FLJeff337

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  1. Jay, A couple days after my initial flight, I flew it again (with the same flight plan and weather as before) in order to further investigate Vox's behavior/logic. This time, after receiving my initial approach instructions, instead of immediately complying with them (by turning to the assigned heading and starting my descent), I first requested the alternate approach (while maintaining my heading and altitude). After being told to report CUTON (the IF), I added FORNI into my GTN flight plan (after OVIDO), and continued to fly as filed (starting my descent at my own discretion). I reached FORNI at the published altitude, and continued to fly the RNAV(GPS) Z Rwy 18 approach without problem. My initial question had more to do with Vox's "hands-off" approach once they approved my request for a different approach. Since I was expecting amended instructions given the new approach (either assignment of different heading, or perhaps a "proceed direct to..." instruction), I wasn't sure if I was still supposed to comply with their initial heading/altitude assignment, or if I was free to navigate to the start of the approach as I saw fit (including starting my descent at the appropriate time). Having flown this flight a second time, I now see that Vox expects you to proceed to the start of the approach on your own, and won't issue amended instructions despite approval of a different approach from the one initially assigned. While I wish Vox didn't cut you completely loose once they approved your request (I'd have to think that RW ATC would issue amended instructions so you don't conflict with other traffic), I do prefer a hands-off approach over one in which ATC is overbearing with excessive, out-of-the-way vectoring and descent clearances that start way too late (ala default ATC). Regarding the two different RNAV Rwy18 approaches ("Y" and "Z"), I assumed I would be flying the RNAV Y approach (since my last waypoint before KTIX was OVIDO, which is a transition of the "Y" approach). However, when Vox told me to report CUTON, I realized they had assigned me the "Z" approach instead (even though it wasn't explicitly identified by Vox as such), and that's when I added FORNI (the IAF for the "Z" approach) into my GPS (just after OVIDO), and loaded the "Z" approach into the GTN (which is Flight1's GTN 650, with AIRAC 1803). To answer your question about FSX/P3D recognizing multiple GPS approaches for the same runway, I added both the "Y" and "Z" approaches to KTIX using ADE (including the transitions), and it does appear that default ATC recognizes both (they're listed as "RNAV Z" and "RNAV Y" under the available options when you request a different approach ). I can only assume that Vox would recognize both approaches as well (assuming it reads and utilizes the data included in the sim, including airport data), although it doesn't appear you can request one over the other using Vox. Thanks for taking the time to reply, Jeff
  2. On a recent flight from KTPF-KTIX, and while on V533 just slightly west-northwest of KMCO, ATC gave me instruction to turn right to 080, descend and maintain 3000' and expect vectors for the RNAV Rwy09 approach. The winds were out of the south, so after I made my turn and started my descent, I requested the RNAV Rwy18 approach instead. ATC then approved it, and told me to report CUTON (the intermediate fix); no additional vectors or altitudes were assigned. My question is, was I supposed to fly direct to FORNI (the initial fix) or to CUTON (an intermediate fix)? In either case, the direct route would have me flying at 3000' just a couple miles north of KMCO, off the approach end of runways 17L/R and 18L/R (which, IRL, wouldn't seem too smart). Furthermore, my filed routing had me taking V533 to the ORL VOR, then outbound to OVIDO (which is a transition for KTIX's RNAV Y Rwy18 approach). After receiving my initial instructions from ATC, should I have requested the alternate approach, disregarded ATC's vectors/descent instructions, and continued flying as I had filed, descending at my own discretion? Thanks, Jeff
  3. FLJeff337

