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ianstoop

Problems regarding VFR Clearance and Flight Followings

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Hi Dave,

 

Over the weekend i had some time and decided to upgrade to v 2201 and give it a bit of a go. Most unfortunately, i came across a few problems.

 

I planned a quick VFR flight (85nm) from San Carlos (KSQL) to Santa Rosa (KSTS). The route as follows: KSQL to Woodside VOR (OSI), then to SEEMS intersection following v25 to POINT REYES VOR (PYE) and then direct to KSTS. I validated and filed the flight plan and got going.

 

To do things a bit differently, i decided to get VFR clearance form the ground controller at KSQL (it seemed to be the most appropriate thing to do). After I obtained VFR clearance, i requested to taxi to runway 30. Just before i got the 30 holding point i was instructed to call tower which i did... Anyway, i received my takeoff clearance and got underway climbing to 4500ft and tracking the 180 degree radial to OSI.

 

Once overhead OSI, i started heading to SEEMS intersection and soon after received the instruction from KSQL tower to contact center on 127.45 (this was not the departure frequency i was given during the VFR clearance, though not a huge problem at all). I tuned the radio and checked in, informing the center controller that i was at 3400 climbing to 4500 and the response was as follows "Cessna Niner Whiskey Siera   good afternoon .  Radar Contact.  Contact OAKLAND ARTCC APPROACH on One Two Seven Point Eight,  have a good afternoon". So, i called up Oakland App on 127.8 (which by the way is the KSTS approach frequency) and checked in, but then it got real interesting... The approach controller, after having informed me that he's got me on radar, told me to "Expect runway Three Zero" (KSTS doesn't have a runway 30) and to "Contact Tower on One One Eight Point Five" (which is the tower frequency at KSTS). It should be noted that at this stage i was still well ove 70nm from KSTS.

 

Thinking that i messed something up, i tried the flight again and got the exact same thing (three times). I also tried a VFR flight from KSTS to KSQL (via PYE direct to OSI) and the same thing happened. I got a VFR clearance from KSTS ground, taxied to runway 20, got takeoff clearance and got airborne. While routing towards PYE, i was told to contact center on 132.2 which i did. Center immediately told me to call "NORCAL APPROACH on One Three Three Point Niner Five" (the approach frequency at KSQL). Once i tuned into 133.95 and checked in, the controller once again instructed me, while still 75nm form KSQL, to "Expect runway Two Zero" (which KSQL doesn't have, but which is the runway at KSTS from which i took off) and to "Contact Tower on One One Niner point zero" (KSQL tower).

 

I even tried the KSTS to KSQL flight (as described above) without getting a VFR clearace from the ground controller, but rather a flight following from tower once airborne . This too had the exact same consequence as alluded to above. 

 

I also notice that when validatig and filing a VFR flight plan, I no longer get the TOD waypoint. I dont know whether or not this is normal.

 

If you could please look into this problem it would be appreciated. Regardless of how much i love this amazing piece of software, being handed over to the destiation tower while still 70 plus miles out kinda kills the realism, esspecially if you are told to expect a runway which the destination airport doesnt have... Overall, i can say that i am amazed at how much P2A has improved since i first started using it. Just shows that your hard work is not in vain, I appreciate it!!!

 

Regards, 

 

Ian

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Ian,

Thanks for the report.  To answer the easy question first, no TOD is calculated for VFR flights.  This is changed in the most recent update to avoid some problems that were happening on many VFR flight plans.

 

I suspect the other problems may be related to your ATC Settings for Controller radii.  Try setting them to: Tower-3, Departure-8, Approach 15-20, and Center 30 or 40, depending on the speed of your aircraft.  If you have Approach set to say 80, and your total flight is 66 NM as in this case, then as soon as you take off, you are within the approach radius.  So Departure is skipped, you get Center right away, and Center immediately passes you to Approach, which sounds like what happened.

 

Thanks again,

Dave

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Dave

 

As always, thanks for the prompt response.

 

Alas, i doubt whether the Controller Radius setting is the problem here. When it first happened i immediately checked as i also thought that it may well be the problem. I have now double checked and the Controller Radius is set as follows: Tower = 5; Departure = 10; Approach = 20; Center = 40.

 

So, if i understand your explanation correctly (and i may well be mistaken), it would, in my case with the controller radius set up as it is,  mean that center should pass me on to the approach controller when i am approximately 20 miles from my destination, and then approach should pass me along to tower as i get closer to it (5 miles). This however is not the case. I was instructed to call approach while still a good 70 miles from my destination (with approach controller radius set at 20), and immediately upon having checked in with approach, i was told to call the tower... 

 

There is also the problem with approach informing me to expect a runway which the destination airport doesn't have. For example, when flying from KSQL to KSTS, i was told to expect runway 30, while KSTS doesn't have a runway 30, but rather 02/20 and 32/14. Runway 30 was the runway at KSQL from which i got airborne. Also, when flying from KSTS to KSQL, approach, as it instructed me to call tower, told me to expect runway 20. KSQL has runway 30/12, but not a runway 20. This is rather takeoff runway at KSTS.

 

I will nonetheless set the controller radius as you suggest and try the flight again and report back.

 

Thanks again,

 

Ian

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Ian,

Your settings should work.  I will try flying the route and see what happens to me.  Could be a bug in the clouds.

 

I did make some changes in the V2.2.0.2 that might affect this, so if you do try it again, please get that latest version.

 

Thanks,

Dave

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Okay Dave, so followed your advice and updated to v2202 and i can report that the problem persists... Tried KSTS to KSQL once again. I got a VFR clearance from ground as i did before, taxied to runway 20, and got airborne. During my climb (4.8nm from KSTS to be precise) tower told me to contact center. Upon having done this i was again immediately handed over to approach who in turn told me to expect runway 20 and to call KSQL tower.

 

Ian

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Ian,

I found a couple of bugs causing these issues.  They'll be fixed in 2.2.0.3.

 

Thanks,

Dave

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