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About SimBrief

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    Freeware Developer
  • Birthday 10/25/1987

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    Montreal, QC, Canada
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    Aviation, computer graphic and game design, music, video gaming.

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  1. My understanding is this is not a bug, I’ve posted a detailed response to this question in the SimBrief forums here: https://www.simbrief.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1882#p5872
  2. Just a quick correction if I may: This is incorrect, SimBrief does update NAT tracks, NOTAMs, and weather on a regular basis (every few minutes actually), without the need for any subscription fee. This information is all freely available on the internet after all. It should be noted that there is no absolute requirement to file a NAT track when crossing the Atlantic. Just like real world airlines, you will occasionally see SimBrief propose an off-track routing (officially referred to as a Random Route) defined as a sequence of custom lat/long waypoints (for example, TUDEP 52N050W 53N040W 54N030W 55N020W VENER KOKIB) As far as routes go, SimBrief does try to use FlightAware routes whenever possible. Generally, this tends to give the best results as FlightAware routes are sourced from the real world and therefore should comply with any restrictions and preferential routings. Lately, there has been an increase in routes that begin with either a PBD (Place/Bearing/Distance) waypoint or a custom Lat/Long. I don't know why FlightAware has started altering routes like this, but Marc's theory on vectoring sounds logical. I'm going to look into identifying, filtering, or correcting these routes prior to including them in SimBrief. I'd like to also note that you can always select one of the other Suggested Routes on SimBrief if you don't like the default route it proposes. Generally there are up to 5 different route suggestions you can choose from. You can also generate your own custom route from scratch by using the "Route Finder" tool on the Dispatch Options page, which gives options to enable, disable, or force a specific NAT track depending on your preferences. Hope this helps!
  3. For SimBrief's part, this has been fixed by simply converting to the ARINC424 shorthand when outputting PMDG route files. I'm hesitant to add the extra fields present in the 747 native routes referenced above as I don't want to cause any compatibility issues with older PMDG products. Is there any detailed documentation available for the PMDG .rte format? It would be nice to better understand the fields and avoid any potential problems like this in the future. Thanks, - Derek Mayer
  4. SimBrief is designed more as a pilot tool than a dispatch tool. Which is to say, a lot of work was put into automating the role that a dispatcher would play so that you, as a pilot, would only need to input the basic flight info. In return, you get a full briefing generated for you containing valid alternates, ETOPS, payload/fuel figures, etc. all pre-chosen for you by the system. If you wish to invest a bit more time planning your flight, the auto-selected parameters can be overridden in SimBrief's Dispatch Options page. The interface in PFPX is much more reminiscent of real dispatch software, which makes it ideal if you wish to play the role of both the dispatcher and the pilot. It offers many more options (the learning curve is a bit higher as a result), but it can also be used to quickly churn out dispatch releases once you get a hang of it. One could argue though that if your only intent is to quickly generate a dispatch release without using the advanced options that PFPX offers, you might not be using the program to its full potential and might want to consider other, less expensive options. With regards to accuracy and aircraft profiles, SimBrief's fuel planning calculations are just as accurate as PFPX's when comparing detailed aircraft profiles. All of PFPX's profiles are detailed, whereas SimBrief's profiles vary in detail and therefore in accuracy (currently about 50% of SimBrief's profiles are detailed, the rest are basic profiles). This use of basic profiles means that SimBrief can offer more aircraft types, though not all of them are guaranteed to be a 100% match to the real aircraft. A full list of available aircraft profiles for SimBrief can be found here; note how each aircraft is labelled to indicate how detailed the profile is. As far as aerodrome availability goes, I have never heard of PFPX offering less airports than any other software. It uses AIRAC cycle data like every other program, logically it should therefore contain every airport/navaid/airway that the other programs do. Hope this answers some of your questions,
