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Flight plan

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Flight plans are documents filed by a pilot or flight dispatcher with the local Civil Aviation Authority (e.g. FAA in the USA) prior to departure which indicate the plane's planned route or flight path. Although not strictly necessary in Second Life aviation, some pilots prefer to file their flight plans with an ATC bot (via the 119.200 MHz and 117.900 MHz groups) for role-play purposes.

Background

F plan

An image of a standard FAA flight plan form.

In the real life, a flight plan is typically submitted using a form such as the adjacent Standard FAA flight plan form, and generally includes basic information such as departure and arrival points, estimated time en route, alternate airports in case of bad weather, type of flight, the pilot's information, number of people on board and information about the aircraft itself. The FAA flight plan is usually performed[1] as follows:

  1. Check the type of flight. It will be VFR (visual flight rules), IFR (instrument flight rules), or DVFR (defense visual flight rules). To file a composite flight plan (a portion of the flight VFR and IFR) check both boxes.
  2. Enter your aircraft identification. This is your tail number including the prefix "N" or designated call sign.
  3. Enter your aircraft type and special equipment.
  4. Enter the aircraft's true airspeed (TAS) in knots.
  5. Enter the airport identifier code for your departure point.
  6. Enter your proposed departure time in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC or Zulu).
  7. Enter your cruising altitude. If you plan on more than one cruising altitude, only list the initial altitude.
  8. Define your route of flight. Start with the first checkpoint or instrument departure procedure followed by subsequent checkpoints.
  9. Enter the identifier for your destination airport.
  10. Enter your estimated time en route (ETE) in hours and minutes.
  11. Enter any remarks to help ATC or clarify other flight plan information.
  12. Specify the amount of fuel on board in hours and minutes.
  13. Specify any alternate airports if desired.
  14. Enter your name, address, telephone number, and home base.
  15. Enter the number of persons on board including yourself, passengers, and crew.
  16. Enter the predominant colors of your aircraft.
  17. Record a destination telephone number (optional).

Flight plan in SL Aviation

MAKING FLIGHT PLAN

Although not strictly necessary in Second Life aviation, some pilots prefer to file their flight plans with an ATC bot (via the 119.200 MHz and 117.900 MHz groups) for role-play purposes.

When Lobofeo Kobaleinen, back in 2010, established the first rules of flight in Second Life, adapted from those used in real life, he proposed a kind of flight plan tailored to your maps (designed for a very small area in relationship with the currently used); but I think that not even thought about such a large level of airmen, nor such a high number of airports would be reached (as of May 2015, we have 140 airports and heliports throughout SL), so both their maps, waypoints and method for making the flight plan are out of date (although many nostalgic pilots are using it).

It is indicated below, the old method, for comparison purposes, and then the new method for making flight plans, adapted to current maps (of Kelly Shergood and of Ananda Ghost).

Old method for making the flight plan

Prior to departure, pilots can use the 119.200 MHz Group to issue an optional flight-plan. In Second Life, as in real-life, flight plans are a list of details which indicate the plane's planned route or flight path to its destination. There are two types of flight-plan which the 119.200 Group uses - Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) and Visual Flight Rules (VFR). The following are examples of Second Life flight plans:

Flight-plan Description Example
Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) A detailed flight-plan intended for large aircraft. Call-sign is type (airplane model). T#### : IFR flight plan - CA ### ft. / route details go here / ETD: #Mins / ETA: #Mins / PAX:##
Visual Flight Rules (VFR) A simplified flight-plan intended for small light aircraft. Call-sign is type (airplane model). T#### : VFR flight plan - SL## > SL## - ETD: #Mins / ETA: #Mins / PAX:##

Abbreviations explained:

  • CA = SL height (usually in feet).
  • V-A = Flight route.
  • VFR = Visual Flight Rules.
  • IFR = Instrument Flight Rules.
  • T = Transponder Number.
  • ETD = Estimated Time Departure.
  • ETA = Estimated Time Arrival.
  • PAX = Passengers.
  • SL## = ICAO airport code (starting with the prefix "SL" followed by two letters).

