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Start ::  Pilot's Lobby ::  Important Announcements/Welcome/Achievements ::  New SPAACARS 8.0 and Econ Module is Open Again
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New SPAACARS 8.0 and Econ Module is Open Again

jer029 Posted: 09.11.2017, 09:09

jer029

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Pilots:

I've released the latest version of SPAACARS (version 8.0) that I hope corrects an intermittent error with Flight Time that is linked to the Econ Mode setting in version 7.  Additionally, this version (version 8) of SPAACARS is required for any further Econ flights (Practice area or the actual Econ flight page).

Additionally, I've made some changes again to the Cost/Revenue model and the instructions have changed slightly as well.

Highlights of these changes:

- Fly any aircraft for the econ flights that are suitable for the Orig and Dest airports.
- Additional penalty for overloading your aircraft - which really isn't necessary because you really have to under-load your aircraft to see a reduction in revenue related to payload
- Passenger or Cargo flights will be accepted (even though the main Econ Page still says "Cargo Econ Page").  
- The official flights are still located in the Cargo & Freight area of Special Ops and all these flight numbers end in "CB" without spaces between numbers and letters.
- Flights generally will provide about $1000 profit per flight less any penalty charges.


I've reset my first flights using the Cargo Econ so there are again no flights showing there, but I'm currently making my first flight there.

John



edited by: jer029, Nov 10, 2017 - 03:36 PM

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JimMagin Posted: 10.11.2017, 17:19

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Hi John

you need more work on these my CRJ 900 according to your spaacars can only hold 369 pounds of  cargo all though in in 7 it can hold over 20,000 + pounds
so a Cessna 172 can hold more more the CRJ 900 Got to be me so I'll just turn of Mod. Don't know why I should even run SPAACARS.

Jim Magin SPA629



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jer029 Posted: 10.11.2017, 18:21

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My goodness Jim, yet another cheery post from you.  As with the last issue where you hadn't even read the instructions, which I'm sure you clearly discovered it was your failure to set your ini file, and now this latest one.

Let me help you again here publicly on the forum.  Did you check the latest instruction manual in SPAACARs?  

The cargo capacity shows the available cargo based on max weight of your aircraft, including fuel.  If you exceed max allowable weight of your aircraft that will show as a negative number in SPAACARS capacity.  As has always been the case with SPAACARS, it cannot change the payload of your selected aircraft.  You must change the payload in your simulator's settings (either by adding passengers and/or cargo as listed in your aircraft's Fuel/Payload area.  Only when you've set your payload to the level desired in your sim will SPAACARS show that additional payload wgt so that you can adjust passenger or cargo based on that payload.  This is not new.  All the old SPaACARs versions did this too.

The Cargo Capacity display in SPAACARS was changed to show the available Cargo Capacity for your aircraft relative to your max allowable wgt.

Please check these things and then let me know if you have issues.  Just like the last time, I think you will find the error is likely on your end and not a problem with SPAACARs - it's just hard to tell because I get nothing but negativity from you lately and no response when I point out solutions that are often written in the instructions.  In the entirely possible event that it's a programming issue I'll happily investigate it as I always do.

"Don't know why I should even run SPAACARS."

Well, that's your choice Jim.  I've tried to make other options available such as FSFlightKeeper, the old FSACARS program, and you can always manually enter your PIREP through the Pilot's Office.  I've also tried to help anyone having problems or questions and am generally quick to respond to such inquiries.  I must say I'm really at a loss on how much more I could possibly do to please you.

Perhaps it's just me being overly sensitive, but it seems that your last two posts have had a sharp edge to them.  Rest assured that if there are still problems I will happily try to fix them.  "More work" - sure, I've been spending 8 hour days most of the past week working on this project and will continue to do so until it works satisfactorily for our pilots.  Let's just not jump to conclusions as to whether it's a real problem until we investigate a bit.

For anyone curious, there are 42 sub routines and 1,990 lines of code that must be correct and work together in SPAACARs.  There are another 931 lines of code to the server-side program that receives your PIREPs, 376 lines of code for the Cargo Econ page and 156 lines of code that displays the individual flight information when you click on a particular pilot's flight from the Cargo Econ page.  And this is just the current Econ Mod project and changes to SPAACARS.  Thousands of files and lines of code make up SPA - actually, currently 20,289 files in 1,534 folders and countless lines of code taking up 2.92 GB on a disk (which I back up regularly on my personal computer by the way).  I do the best I can to keep the wheels to go round and round here at SPA while trying to add new and interesting things here at SPA.  So...perhaps I'm getting overwhelmed and taking on too much here.  Lastly, a humble reminder that I'm not Bill Gates, but a retired law dog who does computer stuff and flight simming as a usually fun hobby.

