Post by Travis on Jun 11, 2016 11:54:45 GMT -5
Bringing more Air Transport Pilot realism to your simulators, FSCaptain version 1.7.2 is now available for download from the FSCaptain website - www.fscaptain.net/. Changelist notes from the README can be found later in this post.
FSCaptain remains free to test and use with the only limitations being able to takeoff from six airports - KOLM, KPDX, KSEA, EGCC, EGGD and EGJJ. License keys can be obtained from several online flight sim retailers.
Full Version of 1.7.2 (complete installation, including all flight crew audios):
Fixpack for 1.7.2 (a smaller install for those upgrading from earlier versions):
We believe that we've included all updates to the FA audios in the Fixpack, but just in case we've missed some, you can download the full FA audio packs and unzip them into the \FSCaptain\Sounds\ folder.
Each zip contains all audios and an updated files.cfg file within the correctly named folder. E.g., Heidi's files will unzip to "\FA_Heidi\" etc.
Heidi - 16.3MB
Lucy - 35.3MB
Regina (English) - 13.1MB
Regina (German) - 30.9MB
Flights saved under a different version of FSCaptain cannot be restored. Please complete all outstanding flights before upgrading!
There has been a change to the airport database, so if you are upgrading please run the Administrator immediately afterwards and when you are prompted to rebuild your airport database, click OK.
The latest version of MakeRwys.exe is included and should be installed to your Flight Sim root folder as long as your current MakeRwys.exe is of an older version. This is a necessary change, as future versions of FSCaptain will use the newly acquired data for a much improved Runways Report. (Thanks as always to Pete Dowson for his diligence, enthusiasm and patience in dealing with multiple requests!)
If you are upgrading - to be safe always make a copy of your FSCaptain folder before installing any new version.
Download a safe environment and a README from www.fscaptain.net/downloads/My_Safe_Backup.zip
NOTE - Anti-virus programs and "new" Software
Many anti-virus software packages react to new software they have never encountered before. Since you are about to be one of the first to install a new build of FSCaptain, your anti-virus software will be one of the first of its brand to see the new FSCaptain. Some anti-virus programs will flag this for your attention and your intent. Some anti-virus programs will pro-actively attempt to isolate (or quarantine) a new .EXE or .DLL. We have had a report of a widely-used anti-virus program going so far as to isolate text files (.XML and .CFG) that FSCaptain reads.
Now it is up to each of you to keep your PCs safe. We can't advocate shutting down your anti-virus programs, but if you could put yours into "install mode" or switch off "live scanning" during the installation, then you may be able to avoid some problems.
In general use, if you can have your anti-virus programs exclude your entire flight simulator installation from "real-time scanning," you will better your simulator's performance. Our simulators are constantly reading lots of tiny data files, and if your PC is following each read with having the anti-virus program ask, "What happened just now?" well you can imagine the constant resource drain.
Finally, if your anti-virus program does detect FSCaptain and asks to submit it for closer examination by their technicians, by all means you should do so. The sooner that each version of FSCaptain is analyzed (and not just "patterned matched") the sooner it will be taken off their radar.
CHANGELIST FOR FSCAPTAIN 1.7.2
FSCaptain uses the Visual C++ 2013 RTL libraries which earlier testing has shown that not all Captains have. To check, you should run the Administrator and see if it crashes. If it does, you most likely need the Microsoft VC++ 2013 libraries (the x86 version we believe) which you can download from here: www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=40784 - once there, just click Download and then select the x86 version. (And if that doesn't allow you to run FSCaptain, go back and download the x64 version from the same page.)
The Administrator is now built in a manner which should allow it to be used by Captains using Windows XP.
The FCDU.EXE is currently not able to run under Windows XP - those Captains will need to use the FCDU/FCOM gauge.
Windows XP users are advised to check whether or not they have the Microsoft .Net Framework version 3.5 installed on their PCs which is necessary in order for the FSCaptain Scenery Scanner to operate. If you do not have Framework 3.5 installed, you can download the installer from Microsoft at: www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=21
A Transitions.cfg file developed from AIRAC 1603 is included.
