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Waiting for Next Major Release

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After giving RC4 a dozen flights, I've decided to remove it from the computer for awhile and wait for your next major release. I guess the biggest complaint I have is the lack of terminal procedures (DPs & STARs). If I want to fly a RNAV STAR I must basically turn-off RC4 before top of descent; otherwise, the app usually starts me down 80-120 nm before TOD and becuase it relies on FS9 navdata it is totally unaware of the fixes that have been published in the past 3 years. I can't recommend the best way to keep current, but many of the most successful add-ons have developed strategies to improve fidelity.The final straw was a short hop KABQ-KTUS flown by SWA (ONM J104 SSO at FL400). There is a new RNP approach into KTUS (rnav (rnp) rwy11l) that starts at SSANDS and essentially provides course for a left downwind with a wide arc to final. I had to turn off RC4 when it wanted me to start a descent about 120 nm before my FMC's TOD... so, if I have to keep on turning off RC4 to fly a procedure as published then why bother setting it up a creating *.pln files for it?I know there's many happy simmers using this product, but hopefully the feedback will be taken constructively and not negatively. It just that I hope for a higher level of fidelity (and am willing to pay for it).Thanks,

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i beg to differ with youon the initial descent clearance from cruise, you can ask for it at your discretion. it will always be approved. you can then follow whatever means you wish, to get to wherever you're going.i'm not sure i understand what you mean about the fixes. i don't need fixes, i don't need any updates. i get my data from your .pln file. if you .pln file doesn't have the up to date data, you should check your planner. that is how i keep current, i let other people do the heavy lifting. i rely on the .pln you import.so using your kabq-ktus example, when you recieve your initial descent from cruise, ask for it at your discretion. continue flying at whatever altitude your approach requires.once you contact approach, ask for an iap-rnav approach, and rc will ignore you until you have to contact tower.just curious, have you flown the tutorials? specifically 1 (dealing with early (for you) descent clerances) and 7 and 8 that deal with iap approaches? and also page 58 of the manual will describe the iap approach process. and page 152 goes to your exact problem of starting your descent to early (for you).if you have any other questions, or things that need clarification, let me know.jd

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Hi Dan,Just to elaborate on one of JD's comments. The request for a Pilot Discretion (PD) will only appear if you are on manual replies. If you have auto-reply enabled that option is never displayed.Depending on the number of runways at the arrival airport you may be denied a PD. But, due to a little bugette in RC4 just keep requesting it and eventually it will be granted. I think my personal record stands at 7 requests before eventually being granted one into EHAM.You'll notice in the flight plan you feed to RC4 each waypoint has a lat/lon. It's those that are used by the program so if you have access to the latest data and can feed it into FS9 or your preferred planner RC4 will use it. I don't see SSANDS in FS Navigator or FS9 but if you know its Lat/Lon then insert a fix at that point using your flight planner software.Remember too to request the IAP option when contacting Approach. That will give you complete freedom to fly your own route including any altitude restrictions it contains.Cheers,

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The *.pln is what I build in FS9 and it is the problem. Sure would be nice if MS would provide a navdata update ability and a more robust flight path tool based on ARINC424 protocols. I don't have FSBuild because it's database is not updated on a periodic basis either. The only add-on's I have found that come close to accurate models are the aircraft with FMC capability that rely on volunteer work to provide navdata. I also believe it is not possible to accurately model a flight path with the *.pln file, which is limited to fix-fix format (no constraints, conditionals, etc).Your work around is to provide methods to disable ATC, such as the IAP. But my rational is why use it if I must disable it in the arrival terminal area? This is where sequencing and separation are paramount issues.The FAA has been including more and more digital navdata, currently the NACO has a Digital Aeronautical Information CD that includes enroute, DPs STARs and radar terminal information. The DP and STAR info is new for this product. I've advocated strongly that flightsim vendors start looking at the market and appropriate business model to make this information available to simmers at a reasonable cost.RC4 is an amazing product, and the close modelling of 7110.65 is good. Hope I have an opportunity to come back soon.

