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Topics - lesmar

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airports table
Remove all redundant information ie fields not used
Create database based on up to date Arinc data such as Navigraph
Include Gmt and timezone if possible as this can be used in route input to automatically generate Flight duration from departure and arrival times.
Routes table
Add a new field for flight distance and use this field as guidance like duration.  There is a formula that uses latitude an longitude to create a reasonable approximation of distance in Nautical Miles

given the timezones of airports and a departure time then using an average of cruise speed across aircraft flying the route + 15 minutes to depart and land then it is possible also to generate the duration of the flight based on the distance between the airports and thus an arrival time say rounded to the nearest 15 minutes.  Of course arrival times are only approximate as well as distance as you never know what aircraft is flying the route and what sids and stars are being used especially when on line

I would add to the pilot route selection screen that the flight arrival times and duration are approximations only and are for guidance

Support for VAM 2.4 - 2.6 / VAM Data for Airports , how old is it ?
« on: July 07, 2018, 11:13:06 AM »
The airports table as supplied by VAM seems to have a substantial amount of missing or incorrect data. \

FAJS now has the ICAO code of FAOR and existing FAOR is not a registered airfield in South Aftrica and should be deleted

Many new airports that are now in use are not in the data which i think was created around 5 or 6 years ago.

I hope in the new release that a better database is supplied so that so many corrections dont have to be made

A lot of time is spent on creating the data for your Virtual Airline when you start and one of the main tasks is creating all the routes for your airline.
I am at present working on some PHP code that takes the world airline routes files that are used in the World Traffic plug-in for XPLANE
these are available at
These are very comprehensive files in txt format
"   DEP  ARR       DEP
== Created with Afre2.0.0 ==

every file has the same format
so we have
AIRLINE CODE          -  REA        {not needed for VAM purposes}
AIRCRAFT USED        -  AT72_REA    { upto the _  this is ICAO code for Aircraft i.e.. fleet type }
DEPARTURE TIME      - 0540       (HHMM format)
FLIGHT NUMBER       -  EI3250      { not really needed for VAM unless emulating a real Airline )
AIRCRAFT ID            - EI-FAS        ( tail number again not much use unless emulating a real Airline
FREQUENCY              - 0               ( not of use in VAM yet maybe future is the day code the flight operates on 01234567 )
ARRIVAL TIME           - 0655         (HHMM format)

so what do we have to set up in VAM

FLIGHT  Flight number     -    Could use the number from above
DEPARTURE                    -    Can use from above
ARRIVAL                         -    Can use from above
ALTERNATIVE                  -    may have to get from SIMBRIEF or other datasource maybe i can find documented way to calculate and program
ETD                                -    We have a departure time from above
ETA                                -     We have an arrival time from above
PAX Price                        -     maybe set a random value between a lower and upper value based  - or leave blank for now
Cargo Price                     -     can do the same as PAX PRICE
FP ROUTE                       -     maybe get from simbrief or update from pirep when flight flown
Flight Level                     -     as per FP Route
Comments                      -    maybe put date route created and Navigation Cycle if data got from Simbrief Etc
Duration                         -   estimated flight time but since times maybe in ETA Local or ZULA may need to set a calculation it is not arrival-departure
HUB                               -   will only create flights that arrive or depart from a hub so use hub table as a starting point
Aircraft Type Assignment -   basically use as a base the original aircraft type in the extract i.e. above  AT72.

How will this be done ?
I hope to use only two tools for this PHP and MySQL as these are what VAM runs on so it would be easy to share the code with everybody thats interested

The first php or mysql script is to create the tables i need to work with the data files etc.
next I get the route text files and upload them into the right folder.

Then the PHP processing tools take place
[01] merge the text files into one item and make it a csv file
[02] convert the csv file into a mysql database table
[03] as we only want routes that depart or arrive at a hub we set a use flag of 'Y' at the end delete records where use flag is blank

at this stage we will have all the flights on all the days from all the airlines operating the routes.

[04] start to tidy up this work route file by removing duplicates i.e. same route and time but different day code. or different airline but leave duplicates if aircraft type changes.

I will post replies to this when other things are researched and fixed such as duration etc.

Please let me know if you are interested in getting this when finished.

Suggestions to add to VAM and SIM ACARS / GDPR
« on: May 27, 2018, 04:09:58 PM »
It would be good for VAM to have template notices about Personal Information/Privacy Document as well as the required CONSENT button as required by the new GDPR regulations etc.

is it possible to set pilot minimum number of flights per month so that monitoring of active pilots is easier.  If you say that a pilot has to make say 3 flights per month.  Then you can set a flag at the end of the month that the minimum has not been reached and e-mail the pilot.

Also if you have a sort of pilot manager for each pilot i.e. hub or regional manager then they can operate some admin duties as well relating to the pilots under their supervision.

