1st fltsimguy

Sleeping while flying

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Its not what you think.

So I just saw a post where someone is having problems with micro stutters after a long flight. And we all know stutters can be very frustrating, especially if one has invested heavily in a PC that should be able to handle it.  But it drew my attention with one fact.......

And I remember years back some guys talking about trans Atlantic flights etc and going to bed and getting up to finish the flight.

I for one have never ever been able to "rationalize" flight simulation of flying over the Atlantic or Pacific for hours upon hours of nothing but water at say 35,000'.

Why do folks do that? Especially since its a sim, its fake, one can cheat time (the most valuable commodity we have), why not port oneself nearer the destination and pick the flight up there. I have done 3-4 hours of simming in one go (mostly GA, with a dozen or more short hops) and by the time I get to the end, I don't want to see my simulator for a few days.

I know each to their own etc...but when someone says they go to bed and get up and finish the flight, I just can't fathom this. Cripes one could put the flight on 16X simulation rate, drink a few beers and pick up the flight or better yet....just "move" the location to near the destination and still have all the waypoints and stuff setup. Three high points of flight simming, takeoff, scenery in-between, landing.  Add some great weather stuff for added fun. Flying over an ocean has never been high on my list (now coastal NA in weather in a float plane, now that's flying). Well except once I accidentally let my sim fly and forget about it and found my plane when half way around the world without me.

Are there many folks doing this?

Bryan

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the way I see it, plenty of real pilots sleep during cruise....they're called IROs.  Some call it "dozing for dollars" or "bunking for bucks".  Ain't nothing wrong simulating that role!

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You're committing a very basic error in reasoning.

You already recognise that it is simulation, and so, not real. Since it is not real it does not have to follow the rules of reality, however you define reality and however you formulate rules, bearing in mind that your views on reality and rules are not universal. It may seem silly, but it's important, so don't ignore that bit. You already recognise that there are several different way of simulating reality, you refer to simulating the 16X simulation rate, which really isn't an option in reality. Since 16x simulation rate isn't the only of way bending the rules of space time in the sim, there is already an implied way of not making the sim real, a notion which is in any case already implied in the concept of a simulation. You can't make times pass 16x  faster on earth than it does, so if you are ok simulating a violation of the laws of physics in your sim, why is not ok to violate FAA rules where the pilot just ignores the plane for 8 hours in his/her sim? There might be a philosophical question in there somewhere about which is easier to manipulate, the FAA or the universe, but it's never going to get published in any journal.

If I am honest with you, the question doesn't really make an awful lot of sense, well, it does in one way, but that way is more of interest to cognitive psychologists and sociologists (that's not a compliment) than to logicians (they've answered it and have subsequently moved on to more interesting things [No, they question of whether this universe is a simulation isn't actually new either and has too many limitations to be of any real interest either]). The answer to it is very simple, you do not need to understand why someone prefers to simulate a 14 hour flight of which they spend 8 hours asleep and another 5 hours doing whatever they do, since it's not a moral question and as such the notion of right or wrong doesn't feature at all. All you need to understand is that there is more than one way to skin a cat, a number of way of not skinning cats, the theoretical possibility of cats skinning you, and some anecdotal references to dogs chasing cats (outrageous) but mostly, it's just that where rules are not hard coded beyond anthropocentric concerns and subjective preference plays a part, right or wrong goes out the window and counsel for the defence is not required.

Edited by ClearedtoLand
Too much to drink to count words
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For me it's really about the sensation of being in that flight. Warping or skewing the sim makes me feel as if I have not done the flight and takes away my realism of it and then I no longer am interested in simming. However, flying the aircraft overnight and being a sleep while the autopilot and the FMC handle the flight to me provides a realistic view of having to take that journey and also having the engines in the background in a low volume as I sleep makes me feel as if I am a part of that journey. 

 

For me me it's about as real as it can get until I get to that part of my life after I'm done with my training. 