How to write an old IFR flight-plan

1) First, the pilot begins with their aircraft call-sign (e.g. "N1234C").

2) After the call-sign the pilot states the type of aircraft used for the flight (e.g. DC-10, King Air).

3) This is followed by the T- (Transponder) number. This is provided in the 119.200 map pack, obtainable from the terminal foyer in New Horizons Airport. If in doubt, pilots are urged to ask for help in the "SL Aviation Group" in-world.

3) Next comes the CA (Second Life height or altitude). Pilots are urged to use the top bar of their SL co-ordinates to set their height.

4) Using the 119.200 map (found in the 119.200 map pack), aviators place in the flight-plan their planned route using the V-A routes and checkpoints from their starting airport to the designated destination airport.

For example:

SLNH > V-A1 90° > Marmut 0° > Sumit 90° > SLHA.

5) Next is added the estimated time of departure (ETD) & estimated time of arrival (ETA).

6) Finally, the PAX number is added (the amount of passengers being carried).

The finished IFR flight-plan should resemble the following example:

New Horizons Tower, N1234C is a DC10 Speedbird. T-3805 : IFR Flight Plan - CA 300ft. / SLNH > V-A1 90° > Marmut 0° > Sumit 90° > SLHA. /ETD 10 Mins / ETA 20 Mins /1 Pax on Board

How to write an old VFR flight-plan

The VFR flight-plan is much more simple and is used for smaller light aircraft. The procedure for creating a VFR flight-plan is the same as before but without the route details. It is important to note that for VFR flight-plans pilots must obey ATC height requirements as there maybe other larger aircraft on their flight route; this will avoid any mid-air collisions.

After constructing a VFR flight-plan it will look like this:

New Horizons Tower, N1234P is a Alpha Jet. T-3805 : VFR Flight Plan SLNH > SLHA. /ETD 10 Mins / ETA 20 Mins /1 Pax on Board

New method for making the flight plan

In the following examples the way would be the complete line of the flight plan, both at VFR and IFR indicated, and already ready to send via chat to bot ATC (must be complied with commas and separations to do so) .

  • VFR: SLHA, N1234, VFR FLIGHT PLAN/ C172/L/SQ4432/FL200/SLHA>SLNH/ETD1040/ETA1100/PAX1
  • IFR: SLNH, IB45YT, IFR FLIGHT PLAN/ CRJ7/M/SQ0882/FL200/SLNH>THULL>WINDS>TTATT>SLHA/ETD1410/ETA1430/PAX3

Explanation of abbreviations

  • Departure airport ICAO code: SLNH, SLHA, other
  • Callsign (tail or flight number): tail number N1234 or flight number IBE45YT
  • Flight type (IFR or VFR): VFR FLIGHT PLAN or IFR FLIGHT PLAN
  • Aircraft type (ICAO code): C172 = Cessna model 172, CRJ7 = Bombardier model CRJ-700, etc.
  • Wake turbulence category (ICAO code): LIGHT (L), MEDIUM (M), HEAVY (H)
  • Transponder number (SQ----): create you own SQ four digits number in the Kelly transponder. eg. SQ1234
  • Flight level (FL): indicated in meters (eg. FL200)
  • Waypoints: in VFR mode is direct (eg. SLNH>SLHA), in IFR mode follow this example: first the departure airport (SLNH), second the waypoints sequentially until the destination airport (THULL>WINDS>TTATT), and last the arrival airport (SLHA); the waypoints can be found on the map of Kelly directly, open the tab is in the top right called "Overlays" and mark the "waypoints" box.
  • Estimated Time of Departure (ETD): in SL Time four digits, 24 hours type (eg. 0000 to 2359); if you departure to 16:50 SLT. put ETD1650
  • Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA): in SL Time four digits, 24 hours type (eg. 0000 to 2359); If you think that the flight takes twenty minutes, and departure is to 16:50 SLT, the estimated arrival is to 17:10 SLT and you put ETA1710
  • Passengers (PAX): number of passengers, eg. PAX2

