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Peter Grey
Posts: 1488
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 5:37 pm
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ (PRC)

The flight planning challenge (9/1-1/1/2009)

Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:06 pm

Ok guys, its my turn for a little fun with the flight club, except Im going to go about it a little differently then everyone else.

This challenge is designed to test your flight planning capabilities, your piloting skills, and the most important thing of all, your money skills. This flight is designed to mimic real world conditions as much as possible.

So here is your objective:

Get from KPRC (Earnest A Love Field, Prescott, AZ) to KMQY (Smyrna, TN).

Thats it. OK thats not really it, but thats it regarding the main goal.

You have the following cargo:
Yourself
2 Passengers (one who weighs 150 lbs and another who weighs 200 lbs)
Everyones bags (total weight of 100 lbs)

On the way you need to meet the following objectives: (all can be done without going more then 150 miles off a direct line)

Land at an airport located at 7000ft + MSL.
Land on a runway that is less then 3000 feet long.
Land on a non paved runway.
Land on a runway that is less then 50 feet wide.
You must land at a Class C, D, E, and G airport.
Land at an airport with no weather reporting
Land at an airport with an AWOS-1 Reporting System
Land at an airport with an AWOS-2 Reporting System
Land at an airport with an AWOS-3 Reporting System
Land at an airport with an ASOS Reporting System

You can meet more then 1 objective at an airport.

Here are the rules/other information:
You start out with a full tank of fuel for free at KPRC (you are not required to take full tanks)

You must pay for fuel and hotel rooms along your route in accordance with your airplane needs and local fuel/hotel rates. You need 2 hotel rooms per over night stop.

You may not exceed 8 hours of flight time without stopping at a hotel for an overnight stay.

Your flight starts on 9/1 at 0600 Arizona Time (1300Z) (regardless of actual real life time).

From then on do not change the time except for fuel stops (add 1 hour minimum) and hotel stops (add 10 hours minimum).

Example: You take off from KPRC at 0600 on 9/1, and land at KINW at 0745 (1.75 hours flight time), stop for 1 hour for fuel and takeoff at 0845 (you can change your sim time to this new 1 hour+ time). Fly to KAEG and land at 1045 (2 hours flight time, total now 3.75).

Fuel up and takeoff 1 hour later (1145) and fly to KTCC and land at 1400 (2.25 hours flight time, total now 6 hours). You takeoff at 1500

You then fly to KAMA and land at 1645 (1.75 houts, total time now 7.75 hours). You must stay the night at KAMA (as otherwise you will break 8 hours).

The earliest you can takeoff from KAMA is 10 hours after landing (or 0245 on 9/2). etc...

You must fly the same airplane the entire trip.

The competition will be split into 3 categories:

Less then 120 KIAS maximum level flight speed (C172 or slower)
120 KIAS to 180 KIAS
180+ KIAS

1 Person may enter more then 1 category.

All flights are restricted to VFR/SVFR.

All FARs must be complied with (no going through restricted airspace, flying faster then 250 below 10000 feet, etc...)

All flights must be done on VATSIM with a flight plan filed for VFR flight (to be tracked by vataware).

More details will be posted regarding leg to leg posts.

All flight must be completed by midnight 1/1/2009 (real time)

You may enter the competition at any time

Real weather must be used for all flights

You may fly your legs are often as you like in terms of real life (aka when you take a 10 hour hotel stop, you arent required to actually wait 10 hours IRL, just set you sim time to 10 hours later).

You may fly alone or in a group.

All planes are equipped for day flight, without a working GPS unless you buy one of the following upgrades before departing from KPRC.

Night flight Upgrade (fly between sunset/sunrise): 500$
GPS Upgrade (Use GPS for navagation): 1000$

Additionally for each leg you may buy oxygen if you plan to fly above 12,500 feet for that leg. Not all airports have oxygen available, check your A/FD or ask me if your not sure how to check). You can only buy O2 From airports that have it available.

Any "incidents" during the flight will cost 1000$ to fix. Note that random failure induced by a sim are not counted in this. Only pilot induced issues (crashes).

Be honest, I can't play police for this, yes you can cheat without getting caught, but theres no price.

There will be 2 winners in each category:
First to arrive (based on sim arrival time, not real life)
Cheapest Flight

This should be a fun way to test your planning and flying capabilties.

Any questions (Im sure this isnt 100% clear), please ask.