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>The *.pln is what I build in FS9 and it is the problem. Sure>would be nice if MS would provide a navdata update ability and>a more robust flight path tool based on ARINC424 protocols. I>don't have FSBuild because it's database is not updated on a>periodic basis either. The only add-on's I have found that>come close to accurate models are the aircraft with FMC>capability that rely on volunteer work to provide navdata. I>also believe it is not possible to accurately model a flight>path with the *.pln file, which is limited to fix-fix format>(no constraints, conditionals, etc).i don't have fsbuild, but i know that it is updated everytime a new cycle comes out. you probably have to do something to make the update happen, but it is up-to-date as you want. since you're using fs9's planner, hard to say that rc relies on 3 year old data.shows what i know - i've been informed that fsbuild is not automatically updated. pity. fine planner.>>Your work around is to provide methods to disable ATC, such as>the IAP. But my rational is why use it if I must disable it in>the arrival terminal area? This is where sequencing and>separation are paramount issues.not at all. rc is still separating traffic, giving you traffic advisories, let you request the weather, etc. it hasn't gone away. but if you choose to fly an iap rnav approach, you're not going to have atc telling you how to fly it. doesn't happen in the real world, not going to happen in rc. if you say you're flying the rnav approach, you're saying you know how to do it. why should i watchdog you?>>The FAA has been including more and more digital navdata,>currently the NACO has a Digital Aeronautical Information CD>that includes enroute, DPs STARs and radar terminal>information. The DP and STAR info is new for this product.>I've advocated strongly that flightsim vendors start looking>at the market and appropriate business model to make this>information available to simmers at a reasonable cost.not a problem for me. i'm shocked that every plane, every fmc, is unique to the plane. what a nightmare. luckily it's not my nightmare ;-)i just take what is given me.>>RC4 is an amazing product, and the close modelling of 7110.65>is good. Hope I have an opportunity to come back soon.with a little more flight time, you might actually find it does what you want it to do. as long as it is realistic.

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Hi,I think the waypoint name is SSANDNot SSANDSThe SSAND waypoint was found ok in FsbuildBest Regards,Vaughan Martell

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>Depending on the number of runways at the arrival airport you>may be denied a PD. But, due to a little bugette in RC4 just>keep requesting it and eventually it will be granted. I think>my personal record stands at 7 requests before eventually>being granted one into EHAM.LOL, that's not a bugette, that's an ATC feature to get pilots that don't hear very well to shut the heck up, LOL....Seriously though, I would like a little more clarification on requesting and being granted a PD descent. I did this a while back and it worked as advertised using the PMDG 747. RC issued a decent, I asked for and was granted a Pilots Descretion. I then waited another 40nm to begin my decent as programed in the FMC from a plan that was exported from FSBuild2. The kicker here is, because I waited so long, I then missed my 11K or 13K (don't remember which) crossing restriction even though it was issued 30nm ahead of time. I then tried to Nose-dive for the restriction but missed it. Basically, you're allowing us to delay the descent but not the crossing restriction or follow the FMC guidance all the way to the ILS which in my case included a fully programmed STAR. The crossing restriction messed up the descent path which VNAV was follwing perfectly up until this point.Is there a way, when being granted a PD descent, to have the descretion all the way to the ILS and not have a leveling-off crossing restriction mess up the fully calculated VNAV descent?Thanks....

