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DWTA
Time Distance Calculations WRONG..???...

First time on any forum.  Will attempt to be brief.  

HISTORY:  LOVE SkyVector, used it for YEARS for Air Ambulance Flying, International, Rotorcraft, Fixed Wing, etc., etc. 

NEW SERIOUS ISSUE (for me anyway):  When I enter a departure point, destination, and estimated ground speed, the ETE is WRONG [see image below]

POSSIBILITIES:  I am doing somthing REALLY stupid and I can't figure it out, if the case, please advise and thank you in advance.

 

Dave
Open the NavLog

You'll see that it's adding in the 40 knot headwind you'll face if you launch imminently (default is 60 minutes in the future and 8000 feet)

 

For more accurate winds, enter your ETA and altitude.

DWTA
Time Distance Calculations - Too Much Automation

Hmmm...I see now.  The issue is that I DO NOT WANT wind calculated as the data I need is forecasting.  How can I set it to stop that?

Dave
Winds are not optional....

... just like in real life.

 

We have heard many requests for "perfect calm" flight planning but so far we are unmoved by any of the reasons given to justify it. Enter your ETD if your flight is within the next 2 weeks. If your flight is a hypothetical flight on no particular day than today is as good as any other particular day.

I know that for a flight simulator user there is good reason to pretend like wind doesn't exist, but that's not really our target user, and most sims import real-world winds quite easily.

 

 

DWTA
Wow...did not expect that...

OK...FYI...30years professional pilot - Air Force, Marines, War Veteran, United Airlines, Innumerable Air Carrier Operations - Air Ambulance, Fixed Wing, Rotor Wing, A&P, etc., etc.

 

As an owner operator of a DOT/FAA 135/133 Air Carrier Operation - Airborne Weapons, Explosive Delivery, GOV't Contractor, International Operator, etc., etc., I have always been very impressed with the usability and outstanding attributes of SkyVector and have taught hundreds of pilots + to use this tool.

 

I AM NOT a simulator user.  I am a REAL WORLD PROFESSIONAL AVIATOR.  When the software does too much thinking for you, you begin to miss critical wildly variant considerations...LIKE WIND.

 

Obviously the responder has never had to deal with the wind variances in the US, Central America or Mexico to talk about the "Real World" and discount the typically inaccurate forecasts and the FACT that you must have a foundation for decesion making (thus ZERO WIND).

 

My question was simple and clear...I was hoping for the ability of the software to give me a BASELINE to then begin to factor in local factors that are wildly variant and may preclude the ability to access the internet to "re-do" a flight plan with updated information.

 

I presume from the response that ZERO WIND calculations are not an option - and will likely not become one.  IF this is the case, and I must always deal with what the system determines my ETE will be, that is all that need be said.

 

Thank you for your time and Please Advise.

DWTA
I misspelled "Decision"...I know...

typing too quickly...

Dave
Sorry for the hastily worded response.

I did not mean to insult you or imply that you were not a real pilot. I realize that you did not expect winds to be factored in and we should definitely do a better job about communicating that. At the present, forecasted winds, temps, and pressures from the NCEP GFS are utilized in all flight plan calculations.

 

mik
no winds option

hi Dave,

To re-visit DTWA's baseline comment "a foundation for decision making" using zero wind .... again, for real world purposes.

As an example:
- Assume the calculated ETE and fuel includes forecast winds aloft with a 25 kt tailwind.
- The weather forecast turns out to be inaccurate (not unusual) and instead, there is a 10 kt headwind.


The ETE and fuel required differ between the estimate (with forecast winds), and the actual. Understandable; winds aloft forecasts are not as reliable especially when looking beyond the immediate timeframe, and the reason why more accurate forecasts are obtained closer to time of departure.

However in that example, a 'no winds' option could have value for initial planning purposes, particularly when looking at a departure further in the future ... where the wind forecasts based upon historical data/trends/prevailing winds, are still only an educated guess.

 

Alternatively ...

If a 'no winds' calculation was not potentially useful, why would other flight planning service providers offer this as an option?

 

 

As always, thanks for providing an outstanding service (for FREE) and for re-considering the enhancement requests.

It is appreciated!

 

Mike

jlshoem
jlshoem's picture
No Winds

I agree with these guys. I would like the option for no winds.

Planning a flight based on what the weather guys think is going to happen is not always the best deal.

The addition of a no winds plan would really make us all feel better.

srwalter
Current behavior very confusing

Please make it at least obvious that winds are being factored in.  Surely you have to understand that changing this default behavior with no explanation and no warning and no obvious indicator it is happening is confusing.  Even when I started to suspect that this was why my numbers made no sense, there was no way to tell for sure.  I thought at the very least the Nav Log would show the wind speed and direction used, and show me the ground speed being used for computation.  Nope, just the blatantly false assertion that 817 / 140 = 4h19min.  If the tool is going to show me bad math, it can at least explain how it got there.

