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TransGear Airways, procedural change announcement...

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TransGear Airways, procedural change announcement...

Postby MD-Terp » Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:15 am

Happy Holidays, all...

Since the advent of more pilots wishing to follow more realistic flight paths, and particularly since the addition of the USA West hub, I have found it necessary to make a minor, but important, change to the general procedure of the TransGear events. This will also get us a little closer to real-world departure procedures as well.

* Once all aircraft are down, and during the 30-minute break, the controller who will be acting as Departure will confer with each pilot individually to verify whether they intend to use a SID path for departure. If not, the Departure controller will simply verify their intended direction of departure. If they are, the pilot and controller will compare that SID to the departure runway and figure out whether they can enter the SID from the first, or perhaps a later, waypoint.

* Once all pilots have been consulted, Departure and Tower will confer, and agree on an initial heading and altitude for each pilot as they are cleared for takeoff. That way, what the Tower gives them will be consistent with getting them on their way to the agreed SID entry point, before handing them over to Departure.

* As the time to leave arrives, all aircraft will get permission to push back and taxi to the hold-short line, as normal.

* Upon reaching the hold-short line, pilots will check in with Tower, who will go over their initial heading and altitude assignment BEFORE starting the process of clearing them for takeoff. They will also advise which frequency Departure is using (or else will advise "remain on this frequency for Departure"). The last thing Tower will say once giving these assigned headings, altitudes, and frequencies, is, "Advise when ready for departure."

* Now, the pilot has time to enter these altitude and heading assignments into their autopilot bugs, set their COM1 standby channel for Departure control, do their other control checks and set their flaps, BEFORE advising, "ready for departure."

* AT THAT POINT, finally, will Tower begin sequencing them through "hold short," "position and hold," and "clear for takeoff" as necessary.

Hopefully that all makes sense to everyone. The listed procedures online here have all been revised to reflect this minor adjustment.

Also, speaking of listed online procedures, the first draft of the USA West Route Planning and Flight Checklist has been published, and is ready for scrutiny, proofreading, comment, correction, and test-driving. Please let me know what you think. Additionally, in developing that checklist, I found a list of online flight planning resources that I've added to the Charts and Resources page, including national METAR database and all sorts of routing tools, sectional charts, and airport procedures. Look those over as well.

The Controllers' Handbook has gotten its needed rewrite, to reflect the use of SIDs and STARs, too. I've been very, very busy this week!

Feedback on any and all of the above is appreciated. Above all, have a great holiday (those of you who celebrate those sorts of ordeals, anyway), and I'll talk to you all very shortly about scheduling for TGA6!
Cheers,
-Rob.

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Re: TransGear Airways, procedural change announcement...

Postby wookierabbit » Thu Dec 24, 2009 6:43 pm

Great to hear!
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Re: TransGear Airways, procedural change announcement...

Postby wookierabbit » Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:45 pm

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Re: TransGear Airways, procedural change announcement...

Postby hovkid » Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:47 pm

Random videos on youtube don't work for me :( This is one of them.

Good to read up about the departure changes.
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Re: TransGear Airways, procedural change announcement...

Postby wookierabbit » Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:18 pm

hahahahaha......(In a light voice.) From the video I posted, it is real life departure procedure.

This will also get us a little closer to real-world departure procedures
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Re: TransGear Airways, procedural change announcement...

Postby wookierabbit » Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:20 pm

Like I said, just a nice video to watch. And yes, I am reviewing the updates.
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Re: TransGear Airways, procedural change announcement...

Postby wookierabbit » Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:52 pm

Typo, in step 3. It is spelled, ARTCC. Not AARTC.
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Re: TransGear Airways, procedural change announcement...

Postby wookierabbit » Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:54 pm

By the way, for all of the calculation materials that has been covered in steps 2 and 3. Not once did I see the words "E6-B flight computer," or simply called flight computer. It's a real handy thing to have.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sS6GMTAKerA
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Re: TransGear Airways, procedural change announcement...

Postby wookierabbit » Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:30 pm

Again, when saying check with Departure controller before contacting Ground, did you meant to really say Clearance Delivery?
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Re: TransGear Airways, procedural change announcement...

Postby wookierabbit » Thu Dec 24, 2009 9:40 pm

Again, another question. About the reviewing process with Tower. I think I remember going through the process a couples of times before in real life a few years ago, but how does it apply to commercial airliners? Again, I'll post the video for evidence.

Listen to the communication. Straight forward.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajTrEA1T0CY
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Re: TransGear Airways, procedural change announcement...

Postby Tuxklok » Thu Dec 24, 2009 10:04 pm

wookierabbit wrote:Again, when saying check with Departure controller before contacting Ground, did you meant to really say Clearance Delivery?


I found the contacting departure bit a little strange as well.
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Re: TransGear Airways, procedural change announcement...

Postby wookierabbit » Fri Dec 25, 2009 12:55 am

Well, now that I think about, I do too. At first, it was just the way it was worded that got me. Of course going along with the flow won't hurt, but I find it a bit rather, rather,mmmm, redundant. In a way, TGA pilots have already been filing flight plans from already designed up routes, most of which have been in use without change for the past 5 times.

I am going to dive in murky waters again to search, think through, and try to make more sense out of this. But I must admit that it is not the Departure, or should I say "Clearance Delivery" that should be primarily focused on.

