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Tracon 2012 - What's your playstyle?


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I generally play LAX sector at 75% arrivals and 25% departures at this point and use voice recognition.  I've slightly sped up the readback speed on the Text to Speech but even so at peak times I have to pause the game from time to time to allow MS Anna a chance to catch up.  At a guess I've sometimes had as much as 30 seconds of continous speech buffered.  I use Real Traffic and usually start my sim at 14:00 LA time.


For Northern coastal approaches such as Sadde I climb arrivals to 10k and vector direct to Santa Monica (SMO) after they pass the northern boundary by Symon.  From SMO I usually vector them to EMT and descend to 7k and then 4k before turning them to heading 180 and clearing for visual approach on 24R.  I usually turn them to heading 180 before GAATE unless traffic coming from NAROD is already on approach.


For Northern inland approaches I descend them to 12k intially while clearing direct to NAROD.  Once they are above RIIVR I'll decend them to 10k and at Narod down to 4k for 24R visual.


For Easterly approaches I descend them to 12k and have them proceed to PDZ,  then down to 5k to BASET for 25L visual.


Southerly approaches I climb to 7k, direct to SLI and usually turn them in to GAATE while descending to 5k for 25L visual.  If traffic from PDZ is too thick to turn them to GAATE then usually somewhat south of SLI I vector the southerly traffic to PDZ and turn them in behind the other flights.


I'll play the game on and off over the next several days leaving it paused overnight.  I think my longest play session went from 14:00 till 21:00 LAX time.  The log file was huge and although I did manage to extract the number of takeoffs and landings I don't recall what the final numbers were now.



I'm curious what your favourite sectors / playstyles are, how do you play?




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Its intressting learning how you solved your arrivals/departures.

I always play 75% arr 75% dep. This is for arriwals on rnw 24 R & 25 L and depatures for 24L & 25R.


Here is my tactics:


Northern and western arrivals (STARs: GURMAN4, SADDE6,  i immediatly climb to 7000 or more for not interfering with depatures towards the north. After SMO, santa monica i decent to 6000 and let them contiuo with 070 heading to about 10-15NM from LAX where i take them for a right base with a right turn to 225 where i  approve for ILS approche. 


Nothern arrivals i route by ElMonte towardws MERCE for ILS.


Eastern arrivals are usually head on straight away and are almost instantly on a heading for an ILS approche. 


South East and South arrivals (LEENA4, MOORPARK3 )are usually at good altitude and are routed by SEAL beach with an heading of 340 and about 2/3 of the way towards the centerline i command a 270 heading for ILS approache.


About departures i never let northwest headings climb until way past SantaMonica due to incoiming traffic.

The same about depatures (SEBBY7, HOLTZ9) - they often interfer with departuring traffic as they are on a short cut from LAX on there way towards Holtz. 


Remaining i usually immediatly let climb to 11000 - 13000 depending on whos going first and what planes comes next. WWhere they going... some climb slowly due to full loads and far away destinations...

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Hi KissTimone 


I derived my approach / departure procedures mostly from watching Mark Hargrove's excellent videos on Youtube.  In fact, it's because of his videos that I bought Tracon 2012 in the first place.  In the beginning I also only used ILS approaches but after listening to actual KLAX radio I formed the impression that visual approaches are more the norm.  I climb my Sadde6 arrivals to 10k until SMO to avoid the Gorman departures as well.


I see we have similiar approach procedures but you're handling more departures than I do.  Do you use Voice Recognition?  I find it can get overloaded at peak times and sometimes I'll miss an arrival or departure announcement because of the backlog.  To counter this I'm starting to pause the sim from time to time so the Text to Speech readouts can catch up.  Do you run into the same problem?



Hi Dpnva


Looking forward to finding out how you and others handle the traffic loads at LAX.  As I said above I give credit to Mark Hargrove's videos for my style of play although I've looked through many of the SID and STAR plates available online and I'm sure they have influenced me as well.

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Well ... probably not what you're looking for but I don't take on both roles at the same time.

Don't think they do in real life either.

Having said that I think there are certain fundamentals one would have to address: If they are arriving and descending don't climb them...

if they are departing and climbing don't hold them @ altitude too far away from the airport (think of ground objects, noise and the like) ...

'Handle' as little as possible and hand them off as soon as possible...

I think maintaining separation through vectoring and speed are the preferred methods.

But I'm pretty new at this... it is fun though!

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Hi Gel


Any input is welcome, I am no expert by any means.  I realize it would be rare indeed for someone to handle both positions.  I just like the challenge.  Glad you're enjoying the sim, I am too.


