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Guest JackDanielsDrinker

Situational awareness

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Hi...I'm a relative noob with FSX...been running it for a week or so. Sometimes I'll go on a long flight in the Learjet. I'll take off and put the autopilot on a heading. I'll play with the controls for awhile, and then I'll turn on the time compression when I get bored and don't want to wait 3-4 hours to get to my destination.So I'm zooming along at 8x or 16x time compression, looking down from 30,000 feet at the low resolution textures that seem to load when using time compression. Then I wonder, where am I?So I go back to normal time. The high rez textures take a few minutes to load (sometimes 7-8 minutes, but my new dual core machine will hopefully cure that). But I can't look at the ground and tell where I am. The F12 top down view doesn't show cities or roads, so it usually doesn't allow me to pinpoint my location either, especially if I'm over a rural area.So I turn on the GPS. With it, I can see nearby airports listed as airport codes. But I can't find anywhere to lookup that code. I Googled around to try to find a printable list of airport codes listed alphabetically by code so I could look them up (I don't want to alt-esc to the desktop everytime to look them up). I found one list, but it doesn't have the small airports. Plus, even without the small airports, its like 10 pages printed in 6 point font (which I guess I can deal with).What do you all use to tell where you are with reference to cities, roads, or other landmarks (not just lat/long)? So when your wife walks in, you can say, "Look, I'm westbound just south of Coffeyville, Kansas" or something like that.

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The answer is actually pretty simple. In real life you don't fly a plane like a Learjet without a very precisely planned flightplan. And, well, you don't have 8x or 16x time compression. There are various instruments that can help you to get oriented - GPS, VORs, Flight Management Computers and, last but not least, ATC. In the default Learjet in FSX you probably want to use the GPS.As I said earlier, in a plane like this, you really don't want to fly blindly or without a plan. Therefore you have to plan a route and then "just" follow the waitpoints until you reach your destination (IFR - Instrument Flight Rules). It's not that you step into a plane and just zip around the countryside, like in a car. You can do it without a flightplan (under VFR - Visual Flight Rules), but that's usually for smaller planes and wioth a lot of weather and altitude restrictions.VFR pilots usually use "Sectionals" for orientation, which include the terrain, elevations, airspace, airways, airport information and a lot more. You can purchase them at any online aviation store for a few bucks.Some good online sources are:- http://www.airnav.com- http://www.fltplan.comand, if you're interested how that all works in real lifehttp://www.faa.gov/ATPubs/AIM/index.htmMy explanation is very simplified. In reality it is all much more complicated with a lot more rules and regulations.Good luck!Pat

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If you buy FSUIPC, it comes with a GPS emulator, GPSOut. With this, you can connect a running FSX to any map program which accepts GPS-format inputs. There is a nice freeware called PocketFMS that you can use for this. Alternatively you can get the enroute IFR charts (assuming you are flying airways) and use that to keep track of where you are. There is also the in-game map view that you can use.scott s..

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Oh but JackDanielsDrinker, sometimes it's fun being lost...If you use Map View, it's easy to tell where you are--you can double click on those airport codes, and bring up an info screen detailing the name of the airport, and so forth.GPS-equipped aircraft (which is most of the planes in FS) have a zoom in and out feature and sometimes you can tell that way, or cross-reference with Map View.Also you can tune a VOR that is nearby. Actually if you have 2 VOR's near you, you can tune one to NAV1 and the other to NAV2, center the CDI's on "FROM", then cross the streams (GhostBusters reference) with those CDI readings and you will have your exact position.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2530 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 3-3-3-8, WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian

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A fun way I use sometimes if Microsoft Mappoint and hook into its GPS feature. Though meant for a car it works great for following an aircraft. I have it on a 2nd PC with its own monitor. Sure there are other 3rd party addons that work the same but this I already had lying around. just a thought,ClutchProject 9Dragons

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I am flying VFR right now. Later, I would like to learn about IFR and do some more serious (and realistic) flights with waypoints, etc. Thanks for the info...that will help me.

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AHAH!! Double click on the airport codes...I thought there was more to it. I haven't seen airport codes in the Map View (F12), but maybe I haven't been zoomed in enough. I'll look, thanks.And Clutch...that's a good idea. Do you use FSUIPC to interface MapPoint with FSX?

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Here are a few things....First of all, the Learjet typically tops out around 330 knots, but the actual ground speed of that aircraft is significantly higher depending on altitude and wind. Lets say your ground speed is 400 knots and you turn on 8x time compression for a single minute... In that minute you would travel 53 and 1/3 nautical miles. Lets say you bumped that up to 16x, it would be 106 and 2/3 nautical miles! No wonder you are getting lost!While it can be fun, it is also not realistic in any sense of the form. Direct GPS is also not a very realistic regarding actual usage of a GPS system. You need to create a flight plan. I would suggest flying high altitude airways while you are still learning as well as follow ATC instructions for an IFR flight. They will tell you everything you need to do. Trust me when I say a 1 hour IFR flight plan using full ATC communications is exciting! You really feel as though you don't have enough time to accomplish your task!Good luck with your learning. You might want to use the resources in the learning center to help you as you progress in your skill.

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Thanks for the info. I am wading through the Learning Center...its good stuff. I actually don't get lost vis-a-vis my destination. I make it there. And I'm not really totally lost...hitting F12 basically tells me where I am. I just sometimes want to look down and know what that small to medium size city is down there...maybe I've driven through that city...or I've been there...or I know someone who lives there...it enhances the sim experience for me. Also, I can tell the wife stuff like "Look, that's Hays, Kansas down there where I once had an ostrich steak". I will try an IFR flight plan. Do the ATC instructions come in automatically or do I need to check something? I will poke around in the Learning Center about IFR.Also, don't you ever do long flights (say transatlantic or over the pole) where you use time compression. I like to immerse myself in FSX, but I think I'd use some time compression on an 8-10 hour flight. Maybe not...we'll see.Thanks again.

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No the airport codes are not in F12 (Map View). They are in the MAp View that is in the MENUS of FS. If I recall it's the World...Map View in the menu.RhettAMD 3700+ (@2530 mhz), eVGA 7800GT 256 (Guru3D 93.71), ASUS A8N-E, PC Power 510 SLI, 2 GB Corsair XMS 3-3-3-8, WD 250 gig 7200 rpm SATA2, CoolerMaster Praetorian

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Heh heh. Actually, I'm usually drinking rum (ti punch, rum punch, Daquiris, etc) or beer especially if I'm winging my way to the islands. I read up last night on IFR, so I'll try that. Navigating via VOR sounds kind of quaint and fun. I might have to eventually do a flight where I deny myself GPS, the map, F12, etc., and only use VOR and landmarks.

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