The Civ-02 Civilian Flying Group is intended for any pilots who want to run civilian flights within YSFlight. Primarily, it is a source for information to aid pilots in making safe and efficient flights within the maps provided in YSFlight.
The first thing a pilot in YSFlight will need to know is where he should begin his flight. The worlds section helps to alert pilots which maps are safe for civilian flight. Following that, there is information on the airport destinations that pilots may fly to within designated safe zones. A set of procedures have been established for civilian pilots in YSFlight for safety, consistency and efficiency. Some of the procedures may not match real-world standards, or some might be missing entirely. This is because flying in YSFlight is unique in some ways, and following real-world standards is not really necessary for enjoyment of the game. Additionally, there are some things that occur in YSFlight that don't happen in real life (such as spawning on a runway), so new procedures are needed for these circumstances.
NOTE: You are welcome to propose changes to the procedures. It is known that some procedures do not match with YSFHQ official, however there is usually a well thought-out constructive and not destructive reason for these cases (mainly to do with ATC)
List of worlds in ysflight with and without threats to civilian flights. Pilots will want to fly in safe zones, becuase it's difficult to keep the nose level while dodging missles.
- Atsugi_airbase (Southwest region of map)
- Crescent Island
- Island Gourd (the secondary smaller island)
- Naha Airport (secondary smaller island)
- Newta (secondary smaller island)
- Pacific Atoll (southwest island - the desert one)
- Aomori (only near northernmost airport)
- Airstrike challenge
- Hawaii (This is only guaranteed in offline play. Some servers add their own objects from their end, so when online, use radar, avoid green X's)
- Hawaii[PMNV] (Hostile naval forces west of Lihue island, this does not cross any flight paths)
- Naha Airport (mainland only)
- North Kyusyu
- Small map
Procedures for Civ-02 PilotsEdit
Following these procedures in an online environment will help to maintain a sense of order in busy airports, and will help pilots to cooperate in a shared airfield environment.
- Airliners usually pull up to a gate. Since default YSFlight maps do not have this detail, airliners and large jets should pull up the end of the apron farthest from taxiways (the "imaginary gate"). Most airports in YSFlight have buildings placed at this edge of the apron, making sense to park there.
- If a "[civ]" aircraft is already parked on the apron, park side by side, leaving enough room for yourself and the other to turn out of their position without clipping each other's wings.
- When beginning a flight from your "imaginary gate", make a tight right turn 180 degrees and proceed to the taxi way. Don't use reverse thrusters. Real planes would turn, and so can we.
Maneuvering Areas (Taxiways and Runways)Edit
- Active runways. The active runway in real life is one which faces into wind, for most effective takeoffs, and landings with slowest speed relative to the ground. All aircraft are supposed to land or take off from the active runway (also called "the active"). In ysflight, with no wind, the active runway will be the runway the first plane intends to take off or land at. If there is ATC, they shall assign a runway for use.
- For small airfields with no taxiways, pilots should land such that they stop near the apron - avoiding having to taxi back down the runway.
- High-speed taxi. Taxiing should not be faster then 10kts. For large airports, this means it will take some time to get to the runway. There will be a desire to speed up if you don't keep yourself occupied. This is a good time to do flight planning, setting NAVs, viewing other flights with F3, chatting with other players and messaging ATC. It makes flight planning a challenge as well, since the time becomes limited to the length of the taxiway. If you are a new pilot, the main rule is to have fun, so either spawn at the runway startpoint, or if you are alone at the field, then speed up.
Takeoffs and LandingsEdit
- On takeoff, fly straight until your aircraft has reached the approprate height. As a general rule, small aircraft should make their first turn at 500 feet above the field, while larger aircraft should turn at 1000ft, or higher if the situation requires.
- If the takeoff is to fly a circuit, a small aircraft should turn at 500ft to the crosswind leg, and then turn onto downwind as the plane reaches 1000ft above the field.
- All Civ-02 aircraft shall follow a circuit pattern as part of their landing. If there is more then one aircraft, do not land on an intersecting runway. (Unless authorized by ATC)
- The circuit shall be flown at 1000ft above airport elevation.
- Fly a left circuit. This means always turning left. If there are two parallel runways, turn away from the pair of runways so that you never cross over the middle ground between the runways.
- If you aren't landing, do not pass over an airport at less then 3000ft
- If you are flying in a control zone (an area with ATC service), do not exceed 250kts below 10,000ft.
- Civ-02 flights travelling to the east (anything from 000-179 degrees) should cruise at odd-numbered altitudes plus 500 feet. This is part of colision avoidance. (Examples 5500, 7500, 13500)
- Flights travelling to the west (anything from 180-359 degrees) should cruise at even-numbered altitudes plus 500 feet. (Examples 6500, 10500, 14500)
- Don't cruise at anything less then 3000 feet.
