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Guest Josh Handelsman

Weather Specific Event?

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Guest Josh Handelsman


Knowing me, the suggestion I'm about to make is probably 4-lines down the message board list and just I didn't see it, but here it goes...


Has BVATC ever hosted a "weather specific" flying event, and if not, is that even possible?


I know little about the BVA server, weather management, ATC displays (do controllers have wx?), etc. But with my ignorance in mind, how about a special event that focuses on some weather extreme, say a blizzard, hurricane, Norâ¬"easter, enormous squalls, etc?


Can the server be programmed to bypass the real world weather setting in lieu of something like "The Blizzard of 2011" or the major thunderstorms that caused creative ATC vectoring of FedEx planes in Memphis a few years back?


Instead of "chasing the weather" by repositioning an aircraft to a part of the country that has my desired weather, which I sometimes do (never when controllers are present), we could have a dedicated time ⬠say, the length of a typical event ⬠when challenging weather conditions exist, ILS to minimums are guaranteed, winds are strong, turbulence is severe/extreme at times, etc.


I can't speak for others but I would love an entire flight in 0/0 conditions, turbulence, icing, approach to minimums, and any other environmental challenges FSX (and perhaps the BVA "behind the scene" programmers) is capable of, from time to time.


Of course, this type of event would require a disclaimer to less experienced pilots because of the greater challenge, but everybody could be welcome.


Just a suggestion.

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Guest Brandon Carter

Yes, it is possible to set custom weather on the server. In fact, it provides the same options you see while configuring Free Flight.



However, this presents a variety of problems:


First, pilots using Active Sky or any other weather enhancement program will see real-world weather if the program is being used, as it just overwrites FSX's weather.

Next, the biggest issue is that to do this type of update, the entire server must be restarted. So, if the event is planned for 8pm, administrators must reset the server around 7:00-7:15 to prepare and allow pilots and controllers enough time to spawn in and get set up. Some pilots often choose to fly into our event from afar, and those who decide to do this would be ejected from the session as it is being restarted, unfortunately. In the same way, pilots who choose to fly long-haul after or out of the event will be disconnected as the server is reset to Real World weather.



This is something that has been discussed and attempted n the past, and more details from a BVA administrator can be found at:

http://www.bostonvirtualatc.com/dnn/Old ... fault.aspx


It's definitely a neat idea, and something which I feel may be worth trying again. Let's wait to hear from our Administrators.

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I've never been a fan of creating weather (actually, I don't really know how to do it with FSX...I would use ActiveSky if I wanted to, but that's beside the point). As Brandon has suggested, this type of event creates several logistical issues. For one thing, the server would also have to be reset to real-world weather after the event| you can't change weather conditions without re-starting the server and ejecting all pilots.


By the way, ATC does not see weather on radar screens, so there could be no creative vectoring. If the server is set to real-world weather, I'll sometimes use real-world weather imagery and try to vector pilots accordingly, but that's obviously not possible if we've set the weather to something custom.


If you can get 10 responses, (not including those here already) that indicate that there's interest in a special-weather event, then we'll do it.



Evan Reiter

Community Director
Administration Team

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Guest Bob Moore

I know I enjoy flying in severe weather conditions, depending completely on the instruments and a pilots masterery of reading and flying those instruments to have the runway thresh hold lights appear just before your ready to go missed and go round. Big satisfying adrenalin rush to put her down on the center line in conditions where you probably wouldn't go out and walk across a street to get the mail.


In the past we have setup custom weather a few times on the server trying to provide that immersion.

For example we tried, Blizzard conditions at one of our 1st Aspen- Denver Regionals. We also tried Severe turbulence,with lightening thunder &Hvy rain etc. all over New Yorks Tracon with clear skys surrounding KBOS for a KLGA-KBOS regional circuit.


Whever we tried it we experienced a high number of people getting dropped or not even being able to connect when we setup detailed custom weather on the BVA server back then.

It got slightly better when we set it up using just the generic weather settings, but that didn't setup the conditions like we wanted and we still saw guys getting dropped.


The detailed settings allowing cloud layers alt.s , vis., turbulence, & levels of precipitation for each airport throughout any TRACON is ideal but like I said we had unacceptable server connection problems.


Maybe with a new server environment like we have now it would be worth another try.



