Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Donations

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Stearmandriver

  1. Just found this thread... MSFS2020 NEEDS a Beaver! This looks great! Any updates? 😉
  2. Ah cool, I did not know I could instruct him to override the speed limit. Not that I'd make a habit of it lol. I wasn't so much annoyed with MCE on that stream as I was with the PMDG NGx, which is too slippery when compared to the real plane, and has trouble following a VNAV path without overspeeding even with a headwind. I also think there was some lag involved in between when I spoke the command and when it was recognized, which is not because of anything to do with MCE but just my old system. I don't fault MCE for any of that though. Everything I run lags occasionally ;).
  3. Last week was even busier than expected so I just had a chance tonight to test out the new version. Flaps 25 command now works perfectly every time. "TOGA flaps 15" worked as well. Really nice work, and a big thank you for taking support and feature requests so seriously. I really don't think I've ever used a piece of software this well supported, not even stuff by big software houses with a whole team of people for supposed support. This is genuinely a gold standard. Thanks again!
  4. First, an apology on my part. The error message I was getting on the Flaps 25 command was because I'd created a custom voxscript mapping "flaps twenty clive" to flaps 25 in an attempted workaround. Getting rid of the voxscript stopped the error. But... FO still has great difficulty recognizing the command "Flaps 25". He seems to hear it as "Flaps 20" now. This is on the latest version you linked above, with all the files replaced, including in the CandC folder. Please note that this difficulty in recognizing the words "twenty five" only applies to flap settings. He understands "twenty five" any way I say it when applied to any other system. I made a 3 minute video demonstrating this far better than I can explain it. You'll notice that he recognizes a command for "heading twenty five" whether I speak it carefully or quickly, no matter which syllables I emphasize etc, but he hardly ever understands "flaps twenty five" the first time, even when spoken exactly the same way as the heading command: The other options for flap settings are great, but the standard verbiage - the one he really should understand if he understands the command at all - is also the most simple: "Flaps twenty five".
  5. Thanks much for the new files. Greatly appreciate the option to disable the auto reply to custom flows, that works great. The flaps 25 problem continues though; now, if I annunciate VERY slowly and clearly, I can make him understand "flaps 25" about 1 out of 5 times. The others, he still hears something involving Clive, and now the problem is worse: what happens now when he hears "Clive" (which is the majority of the time no matter how carefully spoken), is that an error message appears on the top of the screen: "[MCE] Command doesn't seem to exist. Make sure you spell it correctly and that it's written completely in lower case. Eventually, try a slightly different verbiage". "Flaps 25 please" does seem to work, but the thing is (and I know this will sound pedantic but it's true) it's not customary to append "please" to a configuration or checklist command. They aren't requests, and so in the real world that doesn't happen. Basically, I'll never remember to do it in the sim :). But really, if we're trying for accuracy here, needing to add "please" to a configuration command is a pretty big departure. Personally (and I know I don't speak for everyone by a long shot) I'd vote for just getting rid of name recognition. It just doesn't seem useful to me? YMMV though of course. Thanks for the continued work!
  6. Hello, I've returned to using MCE somewhat regularly after a hiatus from airline simming. I'm on the latest version for FSX, after receiving the "you really need to update this time" email ;). First thing I can report is, MCE "lockups" (where FO just quits responding) are greatly reduced. I've only seen it once, and he came back after a brief break. Thanks! I still see a couple of undesired behaviors though, wondering if you'd have any suggestions (these are all in the PMDG NGx in FSX): MCE still does not understand the "Flaps 25" command the first time it is spoken, no matter how clearly annunciated. He hears "Flaps 20 Clive", and since there is no flaps 20 setting in a 737, he asks for confirmation. He always understands it the second time. I know this has been worked on several times, but obviously never been fixed. Is there something I can edit to remove the name "Clive" from possible first officers? Or something to completely change the program's behavior so it's not trying to recognize names at all? I mean, I don't care what this guy's name is. It's not like we're going out for beers on the overnight ;). I have zero occasion to ever call him by his name, I just want him to do as he's told. 2. Setting altitudes is still bugged. He can't properly set single digit thousands without interpreting it as hundreds instead. So if I say "set altitude five thousand" he always asks "confirm, dial low?" because he wants to set 500ft. I have to say "set altitude five thousand zero hundred" to get him to do it right, which is pretty unnatural. 3. It seems that a couple versions ago, behavior was added that causes the FO, upon receiving instructions to execute a voxscript procedure, to verbalize something like "ok, beginning procedure." I understand the rationale behind adding this, but it makes certain kinds of procedures very awkward. And it doesn't seem necessary, because if I'm writing a voxscript procedure I can always add verbiage for him to acknowledge the instruction if I wanted. As an example, one procedure I use is my company's after takeoff procedure. I have it programmed for him to acknowledge the command by first saying "after takeoff" and then performing the procedure and then advising "after takeoff complete". So what happens now is he'll often say "ok beginning flow after takeoff" and then doing it. Another example would be using procedures simply to get him to respond with company standard calls. At 500ft on takeoff or go around, it's standard here for the flying pilot to either command a roll mode if he's not already in what he wants (which works great with MCE), or call "verify LNAV" or "verify heading select" if he's already in it. I had simple voxcripts that would get MCE to respond, for instance, "LNAV verified". But now he prefaces this with "roger, performing procedure... LNAV verified". Maybe it seems like semantics but it breaks up the flow of things, and extra words there when a VATSIM controller might be trying to vector you or hand you off are distracting. Any way to get him to stop this? 4.Last thing, I promise ;). This isn't any kind of bug, just looking for a suggestion on how to accomplish something. On a go around, the standard Boeing callout is "TOGA, Flaps 15". Using this with MCE causes him to adjust the power to max go-around thrust, which is actually rarely used on a go around since it's too much; causes a strong pitch up and makes a low level off tough. I try to remember to only ask for "flaps 15" but forget sometimes, and I'd like to keep the callouts as standard as possible. I've tried creating a voxscript to map "toga flaps 15" to only the flaps 15 command but it throws an error, saying the procedure doesn't exist? Any ideas? Thanks much for all your work on this program. It's by far the best out there, and I don't see how airline flying could be accurately simulated without it!