    Current thoughts on ATC programs

    A week or so ago, I went ahead and purchased ProATC-X (after having first tried out the trial versions of PF3 and VoxATC) and my feelings towards PATCX are mixed (although when I purchased the program, I knew going in that I might be disappointed). I only fly small GA, and while on one hand I heard that PATCX was really intended for larger aircraft (i.e. turbojets/props), I also heard from people who were happy with it when flying GA. After having a couple flights under my belt, I'm on one hand impressed by the potential I see in the program (which is probably already realized by those who fly higher performance aircraft), while on the other, disappointed in the lack of support for smaller GA flights. What I Like: - Clean interface and easy to use menu - Use of RW navdata - Voices seem better than PF3 or VoXATC, and sound as good (in their own way) as the default voices (and I am aware that the demo version of PF3 comes with a limited number of voices, and that the ones included in the demo aren't necessarily the best, thus making my comparison to PATCX admittedly a bit unfair) What I Don't Like: - At untowered airports, PATCX creates fictional Clearance, Ground and Tower controllers (which I didn't know it did until after I bought the program, encountered the issue and then googled it); apparently these are required for PATCX to work, and at airports without them, PATCX will create fictional placeholders to ensure those requirements are met. - Some frequencies don't agree with RW frequencies; for instance: 124.82 for Orlando approach (should've been 119.40 for my location/altitude), 119.77 for Ft Myers Approach (should've been 126.80 when approaching from north-northwest as I was) - Can't seem to request RNAV approach or approach transition (no options under "Request Alternate Approach Procedure" for the several flights I flew); although I was able to request direct to the IF for an RNAV approach on one flight (though not the transition waypoint, nor even the IAF) - Vectoring seems excessive at times - Inability to request taxi to GA parking - Required to choose airline name For those reasons, I'll pass on using PATCX for now, which is frustrating since I think it could be a really impressive program (for my kind of flying) if they were only able to expand it to better handle GA (including non-towered airports, GPS/RNAV approaches/transitions (where appropriate) and shorter routes). I'm sure if I flew longer routes in more capable aircraft between larger airports I'd come away more impressed with the program. I'm currently gravitating towards using either default ATC or VoxATC (I wasn't too impressed with PF3), and my reasons for all three can be found here: https://www.avsim.com/forums/topic/544228-proatc-x-and-ga/. I'm also considering RC4 (despite it's age) given that many people have commented on how it's a fairly rock-solid program, but was curious how it compares to default or VoxATC. I'm less concerned with SIDs/STARs, VFR capability and natural-sounding voices, and more concerned with correct frequencies (which default ATC seems to have nailed), RNAV approaches/transitions (are they recognized, and if so, do you have to request them as you do with default, or are they assigned by ATC), IFR operations at untowered airports (something not realistically possible with PATCX) and sensible vectoring (where I'm not vectored far from the airport as if I were a 7X7 or Airbus when I'm only flying a Cessna). Thanks, Jeff
  4. FLJeff337

    ProATC-X and GA

    John, I managed to find a couple more videos of people flying relatively short legs in small GA using PATCX (links included below), and that, along with a thread on A2A's forum about using PATCX for GA, has convinced me to take the plunge and give it a try. A2A Bonanza, Blackpool to Carlyle (EGNH-EGNC): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Db3iA2iGob0 RA Legacy, Danbury to Bridgeport (KDXR-CDBR): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1K1sowQltYA Carenado Mooney, Gustavus to Juneau Intl (PAGS-PAJN): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3-EBPGPqEs I appreciate your thoughts, and I'll probably post my thoughts once I get a couple flights under my belt. Thanks, Jeff
  5. FLJeff337

    ProATC-X and GA

    All: For the past week or so, I've been comparing FSX's default ATC against the demo versions of PF3 and VoxATC (specifically with an eye to light GA IFR flights). I've found things I like and dislike with all three options (see below), and wanted to know how ProATC-X stacks up in comparison. Unfortunately no demo version is offered, and nearly all Youtube videos where PATC is used are of turbojet / turboprop flights). First a rundown of my likes/dislikes from the programs I've already tried (based on three IFR flights: untowered-towered, towered-towered and towered-untowered). Default ATC Like: - Frequencies appear correct (even for different approach / departure sectors based on bearing from airport and altitude) - Ability to request specific approach and transition (i.e. RNAV 22, via DADES transition) - GUI: menu w/ options, comm history Don't Like: - For shorter flights, departure controller likes to issue approach instructions for the destination airport (wouldn't approach instructions be assigned by the approach controller covering the destination airport?) VoxATC Like: - Handoff sequence seems correct (from departure to center to approach to tower) - Recognizes specific approach requests (i.e. RNAV Rwy 03) which can be requested; also recognizes approach waypoints (i.e. "report GUNNR," "report ARSHW," "report FLYEN") - Crossing runways while taxiing requires clearance to proceed - Menu with options and comm history (although not as clean-looking as default) Don't Like: - Fictional clearance name (i.e. "Utopia Radio") - Directed to request airport conditions info from unicom (and not AWOS) at untowered airports PF3 Like: - Handoff sequence seems correct (from departure to center to approach to tower) Don't Like: - Fictional approach/departure frequencies - No acknowledgement of RNAV approaches (seems to be vectors to runway only) - IFR cancelled abruptly when on IFR flight plan to untowered airport; told to squawk 1200 and contact advisory on fictional fequency (2 trials of same flight - KLEE-KTPF) - No menu (have to memorize hotkeys or refer to cheatsheet) or comm history ("say again" not always effective, as new trasmissions make it impossible to hear transmission before that) Now for a couple questions about PATCX: 1. RNAV Approaches - Will PATC assign RNAV approaches with transitions as appropriate (or can they be requested)? If so, where would the approaches be read from (in-sim airport data, 3rd party nav data, etc.)? 2. RNAV Approaches - If RNAV approaches are recognized and assigned, is there a way to exclude them as options in case I were to fly a plane without a GPS, or instead request an alternate approach using ground-based navaids (i.e. ILS, VOR, NBD)? 3. SID/STARs - will procedures not applicable to aircraft type be excluded? For example, if I'm flying a piston aircraft will PATCX know not to assigned a SID/STAR that's reserved for TURBOJETS/ TURBOPROPS ONLY"? 4. What AIRAC cycle does PATC currently ship with? The current manual (dating from Nov 2014) says it comes with Navigraph data, but that it is six months out of date. For that matter, does either Navigraph or NavDataPro offer older AIRAC cycles (since my F1GTN is current only as of cycle 1803) 5. What's the minimum flight distance for PATC to work? I read several places that PATC doesn't support short trip distances. What's considered a short trip? Believe me when I say I've read just about every ATC thread out there (both on Avsim and elsewhere), and the last think I want want to do is create another, but since I fly mostly light GA, I thought it'd be worthwhile (especially since some of the threads I've read are several years old by now). Thanks, Jeff
  6. FLJeff337