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I have two ways around some of our logistical issues (obviously we cant solve them all).


1. Why don't we look at the long term weather forcast and plan the event using real world weather. We will look for incoming weather (like CA right now) and gt the word out about a week in advance. It would be flown PP or RC style.


2. We can set a date, which allows for long-term planning. Our BVA controller sign-up sheet will be something generic, like "Class Charlie Airport" and "Class Bravo Airport" and at ~6pm everybody who wants to, will go into the Office Hours Teamspeak and we will all search our national weather and decide then. We will (hopefully) decide by 7, where Evan can post on the homepage what city pair our 8pm event will be.

Erik VanderWerf

Occasional Flyer


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Guest Brandon Carter

Looks like there are 10 "Yes" responses on the poll!

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Alright, 13 Yes's in less than 24 hours! Lets go! Maybe we can fly to the north pole and visit santa or something...


Hush, child. "Adults" are talking |)


See Evan's posts in another thread (Xmas morning, can't be bothered to get the link) on bad weather events. There's a whole slew of problems to consider, and logistics to work out.

Dan P.

PPL ASEL - High Perf & Complex Endsr.

KHVN - Tweed-New Haven/KOXC - Waterbury-Oxford

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Alright, 13 Yes's in less than 24 hours! Lets go! Maybe we can fly to the north pole and visit santa or something...


Hush, child. "Adults" are talking |)


See Evan's posts in another thread (Xmas morning, can't be bothered to get the link) on bad weather events. There's a whole slew of problems to consider, and logistics to work out.


mmmm I'll take a look.



Tom G.

FSExpo Liaison

[email protected]


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Guest Yun Chase

Let me start off by saying Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! :D


If you fly this Sunday night and Monday morning (DEC26-27th), you guys won't have to muck with the servers at all... We're supposed to get blizzard conditions here in the Greater Boston area... I got my Snow Thrower all filled up and ready... |)


This is the TAF as of this moment (Saturday evening, Dec 25th):


KBOS 260309Z 2603/2706 35003KT P6SM SCT120 OVC140

FM261200 03009KT P6SM OVC050

FM261500 03011KT P6SM OVC025

FM261800 04014KT 6SM -SN OVC020

FM262100 03015G25KT 1SM -SN OVC015

FM262300 03023G30KT 1SM -SN OVC015

FM270000 03027G33KT 3/4SM -SN OVC008

FM270100 03028G40KT 1/4SM +SN OVC005


And here is the local TV weather forecast:


BOSTON-- The National Weather Service issued a Blizzard Warning for much of Eastern Massachusetts with the promise of a blockbuster snowstorm for parts of Massachusetts Sunday and Monday. Forecasters said the storm could bring up to 20 inches of snow to some parts of the state including Boston.

Blizzard-like conditions are possible during the height of the storm. Extremely dangerous travel conditions will develop by Sunday evening.


National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Korty warns that travelers in New England may want to rethink Sunday travel plans. He says they may see "nearly impossible conditions to travel in."


Light snow will start in the early afternoon and become heavy by evening. Very heavy snow will fall throughout Sunday night with up to 2 to 4 inches per hour likely at times. The snow will taper to flurries early Monday afternoon.


Cape Cod and the Islands were not included in the Blizzard Warning. South of Boston 8 to 12 inches were expected. The Cape may get only a couple of inches of snow.


Strong winds will combine with the snow to create blinding conditions with near zero visibility at times Sunday night.


The height of the storm was forecast to take place overnight Sunday night and Monday morning.



Fly Safe! :)

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Guest Josh Handelsman

Thanks for all the responses guys, and thank you Brandon for the poll.


The logistical barriers regarding the server reboot, etc. make perfect sense and I understand that a wx event would be limited for many reasons, not to mention an inconvenience to those flying in from afar only to get dropped because of a reboot.


Nevertheless, I must say that flying in last night's "real world" blizzard conditions was some of the most fun I've had in a while!


Thanks to all who staffed ATC late on a Sunday evening!

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I've merged the two topics related to a weather-specific event into this one. I was hoping the poll would remain but unfortunately not. However, users can continue to vote in the poll on BVA's homepage (I think the results are already quite similar).



Evan Reiter

Community Director
Administration Team

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Guest Josh Handelsman

Crap.... doesn't seem like anybody's interested :o



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