The BAO Tower simulator

 

 

  Make it work in Win XP

&

How to create your own simulation scenarios

by John Mansolas 

first date of issue : 02/09/05

last update : 21-Jan-14

  Check this one too : The Win 8 disaster !!!!

Win8 … degrades the 3D BAO Tower Simulator to a 2D version.

 

A full screen view of the program in action

(resolution is intentionally made poor due to memory restrictions)

 

·         At last a Tower simulator ....!

·         Windows XP Compatibility

·         The merits of this program

·         Screenshots

·         Commands

·         Making random scenarios 

 

o        Departures from RWY09

o        DESIGNING DEPARTURES FOR RWY09

o        Returning Departures

o        Arrivals for RWY09

o        DESIGNING ARRIVALS FOR RWY09

o        Arrivals sequencing

o        Touch-and-Go

o        What about the Heavies ?

o        Making Conflicts

o       Download few Exercises

o        Strip Printing ? 

o        Perks you said ?

 

 

 

At last a Tower simulator ....!

Among the many ATC simulators we have seen ever since PCs were available, this piece of software is still leading , and leading way ahead of any other in this field !  It is the BAO (Apollo Software) Tower simulator for Aerodrome /  Tower control. BAO stands for Bruch Artwick Organisation. Bruce Artwick is a name that will be written in the software history and is non other than the designer of the Flight Simulator series ever since 1977. This software originated the MS Flight Simulator. The Tower Simulator circulated around 1993, however , around 1995 there was a deal between BAO and  Microsoft , the latter continuing the production of the Flight Simulator series. It is not known exactly what was the fate of this Tower simulator in this deal, we only know that there was something left of this BAO firm who is still its owner and that its designers did not consider any further development ever since. One may suspect that design-wise there was a possible link (?) with the Wesson company producing the TRACON-Wesson Approach simulator. This TRACON program was very popular in the end of the 80s and beginning of 90s; its syntax became a kind of a universal guideline  for PC based simulation scenarios and the syntax of the main Tower simulator files follow a very , very similar form

BAO apparently had in mind to expand this Tower Simulator because in its files there is room for a number of parameters that were not finally activated. From the exercise text one can see that this simulator could have included a large number of traffic events and conditions almost equivalent with those available on Professional Tower Simulators. The effort was, however , abandoned  and despite requests from various users , BAO was ( and is still ) simply stating that this program is no longer supported. Today it is classified by users as abandonware . However , the many friends that this software has created in some 10 years of its existence did not give up and tried to continue on their own and it is thanks to their efforts that by some minor modifications and useful solutions that this software is kept alive and active. 

 

 

Windows Compatibility

A File problem

 

In the middle of 90s the Windows 3.1 and 95 were famous and BAO Tower Simulator was made to run on them. People who tried later the Win98 version were happy to see it being compatible . I personally bought this software in Luxembourg , the kit with the disquettes and manual came from Germany and I have run it in Win3.1, 95 and 98 but this was not the case later with the NT and XP versions. This made BAO Tower simulator to become a ‘forgotten’ software from the market.  Recently I have found a site where you may still download the installation files of BAO Tower Simulator in zipped form. They definitely run 'as is ' on Win98 and Win98SE. Have a look at :

 

 

 

http://www.the-underdogs.info/game.php?id=1178

 

 

(next to TRACON version I for DOS and Windows vesrion II) 

 

 

 

I also found them at   http://www.scenery.org/atc_sims.htm  but it was reported by many that these files do not work 

 

 

 

 

There you may download 8 files that correspond to the 8 initial installation diskettes of BAO. Unzip everything on a common directory and run the setup file to install it. However : There are people who made it run in Windows XP !!! This is a fact ! After some good combined effort from the European ATCers mailing List the solution has been found. So ....  

BAO Tower Simulator runs without any problems in Windows XP 

 

provided you do 2 very easy modifications :

 

1] Update the Msvcrt20.dll file : BAO uses an older version of this file found in its root folder. But , XP users already have the updated file in their XP system ! Replace this file with the equivalent one (same name but different size) found in WinXP at C:/Windows/System32 directory . That is simply copy the C:/Windows/System32/ Msvcrt20.dll file into the root BAO Tower Simulator directory , usually something like C:\Tower. Say , yes , to the prompt to replace it. And that is all…..

 

Caution :  In case you want the old file to remain there, just in case someone wants to use it with a non-XP windows version, then first rename the older Msvcrt20.dll file to something like _ Msvcrt20.dll file (my favourite way of renaming) before you copy-replace it with the above mentioned method.

 

Then ...

 

2] Get the wing32.dll file. This may come from a friend or you may download it free from the internet at :  http://www.dll-files.com/dllindex/dll-files.shtml?wing32. In actual fact this file should be installed immediately in the XP's C:/Windows/System32 when using the SETUP.EXE from the files downloaded from the http://www.scenery.org/atc_sims.htm site. If however , for some reason this file is found omly in your root directory then you have to move it  to the  C:/Windows/System32 , that is delete it from the root directory and put in C:/Windows/System32 . Upon starting the program will check that the wing32.dll is not in the root directory but in C:/Windows/System32 . If desperate contact me. This process is explained , in italian , in http://www.tkk.it/var/tower/tower.html - I’m sure you will all understand what is says

 

A possible XP setup problem

Another problem that may occur, as detected by our friend Tim tim1261@tpg.com.au in Australia , may happen due to some refusal of XP to load 16 bits files (?) , at its present setup. So Tim was initially receiving this error message :

 

It looks to be a default setup problem. By the help of Microsoft Tim found the solution and he runs the program successfully now. The actions to be taken , according to his e-mail are the following :

  • First load your WINDOWS XP cd into the tray 
  • then go to START, then to RUN 
  • type in CMD & it will open a command box, then type in the following & pressing ENTER after each command line

It is seems to me from the above that XP was not expecting some 'older habits' of DOS and has some 'left-outs' which are recuperated with this expansion command. So with this intervention XP gets back its older 'potential' 

A big THANKS to Tim

 

 

The merits of this program 

 

It is a talking version ! Pilots will call you and read back all clearances. Phraseology is more 'American' than 'European' but this is not a problem. What is more , a fan (Tom Heaney),  dared to intervene on many files and introduced new and/or additional type names and own voice callsigns. Have a look at : http://www.ags.uci.edu/~tmheaney/SNA/Tower/howto.html

But this is mainly for fun. There are many other more serious merits to it  :

  1. Very easy direction of the eyes view by simple click-an-drag of the right mouse button anywhere . Smart and simple solution which I hope other designers would imitate. This is how you finally get a 360 view out of a flat PC screen ! 
  2. Very efficient moving camera from Tower and/or Cockpit to see anywhere in the field or around a plane
  3. Binocular view and Spotting plane function
  4. Day-night ambient lighting and shades change according to clock time. 
  5. All basic aerodrome lights visible
  6. Surface Movement Radar and Approach Radar with full controls for turns and headings 
  7. Strip bays for arrivals and departures  - there is possibility to activate your printer for strip printing if you want 
  8. Easy selection of aircraft by clicking on strip or on radar label
  9. Acceleration and deceleration of traffic movement on ground is superb . The kinematics were very well designed
  10. Acceptable traffic silhouettes and simple liveries . Modification of names and performance of the types data bank possible - but 3D graphics remain the same
  11. Easy key input of commands on air and ground ; handout on-line
  12. All dialogues appear on text form as well
  13. Easy to read and comprehend ASCII text exercise files (*.sim) - you may crate your own exercises
  14. Clock accelerated / decelerated using F10 and F9 keys. Pause key - the specific 'coffee and pretzel' button to stop running-resume
  15. Easy arrangement of the windows for strips and radar displays according to user's settings that can be saved and used as default on start (save setup)
  16. All files with data necessary for the airspace and exercises are simply ASCII texts. Use NOTEPAD or any other editor and save always in TEXT format but maintain the file extension .SIM . Those who have done many modifications with TRACON will find it even easier as the rules remain almost identical
  17. Although made for fun , yet , it may help a lot the own learning of beginner ATCOs for problem solving. Many pieces of software do have a considerable effect on students if traffic is handled in user made scenarios. In some cases even expensive simulator systems can not do better. And …the possibility of crossing runways traffic is also compatible with international basic requirements for ATCO Tower training

 

 

Screenshots 

 

Here are some pictures of the 3D graphics of aircraft in the program. There is a natural degradation of the pictures due to the JPG format :

A MD80 taxiing

A MU2 while leaving parking 1

A Challenger CL60 vacating RWY 09 

 

A nice binocular view for a parked Fokker 27 

Some 'Heavies' (DC10 and L101) moving on the apron 

 

 

 

Making random scenarios

To create random scenarios you need to choose the NEW SCENARIO from the File menu of the program and set accordingly the details of the following windows :

a) NEW SCENARIO

 

Set the Airport : (Canyon Field , or O'Hare or Washington ) , set the Traffic rate of aircraft per minute and then go to the SETUP

b) SETUP 

Here you set the Runway(s) in use under Available Runways. Strange as it may be,  you may use any runway combinations you like even the 9 and 27 both active (!) – Good God ! You may of course re-direct traffic to the one you finally want while the exercise runs.