  7. ... but VNAV still doesn't behave correctly in the event of an engine failure ;). I'd like to think the NGXu has fixed that, but the more I see of it, the more it looks like any differences from the NGX are mostly just cosmetic.
  8. Well, still have some problems. I was using v2.7.9.1, but have now updated to v2.7.9.2. (Update procedure: used the Windows 7 control panel "add/remove programs" to remove MCE, then installed the new version as administrator.) This is on FSX-A, PMDG 737 NGX. The problem setting single-digit thousands of feet (ie, "set altitude three thousand") is still there. The copilot repeats the altitude correctly ("setting altitude three thousand") and the red text at top of screens shows what I said correctly ("set altitude 3000"), but what gets set is three HUNDRED feet. I tested this about 20 times in a row, and it happened about 85% of the time. Occasionally he got one right, but it was definitely a large minority of the time. The flaps 25 bug is still there. The red text at screen top seems to indicate he hears "flaps 20 clive" the first time, but when he asks "ok, flaps?" and I say "twenty five" with the exact same speech pattern and inflection, he always understands it the second time. He has never once understood it correctly the FIRST time. Haven't had a chance for a long flight yet so I don't know if the problem of him sometimes checking out and just ceasing to respond is still present... but these other problems definitely are. Thanks...
  9. Thanks, I will double check the version. When I came back to airline simming after being focused on other things for a while, I did update MCE, but I wonder if I inadvertently reinstalled the old version instead of the newer download... I'll check. I use and enjoy the MCE muting feature; this failure to respond that I mentioned is not that. I see the text of my voice commands appear on screen, so I know the program is hearing and understanding me. It just doesn't do anything.
  10. I've returned to using MCE in the PMDG NGX, for full gate-to-gate flights on VATSIM, and I've found a few minor bugs: a couple specific to the NGX, and one general. (This is all in FSX-A.) 1. The copilot does not understand the "flaps twenty five" command the first time it is given. He responds, "ok, flaps?" to which I must repeat "twenty five", and then he thanks me and does it. This only happens on that flap setting, no others. And it happens every single time. He obviously understands that I'm saying "twenty five" because he always does it after I repeat "twenty five". But we always have to play this confirmation game. It's weird. 2. The copilot does not correctly set altitudes in the single digit thousands. For instance, if I say "set altitude two thousand" he sets two HUNDRED. If I say "set altitude two thousand one hundred" he does that fine. If I say "set altitude twenty thousand" that works too. But the only way I've found to get him to set 2,000 is to say "set altitude two thousand zero hundred". That works but is obviously very unnatural. This seems to be a problem for 1000, 2000, 3000, and so on through 9000. "Ten thousand" works. 3. The copilot doesn't seem to understand that TA/RA is the proper transponder mode. He always resets it to XPNDR when running the checklist, and then I have to put it back. 4. This is the general one: occasionally, my copilot will just go out to lunch on me. The program doesn't freeze up - when I speak commands, they still appear in text at the top of the screen, I can interact with the control panel etc. He just stops doing them, or talking, or reading checklists, or doing anything. The only fix I've found is to close MCE and restart it. I'm guessing this may have something to do with resources available? When I lose him, it's typically near the end of a flight, when I'm already hand flying, being vectored for an approach, or configuring for landing etc... in other words, when I need him most. So I was wondering, is there a way to set the program up where a key command could force a soft reset and clear out whatever is locked up, without requiring a shutdown / restart? That's just too darn disruptive in a busy phase of flight. Thanks!
  11. Well it's been a long time coming, but in case anyone is still interested, I've finally finished Leg 4 - Wake Island to Guam. One to go!
  12. Except... when they can. 😉 Houston had a test program for a couple years where they could approve a speed-restriction waived climb. I couldn't do it in the jet I was flying at the time because of a limitation for bird strike protection, but the Boeings did it regularly. I think a couple other cities had that test program too. That was years ago though, and the rule didn't change. I'm personally good with that; I fly GA also and would rather not mix it up with 320kt traffic. It is common elsewhere in the world though.
