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skelsey last won the day on August 30

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About skelsey

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    Broadcast journalist and BAVirtual Director of Training.
  1. Well, I'll defer to those that have done it but my own view on this: the training is there for a good reason - to make you a safe pilot. Not purely to pass an exam. If you learn and understand the content, you will be able to answer the questions and, perhaps more importantly, you will understand why the aeroplane flies and behaves in a certain way (and this will carry through in to your flight training). If you just learn the answers to the questions by rote, you may pass the exam but you will lack the understanding that underpins the rest of the course and your aviation career. And what happens if someone asks you a question you haven't learnt the answer to?
  2. The short answer is -- as Alan says (much more eloquently), there is no such thing as a free lunch when it comes to designing aeroplanes and many factors combine to produce the final result. Thus, it is basically impossible to know how the aeroplane will fly by looking at the wing design alone. Off-topic, but as we're being precise... It is quite important to recognise that "cold + visible moisture" is a good guide for identifying conditions conducive to airframe icing. Carb icing, however, can and does very much occur without visible moisture: the fundamental problem is that as the intake air accelerates through the carb venturi, its temperature drops (because its velocity increases and thus its pressure reduces) and therefore moisture contained within that air in the form of water vapour may condense out and freeze. Thus it is entirely possible to experience severe carb icing on a completely clear day and at ambient temperatures well above zero -- even up to 25-30C. There's a graphic somewhere produced by the Australian CAA (IIRC) which essentially points out that the average, humid, northern European summer's day is absolute prime carb icing territory, even without a cloud in the sky! Ironically, the risk is probably lower on a cold, crisp winter's day when the relative humidity is lower. Likewise, I would expect carb icing to be less of a problem at high altitude (where I presume the DC-6 tends to spend a lot of time) where the air is much drier.
  3. As mentioned above, you can't. Such waypoints can be coded in the navigation database as part of a procedure, but there is no way to enter them manually.
  4. Power + attitude = performance. As described above really: just set the power and pitch attitude required for level flight and let the airspeed settle. In the C172, 2200 rpm in the level flight attitude will give you pretty much 94 KIAS. You may get slight fluctuations due to atmospheric disturbances but generally you do not want to be chasing these deviations unless they are sustained and unacceptable: if you change the power you will also need to change the attitude, which will require re-trimming and thus will get a different performance (ie airspeed). If the airspeed (performance) has changed then either the pitch attitude or the power setting is wrong and will need adjustment. For 100 KIAS you will need, I would guess, about 2300rpm and a slightly lower nose attitude than would be required at 2200rpm/94 KIAS. 2400 rpm (and a consequently even lower nose attitude) will give more like 105-110 KIAS. Above the minimum drag speed (about 68 KIAS in the 172) the aeroplane will be speed stable: that is to say that if the airspeed increases, drag will increase and tend to cause the airspeed to reduce back to the trimmed value. Conversely if airspeed decreases, drag will also decrease and therefore the airspeed will naturally again tend to return to the trimmed value. Below the minimum drag speed - on the 'back side' of the drag curve - a reduction in speed will result in an increase in drag and vice-versa: thus below this speed the aircraft will be speed unstable. The result is that when flying at these (low) airspeeds you will need to be much more active on the throttle to maintain a given airspeed.
  5. As a general point: a TCAS RA should never be a violent manoeuvre and it would be unusual that such a high rate of descent would be necessary. All that is necessary is to keep the VSI in the green region and/or pitch smoothly to avoid the red region on the PFD. -5500 fpm at 2000ft is not a place I would like to be! Step 1 on receiving a TCAS RA is to disconnect both autopilot and autothrottle (FDs can stay on but must not be followed in pitch until clear of conflict). Can you normally disconnect the A/T in flight? I'm afraid I don't know enough about the B777 flight control/protection systems to answer the rest of your question, sorry!