For the exercise start time you enter a value in Time of Day : this is your only chance to set it  and will be so set for ever(!) and for all other exercises even those  created by you,  until changed by a new such setup. It can not be changed individually in each exercise

 

 

Commands

The HELP menu that works on line and therefore can be advised at any moment when running an exercise, includes a set of Commands on the Air and On The Ground. The On The Air one includes as well  heading instructions for radar and you may behave like a radar controller in the airspace around you . This practice is not true for all Tower controls but it is slowly coming into use in many areas.. You may also instruct with headings and/or relative turns and you may simulate a hold with a 'Make Right/Left 360". The latter is useful for VFR traffic waiting sequencing in the queu of IFR approaches but works with any type of traffic anyhow. You also have an 'Extend Downwind' command which you have to terminate by an 'Establish on Finals of Rwy ...' command. 

 

Making your own scenarios !

 

Here, my intention is to make you try to work out your own scenarios. May I also highlight another important aspect . The fictitious CANYON aerodrome included in it , was used by US and Canadian ATC trainers as an example for beginner ATCO Tower students. It does have quite an important training effect for those who 'play' with it and even more for those who design their own scenarios. 

For people with deep experience in TRACON, it was very tempting to start getting into the modification of the BAO Tower Simulator program files were text data are stored and try to create some ‘own’ scenarios. There is another important element , however :  one should have  time , much time to spend and experiment. Unfortunately I am not one of those fans. Yet , due to the TRACON experience and some luck I managed to identify most of the logic of the program on creating simulation scenarios ( files with *.SIM extension as with TRACON).

Like TRACON ,  BAO-Tower Simulator allows you to run scenarios created randomly by the program , then save these scenarios under your own name to run them again later. In a similar way , all you have to do is to ‘copy’ the syntax of program-made scenarios and try to apply coherent modifications. After a number of trial-and-error business here is what I could offer you : A ‘decoding’ of such a simulation file which will enable you , with some restrictions , to create your own exercises.

 

 

So here is such a *.SIM file :

 

  • I have in blue the original file text
  • with black my own notes-explanations
  • The red text highlights parameters that you should not affect
  • the bold green highlights the parameters you should modify to create your own exercise. 

 

Any such file starts with the following standard header :

  

TOWER Simulation File Version 3.8 

!!! THIS FILE IS NOT INTENDED FOR USER MODIFICATION !!!

!!! USER MODIFICATION CAN CAUSE UNPREDICTABLE BEHAVIOR !!!

 

Do not get scared . What follows in this article is enough for you to be able to ignore it. You may also completely delete this message.

Now more on the exercise information that follows :

 

[SimInfo]

Sector   CYN.SEC

Aircraft 15

Vehicles 0

Minutes  50

Seed     1107803975

SimType  NORMAL

 

 

 SIM file text                                    Meaning                                        Remark

[SimInfo]

 

Data-Block Header ; necessary for the program. The first data-block

NOT TO BE CHANGED BY THE USER

This is the only absolutely necessary data-block that has to be defined and appear first of anything else in an exercise *.SIM file

Sector   CYN.SEC

 

Sector file of geographical data where the scenario runs : CYN.SEC (The Canyon aerodrome / sector) , for example

TO BE SELCTED BY USER ACCORDING TO THE SITUATION – Please verify the existence of the sector file and put this scenario in the same folder where the data for this sector exist

Vehicles 0

 

Number of Vehicles

NOT TO BE CHANGED BY THE USER  

The present BAO Tower Sim version does not use vehicles but it was a feature intended for the full version. 

Once I had replaced 0 with 1 and for a while a car(?)  appeared outside the field running on the grass ! Then I replaced it with a 2 and an unknown PA28 did a low-pass  over my field without any radio contact; it was  not detected by the radar ! When I set a 7 the exercise refused to start ! 

Aircraft 15

 

Flights to be activated in the present scenario

THIS NUMBER MUST BE SET BY THE USER . It must be equal or less from the flight plans existing in the exercise. If more then the exercise will not load

Minutes  50

 

Exercise duration in minutes

Time duration of exercise ; should cover the activation time of the latest flight. For more than an hour you should right an integer above 60 , ex : 90 for 1h 30 min 

Seed     1107803975

 

Exercise generated number

INDIFFERENT TO USER ; the field must exist however regardless of the number .

Probably a number during the exercise creation which , as in TRACON-Wesson, regulates the randomness of selecting between the various callsigns the program uses  

SimType  NORMAL

 

 

INDIFFERENT TO USER ; the field must be there for the exercise to run.

Probably , as in TRACON, triggering  some unusual conditions if the word NORMAL is replaced by another

  

 

[Description]

 

[Objectives]

 

[Description]

 

 

Simple open text follows below this data-block to describe the exercise events

USER MAY ENTER under either his own text to store any info like exercise objectives or stored flight plans for future use. Do not use any strange symbols, though, just plane words - you never know. This text is disregarded by the exercise. In  some professional simulators this is called the 'Pedagogical File'  or the ‘Pilot Log’

 

[Objectives]

 

Simple open text follows below this data-block to describe the exercise training objectives

 

 

 

 

[Environment]

Pilots          Perfect

Emergencies     None

Equipment       Perfect

CloudConditions Clear

TstormCoverage  0

Ceiling         10200

CloudTops       11200

Visibility      11.000000

 

Below the [Environment] header the parameters are NOT TO BE CHANGED BY THE USER and have a meaning only for the special variable conditions that the program could have been configured to allow for some extra weather. Due to the resemblance to the TRACON-Wesson syntax ,  one may understand how these data could affect the run of an exercise , if supported by a fully developed program version. Any changes I tried myself did not produce any effect even for the most obvious ones. For example , when I set visibility to 3 ( miles I suppose !) I could see still beyond 5 nm. No effect with clouds either. This header and its content, however, must appear in the exercise , else the exercise will not run 

 

[WindLevels]

     0  10  100

  2000  10  100

  4000  10  100

  8000  10  100

 12000  10  115

 

Below the [WindLevels] header appear parameters for the directions and speed of the wind. THE USER MAY CHANGE THEM. The first column indicates the altitude of the wind layer, the second its speed in knots and the third its direction. The 0 altitude is the one of the GROUND WIND and SHOULD BE CONSISTENT with the Runway used. A difference of some +/- 10 degrees from the Runway direction ( here the 09 ) is fine while the 10 knots speed is very normal for simple exercises.  On the northern hemisphere the wind direction changes to the right due to the Coriolis effect by some 5 degrees every 5000 feet. Although this is not important for an aerodrome one may still insert these changes to this list without harming the exercise. This header and its content, however, must appear in the exercise , else the exercise will not run 

 

 

[StormData]

  Cells     0

 

Another data-block header apparently for a future creation of thunderstorm cells ; a feature not supported by this version. NOT TO BE CHANGED BY THE USER. Once I tried a 1 for the Cells but nothing happened. This header is optional and may be omitted without harming the exercise

  

[Waypoints]

 

A strange data-block header of unknown use. NOT TO BE CHANGED BY THE USER. This header and its content, if any, must appear in the exercise , else the exercise will not run 

 

 

[Aircraft]

 

NWA127 B727 VFR -1 a 20:01 250 4500 2200 1200 9

 VAN CYN Twr @FS

USA1679 B737 IFR -1 d 06:01 250 4498 9498 1200 9

 CYN YDU Ctr @TO @LP @GG5

                                 .......

