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Some thoughts on Penalties.

Posted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 10:36 pm
by joefremont
There have been constant grumblings about our penalties and I was thinking of revising some of them to make them more friendly. Here are my thoughts on them and would like everyone's opinion. Below I mention FAA rules but the rules in Europe and other regions are pretty much the same and in our world they should be consistent.

Major penalties:

Crash 50%
Land at Wrong Airport 15%
Run out of fuel 15%

All these things are bad news and pilots should be dinged, no changes planned.

Minor penalties.

Parking Brakes 5%.
One of the most complained about, its a convenient way end the flight but many float planes and helicopters don't have brakes and many payware aircraft don't implement this correctly to set the correct flag in FS, I would like to eliminate this entirely.

Landing lights off below 1000ft 5%
Landing lights on above 10,000ft 5%

These are also complained about often. The FAA says you should have the landing lights for takeoff or when below 10k ft and within 10nm of the airport, but does not say you have to turn them off. One possible change would be that if you are within 5nm of your departure airport and below 1k ft (ALG) or within 5nm of the destination airport and below 5k ft (ALG) there would be a 5% penalty, and to encourage you to turn it off. If you are outside of those area's and have the lights on for more than 30 minutes, 5% penalty.

Taxi speed above 25kn 5%.

Seams reasonable and we don't get too many complaints about it. No changes planned.

Speed above 250kn when below 10k ft. 5%
This is often complained about but is the rule in the real world, except that often heavy jets are allowed to exceed it in there initial climb. So the change I propose is that for large gets that are marked in our db as 'heavy', they are limited to 300kn below 10k feet for the first 10 minutes of the flight.

To replace the parking brake penalty I though of a couple new ones.

Beacon or Navigation lights off
they should be on all the time.

Landing above max landing weight.
You will damage the landing gear.

Flying below 1k ft.
You are supposed to fly above 1k feet above populated areas so at some point in the flight you need to go above 1000 feet. This will also help us crack down on those who do flights to and from the same airport but never really leave the runway.

Also to try to crack down on those who fly two and from the same airport was thinking that the client should not consider the flight to be 'official' until you have exceeded 500ft ALG or gone more than 3nm from the point of takeoff. Even tourist flights around your city would do that.

Opinions please!

Re: Some thoughts on Penalties.

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:50 am
by Curpling
When it comes to penalty for overspeed (Above 250 knots) below FL 100 this is not something that is set to all airspaces.
Normally, PER IAP, one need to keep under 250 knots when below FL 100, but this is often lifted by ATC due to sequencing and not all AIP requests to remain under 250 knots when passing FL100.
For instance our VA ALWAYS flies on IVAO, online and very often during big events, "High speed approved" or maintain speed above 250 knots is often issued.

This penalty is actually quiet frustrating and several of our pilots have complained about this, in such extent that we have considered changing tracker.

Re: Some thoughts on Penalties.

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 12:53 am
by Curpling
What would be a really nice feature is that the aircraft would be more affected by hard landings or similar, that the aircraft take damage from mishandling of aircraft and the need to actually service the aircrafts, for example, below a certain % value on status the aircraft aint able to fly, or the required A/B/C/D check hasnt been done the aircraft is grounded.

If we want to maintain some kind of realistic enviroment, this would be much more interesting way to go instead of imposing penalties for overspeeding below FL 100 for instance.

Re: Some thoughts on Penalties.

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 2:11 am
by joefremont
Regarding the FAA regulations on speed.
Sec. 91.117 — Aircraft speed.

(a) Unless otherwise authorized by the Administrator, no person may operate an aircraft below 10,000 feet MSL at an indicated airspeed of more than 250 knots (288 m.p.h.).

