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Author Topic: Pilot Edge - Western US Expansion  (Read 1220 times)

Offline KyleH

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Pilot Edge - Western US Expansion
« on: March 08, 2017, 11:47:24 AM »

At the beginning of the year, Pilot Edge expanded their coverage area to help cater to those flying airliners. Thoes of us not using PE yet, may want to have a second look.

See details at http://www.pilotedge.net/pages/western-expansion

Quote
PilotEdge has launched an expanded area of ATC operations called the Western US Expansion. It encompasses the Seattle, Oakland, Salt Lake City, Denver and Albuquerque ARTCCs. This is an optional paid expansion to the Los Angeles ARTCC primary coverage area. The total coverage area can be seen on the Operating Hours and Service Area page.
The Primary Airports

The Western US Expansion was initially designed to provide transport category jets with a wider range of viable city pairs when flying on PilotEdge. Historically, such flights have typically required the use of KSFO or KLAS as the origin or destination simply to make the trip of a reasonable length. The Western US Expansion provides a healthy list of suitable Part 121 airports especially when combined with the existing coverage area.

Here are the Primary airports for the Western US Expansion:

    KASE: Aspen-Pitkin County Airport
    KDEN: Denver International Airport
    KPDX: Portland International Airport
    KPHX: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
    KSEA: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
    KSFO: San Francisco International Airport
    KSLC: Salt Lake City International Airport

The Bonus Airports

In order to provide additional variety and concentration of traffic, the Western US Expansion includes a list of 10 bonus airports which will be served on a 2-week rotating basis (one airport at a time, changing every two weeks). Not only does this provide additional city pairs and concentrated traffic, but the proximity to primary airports will also encourage turboprop and piston flights between the Bonus airport and the closest Primary airport.

The current Bonus field is listed in the Network Status section of the home page.

Here is the initial Bonus airport schedule for the Western US Expansion:

    KABQ: Albuquerque International Sunport Airport (12/27-1/9)
    KEGE: Eagle County Regional Airport (1/10 – 1/23)
    KRNO: Reno/Tahoe International Airport (1/24 – 2/6)
    KMRY: Monterey Regional Airport (2/7 – 2/20)
    KSAC: Sacramento Executive Airport (2/21 – 3/6)
    KSJC: Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (3/7 – 3/20)
    KGEG: Spokane International Airport (3/21 – 4/3)
    KOAK: Metropolitan Oakland International Airport (4/4 – 4/17)
    KYKM: Yakima Air Terminal (4/18 – 5/1)
    KSMF: Sacramento International Airport (5/2 – 5/15)

New coverage map details:
http://www.pilotedge.net/pages/operating-hours-and-service-area

Offline FredK

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Re: Pilot Edge - Western US Expansion
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2017, 05:42:05 PM »
The problem I find with Pilot Edge is that it is not cockpit environment friendly.  Two issues... the program can run only from the main FS computer...setting it up on a remote computer with a monitor display within the cockpit is not possible.  In that regard you cannot see the voice transmission activity indicators.  Also, in the way PE is designed you cannot hear pilot communication responses for pilots on a different frequency from yours (unlike VATSIM a controller will be handling all the frequencies within a given sector...but you can only hear responses from pilots on your active frequency).  So the net of it is that I find myself many times rudely interrupting the flow of communications.

Perhaps it is just a matter of getting comfortable with the way all that works, but I find myself preferring VATSIM where you get handed off to another controller when you switch frequencies and where you can hear all communications both ways.  That is not to say of course that VATSIM des not have other kinds of issues.  But then again nothing is perfect with this hobby.

Fred K
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 05:43:02 PM by FredK »
Boeing 737NG-800, Prepar3D v3.35, Sim-Avionics, WideView multi-channel (curved screen), Optoma 1080GT projectors (3), Fly Elise warping, FSGRW weather, FDS OH panels and CDUs, SimParts MIP, FDS SysBoards (OH), CPFlight MCPPro and pedestal panels, FI Gauges, converted motorized TQ (SIOC), Weber seats

Offline RayS

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Re: Pilot Edge - Western US Expansion
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2017, 07:49:26 PM »
I fly PE exclusively now. While there are shortcomings with PE, I'm happy the controllers don't sound like they're using a dead cat for a microphone.

I do hope they add the background communication though.... Even though you're online, it does get quiet sometimes.

For fun, check out their audio archives. There's a controller with a slight British accent (Or may Australian? I can't really tell) that's got a wicked sense of humor...

Some snippets:
"The profile you are flying sir, resembles nothing like an approach into KSEA."

...working a pilot with no idea how to operate his radio:
"Welcome to <this frequency!> It's a Christmas Miracle!"

...same pilot, with no idea what the airport name is he filed for:
"If only there was something you could look at that could help you... Hmmm!..."

...working a pilot who just landed an A-330 at a small regional airport:
"We've never had an Airbus 330 hereso you tell us what *your* intentions are!"











Ray Sotkiewicz

Offline Trevor Hale

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Re: Pilot Edge - Western US Expansion
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2017, 06:30:38 AM »
I  get that there are advantages over VATSIM..  However, that's all I need is another service to have a monthly payment for..... And then to pay for a service and have someone make fun of you publicly because you may make a mistake..  Not really into that.

Also, they are based on pacific time...  that doesn't work for everyone either.

I do like the clarity of the radio communications though.