I climb Sadde arrivals to 10k so they don't conflict with Gorman departures which have a 6k ceiling.  Also, the approach plate for Sadde shows Symon should be crossed between 10k and 13k, Bayst at 10k and SMO at 7k.  Mind you I have listened to the LAX live atc and have heard controllers telling inbound flights they can ignore the Symon altitude restriction. 


I climb arrivals passing through SLI to 7k for two reasons, first on the assumption that they would be generating less noise than at 4.5k altitude.  Also, say for some reason I forget to clear an inbound flight coming from SLI to runway 25L.  They'll cross the inbound streams at 7k which will be above the 5k stream for 25L and the 4k stream for 24R.  While I would still consider it a major error at least at 7k they won't cause a conflict generally.  At 4.5 altitude they are guarenteed to conflict with almost any landing flights on either runway.


I pretty much always maintain my seperations through careful vectoring and use speed changes as a last resort.  It works out usually although some handoffs from Center force speed changes because they are so close to each other when they are handed over.  There are a couple of flights that come through Fillmore that can be really hair raising I find.

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Yes, I know what you mean about Fillmore. The other one that can be 'interesting' is the traffic from oldee2 and seavu2....the oldee2 arrivals are well

w/i the sector boundary before the center handoff is initiated and if it's busy one can be too late to catch the conflict coming in from seavu.


I'm getting into the habit of slowing the arrivals down as they approach, certainly w/i a 15mi final and absolutely for the 

north arrivals through sadde and kimmo... as an example, the sadde arrivals maintain a 070 heading past SMO and it allows

for better timing for me if I slow them down to 180kts before vectoring them to 220 @ 4000 for the loc intercept ... this allows a tighter turn

in which I don't need to be right on them as they find the 220 hdg...


Another note: Sometimes I will handle arrivals for santa monica and longbeach as well as lax. (I'll do that over taking on the roll of both arr/dep)



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Hi Gel,


Yes I've had some close calls on that side as well...I think AMX18 and another flight if I recall correclty.  I could be completely wrong on that though...


I didn't know you could handle multiple airports at the same time.  From the appearance of the setup menu I thought it was KLAX or SMO or SLI but not KLAX and SMO and SLI.  I'm going to have to re-read the manual!


As for the flights out of SMO I know what you mean about them being a little hard to handle sometimes at 250 knots.  I have noticed that sometimes the real controllers at KLAX have them leave SMO at 065 degrees and some of them say depart SMO at 070 degrees.  That extra 5 degrees gives them a little extra room I guess.


By the way do you use speech recognition or do you type?  If you do use speech recognition do you run into the issue I mentioned of the Text to Speech readbacks becoming backlogged?  If not, what was your solution?

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Hey Japhus ... I do use SP and I don't experience any problems other than sometimes I release the 'TAB' button too soon...

Obviously the busier it gets the more taxing on the system (and on me!)...I find it does need to catch up at times...I just try to leave myself

plenty of room. It has never been 'stuck' though.


To operate multiple airports you need only toggle on/off each (active) runway at whatever airport(s) you choose to control...

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One thing I wanted to add regarding SP is sometimes my inability to understand what it's saying.

Some of it's pronunciations are creative to say the least.

One way around that for me is to open a couple of google tabs ....on one page I open wikipedia world airline codes

....on the other i open wikipedia airport by iaco codes.

While I have a few minutes I look up the various dep/arr airports and find any airline calls that I'm unable to pickup

from SP.

It adds a little more depth to my game play.



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Hi Gel,


Yes, google is my friend for airline codes on a regular basis.  I've had Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) since a very early age and I've found it makes it hard for me to distinguish certain letter sounds even with a clear pronunciation.  MS Anna's way of speaking is certainly creative at times.  Copa Air, Kanga, and Aero Mexico all made me pause and run to google the first time they popped up.


Thanks for the tip on activating multiple airports, I'm going to have to give that a try!

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Japus & Gel,

I too have tinnitus & can understand your predicament.

For the call signs, what I have found is.

QANTAS is pronounced CANTAS on Tower/Tracon. Change the call sign to QUANTAS

Virgin Australia has changed its call sign to "Velocity" from Kanga.

The other that annoys me is Cathay Pacific, call sign Cathay. The program calls it something like cataa.

I have tried many connetations & spelling of the call sign but Anna can't get her voice around Cathay. (I prevoiusle worked for this airline)

The others I can get over OK.

To change the call signs, open the airlines file in a txt program, Notepad or notepad++ do the changes, then save it.

I suggest you save the old airlines file for future reference if required.


Kev M

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Hi Kevin,


Thanks for the tip, much appreciated.  I'll have to do some experimenting with that file as well.


I have also edited CATHAY into two words, CATH HAY.  I think it sounds better than before, if you try it out let me know what you think.

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