(b) Unless otherwise authorized or required by ATC, no person may operate an aircraft at or below 2,500 feet above the surface within 4 nautical miles of the primary airport of a Class C or Class D airspace area at an indicated airspeed of more than 200 knots (230 mph.). This paragraph (b) does not apply to any operations within a Class B airspace area. Such operations shall comply with paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) No person may operate an aircraft in the airspace underlying a Class B airspace area designated for an airport or in a VFR corridor designated through such a Class B airspace area, at an indicated airspeed of more than 200 knots (230 mph).

(d) If the minimum safe airspeed for any particular operation is greater than the maximum speed prescribed in this section, the aircraft may be operated at that minimum speed.
Please note that section (a) does not specify airspace type. Besides I am not sure how I would figure out airspace type. 'Heavy' aircraft are routinely granted permission to exceed the 250 limit during there climb, hence the adjustment I suggested above.

Adjusting the amount of damage from hard landings or from landing overweight are good idea's. Probably better than the penalty for being overweight.

The penalties have been part of the system for a very long time, they really have no impact except for bragging rights and your own personal pride. If you don't think they have value, ignore them, they won't effect your airline's profits or reputation (except for the major ones).

Re: Some thoughts on Penalties.

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:13 am
by wings138
Hello, I think the system is pretty fair with penalties, I get them at the moment I should be paying attention.

Penalties for landing lights at airports is a must, as they require them for take off and landings.
As far as the FAA section on Landings Lights and Strobes, if the use of either will interfere with the safe operation of your aircraft or others they can be turned off. If flying thru a cloud your strobes will blind you in the real world. Flight Sim doesn't simulate that.

As far as the Overspeed penalty goes, I think a bit more leeway on that, as most of my overspeed was cased by wind gusts not from actually trying to fly faster. I do pretty well by slowing down ahead of time but I notice a bit more now that I use Active Sky.

As far as maintenance related things I am fine either way, I have had simulator issues that cause heaver landings, but I wouldn't mind having to do maintenance more if people are landing harder. It will make it more realistic.

One web site problem I would like to bring up as it has been over looked in the past is a double listing for VA ID on all my pilot profile pages.

Lastly I think you are doing great adding to the web page, hopefully we will see improvements continue, as they are getting better all the time.

Re: Some thoughts on Penalties.

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:29 am
by Vjacheslav
very nice new penalties!

Beacon or Navigation lights off
they should be on all the time.

Landing above max landing weight.
You will damage the landing gear.

Flying below 1k ft.

Re: Some thoughts on Penalties.

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 6:43 am
by Cat
It would be nice to know the "grade" of landings that take the aircraft status down say .1 or .2, etc. I do understand the status is a cumulative thing of all landings since the last service. Our airline grades landings in the following manner: less than -100 is a "green" in our grade, aka 'greaser'. -100 to -199 is 'normal' as the target touchdown rate for most airliners (737 for example) is -150. -200 to -299 is a "yellow" for a firm landing but not unsafe. -300 to -399 is an "orange" very firm touchdown with passengers complaining. Anything greater than -400 is "red" as in the real world it would require an airframe inspection before the aircraft is put back into service (per Boeing Aircraft Operator Manual). Things like cracked gear oleo's can happen at landing rates greater than -400 fpm along with "little" things like burst tires.

I also think if an airline has an aircraft that has sat on the ground for one year without flying, it would be considered a "pumpkin" and not be allowed to fly without an A service. This would not apply to aircraft on the market for sale or lease. Airlines don't have to pay gate/landing fee's so requiring service on unused aircraft seems fair to me.

The Parking Brake has had issues for me on several occasions when I would set the parking brake, get the "chime" that the flight has ended then if I tap toe brakes or move the plane, I get busted for no parking brake at the end of the flight even when I reset it.

For those who fly real world weather, it would be nice to be able to divert due to weather at destination below minimums without the huge penalty FSA now imposes. I'd accept a 10% pilot deduction and 2 point airline rep knockdown for a real weather divert, but not the huge penalty now in force. For now I just clear the weather so I don't have to fly the flight over if the destination is below minimums and the weather is not going to change any time soon.