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nope, real world get's in the way. crossing restrictions are the rule.i'm sure someone can jump in and explain how to program one of those fmc-thingys, so the TOD is based on a 11000 crossing restriction 40 miles from the destinationjd

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Hi,<>:) Actually it's for lady pilots who won't take no for an answer ;-)On your other point about not missing your crossing restriction with a PD I suggest you always include a 40 mile waypoint in your plan and then enter 280/12000 [280/120]* or preferably 250/11000 [250/110]* in your FMC against it. That way you can start down at the FMC's ToD and providing your FMC is engaged in VNav mode still meet RC's altitude requirement.If you then wish to fly a IAF approach with further altitude restrictions for the remaining waypoints just request it when contacting Approach.The thing to remember here is that whilst FMCs are wonderful toys they don't remove the pilots responsibility to ensure he's flying the aircraft to meet all of ATC's requirements. You know you'll have to be down to 11000ft or higher by 40 miles so plan for it.* where the Transition Altitude is lower than 10,000ft.Cheers,

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>>...because I waited so long, I then missed my 11K or 13K...<>...you're allowing us to delay the descent but not the crossing restriction...<>...or follow the FMC guidance all the way to the ILS which in my case included a fully programmed STAR...<>Is there a way, when being granted a PD descent, to have the descretion all the way to the ILS and not have a leveling-off crossing restriction mess up the fully calculated VNAV descent<

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Ah, now I get it... When I'm cruising, enter a fix in the FMC 40nm out from the airport. I assume this should work 40nm from the RWY fix at the end of the plan in the FMC? I didn't think about that. This could be done way ahead of time so I'm not fumbling with the FMC during a more hectic portion of the flight. What is the thumb-rule, 11K westbound and 13K eastbound, based on approach direction from the active?

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>:) Actually it's for lady pilots who won't take no for an>answer ;-)Ray, you darn near had me spit my Sunday moring coffee all over my monitor, LOL, very good.... :-xxrotflmaoGentlemen,Thank you so much about entering my crossing restriction 40nm out in the FMC. As sooon as I read that, lightbulbs starting illuminating in my head and I'm thinking, why in the heck didn't I think of that! Duh, seems so simple now! To elaborate a bit, what I had been doing was waiting for the descend with 30nm guidance and then fumbling to enter a fix in the FMC with the crossing restriction reletive to the nearest fix alreay in the FMC plan. Sometimes that worked and sometimes it didn't. Making the fix ~ 40nm from the rwy seems a lot easier and more predictable.Thanks again for some of the best support in the industry.

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Hi Al,Just as well we don't have many lady pilots ;-) I'd be history :-(You're not alone. I frequently used to miss the restriction until I thought of that simple solution. I bet your passengers will be relieved there'll be no more 6000fpm descents! :-hah Cheers,

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>I bet your passengers will be relieved there'll be no more 6000fpm descents! :-hah Ah, but with FSPassengers installed, I will kinda miss hearing them puke all over the cabin. :)BTW, do you set the ~45nm restriction fix as a direct distance from the airport or ~45nm as flown along the existing flight-path already programmed in the FMC which might actually bring the fix closer to the airport because the plan might include a lengthy downwind leg for example. I'm guessing you're going to tell me as direct-distance from the aiport but I thought it was worth clarifying.Also, is there anyway to calculate, ahead of time, how long we can expect to be leveled-off at the 40nm restriction? Shouldn't we then be able to input another fix which approximates when we might expect to resume the descent? In my mind, this would push the TOD even further out to accomidate the period that we are leveled off around 11K.

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Hi Al,<>Direct distance.<I'm not sure. JD is best equipped to answer this. My guess is that it's a random factor. Remember that if you request the IAP option you will be cleared immediately to the approach altitude leaving you free to descend as you wish.Cheers,

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>Direct distance.>Remember that if you request the IAP option you will be cleared immediately to the approach altitude leaving you free to descend as you wish.Great... Building a new FP now to give this all a shot. Thanks...