This is the most important part for the exercise file 

TO BE MODIFIED BY THE USER

and enter flights for her/his own scenarios

 

Below the  [Aircraft] header the flight plans that are activated in the exercise scenarios are written. The following rules are important for the user :

·         Each full flight plan occupies two successive lines without any blank line in between

  • Different full flight plans however may have blank lines between them for separators. The program does not use this feature during its own scenario creation but can be so arranged by the user
  • No other character/symbol except blank lines must be used between the flight plans. NOTE : semicolons (;) may be used as separators or comment line markers at the beginning of any blank line but never at the end of a non-blank one) . Any following text after a semicolon is not considered by the program. You  may use this feature to enter your own text remarks on various parts of the exercise file. An available space for this  reason is however reserved under the [Description] and [Objectives] headers. Any text written there stays as a text information not participating in the traffic
  • Callsigns appear only once in the scenario. Else , although created, no instructions can affect any other second identical call sign ; the program is confused 

You may note that these are the very same rules with TRACON exercises

 

Here follows an explanation of the flight plan structure using the above flight plans as an example :

 

THE FLIGHT PLAN for an ARRIVAL

THIS IS THE FIRST LINE OF A FLIGHT PLAN WITH THE MAIN FLIGHT DATA - ROUTE IS NOT INCLUDED

NWA127 B727 VFR -1 a 20:01 250 4500 2200 1200 9

  

 

Item

Explanation

Note  

NWA127

Callsign , aircraft ID

If the full callsign is within the program’s VOICE files then flights will call you as such. Else it is fully omitted from the voice part but it is normally activated and appears on strips and text commands

B727

aircraft type

Using from the ones existing in the Models.ini file 

VFR

Flight rules type

Program creates always VFR types ! Not known why. You may replace it with IFR. Does not seem to have any effect  

-1

Number of unknown purpose always appearing as -1.

It probably indicates a 'subsonic' type of plane but never tried any effect with 0 or +1.  This number , however , must appear in the flight plan to make it work, else program crashes 

a

Flight Profile

As per the Wesson TRACON ‘grammar’ this letter stands for ARRIVAL , while d stands for DEPARTURE.

Note : p in TRACON stands for 'round' flights , that is departures returning later to land on the same field but this does not seem to work with this program

20:01

Minutes : seconds

to activate flight after exercise start. If say start is at 14:00 , clock shows at this time 14:20:01

For arrivals this is the time at 12 or 13 NM finals before the RWY to receive the first call from that flight. Arrivals however are created with the beginning of the exercise and may be seen on the radar even from some 50 miles away. All arrivals follow a glide slope but if not Cleared To Land will execute a missed approach at about 2 miles before the RWY and will ask for a new approach. Those flights with a Touch-and-Go into their route - see second line of flight plan - will so ask and will not accept landing. You may use more than one Touch-and-Go into a flight plan 

250

The speed of this aircraft while approaching.

Unknown whether this affects really the aircraft performance as defined by the program; most probably not. Displayed rather as simple info

4500

Altitude

At which aircraft starts its intermediate approach

2200

Altitude

At which aircraft starts its final approach

1200

SSR code for aircraft

Since BAO's default flights are American VFR it is natural to get only 1200 as a SSR squawk (usually 7000 in Europe). Does not seem to have any other effect if you change it

9

Runway 09

The Runway the flight will arrive to  

 

THIS IS THE SECOND LINE OF A FLIGHT : THE ROUTE

 

 

VAN CYN Twr @FS

 

VAN CYN

 

The route (waypoints)

VAN , CYN are beacons / positions in the geographical data base of the program , defining the track and direction used for this flight on approach before establishing to the final track. Note : unimportant to the Tower Control as flights will call only when already established on finals and not before

 

Twr

Tower

The unit to which the flight will talk to on first contact

@FS

@=Cleared , FS=Full-stop

The @FS is the necessary end for all traffic that will finally land and will then go to a parking position  for a Full Stop

Note :

@TG = Cleared for Touch-and-Go

@LA = Cleared for Low Approach

 

THE FLIGHT PLAN for a DEPARTURE

 

USA1679 B737 IFR -1 d 06:01 250 4498 9498 1200 14

 CYN YDU Ctr @TO @LP @GG5

 

 

USA1679

…as with arrivals above…

 

B737

…as with arrivals above…

 

IFR

…as with arrivals above…

 

-1

…as with arrivals above…

   

d

Flight Profile   - departure

‘d’ , stands for Departure

06:01

Minutes : seconds

to activate flight after exercise start. If say start is at 14:00 , clock shows at this time 14:06:01

For departures this time equals to the ‘push-back’ time or simply start moving on the parking about 2 minutes before asking for taxing instructions.

Departures do not appear all at once  in the beginning of an exercise ; it depends on the time of the activation and the space on the parking

4498

Altitude

Where a flight climbs at about 5 NM after take-Off

9498

Altitude

Where a flight climbs at about 13 NM after take-Off

1200

…as with arrivals above…  

 

9

Runway

Expected for departure rwy - but this may be modified according to the clearance of the user while running the exercise

 

CYN YDU

Route after departure from CYN(Canyon) to YDU point

   

Ctr

Ctr= Control Unit. A symbol for a handover to the next ATC unit after departure

In this case it is always the Departure Radar 

@TO

Cleared for Take-Off

A necessary item for all departures else they will not comply with a take-off clearance !  

@LP

Cleared for the next way points after departure

Equivalent to contact next unit. If this is omitted the flight can not be handed over to departure radar

 

@GG5

 

The MAIN parking stand or ‘gate’

 

Parking position on MAIN parking - only. After the @GG you may put a number from 1 to 9 for the Gates 1 to 9. If omitted or even if a gate is already occupied , the program allocates random parking positions on the MAIN. This allocation has no effect on the other aprons which you can not control.

 

 

Note : Any other field that may follow below is to be left empty. Again this is an area for features not included in the present version but were meant for another future more developed one. These headers are optional and may be omitted without harming the exercise

So : 

After your own new exercise file is saved with the extension *.sim necessarily ( eg : myexe1.sim) you then start BAO and choose from the File menu : Practice scenario by selecting the myexe1.sim on the proper window 

 

 

Aircraft types existing in this program

BAO features some 40 different aircraft types with performance data and 3D liveries. The company colors are resembling mostly the AAL (American Airlines) red-blue fuselage  strips ( ex : DC9 , MD80 etc) and the big airliners the colors of DAL (Delta Airlines) like the B747 and the MD11. The rest of the liveries give an all-white or all-grey impression with some simple variations , like a Cessna 150 with red stripes on the fuselage .

You may use only from these types to create your own scenarios.

The use of their type indicator is explained below :   

Below in this list are aircraft types used for sport and executive flights called with their type names !  So if , say , there is a C150 flying with a callsign like N28927 , the voice of the pilot will call you as : “Cessna 927”. A very American style for radio talking but a very useful one for controllers dealing with many light types as it helps identification and mental planning.

 

This is a list of these types and their names as used vocally in callsigns

  

Type

Calls on the voice as …

Type

Calls on the voice as …

C182

Sky Lane

C150

Cessna

BE52

Sundowner

BE58

Baron

C208

Caravan

C310

Twin Cessna

C172

Sky Hawk

C411

   >>

PA28

Archer

PA32

Arrow

BE20

Super King-Air

BE90

King-Air

MU2

Mitsubishi

CL60

Challenger

C500

Citation

LR35

Learjet

C550

   >>

F18

Hornet

 

Types not used in callsigns , reserved for commercial flights mainly. Note the differences with present ICAO type designators used

 

BAO

Type

 

Newer ICAO Type

Designator

BAO

Type

 

Newer ICAO Type

Designator

BATP

same

B707

B702

AT42

same

MD8

MD80

AT72

same

C130

same

DC9

same

CP14

P3C

EA32

A320

SH36

same

FK10

F100

B727

B722

B737

B732

B747

B744

B757

B752

L101

same

L100

same

FK27

F27

BA46

same

BE02

BE20 ?

