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Proper Equipment Code


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Hello, 

Until I spend the money on a proper FMS system for my aircraft, I'm using the default FSX GPS for navigation. So basically, my 767 has VOR, ADF, ILS-capable, and transponder, but I don't have a true FMS system. Can someone help me out with the proper equipment code for me in the meantime? If I left any pertinent info out let me know. 

I looked at the official list of equipment codes from the FAA, but am a little confused. I feel like the aircraft could fit multiple code descriptions. 

Thanks for the help guys. 

Colin

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Have you updated your FSX GPS?  If not, you would not include it in your equipment code(s).  If it's the old FAA codes you're asking about, then I imagine you'd use 
/W Reduced vertical separation minima (RVSM) + /A capability

If your GPS is updated I imagine you'd use 
/L RVSM + /G capability

I'm not really all that smart on the ICAO equipment codes, so others may well correct me, but I'm thinking/guessing you'd be filing at a minimum:
SFW - VOR, VHF radio, ILS, ADF, RVSM (no GPS)

or if your GPS were updated it could be SDFGW (adds DME and GPS to the above)

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Don Desfosse
Vice President, Operations

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image.png.630ed76b7aa7f69aa081b6d89336f9a3.png

Everyone is transponder A+C equipped on VATSIM, so only these apply. GNSS includes both FMC systems updated by GPS (pretty much all airliners the last 30 years) and GPS-only nav systems, "RNAV, no GNSS" refers mostly to older FMC aircraft who don't have GNSS updating to their inertial position, but also INS only platforms like the Concorde, and a few other categories.

For your situation I'd probably stick with /Z (You do have RNAV, just a very limited one), and state FSX DEFAULT GPS ONLY in the remarks, which is far more likely to get a notice than an equipment code. Don't bother with ICAO codes. You'll never meet a controller who's interested in the code, that's more for the background workings of ATM systems. At work, it's not even something I can choose to display (differs from unit to unit, and country to country), I'd have to call someone far away to figure that out (we would never). Just use the remarks / the radio to tell us what you can or cannot do, simple as that.

Edited by Magnus Meese
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1 hour ago, Magnus Meese said:

You'll never meet a controller who's interested in the code

That's huge. It means that we can ignore the relevant fields in the flight plan. So your suffix table can be ignored, right?

Alistair Thomson

===

Definition: a gentleman is a flying instructor in a Piper Cherokee who can change tanks without getting his face slapped.

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Controllers usually do not actively read those equipment codes, because (at least Euroscope) our radar programs do this and then handle the aircraft tags/data one way or the other. If they behaviour is "unexpected", we have a look, of course. You'd expect an A320 to be able to RNP, RVSM etc., but when people do not fill anything or something different, assigned SIDs/STARs etc. will look odd (for this type of aircraft).

Actually, we can assume that all pilots in VATSIM are using Mode-S transponders, not just "A+C".

Also, we should introduce an equipment code specific to our clientele at VATSIM that will indicate "FMS/GPS equipped, but unable to operate it" 😄

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7 hours ago, Magnus Meese said:

For your situation I'd probably stick with /Z (You do have RNAV, just a very limited one), and state FSX DEFAULT GPS ONLY in the remarks, which is far more likely to get a notice than an equipment code.

Don't bother with ICAO codes.

Just use the remarks / the radio to tell us what you can or cannot do, simple as that.

Good points, guys.  I thought about calling out /Z, but if his GPS is not updated, I don't think you could even call it a "limited one", correct?  If it's not updated, it's not reliable, and should not be considered part of the certified equipment used when filing a flight plan, right?

Agree!  I just included that part of the discussion as we seem to ultimately be moving in that direction.

True, though my only caveat to pilots is that most of the time, controllers don't have any reason to view your flight plan comments, and many times not even any part of the flight plan, so please don't be upset (or perhaps even surprised) when you file something and the controller isn't aware of all aspects of your flight plan, to include navigation capability and/or comments.

 

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Don Desfosse
Vice President, Operations

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You make it sound silly, but I think it's perfectly fine in general for a pilot to file the absence of nav equipment they have but intend to not use, for whatever reasons.

You might want to fly conventional procedures in a jet that does have RNAV, for example, and so you would file as non-RNAV (/W or /A or whatever).

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39 minutes ago, Tobias Dammers said:

You might want to fly conventional procedures in a jet that does have RNAV, for example, and so you would file as non-RNAV (/W or /A or whatever).

Excellent point. But from Andreas it seems that the ATC client sometimes uses the aircraft code to generate equipment codes, so is there not a conflict there? Excuse my ignorance of ATC client processes! 😞

Alistair Thomson

===

Definition: a gentleman is a flying instructor in a Piper Cherokee who can change tanks without getting his face slapped.

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1 hour ago, Alistair Thomson said:

But from Andreas it seems that the ATC client sometimes uses the aircraft code to generate equipment codes

ATC clients may assign certain SIDs/STARs (RNAV vs. NON-RNAV) and transponder codes based on the equipment codes that pilots have filed in their flightplans.