The "How-To" document on Aircraft Configuration has been updated to reflect recent changes in FSCaptain.
There is a new document - A Guide to the Dispatch Release. Its purpose is to explain all of the elements that Releases cover.
Testing Notes on New Options
Previously, flights dispatched without an alternate airport were given extra fuel in the amount of 85% of their aircraft's "Reserve Fuel" allocation. That default value has been changed to only 10% extra fuel. An Options.cfg flag of RANGE_FACTOR_SANS_ALTERNATE will allow Captains to set a percentage from 0% extra fuel to 85% extra fuel.
RESERVE_FUEL_IN_MINUTES, HOLDING_FUEL_IN_MINUTES and RESERVE_FUEL_IN_MINUTES_HELI will now accept values down to zero. Captains will be cautioned on their Dispatch Releases if they choose to take on less fuel amounts than are suggested.
If an airport scenery has BGL runway surfaces of a different type than "pictured" - a dirt runway rather than a nicely grooved concrete runway - Dispatch could refuse an aircraft's use of that airport. A new optional file - airport_surface_override.txt will allow you to specify an overall surface type for Dispatch to consider. Details of this file's format are included in the User Guide and the file itself.
Runway lengths for destination and alternate airports have a new default behavior: Dispatch will not offer airports without enough STD/MLW length as a Destination for Charter Flights, nor as any Alternate airport. This is consistent with previous FSCaptain functionality. However if a Captain specifies an airport as either a Destination or an Alternate, Dispatch will release such a flight - with a caution added to the Dispatch Release. However if the option ENFORCE_DEST_RUNWAY_LENGTH=1 is enabled, no flights to such airports can be specified.
The Load Factor used to determine possible payloads is now governed by a "variance range". PAYLOAD_VARIANCE is an integer with valid values from 1 to 25. This will represent the range which your offered payload sizes can vary. (Initially for PAX flights only.) For example if you have a Load Factor of 75 and a PAYLOAD_VARIANCE of 25, you could get PAX loads anywhere from 50% to 100% of capacity. If your PAYLOAD_VARIANCE is 10 (the default value) then you could get PAX loads anywhere from 65% to 85% of capacity.
Runway surface detection (as used by Dispatch) can now be bypassed by setting the option DISABLE_SURFACE_CHECKS to 1. Doing so will allow you to dispatch jetliners to lakes and seaplane bases and grass strips, or float planes to desert landing strips. Use with caution, as Dispatch will not warn you of a possible mismatch. This option does not affect the detection of surface types while on the ground - that is handled by the DISABLESURFACE option.
A new option - REQUIRE_TYPE_FOR_MAP - can be set to zero in order to ignore the TYPE value in load map files. (Allows for "looser matching.")
A new configuration file - ignored_airports.cfg - is available for each Captain to add "troublesome local airports" which hinder normal operations. (See the User Guide for details.)
New options - POSITIVE_CROSSWIND and POSITIVE_HEADWIND - will allow you to format "Headwind/Tailwind" and "Crosswind" data on the Dispatch Release.
If you are due to have a failure in the first half of your flight (or if you are destined to have an engine failure or fire), you can "enhance" the chance of the failure occurring on the takeoff roll by setting TAKEOFF_FAILURE_ENHANCEMENT to a high percentage (max of 100). The default value for this is 0. (So there's no change if you don't desire one.)
If you do not wish to have any failures (aside from flight control failures) in the first half of your flights, set TAKEOFF_FAILURE_ENHANCEMENT to -1.
The maximum pay amount per hour per level has been increased to 400, and that cap can be increased to 1000.
Executing a "manual load" can now allow use of the Acme Fuel Loading service with the new option MANUAL_LOAD_USES_ACME_FUEL.
USE_TAT_FOR_HAZARDS_ALOFT will substitute the simulator's Total Air Temperature value instead of its Ambient Temperature for all in-air hazard pack items.