    Flight1 GTN P3dv4 query before purchase

    Tony, For what it's worth, if you go with the F1 GTN, you can update the database to 1803 as well (although this isn't an official update/fix from Flight1). You'd have to download v6.5 of the Garmin trainer, backup the old navdata files (AIRAC 1611) and then copy/overwrite the old files with the newer files from the v6.5 trainer (remembering to backup your old files first).
  7. True, but since the current publications are already available for no charge, there should be no reason that out-of-date publications shouldn't be made available on a as-requested basis; after all, it's not as if I was asking for old charts in order to avoid paying for current data (as there is is no charge for current data when obtained from the FAA), and I even explained the reason for my request in my email to them (stressing that it was not for real-world usage, but rather simulation/historical purposes). With that being said, even I figured that filing a FOIA request would be taking things a wee bit too far... lol
  8. After looking at Jeppesen's website, it looks like the same restriction applies... On Jeppesen's PilotPak for the GTN page, they link to Garmin's "how to find System ID on your unit," which says: "The unit ID (or system ID) is an internal number which is required for database updates and downloads. (These updates can be done on our flyGarmin website.) Each aviation database update is downloaded specific to the system ID of each GPS, therefore if the system ID is incorrect on our website, your aviation databases will not update correctly." With that being said, I haven't contacted them to inquire about it, but that's due more to frustration over having wasted so much time and energy already dealing with the FAA and Garmin trying to either get older charts or newer navdata, and not wanting to waste any more time on the matter. I do appreciate the suggestion, and maybe someone will be willing to contact them and see if it's possible...
  9. David, I looked at Jeppesen's website, and it looks like the same restriction applies... From their website: "The unit ID (or system ID) is an internal number which is required for database updates and downloads. (These updates can be done on our flyGarmin website.) Each aviation database update is downloaded specific to the system ID of each GPS, therefore if the system ID is incorrect on our website, your aviation databases will not update correctly." I appreciate the suggestion, though....
  10. What's even more frustrating is, before trying to get updated navdata from Garmin, I first tried to get out-of-date charts (low altiture en-route and terminal procedures) from the FAA, and found that impossible to to. As the FAA offers current digital products for free on their website (including VFR sectionals, terminal area charts, IFR charts, airport facilty directory, IFR terminal procedures, etc.), I naively assumed that out-of-date products would be archived when they expired, and that it'd be a realtively easy matter for the FAA to retrieve them (even if a small fee was involved). I was hoping to at least get charts/procedures that were in effect at the time of AIRAC 1611 (which is the databse used in the latest GTN trainer), so they would agree with each other. I couldn't have been more wrong! The FAA was unable to perform the relatively (seemingly) simple task of retrieving files from less than 2 years prior, and they even directed me to to contact either the National Archives or Library of Congress (and no, they weren't able to help me either)! With that said, I'm sure if I (or any pilot) was accused of an infraction that occurred when an older cycle was in effect, that the FAA would have absolutely no problem procuring older charts/info if it could be used to prove their case against me or any other pilot. Anyways.... Just wanted to rant....
  11. I'm assuming you're using the RXP GTN, and while I can't speak for that product (only Flight1's GTN product), I wouldn't be surprised if the same issue affects both products (RXP and F1). What I found out in trying to upgrade the F1 GTN database is that Garmin requires you own a real GTN unit before you can even download an updated database. Both the unit serial number and N-number of the aircraft it's installed in are required information. In other words, even if you're ready and willing to spend the money on RW navdata, there's no way to obtain it without first owning a real GTN unit. I found this out myself when I purchased current Garmin navdata for the US, thinking I could download the database, and then update the database that's included with the GTN trainer software that's used with the F1 GTN. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to even download the database I purchased without a real serial number and N-number (although fortunately, Garmin was gracious and refunded me, which I give them credit for). I think the database used by the real GTN units is the same data used by Garmin's trainer, since I've read of real-world GTN owners using the navdata from their RW subscription in their simulated GTN. It's also been recommended that, if you know someone with a real-world GTN, that you might be able to use their second-hand navdata in your sim GTN. Unfortunately, I don't own a plane with a GTN unit, and the closest thing I have to a friend matching that criteria is the FBO I've rented from (and as I haven't flown for real for about 6 months, I'd feel uncomfortable asking them about it). While I can't speak for RXP, I do wish Flight1 had included a disclaimer that the database with their product was not updateable. If someone knows how to upgrade the navdata in the RXP unit, I'd like to hear about it, since I might switch to the RXP product if upgradable navdata was a feature. Hope I was able to help.... Jeff
  12. Has anyone successfully purchased a navdata update from Garmin without owning a real Garmin unit? I wanted to purchase the "GTN United States Garmin Navigation Database," but it appears you first have to provide the serial number of a real unit, as well as aircraft information before you can purchase and install the database. I've heard that the GTN trainer can be updated with current nav files (mostly from RW pilots using their own Garmin data), but the problem I have is being able to purchase and download the navdata update to begin with. Compounding the problem I'm having is that I've been unable to obtain (even from the FAA itself) the dTPP for Florida from October 2016 (so that my FSX GTN data and available published procedures match), and now I find myself in the position of not having the old (from 2016) dTPP to agree with the sim GTN navdata, nor can I update my navdata to match the current charts (which I do have). So back to my original question, have any simmers been able to purchase a GTN navdata update from Garmin, without actually owning a real Garmin unit? Thanks in advance, Jeff
  13. All: As a user of Flight 1's GTN650 (whose AIRAC is currently locked in at AIRAC 1611, at least until Garmin updates the database in their GTN trainer, which could be a while, if ever), I was wondering if anyone had a PDF copy of the FAA's Digital Terminal Procedures Publication (d-TPP), volume SE-3 (covering Florida, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands) that was in effect at the time AIRAC 1611 went into effect (on October 13, 2016)? I contacted the FAA directly thinking it'd be an easy matter for them to retrieve a out-of-date,digital publication (under the assumption that they would simply move old publications into an different folder for archival purposes), but it turns out they weren't able to help me (other than suggesting I contact the National Archives or Library of Congress, which I did, although they weren't able to help either). I even contacted AirNav to see if maybe they had a copy of this, but they didn't. So are there any GTN users who also have a copy of d-TPP vol.SE-3 from October 2016 (so that they have published procedures that agree with the ones loaded into the F1 GTN)? (For anyone who is unaware, the dTTP is a free PDF that's made available on the FAA's website. The problem is, only the current publication is available, and I'm trying to get one from several years ago. Current publications can be found here: https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/flight_info/aeronav/digital_products/dtpp/). Thanks, Jeff
  14. FLJeff337

    Help me find this plane again!!

    Looks like Aerosoft's Robin DR400.... https://www.aerosoft.com/en/fsxp3d/prepar3d/aircraft/1765/robin-dr400-x
  15. When I was studying for my PPL exam (written, oral and flight) I kept things simple and instead of going with a formal test prep course (i.e. King or Sportys), I just used the following books to study for them (these are in addition to the FAA's Pilot's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge and Airplane Flying Handbook that I read throughout my instruction): - Gleim Private Pilot FAA Knowledge Test (book that included all known FAA questions at the time) - Private Oral Exam Guide (by Michael D Hayes) - Private Pilot For Airplane Single-Engine Land and Sea Practical Test Standards In addition, I got myself a copy of Rod Machado's Private Pilot Handbook, which covered the same material as the FAA's Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge, but was less dry, and seemed to delve a little deeper into the subject matter than the official FAA handbook. If you're a good book-learner, this should be about all you need (assuming you're talking about a private pilot license), although I have heard both the King and Sportys courses are good as well. Hope this helps, Jeff