- Don't fly at 18,000 feet or higher unless you know how to fly by using instruments only. This originally comes from real world rules, but you will find that it's plain hard to see due to ysflight's default haze.
- At 18,000 and over, follow the same rules for east-west traffic in #1 and #2, except without +500ft. Altitudes 18,000 and above are referred to as "flight levels" and lose the last two zeroes when you refer to them. (Examples: Eastbound: flight levels 190, 210, 230... Westbound: flight levels 180, 200, 220)
- Detailed information on routes can be found in the Routes FAQ(coming soon).
- The purpose of these specifics is to make cruise flight more interesting, not overcomplicated.
Flying Commercial AircraftEdit
- Pilots of passenger aircraft should use a maximum angle of climb of 15 degrees nose up attitude. Maximum descent is 10 degrees nose-down.
- The sharpest turn under normal conditions is 30 degrees. This is marked on the artificial horizon as the first large tick along the edge (it comes after the two smaller ticks for 10 and 20 degrees
Before reading anything in this section: If you do not understand the most fundamental, basic, core underlying principle behind ATC, you won't get it.
THE PURPOSE OF ATC IS TO PREVENT COLLISIONS AND NOTHING OTHER THEN SAFETY
It is NOT to slow down or divert or confuse traffic movement. It is NOT about just being able to order pilots around like your own personal squad. It is NOT to force planes to fly in a way that suits your overactive imagination.
If someone acting in the capacity of ATC does any of the above silliness, Civ-02 pilots have the right to correct the offender or to ignore the clearly incompetent individual and initiate uncontrolled zone announcements to ensure the safety of themselves and other pilots.
One thing that most pilots don't understand is that making radio calls in busy airports with no ATC is even more important then controlled airports. The other pilots are depending on you to tell them where you are, so they can avoid colliding with your aircraft. If you announce that you are going to land at an uncontrolled airport, it is just as important to distant aircraft as if ATC denied them permission to land. Don't be silent at uncontrolled busy airports!
That said, these are the procedures for Civ-02 pilots. All are welcome to adopt these procedures or make recommendations to change them.
Uncontrolled Airports - Light TrafficEdit
In cases where you are the only aircraft on the ground, and no aircraft are taking off or landing in your area, it is not necessary to make many calls, as the risk of collision is low.
- Initial: Announce "B737 departing Honolulu for Kona"
- Taxi: Nothing
- Take-off: Nothing
- In-Flight(Outbound): Nothing
- In-Flight(Inbound): Announce "B737 inbound Kona"
- Landing: Nothing
That's it! If another aircraft announces intentions conflicting with your intentions, you need to be more vocal and switch to the following procedure until you are away from the other traffic.
Uncontrolled Airports - Moderate TrafficEdit
If there is one or two civillian aircraft currently taking off, taxiing or landing at your immediate airport, you will need to announce each stage of your activity as you do it, so they can cooperate with you, and vice versa.
It becomes more challenging, because you will need to plan your flight before you can announce it. You can't tell people your plan for landing if you don't know which runway you want.
- Initial: Nothing. Listen for announcements from other aircraft.
- Taxi: Announce "B747 at Lihue apron on taxi to runway 21"
- Holding Short (if traffic is landing): Announce "B747 holding short runway 21 Lihue"
- Take-off: Announce "Taking off 21 Lihue" Other traffic will already know you model/callsign.
- In-Flight (Outbound): Announce "B747 leaving Lihue zone"
- In-Flight (Inbound): Announce "B747 is 20 miles west inbound Honolulu"
- Landing (Downwind or Base): Announce "B747 left base runway 08L Honolulu." Optional.
- Landing (Final): Announce "B747 Final 08L Honolulu". But if you already made downwind or base calls, just announce "Final". Other traffic will already know who you are and which runway you are landing at - reduce the message volume.
Uncontrolled Airports - Heavy TrafficEdit
In cases where many aircraft are on taxi, taking off as well as landing at your airport, risk of collision is much higher and it is therefore a good time for ATC. If nobody volunteers and you don't feel like it, then follow these procedures. The main difference with heavy traffic (compared to moderate or light traffic) is you need to start thinking like ATC, even if you aren't doing it. You must know where every other aircraft is at all times, and that means that it becomes important to listen to all announcements, and decide what the best timing is for your own actions.
