[jhb_airlines] Re: FPI

  • From: "Bones" <bones@xxxxxxx>
  • To: <jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 2 Aug 2005 13:51:33 +0100

Just to avoid any horrible misunderstandings I'd better qualify the comment
"one of our more experienced pilots" to mean FPI rather than JHB.

I do have some sympathy for pilots when it comes to accurate speed control
as I never found the keyboard a workable option. Increasing or reducing
power by any measured amount was almost impossible. If you have a throttle
lever such as found on some yolks or the dedicated throttle units it is a
lot easier - as beneficial as rudder pedals or a stick!


-----Original Message-----
From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Bones
Sent: 02 August 2005 03:49
To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [jhb_airlines] Re: FPI

If it makes you feel better there was no specific target when I wrote that
letter <vbg> In fact it was Kevin who voiced the speed issue as he had
greater problems down at Stansted when trying to pull aircraft off the BKY
VOR for positioning onto 05. The airspace for that manoeuvre is rather tight
and faster aircraft just used up too much airspace.

It was a post session chat with Kevin that prompted the email. Comparing
notes we found that the same issues cropped up almost every week and I
thought it time for a mini tutorial. Believe me when I say you are not alone
here - even one of our more experienced pilots is still at 420kts
approaching FL100..


-----Original Message-----
From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Mike Brook
Sent: 01 August 2005 21:03
To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [jhb_airlines] Re: FPI

Although totally water-logged on my return from a VERY wet Devon I consider
myself suitably chastised.

I will never again attempt to intercept the ILS at 200 knots
I will never again attempt to intercept the ILS at 200 knots
I will never again attempt to intercept the ILS at 200 knots
I will never again attempt to intercept the ILS at 200 knots
I will never again attempt to intercept the ILS at 200 knots
I will never again attempt to intercept the ILS at 200 knots
I will never again attempt to intercept the ILS at 200 knots
I will never again attempt to intercept the ILS at 200 knots
I will never again attempt to intercept the ILS at 200 knots
I will never again attempt to intercept the ILS at 200 knots etc (ie 100