Crashes and running out of fuel - even dead stick successful landings should always have big penalties. The FAA is not amused when you call "bingo fuel" and don't have your required reserves on board. You get to fill out all kinds of paperwork for the company as well as the FAA as to who, what, why, how and when this incident happened. :oops:

The 250 speed thing below 10K is nice and generic and works for me. I have never heard of "high speed approaches" in the real world as some VATSIM locations use. The whole purpose of slowing everyone down is to give the poor ATC guy a fighting chance in the extremely crowded real world airspace surrounding major airports. You just can't space airplanes properly with a Cessna on final at 75 knots and some hot shot blowing down the chute at 300 knots. FYI this is also why most general aviation planes are sent to "feeder" airports away from the jet traffic of major airports. Listen to LiveATC any time and you will hear "maintain 180 until 5 DME". That is pretty normal for a major airport approach corridor once you start down the approach.

I agree with the out and back route solution proposed .... either in nm or time aloft to ensure they are not "cheatin" to get their airline rep up to max without ever leaving the ground. I would take it further and make out / back flights profitable only with GA / sightseeing Twins aircraft. No airline is going to send up a passenger jet and return it to the same airport unless it is a maintenance check flight done by the company chief pilot.... in which case there would be no paying passengers/cargo and the flight would "lose money" in our application.

Just my 4 cents worth sorry to be so wordy
Happy Flying!

Sam Scott
Fly Vegas - LAS104

Re: Some thoughts on Penalties.

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:59 am
by savagegrave
Cat wrote:
I also think if an airline has an aircraft that has sat on the ground for one year without flying, it would be considered a "pumpkin" and not be allowed to fly without an A service. This would not apply to aircraft on the market for sale or lease. Airlines don't have to pay gate/landing fee's so requiring service on unused aircraft seems fair to me.

Sam Scott
Fly Vegas - LAS104
I think this has been talked to "death" in the past. As an airline with such aircraft in an "un-used" state there is many ways to look at this situation.

One of the ways is thus.... In fairness to "larger" airlines and with pilots who have a passion for longer flights even if sandbagging / flying afk should be given the opportunity. For instance if va's with a larger fleet where to be real then realistically the aircraft would in sense be flying the schedules that they are allocated. If you take into fact that all virtual airlines face the business struggle of employing staff it does render this problem of static aircraft.

I am however within airnex willing to pay such fees providing they are suitable and on a reasonable amounts. While I would naturally agree that an aircraft that hasn't flown for 12 months should be serviced before flight, at the same time aircraft that are flown every hour of every day should be serviced at shorter periods due to their constant and persistent usage. However to wait for the service time would be a pain for someone planning real life living around this hobby. - maybe a pre-flight check service could be implemented of say 1hr or maybe 30mins to remove the remove before flight tags and check for fluid leaks and top up any under-level oils????

This would obviously mean that "ceo's and flight directors" would have to implement aicraft rotation within the rules of the airline so no one pilot keeps flying the same aircraft.

As for gate fees.... I think all airports and airlines should pay these fees like in real life. As such all VA's should declare operational hubs where there could be a "fleet discount" (also like in real life) Take BA, they pretty much have a majority of the slots at Heathrow T5 and I am sure the fees are discounted. Then if a pilot lands at an airport the fees are a little higher than a home hub, thus providing an incentive for return flights!

The problem is everyone in the virtual world will voice their views and concerns without looking at the general "fairness" of the argument put to us.

But having a pre-service check before flying redundant fleets would be in my view a really good way of solving one of these points....


Re: Some thoughts on Penalties.

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 4:52 pm
by Cat
I am not suggesting any penalty for letting aircraft sit. Just saying it should be serviced if it has been sitting one calendar year. KIS Keep It Simple. I don't think any airline owner (which I am not) wants to spend all their time doing paperwork instead of flying.