Edited by Andreas Fuchs
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18 hours ago, Alistair Thomson said:

That's huge. It means that we can ignore the relevant fields in the flight plan. So your suffix table can be ignored, right?

Based on the number of times I file a non-RNAV equipment type and am instructed "proceed direct [xxxxx]" from an undefined point in space, I concur that this is the case  😉

Cheers,
-R.

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4 hours ago, Robert Shearman Jr said:

Based on the number of times I file a non-RNAV equipment type and am instructed "proceed direct [xxxxx]" from an undefined point in space, I concur that this is the case  😉

That's a different thing. I wrote specifically about SIDs and STARs. At least here in Europe and with Euroscope this is the case.

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On 6/16/2022 at 2:15 PM, Alistair Thomson said:

That's huge. It means that we can ignore the relevant fields in the flight plan. So your suffix table can be ignored, right?

I mean.. pretty much. I'm not in FAA land, maybe US is more interested? But if you're a 737 and you don't sound like it's your first day, I'll assume you can fly like a 737 until you tell me otherwise. If you're a C172, I may or may not ask about your capabilities if nothing is offered up.

On VATSIM, the times I've seen correct use of equipment codes (FAA or ICAO) for aircraft with limited capabilities VS the times I've seen the wrong codes used, is probably 10:1 the latter.

19 hours ago, Don Desfosse said:

I thought about calling out /Z, but if his GPS is not updated, I don't think you could even call it a "limited one", correct?  If it's not updated, it's not reliable, and should not be considered part of the certified equipment used when filing a flight plan, right?

Yes and no, it's still a form of area navigation, they're not on VORs and NDBs as is my immediate assumption with the non-RNAV codes for IFR flight. Both are wrong for the scenario, it's a question of which wrong you prefer, I think I prefer the Z in this case but until the FAA makes an FSX-specific code there's no real answer.

16 hours ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

ATC clients may assign certain SIDs/STARs (RNAV vs. NON-RNAV) and transponder codes based on the equipment codes that pilots have filed in their flightplans.

Did not consider this. Makes the codes more relevant I suppose, for areas who use it. Still requires manual correction when the codes are wrong though, and they will continue to be.

2 hours ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

That's a different thing. I wrote specifically about SIDs and STARs. At least here in Europe and with Euroscope this is the case.

He wasn't quoting you, the comment makes perfect sense in context.

On 6/16/2022 at 2:27 PM, Andreas Fuchs said:

Actually, we can assume that all pilots in VATSIM are using Mode-S transponders, not just "A+C".

You're right, every connection has got that capability to a limited degree (tons of extended squitter features missing) through ES-specific means. I've never seen it mentioned officially from VATSIM, though, everything I read is talking about C. We don't have it in the vACC, and I don't use it much at work other than for features not available on VATSIM, would you SQ1000 a Concorde or other historic aircraft for example?

18 hours ago, Tobias Dammers said:

You might want to fly conventional procedures in a jet that does have RNAV, for example, and so you would file as non-RNAV (/W or /A or whatever).

Sure, but the most efficient way for any pilot to get that from me is to say "request [thing]", not a carefully selected snippet of the alphabet.

Edited by Magnus Meese
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On 6/16/2022 at 10:17 PM, Alistair Thomson said:

But from Andreas it seems that the ATC client sometimes uses the aircraft code to generate equipment codes, so is there not a conflict there?

I don't see how that could work.

Just because it's the same aircraft code doesn't mean it has the same equipment on board, even when it comes to airliners. In most types, some navigation features are options that some airlines buy and others won't; and for most types, there are upgrades you can buy later, or an operator might choose to remove or disable outdated equipment (like, say, ADF) instead of continuing to pay for its maintenance. Does a B738 have an ADF? It might. Does an A20N have GBAS? It might. Is a DHC6 able RNAV? It might.

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1 hour ago, Ross Carlson said:

I think Alistair misunderstood what Andreas was saying

I did! :) The confusion was from this:

On 6/16/2022 at 9:27 AM, Andreas Fuchs said:

You'd expect an A320 to be able to RNP, RVSM etc

and I thought these codes were generated by ES etc. But as Tobias said, that really can't be done with any certainty.

Alistair Thomson

===

Definition: a gentleman is a flying instructor in a Piper Cherokee who can change tanks without getting his face slapped.

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As an ATCO I might manually correct equipment codes of pilots, otherwise us ATCOs may have more work correcting incorrectly assigned departure or approach procedures, or transponder codes. E.g. if you do not declare using a Mode S transponder, Euroscope may assign a random code (from a defined range of codes for each sector/station) instead of the popular SQ1000. When I see a pilot flying within the SQ1000-zone and SQ1000 was not assigned automatically, I may check his FPL and correct it to make my radar client assign SQ1000, to make it more realistic.

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