John



edited by: jer029, Nov 10, 2017 - 10:05 PM

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JimMagin Posted: 11.11.2017, 11:19

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Thank You John for a well written chastising in a public forum

Jim Magin
SPA629



edited by: JimMagin, Nov 11, 2017 - 11:39 AM



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jer029 Posted: 11.11.2017, 11:39

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Sorry Jim,

But your last two very public criticisms of SPAACARs program, which I do believe were unfounded, needed to also be addressed and dispelled publicly.  Such criticisms may discourage other pilots from using SPAACARs when they may be unfounded, as I believe they are.  As managers it's certainly better that we express such concerns and criticisms privately - by email perhaps, but it's up to the initiator to start the exchange privately then.

John



edited by: jer029, Nov 11, 2017 - 01:43 PM

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Westcoast Posted: 14.11.2017, 19:39

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Hi John,

I just made my first SPAACARS8/Econ Page flight this afternoon.  I experienced no problems (except for the usual whiny passengers, who should not be allowed on bush flights in Alaska).  I did find that you have to set the cargo load in FSX, before you open SPAACARS, as i could not set it on the Flight Plan page in SPAACARS.  As always John, thanks for the great work.

Mike

Westcoast
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jer029 Posted: 14.11.2017, 20:38

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Thanks Mike,

Yes...SPAACARS has never been able to adjust payload settings other than on what payload is provided first by your simulator.  What SPAACARs does lately (or should do) is automatically note changes in your payload and plane model you make in your simulator, and then update the SPAACARS payload fields to reflect the new changes you made in your simulator - until your flight has started and you've pushed the "start logging" button.  At that point the payload and model data can't - and shouldn't be changed.  The flight plan is different and never updates unless you push the flight plan button. It should then update the flight plan.

Additionally, there's a few efficiency improvements in SPAACARS version 8 - even fewer read/write calls to FSUIPC and a very important bug fix to prevent incorrect ending Flight Duration value that can occur in Econ Mode in version 7.

As for the whiney passengers - Yes...I too suffered profit loss from my first Econ flight in the newest Cost/Revenue Model - but in my case it was due to damaged landing gear on a hard landing.  I knew I should have gone around again!  Oh well, your whiney passengers didn't extract quite the  financial damage I incurred, along with the added insult of being hoisted upon my own petard target1.

John



edited by: jer029, Nov 14, 2017 - 08:46 PM

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SPA031 Posted: 14.11.2017, 20:46

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Hey, John. Thanks for all your hard work. We couldn't do all this without you. Much appreciated.
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jer029 Posted: 14.11.2017, 20:56

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Thanks Robert - just building on your earlier and numerous efforts!  

I'm currently working on a new photo gallery module to replace the ailing gallery we currently use.  Unfortunately the newer version of Gallery won't integrate automatically with PostNuke so I have to do some work-arounds.  Right now pilots would have to log in separately to post photos - which I don't like, but it no longer uses Java Applets to administer or upload multiple photos, so it's a lot easier to use once logged in.  I'm still working on the auto-login possibility and setting up a "Latest Images" display for SPA's main page, but I've migrated all our active pilots' pics to the new gallery, and even those historic albums of the old SPA get-togethers.

I've some real-world obligations today and in the next few days so it might be a while to finish the work I need to do, but will probably set up the new gallery with the secondary log in so that it's in use while I chip away at finding a solution for that if possible.

John

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bilson Posted: 15.11.2017, 10:12

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Personally, I would like to see all logged flight have to be done via SPAACARS. I know there are time when it just won't work for whatever reason,  but 98% of the time it works just fine and when it does fail for me it was something from my computer that caused it not SPAACARS.  I think John has done an excellent job with SPAACARS as it was always crashing on me when I first started back in April. Good Job John!
Bill Carlson #660
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jer029 Posted: 15.11.2017, 11:43

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Thanks Bill,

Yes, there have been significant changes and improvements in SPAACARS from version 6 to the current version.  Pilots using earlier versions of SPAACARS should upgrade soon because in the near future I'll be disabling PIREP uploads for earlier SPAACARS versions.

We try to keep several ACARS options available to pilots because we have a variety of Simulators in use - including Xplane and FlightGear users, and I don't currently have SPAACARS working for these simulators yet - but hopefully soon.  I'm finishing up some work on the new photo gallery currently.  Additionally, the manual PIREP entry from the Pilot's office provides a method when no ACARS programs work or is available for a pilot, or if they are having difficulty configuring, or if their fight didn't transmit for some reason.

However, some modules - like the Econ Module, will require SPAACARS because of the necessary fields and controls used in Econ Module are specific to data and settings in SPAACARS.

John

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JimMagin Posted: 15.11.2017, 15:25

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I think manual PIrep entry are a good thing some times we could have a brain fart and forget to
start SPAACAR so when we noticed it could mean restarting a flight that you could be half through so
by filing it manually you at least get your flight time. I think some of our pilots don't care about the
ENCON Program. Just My opinion as a couple of my pilots always use the Manual PIREP.