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I agree with the OP.  Never could understand the long 7 hour plus flights across the ponds.  There are programs where you can place your aircraft out, say, 100- 200 miles from the final destination so you can practice the descent and final landing procedures into any airport.  I have seen a lot of this in the CTD Forum where individuals crash to desktop during a descent after a 12 plus hour flight.  In those cases the individuals had mostly run out of virtual address space.  But I would find it very frustrating and unenjoyable to fly for 12 hours or even 3 hours to end up with a crash to desktop or a freeze.  I think most use the acceleration feature or, set the flight management to pause the flight at the top of the descent so they can sleep after takeoff and begin the descent after waking up.  I think people should try to enjoy flight simulation in the best way they can and limit their flights and simply learn the basics of flying.  Personally, I like to learn the flight management systems of an aircraft and take it out for an hour or two spin between two locations.  Before P3DV4, I was also monitoring VAS and FPS which was sometimes frustrating too.  Now I can fly and enjoy a short hour or two flight and learn the basic features of an aircraft and enjoy the hobby better. 

Best regards,

Jim

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1 minute ago, Jim Young said:

I agree with the OP.  Never could understand the long 7 hour plus flights across the ponds.  There are programs where you can place your aircraft out, say, 100- 200 miles from the final destination so you can practice the descent and final landing procedures into any airport.  I have seen a lot of this in the CTD Forum where individuals crash to desktop during a descent after a 12 plus hour flight.  In those cases the individuals had mostly run out of virtual address space.  But I would find it very frustrating and unenjoyable to fly for 12 hours or even 3 hours to end up with a crash to desktop or a freeze.  I think most use the acceleration feature or, set the flight management to pause the flight at the top of the descent so they can sleep after takeoff and begin the descent after waking up.  I think people should try to enjoy flight simulation in the best way they can and limit their flights and simply learn the basics of flying.  Personally, I like to learn the flight management systems of an aircraft and take it out for an hour or two spin between two locations.  Before P3DV4, I was also monitoring VAS and FPS which was sometimes frustrating too.  Now I can fly and enjoy a short hour or two flight and learn the basic features of an aircraft and enjoy the hobby better. 

Best regards,

Jim

I can see my self doing that when I am flying for a company. My mentality of simming will probably change at that point because I won't need the fix of simulating airline operations. I see how this can be an interesting question to ask each other. I for one can say that I always have flown minimum 3 hour flights, sometimes multi leg. My favorite journey to do is the JetBlue JFK-STI-JFK which is about 8 hours block to block. 

 

I am am very interested in seeing what people say about this as I can see where Sticky and Jim are looking at it and I see a future where that might be my mentality too. 

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1 hour ago, 1st fltsimguy said:

why not port oneself nearer the destination and pick the flight up there.

If you took off at maximum take-off weight and teleport yourself somewhere closer to the destination:

  • How much fuel have you burned and how much should you have left.
  • What waypoint would you be at along what airway.
  • What altitude would you be at.

You really wouldn't know because there are many factors that come into play. Winds and weather, mostly. Then if you go to map mode and move the little airplane icon somewhere closer to your destination, how do you know exactly where you're supposed to be, and what happens to the rest of the flight plan. It would still be trying to guide you to whatever waypoint you were trying to go to before you did that, and then you'd have to figure out what waypoint is closer to where you are.

1 hour ago, 1st fltsimguy said:

one could put the flight on 16X simulation rate

If you're flying for a virtual airline, some of them don't allow you to do this. Also, if you're flying on VATSIM, they don't allow you to do this, either.

By the way, at the time that I was doing the flight dispatcher course, I decided to plan a flight and then fly it in the simulator to see how that would go. Had I either increased the simulation rate or teleported myself to somewhere closer to my destination, doing either would have defeated the purpose of flying the flight in the first place, as my results would no longer be accurate.

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If one is to interpret the question posed by the OP as one relating to the ability to complete a long haul flight without running into performance problems, then the answer is down to two simple aspects, the first is preference, i.e. I like doing long haul flights for any of a number of reasons but don't have the time to sit there for the whole night for any of a number of reasons, the second being because my system can handle it, essentially, I do long haul flights because I can.

