I advised a change in altitude]
 Center Beech Four Alpha Lima; 
Beech Four Alpha Lima This is Center go ahead. 
 Descending to Niner Thousand Five Hundred Beech Four Alpha Lima; 
 Beech Four Alpha Lima Request Descent to Niner Thousand Five Hundred; 
Beech Four Alpha Lima Roger, Thanks for the update. 
NextWpt: FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM
 FLAGSTAFF Tower Beech Four Alpha Lima; 
Beech Four Alpha Lima This is UNICOM go ahead. 
 Tower Beech Four Alpha Lima; 
Beech Four Alpha Lima This is UNICOM go ahead. 
 Center Beech Four Alpha Lima; 
Beech Four Alpha Lima This is Center go ahead. 
 Beech Four Alpha Lima Cancel Flight Following; 
 Beech Four Alpha Lima Would like to Cancel Flight Following; 
NextWpt: FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM
NextWpt: FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM
NextWpt: FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM
NextWpt: FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM
NextWpt: FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM
NextWpt: FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM
 FLAGSTAFF Tower Beech Four Alpha Lima; 
Beech Four Alpha Lima This is UNICOM go ahead. 
NextWpt: FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM
NextWpt: FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM
NextWpt: FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM
NextWpt: FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM
NextWpt: FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM
NextWpt: FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM
NextWpt: FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM
NextWpt: FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM
NextWpt: FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM
NextWpt: FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM
NextWpt: FLAGSTAFF PULLIAM
 
...and then I landed heavy! :-)
 
 
 
 

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Well, it's getting closer.

On the second flight, you should have been handed over to tower from ground when you reached the runway hold point.  If you don't get handed over, and this would apply to the third flight from center to tower, say something like:

 

"Beech Four Alpha Lima request frequency change to Tower" ["at Kilo Foxtrot Gulf Sierra"] if not on the ground.

 

I will recheck the logic because it is supposed to give you a tower controller if that frequency is associated with both tower and UNICOM.

 

Thanks for the update,

Dave

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