Also A question is there away to stop the auto filing of the PIREP In SPAACAR. I Only ask for my
own records like to keep Flight time and Block time if not I guess try to find away to figure my
Taxi Time. Other then that a very good program still have trouble with cargo but could just be old age

Jim Magin SPA629




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jer029 Posted: 15.11.2017, 16:32

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JIm,

I agree with the manual PIREP option as it gives the pilot the opportunity to add a flight that otherwise didn't get entered.

Yes...some of our pilots don't care about a number of offerings here at SPA, but there's plenty to choose from and everyone doesn't have to like (or participate in) those things they don't like.  That's one of the wonderful parts of SPA.

The Auto-Pirep filing is designed to prevent econ-mode users from only logging 'perfect flights' which defeats the purpose of the econ mode.  Unfortunately it has to occur immediately upon landing or else the pilot can prevent sending their flight to SPA if they don't like their numbers.  I was tempted to alter my own first Econ flight after a hard landing but that defeats the whole idea of Econ Module, and the auto-pirep filing helps prevent pilot temptation for 'do-overs'.  I wonder how many real-world pilots would like to have had that opportunity wink.

I'm happy to answer any questions you may have regarding cargo, you need only ask or email me.  I've tried to explain in previous posts and instructions, but this might not always be sufficient enough as I sometime gloss over things that I mistakenly think pilots already know.

John


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JimMagin Posted: 15.11.2017, 16:40

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OK Thanks I understand know your right all flight should be counted. I'll figure out something for block times
just and ego thing for me.laughing

Jim Magin SPA629



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Westcoast Posted: 16.11.2017, 14:29

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John,

I like the "automatic filing" aspect of SPAACARS because it forces me to take every aspect of the execution of a flight seriously.  Otherwise, I'm tempted to slide into the 'it'll probably work out' mode.  Like many things in life, you get out of flightsim what you put into it.  In spite of this, I know I make mistakes, sometimes big ones.  In these cases, the right response is to analyze what went wrong and why.  In fact, that is sometimes the most interesting part of the process.  I follow the blog of a private pilot who does this with all of his flights, and I learn a lot from his analyses.  I also follow NTSB analyses of aircraft accidents for the same reason.

Having said that, I have some concern that the competitive aspect of the Econ page may tempt a few pilots into the sort of competitive behavior that can turn nasty and spoil what should be a friendly and cooperative learning atmosphere at SPA.  Let's hope that doesn't happen.

Mike SPA48

Westcoast
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jer029 Posted: 16.11.2017, 17:39

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Mike, I agree with all your points and your concern.  I feel like there's some consequences or something more at stake when I fly the Econ Mod flights because it's more difficult for a "do-over".  I've also had a keen interest in those true accident stories to learn what mistakes or equipment issues led to the crashes.  I've watched all the "Air Disasters" episodes, and I find it fascinating how the investigators can piece back together these planes and the black-box data to find the cause of these major air crashes.

For those flight enthusiasts who enjoy reading - especially those who actually fly or have an interest in general aviation aircraft, I recommend the book "The Killing Zone" - "How and why pilots die".  This book covers a number of fatal GA accidents - many less known and the famous crash of JFK Jr. 

Lastly, as for the competitive behavior that can turn nasty - we took a firm and significant, albeit belated, stand against pilots who resort to that behavior.  I will not wait so long in future incidents - likely one warning before termination.

I've tried to minimize the competitive aspects by making 'award' icons to be related to completion and meeting certain criteria that's directed towards the pilot's personal flight record and not related to the flight activity of other pilots.

There remains the profit comparison that might be considered a comparison with other pilot's flights, but I like a certain amount of that and expect our pilots to behave decently towards other pilots as our rules require.  In the event of a similar problem in the future I would prefer to remove the offending pilot rather than the program - only with a lot shorter grace period than was given the last time.

In summary - fly, have fun, learn new things, and engage with other pilots respectfully.  Then all will be fine, enjoyable and rewarding.  If a pilot is not interested in the following criteria, or wishes not to follow this - they've joined the wrong airline.

John


jer029

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wschneid Posted: 19.11.2017, 12:21



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Thanks for all your work. I seem to have a little problem with v8.0. If I land at an airport the is not my final destination, to refuel or whateve, SPAACARS automatically sends my report to SPA and terminates. Is this built in or do I have some other problem.

Bill Schneider

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jer029 Posted: 19.11.2017, 16:23

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Bill,

Unfortunately for the purposes of the new Econ Module, when Econ Mode box is checked in the settings area, SPAACARS now automatically sends the PIREP upon landing.  If you wish to make multiple stops or are doing 'hard landing' on carriers like the Adventure Packs, I suggest you turn off the Econ Mode in SPAACARs "Settings" options.  This will allow you to fly as before, and I think you can still leave "landing rate" checked and get that information.  Unfortunately it will not show your Econ data in either practice area or the Econ Module flights page.

This is to prevent pilots from only submitting "successful" or "perfect" flights to SPA in an effort to avoid penalties when using the new Econ mode.

John

jer029

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