Your First Test Flight

Below you can follow a short flight from Seattle-Tacoma to Payne Field, Snohomish and view the parameters Flight Tracker reports during your flight.

For the purposes of this test flight:

  • Start Microsoft Flight Simulator
  • Select the Cessna 172
  • Go to a Parking Ramp at Seattle-Tacoma (KSEA)
  • Ensure the parking brake is on.

 

Start Flight Tracker.

When starting Flight Tracker your report page is blank.

 

Starting ACARS (Flight Reporting)

To start logging your flight details click the [ON] link to start ACARS. After turning the ACARS reporting option on, FS Flight Tracker logs the following:

Date, Aircraft ID, Aircraft Type, Zero Fuel Weight, Origin (departure airport) ICAO code (airport designator) and name.

 

Departure Weather Reporting

Depending upon the weather reporting options you selected, Flight Tracker will report the current weather at your departure airport (Origin).

If you selected Report Weather from FS, then Flight Tracker will simply report the weather you are currently seeing within Flight Simulator.

However, If you selected one of the weather reporting servers then Flight Tracker will attempt to connect to that server and return the most recent METAR for you departure airport. If the connection fails (because you are currently offline) then Flight Tracker will report "Unable to connect to WX server or ICAO not found"

 

Releasing the Parking Brake (Flight Start)

Having done all your cockpit checks and received your clearance from ATC you are now ready to taxi to the active runway.

Release the Parking Brake.

Flight Tracker takes this as the signal that you are starting your flight and logs the following immediately:

  • Time Out (the time you left the gate or parking area)
  • Taxi Weight (Total weight of your aircraft)
  • Fuel Out (Total amount of fuel you have on board)

 

The Take-Off

After your clearance, proceed to take off from the active runway. As soon as your wheels leave the ground Flight Tracker records the following data:

  • Time Off (the time your aircraft left the ground)
  • Take off weight
  • Fuel Off (Fuel on board at take-off)

 

Speeds and Engine Parameters

At take-off, Flight Tracker also logs other information:

  • Maximum Taxi Speed Origin
  • Take off IAS
  • Take Off N Settings (Engine parameters)

 

Enroute

FS Flight Tracker now sits in the background and waits for you to land. This step is not required, but now is a good opportunity to fill out the additional data such as

  • Flight Number
  • PAX and Cargo
  • Flight Plan
  • Comments
  • IFR / VFR

 

The Landing

At touchdown, Flight Tracker records the following data immediately:

  • Time On (Time your aircraft settled back on the ground)
  • Landing Weight (Total aircraft weight)
  • Fuel On (Fuel on board at touchdown)
  • Vertical Speed at Touchdown (How good your landing was)
  • Landing IAS (Airspeed at touchdown)

Taxi to the Ramp or Gate.

 

Taxi to Parking (Ramp or Gate)

All we need to do now is taxi to your chosen parking position. When you are in the correct position apply the parking brake. This signifies the end of the flight and FS Flight Tracker will shut down ACARS.

It will log the following details

  • Destination (arrival airport) ICAO code (airport designator) and name.
  • Time In (The time you applied the parking brake)
  • Ramp Weight (Total aircraft weight)
  • Fuel In (Remaining Fuel onboard)
  • Block Time (Time taken from Gate to Gate)
  • Block Fuel (Fuel used from Gate to Gate)
  • Flight Time (Time taken from Take-off to Landing)
  • Flight Fuel (Fuel used from Take-off to Landing)
  • Distance from your departure to your destination

 

In addition, Flight Tracker also logs the following:

  • Maximum Taxi Speed Destination
  • Destination Weather

 

Log the Flight

We've done with ACARS now, although we still need to log our flight. But before we do, there is one last option you must set. On the last page of the ACARS is a drop-down menu box. You must select an option from this menu before logging your flight. The options match the types of flight on offer at Air SeaTac Virtual, as follows:

  • PAX/CARGO - This can be either a PAX or CARGO flight available from the Flight Services.
  • 24 HOUR EVENT - Use for flight logging against the 24 Hour Event.
  • MONTHLY HOPLIST - Use for flight logging against the Monthly Hoplist Event.
  • WORLD TOUR - Use for the World Tour Event.
  • FREE FLIGHT - Use for a report matching none of the above.

Any flight report received without one of these options set, will be rejected.
Once you have selected an option for the Flight Type, click "Log Flight" to record your flight in Flight Tracker's personal logbook and save your pirep.