« on: April 04, 2018, 12:01:17 PM »
The supplied airport data may not be correct as i know of at least one airport i have edited and deleted to allow the correction

Johannesburg - Jan Smuts International was FAJS, then renamed to Oliver Tambo International FAOR.

There may be others especially in SUDAN where there is a new country South Sudan .  Maybe using Navdata from Navigraph might show which airports have ICAO code which is not in the navdata tables. 

Surely it is important to release Airport Data which is correct especially if pilots fly online as they will not get to the airport for planning as the icao is wrong.

i am not sure if VAM already does this but many virtual airlines start new pilot  in say a flight school and they must pass a certification before they can go into other ranks based upon certain hours.  Likewise the hours should be such that the managment of the virtual airline can say that before you can move to the next level you have to pass a checkride test or exam.  This will stop pilots just clocking up hours to reach the heavy jets with little or no control.

Suggestions to add to VAM and SIM ACARS / grouping of data
« on: April 03, 2018, 03:34:28 PM »
I can see perhaps a new level of control within an airline that maybe several Virtual airlines currently use or would utilise to make the workload simpler for the airline.. Often it is easier to group items together is a sort of class such as staff members or aircraft type etc.

I would like to suggest the provision of a A REGION CODE that sits above the hubs
this is like EUROPE or AFRICA , ASIA etc that you assign Hubs to as in some cases you dont need to have a hub manager for every  hub you operate but you may want a manager of several hubs i.e. a regional manager.

Likewise aircraft of similar status or capabilites could be classed as a single entity such as medium range jet  then you could assign routes to an aircraft class rather than having to include all aircraft types on each route.  Would save a lot of time.

Also I believe that routes should be like most airlines under review every 6 months and as such the route table should show as review period and date and a report provided and then a review module created where routes can be modified or made inactive etc.

Suggestions to add to VAM and SIM ACARS / route auto-build
« on: April 03, 2018, 03:20:15 PM »
Apart from route information it would or should be possible to say build a series of routes from an airport based on some criteria such as Airport type and distance from the airport.  It is a bit like the search facility in Great Circle Mapper.  It would be useful for new Virtual Airlines that set up their hubs and want to get started on routes as soon as possible.  By looking at the airport size field if you have just the largest airports selected and a range of say 2000 miles then you can easy scan the airport database and then calculate the distance between airports using the great circle calculation as found everywhere on the internet etc.  This could be a sort of 'WIZARD" where each step is done say to a temporary file first and when almost completed the final route table is updated with the wizard routes.
Because these routes will not have route data then you could flag them for review/update from completed pireps which will have route data

Suggestions to add to VAM and SIM ACARS / SIMACARS FOR MAC OSX
« on: April 03, 2018, 07:05:51 AM »
In the world of Flight Simulation there are many pilots who use Apple Imacs, Macbooks to fly XPLANE etc in OSX mode not Windows.  At present there is a basic ACARS system for the MAC called XACARS.  For VAM I suggest the following can be done so that the software does not miss out an opportunity to support the MAC OSX pilots.

First Option
Integrate XACARS into VAM as a procedure.  This will ensure at least although limited a way of getting PIREPS into VAM.  Yes it may need some work regarding position reporting on maps etc. But once you have the capture using the server data on XACARS then it would be possible in a limited way to include XACARS data.

Second Option
Based on perhaps firstly getting MAC Osx on-board with temporary XACARS linked then it should be possible to re-code where required a module for OSX for SIMACARS as already the connection to Xplane data has been made it just needs to get the data in OSX back to VAM.

Suggestions to add to VAM and SIM ACARS / Import Module
« on: April 03, 2018, 03:39:49 AM »
Yes everyone probably knows how to import data using PHP tools to MYSQL tables but in doing this there is no validity checking only that which is done by MYSQL or trigger procedures that have been built.  If you already have a virtual airline and want to convert to VAM then of course much of the data you already have such as pilots and routes and tours etc. Proving that you can externally format them into a csv file then the VAM updater could import the CSV and provide a validation run and also an upload run if the validation run is ok.  This is important if say you wanted to import 5000 routes from your old schedule into VAM you may not want to imput them all one by one or spend hours correcting the tables because of validation errors. When you input a route in VAM certain rules are applied regarding each field some may be mandatory fields and others optional.  It makes sense thus to be able to validate a CSV file before loading the data to the main tables.

Support for VAM 2.4 - 2.6 / error changing pilot profile
« on: March 31, 2018, 04:54:14 PM »
There was an error running the query [You have an error in your SQL syntax; check the manual that corresponds to your MySQL server version for the right syntax to use near ' name='Administrador', surname='VAM',email='',iv' at line 1]

running on XAMP pro

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