The Administrator's use of Internet weather to fill in any gaps from your weather engine's data, can be disabled by setting USE_INTERNET_WEATHER=0.
Captains who manage to break many company rules (and/or company aircraft) will find snarky notes in their Areas of Concern if the option ALLOW_INSULTS=1 is set. :-)
Setting ENFORCE_INSPECTIONS to a value above 0 will call for an inspection check if any (actual or possible) damage to an aircraft occurs. This check will take place after the Captain has either gone IN or has CANCELLED the flight. This will prevent any further legs to be flown and will effectively end your current session (simulating reports & interviews)! This does not prevent you from using the same aircraft in future flights - only for your current session.
By default, system failures can occur before your initial takeoff... possibly ruining your planned sim experience. Set TAXIOUT_FAILURES_ALLOWED=0 and on your initial taxiout, no random equipment failure should occur. This only applies to the initial taxiout, if you're making a multi-leg flight, you could have random equipment failure on taxiout for leg #2, etc. Hazard pack items are excluded from this option - you can have your controls frozen due to ground ice, but a deicing would fix that. Likewise if you're driving in rain w/o engine protection, you can have an engine flameout.
A new global option - in options.cfg - can remove the crew's ability to open / close the main doors. CREW_OPERATES_DOORS=1 is the default value, and we have added the ability of an FO to operate the doors on Cargo flights and on PAX flights without an FA! There is also an airline-specific version, so you can leave door-handling globally, but disable it for a specific airline....
Requests to have relief of the 250kt speed requirement may be denied on a random basis. To enable this, set the option.cfg value of ODDS_TO_DECLINE_250=0 anywhere from 0 (never decline) to 100 (always decline).
Finally, there is a feature within FSCaptain to set a periodic automatic save of the simulator's flight data, which would also trigger an automatic save of the FSCaptain flight data!
Here are the notes in the options.cfg file that manage FSCaptain Autosave:
SIM_AUTOSAVE_CLEANUP=0 ; 1 = Removes all simulator save files generated during the flight
; after going IN and updating your company log. Default is 0.
SIM_AUTOSAVE_FILES=10 ; The number (0-16) of autosaved simulator files to generate per
; flight. 0 (Default) = Disables simulator autosave.
SIM_AUTOSAVE_ON_GROUND=0 ; Sets autosaving of simulator files while on the ground.
; 1 = Before takeoff. 2 After landing. 3 = All phases.
; 0 (Default) = Simulator autosave will only occur in air.
SIM_AUTOSAVE_SECONDS=180 ; The number of simulator seconds between simulator autosaves.
; Range is 30 to 1800. Default is 180. (That's three minutes.)
These autosaves will be written to your standard "\User\Documents\[Flight Sim Documents]\" folder, so if you intend to use this feature you must have all rights to write to that folder. Otherwise crashes & CTDs can occur.
Please do not use this feature if you are using another add-on to autosave your simulator flight data (such as FSUIPC 4, or the AutoSave module for FS9).
Testing Notes on New Items
For each build, there's almost always more items added to the FCDU & ADMIN logs.
PAX flights with VIPs and GROUPs are now considered as Priority flights. This means you will not get a penalty for an early arrival, although you would face a 2X-points penalty for being late.
If you are flying with a PLN set of waypoints, and if you miss a waypoint in-flight, your Dispatch office will send a message within several minutes advising you to either cross your waypoint or to advance your PLN active waypoint to the currently active one. Otherwise your block estimates (time and distance) will increasingly be more and more incorrect.
The FCDU will now display the ID of the closest Airport Reference Point on the home ACARS screen when it's powered up or reset. If you have the SELECT AIRPORT option enabled, any change you make there will then be reflected on the home ACARS screen.
If the aircraft's Maximum Takeoff Weight and Minimum Runway Length for Takeoff have been entered, the Dispatch Release should contain an estimated Takeoff Roll that considers the airport's altitude, current reported temperature, and the effects of wet runways if reported.
