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Experiences of Non RNAV capable IFR flights with a DC-6


Jan Naslund (812053)

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Jan Naslund (812053)

Hi,

I have been enjoying the MDFS PMDG DC-6 now for while on Vatsim. Love  the plane but super complex to handle, you have to keep checking carburetor temps , oil temps , cylinder head temps and adjust levers constantly to keep the engines smiling and delivering the optimal power output. 
I fly it old school without any GPS. and i am happy to say that more and more controllers are handling my flights in a better way than in the beginning. That goes for mainland Europe and the Nordic countries. 
I understand that it's a bit confusing when you have not come across anything like this before so no problems. Every day is a learning day.

In the beginning when i filed for example ESSA -EFHK like this ARL - MAR - HEL, the confusion was great as i wasn't following any SID and why had i filed ARL when my first waypoint should have been MAR?
I file ARL when starting from ESSA or HEL when starting from Helsinki and the reason is that i will be out of range from my next VOR and i need to follow a specific radial outbound ARL or HEL. There is however no way to file this in the flight plan so now i mention it when i request clearance.
From ARL i have now started to file ERK - MAR - HEL as this works better, then i don't have to follow a radial outbound ARL to get to MAR. I can reach ERK and from there i am in range of MAR and can proceed to it.

Things that happens when flying DC-6 IFR on Vatsim:
Approaching the runway, i am cleared for takeoff but I need to have a few minutes to do engine run-up checks. This is like a big piston engine Cessna with 4 engines and it takes a few minutes to check the propeller controls, prop feather functions, magneto checks, mixture checks etc.  To prevent this , i usually let the ground or Tower controller know while taxiing that i will need to do this.
I am given RNAV SID even though i clearly stated unable RNAV when requesting clearance. That was because non non-RNAV SID's could be found.
I am given a vectored departure, then direct to an RNAV waypoint. Unable of course. Controller confusion :)
I am given a vectored departure, then direct a VOR or NDB out of my range. Unable. Controller confusion :)
Plenty of direct-to VOR's or NDB's out of range.
When on non-RNAV SID but the SID includes RNAV waypoints determined by distance and radials from land based VOR's/NDB's, i get direct-to. Unable as i need to follow the complete SID and have the correct references VOR's/NDB Radials/bearings to complete it. Controller confusion :)

I will continue to fly the DC-6 online so now you know what t expect :)

Best Rgs  / SAS335

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Martin Loxbo (811805)

The basic problem here is that we simulate the current state of the aviation system. And as you are aware, conventional (non-RNAV) procedures are becoming less and less common, and many conventional navaids are being withdrawn. Essentially all IFR flights these days require at least basic RNAV capabilities.

It's of course fine to fly in this old fashioned way on VATSIM, but I think you may be disappointed if you expect special treatment, or being allowed to fly different routes than the majority of the traffic. If you are flying in and out of Stockholm, you might be able to avail of some navaids that have been withdrawn IRL but can still be used in the sim (not sure how this applies to MSFS though as it gets updated regularly). For example, you could file a departure via TOVRI, which has the same coordinates as the now withdrawn VOR NTL. So you could put TOVRI in your flight plan, mention that you are unable RNAV SID, but in your sim tune NTL VOR and fly there. (The same applies for DKR = PETEV and SVD = ERNOV among others.)

Also please do remember that there are flight planning requirements in and out of Stockholm TMA (defined entry and exit points such as ARS, PETEV, NILUG, TRS etc). ATC might of course be able to accommodate different routings depending on traffic flows, but this should be seen as courtesy and not a right. In busy traffic conditions, you can probably expect to be vectored along the current SID/STAR routings and cannot count on special routings like leaving the TMA via ERK (as you know this is the IAF for several STARs into ESSA).

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