regis9

Pause at Top of Descent Distance Offset

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An idea, it would be very helpful if there was an option to specify a distance from the TOD point for the sim to pause, rather than only having the option of pausing at the TOD.

 

Two reasons

 

- I find from time to time I am challenging to get down in time using the calculated TOD point, particularly if the TOD point is calculated based on a set of runways that would require a downwind leg, then while on-route the winds shift and you end up being cleared for a straight in approach.

- When using things like FS2Crew, there are often items like the approach briefing that need to be done ~70nm before the TOD point.  Even beyond FS2Crew, it would be nice to have some time to re-establish contact with ATC, set up for the approach etc before reaching the TOD point.

 

Thanks,

 

Dave Reage

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Dave,

 

Most of this can be done prior to un-pausing the sim. Additionally, when planning a flight and entering STARs early on, it's best to choose the "worst case scenario" for the FMC to plan for. This will be any STAR (or version of a STAR) that will cause an earlier descent: earlier crossing restrictions, lower crossing restrictions, and so on. It's always easier to tell a plane to shallow a descent than it is to tell it to steepen one.

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It would be a need feature anyway to have the option to pause the sim prior to ToD. For instance flying a long haul across the Pacific during the night and then pick up the aircraft a good distance before the ToD would be useful. In fact I do see value in having the option of pausing the sim up to say 999 nm before ToD as you can plan your weekend sim flying with some more flexibility.

 

Søren Geertsen

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Thanks Kyle, I do usually plan for the worst case STAR, but that isn't always enough. For example I just flew KDEN-EGLL in the Queen last night into this morning, chose 9L as my arrival runway, descended in VNAV along the appropriate OCK STAR, extended my speedbrakes once below FL250, and still had to do a 360 to get low and slow enough for the approach.

 

Not the end of the world, but it would be a nice feature if possible in the future.

 

Dave Reage

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I agree it would be handy.  Different kinds of simmers have varying needs, which often vary from strict reality, and having the ability to customize this would be great, just as you have made available many other realism options on the plane (A/P engagement, A/T disconnect during in HOLD mode .etc) 

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Agree that this would be a useful feature for all the reasons others have said.

 

James Hallock

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For example I just flew KDEN-EGLL in the Queen last night into this morning, chose 9L as my arrival runway, descended in VNAV along the appropriate OCK STAR, extended my speedbrakes once below FL250, and still had to do a 360 to get low and slow enough for the approach.

 

This was your error..., I bet you didn't enter a constraint at either KENET or BEDEK.  The chart says EXPECT FL140.  Expected constraints are not included in the navdata.  You could have set this up 1000 nm out.

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Thanks good to know, I'll pay closer attention to the STAR next time and look for expected constraints.

 

Having said that though, given how poorly default ATC handles stars (or how it doesn't at all really), I normally descend without them and my original issue remains.

 

Dave Reage

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given how poorly default ATC handles stars

 

My goodness, the default ATC is horrible in every way.  Don't use it at all.  If you want to play with a better ATC then give a few commercially available ones a try.  I forget that some folks actually try using that very poorly done simulation of ATC.

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I have the most popular ones, PF3, Radar Contact, ProATC-X, but I always come back to default because it has most of the callsigns (and I can add them if it doesn't have one), requires little set up (I'm looking at you PF3), and within reason I can make it do what I want.  No perfect options in Flight Sim ATC unfortunately.  I fly mostly in North America save for long haul across the ponds, so the lack of accents doesn't really bother me.

 

Dave Reage

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I would second this, it would be a very useful feature to have and I would have thought fairly straight forward to implement given the trigger is an FMC value? Obviously it's not essential, but all the same would be nice.

 

Cheers

 

Craig Read

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Am I missing something here? Our Pause at T/D feature already does pause early, not directly on top of the T/D point. You still have time to configure things after resuming.

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RadarContact does better than native sim ATC and it has an option to pause the sim xxx nm from your destination (xxx is user-defined in the general RC options).

 

200 nm works for every plane at every FL, except the Concorde or the SR-71, maybe.   :P

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Am I missing something here? Our Pause at T/D feature already does pause early, not directly on top of the T/D point. You still have time to configure things after resuming.

