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Guest tatfsn

RC3.1 FIRST EXPERIENCE PROS & CONS

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Hi--I've had RC for some time, having purchased it for and installed it on my last computer (for FS2002). With the advent of 3.1, and its greater AI awareness features, I finally made my first flight with it recently. To me, the advent of AI traffic is probably one of the two or three most significant watersheds in FS history; next to real weather I'm hard pressed to think of anything that has added more to the FS experience (even considering the numerous shortcomings of the FS2K2 and F2K4 ATC engines). That RC3.0 had little or no interaction with the AI planes was a major factor in deterring me from using it. With that in mind, I installed and "kicked the tires" of 3.1; while it is a fabulous achievement, I have, overall, mixed feelings about it.I work at a busy secondary hub airport, and my job includes monitoring of and regular interaction with ATC, so while I am among the more critical and discerning of FS users, I also try to be realistic. A TOTALLY authentic simulation of air traffic control, in terms of movement of aircraft, with all the variations and permutations possible thereof, on a PC is probably a very long time away. That FS2K4 and programs like yours do as well as they do is a marvel, and a tribute to your innovation and skills. An ATC simulation that combined what your program offers and what MS has put together would be the ultimate!!! As for my experience with RC--I flew, in a bizjet of my own design, a short hop from KSBA to KMYF. On my panel I use Reality XP's JetLine 4 Avionics package. I have a slew of GA AI aircraft and flightplans, and thanks to PAI and Most Realistic AI, I probably have about 90+% of North America's airline flights and aircraft (needless to say, southern California is pretty well stocked with planes). I really liked RC's ability to instruct me into "position and hold," unlike FS, and to give me winds and an initial heading along with the takeoff clearance, as opposed to the boring, routine runway heading that the default FS always does. The step climbs to my filed altitude, FL190, and the vectors and descent clearances to KMYF were quite impressive and accurate. The phraseology that your controllers used was dead on accurate. Also, the capability to hand all the radio communications to the first officer, letting her handle everything, including automatically reply, and leaving the user completely free to concentrate on flying the airplane is almost worth the entire price of the program!!! I'm sure that there are many of us, using the default FS ATC utility, who have lost count of the number of times, during critical phases of flight, that we've had to fumble for the "~" or "1" or "2" or other acknowlegement key, with that text window in our faces, covering the windscreen, while trying to fly the plane!!! There were some dissapointments, however. It is clear that while RC 3.1 interacts with AI, that interaction is extremely limited. What bothered me is that unlike during a flight with the FS default ATC, I heard ATC talk, during the forty plus minutes of flight, to a grand total of at most four other planes, though my TCAS had aircraft painted all over it. Additionally, all of the planes the controller warned me about had European registrations, whose pilots were all obviously European. Wonderful if I were flying in European airspace, but this was southern California!!! (I had turned the background chatter off while on the ground at KSBA, given I was hearing instructions to planes to that were apparently recorded at airports other than the one at which I was located). While flying back to KSBA with FS ATC, there was nearly endless chatter--not just of ATC to planes that are the subject of traffic advisories pertaining to my aircraft. After having gone through the trouble of installing all those planes and flight plans, that is an important return on my investment of time and effort (and of those who built the planes and plans), and is one of the essential components of the flightsim experience. Secondly, I was scolded four times by ATC for being "off course," even though, according to my ND, on each of those occasions, I could not have been more ON course had I tried!!! This was amply reflected during the postflight critique, when I was reamed for my terrible flying, and my perceived inability to follow instructions (though I'd been absolutely on course, complied with all of the vectors and altitude and speed restrictions!!!!). If I'm to be chewed out, fine; but I'd prefer such occasions to be confined to those in which I've screwed up!!! :-hmmm While 3.1 does not quite provide what I'm looking for in terms of realisim (though I realize that there are items that are beyond your control) I appreciate what you've achieved, and your total quality management approach to your product. You've whetted my palate for the possibilities that PC ATC simulations can offer, and I'll be eagerly awaiting, and will definitely purchase version 4.0, whenever it is released. Until then, I'll probably stick with FS2k4's ATC.