  6. In the US it is common/expected that you will file a SID and STAR as part of the flight plan. However, just because you file it does not necessarily mean that you will be assigned/fly it! In most of the rest of the world the first item in the flight plan would be the last point of the SID and the last item in the flight plan would be the first point of the STAR (no SID or STAR identifiers). Often there will be more than one STAR originating at the same point and the one you will be assigned may depend on the runway in use and/or other considerations (e.g. traffic flow/ATC requirements etc).
  7. Hey Bryan, I believe it would be fairly common to turn off the taxi/landing light prior to turning on to stand in order to avoid dazzling the ground staff. Likewise when stopped on a taxiway - many will turn off the lights, especially if there are other aircraft coming the other way to avoid dazzling them.
  8. Yes. On the the subject of communication: I've just had a look back in the forum. Andy posted some screenshots and a progress update officially announcing the v4 beta on August 17th and a video and further info on August 31st, ie about two weeks later. We're now about another two weeks further on from there. Like I say - when there's something to show it gets shown! SInce then - well, we've been testing. We've found some bugs and the devs have been working on fixing them. That is not quite what I said. The point is that it is not like your car-buying analogy where you have put money down for an extant product and are awaiting delivery. It is much more like buying a book. Would you be writing to the author asking them for weekly updates on how the sequel is coming along on the basis that you'd bought the current one? As I said - I'm not necessarily disagreeing that, as a general point, many developers' communication could be better (not just FSL). However, I do think it'll never be enough: like I say, Andy has actually provided an update roughly every two weeks since officially announcing the beta, and I don't doubt that if it was weekly people would still want more! If there are any specific questions I'm more than happy to try and answer them within the limits of what I'm allowed to say, and I think in general those sorts of questions do get answered. The topics that get locked are the ones where people start complaining about pricing policy etc (where I refer you back to my previous point: nobody has bought an A320 for v4. They have bought an A320 for v3 and/or FSX. V4 is the sequel: when it is released, FSL have said it'll be given free to v3 owners, but that does not make it the same thing).
  9. The difference is that nobody is a "paying customer" for a product that hasn't been released yet. To extend the analogies above, it would actually be like arriving at an Audi dealership in a 10 year old A3 and demanding to know the precise date that Audi are going to release their next design. Or turning up at a restaurant and saying "I had a meal here a few weeks ago. Therefore I want to know when you are going to publish a new menu!". Or buying a book and demanding to know when the author is going to finish writing the next one. Could there be more updates, from any particular developer? Possibly, but the honest truth is that there's not always anything much of interest to report. Sometimes progress may be slow for a variety of reasons, not always within the control of the development team, and sometimes there'll be lots of progress. Either way, it doesn't get the end product out any quicker, and whoever writes said update is inevitably not going to be coding/testing/whatever whilst they are doing so. In all honesty, when there is something to show it generally gets shown, whether it's FSLabs, PMDG, Qualitywings or anybody else. If nothing is shown it doesn't mean that nothing is happening: it's far more likely that something very important, but not very sexy is being worked on. To give one small example, optimisation work, for instance, is clearly something which we all appreciate and benefit from but it can take a long time (both development and testing) and it's not really something that can be shown in a picture or described meaningfully in an update. Likewise isolating intermittent or otherwise difficult to pin down faults/crashes again is very important but not very exciting. Waiting for external parties (LM, for example) to respond to issues raised etc can take time and in that sort of situation there's generally not much that can be said in terms of "update" on either a practical or professional level. As has already been said, 99.9% of FS developers are working in their spare time, often collaborating with co-developers, testers etc who are spread across the globe in different time zones and each also working in their spare time. Release dates are thus far from an exact science. In the nicest possible way -- most, if not all, of these people (from all the major developers) are not doing it because they have to do it, they are doing it because they share the same passion for flight simulation as all of us here do and because they want to create something special which we all want to see and enjoy, not some half-baked product rushed out to hit a release date in order to rake in the cash. It is not like pumping out a car on a production line: it is more akin to creating a work of art. The Sistine Chapel wouldn't be quite the same if Michaelangelo had just slapped on some Dulux in order to get it done quickly!