DH6

DHC6

DH8

DHC8

DC10

same

 

 

For our Military colleagues these types may be of equal value. Firstly because civil traffic appears often in military aerodromes together with military types. Secondly because many of these types are used with military traffic. In BAO Tower Simulator , the F18 can fairly represent a standard modern fighter while the C130 and its equivalent civil L100 ,B707, L101,DC10,DC9 and the CP14 (known as P3C) are currently used with their military versions. The C150,C172 and the BE20 are trainer types for both civil and military pilots , while the FK10 resembles fairly a medium sized jet used as military commuter (ex : the Embraer 135)

 

Renaming older and emulating 'new' aircraft types

 

Thanks to the work of Team Heaney  at least a method to rename and/or create 'new' from older type names becomes rather easy. So far I renamed the EA32 to A320 , MD8 to MD80 ,B727 to B722 and B737 to B734. But renaming produces a secondary problem : the program does not create random exercises for types whose names have been changed. This is why you should add the new re-named types without deleting the older ones to be used when running randomly created scenarios

All in all you'll need to intervene to 5 program files. What you do at the very end is to copy the data of existing types and paste them with other names. So , you'll never be able to change the 3D graphics, say for a B707 , but you can use the copy-pasted data of a B707 to create an similar type with a different name, like say its military equivalent , the C135. Tom Heaney did it with the A342 (A340-200). You may do it easily with the FK27 to become say a F50 or the DC9 to become a B717 or a B727 to become a T154. The silhouettes remain the same. You may also intervene to change some performance data influencing acceleration , deceleration , taxiing speed parameters and the like.

 

Please first save copies of the files to be changed , just in case ...and by that I mean ...always. Use the CONTROL key + Mouse Right click and drag the files , that will be changed, to create the 'Copy of ...' files . Later  you'll only have to rename them and delete this 'Copy of ' part in the file name . Another good idea  idea is to make a copy of the entire original Tower folder

 

So , is the methodology : 

 

1] Select the Wordpad as your file editor. Although any ASCII editor will do ,some files are too big for Notepad. As for Word, it is confused by the extension *.PRF used also by Windows 95 and higher( BAO Tower was designed for Win3.1, remember )

2] Go to the \Tower\Graphics\Models folder and locate files with the *.DBT extension. These are files that keep the 3D representations of your aircraft. Decide which type you'll use to copy. Say we will copy the B707 and create with its files the A342. OK ! 

·         Use the CONTROL key + Mouse Right click + Drag to create a 'Copy of B707.dbt' 

·         Rename this file to A324.dbt

3] In the same directory open the Models.ini file. There you'll see following text :

[ACTypes]

Count=44

ACType01=AT42.DBT

ACType02=AT72.DBT

ACType03=B707.DBT

ACType04=B727.DBT

ACType05=B737.DBT.................. etc

Copy the line ACType03=B707.DBT and paste it at the bottom of this list that will then look like this :

 

ACType41=MU2.DBT

ACType42=PA28.DBT

ACType43=PA32.DBT

ACType44=SH36.DBT

ACType03=B707.DBT

  • Change on this last new line the ACType03 to ACType45, increasing the number of the types in the list by 1 - see the last type, it  carries the number 44 , in the line ACType44=SH36.DBT. This 44 will increase by 1 to become 45 in the next line. 
  • In the same line change the text B707 to read A324

This last line will thus become : ACType45=A342.DBT

Now return to the start of the file to change the line of the counter to read this extra line. You'll have to change the second line from Count=44 to read Count=45

Save the file and exit. That ensures so far that 

  • the program will recognize the type A342 
  • it will use the graphics for the B707 to display it. 

3] The next step is to go to the folder where your aerodrome files exist , the Tower\Cyn for Canyon in our case. You’ll change 3 files for the types used in that area. Note that by keeping older types and adding new ones for some aerodromes only will not affect program's functioning in any of them. But if you insist that these tyoes appear in every area then you’ll have to repeat it for each one of them in each different aerodorme folder. So here we focus on the files in CYN (Canyon) aerodrome folder :

a) Tower\Cyn\Cyn.prf     b) Tower\Cyn\Cyn.inf and c) Tower\Cyn\Cyn.typ

In all these files no counter has to be increased , you'll only add the data for the new type by copy-pasting the block of data corresponding to the initial type and renaming only the type name and nothing else in the beginning of each data block Do not omit the blank line that separates two different types

For example here is the case with a short block in the Cyn.typ file. Locate the block for the B707 ( Use the 'Find' tool ) 

It looks as :

.................

Type: B707 Equip_Type: A

Type_Name: Boeing Civ_Mil: c

Voice_Offset: 0 Callsign_Prefix: XXX

Fixed_Gear: FALSE

...........................

Copy and Paste below this block its copy and rename on this second block the B707 to A324. The two blocks will then appear like this : 

.................

Type: B707    Equip_Type: A

Type_Name: Boeing Civ_Mil: c

Voice_Offset: 0 Callsign_Prefix: XXX

Fixed_Gear: FALSE

 

Type: A324 Equip_Type: A

Type_Name: Boeing Civ_Mil: c

Voice_Offset: 0 Callsign_Prefix: XXX

Fixed_Gear: FALSE

.................

 

I highlight in red the change. 

Note : if you want to avoid a type conflict when creating random scenarios pay attention , not to change the bottom area of a *.typ file where an association is made with company names and types used. This part of the file is unimportant to you , it is only used by the random traffic generator inside the program that uses anyhow its original types only. 

Save and exit the file. 

You so repeat the same with the other 2 files , the contents are different but the action is the same. Note : in Cyn.inf file you've better keep the same case letter - not sure why some are in small and others in capital. Save and exit all the files

Now , after these interventions, Canyon will accept this 'new' type A324 with the graphics of a B707

 

 

I did the same with a number of other types. The original Boeing B737 can stand well for a B733,B73 and B735. The original FK10 , DC9 can resemble almost any small rear bi-motor jet like the B717 , the E145 etc. while the FK27 can easily become a F50 , to mention some examples only. What is more you may keep both 'new' and 'old' types in the program without any file conflict  and random scenarios can be created without any problem although BAO will use the 'old' types only for these scenarios but will never 'complain' for you using the new ones. Be careful to notice that if you want to run exercise with the 'new' types then all these 5 files updated as such will have to be present always in the proper folders. You can not use exercises you created with 'new' types in another BAO Tower program with the older files that do not include these new types. So if you want a friend to run your exercises it will not be sufficient to exchange  the *.sim files , she/he will have to proceed to the same modifications if new types are to be used , else there is no problem - keep it in mind to avoid surprises especially if many people around try various changes. Or …just convert to the original types that are good for all users of the BAO Tower

 

 

Intrinsic Weaknesses

 

 I have to warn the user to be aware of some features you can not handle easily with this program :

1] Non separation of incoming randomly generated arrivals :

On program generated scenarios the arriving traffic is very randomly created and arrivals are not always separated from the previous unit ( Approach) . Very fast planes may often catch-up with the preceding slower ones. At least , while you run the exercise, you may select planes from the menu and DELETE them. As for the runway vacation the rule followed is the classic one : 'one runway , one aircraft '. Another possibility is to save this scenario and then get into the text of the saved SIM file and change the activation times to provide more spacing for the second run. Advice : Jet flights should be separated by just a 2 minutes interval to allow for successive landings. Some 5 minutes separation is better with faster-slower combinations. There is no problem for departures as the user decides when they can take-off . You may watch as well that aircraft of different weight will full-stop at  a different runway exit point. Very Correct. The weight however is to be found only within the performance files .I have 'worked' on 3 of them to make them 'heavy-and-loaded' , the MD11, the B747 and the B707.

2] Undetermined parking positions :

The parking positions to where the arrivals are going are unknown or ...'conditionally' determined 

In Canyon I have found that in random scenarios :

1.       The MAIN parking is automatically used for all commercial jet types like MD8 , B737, EA32  ...

2.       The ‘SIGNATURE’ parkings are used by light aircraft (eg : PA28,C172) , executive jets (eg : C550, LR35 ) and cargo planes (eg : L100 )

3.       If the flight, however,  belongs to a known commercial company to the simulator , like AAL,UAL,DAL etc …the program will choose for these flights the MAIN parking, despite a smaller size for the aircraft. So you may have say a FK27 or AT72 for AAL but if you use a FK27 of an unknown company to the program , like KLM , this plane will start , 100% I bet you, from a 'signature' !  