On your MARK! GET SET! 1! 2!... Dinner TIME! Mmmm. I'll think I have a little bit of Christmas Dinner first.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

P.S. I am just about 10 miles northwest of KDFW and it is SNOWING like you know what outside. Near seen this much snow here before, or even at this rate before. :D

P.S.S.: That little countdown before getting completely and utterly distracted reminded me of this clip I have found on Youtube not to long ago. The comparison is pretty close, yet funny.

You can skip to 2:18 to get the point about a comical distraction.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U01xasUtlvw

P.S.S.S.: Ah, found the short verison, yet watch the full one up above to get a good understand why he rants.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ju3h7yk4Hcg&feature=related
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Re: TransGear Airways, procedural change announcement...

Postby MD-Terp » Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:42 am

I think one key thing you guys are forgetting is:

WE DON'T HAVE SOMEONE MANNING "Clearance Delivery".

If we're going to have aircraft following SIDs, then Tower and Departure have to have some way of knowing ahead of time what SID they are following and what initial headings and altitudes they should be cleared to BEFORE they take off, because once they take off, there's not enough time to ask a dozen questions. This is why I say: in lieu of having someone man Clearance Delivery, pilots and Departure will go over their "filed" flight plans during the break, and Departure and Tower will make sure they're on the same page with how to get everyone from the runway to their chosen SID. And, instead of Clearance Delivery going over the initial cleared altitudes and headings before everyone pushes back, the Tower controller will do this real quick BEFORE they start the departure sequence.

Unless you guys are saying that I should start making a 4-person ATC crew man each airport for each event? Do you not remember that last month we struggled to get ONE controller at each airport?

Maybe it would seem more understandable if I have the website's procedure point out that the Departure and Tower controllers are sharing what WOULD be the job of C.D. ... would that help it to make more sense?

EDIT: Okay, sorry. That came off as rather defensive, and I know this is "my baby" and I take a lot of pride in it, but I need to remember that a lot of you guys are very knowledgeable as well, and I need to accept your input.

Perhaps if I explain myself better, you'll see where I am coming from, and then if you all truly have a suggestion that would be simpler but still as effective, I am absolutely open to hearing it.

With the original concept of TGA, we weren't worrying about SIDs. Thus, the controller already knew how he was going to vector you once you got off the runway -- all they had to do was look at your flight number and a list of the flights, and boom, TGA118 is Pittburgh, he needs to be vectored to the West. No problem, no consultation required.

Now that we're adding some additional procedural realism -- twice over, actually, and both additions are adding some demands -- by (1) including the use of SIDs, and (2) having separate Tower and {Approach/}Departure controllers, we have to add a little coordination in there as well. The controllers need to know what the pilot intends to do, and then agree on how best to serve that pilot. Otherwise, Tower's going to clear you to depart at something they think is sensible, but that will completely screw up your SID entry. And Departure's gonna be asking you a bunch of questions while you're trying to navigate past three waypoints that all come within the first two minutes of your flight.

But there's a problem. In the real world, all of this checking ahead of time is done by filing a flight plan and conferring with Clearance Delivery. Then you're in the FAA's "system", and they can "zap" your flight info to whomever is talking to you at the time. Well FlightGear's ATC tools are about a million years away from that at the moment. Maybe there will be a quantum leap sometime soon, but for right now, we don't even have scopes that have waypoints marked on them. Hell, I had to come up with a pretty ugly hack just to get a line for the localizer on there.

So instead of (a) letting controllers just go blind and vector you to whatever or tell you, "cleared to do, whatever your flight plan is, climb and maintain... uhh... just do whatever your SID says" or (b) trying to implement a Clearance Delivery person, I came up with this idea that Departure and Tower can just get on the same page with you over the break. It's not as inaccurate, procedurally, as you think -- maybe it is for major commercial airports, but at medium-sized municipal airports, the Ground controller is very often doubling as your C.D. contact. (Again, if we only had dedicated Ground controllers)...

Does that make my case a little better? Please, again, I say with all honesty -- if I'm overlooking a better way, or if you want Tower and Departure to just always say "Clear to depart as filed" and just guess where you're going to go... I'll capitulate. I don't want this to be any more complicated than it has to be, or else people might start getting turned off by it. Let me know what's best and I'll post a re-write before January's event.

Thanks to all for the honest feedback.
Last edited by MD-Terp on Fri Dec 25, 2009 6:29 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: TransGear Airways, procedural change announcement...

Postby MD-Terp » Fri Dec 25, 2009 5:55 am

wookierabbit wrote:By the way, for all of the calculation materials that has been covered in steps 2 and 3. Not once did I see the words "E6-B flight computer," or simply called flight computer. It's a real handy thing to have.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sS6GMTAKerA


Well, that's because I didn't know about it. But, what are you suggesting I should change? Is there an online version of an E6B I can/should refer people to? Maybe I should ask it this way -- aside from the website saying "Go out and buy yourself an E6B..." how would you handle those steps aside from what I have written? I'm happy to post an entire rewrite, if you have a more sensible method. But it's just beyond my knowledge. I know communications fairly well but a lot of that groundschool stuff, you're the expert on, not me.
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Re: TransGear Airways, procedural change announcement...

Postby Jester » Fri Dec 25, 2009 4:02 pm

MD-Terp wrote:right now, we don't even have scopes that have waypoints marked on them.

:idea: Image
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