By Michael Roche 927188
#58377 Before the TGIF we just had in Boston, I was thinking about flightstrips and how they might be useful for the event. I made a Word document of blank strips, print 'em all out, cut them out, and stacked them right by my computer.

I never touched them the whole night.

I was wondering how hard it would be to create a 3rd-party addon for printing flightstrips. I know that this has been touched on lightly before now, but I've never really seen a large debate about it. As im sure you all know, ASRC has certain variables such as $route, $alt, $aircraft, and many others. Therefore, it must be possible to extract this information from the server somehow. What if variables of every kind needed for a flightstrip were created, such as $callsign, $route, $alt, $squawk, $type, and others. These could then be placed over a blank strip template. The user could then choose which strips to print, initially on a aircraft by aircraft basis, however if there is strong demand, the program could be configured to allow the user to choose to automatically print, say, all aircraft departing KBOS or who have GDM in their flight plan, etc. Also, I could see a great advantage if the controller was able to define his own strip template and move the variables around the screen as he chose, allowing every country to be supported, although this may be difficult to do. The strips could be printed, say, 10 at a time (or however many fit) on a standard 8 1/2" by 11" sheet of paper. I have absolutely no developing skill whatsoever, but I believe this wouldn't be too hard to create, all one has to do is create a way to extract this information from the VATSIM servers, or possibly through the same method that Servinfo does. Below is a quick picture I created to illustrate what I mean by this.

Image

Thanks, and lemme know what you think about this. Would it be more work than it's worth?

The flightstrip was provided by Jason Herman, who created these strips. His website can be found at http://www.hpnpilot1200.orgwhere you can download these strips.
By Jason Herman 911755
#58408 Hi Michael,

I had originally thought of this idea about 1 year ago [edit: with another fellow controller] (Feb. of 2005) and I'm glad you shared your opinions on the idea. I have created the word document based off the FAA Form 7230-7.1 and 7230-7.2 (terminal) and you can download it off my website here. On a rainy day last year, I printed about 25-50 sheets of these strips and printed them out. 1 year later I stand here having used those ~500 strips (in fact this reminds me Ineed to print new ones and cut them up).

I originally thought of this idea with the intent of using flight progress strip holders that are used in real world facilities. Since last May, I have been using real holders in a custom-made strip bay/rack and have found it to work very well. I fill in the information by hand, since I do not own a strip printer that prints one strip at a time. This is a very big limitation to consider, because it takes lots of time (despite what people may think) to print the strips, cut them up, and appropriately annotate them. The strips only work well in slow to moderate traffic, because when you are busy, you simply don't have time to fill in the strips (in fact this is when the D-side and/or A-side controller starts annotating the strips in real facilities; when the R-side controller gets very busy with traffic)

Just a few corrections to your attached strip in your post: Spot 6 should be the Proposed Time of Departure (or the temp. altitude on VATSIM, since IIRC, the ETD isn't submitted to the ATC via the FP) and spot 7 should be the requested cruising altitude. Spot 8 is for the departure airport, but in the past, I have also drawn a diagonal (lower-left to upper-right) line and used the bottom right as a field for the destination airport.

Of course that format is for departures and for arrivals the format is different. You can find the information that corresponds to each filed in FAAO 7110.65R Chapter 2, Section 3-3 (or 3-2 for enroute). I've created both the departure and destination aircraft strip forms and you can find them here: http://hpnpilot1200.org/ZBW/flight_strips.pdf They are roughly what the 7110.65 dictates.

You may also want to check out this image I put together last year:
Image

I talked to Ross Carlson (developer of VRC among other things) about the ability to print FPS, but after some discussion, I would find it pointless to print any amount of strips less than 10, because it would just be a waste of a sheet of paper. This again goes back to the initial limitation of not being able to print 1 strip at a time. VRC has a built in strip bay which you can find screenshots of on VRC's screenshot page. The fact that VRC has realistic strips in the strip bay, may ultimately relax the need and/or want to print physical paper strips.

(In fact in enroute facilities throughout the United States [ARTCCs], URET or "User Request Evaluation Tool" is replacing physical flight strips in the facilities with an automated computer application that displays all the information for each aircraft on a computer monitor. This is also the system that crashed ZNY's main host computer a few weeks ago. Search "URET" on avweb.com for more information)

Although I have no real programming interest in creating such a program to print strips, I'd be happy to provide/contribute any templates, pictures of real terminal flight progress strips, and information in the hopes of helping the creation of such a program.