Putting information in the transponder

  1. Buy for free the transponder here
  2. Turn on (click "ON") and click in "FPL" button; when the box is open, click in "Designation" an put in the text box you tail number or flight number.
    • in case of private aircraft is well put the tail number, eg. N1234 ("N" is for USA designator), and the aircraft model, eg. C172 (Cessna 172); finally the line is some this: N1234 - C172
    • in case of airline is well put the flight number, eg. IBE24YT ("IBE" is for IBERIA airline, a spanish company), and the aircraft model, eg. CRJ2 (Bombardier CRJ-200); finally the line is some this: IBE24YT - CRJ2
  3. See in the map if all is ok and if you callsign is set (in the map click on the button "Flights" and see if you callsign is there)
  4. Now we create our transponder number (SQ), and click in the numbers for put four digits; we see in the transponder window the number, and then go to the map and see if is there too. In the map window we can see something similar this:
    • N1234 - C172(SQ1234)
    • IBE24YT - CRJ2(SQ1234)
  5. Now something very important for all the pilots: click in the transponder button "ALT" for set the altitude, and then all the pilots can see our flight level; for see you position in the map, touch you callsign in the "Flights" box at the map and you can see the position of you aircraft or avatar how a small red plane, and at the top you can see two lines in yellow, indicating the callsign the upper and the lower speed (in meters / second) and altitude (in meters); you can see something similar this
    • N1234 - C172(SQ1234)
    • 0m/s 22m
  6. And when you've designed your flight plan, and you've sent by chat to ATC bot, it is just a moment fort put in the transponder the info, as follows:
    • for the ATC you put. eg: SLHA, N1234, VFR FLIGHT PLAN/ C172/L/SQ4432/FL200/SLHA>SLNH/ETD1040/ETA1100/PAX1
    • then, click in the transponder "FPL" button, click in "New FPL" button, and copy fron the flight plan start with VFR or IFR, and cut some repeat info, to see something similar this:
    • VFR/FL200/SLHA>SLNH/ETD1040/ETA1100/PAX1
    • IFR/FL200/SLNH>THULL>WINDS>TTATT>SLHA/ETD1410/ETA1430/PAX3
  7. Check if everything is looking well on the map, in the box "Flights", which must appear below our callsign the same information.
  8. When you finish your flight, close your flight plan (click "FPL", click "Close FPL"), and is well put in mode standby "STBY" your transponder, disappearing from the map screen your position, but no lost your information (if you turn off the transponder all the info is deleted).

Some info about long routes

Air routes that most pilots use are usually short and preset, most of them along the coast or flying over the sea, but with the establishment of new airports (large or small, at sea level or floating in the air) we need establish new routes, longer and with more waypoints that we usually use. To overcome having to put a long list of waypoints, Ananda Ghost has drawn up a list of safe air routes which are indicated by the letter "R", a serial number and a letter representing a cardinal point, with which know if a forward route or a back route; eg R7N is a route that includes the following waypoints, ITAWA> ITAWT> BONEY> OOBIL> LOORQ> JHARM> FERCO, and being indicated with an "N" know that going north.

Currently, Ananda Ghost has finished long routes of the great supercontinent (from Gaeta V to Satori), trying to make soon those of Heterocera and Sansara, and of Jeogeot; for see a list of these routes and the latest updates, see this page.

Passengers of SL group

If you like invited passengers, for your flight private or commercial, you need add to this group and put in the chat group you departure advise. Read more here.

See more

References

  1. Instructions on filing out the FAA Flight Plan Form 7233-1 (English) (Website). flightlodge.com. Retrieved on 2015-05-21.

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