Author Topic: Intercity ACARS User Manual  (Read 7689 times)

Chris Hulme

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Intercity ACARS User Manual
« on: Tue 03 Jun 2014, 15:22 »
Intercity ACARS2 User Manual

If you have any issues using Intercity ACARS, please read this document. If it does not solve your problem or answer you question, please post your query in the ACARS section of the discussion forums and we shall assist you.

Requirements and Prerequisites

Before you can use Intercity ACARS you will need the following:

  • Microsoft Windows Vista, 7, 8 or 10.
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 (9.1), Microsoft Flight Simulator X (Service Pack 2 or Acceleration) or Lockheed Martin Prepar3D. May work with Xplane 9 and 10.
  • FSUIPC 3, 4 or XUIPC (free or registered versions). Most users should already have these installed as they are bundled with many flight sim addons.
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.1 or later (free)

  • OPTIONAL: If you wish to run ACARS remotely (i.e. not on your flight sim computer) you will also need WideFS, which is available from the same website as FSUIPC.
  • OPTIONAL: Adobe Reader to view generated OFPs.
  • OPTIONAL: SimBrief account to generate Flight Plans (OFPs) from within ACARS.
Download and install

  • Download the latest Intercity ACARS here
  • Open the zip file and run the installer
Using Intercity ACARS

Starting

To start ACARS, open the Windows Start Menu and look for the Intercity ACARS folder. Click the bird wing icon to start ACARS:



Updating and Logging in

Intercity ACARS automatically checks for updates when it is first started:

If an update is required ACARS will download and install it before continuing; during this time you will be presented with an update message for a few minutes and although the program may appear to hang/freeze or show as "Not Responding" this is perfectly normal. ACARS will restart itself when the update is complete:



Once ACARS has confirmed it's up to date, it will attempt to log you in. If this is the first time you have run ACARS or if you have changed your password you will be prompted to enter your login credentials:





Once your login details have been entered into ACARS it will remember them and log you in automatically next time:



Update Information



If you have just updated ACARS then a window will appear with information as to what has been updated within ACARS.

Once it has been read the message will no longer appear when loading ACARS.

If you wish to read this information again, you can click "Update Info" on the Flight Select Screen.

Flight Select

Once you have logged in successfully you will be presented with the main flight select screen.

At this point ACARS will check for any incomplete flights and if any are found it will allow you resume them. Flight Resume is covered later in this manual. If you do not want to resume your previously incomplete flight, you can proceed as normal and start a new flight, although this will erase all records of your previously incomplete flight and you will no longer be able to resume it.

The Flight Select screen has 2 tabs (see picture below):

News - Shows the latest airline news pulled directly from the Intercity website

Flight Select - Search the flight schedule and select a flight to fly.



Flight Select

All flights in the schedule will display. You can search by using the drop down menus at the top.

You can display any charters that are available by checking the charter box.

Once you have found a flight clicking on it will select it

Manual Off/On Blocks

Some pilots experience an issue where ACARS fails to recognise engine startup and shutdown. If this happens to you, you can choose to have Off and On Blocks buttons displayed on the Flight Logger screen. We recommend only using this if you have had the above issue as if not ACARS will register engine start and shutdown automatically.


Begin flight

Once you have selected the flight you wish to fly the "Begin flight" button will appear. When you're ready to fly, click "Begin Flight" which will display the following message:



At this point you should start Flight Simulator and set up your flight.

Make sure that you are in an Intercity Airways aircraft and are loaded on the ground at your departure airport with the parking brake set and all engines shutdown before clicking OK and continuing.

Flight Planning

After selecting a flight the Flight Planning button will appear.



Clicking it will open the Flight Planning section.

The Flight Planning window is a separate window to ACARS. This means you can keep it open whilst you fly so you can refer back to the OFP and also Performance figures.



Upon loading the Flight Planning section will be pre populated with the selected flights information. If you wish to select another flight then search again and press the blue tick. This will update the flight planning section.

The planner is easy to use and utilises SimBrief. You will require a FREE SimBrief account (Register here).

You can specify your routing or can leave this blank for an auto generated route. You can also select the layout you would like and if you have selected an Airbus A32S flight you can switch between A319 and A320 models. Once your happy click Generate OFP.