Your Dispatch Release will contain runway information for your Departure, Destination (and Alternate) airports - this includes Length, Threshold Offset, Width, ILS data, Winds, and whether or not the runway is CL (Closed for Landing) or CT (Closed for Takeoff).
It is now possible to change (or add) a PLN file in the FCDU before a flight starts. On the Revise Flight screen (screen 53), the PLN filename will be present and can be changed. You are limited to PLN names of 32 characters or less, and the ".PLN" extension is not needed. The file must be in the folder where your usual PLN files are, and it must be a valid PLN for your Departure and Destination airports.
Aircraft have a new value - Preload Minimum Fuel Percentage. This allows you to specify a minimum amount of fuel in your aircraft's tank for your first flight of a session. Barring very peculiar procedures, airlines will rarely leave their aircraft's tanks near empty, nor will they leave them parked fully fueled. The range you can select from is between 7.5% and 45.0%, and the default (for aircraft that have not had this value defined) is 10.0%.
Actions which would pause the autoload process are now displayed on the FCDU just as they have been on the pre-loading screen.
"Bright" versions of the FCDU for FS9/FSX/P3D are included as new gauges - FCDU9B is the one for FS9, and for FSX/P3D FCDUB.gau is the grey version and FCDU2B.gau is the bronze version. Please note to change both the !ACARS and the !FCDU references in your panel.cfg files.
A new class of passenger ("Comfort Economy") now can have load stations defined. The code for this class is "W". Both airline & competition pricing tables have been revised to accommodate W class ticket pricing. See the "Sample" Economic files for details.
Cabin Emergencies will trigger alert messages from Dispatch through ACARS. If you have Environmental messages enabled, you will see a yellow/orange CABIN EMERGENCY displayed while the status of the emergency is being evaluated. If the emergency is not verified, the display will vanish. If the emergency is confirmed, the display will appear in red.
Bronze versions of the FCDU (normal and "Bright") are now available for FS9.
When fluid deicing is called for, the aircraft will need to deploy their flaps. (Strictly speaking, flaps should be fully deployed but for now any deployment should suffice.) An INOP check has been added to the Aircraft Configuration panel in the Administrator to handle any aircraft which do not report correct Flap Deployment values, but if you find an aircraft that doesn't work, please let us know.
There is also a new INOP system on the aircraft configuration panel - Beacon Lights. We have enabled a new mandatory light requirement... to have the aircraft's beacon lights on prior to loading, remaining on at all times until unloading has completed. We have enabled an interface for non-standard aircraft, so if your favorite aircraft doesn't use the standard signal (noted on the Interface screen of the FCDU) let us know which aircraft it is and if we have a copy we can begin interfacing it.
When using the Administrator for flight planning, you can change the airline parking code for a flight by editing the code in the "Codeshare" textbox. If you're flying for ACME Airlines but planning to fly in an aircraft with a FedEx livery, you can enter "FDX" and receive FedEx parking assignments!
All save files now make a copy with the flight number and the timestamp of our OUT time. This is to allow recovery in case of accidental overwrites of the actual save file. Details are in the Users Guide.
Testing Notes on Changed Items
Fuel loads are no longer "rounded up" to the nearest 100 / 1000 unit.
Prepar3D Version 3 should be detected better, and the correct dll.xml file should be attended to.
The term "ICE WGT" on the FCDU and FCOM has been changed to "XTRA WT" to better reflect that it's not always "ice" that's being detected.
Safety announcements will now not come during pushback(!).
The physical area around the FCDU's "On" switch has been increased to account for the "On" label itself.
If Ground Service Catering, Fueling, Deicing, or Pushback have been called or are underway, the COMMIT key on the Load Confirm screen (#42!) will be disabled.
Flights involving airports with reported limited visibility and an inoperative RVR system will be flagged on the Dispatch Release.
Airline's Landing Light Policies have been overhauled. Captains can define for their airlines the altitude (6000ft - 21000ft) below which Landing Lights need to be on. Further, Captains can define for their airlines whether or not to require Landing Lights be switched off when above the same altitude. PLEASE READ THE USER GUIDE for details on how this is applied - flights involving airports with elevations that are near (or greater than) the airline Landing Light Policy Altitude, will have the Policy Altitude adjusted higher for the flight.
