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duckbilled

Conflicted and need help (possibly psychological)

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I've been around here for many years but have been in and out of the hobby the last couple years. I have always gravitated towards medium complexity aircraft (think QW stuff), and my big focus has been on creating an immersive environment with wonderful scenery, AI and weather. As long as the aircraft were beautiful, I was happy. RW systems were not that important to me (and still really are not, to an extent). I'm pretty busy with a kid on the way. If I want to fly, I need to get up in the air quickly (45mins). I need to let AP control things while in flight, and I can land after my wife goes to bed. 3-5 hour flights are ideal. The time consuming part seems to be the flight planning. With QW type AC, this is not a big deal because you can use the FS flight planner. Charts are not really needed because the crappy default ATC will tell you what to do. To me, this is perfect EXCEPT no one creates HQ mid-complexity aircraft anymore and I am getting a bit bored with the QW757.

 

I finally bought the NGX, because I got a Amazon gift certificate over the holidays. I never bought it myself, because I didn't think I'd get a lot of use out of it. With OPM, why not. I've done the tutorials, and I think the AC is fantastic. It performs very nicely on my system, and a 737 gives me a lot more versatility on airline/flight combos. Still, I have only flown twice in 2017. Here are my issues and I am hoping someone may help me piece this together, so I can get back in the air again:

  • I like having ATC and I don't see how I can use it when the nav data doesn't match what is installed in the sim. Every add on atc option I have heard sounds extremely robotic. VATSIM isn't really an option, because I don't have the brainspace to dedicate to learning proper procedures.
  • Getting flightplans loaded from a place like simbrief seems pretty easy, but again, I face a mismatch between nav data. While I can get the FMC data to match the simbrief data, I can't match what is in my sim. I have defunct airports installed (and I want to keep them - Kai Tak, for example) and even the current airports don't always match the airac cycle that is loaded in simbrief/fmc.

I think a workaround may be to create a flightplan in simbrief, load it into the MS flightplanner and load it into the FMC. Don't enter speeds/fl for each waypoint and follow atc instructions. Any other ideas?

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I don't understand the correlation between your topic title and the post. 

 

Nevertheless, the PMDG, along with many other complex add-ons, is not that hard.  Once you learn things, it's a breeze.  You might be learning for a long time, but this isn't your job, so don't stress.

 

As far as Navdata and ATC are concerned, here is what I do:  I do not use third party ATC.  They do sound robotic and are not that great IMO.  I use the default ATC and only call for a flight following once airborne.  It gives some interaction and mild immersion.  On approach I contact tower (30 miles out) and ask to land.  If conditions are IFR, I don't contact tower.  They will deny you landing clearance.  Just continue on and land.  Listen to Wx from the arrival airport (tune before departure/activate COM 2) to get an idea of runways active.  Also, looking at winds helps too (METARs). 

 

For Navdata, I update using Navigraph and use PFPX to create my plan/fuel.  I use Flightware for flight plans and plates.

 

Don't use ATC for "instruction".  This is pretty unrealistic.  Sure, if real life you will get vectors, but the sim's version is a ridiculous turn left and right approach and 30 miles downwind to ILS.  Plus in real life, you can request RNAV or other approaches regardless of VMC, and they'll just tell you continue on based on the plate.  IOW, the simulator ATC is so silly for instruction, it's not really worth it except for sound.  It has no regard for DPs, STARs, or even realistic vertical profiles.  You are better off managing this yourself.  So since that's the best way to replicate real world procedure, it helps to have navdata up to date.

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I would argue with the fact that all 3rd party ATC is "robotic".  I know for a fact that ProATCx is real voice based on the videos I've seen.  Really looking at purchasing this app as I believe its now quite mature and ready for prime time.  Other then that, what Chris recommended re flight following is exactly what I do when I just want lite interaction.

 

Hope this helps!