As the to the service interval, if your airline wants to go all budget and not service the planes and stuff stops working (like the landing gear), have at it. LOL There is no "law" that says you MUST service your planes, but if I remember correctly ... after a certain point, in flight failures begin to happen if you don't keep your airplanes maintained. Our airline has a "mandatory" service interval of 96.5%. The bossman will put them in for A service when they hit that level regardless if the pilot wants to fly it that day or not. But again it is left up to each individual operator which I think it should be. :)

Sam Scott
Fly Vegas - LAS104

Re: Some thoughts on Penalties.

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:01 pm
by joefremont
I agree with many of the ideas mentioned on maintenance and aircraft that are sitting idle. My ideas ran along the line of if an aircraft is not flown in a month it loses 0.1% of its repair status, unless its parked at a designated storage airport. Parking fees and gate fees are also good ideas, but think these ideas will have to wait for a later project.

Speed below 10000 ft.
I have now added a 'heavy jet' flag to the database and set it as true for all the large four engine jets and all the very large two and three engine jets, how we are going to use it is not yet settled. But I would think allowing 300kn for the first 10 minutes of the climb would work. Also we need to address the gust problem and maybe handle it like we do taxi speed, you have to be doing it for a minute before your dinged.

I think damage to the gear when you land to fast or overweight, maybe 0.1% for each 100 fpm above 200 and for each percent of weight above the max landing weight.

At least one pilot has contacted me complaining that when using a specific payware learjet the landing lights automatically go off when the gear is retracted, so maybe no penalty on takeoff after the gear is up.

Great ideas! Keep them coming!

Re: Some thoughts on Penalties.

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 5:04 pm
by joefremont
It may be reasonable to have ways for pilots and airlines to opt-out of some of the penalties.

When we get to having to repair idle aircraft and pay gate/parking fees, they may be part of an 'advanced finance' package that an airline can opt out of.

For pilots who just don't like the penalties we could have an option to turn them off and you would then have a 90% flight with the message of 'penalties disabled' and all the minor penalties would be off.

Re: Some thoughts on Penalties.

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 8:31 pm
by flugkapitan
Greetings all!

This is an interesting discussion - lots of good ideas and points of view have been expressed.

I, too, have been frustrated by the penalties imposed by the Client in the past. Most recently last night. There is a serious problem with the landing lights on the FlySimware Lear 35A and with the FSA client. It would seem that the aircraft automatically turns off the landing lights as soon as the gear is retracted, even though in the cockpit the switches are still in the "on" position. There are lights that shine forward from the fuel tip tanks that seem to act as landing lights, but on the aircraft the switch to toggle them is "recognition lights"(?).

Anyway, I made several attempts to depart LSZH for ENTO in the 35A and every time the gear was retracted, I got the "ding" for having landing lights off under 1000' AGL. I also tried the CTRL+SHIFT+L toggle, but that did not work, either.

I will be very disappointed if I cannot use the FlySimware Lear 35A in FSA due to the landing light issue - it is a fantastic package.

There is also a landing light issue with the Just Flight DC8's and the Capt Sim B727. The only way you can turn them off (at least so far as the Client recognizing them as off) before climbing through 10,000' is to cycle the "L" key, same on descent after passing through 10,000'.

Parking brakes: the only way I can consistently get the Client to see them as "on" at the end of the flight is to depress both toe brakes on my rudder pedals, apply the parking brake and continue to hold the toe brakes down until I've closed the client.

Given how there are so many complex aircraft models out there, I really think that the FSA Client needs to be revised regarding landing lights, parking brakes and refueling. I'm sure you well know that a lot of the more complex models come with their own fuel loader - and the documentation included with such aircraft is pretty specific in saying to use the supplied fuel planner/loader - in particular some of the Airbus models. I'm getting ready to try one of those - the Aerosim Airbus package - in FSA and the whole fuel loading issue has me a little nervous.

Anyway, just my two cents worth ;-)


Re: Some thoughts on Penalties.