The process used to define the initial "direct flight" altitudes for flights has been changed. Initially one thousand feet are allocated per 10NM distance, not to exceed the aircraft's standard cruise altitude. Further, for all flights longer than 30NM, FAA-based IFT hemispheric rules are applied where South and West bound flights will be given an initial "even" flight levels, and North and East bound flights will be given "odd" flight levels. (This will not override an aircraft's defined cruise altitude.) Again, this is only the initial "direct flight" altitude and can be overloaded by the Captain's discretion in the Administrator.
A new METAR pattern for winds is now accounted for - "2714KT" means winds from 270 @ 14KT, not winds from 271 @ 4.
Once a flight plan has been loaded in the Administrator, the total distance of the route is displayed.
VIPs and GROUPs which have an airport affinity now can be included on flights TO the airport affinity area. For example, a Hollywood Star could be found on a flight to KLAX from nearly anywhere.
Items may now have multiple airport affinity IDs, although they would share the same affinity radius.
The term "ETE" has changed to "Block Time" - to better define its purpose to signify the OUT to IN block time, rather than "Estimated Time Enroute" which could be taken as OFF to ON time.
If the FSCaptain pushback service is used, "taxi on ground" penalties will not apply during pushback and for approximately one minute after pushback ceases. This will allow Captains a small grace period to remove their aircraft from soft/unsafe surfaces that pushback may have placed them. (Ensure that enough engines have been started to allow movement before pushback has concluded!!)
A bounced landing which carries on too long (at least 3 seconds) will now cancel any Nice Landing Bonus that could have been earned.
Go-arounds can now be called by the FO without having a FA (or PAX) onboard. Also multiple go-arounds can occur on a single approach.
If a declarable emergency occurs at less than 1000ft AGL (on approach for example), you will not be penalized for not declaring such. (This is a retroactive penalty removal, so your score may be elevated!)
The screen which appears once an emergency has been declared now displays the distance & heading to your destination as well as to the closest appropriate airport. Also, the current Range and aircraft Gross Weight are displayed. The Range to let you know how far you can fly, and the Gross Weight to let you know if you're below the aircraft's Maximum Landing Weight (MLW). If your situation is a system failure such as Landing Gear, you may wish to burn off any excess fuel by flying some holding patterns to get below the MLW. However if you have a cabin fire or medical emergency you probably should land ASAP, despite the weight.
Captains earn new awards at 50 Hours Flown, 1500 Hours Flown, 2000 Hours Flown, and 3000 Hours Flown.
Captains who choose to fly large numbers of ferry flights now earn special awards based on the percent of ferry flights versus total flights.
Captains with a high point level who make ferry on occasion will see an increase in points earned - the base point level for a ferry flight is now the minimum of the base points per level -or- the Captain's current average point level.
The option BACKUPAFTER now has three values. 0 = Backup company log before updating the log. (Default) 1 = Backup company log after updating. 2 = Backup company log before and after updating.
Captains who use FSGRW weather will notice that flights with a cruise level below FL260 will see "altitude bands" favoring lower altitudes. Flights above that level will see a wider distribution of "altitude bands."
Work is underway to allow VA exporting of flight to use https / Port 443. To enable this for your VA, open your \Config\VADefault.cfg file and add/edit this line: PORT=443
Destination Runway Lengths required for Scheduled Flights are now factored at 95% of normal Length. This percentage can be changed from 85% to 100% by use of the RUNWAY_FACTOR_FOR_SCHEDULE option.
The Administrator's ETE & Fuel text boxes have been re-enabled and can be used to override values. You must enter the values you desire and then press and hold a SHIFT key while you click on the "Recalculate" button. If you later change your mind and want to accept the ACME values, you will need to click on the "Recalculate" button without using the SHIFT key.
Captains who successfully make Cabin Emergency Landings are now eligible for special awards.
