Author Topic: Starting Points for Sea Plane Bases  (Read 458880 times)

Doug

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Starting Points for Sea Plane Bases
« on: August 30, 2012, 12:38:30 PM »
As you know, Plan-G and FSX flight plans MUST start from an airport runway.  So when you use Flight Planner and put in such a plan, you find yourself on the runway. This is OK most of the time, but for the little Sea Plane Bases (SPB's) you will find yourself far out on the water, often too far to even see the dock for the facility. 

NOTAM: These would only be put into the FS (Flight Seeing) plans ... these are designed for LOW and SLOW (and DANGEROUS) trips "among" the mountains instead of over them! All of them are auto-pilot friendly that can take you to your destination in the worst weather. (Landing is up to you though!)


The small SPB's that Holger put into Tongass Fjords X are little gems, but you hardly ever see them because of the above problem. To make your flight more enjoyable and more realistic, I'm going to begin putting a "FS_Start_Point.txt" file in to each of these that starts from a little SPB.  The instructions for "how" to do this are in that text file. We will especially use this as we add more locations to the Tongass Fjords X area.

This starts you at the dock at the little SPB. Following the procedure in the txt file, your flight plan is "in" the GPS and you can taxi out from the dock to the "water" runway and take off.  I'll also put the Starting Point for any of these SPB's onto the Starting Points section of the Map Room.  (Misty's Place/Starting Points button).

The first one is Petrof Bay Camp.  Attached is the FS_ you can download for that flight and you can see the new text file there. If you are starting any flight from Port Walter, you can go to the Map Room and you'll find the starting point there too.
  • Click on the paperclip above the pictures below with this name:
  • FS_Petrof Bay Camp from Port Walker PWK.zip
  • Open zip and look at the FS_Start_Point.txt file

The screenshots below show you where you normally start with FSX, and then where you can start using the new Start Point setting.

It is an "extra step" ... but one that seems to make the experience more fun. Let me know what you think.  Hopefully, using this we will all get to see more of the "work' Holger put into the little SPB's that we almost never see.  It is optional, use it if you like it, disregard if you do not.

Doug
« Last Edit: August 30, 2012, 01:04:20 PM by Doug »

Dieter

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Re: Starting Points for Sea Plane Bases
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2012, 06:13:31 PM »
==> Plan-G and FSX flight plans MUST start from an airport runway

Doug,
a PlanG flight plan must start from an AFCAD coded airport/waterport. One cannot file  a PlanG  flight plan beginning  at an unlisted airfield runway (user waypoint)  I'm sure that's want you meant, too.

As you wrote, the AFCADs for waterports starting points are often far away from a dock or a mooring.
I  think  "FS_Start_Point.txt"  files are basically a good idea and a great help to set the aircraft to the right place via these coordinates.

But what about AFCADs for these docks?

I wonder if we do not have a specialist among the RTMM users who is able to produce AFCAD files for those waterport docking facilities using  "Airport Design Editor".
Isn't that generally practicable?

Dieter

Doug

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Re: Starting Points for Sea Plane Bases
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2012, 07:06:21 PM »
Yes Dieter, that's exactly what I meant, thank you.   We may be able to work with the AFCAD files ... I'll do some looking into it. But what I'm having a hard time believing is how much of Tongass Fjords X I've been missing by starting at the "prescribed" runway start point.  As with the pics earlier, you can barely see some of these facilities. And some of them, up close are AMAZING.  Entrance Island, Pelican, Angoon ... beautiful seaport towns.  One little community, Scull Bay, has a pier and one could start from there.

I've put 30 of them (starting points) into the Starting Points area (Misty's Place/Starting Points Button). My thinking is that RTMM is about flying from "Here" to "There".  We are pretty good at the "There" building great locations for the folks to go find. But what I'm looking at in this case is the "Here" part of it. And just by starting at these marvelous docks doubles the visual fun.  Right now it is an extra step for people, but once they get the hang of it, it is easy to do.

We'll look into the AFCAD thing ... I've got some "studying" to do in that area.  I did it for Owekeno, but I'm not sure about putting in an alternate starting point for an airport runway already there like the SPB's. They should all start at a dock, just like the one at Hollis does.

D

HighGround

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Re: Starting Points for Sea Plane Bases
« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2012, 07:24:13 PM »
. . . They should all start at a dock, just like the one at Hollis does.

Hear-hear!
-Jon
Russell Lake, Dartmouth, Nose Kosher, Kanuckistan

Doug

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Re: Starting Points for Sea Plane Bases
« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2012, 08:52:06 PM »
OK ... we've got a 'beta' going if anyone wants to try it. We figured out how to put the planes at the docks! (So you don't have to start miles out into the ocean!). At this point in time, we only have 4 of them done, (still on the learning curve), but you can download those four and see how the system will "probably" work. It has always bothered me with the SPB's that you can barely see them in the distance when you use the normal SPB start points. So you miss the "Here" in "From HERE to THERE".  Hopefully, this will give you the first part you are missing.  We plan to make many flight-seeing trips starting at these points in the future.

