Welcome to the DVFC ACARS Flight Recovery Demonstration Slide Show.
You use the icons at the bottom of the screen to move to different slides.
There are four of them; Go to First, Backward one, Forward one and finally go to the Last slide.
There are little round indicators above those action icons that show where you are in the sequence.
The presentation shows various screen images from DVFC ACARS, FSX, the phpVMS website and the PC File Explorer.
Each slide will include some text explaining what is to be understood from viewing the slide.
Views are from FSX Acceleration, the dvfchh.club website, Windows 10 Pro and FS Products DVFC ACARS Versions 126.96.36.199 & 188.8.131.52
This second slide introduces what the next series of slides will try to convey.
Version 184.108.40.206 of DVFC ACARS includes several improvements and added features over the previously published version.
1. The Pirep data section has always included the Flight Time. That value is now sent to phpVMS and is included in the live map.
2. The Flight Time is now also included in the phpVMS acars database which means it can be used for additional puurposes, one of which is to include that value in the ACARS Flight Details page of the website.
3. A new menu selection has been added which provides the necessary functions to set up and Save ACARS flight details as well as save flight simulator files that can be used in conjunction with the ACARS Flight Recovery process. Version 220.127.116.11 now allows saving the recovery flight whilst on the ground to assist in recovery of those tedious complex aircraft setup procedures. An ongoing flight may be selectively saved and/or the AutoSave option can keep your flight relatively safe with autosaves as often as every 5 minutes.
Caveat:The autosave feature is much like the FSUIPC autosave function and may or may not impact on the performance of some addon aircraft as well as potentially impacting on flight simulator performance. Use this feature at your discretion. If you have problems simply do not use it. That being said it has been tested with standard aircraft with FSX, FSX-SE and P3D V3.4.x with no apparent issues.
You have been warned !
Slide 3 - The ACARS Interface Screen
This is the acars default opening screen. The Pilot ID is set to a value that is expected to be changed by the pilot through the Settings.
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Slide 4 - Main Menu
Clicking on the Main menu selection exposes two options; the one we want for now is the Settings choice.
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Slide 5 - User Settings
After selecting Settings a User Settings Form is displayed where you can change and save your pilot details as well as to specify additional options.
Your Pilot ID will be like DVC9999. Always include leading zeroes if there are any. Your password is the same one as used on the website.
It is best to leave Ignore PB unchecked as not using this option can lead to strange pirep posting issues.
Leave the Fuel Display at Pounds as the phpVMS site is configured to use the Pounds unit of measure for fuel.
A form with settngs ready for saving.
When done click on the Blue Floppy icon to save.
Slide 6 - Recovery Menu
The acars Recovery Menu Selection. Notice that only the Settings option is activated at this point. This is to be expected.
Slide 7 - Recovery Settings
The acars Recovery Settings form. Note that the default settings may be quite suitable for your needs.
The only thing you should consider changing is the save interval which might be set to a higher value for longer flights to reduce potential issues with the simulator. A shorter interval might be suitable for simple aircraft and short flights. Click on the Save icon when done.
Slide 8 - Start FSX
Now that DVFC ACARS has been configured it is time to start your sim; FSX or FSX-SE or P3D V3.x .
Slide 9 - Load your default flight
Start FSX and simply load the default flight to get things settled.
The default flight for this system puts the aircraft at Fiday Harbor.
For this demo a flight had been saved and will be loaded using the FSX Menu Load Flight option.
Slide 10 - Load Saved Flight
Choose the Flight Load.. selection
Slide 11 - Select Flight to Load
The flight chosen is in Florida near the San Destin Rresort where I played golf way back in '86.
Beautiful white beaches a sparkling blue ocean vistas.
Slide 12 - Flight Loaded
FSX has now loaded the flight and is ready to go.
Slide 13 -
First action is to set the parking brake.
ACARS expects the parking brake to be set before Start Flight is allowed.
Slide 14 - Return to ACARS
Now it is time to get ACARS ready for this flight.
We had already connected to the server so now we can continue.
Slide 15 - Complete the ACARS setup for the flight.
Now input a flight number, Get Flight Info, activate the Charter opton. Then enter
the departure, destination, route and comments as never forget to enter a flight level.
We can then Connect to FS.
When ready to go then click Start Flight.
The image shows the ACARS flight to be active as can be seen by the Boarding log entry.
Notice the PIREP Controls. All but the Stop Flight are now deactivated.
Slide 16 - The Website ACARS Flight Plans
As an added feature we can navigate to the website (http://www.flydeervalley.net/acarsflights/index.html)
This special page has been added to provide more details than can be easily seen when using the live map.
In this case it can be seen that this pilot is now connected and at the boarding state.
Slide 17 - ACARS in-flight Flight Saved
The image shows via the log details that a Recovery: FLIGHT SAVED event had occured.
In this case as the autosave option is set to 15 minutes I decided to use the Recover Menu option to save the flight.
As of Version 18.104.22.168 the "Recovery Save Flight" can be used whilst on the ground. This allows saving before take-off;for example, after a lengthy flight setup like the PMDG products.
