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roland_lfor

VFR P2A rules vs real life

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Hi,

 

I experiment some VFR flights with P2A, and I would like to point out some differences observed with real life rules.

 

Please notice I speak here about French regulation rules (maybe the same in Europe - not sure).

 

  • Allowed VFR flight levels above 4000 ft AGL, are always set with a 500 ft end to separate them from IFR FL's: 4500, 5500, 6500 and so on. It's not possible to set such altitudes in P2A FP
  • Once Tower gives me the clearance for takoff, he requests also a new Squawk code. In real life I must keep my "7000" VFR Squawk code. A different Squawk is given to a VFR only by an ATC Center IF you request a flight following. Then as soon as you leave the ATC center flight following you have to set back "7000".
  • At the same time I can see in the P2A log: State Change to: DepartureIFR. Is it normal for a VFR fight?
  • As I was closer to my destination airport, Center gave me instructions to fly a STAR and transition(!)

 

More generally, it seems that it's not possible to use P2A in VFR rules without creation of a flight plan. I don't know in the US but in France, it's very unusual to open a FP for VFR flights:

  • Pilot contact the Ground or tower to get a taxi/takeoff clearance
  • Eventually during his flight he may contact a Center to get a flight following
  • He may request controlled area crossing clearance from Approach ATC
  • Pilot contact its destination tower to enter landing circuit and get a landing clearance. He makes report for rear wind, base and final steps

So would it be possible to allow this, to make VFR flight totally free(without planned FP) and get closer to real life?

 

Thanks

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Roland,

It appears you filed an IFR flight plan. That would cause most of the issue you report.

 

To get the VFR rules, just check the VFR option at the top left of the flight plan.  You will be forced to use VFR altitudes.  If not, you are forced to use IFR altitudes.

 

Generally, the assumption is if you don't have a flight plan, you are flying VFR.  So yes, you can fly without a flight plan and the Squawk codes given, if any, should be VFR and the rules applied will be VFR. ( Note: The term down wind is used rather than rear wind.  Check the grammar helper / SayIT Pattern phrases to see them all.)

 

The general rule is that you fly without a flight plan if you are staying in the local area (within about 25NM of the departure airport).  If you are going cross-country, best practice is to file a flight plan so that if you don't arrive at the destination, the authorities will know about it and start looking for your wreckage along your filed flight path.  But of course, a flight plan VFR is pretty much never required. 

 

All that said, VFR flights is an area where I hope to devote more effort in the near future.  There are still some things that need fixing or adding to make the experience totally realistic. 

 

Thanks for your comments.

Dave

  • Upvote 1

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Dave, thanks for your answers,

 

However I've double checked that the "VFR" option was set before I filed departure and destination airports in FP, then validate and filled. Also First contact with center has been made requesting a VFR following.

 

For those reasons I have created this thread of course.

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I'll see if there is a bug.  Can you save and send me the flight plan you were using, please.  admin at pilot2atc

 

Thanks,

Dave

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Related to this topic, but now speaking of American rules: In general, the procedure for contacting a controller is to tune to the proper frequency, Say the name of the controller (ie. Milwaukee Approach) with whom you wish to speak, then say your callsign (Piper 6229P), then your position, then what you want to do. I noticed the first step is left out of the Pilot 2 ATC rules. Any plans for future implementation? Also, If you try to contact Unicom in real life to open your flight plan, they will likely tell you to open your own damn flight plan. Also, when flying VFR, if you request to transition Charlie, or Bravo airspace, in addition to clearance (unless it is very slow) you will likely be given a squawk code. When you exit the airspace you will be asked to squawk 1200.

 

I tried this program over a year ago and decided to take a wait and see approach. It is greatly improved at this point. I have not noticed any bugs so far, but would like to see the above addressed at some point in the future. Any plans for this?

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After doing a flight in a different part of the country I found that I am able to properly address the controllers in California. (Santa Barbara Clearance Delivery, Ground, Tower, and Departure all worked) So maybe that part of the above post is a bug for the Milwaukee area. Will try again in Milwaukee to see what happens.

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If you find it doesn't work in Milwaukee area, please let me know the flight plan and controller you were talking to and what you were requesting.  It should work.

 

On the airspace transition, enhancements like you mention are a known issue.  Will take some time to get around to it.

 

Thanks,

Dave

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Hi Dave, I was using Milwaukee Approach on 126.5. I requested to Transit Charlie airspace. It seemed to confuse the program when I hailed Milwaukee Approach, but when I just said my callsign, where I was and what I wanted to do I was granted permission to Transit the airspace. I was not given a squawk code. Request to change frequency to Kenosha Tower (destination airport) was granted.

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It sometimes has trouble understanding proper names like Milwaukee.  If you just say "Approach, callsign request..." it will usually understand you.

Still working to improve this.

Dave

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