 

Ideally, an obvious "Wind / No Wind" option would be added.  In fact I would be okay with the default going back to the old behavior of using correct math.  At the absolute least, the ETE should indicate "(accounting for wind)" and/or the Ground Speed should be shown on the Nav Log.

isaacd
One more "vote"

At the risk of sounding like I'm piling on here...

 

I too would like a no-wind option, or at the very least, a note stating that this assumes winds cruising at 8000 ft (MSL or AGL?), 60 minutes from now.

 

I'm a little quicker at arithmetic than some of my friends, so I could tell by looking at it that it was probably factoring in some winds aloft, and had to explain that to a couple of friends, who were using skyvector and were adamant that "this is with no wind". Well, I got them to enter 100 kts speed, which made the math easier and made it blatantly obvious that it included winds. Pretty much all other flight planning utilities have either a checkbox to enable winds aloft, AND/OR a box to enter with altitude and ETD to have winds aloft calculated. Without being presented those options, and without being presented a note about winds aloft being included, the average pilot (or at least the average ones I know) are going to assume that the calculations are for no-wind conditions.

 

That being said, I'm not complaining. I absolutely adore SkyVector. I just think this would prevent user confusion, based on the sample sets of pilots near me.

mik
winds aloft in Nav Log

A 'No Winds' option can offer value for reasons mentioned.

Currently, it appears that the winds and ground speed are available in the Nav Log.

 

(c) abv image - copyright SkyVector.com
"Any screenshot published on the web must include a link to SkyVector.com."

Estimated Time Enroute (ETE):
(5.2 x 60) / 84 = 3.7 minutes
(6.2 x 60) / 89 = 4.2 minutes

Mike

Snowbird
I have not used SkyVector for

I have not used SkyVector for very long, but it really is a beautiful, and quite easy to use, piece of software. However, I agree extremely strongly with others that a zero-wind baseline is an absolute must for basic flight-planning.

 

Very closely related to this is that it is not clear what source the software is using to obtain the wind information. By this, I mean two things: literally, which weather forecasting agency; but also, which station along the route is it obtaining the winds from? Is this academic? I don't think so. Regardless, I do feel it is important to know (as pilots we ARE required to have all information pertinent to a flight). I'd like to know if it's taking the weather from the station closest to my route along the way, or simply from the starting point, etc. - just what station, exactly is it taking its' guess from?

 

From a programming point of view it should not be nearly as involved as it was to originally code for accounting for the winds. From a end-user point of view, what does it hurt to have that additional option? If a person doesn't want to use zero-wind, they leave a box unchecked; if the person does want zero-wind, boom, they have the option!

 

My vote is for a zero wind option.

 

Please, please, please implement it.

gavron
Suggestion (not exactly a "me too")

Hi.  I echo the fact that I use Skyvector.com and love it.  As I pay for my garmin and flightaware I'm happy to pay for skyvector.  I don't think that would make me "entitled" to anything, just letting you guys know that there are more than just hobbyists out here and we appreciate the opportunity to reward those who give us usable tools.

 

I'm a helicopter pilot.  We don't have a lot of spare fuel, and some of the places we fly don't provide many options for alternate airports.  That means that if SV factors the wind in for me differently than I do it then I can't use a lot of the tool.  That's a shame.

 

I do like that by putting in an ETD of a future date where you don't have weather data the winds are excluded.  That accomplishes what I need.  However,  I got here to this forum and this question and typed my comment BECAUSE up until I read here I did not understand why the ETE was always whacky.  Now I know. 

 

My suggestion: Put a little asterisk (or javascript popup question mark) next to ETE and somewhere explain that it includes FA and that if you don't want that set ETD date beyond TODAY+2d.

 

To summarize:

1. Love the site.  Love the tool.  Use it before any flight where I'm going to be refueling more than once.

2. Would love to help contribute to the support of the site, the tools, and the staff. 

3. Am hoping my suggestion is seen as a "very little coding to make clear what's going on" solution

 

Best regards,

 

Ehud Gavron

CFI-H

Tucson, AZ US

dsoto1
Zero Winds

Mr SkyVector,

Planning flights in the undetermined future is real world planning (thus requiring the zero wind option).  Even in real-time, pilot's use time to track their fuel (not a flight planner).  Having a no-wind plan provides the data they need to make that real-time adjustment (winds may be somewhate predictable, but planned route of flight is almost never true).  

Your product is too good to ignore the request simply for the sake of argument and considering the simplicity of the implementation, a simply checkbox would do it.  My preference would be to not use a competitor product to meet my needs.

I'm asking nicely, can you add the zero wind option?

Software engineer and real world pilot,

-ds

cmmguy
From the Help page....

From the Help page....

 

"For a no-wind flight plan, enter 9900 in either ETD. Note, you will not be able to file without a valid ETD."

hlanfear
I did not know SV used winds

I've used SV for many years and love it; however, I never knew winds were calculated in flight times.  Some sort of "Legend" would be very useful (including noting the winds are factored in flight times; although I too would prefer no wind).  SV assumes we know many things; the color coding on TFRs and airport WX conditions for example - it took me forever to figure them out.  Still love the site very much though.

Harold Lanfear