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Hand off frequency bug


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I have Tracon!2012 working now and I am trying my hand at departures at LAX following instructions I found on YouTube that you probably have seen. I've noticed a couple of things that have surprised, one of which I'm pretty sure is a bug of some sort.

The first thing I want to mention is that it seems that sometimes a departing flight will turn from a D to a C without my having left clicked on the flight, once when it came near a sector boundary and once when the flight reached 13,000 feet. Is that possible? If so, when is the left click required to initiate the hand off?

A second thing I've noticed is that the sometimes the computer expects a different center frequency than the frequency it should expect.

This happened to me while handling a flight departing LAX on the HOLTZ9 departure. The plane was at 13,000 feet and the indicator had changed to the letter C. At that point I issued the command something like, "Field Air one two three contact Center on one one niner point niner five."

That prompted an error response something like, "Mate, you're trying to hand the flight off to the wrong frequency." I tried several other frequencies before finding that the program expected frequency 135.3 as if the flight was further west over the ocean.

The flight was clearly in the sector for 119.95. The picture below shows approximately where the flight was on the HOLTZ9 departure. The red arrow points out the location. (This picture is from the YouTube video I was following.)

I am wondering if others have had this problem, and whether there is a good way to handle the problem.



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Did you read the manual in the Tracon! installation folder?

1) You have to hand off the flight to the Center controller after either it reaches a certain altitude or comes within 10 nm of the boundary of your sector. To initiate the hand-off you click left on the aircraft icon. When Center is ready to accept, the tag flashes five times, you can make the hand-off.

2) The center frequency depends on where you initiate the hand-off. The frequencies are displayed in the manual. If you initiate the hand-off in a sector different from the one you actually issue it, you still have to assign the frequency for the initial sector. When you click on the tag when the flight is in the 135.9 center sector, you have to hand it over to 135.9, even if it already entered the 119.95 center sector.

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Yes, I read the manual, but your explanation gave one detail that isn't stated in the manual as far as I know. That is, that the expected frequency depends on the sector the plane is in when it is left clicked. I guess I assumed that a left click was meaningless when the plan was below 10,000 and farther than five miles from tower's control boundary. I must have left clicked the planes in those circumstances absentmindedly.

Thanks for clearing that up.

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Actually, that should go without saying, because by clicking the datatag you announce to the center controller that you're about to hand off the flight to you. Imagine there were real controllers behind those frequencies - how would the 119.95 controller know you're transferring a flight when you announced it to the 135.9 controller? The manual says:


Prior to commanding a flight to contact Center you must left click the radarscope datatag. This will 'announce' your intention to the next controller that you are about the initiate an aircraft transfer.

The next controller has to be the one on the frequency of the sector the plane is in at the moment of the announcement, because it wouldn't make sense to announce an oncoming handoff to ALL center controllers in the area simultaneously, would it?

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i guess the issue for me is whether a left click is the right gesture to use for handing off a plane.. To me a left click should be used only for something less important, as it is normally used within windows apps. If I had written an app like this I'd use a left click and drag to move the label (instead of right click and drag), and then perhaps a double click for the hand off.

It is easy for me to left click something without thinking of it, because that action is normally pretty innocuous in Windows. For example a left click usually just selects something rather than initiating an action.

So for me I would disagree that "it goes without saying." But it is what is is, so it's something I'll get accustomed to (just like I'll have to get accustom to "climb to 13000" being interpreted as something like "climb to 13900").

FWIW I've been a programmer for about forty years and I've made it a point to know what makes a good program interface. Not that I know it all, but I don't think you will normally find a single left click being used for an important function in many programs (other than interacting with button controls).


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As a former developer myself, I agree good interfaces are important. But, you also have to keep in mind that this isn’t just a game and it attempts to resemble and function like an actual scope. Also, you can tell by the title it is not a new release  

I wouldn’t be too upset with @DeltaVII. He is very helpful on this forum although I too was surprised by the “goes without saying” and uncommon attitude in this thread. 

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