> -----Original Message-----
> From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Bones
> Sent: Thursday, July 28, 2005 4:53 PM
> To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [jhb_airlines] Re: FPI
> The fascinating thing about FPI or any other real time ATC simulation
> is that when it gets busy it becomes very much like real world
> traffic. Allow me to explain.
> Life isn't all rosy in real ATC either. In FPI we get foreign pilots
> and we have many newcomers who are still developing their skills. The
> former may have the language barrier to overcome and the latter may
> just be slow because they are still trying to keep ahead of the
> aircraft, never mind the
> ATC on top of this. In real life we also get foreign pilots
> with slow uptake
> and, especially in mixed VFR/IFR airports, some real
> dipsticks whose flying
> skills would make even yourselves cringe. The trick is for
> ATC to assess how
> good, or bad, pilots are and to adjust instructions
> accordingly. That's why
> bad pilots get lots of orbits - it keeps them out of the way of other
> traffic until ATC feel it is safe to bring them in.
> Real life ATC isn't as difficult as FPI (believe it or not) because
> the professionalism is greater and ATC expect pilots to follow the
> rules and to respond immediately to instructions. This allows tighter
> vectoring, more
> aircraft in a smaller area and snappier landing and take off
> rates. We can't
> do this in FPI because the pilot skills are not quite up to
> the mark and so
> we use a bigger chunk of airspace, keep aircraft a little bit
> more apart and
> are generally more cautious about crowding everyone in.
> I'm not saying that all pilots are slow. A good number of aircraft
> last night were as good as I see in real life and I know I could rely
> on them to do exactly as I asked. However there were also one or two
> foreign pilots
> who, although competent, had to think about what they had
> been told and so
> were not as crisp as most of you. That however is the rub -
> it just needs
> one slow pilot in a stream and it blows it apart. In a busy
> environment
> EVERYONE has to be good.  I'd love to get five or six of you
> into a stream
> landing at Heathrow all exactly four miles apart - but I know
> I can't yet
> until skills are just a bit better.
> As in real life, a controller very much bases his instructions to
> aircraft on a gut instinct - primarily based on how the pilot sounds
> when he talks to you. Those with confident RT tend to get trusted and
> vectored in more tightly. Those with less verbal confidence are given
> more sea room. For
> example I trust most of you enough to offer an eight mile
> final but some
> aircraft I will give 10nm or even 15nm to because I feel that
> they need it.
> Subjective I know but that's the way it works.
> The other problem is also true to real life - as it gets busier pilots
> have to become more disciplined or else ATC can't keep the flow tight.
> This is essential in a multi aircraft environment otherwise traffic
> flow grinds to a
> halt. I trust almost all of you to fly the heading and
> heights I throw at
> you but the one factor that really makes life difficult (and
> makes FPI stand
> apart from real ATC) is speed management. Speed matters.
> There are a few
> good reasons for this but I will only mention a few.
> If you are the only aircraft on the tube then it might be thought that
> speed control isn't essential. Actually it is - because speed control
> is not just used for aircraft separation. Speed control also allows
> ATC to judge the
> right points for vectoring onto final - the turn onto base
> leg and the turn
> to intercept an ILS. If speed is too high the radius of turn increases
> significantly and it becomes almost impossible to judge the
> correct points
> for an ILS approach.
> The critical turn is the one putting you on a 30 degree closing
> heading to the ILS. Think about this and you will see that there isn't
> much leeway in the timing of this turn. If your speed is too high and
> the radius of turn
> too great then you will probably go through the ILS (and I'll
> bet everyone
> has experience of this). If the opposite happens and I turn
> you too early
> then you will intercept the ILS, not at 10nm but at 9 or even
> 8nm - which
> means you may find yourself descending on the glideslope
> before hitting the
> localiser (something that real pilots do not like at all). If
> the RT is busy
> just at the point I need to turn you then things will still
> go wrong but
> this happens in real life too <vbg>.
> In a busy TMA speed control is even more essential because of the
> other traffic around. It's no fun having an aircraft at FL80 doing the
> correct 250kts if a white van driver is thundering up behind him at
> 350kts. The
> latter is the one who mucks it up for everyone because he has
> turn rates the
> size of Wales. He will also have other problems - a high
> cockpit workload
> because higher speeds mean less time (far less than you might
> realise) to
> run through cockpit procedures coupled with almost continuous ATC
> instructions because he is whistling through the traffic
> pattern at a much
> higher rate. High speed does you no favours at all.
> ATC very rarely manage speed control in real life because they are
> fixed in the procedures. It's up to you to follow these but I'm sure
> not everyone scrutinises the STAR's and SID's in fine detail or knows
> what a speed gate
> is. I would therefore like to make a suggestion to improve
> the situation -
> both to help ATC and yourselves and get FPI looking just that
> little bit
> more professional.
> Pilots using the STAR procedures should ignore what I say because I
> will assume you are obeying the speed gates on the charts. For example
> the BNN STAR to Heathrow has a speed gate (correctly a SLP or Speed
> limitation
> Point) at WCO NDB of 250kts and this applies REGARDLESS OF LEVEL i.e.
> it overrules the mandatory 250kts below FL100 rule. Not so clear
> on the STAR is
> the 220kt limitation on reaching BNN.
> Now it is impossible to suggest you all read the STAR's for every
> airport, nor am I going to suggest (as I used to) speed reduction
> based on DME distance from an airfield because you are not really
> going to keep an eye on the DME when you are busy (and some airfields
> don't have this anyway). A
> much simpler rule is one based on height because you are
> always aware of
> this. Here is my suggestion.
> -------------------------------------------------
> 1. I see some aircraft descending from high altitudes at 450kts or
> more but this isn't real - and this is where an approach in FS
> actually starts to go completely wrong.
> Depending on aircraft type the descent should be between 250kts and
> 300kts IAS - which means you start descent quite fast (probably 420kts
> TAS) but your speed gradually reduces as you get into lower altitudes
> (because TAS
> and IAS begin to merge) to about 320kts TAS by FL100. Yep, I
> know some FS
> aircraft don't obey the speed selector - the default B737 will stay at
> 275kts regardless of what you dial in - but this means the