I don't actually think that that is how the question was intended, but it can, of course, be interpreted that way.

I don't see any reason that suggests one cannot learn the features of an aircraft or the basics of flying that excludes finding enjoyment from doing long haul flights, those don't seem to be mutually exclusive. Again, setting aside performance related limitations, I see no answer to the question as it was posed which is anything other than personal preference, underpinned by any number of different subjective reasons. Anything other than that would be quite remarkable to observe, and by anything other I mean someone who comes on here and professes to do long haul flights because they hate them ... or because it was a full moon (permit me a bit of humour here).

My own reasons for doing long haul flights are two fold, my system can handle it, on the extreme long haul routes OTHH (Taxi2Gate) to KLAX (FSDreamteam), CYVR (FSDreamteam) to YSSY (FlyTampa) to long haul flights between Aerosoft Airports, UK2000 Airports, FSDreamteam, LatinVFR, Flightbeam and a long list of other less detailed airports  with either no performance hits or acceptable ones. In short, I do them because my system can handle them, and if I am out from 8AM till 10PM, those ultra long haul flights are great to come home to and finish before going to bed. Overnight long haul flights are a luxury of not having an appointment in the morning. So, I do them because time and system permit, and because I like them.

There is another reason that I sim, but it applies as much to long haul, as short haul, as simply taking a Cessna for a hop around somewhere. But that is a reason that I definitely do not share with many of you on here, and that is a good thing and I hope none of you ever join that club. The main point is, as in my previous response, regardless of what others' preferences and expectations are, there exits a variety of preferences and expectations which are each equally valid, and the important thing is not necessarily to understand each of those reasons, but simply to understand that different preferences can and do exist, independently of our comprehension of them. Whether we understand each of those or not is of secondary concern.

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From my perspective:

If your involvement ends at top of climb and doesn't start again until top of descent then I can see how long haul might not appeal. However, I would suggest that one is missing out on a tremendous proportion of the flying experience.

Flying long haul - properly - is about much more than just sticking the autopilot in and waiting for the T/D marker to appear. There are many things that need to be taken in to consideration throughout the flight, options considered and decisions made.

On a typical flight from Europe to the Far East, for example, one might need to consider high terrain along the route. What impact might an engine failure have? What about a decompression over an area where the MSA is in excess of 15,000 ft all around?

Then there is weather - again, on a long-haul flight there is always the chance of coming across inclement weather enroute and potentially having to make decisions about deviating around it.

Then there is contingency planning. Where could you go if you had an emergency on board right now? Where is the nearest airfield with a runway both long enough and strong enough to take your aircraft? What about facilities? Are you overweight? Is the weather there conducive to making an approach? What type of approaches are available?

Then there is monitoring the progress of the flight - recording times and fuel on the plog, cross-checking the FMC and ensuring that you will still have the required reserves on arrival. On the subject of fuel - preflight that is quite a decision to make, given that you won't actually be arriving at your destination until perhaps 12 hours later and the forecast may have been produced some hours before you even started the planning process. Add to that the fact that on a long-haul flight you may well be up against weight limits one way or another, and the fact that you burn fuel just to carry extra fuel - on the 747 you will burn about 4% of the extra fuel per hour. In other words, if you want to arrive in Singapore with an extra 2000kg (just under 15 mins) after a 12hr flight from London, you will actually need to load an extra 2960kg before departure - you'll burn 960kg of fuel just to carry that 2000kg to Singapore. An extra three tonnes on your takeoff weight on top of the planned trip fuel and payload may not go well... in which case you may have to make a decision about whether you want the extra fuel or to throw off some bags/pax/cargo. And, of course, all the decisions you make enroute will have an impact on whether you arrive with more or less fuel than planned.

On a transatlantic you may be plotting your position on a plotting chart. Through Africa, in areas where ATC is sketchy, you may be making broadcasts in accordance with the IATA In-flight Broadcast Procedure.