  10. Your local flying club! (If you are based in the UK - and admittedly not online). If you hang around/befriend a PPL holder they will almost certainly give you the previous edition chart for nothing. If you look on your favourite auction site you will most likely find people selling their just-expired charts for a knock-down price as well. I have Edition 42 (I think -- a couple of years old) of the southern England/Wales 1:500,000 chart which I still keep on my knee for all my sim VFR flying. I find the VFR charts have a much longer shelf life than IFR charts: after all, the ground features don't change very much and neither does the broad airspace structure. It's very usable for navigation with Orbx FTX England. I don't think you can beat having the paper chart in front of you to be honest: it's much easier to plot a route, measure distances etc when you can put your finger on it!
  11. The other option is to start descending sooner! Descent management is often seen as a dark art, but it's really just physics: it's all about energy management. Rather like a rollercoaster, the objective is to get from flying at high speed and high altitude (where you have oodles of both kinetic and gravitational potential energy) to stopped on the runway (where you have none of either). This means that you need to convert all of that energy you had at top of descent in to other forms. The engines convert the chemical energy stored in the fuel in to kinetic energy. Thus when you initiate the descent, you close the thrust levers in order to stop pumping more energy in to the system (obviously a jet engine at idle will generally still produce a small amount of thrust, but it's negligible for the purposes of this discussion). You can then lower the nose to maintain airspeed: by doing so you are now converting some of your gravitational potential energy (from your height above the Earth) in to kinetic energy (to 'replace' the energy you were putting in with the engines before).Meanwhile, some of that energy is being transferred to the surrounding air in the form of sound, heat and movement (as the aircraft moves through the air) -- i.e. drag. The more drag you put on the airframe, whether that be through the use of speedbrake, flaps or gear, the more energy you are transferring away to the air and therefore (if we assume we still have negligible thrust from the engines) you will need to increase the rate of descent in order to convert more GPE to KE in order to maintain airspeed; OR you can maintain the same rate of descent and the airspeed will reduce. Hence the old maxim about it being possible to slow down OR go down, but not both at the same time! An approximate descent path may be approximated by divide your height above the airfield (in thousands of feet) by three (which actually gives a slightly steeper profile than three degrees) or multiply the track distance to go by three (which results in a slightly shallower profile than three degrees). In any event, this tells us that we should be at 3,000 feet above the airfield about 9-10NM out; 10,000 feet above the airfield roughly 35 miles out; 20,000 feet above the airfield roughly 70 miles out and so on. However, this only tells us half the story: because we are not just talking about reducing height but about reducing the overall energy level of the aeroplane, it should be clear that we need to add speed to the equation to give us the full story. Thus, 10,000 feet, 35 NM and 250 knots is about on profile. However, if you are at 10,000 feet, 35 NM to run and 320 knots then you are HIGH! Conversely, at 10,000 feet, 35 NM and 210 knots you are actually somewhat low and will almost certainly need to add thrust at some point. When you extend the speedbrakes to increase drag, you are 'throwing away' energy in order to increase your rate of descent. Now, where did that excess energy come from? That's right -- it came from the fuel that you burnt up at 35,000 feet before you closed the thrust levers to start your descent! Thus it follows that if you had started your descent earlier, you wouldn't have put so much energy in to the system and therefore you wouldn't be having to throw it away now (and you wouldn't have burnt that fuel in vain). Of course, reality is such that often there will be air traffic control restrictions etc that preclude a nice continuous descent without the use of speedbrake; but in the absence of those, it should be perfectly possible to plan and execute the descent such that close the thrust levers at top of descent and only open them again at 1000 ft aal, on the glide path, at Vref + 5 with landing flap and gear extended, without getting the speedbrakes out at all. However, VNAV will probably not do that for you: the computer can do many things but in this regard it is not, generally, smart enough. Other ways that you can do to manage the descent: Change the airspeed (either in FLCH or VNAV with speed intervene). Remember that drag increases with the square of speed, so