Good Luck and Regards,
Jason
Last edited by Jason Herman 911755 on Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By Javier Larroulet 878670
#58429 I know there's got to be double, triple or even quadruple redundancy on such systems, but this:

Jason Herman 911755 wrote: This is also the system that crashed ZNY's main host computer a few weeks ago.


sounds definitely spooky :shock:

I would have to agree with the usefulness of printed strips on a high-traffic scenario. I don't know all of you guys but I know that I would just be unable to control AND fill strips correctly with more than 10-12 aircraft on my sector. The absence of D-sides or A-sides just makes it impossible.

On second thought, I could manage that on Center perhaps. Enroute tends to be a more relaxed control position since most of the time you're just scanning the screen (oops sorry... scope) and ussually you'd have more time to update the strips. However on APP or DEP, where things tend to happen more quickly, time becomes scarce and I don't think that anybody who has only one pair of upper limbs could manage all that workload without assistance. If one had 3 hands however....
By Ruth McTighe 824054
#58434 It would be lovely to have printed flight strips, but it would only really work with a printer that culd print one strip at a time. It would be very rare that I'd have enough traffic all at one time to print a batch on a sheet of A4. Even on Heathrow Director, I'd be impatiently waiting for no 10 aircraft to log in before I could get the strip for no 1 who I am currently vectoring on the approach.

Ruth
VATGOV7
By Michael Roche 927188
#59038 Ok i think i get what the issue is now. Thanks for all the input and everything.

And Jason: is that flightstrip in the diagram how its actually used in real life? (in the tower cab environment, of course) Im mainly talking about the misc. remarks boxes at the far right. Thanks.
By Owen Catherwood 903683
#59070 How the grid of boxes on the far right-hand side are used depend on the facility
(arrivals):
Enter data as specified by a facility directive. Radar facility personnel need not enter data in these spaces except when nonradar procedures are used or when radio recording equipment is inoperative.

(departures):
Enter data as specified by a facility directive. Items, such as departure time, runway used for takeoff, check marks to indicate information forwarded or relayed, may be entered in these spaces.

(overflight):
Enter data as specified by a facility directive.
By Jason Herman 911755
#59096
Michael Roche 927188 wrote:Ok i think i get what the issue is now. Thanks for all the input and everything.

And Jason: is that flightstrip in the diagram how its actually used in real life? (in the tower cab environment, of course) Im mainly talking about the misc. remarks boxes at the far right. Thanks.


Owen is correct. It is based off each different facility. I personally use PHL's SOP for marking the strips for the 9 boxes. Their SOPs state very clearly how it's done.

Jason
By Steven Rogers 913369
#59690 I've also made a flight strip in excel that covers all information needed for airways clearance, STAR clearances, holding and a few other pieces of information, I'll be more than willing to share if you send me your email address.
By Todd Cole 857559
#60281 Excellent program! Great job Jason! Your another ZBW "smart guy" hehe :D
By James McMannamy 934806
#62619 Something I do is print off the Terminal and Eroute strips (4-5 pages of each, several on a page) and laminate them. Then I will cut them apart and use a wet-wipe pen and fill it out. You can use servinfo to see who's coming or going before they get to you and fill out the "pre-printed" sections during slower times. When you are controlling the aircraft, fill it out according to your facility's SOP's, then toss it in a pile when you're done. For $1.00 you can buy a big box of wet wipes (or use windex and paper towels) and clean them off - just takes a minute. I've been doing it this way for months, and it has worked great, and i'm still on my first box of wet wipes. Plus, the laminated strips are easier to move around than flimsy pieces of paper.


Jim McMannamy
By Didier Parisy 1238528
#454332 Hi everyone,

I know it's a very topic but I discovered it a few weeks ago and I want to ask some questions.
In fact, as some people created "home cockpit" for their flight simulator, and I would like to create a "home cockpit" for a "home control tower".
So I to write every strips, but it's quite difficult when the traffic grows up.

As a consequence, I found on Internet some types of printers to print bag tag or any sheets of paper with the form of a flight strip.
So do you know to extract information from the software of control and use it an add-onn to print directly real strip thanks to the printer ?
Then my last question, do I have to create a short software to print my own strip or a solution has yet been found ?

Thanks for all,
Didier
By Ernesto Alvarez 818262
#454334 if you know anyone thats good with creating scripts or stuff like that, you might be able to create a custom one that pulls the information from the VATSIM data feed onto that so you can print

someone did something like that once on here, be darned if i can remember the link to it, or if its still up