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Liveatc.net is the real thing, I pick flights mostly with airports that have liveatc coverage so I can fly along and listen in. America has the best coverage most airports and approach/departure, plus many center frequencies, keeps you listening in and busy if you want to be. Except for lack of options the default voice pack does not sound as robotic as atc addons a shame they could not use the default sound pack with editvoicepack allowing users to add in so many new aircrafts, callsigns and others.

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I'd seriously recommend you give Pro ATC X a try, it has the option to have recorded chatter on there as well as your own ATC and interactions with AI aircraft, and depending on the voice sets you utilise, you can make your co-pilot and the ATC sound however you like, and certainly not robotic. In fact one of the things which is cool if you like to create a world to enjoy, is that the chatter in Pro ATC X is regional.

 

For example when I took off from Manchester in the PMDG 747-400D last night and flew it to Almeria in southern Spain, first I heard other AI aircraft being vectored around locations such as the Honiley VOR and Congleton CONGA waypoint point when coming in and out of EGCC, then as I flew further south, I was hearing traffic which included helicopters taking photographs being vectored over London City centre under 1500 feet as well as planes being given clearances to set off across the Atlantic etc. Then, as I left the south coast of England and got handed to French ATC, I could hear flights communicating in English and Air France flights communicating in French (as they somewhat annoyingly insist on doing in France lol). Then it was Bordeaux control with some comms in French, the odd bit in Spanish and occasionally Italian, but mostly English. So that in itself helps to create a feeling of you being in a world, and you simply don't get that in the default FS ATC.

 

If having to do 'proper' procedures bothers you, and complex flight planning bothers you, then don't let it, because here is what you can do in Pro ATC X....

 

Start it up, create a flight plan from one airport to another, it will automatically calculate the route for you just like the default FS ATC does, and you can tweak it in much the same way too if you like. Next, export that flight plan from Pro ATC X to FS as a default FSX/FS9 flight plan, next, load it into your aeroplane's FMC as you would any other default FS plan, which you will be able to do since it is in the FS format. Now your FMC has exactly the same flight plan as Pro ATC X. Tune your radio for clearance delivery, and then press 1 on your keyboard. Press it again and you are in business.

 

Your virtual co-pilot will be tuning your radios, handling ATC, working your autopilot for you, raising your gear after take off, setting your flaps, tuning your transponder, changing headings and altitude settings on the MCP and other instruments, doing checklists for you, etc (and you can cherry pick all of these that you either do or do not want your virtual co-pilot to do via Pro ATC X's options).

 

So, you don't need to know anything about fancy flight planning, don't need charts, don't need to know what to say to ATC, because Pro ATC X can do it all for you, and what is more, it does it properly, so you will in fact be using airways and SIDs and STARs and doing it 'properly' with no effort at all on your part.

 

The entire program will take you about five minutes to get familiar with, and from then on you can have it do loads of stuff for you with regard to not just ATC, but CRM too.

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My suggestion is to just go to bed together with your wife.

 

Trust me. I'm a therapist. ;-)

  • Upvote 7

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ProatcX is great and with Navagraph all up to date.  Don't fly with out it and you can leave it and come back to a Pause at top of decent (option in the 737 and most add on aircraft).

 

Darcy

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Liveatc.net is the real thing,

Oh yeah, that too!  I bought a cheap sound blender on Amazon that combines liveatc.net from my iPad , FSX and will also use it in the future for ProATC voices.  Really adds a tremendous amount of realism.  Wish ProATC would somehow integrate with it for chatter.  The current chatter capability looks to be only recorded static files.

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I have been using Pro Flight Emulator (PFE) together with FDC Live Cockpit (FDC) by OnCourse-Software for a number of years now and I can highly recommend them. PFE replaces the default ATC and includes many voice sets with different English accents, taxi guidance system both verbal and visual and many other improvements. FDC acts as a copilot, performing checklists ext. also has cabin crew announcements, again with different accents. You can buy them individualy or together. They have been tweaked to work together.

OnCourse Software also have the new version out PF3-ATC.