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>Ah, now I get it... When I'm cruising, enter a fix in the>FMC 40nm out from the airport. I assume this should work 40nm>from the RWY fix at the end of the plan in the FMC? I didn't>think about that. This could be done way ahead of time so I'm>not fumbling with the FMC during a more hectic portion of the>flight. What is the thumb-rule, 11K westbound and 13K>eastbound, based on approach direction from the active?I'd suggest 45nm from DESTINATION. That allows you time to first get down and then to "slow down". Also, keep a check on winds at the airport - if you are going to be landing in the opposite direction from which you are approaching the airport, RC is gonna want you at 12000, not 11000. I usually create the 45nm from DEST waypoint and set 11000, my TOD is calculated based on that. Then, when center tells me what they want, I adjust accordingly. Works EVERY time!Oh yeah, do note that at high altitude airports (e.g., KDEN), you will be expected to be at 15000 rather than 11000 or 12000.-michael

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I have not done this but preflight after your route is loaded into the FMC follow the procedure to put a 45 nm range ring araound destination. With your ND in plan mode you could advance it (step) to see where the ring crossed your route and create a soft fix with altitude restriction there. There is probably an existing waypoint near where the range crosses to base your PBD softfix reference or maybe an existing waypoint is close enough to place the altitude restriction at.Remember to set your MCP altitude to the crossing restriction altitude so as you cross the softfix VNAV will not continue the descent until you reduce the MCP altitude. At some point you'll probably go with FLCH to meet the rapid responses close in.You also have the option of in flight taking V/S control and watching the dynamic descent prediction rings showing where you'll reach the required altitude (MCP set) and compare it to the range ring you entered around destination if you don't want to program a soft fix.

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Thanks everyone. Performed a flawless VNAV descent from KMIA to KORD in the PMDG 747. I pre-programmed in a crossing restriction of 42nm @ 250/11K and then adjusted it up to 280/12K when it was evident that I was coming in from the "far-side." VNAV prfoile with destination-winds was online all the way down the full-ILS approach, presetting my speeds all the way in. :) I have to get a little better at my PBD fixes but it worked as advertisd. The only quirk I found was in FSBuild2, when forcing the ORD VOR within 5nm of KORD destination as a final fix, it kept erasing my STAR in the plan prior to "building" the plan. I dropped the STAR for this trip but there must be work-around for this issue.I can say I definitly learned something new today. Now it's time for a beer and to watch my Eagles in the first NFL game of the season tonight. Thanks again:-walksmile

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Hi Al,That's great. This thread should be used as a guide for others. Glad you're enjoying RC4 to the full. Enjoy the game! :-beerchug Cheers,

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kind of funny how we ended up, considering where we started :-)that's the way it works around here.jd

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>I pre-programmed in a crossing>restriction of 42nm @ 250/11K and then adjusted it up to>280/12K when it was evident that I was coming in from the>"far-side." Sounds like you got the hang of it! ;-)One other suggestion: there is no need to be at 250KIAS at 11000. You can be slower. That makes it a bit easier to slow down and make the descent until lined up for final. The PMDG 747 is not that big a deal because it has a fair amount of drag. But, it is very difficult to slow the LDS 767 when starting down from 11000 @ 250KIAS. Give it a try ...>I can say I definitly learned something new today. Now it's>time for a beer and to watch my Eagles in the first NFL game>of the season tonight. Thanks againThe Eagles were on TV tonight?? I'm down in Northern VA - I was watching my METS smack your Phillies around - 8-1 final!But, regarding the Eagles, my wife's god-son is Dexter Wynn. This is his third year. Because of him I actually cheer for a Philly team! ;-)-michael

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Michael,>I actually cheer for a Philly team!Shouldn't you be cheering for the 'Skins??? Even I cheer for them (even though I now live in Cowboys country).:-bang

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Yup, confirmed this last night. The range-ring does help as well. Using the "Fix" button on the FMC, enter your destination airport and upselect it to LSK1, then upselect /45 (without a preceding bearing) to LKS1 and it does draw a nice 45nm circle around your destination. You can then see perfectly just where your plan crosses the rang-ring and where to program in the 45nm fix. I had played around with this feature before but never found it to be really useful, until now.:-beerchug

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