> ROD is too high
> for the aircraft and you need to reduce it. Work out a ROD
> that keeps your
> aircraft following the dialled speed and I will guarantee
> your life will be
> a lot easier. Once you are happy with a ROD you know works
> update the FSNav
> data so it gives to correct TOD points and you may also need
> to amend the
> aircraft.cfg file so that the autopilot automatically enters
> your new ROD
> rather than the default 1800fpm. The line is:
> default_vertical_speed=1500
> 2. 250kts at FL100. We all know this is mandatory but I want to
> enforce it. To get your speed back by FL100 means dialling in speed
> reduction beforehand and I suggest the speed really should be on the
> way down as you are passing
> FL120 - at 1800fpm you are only talking about 66 seconds
> here. This is where
> Point 1 comes into play too. You can't really expect to
> reduce from 450kts
> to 250kts in just over a minute and trying to do so means
> that even this far
> back on the approach you are already fighting to keep on top
> of things.
> Manage Point 1 and the FL100 restriction is a doddle as you
> will only be
> reducing from about 320kts to 250kts. You shouldn't have to
> be working hard
> at this point in the flight but here FS may make things a lot harder.
> 3. Not a real world procedure but I suggest that you reduce speed to
> 220kts at FL70. It's not unrealistic because this is the stack height
> and speed gate for many STAR's. You will not believe how much more
> thinking time you
> will get once you get the speed back at this point.
> 4. 180kts at 4000ft. I say 4000ft rather than 3000ft because on some
> approaches you will not be cleared down to 3000ft - but the logic is
> still the same. 180kts is the best speed to be closing on the ILS and
> I'd be happy to see even 165/170kts. If I see anyone approaching the
> ILS above 200kts in
> future I shall get very cross.
> The above is easy to remember and you don't need to cross check
> against anything other than the altimeter. If you can do this I will
> guarantee that things will get a lot slicker in FPI - ATC can manage
> you better and you
> will also (probably) get shorter turns onto finals because
> the turning radii
> are lower (so reducing speed may get you in quicker because your track
> distances will be reduced).
> The real point of all the above is flight management. If you feel that
> a situation is running away from you there is usually a reason for
> this further back in the flight. Good speed control is simply good
> flight management and gets you flying a nice arrival procedure with
> hardly any fuss at all.
> bones
> -----Original Message-----
> From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> [mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Kev Townsend
> Sent: 28 July 2005 10:42
> To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Subject: [jhb_airlines] Re: FPI
> Thanks All for the plaudits, It's fantastic that all you guys turn up
> to enable an experience like this!
> I did have problems communicating with Mike Brook, although I received
> him perfectly, I was unreadable at his end, but with a little
> ingenuity and some help from Alistair and Mike he made a standard
> departure and we got
> him over to Bones at London Control without incident. He gave
> me a shout on
> approach to Ronaldsway, and all was working perfectly so NFF
> as they say!
> The nature of the SID / STAR procedures at Stansted, particularly when
> most movements are to the North West rely heavily on the BKY VOR.
> Outbounds follow the SID south of the track of Incoming flights via
> CPT, and I felt sure that I gave all clearances Initial 6000',
> particularly to avoid conflict at BKY. Bones ensured that Inbounds
> were not cleared to below FL080 so we should have maintained
> separation. I remember that EFP046 reported "heavy" on arrival and
> that he requested the hold for burn off
> purposes, this remained (I believe) at FL080. It just goes to
> show that
> there's no let up when responsible for Tower and Ground. My
> hats off to the
> real-timers!
> In quiet times Bones and I were able to discuss the problems of
> aircraft "reaction", particularly when turning onto the glideslope
> where the controllers judgement is critical. Real life pilots when
> receiving a course or altitude change would immediately dial the new
> figure into the autopilot
> and respond to ATC as a sort of confirmation of what they
> have input, this
> speeds up the reaction of the aircraft to our instruction and
> is very much
> easier to manage, those who respond to the instruction
> immediately and then
> go back and make the changes may have travelled a mile or two
> before the
> aircraft changes course, this then requires a "fine tune" or if busy a
> greater angle to establish at a closer point to touchdown,
> even a decision
> to call for go-around or an orbit, which when busy would really screw
> things up!
> Just off to do the paperwork I may be some time!
> Thanks again for providing the experience
> Regards
> Kev
> Weblog from one of the MSFS Team <http://blogs.msdn.com/tdragger/> may
> be of interest - particularly the links.
> At 09:47 7/28/2005, you wrote:
> >A good evening in general.  I didn't suffer any of the voice problems
> >which others clearly did - I found myself acting as R/T
> go-between for
> >MikeB a couple of times.  Kev did brilliantly - I counted
> six inbound and
> >3 outbound at EGSS as I departed.  I didn't have the heart
> to mention my
> >airprox with EFP046 (2 miles at same altitude; blue warning
> on TCAS) under
> >the circumstances, particularly since he said nothing about
> my running out
> >of runway on landing at EGSS a little earlier. (Reverse thrust and
> >autobraking failed on my CRJ - and again at EGNS). Kev was
> kind enough to
> >send AA Roadside Rescue to find me (and provide a clean pair
> of trousers
> ....)
> >
> >Mike L
> >
> >Bones wrote:
> >>Grrr indeed - and you have my sympathy. Despite any announcement on
> >>FPI it was a very busy evening. Lost count of the total number of
> >>flights but I think we had 12 pilots and many flew two or more legs.
> >>My hat goes off to Kevin who plugged in at Stansted, did little for
> >>maybe an hour and then got a right gaggle of inbounds from all
> >>directions. Very nicely handled too. Oddly enough, reminiscent of a
> >>few weeks ago when Mike had total engine failure, I got another one
> >>tonight. I felt sorry for the pilot having flogged right across from
> >>Hamburg in a Cessna 411 as he never got anywhere near his
> destination
> >>at EGNS. He lost an engine over the North Sea and I had to take him
> >>into Coningsby. We hit slight voice problems during the session - it
> >>started to break up about halfway through the evening - but this
> >>cleared towards the end of the session. Can't really be
> server load as
> >>there was zilch traffic outside the UK and we've seen lots more
> >>aircraft online in the past. I'd also like to take my hat off to
> >>everyone who flew into Stansted with its lousy weather.
> 3300m vis and
> >>OVC400 wasn't nice at all! bones

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