Go to Misty's Place / Starting Points button ... in that brown table, there is a # ... that is the indicator that a location is "in" the RTMM Docks scenery folder. You can download that right from the link on that line in the brown table and there is a readme in it that will get you set up.  You put the folder into your usual Addon Scenery area and activate it. Then when you go to FSX/World/Go to Airports ... you'll find the new ones listed. Click on it and you will find yourself nestled up to a dock with a whole new 'view' for a start point.

Many of these little sea plane bases are real works of art, and we've been missing them.  We have more work to do, and your comments and criticisms are welcome. Note also that if you decided you don't want these (for whatever reason) you just uncheck it in your Scenery library and they are gone.  One drawback to this are the "official" ICAO codes (airport call letters). Ours are fictitious. For an unlisted dock like Sawginaw West, the ICAO will be ULSW  and for a SPB like Port Walter PWR, we add a "D" to make it PWRD.  Of course these are not "official" and some people will go nuts that they are not on the legal listing ... for those people I give them two options ... don't download it, or uncheck it if you do! :-)

Anyway ... something new, hopefully a step in the right direction.

PS - to get a good "view" of what we are attempting, go to Port Alexander SPB Dock. You get to see the whole community as you taxi by, (that you've probably never seen before ... this is Tongass Fjords X).
« Last Edit: August 31, 2012, 09:07:50 PM by Doug »

jeff3163

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Re: Starting Points for Sea Plane Bases
« Reply #5 on: September 01, 2012, 12:21:00 AM »
Port Walter SPB starting point.

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Holger Sandmann

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Re: Starting Points for Sea Plane Bases
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2012, 01:04:57 AM »
Hi guys,

maybe I don't understand the issue correctly but the 28 listed seaplane bases in Tongass already contain full (i.e., AI ready) "AFCAD" files with start positions at their respective docks. For example, if you start a flight at Port Alexander (AHP), in addition to selecting "Active Runway" you have the choice of two dock positions in the "Choose runway/starting position" submenu. Port Walter has three dock positions, etc.

Also, with the FSX flight planner you can create a flight plan after loading the initial position without having to reposition to the runway. Is Plan-G different in this regard?

On the other hand there are those 16 unlisted US Forest Service docks, listed in the TongassX manual on page 35/36, that could benefit from separate start position files.

Cheers, Holger
« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 01:06:57 AM by Holger Sandmann »

Dieter

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Re: Starting Points for Sea Plane Bases
« Reply #7 on: September 01, 2012, 03:19:13 AM »
Holger,

thank you very much for your remarks.
I'm using FSX for many years now but I have to admit honestly, I never tried these dock starting points of your Tongass X seaplane bases.   :-[
Yes, perfectly done (like all your work).

Dieter

stiletto2

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Re: Starting Points for Sea Plane Bases
« Reply #8 on: September 01, 2012, 07:34:02 AM »
Hi all,

Sometimes it helps to have an expert like Holger point out the obvious.  We had all gotten so used to just starting with the default runway chosen, that we have forgotten that most airports & seaplane bases have been designed to allow you to choose where to start and Holger did not disappoint.  I have attached a picture below (with the drop down box open) in case some of you don't know where the starting point selection is.  Thanks, Holger. 

Rod

« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 07:35:53 AM by stiletto2 »

Doug

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Re: Starting Points for Sea Plane Bases
« Reply #9 on: September 01, 2012, 07:34:49 AM »
Great. We will go after the missing" ones, that will save us a lot of time. On our flight seeing plans we will have to POINT OUT the dock start point... I think most of us missed that. Thank you Holger.  I think now more people will appreciate all the work you did on those little communities. The secondary reason for this project is for the boat people hiding among us. With the clusters of cabins up around Petersburg and the VERY difficult sloughs there, surface navigation is a challenge.  We will also be able to put a start point for any key locations we put in.  It's a good tool for us.

The project will continue, just altered a little making it even better.

D

stiletto2

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Re: Starting Points for Sea Plane Bases
« Reply #10 on: September 01, 2012, 07:50:31 AM »
Hi Doug,

Yes, pointing out the proper start point selection will be important...especially if it is not the default "active runway".  For example, at PWR, the Dock 2 point is a much better choice than Dock 1 since the Dock 1 choice has the floatplane 90 degrees to the dock pointing to the floatplane dock ramp up.  However, the Dock 1 option is there if you want to realistically go to your plane (which has been parked up on the dock ramp) and manually turn it out to be ready to depart.

