To perform a flight correctly, it’s not only important to climb in an orderly manner and to land safely again. Those are items we, if desired by the pilot, already check through the pireps he submits. Our validators are keen to check whether all characteristics of a flight are credible and plausible, as far as the samples from the networks allow them to. But many deviations are not visible by these simple samples: did you pause your sim during the flight, or use time acceleration, have you stalled your aircraft or did you encounter a fuel shortage and did some “mid-air refueling” and – not unimportant – have you made a nice soft landing without causing damage to the plane? These are all examples of quality aspects of your flight. To be able to determine these kinds of deviation, we decided to introduce for “as real as it gets”-fans a so called ACARS program. ACARS (the acronym stands for: Aircraft Communications And Reporting System) will, on pilots request, report flight details to our KLM-VA system after the flight has ended. The system will use these details to measure and evaluate some details of the flight. In that way the Pilot Quality Index is determined.
How the Pilot Quality Index works
You can build a Pilot Quality Index by submitting Acars reports. You can submit an Acars report with every flight (IFR / VFR, every type of aircraft). For each submitted Acars report you can earn a maximum of 100 (and at least 0) points. The average score of all your flights is your Pilot-Quality-Index (PQI). Note that this is counted over all the flights that you make with fsAcars on at the moment you go off-blocks. So deciding in hindsight, not to submit an Acars report that does not look to well does not help: you get 0 points. It is not possible to delete a declared PQI flight afterwards. See the FAQ section for more tips.
A perfectly executed flight yields 100 points, but you can get points deduction on the following items:
maximum taxi speed to the runway > 35 kts or < 2 kts: -20 points maximum taxi speed to the gate > 35 kts or < 2 kts: -20 points landing harder than 300 fpm: -20 points landing harder than 400 fpm: -40 points landing harder than 700 fpm: -60 points crash: -100 points pause > 10 seconds, <= 5 minutes: -10 points pause > 5 minutes: -30 points (Note: Some of the simulator's menu options (like World - Map) can cause a pause!) pause > 10 minutes: -70 points slew: -100 points (Note: the use of some add-ons (like GSX) can cause slew!) simrate: -100 points refuel: -60 points out of fuel: -40 points
Again: the average of all your flights since your first submitted Acars report is your PQI. Your PQI count is made visible on your profile page and by a (bronze/silver/gold) cord (or tassel) over your shoulder epaulet, indicating your rank. Thereby you get a
- bronze cord at a PQI > 70 - silver cord at a PQI > 80 - golden cord at a PQI > 90
Which looks as follows:
Note 1: you can start your PQI-program by informing the Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org) that and when (the date) you want to start. Note 2: because an index over a few flights is less meaningful as an index of a lot of flights, the index is gradually build up over the first 100 flights, in a sence that over the first 100 flights you have a decreasing handicap, that reduces your PQI-score slightly. For those who are familiar with formula's: the handicap is ((100 - the number of flights) / 10); 100 minus the number of acars-flights, divided by 10. So as an example: if you have 25 acars flights, your PQI-score is reduced by 7.5 and if you have 75 acars-flights the score is reduced by 2.5. After 100 acars-flights you have no index-buildup-reduction anymore. Note 3: you can use the Acars-system without participating in the PQI-program. You than log your Acars-reports along with your flights and you can view them in the flight-details. Once you want to start participating in the PQI-program - see note 1. Note 4: if you have not submitted an Acars-report for the last 10 flights you have made (without putting a NOPQI remark as discussed herebeneath), we assume that you are not taking part in the PQI-program anymore and we will remove your name from the list of Quality Pilots. Of course, you can at any given moment start your PQI-program over again. Note 5: because PQI is (also) a competition, you cannot delete flights with an unwanted or missing Acars-report. You can have an acars-flight be deleted (or corrected) by providing KLM-VA with a copy of the sessionlog.txt file (in the fsacars-folder of your flightsim-configuration) that shows a complete and valid log of the flight in question, thereby proving that the unwanted or missing Acars-report is not your fault (nor your responsability!).
Excluding Acars flights from the Pilot Quality Index
There may be reasons to exclude Acars flights from the Pilot Quality Index. From the perspective of the pilot for instance because he wants to make a testflight and does not want to count a possible bad Acars report in his PQI. In that case he can put the text NOPQI in the remarks of his flightplan and then the flight is ignored for the PQ index. Important note: to ensure correct processing of the NOPQI statement, the pilot should wait at least 5 minutes after sending in his flightplan before going off blocks. He then can still register an Acars report and view it in the flight-details, but the report and the flight are not taken into account in the PQI program. By the way: unintentionally forgetting to start the ACARS program does not pose a problem. The system will disregard such a flight in the PQI-program without any need to interfere from the side of the pilot.
But also from the perspective of the VA there may be reasons to exclude Acars flights. FSAcars is a sensitive instrument and on not optimally configured computers some Acars reports may contain improbable values. These values may influence the PQI in a way that frustrates fair competition. An example is where FSAcars runs on a configuration that gives FSAcars not enough resources to calculate an accurate vertical landing speed. In that case FSacars puts 0 fpm vertical landing speed in the Acars report and that could deliver 100 points for the PQI. Not fair to other PQI competitors; so examples like this will be excluded from the PQI program. If you still register the Acars report, it will mention the improbable values that were encountered, but it will not be taken into account in the PQI program, nor will the flight.