Mad_Mac

Fsaerodata Observation

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I just downloaded and installed Fsaerodata. After some testing, and communication with Jose, I have found that It is currently not very well suited for VFR flights from uncontrolled airports. Many of them show up as CATF frequencies instead of Unicom and this appears to Confuse VoxATC. Flying from my home airport of West Bend, WI (KETB) resulted in VoxATC assigning 132.475 as Unicom instead of the real life 122.8. What I found is that 122.8 is assigned in Fsaerodata as the CTAF, but there is no Unicom assigned. Further investigation revealed that many airports in Fsaerodata do not have a Unicom assigned and VoxATC does not know how to deal with this. It seems to assign random frequencies when it encounters an airport without a Unicom frequency assigned. Jose says that future releases will address this issue.

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Posted (edited)

This is an update to the above post. Jose got back to me right away, and shortly after that released rev.2, which addressed the above issue. 122.8 did work for Unicom, but VoxATC still wanted me to switch to 135.475 for communicating my intentions and listening to AI traffic. In real life the Unicom frequency is also the CTAF. Not sure why it is doing that. I looked at the data for the airport from inside of P3d v4 and it all looked accurate and up to date. I didn't even see the above frequency listed. If anyone has any ideas about this I would appreciate hearing them. I did send an e mail to Jose, and will probably send one to Tegwyn as well, but won't hold my breath there.

Edited by Mad_Mac

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Posted (edited)

If it's any help, 135.475 is a commonly used ASOS, AWOS, ATIS frequency, but not anywhere in WI that I see. The closest comm that fsaerodata adds is one of the KMSP approach frequencies.

Edited by jabloomf1230

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Here's what the user's manual says to do:

Quote

Departing Unicom Airports
Newton and Mason City airports have no tower, only a unicom operator who can provide airfield
information.
Before taxing call the Unicom operator
You - Mason City Unicom cessna one one five one delta
Unicom - cessna one one five one delta Mason City Unicom go ahead
You - cessna one one five one delta at the ramp request field advisory
Unicom - cessna one one five one delta altimeter two niner zero zero surface wind calm favored
runway one two
You - altimeter two niner zero zero cessna one one five one delta
There is no controller at the airport you must announce your intentions to other aircraft and listen
to what others are doing. Calls should be addressed to <airport> traffic and should end with a
restatement of the airport name.
When taxiing to the runway
<airport> traffic <call-sign> taxiing to <runway> <airport>
before takeoff
<airport> traffic <call-sign> taking <runway> departing to the <direction> <airport>
when clear of the airport
<airport> traffic <call-sign> clear of the area to the south <direction> <airport>

You don't really get any prompts as the comms are air to air.

Example:
West Bend Traffic cessna one one five one delta taxiing to runway one three West Bend.
West Bend Traffic cessna one one five one delta taking runway one three departing to the
south West Bend.
West Bend Traffic cessna one one five one delta clear of the area to the south West Bend.

But in any case the unicom frequency shouldn't be 135.475. I can elicit this behavior at a couple of other airports, so there may be a problem in VOXATC, possibly with the CTAF and Unicom being on the same frequency. I'm going to run VOXATC in debug mode and look at the comm logs.

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3 hours ago, jabloomf1230 said:

Here's what the user's manual says to do:

You don't really get any prompts as the comms are air to air.

Example:
West Bend Traffic cessna one one five one delta taxiing to runway one three West Bend.
West Bend Traffic cessna one one five one delta taking runway one three departing to the
south West Bend.
West Bend Traffic cessna one one five one delta clear of the area to the south West Bend.

But in any case the unicom frequency shouldn't be 135.475. I can elicit this behavior at a couple of other airports, so there may be a problem in VOXATC, possibly with the CTAF and Unicom being on the same frequency. I'm going to run VOXATC in debug mode and look at the comm logs.

Actually, VoxATC does prompt you to announce Taxi, Takeoff, and leaving the airspace. You are right, that there are no prompts for Air to Air communications.  It also prompts you for tuning to the CTAF after getting airport information from Unicom and Opening your flight plan with FSS. In the case of West Bend it is the same as the Unicom, 122.8.  This was working until I installed Fsaerodata. That is when I started getting prompted to tune to 135.475.  I’m planning to do some testing and looking at the log files myself. 

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I looked at the log files. There are VOXATC log files for every aircraft and comm except 135.475 which leads me to believe it's a bug. 

I just quoted the manual because I tried to switch to 122.8 and VOXATC wouldn't let me do so.

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Jose from fsAerodata says he believes 135.475 is a VoxATC default CTAF similar to 122.2 Utopia Radio for FSS. Not sure why VoxATC is using the default when a valid option is available in the data. It is, as you say, likely a bug. I will generate some log files of my own and send them to Tegwyn. 

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He's probably right, because as I stated above, I can get this bug to appear at other airports. The only other thing that I can think of is to try to create a revised airport with ADE that has mutually exclusive frequencies for Unicom and CTAF.

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Posted (edited)

Something else I’ve noticed is the runway number updated stopped working after installing fsAerodata. It would just run for a long period of time and eventually close on its own without doing anything. I disabled fsAerodata, started P3d, ran the indexer, and this issue as well as the 135.475 CTAF issue resolved. For what it is worth, I sent an email with a log file attached to Tegwyn.  Right now it seems like a choice between inaccurate CTAF at uncontrolled airports or inaccurate data on anything that has been updated since 2005. I’ve had no issues with any other type of fsAero data and VoxATC. FSS, VORs, Approach, Departure, ATC, and ground frequencies all seem to work well. 

Edited by Mad_Mac
Typo

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