It does yes but it's quite close to top of descent still, so if you want to use a different STAR or change runways you don't really have the time to make those changes. If we could adjust it so it was 150 miles to go it takes that stress away. It's not a 'big deal' but an idea for consideration, and I imagine fairly easy to do.

 

Cheers

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so if you want to use a different STAR or change runways

 

You need to be doing this during a pre descent flow.  On long trips, I look at destination wx about 1000 nm inbound and set up most likely arrival.  On any trip I get wx 100 nm before TOD and preset baro, select approach, autobrake and double check LEGS pages against charts.  This is when I catch the EXPECT altitudes.  The pause 10 nm before TOD is only there to stop the plane from flying past the airport when you are napping, it's not a feature intended to replace cockpit tasks.

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You need to be doing this during a pre descent flow. On long trips, I look at destination wx about 1000 nm inbound and set up most likely arrival. On any trip I get wx 100 nm before TOD and preset baro, select approach, autobrake and double check LEGS pages against charts. This is when I catch the EXPECT altitudes. The pause 10 nm before TOD is only there to stop the plane from flying past the airport when you are napping, it's not a feature intended to replace cockpit tasks.

I understand what you are saying but many of us use the feature so we can do other things while doing long haul; it's a sim at the end of the day and with the best laid plans and intentions I'm often not around at the "right times" to make my experience ultra realistic or "purist". I'm saying I would find this feature very useful and what you have put here "I get wx 100nm before TOD", and "on long trips I look at ax 1000nm inbound".... are precisely the reasons why I would find it useful..

 

It's just a suggestion for a feature, we are not making a criticism, I think we've justified why we'd like it. If it doesn't happen I'm not going to die in a ditch over it... but it might be a really easy thing to do and many might want it... I can't say much more than that really.

 

Cheers

On a slight side note, and just a general forum posting comment, can we stop interpreting suggestions as criticisms that need to be defended? It just makes it difficult to make them.... No one is criticising in this thread..... equally a simple "hey not a bad idea, maybe we will but we can't promise.." is a perfectly reasonable response (and easier than a defensive post too ;) )

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I'm saying I would find this feature very useful and what you have put here "I get wx 100nm before TOD", and "on long trips I look at ax 1000nm inbound".... are precisely the reasons why I would find it useful..

 

It's just a suggestion for a feature, we are not making a criticism, I think we've justified why we'd like it. If it doesn't happen I'm not going to die in a ditch over it... but it might be a really easy thing to do and many might want it... I can't say much more than that really.

 

Craig you've summarized my thoughts exactly as to why I started the thread. If this feature never materializes I'll still enjoy flying my PMDG fleet, but it would be a nice to have for the reasons you've stated.

 

As an aside, there is a freeware gauge called bethere that allows you to specify a set of coordinates (usually the arrival airport) and then set how far from those coordinates you want to pause the sim. I use it with aircraft that don't include a pause at TOD feature, but I havent tried adding it to any high-fidelity aircraft.

 

Dave Reage

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I'm still unclear as to the actual issue here.

 

You all do realize that a lot of the stuff you're making points about can be done while still paused, right?

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I'm still unclear as to the actual issue here.

 

You all do realize that a lot of the stuff you're making points about can be done while still paused, right?

 

If you don't select a STAR until the TOD pause, you will sometimes find that you're already several thousand feet above where you need to be once you select it. Is it possible to avoid this by preselecting (perhaps on the ground at the departure airport) the "most-restrictive" STAR so that the TOD will already be as conservative as possible? Sure. And that's a good workaround, but it requires the pilot to go through the STARs and figure out which one that is. It's not exactly obvious, and unless you're already familiar with an airport and its arrivals that's a fairly tedious and time-consuming process.

 

As others have said, because we do have that kind of workaround (and because in many cases selecting a STAR/arrival runway right at the TOD pause means you still have time to descend on path) this is not a make or break issue. But it's a nice-to-have. Kyle, does that explain the issue more clearly?

 

James Hallock

 

Edit: meant STAR instead of SID, of course!

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Maybe they want to do them when it isn't paused though Kyle - I for one think it should pause circa 80miles before T/D as then when you come back if you need to step away, you unpause and can continue with your flows and theres no disruption at all.