Slide 18 - The Website ACARS Flight Plans
Going back to the wesite it can be seen that the flight phase is now in Cruise and the ACARS Flight Time is being displayed
as it was at the last update.
ACARS only submits data to the server every one or two minutes so do not expect instant gratification.
Slide 19 - Where ACARS saves its flights
As ACARS Recovery mode is set to auto and also to save FS flights we can then open Windows File Browser to where the ACARS app was installed to see view the files in the 'save' folder (left pane of the image).
In the right pane of the image we can see the FSX saved flights folder where the flight had been saved as well.
Notice that the file name matches the flight number entered in ACARS.
These files are updated each time the ACARS Save Flight is chosen or when the autosave action occurs.
Slide 20 - FSX as we approach a known waypoint.
This is the last point at which FSX was working correctly.
Either is was messed up manually or simply crashed on its own.
It does not matter as we hope to recover the flight using the ACARS Flight Recovery method.
Slide 21 - The ACARS screen just before FSX crashes.
Notice from the Flight Log that several autosaves have occured.
In this case it appears that I had set the autosave interval to 5 minutes.
For this flight it was done only for the purpose of this demonstration.
Slide 22 - The ACARS screen showing that FSX had been lost.
All we can do is click OK
Slide 23 - The Website ACARS Flight Plans
Going back to the website we can see that after a few minutes the server decided that the pilot was disconnected.
This happens after 5 minutes of receiving no data from ACARS.
The live map also shows the pilot as being disconnected but then the pilot record disappears after 5 minutes.
The web page keeps the last data received from the pilot so we can always check what the last activty was for any pilot.
Slide 24 - The Live Map
After the pilot has been disconnected the live map part of the web site gets confused.
Slide 25 - A worst case scenario.
Seems that everything blew up and the PC had to be restarted.
Slide 26 - Start FSX and Load a saved flight plan
When we start over we must select a pre-saved flight or create a new one.
ACARS needs us to start with a clean slate.
(Do not attempt to load the ACARS FS saved flight.)
Let the sim get settled before doing anything else.
Slide 27 - Start ACARS
After the sim is stable open ACARS and connect to the server and connect to FS.
Do nothing else at this point.
ACARS should look like the image but using your pilot id.
Slide 28 - Start the Recover Process
Using the ACARS menu Choose 'Recovery'.
Notice that 'Load Flight' is active.
Slide 29 - Select Load Flight
Select Load Flight form the menu options.
Slide 30 - Select saved flight
ACARS will open a file selection window where you select the file that you want to recover.
There was only one choice for this one so it was hilighted automatically.
Slide 31 - FSX Loads the flight
After the file is selected there may be a bit of a delay while ACARS thinks.
Do not be impatient.
Slide 32 - FSX is now loaded
We find that we are back near where we were last active
Slide 33 - ACARS Flight Resumed
When FSX is finally up and going you must go back to ACARS and click on Start Flight to continue flight logging.
Notice that in this case the local restart time was quite a while after the original but the Actual Flight Time is correct.
Slide 34 - Live Map
We check the web site and see that live map knows we are back.
Notice that the others do not show Flight Time.
This is because they are still on an older version of ACARS.
Slide 35 - The Website ACARS Flight Plans
We can also check the web site tosee what is happening with the ACARS Flight Plans.
It knew that we had reconnected but had not yet updated the data to show the Cruise Phase.
This is normal behaviour.
Slide 36 - Finally landed and parked
After landing you must get off the runway and set your parking brake.
At this point we can choose to 'Stop Flight'.
Then the 'File PIREP' button will become active.
Slide 37 - File PIREP Button is Active
Notice that both 'File PIREP' and 'Clear PIREP' are active.
For a regular flight you would select 'File PIREP'.
(In the event that FSX had crashed but ACARS was still running it is possible to reset ACARS ready to recover a flight.
Once ACARS is cleared and the sim is back up it is possible to connect to the server and proceed with loading the ACARS saved flight.
Although this is an option it might be wiser to shut down ACARS and start over from a rebooted PC if things went really bad.)
Slide 38 - The Website ACARS Flight Plans
Revisting the web page now shows that the flight has arrived.
This normally happens only after the parking brake is set!
Slide 39 - PIREP Filed
ACARS now shows that the PIREP has been filed.
We are now done with ACARS so it can be closed.
Slide 40 - Viewing the PIREP
To view the detais of your PIREP visit the website.
On the Home page there will be a list of recent flights. You can click on one of those.
If the pirep is not there then:
You can also view the pilots page and select the pilot and then see all of the recent pireps for that pilot there.
Each pirep has a Status item in the top list.
If it has not been accepted it may have failed the automatic approval rules.
In that case you can contact one of the admins or simply wait until they get around to approving those unapproved pireps.
Note: DVFC ACARS Version 22.214.171.124 has modified landing sensors so that any stalls below 50 feet AGL are disregarded. This helps with low and slow 3 point landings.