For the departures you may , however , locate the parking position if you select from the menu  the 3D View then Spot Plane options and have a look around by rolling your mouse

In your own scenarios you can control both the arrival and departure parking position or Gate by using the following :

1.    Use the second line of a flight plan that corresponds to the routing

2.    Between the :  Ctr .... @TO in departures and  TWR .... @FS for the arrivals insert the Gate-name , G1...G9 preceded by the @G. So, it will be ,say, a @GG2 for the second gate 

3.    Then use a 'big' American company name for the call sign

like , say : 

Departure :     COA231 B737 IFR -1 d 02:30  250 4498 9498 1200 9

                        CYN CLAWS Ctr @GG2 @TO @LP 

Arrival :         AAL221 B727 IFR -1 a 01:30  250 3600 1500 1200 9

                          VAN CYN TWR @GG2 @FS

In doing so you control the parking position towards the , MAIN only , apron provided you accept that even a Piper plane must have a call sign that belongs to a big American company, like COA, AAL etc. It is almost certain that internally the program allocates parkings in relation to company names 

 3] Incompatible taxing with parkings

If one arrival is cleared to taxi to parking and just because this parking is not determined it might be that taxing will take an unexpected course and produce an unexpected Runway crossing. It may also block entirely another taxing flight coming out of that same parking. The two planes will then just stop , facing each other without moving at all. You'll have to delete one of them , the arrival most probably. Portions of a Runway can not be used for taxing and any other 'smart' command like a 'back track' does not exist in the command menu

4] Random callsigns

If using random callsigns it seems that no more than 10 departures can be activated although I never detected a limit for the arrivals. This is not the case , however , if you use callsigns that are known to the program's data base. It might be that the parking space limits some departures because BAO takes into account some statistics about companies from a particular aerodrome. 

5] Some erroneous messages or commands

·       At times pilots on departure report a 'Request turn out of Traffic' . The exact 'separation rules' after take-off are not always obvious. It is believed that this is a left-over from a developed version that was never to be and smells of radar separation. In any case this has no other effect on the exercise and you may disregard such a message

·       Although the principle 'One Runway , one aircraft' is properly used by the program , it will never understand why a departing traffic is doing a circuit and then lands back on the field. A Runway separation message is reported considering a flight in conflict with ...itself !!  This is however a bit natural for this program that did not suspect that some people will intervene that much as to create training VFR flights out of a simple departure. You may use this arrangement to create a fictitious emergency for a departure returning with some failure if you wish , a thing that will not work with a pure departure. This problem will not appear however with an arrival that does some ‘touch-and-go’s, because landing at the end is the 'only' natural thing for an arrival ...according to  BAO

·       The 'Hold Short of Runway' command does not work effectively. Aircraft do not really stop clear from the Runway. You may disregard this command for ever and use instead the more effective 'Hold Position' (on the ground) and then the 'Taxi Continue' to terminate the previous situation. This 'Hold Position' command works well everywhere on ground and has an immediate effect

·       The instruction of 'Line-Up and wait' corresponds here to the BAO command 'Taxi and hold' . It has the same effect but as a piece of phraseology is not a 'good example' for students. 

·       There is always a consideration for 2 minutes spacing due to wake turbulence behind a Heavy. No problem here except that planes have to be listed as [Heavy] in the performance file if you want BAO to produce a message for this wake turbulence 2 minutes violation. For those who want to ignore this detail , one may as well move all these types under the [Medium] category in the performance files. Then all such types may be used and program does not bother to demand the 2 minutes separation 

·       There is a scoring function in the program. It is there for fun. Not all actions are properly scored, however. It is not real-life here but you may occasionally get a number of perks

6] Maximum exercise time duration

When running an exercise with known American callsigns any duration is possible. When using other 'European' or unknown callsigns, the program stops when the 10th departure is activated with the following message :

Arrivals are not limited however. 

 

 

 If anyone has discovered more and would like to share it with us all , please contact me 


EXERCISES IN CANYON AERODROME


This 'chapter' is an attempt to provide hints and tips to those who will try to create their own scenarios and I have chosen the CANYON (CYN) aerodrome for its generic character. I provide you with a map I have made and portrays all the necessary data although you may discuss some of the details and their purpose. At first I will restrict myself to operations on Runway 09 alone



The points to note are the following :

Parkings and Taxiways

The MAIN parking is found closer to the 09. The other 2 parkings called 'signatures' are not differentiated by the program. So I have named them as Signature 1 and 2 or East and North according to the Canadian colleagues . The 1 is most often used for light planes and executive jets.

The taxiway parallel to the 09/27 is the Taxiway A. The taxiways E end F are used for the RWY 09 vacation , the E by almost all jet and turboprop planes , the F by few larger jets like the B727 and MD8 while the really big ones (L101 , B707)  will exit from the end of the 09. The D is rarely used except by some light planes like the C150 if after landing goes to park at the 'Signature 2' . Watch this one : It will block the movements on the A and will cross the RWY09 while turning left to continue for this parking. Same for departures from 'Signature 2' . The taxiway parallel to the runway 14/32 is the TWY B. 

'Signature 1' is often used by planes like AT42, CL60 and LR35. They will create  taxi conflicts with planes vacating RWY09 on their departure but what is worse , they may totally block TWY A when as arrivals they move to this parking while other arrivals vacate RWY09 to taxi to MAIN. This is a most welcome feature to design ground traffic but if failed to provide separation aircraft will simply block each other and will never move unless you DELETE one of them to make way for the other. Remember : To delete, you must select the callsign on the strip with your LEFT mouse button while to pass instructions , you use the RIGHT. Do not mix them up or you'll delete somebody else ! 

A top view - available from the menu selection 'Spot Plane' for a traffic (United B767) that goes around ,on RWY 09

The only parking positions or 'gates' you may control in the flight plan with departures are found on the MAIN parking according to the diagram below :

 

In the flight plan they are put on the second line for the 'route' and they work only with departures of known airline callsigns. They are preceded by the @GG and a number from 1 to 9. Big planes like the B747 occupy 2 such positions. All flights will back track from these gates and they will run on the middle axis up to the end point to the left where they will ask for taxiing before entering Taxiway A. 

 Note : Ground traffic becomes much more complicated with RWY27 active !

 

Timings

The taxing times are highlighted with yellow numbers over the red lines indicating the taxing tracks on the diagram above :

 

From MAIN to Holding of RWY09

2 to 2,5 minutes

From Signature 1 to Holding of RWY09

5 to 5,5 minutes

Vacating RWY09 via E to MAIN

2 minutes

Vacating RWY09 via F to MAIN 

3 minutes

Vacating RWY09 via E to Signature 1

2 minutes (Note : for small jets, turboprop and lighter planes)

Vacating RWY09 via F to Signature 1

1 minutes (Note : for small jets, turboprop and lighter planes)

 

Departures from RWY09

Departures on a parking will call 2 minutes after the activation time in the flight plan for taxi clearance.  In MAIN you'll see them moving away from their parking position and stand to a fixed position in front of the tower. Take note of this time when you decide the time in your flight plan 

Departures entering RWY09 take roughly 1 minute to take-off considering they will cross all the runway length - on it or just above it . The next direction to take is defined by 3 points in CANYON sector file for the 09 operations. The point YDU ( for Durval Montreal ) found to the North/NorthEast , the YLK ( for Lake River )  found East and the CLAWS intersection South of the Canyon. If there is need to create diverging tracks just after departure you may include on the departure route after the CYN point the YDU, YLK , or CLAWS correspondingly and before the standard Ctr @TO @LP for every departure 

Example : CYN YDU Ctr @TO @LP to follow after departure a north direction or CYN CLAWS Ctr @TO @LP for a southern direction

 

DESIGNING DEPARTURES FOR RWY09

Now let us remember from above the proper syntax to create the following flight : We want the AAL211 , B727 , to be ready for a take-off clearance at time 05 min and 30 seconds after the exercise start time and then proceed to YDU .  The callsign and the type are filled in on the first line, as :

AAL211    B727 

then BAO inserts the IFR or VFR word , followed by a blank and the -1 and the small letter d for a departure :