  5. Fair enough, I've actually flown that airspace quite often and have never been put in any position I wasn't comfortable with regarding wake turbulence in cruise. The (few) issues I have had are actually in relatively quiet airspace, where there are fewer airways, most of the traffic is flying either east or west, and it's not uncommon to fly behind, beneath, or to cross paths with another aircraft flying the same airway either in the same direction or in the opposite direction as you. In the specific situation I've been referring to where I deviated for wake, we could actually see the wake descending through the vapor trail and it was apparent we were going to fly through it. I don't know how strong it would have been, maybe it would have just cause light chop, but why on earth would I risk flying through it when all I had to do was request a minor course deviation? Absolutely, I certainly wasn't implying that the wake 5+ miles behind was even close to as strong as it was at the onset. Though it's good that you mention it as I don't think either of us had touched on that yet. I haven't noticed any major misconceptions regarding this amongst my aviation circle, but it's a shame to hear that misconceptions still exist. Sure, most of the time. Generally, if you do hit anything, you will at most get a few ripples, possibly a very brief jolt if you're unlucky and hit the worst of it. For this reason, the spacing policies work and the research has certainly increased safety, I'm not questioning that. On the other hand, I was once #2 on approach, 5 miles behind an Embraer (of all things) and with no warning the aircraft banked to about 60 degrees before I even had a chance to turn off the autopilot and bring it back manually. My aircraft was a Cat E, following another Cat E according to the 3rd link you posted above, with more than the recommended amount of space. These situations are obviously incredibly rare, but they do happen. And if they happen on approach when the seat belts are on and everyone's seated, fine. But I sure don't want that happening at FL400, with people walking around the cabin, with 20 knots between my upper and lower airspeed limits. It's not something to be paranoid about, it's just something that I feel should be taken more seriously than your tone would suggest. It isn't about blindly following the "safety first" culture without thinking for oneself, it's about the difference between being 90% sure nothing will happen, and being 100% sure nothing will happen. Not ranting or anything by the way, just furthering the conversation. You seem to have some knowledge regarding in-trail spacing at the higher levels, I'd be interested to know more on what kind of criteria the FAA uses when spacing aircraft at high levels. Do they vary spacing based on weight categories like they do on approach? You quoted 5-15 miles in a prior post, but that's a fairly wide range. I'm more familiar with the Canadian regs so I'd be interested to hear the FAA side of things. The reason I ask is because surely they can't apply the same minimums at altitude as they do on approach. Even at 2.5nm spacing on an approach, and considering above average approach speeds, that leaves at least 1 minute for the wake to dissipate before the next aircraft passes. Conversely, 5nm spacing at altitude when dealing with 500kts of groundspeed would give little more than 30 seconds, hence my curiosity. While it's practical to space aircraft by reference to in-trail distances, I think we can both agree that what really matters is the time delay between passage. I guess all I'm really trying to add to this conversation is that as someone who has dealt with wake turbulence in a practical context, respecting the minimum separation is a great policy, but one should not take it as a guarantee that you won't get surprised one day. EDIT: Thanks for the links by the way, I appreciate it!