For me, a long haul flight is like a giant strategy game - there is always something to be thinking about, planning or tracking, and decisions made at one stage in the flight can have a massive knock-on effect further down the line. The variety of situations likely to be encountered on a particular flight are also generally more varied and dynamic than is typically the case on a short-haul flight.

So - you won't catch me setting the sim up and going to bed - I'm too busy! But I would argue there is a lot more to long haul than just sticking the A/P in and watching the world roll by.

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3 minutes ago, skelsey said:

From my perspective:

So - you won't catch me setting the sim up and going to bed - I'm too busy! But I would argue there is a lot more to long haul than just sticking the A/P in and watching the world roll by.

I'm not denying the validity of anything that you are saying, Simon, and, as always, your post is most informative. However, the validity of your well reasoned position does not exclude the validity of someone else's position who doesn't follow procedures, and here I will admit that my position is very much influenced by the OP's phrase that "I for one have never ever been able to "rationalize" flight simulation of flying over the Atlantic or Pacific for hours upon hours of nothing but water at say 35,000'."

When we cannot understand another's reasons for simming the way they do, it should be enough for us to remember that there is no one right way, given that any such right way would mean we need some objective measure of what is the right way to sim and what not, and that question is not answered simply by the requirements of aviation procedures alone. It will end up very quickly with us asking questions pertaining to real life. Should I stay up all night and do my proper procedures and go to work tired, or should I let the plane do what it does, land and not be tired at work? Should I only do long haul flights over weekends when I can sit at the PC the whole day/night? When you look at questions like these, it just becomes a non issue, because it now boils down to the question of what takes preference, simming, or life?

To use the OP's term, we can rationalise it either way to great effect, but by the rules of logic, it always ends up at subjective preference, it's a dead end, and I don't know whether the world needs another war to settle the question of whether chocolate or vanilla ice cream is the best.

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38 minutes ago, skelsey said:

For me, a long haul flight is like a giant strategy game - there is always something to be thinking about, planning or tracking, and decisions made at one stage in the flight can have a massive knock-on effect further down the line. The variety of situations likely to be encountered on a particular flight are also generally more varied and dynamic than is typically the case on a short-haul flight.

So - you won't catch me setting the sim up and going to bed - I'm too busy! But I would argue there is a lot more to long haul than just sticking the A/P in and watching the world roll by.

 

2 hours ago, ClearedtoLand said:

You're committing a very basic error in reasoning. Etc.....

 

Beautiful....and also Virtual Airlines...hadn't considered this.

Great responses....

Further to this then...don't these long hauls have like, two pilots and maybe a navigator or engineer (some third cockpit persons)? 

Do any of you folks then work with others to actually simulate someone taking over while you snooze? Which would really simulate real world.

 

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I actually do that a lot. I bring a 777 up in the air on a 10 hour flight and go to sleep, or to work, or go out, or whatever. I wont jump anywhere since I use fspassengers. Sometimes I might look on my PC to see if everything is alright, look where i am currently located or just enjoy beautiful scenery...and land again much later, being thankful for the "pause on ToD" function sometimes. :biggrin:

Why should people not do that? I will be honest: I am bored af as a passenger on my real life long haul flights. :biggrin:

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3 minutes ago, ClearedtoLand said:

To use the OP's term, we can rationalise it either way ..... to settle the question of whether chocolate or vanilla ice cream is the best.

A good dark lager for me mate.

Remember I was speaking of myself "rationalizing"....and then asking the question. Hanger Chat you know.

It appears that there is a community of those sim flying the big birds that get right into their craft. Very interesting to hear this.

Perhaps its my shorter attention span...lol :biggrin::biggrin:.

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Most Va's don't  allow  cheating  on long  haul flights:biggrin:

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In the 30 years I've been simming I have never accelerated my sim rate. Most of my flights are 2 hours or less. I will do a long haul Trans Pacific or Atlantic a few times a month and I always do it real time. I will find a real world flight on flightaware that gives me enough time to take off, go to bed ( Usually a 9+ hour trip )  and then I get up generally 2 or 3 hours before it lands. Works out great!

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