So this will be so far : AAL211    B727  IFR   -1    d         (Note : IFR or VFR makes no difference to the program)

Then the time of activation must be calculated. Since 2 minutes are necessary from activation to the request of taxing and another 2 from MAIN parking to the Hold of the 09 , then we must start our flight at (5 m 30 s) - 4 m = 1 m 30 s 

So this will be so far : AAL211    B727  IFR   -1    d  01:30 

The next part is related with the performance the plane will have but this is actually regulated from the performance file and not what you put in it . All you have to do is simply fill in data similar to those created in standard BAO example files . For the B727 as with any jet the speed in the TMA is 250 and they climb initially to some 5000 feet and then to some 10000 feet away from the aerodrome. I just copied the data from one scenario created by BAO, and they were   :  4498 9498 (Note : putting other approximate values like 5000 10000 will not affect the exercise ) 

So this will be so far : AAL211 B727 IFR -1 d 01:30  250 4498 9498

Then the SSR code is inserted and the RWY to be used. The SSR code is by default the 1200 but any  other will not have any effect while the RWY is off course the 09 , we write only 9 , although the final decision for the Runway to be used stays with the controller when running the exercise . So we add 'harmlessly' 1200 9 

So this will be so far : AAL211 B727 IFR -1 d 01:30  250 4498 9498 1200 9

Here is the end of the first line and we start immediately below without any blank in between the route line : as from above , we first write the aerodrome CYN then the final route point , say YDU , followed as with all departures by Ctr @TO @LP 

 So here is the entire flight plan for this departure : 

AAL211 B727 IFR -1 d 01:30  250 4498 9498 1200 9

CYN YDU Ctr @TO @LP  

 

To create , say a second one , following just 1 minute behind going to CLAWS you just copy-paste the above and you change 

a) the callsign and the type : let it be COA231 , a B737 , then 

b) you modify the time and the destination point . So this will become : 

COA231 B737 IFR -1 d 02:30  250 4498 9498 1200 9

CYN CLAWS Ctr @TO @LP  

with red I highlight the only 2 changes in time and destination point 

Off course you did not define the parking where they start , as BAO does not include it in the flight plan but all commercial companies start at MAIN - I tell you. There is another element BAO will not simulate as well with departures: The Release from the Approach/Radar unit. Well this is somewhat justified here as the Tower seems to have a Radar Endorsement. By this term in Europe we mean that the Tower Controller can use the radar to provide spacing and therefore the Approach unit should not bother for the initial separation of departures. At present , though , many European units are not using this feature very often despite the radar information being available. My personal view is that the Americans are correct in offering this possibility to the Tower Control.  

Returning Departures

The last part of the route Ctr @TO @LP makes necessary for a departure to be handed over to the next unit ; however I did not see any effect if you do not tell the pilot to change frequency - except maybe with your 'scoring'. There is practically no other command you may give after take-off to a departure unless you change the route text and add the landing command  @FS for full-stop at the end of its previous route  So if a departure route becomes CYN CLAWS Ctr @TO @LP  @FS , the flight may still be given instructions after a departure , like 'Enter Left Downwind of RWY 9' , then 'Enter Finals of RWY 9' and finally 'Clear to Land' . B U T .....the program is not made to be prepared for that and considers the same departure occupying as arrival the runway at the same time ! A Separation Error message appears that you may ignore of course , however , the usual thing to happen right after is a program crash ! So I would not recommend this feature at all 

 

Arrivals for RWY09

The arrivals will anyway appear already established on 12-13 nm finals irrespective from the direction they arrive from. They do the first 6 nm at a speed of about 250 kt for jet/turboprop and some 120 for the propellers then they drop to some 170 and 90 correspondingly. You may consider some 4 and 6 minutes correspondingly between the time they first appear until landing. 

Remember again that the Runway in use , as decided in the flight plan is enough to control on what finals arrivals appear but while running the exercise you may change this. You may use this feature to create scenarios where VFRs approach from somewhere else and have to be slotted behind the IFRs of 09. You may thus create arrivals for RWY 14/32 and then turn them ( with or without some holding ) to a downwind of 09 until instructed to 'Enters Finals of 09' and later 'Cleared to Land' . 

 

DESIGNING ARRIVALS FOR RWY09

 

An arrival is a bit easier to arrange in that you have to calculate its activation time at 12 nm Final to be some 5 minutes before the time expected on Touchdown. The first line of an arrival can be almost identical to that of a departure except that this letter d changes to a and the altitudes change sequence. So here is the same first line of a previous departures converted to an arrival :

Departure :     AAL211 B727 IFR -1 d 01:30  250 4498 9498 1200 9

Arrival :        AAL211 B727 IFR -1 a 01:30  250 9498 4498 1200 9

B U T ...considering reality these two altitudes correspond to the those expected at 12 and then at 5 nm on final approach so I would expect something lower . A rule of thumb suggests : ALTITUDE ON FINAL  = 3 X (DISTANCE IN NM) feet.  You've better change these almost 10000 and 5000 feet to some 3600 and 1500 feet ; it works fine ! 

So the arrival first line will now become :     AAL211 B727 IFR -1 a 01:30  250 3600 1500 1200 9

As for the second line things are even easier : You need to mention a point it is coming from , like say VAN found exactly south Canyon or any other like YDU, YLK , CLAWS but this will have no effect on the position on finals. You may see them on radar of course while they go to the finals of 09 but you can not affect this period anyhow. Actually it hardly matters for you and this is why VAN is the default selection for all arrivals for 09. The rest of the line is by default the CYN TWR @FS for Canyon field then to Tower and expect to be Cleared for Full-stop. In short : All arrivals for RWY09 may have the very same route line : VAN CYN TWR @FS

And this is then our arrival flight plan , made to appear at 12 nm Finals on 01:30 ( Note : we left the same time and therefore it is  expected on Touchdown around 5 minutes later , at about 06:00 to 06:30, I'd say ) :

 AAL211 B727 IFR -1 a 01:30  250 3600 1500 1200 9

VAN CYN TWR @FS

 

Arrivals sequencing :

Now use your 'Copy-Paste' logic : What do you need to change for another such arrival flight , apart from callsign and maybe type of aircraft ? Answer : The activation time only ! This is simple enough except that you should care for spacing since it is the flight plan and not the previous unit that controls this.  How many minutes to put between successive flights to avoid you starting giving radar headings to avoid conflicts on finals ? 

2 min minimum spacing seems OK for totally successive landings of jets and turboprops while I'd say you need some 4-5  minutes with a jet 'chasing' a slower type. If you consider Wake Turbulence ( explanations follow later on this ) then add another 2 minutes additional spacing. So how a flight would look like coming just 2 minutes behind AAL211 , with a callsign of UAL337 and type B737 ?

Here are both of them , the only difference been activation time :

AAL211 B727 IFR -1 a 01:30  250 3600 1500 1200 9

VAN CYN TWR @FS

UAL337 B737 IFR -1 a 03:30  250 3600 1500 1200 9

VAN CYN TWR @FS

 

It is so easy as that ....

 

And here is a full text for this exercise with the above 4 created flight plans for 2 arrivals and 2 departures. You may use this text in the notepad and then save it under the name , say : myownexe.sim , in the CYN directory for Canyon and run it . Careful : This 'old' version recognizes only file names with up to 8 characters ( ...inherited from the good old days of DOS ...)