  6. Ouff that felt slightly dismissive haha . Without going into detail, I do fly for the airlines. I regularly go into the busy east coast airports. Admittedly it's tough to convey my intent through a forum post, when it comes to this stuff it's always going to be a judgement call. Every situation will be different. Let me start off by saying that 30nm was a bit much, allow me to retract that. I re-read my post afterwards but couldn't edit it anymore. If I had to ballpark it, I'd say anything within 10 or 15 miles would probably get my attention (that is to say, it would prompt me to evaluate the situation. Not an automatic deviation). And just to clarify, I'm talking about wake avoidance during the cruise portion, that is at high altitudes where the flight envelope is significantly more narrow. Moreover, there is a distinction to be made between simply crossing paths with traffic, and flying parallel along the same track as traffic. More on that below. On descent or approach is a different situation in my opinion, and I'm comfortable with the current separations being applied in those phases. Even if you were to encounter wake on descent, the separation and airspace structure is such that any encounter is likely to be short lived. And depending where you are, you probably already have the belts on and/or the cabin is mostly secure or in the process of being secured. I consider cruise differently because of the narrow envelope, the fact that it's generally otherwise smooth and the belts aren't on, you're flying much faster (applying the same spacing at higher speeds means you will reach the wake quicker and it won't have dissipated as much), and you have FAs in the back serving drinks/coffee/food. Obviously, when evaluating the situation you consider all the factors available to you. For example, I'd be much more likely to deviate if I saw the vapor trail (generally a good indication of where the wake is) is moving to intercept us, or if I don't see a vapor trail at all and I feel there is a chance the wake will end up in our vicinity. (Disclaimer: the use of the word "I" is only because I'm talking about my own views on the subject. Obviously in the cockpit you would discuss the situation and come to a decision as a team). One situation I've seen was crossing 1000ft below another aircraft on the same airway going in the opposite direction. The resulting wake, should we have encountered it, would have been parallel along our track and would have resulted in a prolonged encounter if we flew lengthwise through it. How bad would it have been? I have no idea, but that wasn't the time nor the place to find out. In the past year I've actually requested a deviation for this only once, so it's quite rare. There have been 1 or 2 other similar situations but the crosswinds and visible vapor trail were such that we deemed it not necessary. I recognize that a lot of study goes into defining the minimum wake separations, and as a pilot I recognize that the system wouldn't work if every pilot and his dog requested special treatment in excess of the minimums. My only argument is that these minimums are a "risk mitigation" tool and not a guarantee that the following aircraft won't encounter wake. Every airline pilot has encountered wake outside of the prescribed minimum separations, conditions and circumstances are such that it happens sometimes. Bottom line: As pilots, our #1 priority is always the safety of the flight, and any pilot who feels a situation is unsafe has a responsibility to do something about it, regardless if it's convenient for ATC or not. I know you weren't disagreeing with that or anything, I just wanted to restate it. Moving on, you could be right about the 757 wake, my comment was merely based on the years of cockpit gossip and not on any formal studies I've read. If you have a link to a 757 wake study or something like that I'd appreciate it, thanks! Agreed, it's good to have discussions like this, so thanks for posting, Rick! I'm not convinced (yet) that my viewpoint is all that different from Kyle's, but we'll know more once he responds to this post. :ph34r:
  7. Agreed. I would however give the edge to the pilots when it comes to wake turbulence issues. 5 mile in-trail on an airway might be ok if both aircraft are at the same altitude (the wake should descend before the second aircraft gets there), but if I was following another aircraft by even as much as 30 miles and 1000ft below their altitude, you can be sure I'd be considering my options. If there was a strong crosswind that I knew would blow the wake off to the side I might be ok with it. Otherwise, I might request an offset/direct/heading to get out of the way. Just in case. That being said, I can't say I've ever heard SCX routinely requesting offsets along airways, though I don't fly in the same areas as them all that often. That would seem quite unusual to me, normally that kind of request is only made if you know of another aircraft in your vicinity that could be an issue (this is relatively rare though). Or for other obvious reasons like weather, it's a question of airmanship really. Also agreed, but I don't think Kyle was disagreeing with that. In any case, offsetting along the NATs is SOP these days (see "SLOP"). Both for extra spacing and wake avoidance. Certainly the 757 is one you'd want to avoid though, those wakes can be nasty.
  8. Hi, 330 would be the max ETOPS rating that one can use with the B777. There is nothing stopping you from using a lesser ETOPS rating, such as ETOPS 120 or 180. In the real world, there is no need to use anything higher than ETOPS 180 when crossing the pond due to the multitude of ETOPS suitable alternate airports available to you (normally you can get away with ETOPS 120 as well depending on the day and the route). Higher ETOPS rules are normally more useful on Pacific and Polar routes, but even then it's quite rare that one requires them I believe. Based on the flight plans I've seen (real world), ETOPS 180 is the most commonly used rule when crossing the Atlantic in the 777. Hope that helps,
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