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firstly, thanks for all the kind words. thousands of hours went into 3.0 and 3.1, and with what was available at the time, it was the best we could do.secondly, i'm stunned, that you would still prefer fs 2k4 atc. i'm taking from the two negatives, that i only warned you about 4 planes, and the pilots were european. i'm not supposed to warn you about all the planes that are on the tcas screen. only the ones that are within 1000/2000 ft, and 5-10 miles. now if there was a plane within those limits, and i didn't give a traffic advisory, then that would be a problem. if the planes were european registrations, then that was the registrations of the ai planes. i don't make it up :-)now as far as being off course, there are a number of factors here. but i have to ask a number of questions. were the heading watchdogs in approach? center? departure? were you flying a departure procedure? had you been given a traffic vector and then told to "resume own navigation" ? how far apart were your checkpoints? how many checkpoints? what is your heading deviation set for?lastly, if you want ai interaction, 4.0 will have it. but there won't be many traffic advisories, because i will vector you and the ai planes out of possible future conflicts. you'd be amazed at this stuff. i am :-)thanks for your comments, get back to me on the off course thing, that is easily corrected.

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Hi--I appreciate your prompt response. I should have been a bit more specific re: the communications with other aircraft. When I cited the TCAS, I was using that as an illustration of the amount of traffic that was in my vicinity, and not just that which presented a potential conflict with my aircraft. I completely agree with the point that you made re: the traffic advisories, but the controller who issued them would normally have numerous other planes under his/her juristiction at the time, and in the FS default ATC engine the frequency was almost constantly busy with the conversations between the ATC and those planes (which I would hear by virtue of the fact that we were on the same frequency, regardless of their proximity to me). The point which I miscommunicated was that during the RC flight, I felt that I was practically alone in the sky (shades of FS98 and FS2000:-( ) with the exception of the aircraft that I was warned about, and that the other AI planes were just part of the scenery. In regards to the flight that I made, I wanted to keep it simple for the first try, so I did not use any SIDs/STARs. The filed route was KSBA-->FIM-->ADAMM-->NIKKL-->JULIAN-->KMYF, FL190. The initial heading that I was assigned with the takeoff clearance from rwy 25 was a 230 heading; upon handoff I was cleared to 10,000 and then another turn (if I remember correctly, to 090), which merged almost perfectly with my filed route, which was painted on my ND. I was then told to resume my own navigation, and then handed off to Center. It was Center that scolded me on the at least three occasions for being off course (though I had been right on course before I arrived over FIM (FILLMORE)!! He assigned me vectors which would have only taken me off course. Heading deviation was set to 5 degrees, distance between the checkpoints ranged from 30nm to 48nm.One more issue, that I know has been cited by another post: when Otto was tuned into the ATIS for KMYF, it advertised that rwys 10L and 10R were in use, and Approach vectored me accordingly for a visual to 10L. I found, unfortunately, that the AI traffic was using 28s. Tower cleared me to land on 10L anyway--against the traffic. There were not enough aircraft in the pattern to make it a big issue, and I landed on the assigned runway without a problem. On checking FS9's internal ATIS, I noted that THEY were advertising 28L and 28R in use. Once again, the overall experience was enjoyable and challenging, and the potential of your program is impressive; I guess I would like to see more AI interaction and feel its prescence reflected in the ATC environment that RC presents. Also, of course, there are the bogus "off course" warnings and scoldings. ;)

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i think scott campbell figured the atc to the other airplanes out many months ago. just tune com2 to fs atc's freq, and listen to rc on com1 and fs atc on com2if i knew what the other planes were about to do, i could talk to them, that would be easy. knowing what they are about to do, before they do it, is the problem :-)can you send me the .pln file you mentioned in the second paragraph. i'd like to fly the .pln you loaded, not a .pln i madelanding against the traffic is a problem, no doubt. in v3 i don't know what runways are in use by the ai planes. sometimes they are landing with the wind at their back. go figure. i give you the option to choose a different runway. another good thing is to listen to the fs atc freq, see what they are doing, and adjust your runway accordingly. the good news, in v4 (i know, i know, always fixed in the next release), i do know what runway is in use by the ai, and will choose them instead of the "Standard" rc method of choosing runways.the off course thing, we just have to figure out what is going wrong on your flight. if this was happening to everyone else, no one would be buying radar contact.jd

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