Posted: Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:02 pm
by Curpling
Joe, The reason for us to have a tracker is to actually be graded on our flights, so its not only for "pride". And there are traffic in other parts of the world that does not fly under FAA rules. Our airline fly mainly in europe and thus follows ICAO procedures.
And EVEN if it is a part of FAA or ICAO procedures not above 250 knots is regularly lifted by ATC. We always flies online on IVAO and often during heavy traffic events, and we are often instructed to fly above 250 under FL100.

Re: Some thoughts on Penalties.

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:23 am
by VegasTim
I have been a part of FSA since 2011, owning my own airline since 2012 and I can tell you first hand, pilots enjoy the challenge of being graded.
Our airline tracks every flight of every airplane with the financial data and landing rates and who flew each flight so right in front of everyone, we have spreadsheets with all those numbers posted, just like the US Navy carrier guys. It is not a tool used for ridicule but one to help each other get better and prevailing conditions should always be noted by pilots when they have had a 'rough one'. Those spreadsheets are also a great fuel planning tool as a pilot unfamiliar with a certain type can see what others have used regarding fuel / distance in previous flights.

What we do is not a "video game", it is a simulation and most of us strive to fly in a manner "as real as possible".

Joe, I tip my cap to you as you have taken FSA to the next level. Before you took command I had resigned myself to looking for another VA management system but I am quite happy now that FSA is back stronger than ever. Thank you very much for all your hard work.

Now to the topic - penalties

Just my opinion but every voice should be heard .....

Crashes: Keep as is
Wrong airport landings: Keep as is
Running out of fuel: Keep as is
Parking Brake: problematic, could be discontinued and I shed no tears
Landing Lights: Keep as is with a "disable" key in client settings for those with specific aircraft issues
Taxi speed: Keep as is
Speed Below 10K: Torn on this one as I can see both sides of the problem. Maybe keep as is and add "disable" key in client settings for those flying IVAO.
Divert: Reconfigure so it is a viable option - I agree with Sam: make it a 2 point airline rep hit and 10% pilot hit for those who choose real world weather and their intended destination is closed in with weather. I personally have never tried the Divert tab so I cannot verify the exact current penalty for using it.

New Proposed Penalties:
Nav Lights On: at start and all the way to end - yeah 5% (no airline rep points)
Beacon / Strobe: gets kind of gray area here as new real world regs say you can skip the beacon if you have strobes and some of my aircraft do not have beacon lights...... and you are not supposed to use strobes in the terminal area, especially at night. The main point of the beacon in the ramp area is to alert rampers and those about that engines are running or are about to very soon.
Heavy landing Penalty: Will the client actually calculate the landing weights correctly at time of touchdown? I can see that being an issue and many appeals in the name of "that's not the weight I got before landing" coming soon to an admin near you :roll:
Hard Landing Penalty: yes anything harder than -400 fpm should come with a 5% pilot hit and .5% aircraft automatic status deduction. Maybe for the sake of more inexperienced pilots bump that to -500 fpm as the threshold, but a -500 fpm landing is a kidney puncher and landing gear breaker in the real world. Navy guys may do it on carriers, but their planes are built for it.

We must remember many of our new pilots are not real ones and are making the transition from "video game flying" to realistic simulator flying, so we don't want to make it so difficult they are discouraged immediately and leave before they really get started.

Re: Some thoughts on Penalties.

Posted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:56 am
by flugkapitan
I do agree with the previous poster, VegasTim on pretty much every point.

Regarding the landing light "disable" feature. I don't know how in depth the Client gets once it loads and checks to see if the proper type of aircraft is loaded into the sim. Would it be possible for that only to be available for aircraft that have known landing light issues, e.g., Flightsimware Lear 35A, Capt Sim B727, JF DC8? Otherwise it could possibly lead to abuse by those who like to try to beat the system.

Anyway, lots of good discussion here 8)