To enter the competition reply to this message with the following:
Callsign
Airplane Type
Category entering
Upgrades desired (GPS/Night Flight)
Peter Grey
Instructor - ZLA
N31ER
"Nice Landing, Contact ground point 5"

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Charlie Dunk
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Posts: 187
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:11 pm
Location: Aurora, IL

Thu Aug 21, 2008 6:39 pm

Oh boy, this will be a lot of fun :D

N75DK
C172*
Less than 120 knots group
Night Upgrade please

*NOTE- I will have to do some further computation, but with the specified payload and a full tank of gas the 172 is overweight.
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AOPA 5861553

Gerry Hattendorf
FAB Member
Posts: 2368
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:20 pm
Location: Lake Tahoe, CA

Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:28 pm

Pete,

You forgot to mention the hotel/bar costs, do you want a standard 2 bed room or did you want the suite, want a draft beer or a bottle of Dom?

Also you forgot to factor the cost of food, as the pilots palette can range from a microwaved burrito, to a full course steak and lobster dinner!

Aside from the real costs (tie down fees, the ever roller coaster of the fuel price, taxi or rental car costs) how do score this?

Sounds like a blast, but I'm hazy on the outcome here. Are you looking for the least expensive flight, the quickest, I suppose if you add in a 'per hour' cost for the airplane (fuel excluded) and as you have mentioned a pilots total flight time cannot exceed 8 hrs per day, I'm guessing you need to factor the cost you pay the pilot, as this smells of part 135.

When you get into these details, I guess you can understand the 'Cost Index' with the FMS equipped aircraft. When I flew the bug smashers, all of above was factored for sure!

Have fun, and hope you don't get stuck at the "Morning Ecstasy for a Buck" motel if you have to land at "Podunk Field" due to weather or duty times! :P
Gerry "Tower 4 Eva" Hattendorf
Retired ZLA Webmaster

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Charlie Dunk
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Posts: 187
Joined: Wed Apr 30, 2008 5:11 pm
Location: Aurora, IL

Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:47 pm

Yeah...I sent a PM to PG regarding food/cab costs. No bar expenses for me just yet :wink:
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Peter Grey
Posts: 1488
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 5:37 pm
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ (PRC)

Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:57 pm

Hehe, well GH those are good questions.

I didnt include food costs and I treated those as constants between everyone for the sake of convience.

Hotel room is whatever your willing to dish out money wise :) Youll have to pick you own hotel. Most hotels provide free shuttle service so no cab fees needed (if you could figure out how to do that Id love to hear it)

In terms of scoring, there are 2 awards to be won per group.

Cheapest flight (amount of money to get from KPRC to KMQY) and seperately fastest flight.
and as you have mentioned a pilots total flight time cannot exceed 8 hrs per day
Thats just a way to factor in fatigue so that people cant fly 24 hours a day, no 135 implications meant.

Ill post more details regarding how this will all work a little closer to the start time, I want to get all the basic questions answered first.
Peter Grey
Instructor - ZLA
N31ER
"Nice Landing, Contact ground point 5"

Gerry Hattendorf
FAB Member
Posts: 2368
Joined: Fri Jul 29, 2005 1:20 pm
Location: Lake Tahoe, CA

Thu Aug 21, 2008 8:33 pm

Hehehe! Sorry, just thinking out loud about some RW flights I've had. I think you have a good idea here, as most pilots on VATSIM fly a fully loaded 747 LAX-EGL at 5,000 AGL and can refuel en-route.

Your idea is a great one, as the pilot needs to consider the costs involved just as we do in RW.

I think you need to define some parameters first, such as:

* Cost per hour (dry counted on the Hobbs meter) for the aircraft type i.e. C172 = $ 140/hr, C550 = $1,050/hr, etc.

* Fixed fuel costs i.e. Avgas = $4.95/gal, JET-A = $5.25/gal.

* Consolidate "overnight costs" at an average of $225/night (food and bar included).

* Bonus; consider the cost of the crew assuming a pilot only making $28.50 per flight hour, and $7.00/hr for non-flying activities (such as pre-flight briefing, post flight briefings and the normal paperwork crap that's RW).

The cost index then could then be calculated, and when the 'ground' costs as well as crew costs could be tallied, and the scoring field would be more leveled IMO.
Gerry "Tower 4 Eva" Hattendorf
Retired ZLA Webmaster

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Peter Grey
Posts: 1488
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 5:37 pm
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ (PRC)

Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:06 pm

Sorry, just thinking out loud about some RW flights I've had.
This is all loosely based on a IRL adventure Ive had, minus the airport stopping goals.

Well I guess its time to post the full plan to answer the inquisative GH.

First off, the trip is planned under pleasure, not commercial, working under the traditionally VFR flight club assumptions that the airplane is owned by the person flying it, we end up with the only major cost being fuel (ignoring maintence, oil, loans, etc...)