  13. I remember another Asian carrier's attempt at a visual approach in San Francisco a while back. I wouldn't have argued either ;). On topic, the efficiency issue has to be about negligible. Given the high density of VFR general aviation traffic that's not talking to anyone around many cities these days, I'm happier to not go any faster then 250kts and take the improved climb rate to get me above the fray quicker!
  14. Yeah, that is the "gotcha" situation - it's related to the minor bounce you can see, which would not be bad but in a certain energy state can cause the spoiler deployment to create a pretty good pitch up. You can see he didn't touch down in a tailstrike attitude, the plane pitched into it after touchdown. Boeing recently revised guidance on wind additive to cap it at 15kt maximum regardless of conditions, so that helps some. We just had some alternate fuel on board, certainly not enough for a return trip, I think we landed with around 10.7. There's no restriction on using flaps 40 at any weight, the problem is twofold because of the conditions: it exacerbates the effect of crosswind and gusts, and provides even less leeway before hitting blowback speed.
  15. As far as straight -900 approach speeds go, I just did this. 6,000ft runway (1,000 displaced threshold), winds gusting in the 30s, ref of 151kts with a 14kt wind additive, for an approach speed of 165kts. Max autobrakes required on a dry runway. Straight -900s are dumb ;-).
  16. I do like the ER. It's obviously not a short field bird, but it flies nicely. The tail strike threat is real, but manageable without much issue as long as you fly the plane the way it needs to be flown. If you have the HUD, you have a direct indication of tail strike attitude, and that helps a lot. Our entire fleet has the HUD and captains are required to use it during takeoff and landing in the -800s and -900s for just this reason. So for me as an FO, I don't have that indication, but knowing that someone does is reassuring. I can also say that I've seen captains rotate a -900 much more aggressively, and flare much more deeply, than I would have felt comfortable with (and much more than was necessary), and we've not had a problem. Obviously they're more comfortable with it because they can watch the tailstrike indication... but the takeaway for me is that crews who accomplish a tailstrike managed to get themselves into a pretty goofy aircraft state in order to do it. It's not exactly something that can just "happen" if you're maintaining a normal attitude and energy state. That said, we've had crews do it just like every other airline, so I never say never. There is a gotcha situation that can develop in certain configurations / energy states during landing, where spoiler deployment (probably combined with the reversers opening) can cause the aircraft to pitch up alarmingly, and that's caught people by surprise. I've seen it, and it requires prompt forward pressure to keep the nose from pitching up. I could definitely see this being an issue, especially for someone relatively new to the plane, combined with a night or low vis scenario with poor horizon reference etc. But again, hopefully the guy monitoring the HUD sees it developing in time to stop it.
  17. Nah, the -900ER does not fly like a straight -900. There's grumbling when you pull paperwork and see you're in an old -900, especially if it's windy ;-). Therein lies the biggest difference - approach speeds are significantly inflated on the -900 for tail strike protection, so with flaps 30 + wind additive on a gusty day, target speed can be well into the 150s, which puts you close to flap overspeed/blow back. The ER fixes this mostly artificially, with a two-position tailskid that extends with the gear, but there are definitely aerodynamic changes too... the straight -900 flies like a truck, the -ER has a much nicer feel.
  18. A response to the suddenly increasing decel rate from the increasing drag, until the gerbil turns the wheel a few more laps and the FMC realizes that is indeed what it wants to do? 😉 Just guess, I don't know either!
  19. What does that have to do with vnav on a "via" procedure? I'm a little puzzled at the direction of this thread...
  20. Um.. ok? Edit: It occurs to me though, that, setting aside the somewhat odd question of where I don't work, I could have offered an explanation. When you're in vnav on a "descend via" procedure, you have max protection against violating an altitude or speed restriction. If you use level change and manually step down your altitudes and speeds via the MCP, you run two risks: 1. An unfortunately timed distraction could easily result in failure to promptly set the next altitude / speed, and 2. No protection at all for an "at or below" altitude restriction. Aggregate ASAP data shows a meaningfully increased threat of altitude and speed deviations on these procedures (and non-precision approaches) when vnav is not used. Once you're "descend and maintain", or if you're just getting vectored, sure, level change is great. And I'm not saying you *can't* fly the "via" procedures in level change... but you're giving up protections for no reason.
  21. Yes. Been flying at the airlines for 20 years.
  22. In reality, using Lvl Change to descend via an RNAV arrival is a pretty big degradation of safety, it creates much larger opportunities to bust a restriction. Of course that's irrelevant in the sim.. but VNAV does exist for good reasons. It's got a learning curve and is quirky in real life as well as the sim, but once you understand it well enough to know how it will react to any changes you introduce, it's a great tool.
  23. Did you configure early? When in VNAV and you select flaps, VNAV will command the min safe speed for that flaps setting, because it assumes you want to slow earlier than what the box calculated, or you wouldn't be configuring early. For instance, if the box is showing 195kts for a leg but you select flaps 5, the speed bug will jump to 5, probably around 175ish. Once you select flaps 25, the speed bug will jump to your target speed.
  • Create New...