 

We're not debating about doing cockpit tasks in a paused state or not, we want to do them in a live state and having the sim paused, unpausing then rushing through flows and tasks its less than ideal so certainly a good idea to chuck onto the requested features list ;)

 

 

Jonathan Ryans

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James,

 

Looking at a few charts would help, though I do understand that charts for some areas of the world are harder to come by. At the same time, are you not going through the same process when selecting the STAR in general once you get to T/D? If you're that unclear about the STAR selection that far out, would you not still be unclear and running through the list of STARs when closer to T/D anyway?

 

General rule of thumb I use is "if I'm landing in the same direction I'm traveling, the STAR will be more restrictive than if I'm having to land in the opposite direction."

 

----------

 

Jonathan,

 

I'm not sure I understand that viewpoint, though. If you're already willing to step out of the realism of having time freeze at T/D because you wanted to walk away and get other things done (certainly reasonable, given that most of us don't have a 747-flight's-worth of time just lying around), what's an extra few seconds of configuring things while still on pause? I'm just not able to resolve the seemingly opposing realities here: pause at T/D is an inherently unrealistic feature, but a compromise given that people may need to walk off; but people suddenly want the "realism" of not having to address items while still on pause because they chose to wait until that point to do them. While on pause, you're effectively simultaneously right at T/D, 80 nm from T/D, or 1000 nm away from T/D...all until you hit the 'P' key.

 

 

 

Still struggling to understand what an offset would bring to the table that is not already offered. The purpose of the offset gives you time. Pause is already providing that additional time.

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I guess that the potential option of being able to pause the sim at XXX nm before ToD will provide a nice-to-have flexibility many sim-pilots would like. 

That is:

 (i) you fly during the night and the sim pauses at ToD. When you return to your computer you need to do your descend and approach preparations. You can either do this before you un-pause the sim or after you un-pause. However, you may now be in a situation that because of changed weather and subsequent runways you would have like to have started that approach earlier (irrespective of your preparations). Some sim-pilots would like to have more time to do this or they do not want to do the preparations other (like myself) would do (well) in advance (as also suggested above).

 

(ii) The other nice-to-have flexibility is that, say you do your Pacific crossing and then your plane is right on ToD into Melbourne when you return and that is fine, but I would find it useful if I can pick up the flight anywhere from ToD to XXX nm out as I would like ot do that final part of the flying as well - say before Sydney so you can enjoy the landfall - or it may be that you want to be in control during the last hour or two if the plane is to encounter turbulence. The only reason we have to pause is that otherwise it may be difficult to do meaningful long haul flights during weekends, when you have to attend to all the other stuff that we have postponed till the weekend.

So purely for added flexibility, which would be nice-to-have for many sim-pilots for various reasons!  :-)

 

Søren Geertsen

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I would definitely find this useful, it's true you can do some things with the aircraft paused.  But you can't, adjust map zoom change the mode on the ND to plan (which I find very useful when trying to sort out my approach).   You can't set minimums.. Problem is while I'm un-pausing and pausing to do these things I'm often past T/D point... again.. if I was 50 miles out.. or even 100 miles out.. this would be so easy..

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I would definitely find this useful, it's true you can do some things with the aircraft paused.  But you can't, adjust map zoom change the mode on the ND to plan (which I find very useful when trying to sort out my approach).   You can't set minimums.. Problem is while I'm un-pausing and pausing to do these things I'm often past T/D point... again.. if I was 50 miles out.. or even 100 miles out.. this would be so easy..

I've used slew mode to make the types of changes you describe that can't be made when paused. Try it out.

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Guys (PMDG),

This is an easy, sincere, customer generated request, at least give it due consideration.  For many years, while using both PMDG and Radar Contact (RC), we had an option in RC that allowed us to pause the sim at any distance from the filed FP destination.  Since the demise of RC, we've lost that capability.  We 'very-respectfully' request someday, an option in the FMC to allow US to set the pause-distance before the calculated TOD, not just hard-set to 10nm.  There are many various reasons why this is useful, both in our personal lives (leaving the computer) and while simming (setup).

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