[jhb_airlines] Re: FPI last night

  • From: pdodds@xxxxxxxxxxxx (Peter Dodds)
  • To: jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 11 Aug 2004 07:35 +0100 (BST)

Well I had rather a frustrating time in some ways, and an 
excellent flight in others.  I flew Newcastle to Manchester via 
Pole Hill, IFR in the 172 at FL60.  I have FS on one machine, and 
ATOC and Servinfo on the other.

First of all, in spite of checking that both PCs on my network 
could find the FS9 directory (on my desk machine), AND 
reinstalling one of the ATOC aircraft packs (Europe) before 
starting the ATOC software on the laptop I still couldn't see 
other aircraft, nor file a flight plan.  I even did a partial 
re-setup of ATOC, but no joy.

Then, en route, I made my initial call 50 miles out from EGCC, 
and he acknowledged with a "stand by". I did, and I expected him 
to come back to me when I was some 10 - 15 miles north of POL.  
He didn't, so I reported again when overhead POL, which is about 
7 miles inside the Manchester TMA, (which I actually didn't have 
permission to enter <cough>).  When John said I wasn't on radar, 
(which is why he had forgotten me in the melee) and knowing that 
I couldn't see other aircraft, but they might see me and 
therefore I might get in their way, I diverted to Barton, 
descending rapidly to 1500 feet in the process to be able to see 
the ground.

During the long leg from EGNC to POL, I heard that other pilots 
were having trouble contacting Tower, so I tried and connected 
successfully so far as I could tell (I got the little gong sound 
and my name appeared in the VOX window.)  I didn't do a voice 
check as that would have sown confusion)

Then when I was approaching Barton, John suggested I disconnect 
and reconnect the server, and this enabled him to see me, so I 
chose to go back to EGCC for another go.  This was successful, 
and I established on the ILS and was handed over to Tower 
successfully.  No frequency change problem here. I have the 
default scenery only, so I was on the correct runway! There was 
obvious confusion on the ground and the ATCO (I'm sorry, your 
voice was unfamiliar, so I don't know who you are <g>) was having 
a battle with aircraft all over the place.

So he asked me to go around - no problem - except that he then 
forgot about me (twice in one night - I'll get a complex) and 
when I was 9 miles south west of Manchester, still on the runway 
heading he gave me and maintaining 3000 feet as instructed, my 
wife informed me that a gutter had burst and water was pouring 
under the patio doors (the real and virtual weather were both 
terrible).  I have to confess that I was a bit irritated by now, 
so I simply switched off my PCs and left! Wonderful Windows XP 
means that it didn't create havoc with my files, so here I am 
this morning.

In summary, I had no way of knowing the radar didn't pick me up, 
so I was puzzled why I got no ATC cover until I was inside the 
TMA. Not being able to see other aircraft or file a flight plan 
is a major pain. For me, the pleasure of on line flying is 30% 
having to be as disciplined as I would be real world flying, 30% 
live ATC and 30% being able to see other aircraft, so losing 2 
out of the 3 was a disappointment.  With the gutter problem, my 
petulence overcame my sang froid! Sorry Manchester Tower 



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