Rod
« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 07:53:03 AM by stiletto2 »

Doug

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Re: Starting Points for Sea Plane Bases
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2012, 09:02:32 AM »
OK, I've added what we were reminded of by Holger and what Rod has said below to the FAQ page under "S" Starting Points. It is all explained there.  The RTMM_Docks.zip has been updated to take out Port Walter and Port Alexander.  Now only UNlisted ones will be showing there. (There are only a few as of this writing). We have the list of UNlisted docks for Tongass and we'll be adding those to this.

Note also that we may be putting in some of our own "starting point" ADE files.  Especially for the boats, we do not have to start at the local seaplane base any more, we can now start from a very remote location. When those situations arise, they will show up in this list and in this folder. Any starting point that is in the new RTMM_Docks.zip will be indicated with a "#" sign after the name of the location on the Starting Points Page.

I know why we all missed it.  When you go to look at "Angoon" in the Go to Airport area ... when you click on it, it highlights the line it is on. If you click it again, off you go to the water runway, and that's what we all do. This is not "intuitive". Once it is highlighted you DO NOT CLICK it again, but go down to the Choose Runways/Starting Positions drop down and select a dock. Simple, but a lot of us missed it. And when we missed it, we missed all the work Holger put into these little communities. Now we are going to highlight this and make sure nobody misses the "HERE" in the "from HERE to THERE".

I've now added all of the unlisted docks to the RTMM_Docks.zip file from Holger's list at Tongass X. To know if you have the latest, look at the date beside the link in the brown area at the top of the Starting Points table (Misty's Place/Starting Points button).

There are a couple like Cape Decision Lighthouse where there is a helipad, but not a float plane dock. So I've added a dock to it and it is now a good "float" start point. (Picture Below)
« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 10:59:40 PM by Doug »

GrayRider

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Re: Starting Points for Sea Plane Bases
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2012, 07:38:00 PM »
I just installed the last three scenery's that came out recently.I also installed the latest RTMM_Docks.It is activated.

I did go to Port Walter(PWR).The dock and the small boat is there.Based on Jeff's screenshot.The building/cabin at the dock is missing,and if there should be AI traffic there,it's not showing up either.If there is a scenery for Port Walter.I don't have it.Port Walter is not in the main scenery downloads,that I can see?.

My next question is about the RTMM_Docks.I did install and activate the current one that is available.
While I was in the sim.I typed each of the ICAO codes that are there.None of the codes show up,as to location,so I can go to it?.I did try using a three letter code,and the names them selves.Such as Thomas Bay Dock etc.
I don't know what I may be doing wrong,if I'm doing anything wrong?.Maybe I'm missing some Tongass objects packages.As far as I can tell.I have everything required.I think

I do have TongassX installed,as I always have etc.

GrayRider
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stiletto2

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Re: Starting Points for Sea Plane Bases
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2012, 08:48:37 PM »
Hi GrayRider,

The extra cabin etc.  at Port Walter, is place by a RTMM scenery that is in development......Jeff is one of the testers......the new scenery addon that Brad is working on (I am providing some help) is going to be very nice.  It details the Little Port Walter Marine Station that is just on the other side of the little piece of land where Port Walter is.  Stay tuned.......

Also, I have found that there is a problem with the ICAO codes in the docks (start points) addon....

The following 6 codes are recognized differently by FSX (at least for me) versus the documentation....

Documentation            FSX

ULCB                        UNCB
ULEB                        UNEB
ULFF                        UNFF 
ULL                          UNL                         
ULNB                       UNNB
ULPL                        UNPL

Doug will have to look into this and decide what is correct.

Let us know if this isn't the problem for you.....

Rod
« Last Edit: September 01, 2012, 08:50:25 PM by stiletto2 »

GrayRider

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Re: Starting Points for Sea Plane Bases
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2012, 09:46:08 PM »
Hi GrayRider,

The extra cabin etc.  at Port Walter, is place by a RTMM scenery that is in development......Jeff is one of the testers......the new scenery addon that Brad is working on (I am providing some help) is going to be very nice.  It details the Little Port Walter Marine Station that is just on the other side of the little piece of land where Port Walter is.  Stay tuned.......

Also, I have found that there is a problem with the ICAO codes in the docks (start points) addon....

The following 6 codes are recognized differently by FSX (at least for me) versus the documentation....

Documentation            FSX

ULCB                        UNCB
ULEB                        UNEB
ULFF                        UNFF 
ULL                          UNL                         
ULNB                       UNNB
ULPL                        UNPL

Doug will have to look into this and decide what is correct.

Let us know if this isn't the problem for you.....

Rod

Thanks Rod.

I just tried the six you mentioned in FSX.None of them show up in my FSX.Using the UN part of the ICAO codes.They all show Russia as a location.

So for the moment.None of the ICAO codes show up in my FSX including the 6 you mentioned,using the codes you provided that should be in FSX.You see those 6 you mentioned in FSX(That should be in FSX),but I don't.

No hurry.I'm sure it will get sorted out in time.

GrayRider

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