Airport surface exceptions (which are listed in both the "exceptions.cfg" file and the "airport_surface_overrides.cfg" file) are now effective retroactively, instead of only taking effect after they've been added. So check your grades and Quality Points....
If you are using GSX and you release the parking brake or start an engine, all services which would be "available" would be considered as "not available." Services which have "completed" or were "bypassed" would be unaffected. Correcting the error would have those services be seen as "available" again.
If you have GSX installed and GSX pushback is possible, the indicator on the FCDU's Load Complete screen for our pushback is now labeled "ACME PUSHBACK" to avoid any confusion. (There is now also an indicator on that screen that GSX push is also available.)
The ACME pushback system has been reworked. There is now a display of your direct "straight pushback" distance, and then of the turn angle. Unless you have disabled pushback logging, there should be more details logged of each push.
There have been many subtle changes to ground deicing procedures in preparation for future support of off-stand deicing.
If deicing is needed and the departure or destination weather also calls for a gate hold, a request for deicing is now automatically treated as a full gate hold release request. You should receive a message from dispatch during the deicing process indicating this. Furthermore, simple hold releases cannot be requested for the presence of ground ice.
The FO's Welcome can occur up to the aircraft's service altitude (or TOC, whichever comes first).
When in climb or descent, the next PLN waypoint will have the estimated altitude upon reaching it - possibly useful in planning crossing altitudes....
The FCDU's main dispatch screen (#10) can recognize if you and your aircraft can handle both PAX and Cargo flights. If you can, you may be allowed to switch between both types.
If an FCDU screen has more than one page, the Page/Screen indicator in the upper right corner of the display will appear in blue... hopefully highlighting this condition.
Testing Notes on Bugs
Bug #143 - Fuel loader can apply an incorrect amount.
Bug #144 - In isolated areas, weather engine files can be constantly read.
Bug #145 - Min Takeoff and Min Landing Runway values could be confused at times.
Bug #146 - Airports with no parking will cause G5 to be constantly read.
Bug #151 - Hub Generator not including the hub airport in schedule flights.
Bug #153 - Transition Altitude of Destination and Alternate not always considered.
Bug #154 - FO Aircraft Overrides not loading.
Bug #157 - PAX Flight loads do not adhere to "Load Factors".
Bug #158 - Pre-flight parking assignments are sometimes not remembered by the FCDU.
Bug #159 - FO Announcement requests could be made at inappropriate times.
Bug #160 - In-flight Dispatch Release may not use correct waypoint altitudes.
Bug #162 - Reconciliation choice of "Aircraft" does not work.
Bug #163 - FS9 fuel autoload does not load fuel.
Bug #165 - Airline node list does not always affect Schedule or Charter destination.
Bug #166 - FS9 Dates are off by a day.
Bug #172 - ACARS warns of "Invalid configuration" if no load map is found.
Bug #181 - Multiple presses of PLN and EMER keys would disable RETURN choice.
Bug #183 - Landing alert for FAs can be given just after takeoff.
Bug #185 - Passenger Satisfaction value was tied to all flights.
Bug #188 - Alternate airports on subsequent legs may inherit the initial leg's alternate airport.
Bug #189 - Using external Ground Service pushback would mute FA Safety Announcement, which now should occur only after pushback / stand deicing.
Testing Notes on Interface Changes
There is a new built-in interface for David Maltby's BAC One Eleven freeware series (200, 400, 475, 500, and 510). (It corrects the faux "flameout" calls and adds some functionality.)
There is a new built-in interface for the FSDS Hawker Siddeley 748 freeware - as detailed in the Airplane Configuration How-To document.
There is a new built-in interface for the Flysim Cessna 441.
There is a new built-in interface for the Flysim Lear 35.
There is a new built-in interface for the Virtualcol ATR Series Pack.
There is a new built-in interface for the Virtualcol SAAB Regional Pack.
There is a new built-in interface for the Carenado B1900D.
There is a new built-in interface for the Carenado Cessna F406.
There is a new built-in interface for the Carenado PC-12.