Fuel costs can be gotten from airnav.com for the specific airport landed at. That makes airport selection important. As a side note I forgot to menshion that this is to be a prop only exercise, anyways a jet has no hope of winning a cost contest with these rules.

Overnight costs can be gotten from your favorite hotel search engine, with pilot choice as to which hotel they want. I was able to find multiple hotels for Deming, NM with prices, which qualifes as middle of nowhere.

As this is a personal trip in theory, Im not worried about crew costs.

Im not 100% sure what your trying to get at with the cost index analogy, I under cost index to be (fuel expenses)/(Non fuel expenses). Not 100% sure how you would use that for this kind of thing.

Basically what I would imagine is fuel cost + hotel cost + upgrades + penalities = total cost and lowest total cost wins (in the cheapest category). This does give some incentive to fly the smallest (and arguably most fuel efficent) plane possible that gets the job done.
*NOTE- I will have to do some further computation, but with the specified payload and a full tank of gas the 172 is overweight.
Oh yah, your not requried to have full fuel, and thats half the challenge.
Peter Grey
Instructor - ZLA
N31ER
"Nice Landing, Contact ground point 5"

Mike Cassel
Retired ATM - FAB Member
Posts: 1955
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:40 pm

Thu Aug 21, 2008 11:48 pm

By landing, do you mean full stop, or can a touch and go or stop and go count?


Also, are we allowed to land at private fields or only fields open to the public?
Mike Cassel "ML"

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Peter Grey
Posts: 1488
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 5:37 pm
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ (PRC)

Fri Aug 22, 2008 12:20 am

By landing, do you mean full stop, or can a touch and go or stop and go count?
Wheels touching ground is good enough for me. All of the above are acceptable.
Also, are we allowed to land at private fields or only fields open to the public?
Hmm didnt think about this one. My initial reaction tends to go public only, as private airports usually have restrictions for a reason (And may not be modelled in all simulators for fairness). All the stated goals can be done at public airports.
Peter Grey
Instructor - ZLA
N31ER
"Nice Landing, Contact ground point 5"

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Wayne Conrad
Posts: 1494
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2006 11:24 am
Location: Phoenix, Aridzona

Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:14 am

How in the heck am I going to get two passengers into a J3?

Question: Must I purchase the night flight upgrade if my plane is equipped for flight at night even if I do not fly at night? Or must I purchase that upgrade only if I fly at night?

I saw an advertisement a month or two back for a new Tri-Pacer. I think this might be just the flight for it.

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Peter Grey
Posts: 1488
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 5:37 pm
Location: Prescott Valley, AZ (PRC)

Fri Aug 22, 2008 9:49 am

Question: Must I purchase the night flight upgrade if my plane is equipped for flight at night even if I do not fly at night? Or must I purchase that upgrade only if I fly at night?
Nope, you only have to buy it if you plan to fly at night.
Peter Grey
Instructor - ZLA
N31ER
"Nice Landing, Contact ground point 5"

Mike Cassel
Retired ATM - FAB Member
Posts: 1955
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:40 pm

Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:53 am

N606ML
LNC4(Lancair IVP)
180+ KIAS
No Upgrades
Mike Cassel "ML"

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Shawn Goldsworthy
FAB Member
Posts: 3156
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:57 pm
VATSIM CID: 925085
Location: Halifax, Canada (CYHZ)

Fri Aug 22, 2008 1:47 pm

As a side note I forgot to menshion that this is to be a prop only exercise, anyways a jet has no hope of winning a cost contest with these rules.
I bet the Cirrus Jet can give it a run!
Shawn "SX" Goldsworthy
ZLA Faclility Engineer
N123SX
xxx554

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Ed Tomlinson
Posts: 57
Joined: Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:21 pm
Location: Georgetown, TX

Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:20 pm

I have to ask for those of us that don't fly RW, what additional costs are associated with Night Flight?

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Shawn Goldsworthy
FAB Member
Posts: 3156
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 12:57 pm
VATSIM CID: 925085
Location: Halifax, Canada (CYHZ)

Fri Aug 22, 2008 2:46 pm

I have to ask for those of us that don't fly RW, what additional costs are associated with Night Flight?
I can't speak for the USA, but in Canada you need an endorsement to fly at night. You have to have nav (position) lights. Your landing light needs to work if carrying passengers, an attitude indicator is required and you need 45 mins of reserve fuel as opposed to the 30 in the day.

Like I said these are Canadian rules. The USA may be different.

Also you may have to pay an after hours call out charge for fuel.
Shawn "SX" Goldsworthy
ZLA Faclility Engineer
N123SX
xxx554

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