You will be prompted to login to SimBrief, if you wish you can press "Keep me logged in" and ACARS will store you login details for future flights.



You can track SimBriefs progress and when its complete you will be presented with your flight plan under the OFP tab.



If you wish to save or print the OFP can you do this directly from within the window, or you can click the Download OFP button, and it will open in Windows.

ACARS will read the OFP and extract the aircraft weights and planned fuel. ACARS will then take this data and calculate a passenger figure and baggage figure to help you when loading your aircraft.

The figures are based on the Aerosoft Airbus X, Majestic Q400 and the PMDG Jetstream 41.

If you are flying the Dash 8 Q400 then your Takeoff and Landing V Speeds will be shown. These are based on the speed charts that come with the Majestic Q400, and will update according to the weights which have been extracted from the OFP.

You can also export the flightplans to import into the Aerosoft Airbus X Extended and the Majestic Q400. These are saved in C:\Users\USER\Documents\Aerosoft\Airbus\FlightPlans for the Airbus and C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\SimObjects\Airplanes\mjc8q400\nav\routes for the Q400. A red message will appear advising of the filename of the exported flightplan.



You can also file your flightplan with VATSIM, so that it can be loaded quickly from within your VATSIM Client. The form will populate, and will just require you to select your Voice Capability and enter your VATSIM CID and Password.



Flight Logger



Once the phase is set to "Boarding" you can start your flight. If you selected manual off/on blocks you will need to press the "Off Blocks" button just before you start your engines and the "On Blocks" just after you shut them down. If you didn't select manual off/on blocks then ACARS will automatically detect off/on blocks.

The Pilot In Cockpit check is active liftoff to touchdown, if it detects an extended period of inactivity it will sound an alarm and you will need to press a button in the cockpit to let ACARS know you're still at the controls.

To make sure that ACARS transitions through its flight "phases" you need to ensure that during cruise your vertical speed is 0 fpm for 2 seconds, which will enable ACARS to register that you have reached cruise attitude.

You can track your flight in real time with a map here.

Submitting your flight report

Once you have landed and shutdown your engines (or pressed the "On Blocks" button) you will then see the Flight Report tab and you can enter any comments would like to be recorded, such as your route or the weather. You should also select the network you have been flying on (Offline, VATSIM or IVAO) Click "Send report" which will transfer the flight log to your logbook for you to view along with a map of your route and altitude graph!



Diverting

In the event you have diverted to an alternate airfield you need to check the "Diverted" box. You will then need to select a reason (fuel, medical, other, technical or weather).

You must also specify where you diverted to (airport ICAO code) and also provide details in the comments box. For example if diverting due to bad weather provide METARs for destination and also alternate aerodromes. If diverting for a technical issue provide details of what occurred.

Please note: In reality diverts are not a common occurrence and therefore pilots who divert will have their flight report reviewed by management.





Flight Resume


If you do not successfully complete a flight, ACARS will allow you to continue your flight from near your last known position. If your flight simulator has crashed, you should restart it and then ACARS, as it only checks for an incomplete flight when it is first started. If an incomplete flight found the "Flight Resume" button is displayed on the Flight Select screen and clicking it will enabled you to continue logging that flight:



NB: If you do not want to resume the incomplete flight, you can proceed as normal to select and begin a new flight, (this is covered at the start of this manual), although this will erase all records of the incomplete flight so you will not be able to resume it.

NB: It is not possible to resume flights on the ground.

You must then satisfy the criteria outlined on the Flight Resume page before you can resume logging. You must also select the network you are flying on and also tick the Manual Off/On Blocks button is you require these. Once all three items in the Aircraft Position box are green, ACARS will start logging from where you left off:

Note: Continue Flight button has been removed and flight will continue logging automatically once criteria is met.



The Map tab displays a map of your last known location to assist you in positioning your aircraft:



NB: The Flight Resume feature is best used in conjunction with software that will automatically save your flight at regular intervals (typically 5 minutes) such as FSX Save or a registered copy of FSUIPC.
« Last Edit: Wed 08 Mar 2017, 23:52 by Chris Liu »