Here you have it :

TOWER Simulation File Version 3.8


[SimInfo]
Sector CYN.SEC
Aircraft 4
Vehicles 0
Minutes 20
Seed 1111142424
SimType NORMAL

[Description]

Canyon RWY09 IFR moderate traffic
4 acft/10 min

2 arrivals , 2 departures

[Objectives]

Runway spacing


[Environment]
Pilots Perfect
Emergencies None
Equipment Perfect
CloudConditions Clear
TstormCoverage 0
Ceiling 10200
CloudTops 11200
Visibility 11.000000

[WindLevels]
0 05 090
2000 10 090
4000 10 095
8000 10 095
12000 10 100

[Waypoints]

[Aircraft]

AAL211 B727 IFR -1 d 01:30  250 4498 9498 1200 9

CYN YDU Ctr @TO @LP  

COA231 B737 IFR -1 d 02:30  250 4498 9498 1200 9

CYN CLAWS Ctr @TO @LP 

 

AAL221 B727 IFR -1 a 01:30  250 3600 1500 1200 9

VAN CYN TWR @FS

UAL337 B737 IFR -1 a 03:30  250 3600 1500 1200 9

VAN CYN TWR @FS


Check with red :

1) the 4 I have modified after Aircraft under the [SimInfo] for 4 flights in scenario 

2) that I changed the arrival AAL211 to AAL221 to avoid having any callsign repeated in the exercise

also note that :

3) there are no blank lines left between the lines of the same flight plan BUT I can have blanks between different flight plans and I have put one to separate the text between arrivals and departures , for my eyes that is 

4) I have put some text below the [Description] and [Objectives] headers to remember some things about the exercise content and aim ( A very short text at the moment as this is simply an example ) 

5) The sequence you put flight plans in the exercise is irrelevant to activation time and you may group them the way you want 

6) The callsign we use are your own callsigns , the difference is that if not from the ones known to the program you'll not hear them on the voice communication but all the rest like strips and text dialogues work fine. 

Touch-and-Go :

It is very easy to have as many Touch-and-Go you want provided you insert an equal number of the @TG command before the @FS command in the flight plan route of an arrival. For example the flight plan :

N12372 C150 VIFR -1 a 03:30  250 3600 1500 1200 9

VAN CYN TWR @TG @TG @FS 

will execute 2 Touch-and-Go before landing. Pilots will report 'On the Go' awaiting for further instruction. You may send them to a downwind leg , ask them to proceed to a final of some RWY or guide them with radar vectors to some points around. Once a @TG is found in the route the aircraft will not accept any other option. The same is true for a 'Low Approach' by the route-command @LA . It is simple as that . You need however to consider the time needed for such a flight into your area. For a C150 you may calculate 5-6 minutes for one circle plus 1-2 minutes for the runway - not a good idea on a busy day with many other IFR expected.  You may however delay its landing by using turns and downwind extensions. There are no positions to guide your traffic to 'Hold' but you may use the 'Make Right/Left 360' command which means they'll hold at present position

 

What about the Heavies ?

BAO will identify a Wake Turbulence problem using the rule for 2 minutes separation for any Take-off / Landing behind a 'Heavy'. For some reason though the B707, B757,B767, DC10 and the L101 are not classified as Heavies in the original Canyon (CYN) folder. You need to have a B747 and a MD11 for that but as the runway length requested is not appropriate for Canyon such types will never accept to land. You have to 'trick' the performance files to do it. So here is what to do :

1] We will change 2 files in Canyon the CYN.TYP and the CYN.PRF .In both these files there is a header [Heavy] below which the 'Heavies' have to be written. Initially this one is empty in Canyon

2] For those types already included in these files the B707,B757,DC10 and L101 are initially written below the header [Airline] , like any other normal Medium jet. Copy , Cut and Paste all the data block for these types under the header [Heavy] in both files

3] In each [Heavy] header copy and paste the block for the L101 twice. Then simply rename the title in the beginning of these copied blocks from L101 to B747 and MD11. Repeat the same in both files

From now on the program will recognize all these types as heavies. When running an exercise note that an H/ is written in front of each one of these types on the strips , like : H/B707 , H/B747 etc. Now the program will check that you provide 2 minutes separation on the use of a runway after such a 'Heavy'. Pay attention that your arrivals behind a Heavy keep a reasonably good separation when you design the exercise, like say 3 minutes behind a Heavy or some 10 nm on final to avoid any problems and 'accept' that there is such a 'letter-of-agreement' with the Approach/Radar unit. For the departures there is no such need as you will decide when they can take-off behind a Heavy. 

 

Making Conflicts 

Conflicts need definitely some rules - and there is a variety around. Once however you have a set of separations then what is left is the technique of time positioning of flight plans. Let us put few there for example :

1. No departure clearance if approaching arrival is less than 5 nm from Touchdown

2. No departure clearance if arrival has not completely vacated the Runway and is asking for taxi clearance

3. No Taxi clearance in front of another using the same Taxi on same direction and not 1 Km ( about a 1/3 of Runway length) at least , between them

4. Arrivals of similar approach speed need 5 nm separation in track while on final , else 10 nm

5. Landing behind a Heavy , that is the B707,DC10,L101,B747,B757,B767 and the MD11 , is allowed if there is separation of  8 nm with succeeding jet/turboprop or 12 nm if it is a light behind

6. Taking-off behind a Heavy that previously used the RWY requires a delay of 2 minutes for a jet/turboprop and 3 for a light

7. No departure clearance in case of missed approach, low passing or going around traffic turning for a downwind , until this traffic reports (... is established) on  downwind 

You may argue for the details but this is not the point. At least we can create some conflicts now !  

 

Say you want to create traffic situation based on rules No 2 and 4 . There are 3 successive jet landings separated by 2 minutes between them and 3 departures that are not allowed to use the runway while arrivals use it . That's easy isn't it ? 

Just create 3 arrivals spaced with 2 minutes time and have 3 departures activated closely together. Since the first arrival should block at least the first departure and since it will take 5 minutes to arrive on the runway while the departure needs again 4 minutes between push-back and runway , you may use same arrival and departure times in the flight plan using the MAIN parking and jets to have one arrival almost landing ( 2 nm before touchdown about ) the moment a departure arrives in front of RWY 09. 

 

So what about this scenario : 

;Arrivals

DAL134 B727 IFR -1 a 01:00 250 3800 1500 1200  9
VAN CYN TWR @FS
AAL101 B737 IFR -1 a 03:01 250 3800 1500 1200 9
VAN CYN TWR @FS
N1777 CL60 IFR -1 a 05:11 350 3800 1500 1200 9
VAN CYN TWR @FS

;Departures

FDX404 B727 IFR -1 d 01:01 250 3499 7999 1200 9
CYN YDU CTR @TO @LP 
NWA140 DC9  IFR -1 d 01:21 250 4498 8498 1200 9
CYN YLK CTR @TO @LP 
NWA198 B727 IFR -1 d 02:41 250 2999 7999 1200 9
CYN YMC CTR @TO @LP 

Note : Did you notice the use of a semicolon in the beginning of a blank line to mark my own comments for Arrivals and Departures ?

In case you are afraid that during the exercise run you or your 'student' will not react on time and clearances will come with some delay , enough to create a problem with the successive arrivals , you may improve the spacing between them adding another 30-40 seconds. I would have so modified their spacing by assigning 01:00 , 03:40 and 06:20 for the arrival times without destroying the departures pilling up on the taxiway before the beginning of RWY 09. Eventually the airborne times for your departures will be ( the way I ran it ) :

FDX404    12:45 , NWA140     14:10 , NWA198    15:16

So successive jet departures have some 1 m 30 s between them - fair enough. As for the 'delay' between push-back and take-off ...well , this is around some 11-12 minutes for the busy days : very close to what is actually happening daily . Quite convincing , wouldn't you say ? 

What we had so far was a kind of a traffic 'peak' for the first 15 minutes. If you want to repeat with a similar ( ...maybe identical ?) traffic situation say between minutes 20 and 35 ( ...allowing a break in between ) you use your valuable Copy-Paste technique for all this block of flights and all you have to do is simply change the callsigns and offset all times by 20 minutes. As for the types you may leave them 'as is' but having some 'replacements' by equivalent types will give a 'different' character to this piece. So just go for some DC9,B737 ,EA32 or MD8 instead of B727 this time. Hey ...do not forget to change the number of aircraft to 12 below the [SimInfo] header !! You may now run it and enjoy it. It is a piece of cake ! Imagination is your only limit.  

