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Radial9

Offline ATC Setup Times

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I'm thinking of adding offline ATC to my flying. I do some online ATC but find I still have to press that "P" button more times than I like even when I think I have sufficient time for a one or two hour flight.

Care to share your thoughts on setup times for each flight on top of everything else? I'm mostly flying the Q400 but am giving more serious time to the PMDG 737NGX the past few months.

Setup times with flight planning, EFB, weather, FMC and full cockpit prep are getting longer as I add more goodies. I realize it's part of the "experience", but at some point you begin to spend serious  time setting up software, pushing buttons and turning dials in preparation for a flight. It takes MUCH longer on a PC than it does to sit in a real cockpit. All good, I just need to have some clear expectations before pulling the trigger and investing the time.

Can the various boxed ATC programs save partial scenarios so save time if you're going to be making a segment over and over as you train, or are you setting up from ground zero each and every flight?

Thanks for any thoughts!

Bob

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Radar Contact 4 is freeware. Once you have a flight plan and your plane's details are entered into RC4 (where they are kept active until changed), that's it. Just enter your flight plan and push "start".  15 seconds at the most.

After that , it's just a matter of making calls to ATC (by keypress) or answering them (which can be mostly automatic if required).


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Radar Contact 4 is really good especially considering it’s free. I have the payware Pro ATC X and while it has some nice features and fully supports SID/STAR procedures it is lacking in some respects. RC4’s ATC vectoring ability is far superior to Pro ATC X. You can really get off track due to wind in Pro ATC X and miss the waypoint and then its  ATC will try to send you in circles back to the waypoint. RC4 also has the capability of maintaining separation from AI and will tell you to go around if needed.

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I usually fly about 10 flights a week in the Q400. I use EFB, and PF3, and Simbrief. I also use Smartcars from my VA. Total time to set up flight is usually around 15 minutes for everything. I used RC4 about a decade ago, but for me it's like going back to DOS 3.1


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4 minutes ago, Bobsk8 said:

... I use EFB, and PF3, and Simbrief. ... Total time to set up flight is usually around 15 minutes for everything. 

Same here (Navigraph instead of EFB though). And these 15 minutes are for a new route. Thereof at the most 3 to 5 minutes  are needed to set up PF3 for the new route.

If I repeatedly fly a route I already had set up before, it takes around 30 seconds to set up PF3 again.

 


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8 minutes ago, RALF9636 said:

Same here (Navigraph instead of EFB though). And these 15 minutes are for a new route. Thereof at the most 3 to 5 minutes  are needed to set up PF3 for the new route.

If I repeatedly fly a route I already had set up before, it takes around 30 seconds to set up PF3 again.

 

Yes, I was including time to pre flight Q400, go through check lists, pushback,  etc....


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Pilot2ATC or Radar Contact 4. I started with default ATC then migrated to PF3 then went to free version of RC4 and now have stuck with Pilot2ATC.

Joe


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I've given up on paid for ATC's and use a mixture of the default ATC, navigraph, simbrief and LNM and quite enjoying the mix.

  • Create my flight plan in LNM for ex KSFO (RBL J1 DREWS) KPDX
  • Look at ActiveSky for Dep/Arival active runways RW28L for both in this case.
  • Look at Navigraph Overview for active Dep/Arival Runway (SNTNA2.GRTFL) - (TMBRS2.MOXEE)
  • Put that in Simbrief SNTNA2.GRTFL RBL J1 DREWS TMBRS2.MOXEE
  • Get my Pax, load and Fuel from Simbrief
  • Get Default ATC clearance to control ground traffic, once airborne cancel ATC until I'm on approach, get clearance to gate.

Hardly none control ground AI traffic except the default.

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1 hour ago, FPStewy said:

I've given up on paid for ATC's and use a mixture of the default ATC, navigraph, simbrief and LNM and quite enjoying the mix.

Same here, except that for heavy iron I bypass Little Navmap and create my routes in Simbrief (or pull "live" ones into Simbrief from Flightaware).  I discovered your method accidentally not long ago when I got fed up with ATC add-ons (again) and tried default ATC (again) - but missed a handoff, missed hearing that my IFR had been cancelled, and went happily sailing along my route, smoothly and peacefully.  A very nice experience and now I'm doing it deliberately. 

Plus, I've reached the point where if I run a flight without nineteen addon programs fighting for system resources, I'd rather do that.  Less can definitely be more.

Do you refile IFR to get your landing clearance or just check in with the tower via the "nearest airport" list?  I'm mostly doing the latter... at least when I remember to, instead of just barreling down the glideslope and creating lots of excitement....

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Alan Ampolsk

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Ive givin up on payware ATC as well. Default ATC with edit voicepack is not bad. Easy to setup since all you need to do is load the flightplan into the sim. If you are short on time you can cancel the flightplan and fly the STAR until you are on final and just contact Tower for landing. Also 1 less program for you to run. Default ATC for the Win here 👊

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I started out with default ATC which is reasonable enough although it doesn't handle mountains on approach very well and obviously no SIDS or STARS.

I then used Pro ATC which was ok although it used to get annoying if you miss a waypoint with it wanting you to go back. Set up time for that is not more than a minute or two and I'd do it whilst the sim is loading up.

These days if I have the time to be in front of my PC for a full flight i use VATSIM. I also typically just have Live atc on in the background as i find it very immersive and sometimes you hear some interesting things for example the other week someone had a techinical issue and needed to return to land.

Minimal setup time on both of those


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23 hours ago, Bobsk8 said:

I usually fly about 10 flights a week in the Q400. I use EFB, and PF3, and Simbrief. I also use Smartcars from my VA. Total time to set up flight is usually around 15 minutes for everything. I used RC4 about a decade ago, but for me it's like going back to DOS 3.1

And, pray, what was wrong with DOS 3.1? 🤣 

 


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22 hours ago, Alan_A said:

Do you refile IFR to get your landing clearance or just check in with the tower

I do refile IFR when I'm somewhat close, if I just contact the tower and there's bad weather it will be negative airport is IFR only. The good/bizarre thing about a this old default ATC which no other payware ATC seems to have mastered is that it will control traffic around the airport and on the ground, I've seen and heard instances where I was on com1 for tower and com2 for ground where ground told traffic to wait while I was incoming and/or sometimes tower telling me to follow others in or telling other planes to follow me in. On the ground ATC will not tell you to take off if others are crossing the runways. There's nothing worse than doing a 4hr flight only to have AI jumbo take off while landing, well.... apart from running out of fuel.

 

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2 hours ago, FPStewy said:

The good/bizarre thing about a this old default ATC which no other payware ATC seems to have mastered is that it will control traffic around the airport and on the ground,

VOXATC does both.


Jay Bloomfield

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12 minutes ago, jabloomf1230 said:

VOXATC does both.

Maybe I'm missing something or misunderstood, you said in this post.... "AI aircraft may collide on the ground and take off and land from the wrong runways, but that's because VOXATC is not controlling the sim's AI. VOXATC also won't communicate with the sim's AI aircraft."

 


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