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Torsten

Climb to and descent from cruise

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Hi,I recently purchased RC4 and have mixed feelings about it. The thing that annoys me the most is the climb to and descent from cruise ATC instructions. I get step-climbed to cruise every time. For example 6,000, then 12,000, then FL180, then FL240, then FL 280, then 360, then 380. I never ever have been cleared to climb more than 8,000 feet.On the descent, I get descended down 80-100 miles before from my optimum POD. I understand that you can't always stay high until the last minute and I'm all for that realism. But it's step-descend every time. From 380 to 340, then 280, then 240, then 180, etc. Is this constant step-climb and step-descend "as designed" or am I missing a setting here?Thanks for any comment,Torsten

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if you have the comms, you can request the initial descent clearance to be "at pilot's discretion" then you can stay as high as you wantthat is covered in the manualstep climbs and step descents are boring, and atc is supposed to be boring. we're not out to make every flight exciting. just get you from point a to b, as realisticly as possible.jd

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Hi Torsten,You've probably had too much exposure to the totally incorrect ATC procedures in FS9. It's quite normal for step climbs in the real world and descents prior to the calculated ToD point in your FMC/CDU.Air traffic controllers don't know and don't care about these electronic gizmos. All their concerned about is getting you down when it suits them. As JD mentioned you have the option to request Pilot Discretion when ordered down early. That gives you the best of both worlds. When requesting a PD into a multiple runway airport you may need to make repeated requests before it being granted.Cheers,

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Thank you for your comments. I'm actually quite familar with real world ATC so no problem there ;)The "pilot's discretion" on the descent will help but I'll still roll my eyes at the, in my view, excessive step climb for no reason. In the real world you often get 2-4 clearances and you're good to go all the way up.With RC4 I sometimes (not all times) level off at my intermediate flight levels before I get my next clearance. Climb, level off, climb, level off, climb, etc. will make you few friends in the cockpit, hehe.But it's all good, again, thanks for your comments.Torsten

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Hi Torsten,<<...but I'll still roll my eyes at the, in my view, excessive step climb for no reason. In the real world you often get 2-4 clearances and you're good to go all the way up....With RC4 I sometimes (not all times) level off at my intermediate flight levels before I get my next clearance. Climb, level off, climb, level off, climb, etc. will make you few friends in the cockpit, hehe.>>Let me recount my usual clearances... Initial clearance to FL60 or FL70, then before I reach that I'm cleared up to FL150 more often than not. After that it's FL230 (before I reach FL150) and then FL330. That's four which seems in line with what you would expect.Part of the step, level off, step, level off may be due to your climb rate and which options you select on the MCP. I tend to use FL CH to ensure a constant speed rather than VNav which is only required if altitude restrictions for waypoints are in use. As RC is controlling your clearances this option isn't always the best to use.If you're not already doing so try FL CH assuming your aircraft has that option. I'm not guaranteeing it will resolve the problem but it might help. I fly the PMDG737 range - usually the 700 and 900 series.One final comment. You said in your original mesage that you're never cleared more than 8000ft. There are plenty of times in Europe that I'm cleared from FL230 all the way up to FL330. Do you not get similar clearances?Cheers,

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Ray,I appreciate the step climb/descent logic being put forward by yourself and JD, and it would certainly apply to North America and Europe. However I would submit that it is not universal. In Australia for instance departures are normally assigned an initial level at clearance delivery (5000 to 9000 depending on location), then the departures controller will assign a level which the ceiling to the departures airspace (around FL190). On transfer to the enroute centre the aircraft is then normally assigned its planned cruising level. That's just two levels before the cruising level. On descent it is similar and usually starts with 'when ready descend to FL...'. Again this is usually to the sector floor where they are handed off to approach. The appraoch assignments are dependant on the traffic flow at the time.My wish list for V6 would be some recognition of this along with mapping of the very large areas of non-radar airspace away from North America and Europe, and thus the inclusion of non-radar procedures and standards. You may be saved somewhat from this by the rapid expansion and use by ATC providers of ADS-B.Keep up the good work.NeilYPAD

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Here's one manufacturer's explanation:http://www.garmin.com/aviation/adsb.htmlI think it is great but not 100% reliable in all environments. The question is will multiple modes of data communication be available as well as location reliability. There are a few conditions at lower altitudes where GPS and other reception may not be available due to atmospherics such as highly precipitous solid matter in cloud cover, terrain blockage of transmission at very low AGL levels in mountainous terrain, etc. We will still require redundancy in communication and positioning determination.Anyway, these are not issues for NATS and PACS travel across the ponds because of the high altitudes. I see these devices as active mode transponders instead of waiting to be scanned by radar.As far as ATC control goes I can not see its function and style changing too much as it is pretty much independent of the medium used to plot targets. I do not think I'd leave final separation procedures to artificial intelligence.After all, Australia is still a lot of NDB territory and we do not want to deprive down under of its cultural navigation heritage.

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Hi Ray,My clearances are more like initial to FL60/70, then something around FL15, then low 20s, then high 20s, then low 30s, then final cruise in high 30s. And of maybe 10-12 flights so far, only once have I been cleared from around FL240 to FL330. Everything else is the aforementioned small-step-climb to cruise.I fly the PMDG 737 as well by the way, and I have switched to lower rate climbs specifically to avoid sitting at my intermediate altitude waiting for RC to give me my next little step.I'll fly more when I have and see what happens.Torsten

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Hi Neil,<>I fully understand where you're coming from. What would be needed is a third area to be catered for by RC and that could only be sanctioned by JD. He would need access to a controller from Oz so that all the rules could be adhered to by RC. Without that source of knowledge it would be difficult to implement.If it was implemented it would improve RC of course and make it even more attractive to our Antipodean friends :-)Cheers,

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Ray,As a retired Oz controller, but still in touch with things I would be only to pleased to assist you should JD decide to go down that airway, (and I wont say a thing about cricket).Let me know if I can help.Neil

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G'Day Bruce (you deserved that after mentioning the cricket ),JD is up to his eyes at present with various things so I don't expect he will jump in on this just now. But, if he wanted to go down that route having your input would be very valuable.Thanks mate! Still can't believe how rubbish we were but your lads were class. Thank God three of them have retired!! Maybe we'll have a chance in '09! :-hah

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Hi Torsten,I think most of those will be hard coded into the program. Hopefully one of our r/w controllers will jump in and explain why there are so many clearances.Cheers,

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