For example: You spawn at the end of a runway, and another plane is landing head-on. Instead of announcing your intentions to take off and your destination blah blah blah, think like ATC: They would tell you right away to hold your position so you don't collide with the landing aircraft. The other pilot is now going to have to decide whether to go around, and they will have no choice if they think you are going ahead with a takeoff. So announce that you are holding at the end of the runway and otherwise keep your mouth shut about taking off until they are safely out of the way! They will appreciate it very much!
The procedures for heavy traffic are the most involved, and are intended only to use untill you get away from the crowded area, or until somebody becomes ATC. If aircraft are landing or taking off, they get priority to make announcements, aircraft on the ground may need to be quiet so that the F12 chat messages aren't overloaded. It is also recommended to use short form when there is a high volume of messages.
When the traffic is this heavy, pilots shall make coordinated use of the active runway. With many aircraft using the airport, it is just too confusing if multiple runways are used. Note that one strip of pavement is considered two runways. The active is only one direction, so that landing aircraft can cunduct their approach without having to dodge oncoming aircraft. The active should be the longest runway, or the runway with the most convenient taxiway. At all times during heavy traffic situations, use the active.
- Initial: Nothing. Listen for announcements from the other aircraft.
- Taxi: If airborn traffic are making many calls, remain silent (airborn has the priority) and don't taxi until you know you can safely do so. Check if you will block the path of another aircraft heading toward you on the same taxiway (including landing aircraft who will be using the taxiway shortly) Do not taxi onto or through the active! Begin taxi without making any announcements. If message volume drops lower, then Announce "A320 on taxi to runway 26R Honolulu"
- Holding Short (if traffic is landing): Announce "A320 holding short runway 26R Honolulu" even if heavy message traffic. Its important.
- Take-off: Announce "A320 taking off 26R Honolulu, right turnout" or "... straight out" or "... left turnout"
- In-Flight (Outbound): Announce "A320 leaving Honolulu zone, climbing to FL250 for Maui." Telling other pilots your planned altitude will allow them to safely fly at another altitude to maintain vertical seperation
- In-Flight (Inbound): Announce "A320 is 20 miles west inbound Maui"
- Landing (Downwind) - Mandatory if an aircraft previously entered the landing pattern, otherwise go direct to base or final, whichever is most convenient: Announce "A320 left downwind runway 20 Maui behind the B737"
- Landing (Base): Announce "A320 left base runway 20 Maui." If applicable, add: "...behind the B737"
- Landing (Final): Announce "Final" As the other aircraft will already know who you are and which runway you are landing at - reduce the message volume in heavy traffic situations.
- Missed Approach / Go-Around: Announce "A320 on overshoot runway 20 Maui"
Controlled Airports - VFR communications with ATCEdit
This is probably fated to become the most confused and disputed topic for online civilian flying in Ysflight. Even in the real world of flying, there are different accepted practices with regards to radio communication, and it is in transformation even today(*2). For example there is a set of slang words used by bush pilots in small airfields, that is never used in large airports, yet has become a 'standard' within that sub-culture. However there are some basic things that will help, and these can be confidently learned.
- ATC Instruction is an order that an ATC controller gives to a pilot. It is to be followed immediately unless it jeopardizes the safety of the flight. Example: HKO Tower: "N013HA turn left heading 060."
- ATC Clearance Following a pilot's request, a controller may issue a clearance if it is safe to do so. A pilot may decide not to do what he requested, as a clearance does not force the pilot to do something, unlike an ATC instruction. Example: HKO Tower: "A300 clear to land rwy 35."
- Control Zone: A circular area around a controlled airport. Aircraft need authorization to enter the zone, and must follow ATC instructions while inside it. A zone can be assumed to extend up to 3000ft. Aircraft above the control zone may overfly the area without needing ok from the ATC controller.
- Maneuevering Area: Includes all runways and taxiways but not the apron. Maneuvering areas require authorization for aircraft to use them. By contrast, aircraft do not need clearance to move about on the apron, so long as they do not enter any taxiway.
Basic Structure of a Radio Call in YSFlight text chat:Edit
- Call-up and message Example: Pilot:"HNL Tower this is A320 at the gate for taxi to runway"
- Reply Example: HNL Tower "roger A320 taxi to rwy 26R and hold short"
- Acknowledgement Example: Pilot: "roger taxi hold short 26R"
(The full pattern is: 1. call-up 2. reply 3. message 4. acknowledgement. Above, call-up and message are combined to prevent overloading text chat)
Implied "Requests" to ATC ControllersEdit
In the real world, pilots usually only talk with ATC about authorization for a flight. So it has developed that pilots never say "Requesting permission ..." because it is assumed that is the purpose for the radio call. In the above example in Basic Structure, the pilot is saying he is "at the gate for taxi to runway" but it means "I am at the gate and I am requesting permission for taxi to the runway."