Trev
« Last Edit: March 09, 2017, 06:31:17 AM by Trevor Hale »
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Offline KyleH

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Re: Pilot Edge - Western US Expansion
« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2017, 09:28:59 AM »
... the program can run only from the main FS computer...setting it up on a remote computer with a monitor display within the cockpit is not possible. ...
According to their forums, you can install it remotely using wideFS


Quote
  Also, in the way PE is designed you cannot hear pilot communication responses for pilots on a different frequency from yours (unlike VATSIM a controller will be handling all the frequencies within a given sector...but you can only hear responses from pilots on your active frequency).  So the net of it is that I find myself many times rudely interrupting the flow of communications.
...
Fred K
This is the way it is in the real world. You may have a controller working multiple frequencies/sectors, and your not going to hear a pilot respond if he's on a different frequency.


Neither system is perfect, but the way PE operates is closer to the real world than VATSIM is. Those of us that fly for real and want to practice our radio work are better off with PE.

Now if only they could add the Vancouver area and capture the subtle differences between US and Canadian ATC.....



Offline bernard S

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Re: Pilot Edge - Western US Expansion
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2017, 11:03:56 AM »
the difference between Canada an us should only be accent divide .. lol

Offline FredK

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Re: Pilot Edge - Western US Expansion
« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2017, 03:45:17 PM »
Kyle -

Regarding the remote setup...I have been up and down the ladder with PE on that.  The net of all that is that they really do not recommend implementing it that way.  Also, I know of no one who has it set up and working that way.

Fred K
Boeing 737NG-800, Prepar3D v3.35, Sim-Avionics, WideView multi-channel (curved screen), Optoma 1080GT projectors (3), Fly Elise warping, FSGRW weather, FDS OH panels and CDUs, SimParts MIP, FDS SysBoards (OH), CPFlight MCPPro and pedestal panels, FI Gauges, converted motorized TQ (SIOC), Weber seats

Offline KyleH

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Re: Pilot Edge - Western US Expansion
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2017, 03:58:52 PM »
Interesting.
I know squawk box seems to work fine like that. Though I haven't tested it yet with FSX, and the thread I pulled up from PE seemed to be for FS9. Maybe that has something to do with it.

Offline coma24

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Re: Pilot Edge - Western US Expansion
« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2017, 07:36:37 PM »
Happy to answer any questions about the service. I'm the bloke with the apparently funny accent.

The quotes were a bit of context, Trevor. If you are able to spend some time on the network, you'll see that it's overwhelmingly supportive. Our forums our generally void of drama, and the controllers really are there to help people out. Yes, we do have a bit of fun with pilots on the frequency from time to time (or at least I do).

Regarding multi machine setups, SimConnect supports multi machine installations, so if you're familiar with setting up SimConnect to listen as a server, and you're familiar with building the SimConnect client file on the other PC, it will work...however, we don't provide documentation for doing so, nor can we spend hours with each person setting it up.

There are many people running multi machine setups, it works fine, we're just not in a position to set it up for you. However, if you a multi machine setup working on VATSIM, it should work on PE as well.

Regarding the voice issue and what you hear or don't hear, as someone else said, it's quite common to NOT hear some of the pilots being worked by a single controller. Watch this brief video carefully, listen to how many callsigns you hear the controller mention...and then try to count how many of those pilots you can actually hear responding: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_CNPPIdwbw (Hint: the number is ZERO).

We have settled on a configuration on PilotEdge where we have repeaters on the clearance/ground/tower freqs, where most of the blocks happen. If you're absolutely insistent that you want to hear ALL of the comms being handled by the controller, feel free to install the PilotEdge Receiver, and standalone app which lets you hear all of it (but I don't recommend it).

Yes, it happens more often on PilotEdge that a controller is working multiple roles (because the real world airspace is covered by 400+ people, rather than 1-2 people) compared to the real world. On VATSIM,  the solution is to put everyone on a single frequency (because their radio system doesn't allow much else). As a result, you never consult an airport diagram, airport data page in the GPS, or approach plate, you just tune in to a single frequency for the entire flight and call it a day.

Regarding the hours of operation, it's 15 hours per day, 8am-11pm pacific. Those hours are certainly useful for more than just west coast operations.

It really comes to this, as it has for the past 5 years of operation..... if you want high quality ATC presence on a predictable basis, and you're willing to fly in a specific area (the western half of the US in this case) then it's worth a closer look.

We've been doing this a long time and I would refute the notion that not being able to hear other pilots on other freqs is a significant issue, along with the idea that we publicly ridicule pilots as part of day to day ops. If that was the case, honestly, we wouldn't be in business for very long. I'd encourage you to give it a closer look and see what's really going on.

Offline bernard S

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Re: Pilot Edge - Western US Expansion
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2017, 07:32:17 AM »
If you are not using PE or trying it out you deserve to be stabbed many times over... its going to aid your immersion factor ten fold

Offline Trevor Hale

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Re: Pilot Edge - Western US Expansion
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2017, 07:38:34 AM »
LOL Keith..  There is always room for a little fun and banter, as long as it is in good taste and not a public flogging.

I have heard many real life radio comms, (Specifically New York) and there is always something to laugh at...

Been on Vatsim for many years (14+ to be exact) and I am very comfortable with my radio work...  Not sure if I could pass the Pilot Edge Tests though LOL.  Maybe I would have to try it one day.

Thanks,

Trev
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Offline RayS

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Re: Pilot Edge - Western US Expansion
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2017, 01:58:05 PM »
I should clarify my comments about the PE 'Out-Takes'

"That sounded a lot funnier in my head" I think applies here. In all the times I've used Pilotedge, never once did any controller make fun of, tease or berate any pilot. If there was communication outside the boundaries of professional ATC, it is always in a polite, cordial manner, which sometimes, comes across with a bit of humor... never snide or condescending.

Re-reading my original comments I can see how they could me misconstrued as less than professional. My apologies for that.
Ray Sotkiewicz

 

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