going faster very quickly increases the amount of drag and therefore enables you to descend at a steeper angle (even though you are also covering the ground faster). However, remember the speed/height equation: if you increase the airspeed you will need to be lower at each of your "gates" than you would otherwise need to be because you will at some point need to level off (or at least shallow off the descent) in order to reduce the airspeed. So if you are bombing down at 320 knots, you will actually need to reach 10,000 feet at around 42-45 NM out instead of 35 (allowing around 1NM per 10 knots of airspeed). Remember that the VNAV path will have been computed at the speed entered in the VNAV Descent page - so if you change the airspeed without changing it also in the VNAV Descent page your VNAV profile pointer will not be giving you accurate information! Likewise, if you are being held high for some reason then don't keep pumping loads of energy in to the system: slow down (if you can). This will give you the chance when you do start descending to wind the speed up and attain quite impressive rates of descent. Think ahead and keep cross-checking your height against your range. VNAV has a nasty tendency to give you lumps of thrust when not really necessary, with the result that it's bunged a load of unnecessary extra energy in to the system and then later demands MORE DRAG to get rid of it. Anticipate the steepness of each segment of a stepped STAR, for instance, and if you are levelling off approaching a 'steeper' segment then it may be better to go to FLCH and reduce the airspeed to shallow off the descent in anticipation of winding it back up again on the 'steeper' section Another point worth noting: Don't use flaps as speedbrakes. In other words, don't extend flap close to the limit speeds in order to slow the aeroplane down: the flaps are not designed for this sort of thing and it is hard on them! If you are fast then utilise other drag sources: i.e. the speedbrake (although you will need to get that stowed no later than 1,000 ft aal to meet the stable approach criteria, and some aircraft have restrictions on using speedbrake with flap extended (I don't know about the NG: the FCOM should say if so. The 747 manuals do not recommend use of speedbrake with flap >10 on the older aircraft and >20 on newer models - IIRC this is to preserve flap beam life). As Dan says, the landing gear is the greatest source of drag on the airframe and you can and should extend it early if you need to (though once it's down, it's down: don't go retracting it again unless you're going around). Hope that helps.
  12. If the aircraft didn't descend on the glideslope at all the most likely cause is that you hadn't intercepted the localiser before intercepting the glideslope. Many autoflight systems will not capture the glideslope before localiser capture has occurred (to prevent you descending without being in the area protected for obstacle clearance). Not sure whether this applies to the 737 in general, or the IXEG 737 specifically.
  13. I would suggest the easiest solution is probably simply to update the airports. One of my main pre-flight actions is to check whether I have updated scenery for the destination. If not, a quick search of the excellent FSX freeware scenery list usually turns up at least an updated AFCAD and often something much better. No need to spend hundreds of pounds on payware scenery for every airfield -- there is plenty of freeware out there that at worst will simply update the layout and navaids to current standards. Often though it will go much further than that and make the airport look much better than the default. I only really buy payware for home base or places I visit a lot!
  14. We have a winner! Exactly the above: if for some reason the required altimeter setting is outside the range of the sub-scale (either abnormally low or high pressure, or, in smaller aeroplanes where QFE is more commonly used for landing, landing at an airfield at high elevation). In practice very unlikely to be used in a 747 as although pressures of 1050+ have been recorded in Siberia, it is fairly rare and certainly I've never heard of anything >1100 hPa (and at the other end of the scale, a real 747 is very unlikely to be landing in a hurricane!). QNE is commonly misrepresented as setting 1013/29.92 (i.e. Standard Pressure Setting) on the sub-scale: this is incorrect. QNE is a height reading, not a sub-scale setting: it is "the height indicated by the altimeter on landing when the sub-scale is set to 1013 hPa". Thus if you know the QNE for a particular airfield, you set 1013 on the sub-scale and you then know your height above the threshold.
  15. 28" Hg is about 950 hPa. I've not looked in the FCOM, but 950-1100 hPa is a fairly typical range of values for an altimeter subscale so I wouldn't be surprised if this were accurate. Now, bonus points if you know how one would get around this problem (QNH outside the range on the subscale) IRL ;)