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geolpilot

Runways not selecatble if no approach in database

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I have noticed on a few occasions that Pilot2ATC is reporting an active Runway (at either departure or destination, sometimes both) that is not correct given the METAR for the airports in question (both NOAA in Pilot2ATC and ASN's weather).

Provided one has set the ATC determines SID, STAR and APPROACH config. options off, one can, in some cases overide this. In certain instances one cannot (see later), and this also means that leaving the STAR and APPROACH selection up to ATC leads to problems - being assigned an approach that is downwind for a tailwind landing that in some cases may be minor tailwind that one can accept, at other times is dangerous. In both cases this leaves one coming headon at approcah into AI traffic.

One case I have experienced where one cannot overide the runway selection, even on departure, is FALA (Lanseria International, South Africa). The navigational database (both the one PIlot2ATC is using and the Navigraph data I have of the same date that I am using till Navigraph supports Pilot2ATC), only has an approach for RW07 (no STAR). Confirmed also on the approach chart for FALA. RW 25 appears to be a purely visual take-off and landing runway. So it seems that, since there are no SIDs at FALA, and RW25 has no defined approach RW25 is, to all intents and purposes, invisible to Pilot2ATC. No problem on departure, as I have found that even after being told to expect taxi to RW07 (with westerly winds), if I ask for taxi to RW25 I am given that, and after contacting tower I am cleared for take-off RW25.

But coming in to land is another matter. I cannot manually select RW25, and on those flights where I have left approach and RW selection up to ATC, I only get the RNAV into RW07, despite westerly winds. I suspect in the real world, RW25 would be a visual approach if not IMC (straight in, or pattern entry), or one can use the LIV VOR (positioned at the end of RW25) for an instrument approach, but with higher mimimums. Else divert. But none of these options are available in Pilot2ATC.

Another example is FVBU (Joshua Nkomo, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe). RW 13 has defined approachws (ILS, LOC and VOR). RW 31 has none, so with winds from the NW one is stuck (cannot manually select RW31, or allow ATC to select, as it will take the only RW it knows of, RW13).

 

Maybe in more developed parts of the world one does not encounter this problem. Sorry for the "Darkest Africa" examples, but I think many simmers fly these regions, and it would help to cater for these situations.

Would it not be possible to allow an overide of RW selection to handle such cases. So when one opens the APPR window, and selects a RW other than what Pilot2ATC has determined as the active, that user-selected RW actually gets selected (at the moment it does but only if the NAV database has a defined approach for it). If Pilot2ATC cannot find an approach in the database for the selected RW, the "Approaches" dropdown gets populated with four selectable, fallback options;

  •  "Straight in Approach"
  • "VFR Pattern Approach",
  • "Non Procedural VOR Approach", or
  • "Overhead Approach", the latter catering for NDB overhead and procedure turns.

 

That way one should have full control over the approach selection to handle all wind scenarios.

Another case where this will be useful is at smaller airports and fields that do not report METAR, so that NOAA and Pilot2ATC simply have no weather information. Programs like ASN/AS16 interpolate weather at such fields, so the simmer has weather info available on which to make a suitable RW selection. In "No Weather" available situations, Pilot2ATC simply seems to select the SIM "default" RW if there are no defined SIDs or Approaches for the into-wind runway, so that one is presently stuck with the default RW selected.

 

Rob

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Rob,

Thanks for the report.

If you have the "Force Pilot Runway Selection" option checked, then you should be able to verbally request approaches to any runway in the database, regardless of whether or not they have an IFR approach.  Of course, if the runway has no IFR approaches, then you'll be limited to the VFR approach types of "VFR Pattern", "Overhead Pattern"(This is the military pattern with a "pitch out" at mid field), or "Visual Straight-In".

 

This is, however, not covered by SayIt, so some variant of your suggestion will help when using SayIt.  I've added it to the list of enhancements for a future version.

 

Thanks,

Dave

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