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Heavy wind and keeping altitude

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Hello,Flew a short flight last night in rather rough weather. I had to level off and my vertical speed indicater was going up and down due to the wind but I was perfectly able to keep altitude within 20 feet up or down. But I was getting busted by ATC for not keeping my altitude (and yes, I had the correct QNH setting). Has this something to do with the vertical speed going up or down and if so what can I do to prevent this? (my altitude deviation is set to the default 300 feet)Kind regards,Huppel

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No, if your altitude deviation is set to 300ft and you are less than this distance away from your assigned altitude/level, RC will not "bust" you for failing to maintain altitude level. Despite what you say about the QNH, the most likely cause is a mis-set altimeter. Can you provide some more details please?Pete

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Okay, I'll try to refly this flight and see what happens.

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eh, User error, replace user...I underestimated the RC4 realism ;-)When I heard 998 I thought I'd missed the 2 and set 2998. When reflying I used the B key instead of setting QNH myself and now I saw that 998 hpa was set. As I flew all training tutotials in the US I thought RC4 would always report QNH in inches, but as I learned the 'hard way' it adapts itself to the region your flying in! Impressed again!That leaves one other question: I was flying from EHDR to EHKD, a flight of only 49 nm. Almost immediately after being cleared to my cruise altitude I heard something I couldn't realy understand. It was something like "descend and maintain 2000 feet, and that will be your final". I can't recal the descend and maintan part excactly but that I could understand, but I couldn't understand the "and that will be your final" part. I also had an unable option after this instruction. Any idea what could have been said and what it exactly means? (I descended to 2000 and never got busted so that must have been the idea ;-)Regards,Huppel

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Hi Huppel,As far as I know the phrase 'That will be your final' is telling you that it is the altitude at which you will be expected to intercept the localiser (or get onto the final approach course).All the best,John

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Yes, that would be logical. Thanks for your reply!Regards,Huppel

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>>When I heard 998 I thought I'd missed the 2 and set 2998<<Huppel,Thanks for letting me know what had happened. You are not alone in making this mistake as it's not uncommon for real-world pilots to do the same thing. In real-world UK air traffic control, there is a requirement for UK controllers to add the word "millibars" when the QNH value is less than 1000 to help US pilots - and those more familiar with US procedures - to avoid that very error.Now, from my point of view, the interesting thing is that for 18 months of RC4's 2 year development and beta testing, that procedure was actually there - RC controllers would always add millibars when the QNH was less than 1000! Just before release, I asked jd to remove it and I'm now kicking myself for doing that. The reason I had it removed was because the UK is one of the very few countries (perhaps the only one) that still uses millibars - all the rest use hectopascals. Although for all practical purposes, 1mB = 1hPa so there's no difference in the value, just the name, I thought there was more chance of complaints from users that RC was unrealistic in not using hPa than there was of anyone mixing up the pressure settings. Well, we all make mistakes.The message here for the RC team is to record a "hectopascals" wav and to return the procedure to use with that wav. I hope jd and/or Ray will pick this up and add it to a future release.I nearly forgot the second part of your question. I'm not entirely certain that anyone, even jd, has a complete knowledge of all the possible phrases in RC but I've never come across one that's anything like "and that will be your final". If you attach your plan here and let me know the QNH, your cruise altitude/level and the landing runway that was in use at EHKD, I'll fly your plan and see if I can work out what instruction you were given.BestPete

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Thanks again for your reply! Feel a little less stupid now ;-)I'm at work now but I'll provide you with the flight information when I'm at home later today.Regards,Huppel

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>>That will hopefully make it onto the 4.1 release.<<That's good to hear, Ray. Thanks.PP

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OK, Huppel. I suspect that the runway you were landing on at EHKD did not have an ILS in which case, the RC controller probably said, "Maintain altitude 2000ft until established on the final approach course" but I'll know more when I fly your plan.Pete

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No that is not the case, it was an ILS landing.First the flight details (reflew it again so I can describe it exactly):EHDR .. EHKD (no points inbetween due to the short distance)cruise 6000ft (but that is never reached)take off runway 26 (for landing runway see the what happens part)Turbo prop, nothing changed in the controller info nor was a landing runway selected in RC4Weather: I'm using Active sky 6 and loaded the weather for 4th of March, 20:00 hours (wind was not as strong as when I could load it as current weather). QNH 0998, wind 250/7 (true heading)What happens:As I contact center passing 1500 I get instructed to descend to 2000 (passed 2000 by now) then the final thing and then 'resume own navigation'. So I'm not in the appoach phase (I think?). Shortly after that I'm instructed to contact approach which sets me up for a runway 22 ILS approach.I hope this helps.Kind regards,Huppel

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Huppel,I've flown your plan and I now know what happened and why.First, the phraseology. I hadn't realised that Drachten is an airfield without ATC. In these circumstances, RC4 reverts to FAA procedures and phraseology - something, I'm sure, that will be fixed in a future release. After you were cleared to climb to your cruising level of FL60, the controller issued an amended clearance to stop you at altitude 2000ft and added the information, "that will be your final." This amended clearance means that having issued the climb to FL60, the controller no longer considered it to be appropriate and decided you should maintain 2000ft instead. "That will be your final" simply means that no further climb will be given. (JB got this spot-on in his earlier reply to you.)Some of the US-style phraseology used by RC4 can be a little difficult to grasp if English is not your mother tongue. In the UK for example, an amended climb clearance like that would be given as, "stop climb at altitude 2000ft, that will be your cruising altitude." which, I think, is much clearer.So why did you get stopped off at such a low altitude? It was because of your flight plan which consisted of only the 2 airfields - EHDR and EHKD. Radar Contact needs at least 1 waypoint between departure and destination airports to work properly. Fortunately, RC doesn't seem bothered where this waypoint is so I modified your plan by adding the Den Helder VOR (HDR) which is just to the south of De Kooy. Flying the plan with this simple addition, I was allowed to climb to FL60 before approach gave me a nice radar circuit with descent clearances to FL50, 3000ft and 2000ft as you would expect with a normal RC flight.Try it again with the plan EHDR HDR EHKD and you'll see the difference - RC performing as it was designed to do.BestPete

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Thanks for the time you invested to find this all out, what a support!Gonna try entering an extra waypoint this evening. But I didn't even see it as a problem, ATC can decide how to get you from A to B and I did get where I wanted to! ;-)Thanks again!Huppel

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And as expected adding the waypoint gets me to my cruise altitude of FL60...Thanks again Pete!!Huppel

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