The majority of the voices are human and one can pick and choose which ones to use.

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Thank you for the great recommendations

 

 

 


Start it up, create a flight plan from one airport to another, it will automatically calculate the route for you just like the default FS ATC does, and you can tweak it in much the same way too if you like. Next, export that flight plan from Pro ATC X to FS as a default FSX/FS9 flight plan, next, load it into your aeroplane's FMC as you would any other default FS plan, which you will be able to do since it is in the FS format. Now your FMC has exactly the same flight plan as Pro ATC X. Tune your radio for clearance delivery, and then press 1 on your keyboard. Press it again and you are in business.

 

Is there a way to get a standard FSX flightplan (I believe it is a .PLN file) into the NGX FMC? I thought they had to be created with a program that saves them in the PMDG format.

 

I think the main remaining issue is the difference between what is in the sim and what is in the airac cycle. I can see how I could have a sim with that has closed airports (SEQU, for example) and new airports or new runways. If I use old data, it will include SEQU, but I may not have a new runway/ILS/airport that cam one line recently.

 

I guess the thing is FSX ATC and flight planner look at what is in the sim. If you load a new airport or modify a AFCAD, that information is picked up. It isn't, however, captured by external programs or FMC's because those use Navigraph data to generate routes. 

 

Does this make sense?

 

Edit: I just read the ProATCx page and I think it answers most of these questions. Thanks for the help everyone!

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My suggestion is...don't be too intimidated by VATSIM!  The procedures are pretty simple if you already know how to use your FMC (learning to use the FMC is probably the hard part lol)--you just have to get out the SID/STAR charts and use skyvector.com (or vroute, or whatever) for enroute flight planning!

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I use ProATC/X and love it, it exports flight plans in .rte format to my NGX flight plan folder, so it's available to load in my FMC as a "company route".  What I also like about ProATC is that it incorporates SIDs/STARs and even RNAV approaches (and the ATC can handle emergencies as well).  I just stopped my virtual FO from raising the gear, as she would lock it before it had a chance to raise, then I end up in a gear down situation and cannot raise it (sometimes I've managed to manually release the lock and raise the gear, but not always, so end up have to RTA and having a 100 or so annoyed pax and airline management breathing down my neck, lol)

 

My VA supplies .rte files, amongst others, so I usually just load that route into ProATC when creating the flightplan, so that the routing is the same and doesn't confuse the virtual ATC.

 

Another feature I like is that you also get "expected" approaches to your destination airport and can prepare well in advance of TOD.  Ofc, this can change, but then it's just a matter of reprogramming your FMC with the new STAR and Nav radios etc (or you don't have to touch the radios on an RNAV approach as I found out the other day).  So if ProATC decides to CTD, then at least you know what approach and runway to use.  Failing that I just tune into ATIS when in range and use the specified runways.  The are also resources online to find out this information.

 

I also enjoy the regional background chatter that varies depend on the are you are in.  

 

Just my experience as a satisfied ProATC/X customer.  

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I use  LAAP and love the realism that it adds. http://laap.atc.free.fr/presentation-en.html

Hello,

if we use LAAP we have to download the mp3 file from liveatc.net in order for it to work? So we have to download every single mp3 file that we want to hear?

I'm still little bit confused after reading FAQ

Thank you.

Hoang Le

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You can use the default ATC and NGX and fly IFR. You'll most of the time be able to fly the SID, but the STAR won't be possible as the FSX ATC will try to vector you. You can ignore the vectoring and just fly the star anyway, though. You'll have to put up with "please expidite your turn to...." a hundred times, though.

 

Here's how you do it.

 

1) Get a third party route planner like FS Commander

2) make sure the NGX and the 3rd party planner is updated with the same AIRAC cycle

3) Create flight plan, save as FSX flight plan AND NGX

4) Load flight plan in FSX flight planner

5) Load flight plan in the NGX

6) Make sure the flight plans are identical

7) Request IFR and fly

 

Easy

 

Andre

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