Also, the controller, Honolulu Tower, is giving an implied clearance for taxi. He says "roger A320 taxi to..." but it means "roger A320 clear to taxi..."
In cases where the ATC controller is new, he may not understand the implied request, in which case you will need to say it fully in plain english. So long as the controller is taking his role seriously, do not ignore him/her even if they don't know the lingo. Refer them to this page or other references rather then overload chat by feeding them the information.
Proposed (not official) radio calls to ATC in a controlled airportEdit
It becomes a simpler task if you use much the same calls as in uncontrolled airports except that your calls are now understood to be implied requests. So you say the same things, but you are now asking rather then announcing.
Spawn - get authorization to spawn at controlled airport
- user123: "piper archer for spawn at scenic"
- HNL Tower: "roger user123, spawn scenic" (user123 does not have aircraft ID or flight number, so we recognize him by username)
- (user123 clicks 'join' and his aircraft appears at the scenic start point)
Initial - get the ok to taxi
- user123: "HNL tower this is Piper archer at scenic for a flight to the north"
- HNL tower: "roger user123 taxi hold short runway 26R"
- user123: "roger taxi hold short 26R"
While Holding Short - get ok to enter runway
- user123: "piper archer holding short 26R, ready for departure"
- HNL Tower: "roger user123 line up 26R"
Take-off - get a clearance to take off. The controller will say the word "clear" for this critical part.
- user123: "user123 on 26R for departure"
- HNL Tower: "roger user123 clear takeoff 26R, right turnout" (ATC expects the pilot to turn north - a right turn - because the pilot said so earlier)
- user123: "roger clear takeoff 26R right turnout"
In-Flight (Outbound) - simply inform the controller that the pilot is no longer under his control
- user123: "piper archer is 25miles north HNL, leaving the zone"
- HNL tower: "roger user123 good day."
Now we assume the destination airport is controlled for purpose of demonstration. this could just be the aircraft returning to the same airport after flight in uncontrolled airspace.
In-Flight (Inbound) - get ok to enter the airspace
- user123: "Piper archer is 30miles north HNL at 6,500 feet inbound for landing"
- HNL Tower: "roger user123 proceed to right downwind 26R, call when established" (Understand this is both a clearance to enter the zone, plus an instruction to proceed to the downwind leg. ATC doesn't give clearances for downwind, base, final etc.)
- user123 "roger proceed to right downwind 26R"
Landing (Downwind) - Inform ATC that the aircraft is in the pattern for landing, so the controller can stay aware of all traffic about to land, and manage the flow to prevent overshoots
- user123: "piper archer established right downwind 26R" (try to make this call as you pass the "piano keys" of your runway out the side window)
- HNL tower: "roger user123, you are #2" (this is not a clearance, it is telling the pilot that an aircraft is ahead of his which is going to land, as he will likely have to re-do the circuit unless the aircraft ahead lands and vacates the runway in time)
- user123: "roger #2"
(some time passes, the first aircraft has landed and vacated the runway)
- HNL Tower: "user123 you are #1" (STILL not a clearance to land!)
- user123 "roger #1"
Landing (Final) - get a clearance to land. The controller will use the word 'clear' for this critical part.
- user123: "final 26R" (this is an implied request for landing)
- HNL Tower: "user123 clear land 26R"
- user123: "roger clear land 26R"
(Pilot exits the runway and stops on the taxiway - dont make the mistake of thinking the landing clearance was also a taxi clearance)
Taxi to gate
- user123: "piper archer at taxiway for the gate/apron"
- HNL Tower: "roger taxi to apron"
- user123: "roger on taxi to apron"
If you don't get a clearance for landing (which could be given as close as 100 feet from the rwy if you are in a small plane) you need to pull up to circuit height, and fly the pattern again. If no plane was blocking the rwy, ATC may have been negligent and forgot to clear you, giving you the right to complain about it but you still do not have the right to land. Note that "overshoot" is the same as "upwind" with the difference that you are climbing upward rather then being level at circuit height.
- user123: "on overshoot for a right downwind 26R" Then repeat the above steps once established on downwind. (No clearance needed, just giving ATC information)
(*1) No instructions for "Engine startup" are included nor expected of Civ-02 pilots. It is not a matter of safety in YSFlight and falls outside the purpose of ATC as stated.
(*2) Examples of changes to real-world radio communication with ATC in the past two years include:
- the removal of "Go-ahead" in the reply stage, and replacement with "pass your message" to prevent confusion of "go-ahead" as authorization for an action
- forbidding use of "ready for take-off" and replacing with "ready for departure"
Recommended reading: YSFHQ Official ATC Manual - August 2012 edition
IVAO text abbrieviations for ATC -- Link not working