Download few Exercises

Here you may download few exercises in the CANYON field. You'll have to unzip those files within the CYN folder for the Canyon aerodrome. I have created them using the above principles but  I have abandoned  on purpose many modifications I have made to my types of aircraft in this area so that all the users with the very standard files can run them.  Just double click on this  TWR_Exercises.zip file. You may edit them with any text editor , preferably the Notepad and read under the [Description] header to get an overview and some objectives . If any problem is found call me for help . A possible area of problem could be an aircraft type not recognized or some 'Heavies' that are not normally allowed in Canyon - but which I have modified to be able to fly there. The B707 is a heavy type usually allowed in Canyon but not a B747 or MD11 . If this is the case convert them to B707s using the editor 

In case of crossing runways you are warned that due to program's limitations the taxiing out of RWY14 and RWY09 converge on the crossing point in front the main apron and it might be that one is blocking the other , in which case you have to select and delete the blocking flight. There is no command to suggest the runway exit point that helps the air traffic controller : aircraft decide on their own ! If desperate you may order one of the arrivals for a 'Go-Around' before the blockage happens. This solution is not ATC-reasonable but ....BAO-reasonable ! 

 

Strip Printing ?

I don't know what you think of paper strip for the Tower job but 'old' instructors appreciate them ! Using manageable paper strips  which you may position so as to have a meaning and because they so become an additional traffic picture to you , are helpful. At least I agree with the 'older' generation although I do not think I can convince the younger colleagues. Anyway ...

The program has a print-strip menu selection that you may better avoid ! It prints only the departure strips and needs 1 page (Yahh !) for each one !

That’s why I created a more 'comfortable' QBASIC program that  can read the BAO exercise files (*.sim) and extract the information of the flight plans and accordingly print all strips on an A4 paper with a very generic format which , given time and ideas I may develop further. Here is an example of a part of this strip page on a worked example for the exercise scenario I mentioned before 

 

On an arrival strip you have the callsign , type , speed (I'll probably remove it though ) and time calling on 12 nm Final (12F) and the route on the last line preceded by the runway. With red the 'controller' marks the times for the first call near 12 nm final when landing clearance was given, the time of the taxi clearance after landing ( I'll change that to landing time) and the time arrived on the parking

For a departure the time of push-back , the taxi clearance time to the RWY and the Take-off time are marked. I could enlarge the width to take some more data (Note : times are in minutes and seconds ) 

All you've got to do is enter the file name for the exercise and then you just watch the strips being printed.

The logic of the program is the following :

1] detect the number of aircraft under the [SimInfo] header and build a dimensioned array for the data to be later extracted and then stored

2] detect the header [Aircraft] under which the flight plans are found and start reading them

3] Ignore blank lines or semicolons and read only the lines with data, extracting their information and putting them in the array and store them

4] Position these data into a blank strip format and then print sequentially each one of them according to the order found in the exercise  

 

 Note : This program has been re-modified with LIBERTY BASIC and is now compatible with modern printers and 32 or 64 bit PCs 

Any strip format can be designed

 

Perks you said ?

Ha...BAO designers used their own (?) photos to create 'personalities' that work in Tower Control with 'your' skills. The program saves your scores if you select one of the photos and allocate a name to it. Then according to your achievements some perks follow ! See those I've got till now under the initials 'kk' :

 

Free meals , free rental cars , free tickets , 'Controller of the year' (!) and even an impossible one ..."Recognition at Civil Function" .... I wonder ...what did I do to ...deserve it ...     But ...if you are hungry and wish to get a free meal after a hard day's traffic , BAO means to reward you. Have fun

Links

For more information on this program , possibility of downloads and some interesting add-ons , advise these sites :

 

The Win 8 disaster !!!!

Win8 … degrades the 3D BAO Tower Simulator to a 2D version.

As at some time our PCs start ‘quitting’ us and while the new ones we buy are available only with the new system developments we can unfortunately, especially with Microsoft , be sure only for one thing …. Trouble !! The Win8 has been proved to me and to a number of many others a disaster particularly on Flight and ATC simulators. (Note : the only one escaping is the ACC/APP ATC2K). Most unfortunately BAO Tower Simulator , the best still or ever Tower-Aerodrome Simulator deserving the name , was severely affected. The real reason is that intentionally Win8 does no longer allow the use of some DLLs. Those are very critical for certain basic functions but Microsoft had in mind most probably the ‘You-have-to-buy-new-software-for-us-to-make-money’, principle. The least ‘dirty-minded’ would simply say that …someday , somehow Win9 (!?) will certainly fix those problems in some near future. I am not one of them.

As for the present here is what we get with Win8 on BAO Tower Simulator. You try to run it , with all the program expanded in a folder and with the famous wing32.dll already in the System32 , as with XP … and this is the first reaction of Microsoft :

 

Well it’s hard to explain by what logic Microsoft asks for any disk here. If you insist with the ‘Try Again’ button Microsoft will also insist on the same message. So let us ignore Microsoft and press on the ‘Continue’ button . Miracle !! The program loads , the opening page of BAO Tower Simulator appears and is seems ready to run ! My heart is beating rapidly , I select an exercise to run … AND …. Microsoft attacks again with this message !

 

 

Now things are serious ! Microsoft says that wing32.dll is missing , while it is not ! The ‘OK’ button here gives you the impression you can only accept your defeat ! As if to say …. It does not run , close it and … get the hell out here ! Having tried many other tricks with the files – run as administrator , reload in system etc etc , you come to the point to realize that Microsoft does not allow intentionally Win8 to run the obviously existing wing32.dll.

Why ? This DLL will not destroy any function of Win8 and could very well have been maintained within win8. As for any compatibility effort , believe me , it will produce nothing. Same with any Combat Flight Simulators (CFS) . Hmmm …. Will there be maybe a ‘new’ CFS for Win8 ? I wonder !!! And by the way … do not try to get any help from Microsoft ! You won’t get any . If you ask some ’experts’ they will say that ‘old programs’ are not to run with new software’ . NONSENSE ! I am running with Win8 , by chance , some software produced in the early 2000 and work fine. It also rejects the classic QBasic but at least people of BASIC can turn to other similar developments like LIBERTY BASIC that runs under Win8 , although the syntax is fairly different.

B U T !!! Believing the error messages of Microsoft is not a wise thing to do especially for all those long-time ‘friends’ of Microsoft ! So … to the previously mentioned ‘Red Cross’ warning that wing32.dll is not existing … you react and you :

 PRESS OK !

And … the program actually starts (!!) …BUT … castrated ! The wing32.dll is responsible for creating the 3D graphics , the view out of the Tower Window , the most vital Aerodrome Control function !! So … the Controller’s View window without the wing32.dll stays completely black and inoperative! HOWEVER … all other functions and windows DO WORK !

So you do have Air and Ground Radar , Arrival and Departures Strips as well as voice communication with the pilots and the Traffic Commands do work ! So here is a 2D Tower Simulator ! Dedicated ATCers are brought back some 30 years ago when 2D Tower Simulators were still on the professional market ! But …Who says that progress is made only forwards ? Certainly not Microsoft ! On the other hand since Microsoft keeps the royalties might say that it is always legal to change its systems and decide what they will run or not. True ! I’m not talking about legality here , I’m talking of the ignored relation between seller and buyer , the service to the client . I know these are abnormal ideas for some fools … who still believe to values . Forgive me … I’m still romantic ! And I’ll continue to be so …. Regardless.

So finally for us … Win8 … degrades the 3D BAO Tower Simulator to a 2D version. For real ATCers this is unacceptable although in case you got nothing else and you still want to pass some messages to students or ATC-freaks … it can still provide some satisfactory mental picture. Therefore a number of friends decided to keep their laptop or PC still working with the XP system so as not to lose the good things Win8 will not support ! By the way I saw someone calling this XP compatible version of BAO as the version BAO 2006 ! Sorry guys . This is nonsense. Some ATC-freaks in the world who tried to maintain this forgotten program from the 90s just provided a way to make it work under XP , there was no new version of it whatsoever. Period !

And the disaster of Win8 does not only apply to … simulator freaks ! I had and still have problems with Java compatibility with IE10, spell checking of Outlook , compatibility with older product versions , access to my bank account , loss of Help files of many applications , invisibility of Java versions … etc … etc … To the very ‘generous offer’ of Microsoft to load free the Win8.1 version my steady response is ….. NO !!!!!

A friend told me that many users that had already enough of that are redirected to … Apple. He personally was adamant on it! I cannot blame him , actually I feel myself so angry that next time I’ll consider every little detail before I think of Microsoft ever again. It is not only unfair … it is just stupid to advance your versions while you degrade intentionally previous services your system was able to provide to your clients for years .And no I will not take the very usual excuse that it is my handling of the software that produces the errors . 
 

 

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