Overview and Feature Set of It's Your Plane

This is truly worth reading first . . .

  • IF a FLIGHT PLAN IS LOADED in the simulator when the IYP application is launched, and IF the aircraft has integrated checklist procedures, then you can say, "Do all checklists."

  • IF the aircraft has a FLIGHT PLAN LOADED in the simulator when the IYP application is launched, but does NOT HAVE integrated checklist procedures, then Michelle will say, "There are no checklists for this type of aircraft."

  • IF the aircraft DOES NOT HAVE A FLIGHT PLAN LOADED in the simulator when the IYP application is launched, but HAS integrated checklist procedures, then individual checklists (except for the Approach and Landing Checklists) can be executed by saying, for example, "Before Start Up Checklist". In order to execute the Approach and Landing Checklists, you must first designate the Destination Airport. Example, "Make the destination airport Charlie, Yankee, Victor, Romeo" (the ICAO code for Vancouver, International airport). This is logical because Michelle needs the information about the destination airport (like the altitude) in order to do an auto-landing!

  • Different Ways to Use It's Your Plane

    There are basically 4 Ways you can use the It's Your Plane ("IYP") application. Namely:

    Flying VFR
    Here's an example. You bring up your flight simulator, select the Cessna 172, place it on the runway ready to go, and launch the It's Your Plane application. You hop into the cockpit, press "CTRL+E" to fire up the engine, you hit "L" to turn on all of the lights, select flaps 10 and slam the throttle to the wall. A few seconds later... you're up! At about 300 feet AGL (above ground level) you say, "Flaps up", and your trusty co-pilot Michelle pulls up the flaps and confirms the action by saying, "Flaps up and trimmed." You then bark, "Airspeed one zero five" and your co-pilot responds with, "I will maintain this airspeed until you touch the brake switch." Next, you manually turn on the Auto-Pilot or perhaps you simply say, "Auto-Pilot on", in which case Michelle flips on the switch and replies with, "The auto pilot is on." Next, you say, "Climb and maintain six thousand" and she sets the altitude to 6,000 feet and loads the default vertical rate of climb to 700 feet per minute. You then say, "Turn left heading zero five zero". Michelle rotates the Bug to 050 and says, "Heading set to zero five zero... Roger."

    It's Easy!
    Put in the simplest of terms, just about every cockpit function can be controlled by your voice. Refer to the commands section for details.

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    Flying IFR
    This kind of flying is very much like the example above except that you load an IFR flight plan prior to take off. Let's say you will be flying from Vancouver International to Victoria International... it's just a short hop of about 35 miles. You bring up your flight simulator, create a flight plan from CYVR to CYYJ, save the flight plan, and then load it. For this flight, you again select the Cessna C172, only this time the aircraft is parked in the general aviation area. You're now ready to launch the It's Your Plane application. You simply want to turn on the Battery Master switch, the Avionics, the Lights, etc., and then contact ATC to file your flight plan and obtain clearance. In other words, you are executing the checklists "in your head"... better than flying without a filed flight plan, but still not the best way to fly!

    Here's a cute function that Michelle loves to do... say, "Maintain taxi speed" and see what happens! Once again, almost every cockpit function can be controlled by your voice. Please refer to the commands section for details.

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    Flying IFR... "By The Book"... with Checklists
    This example is almost the same as the previous one, except that you are going to be careful and do things the proper way. You have been flying the Cessna C172 for years as a bush pilot, and you have a very special and personalised set of checklists that you always use. In this mode, you can have Michelle (your trusty Co-Pilot) control nearly every function in the cockpit; "Turn the Taxi Lights ON", "Turn the Landing Light OFF", "Turn right heading 320", "Climb and maintain 6,000", "Maintain Taxi Speed", etc. Once again, almost every cockpit function can be controlled by your voice. Please refer to the commands section for details.

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    Flying IFR... "By The Book"... with the Integrated It's Your Plane Checklists!

    EXTREMELY IMPORTANT NOTE:
    Before you start using the It's Your Plane Checklists, PLEASE, print out the checklists for the aircraft you are flying by going to the checklists section of our site. The reason this is SO IMPORTANT is that the phrases you are expected to respond to Michelle with, are all listed... step-by-step for each checklist. We suggest that you print these checklists in the landscape mode.

    Do it Michelle's way!
    It's Your Plane Integrated Checklists are far more than ordinary checklists.

    Michelle Calls Out the Checklist Items
    Sure, Michelle will call out all of the checklist items as any good co-pilot would. However, if you ask, she will also execute certain parts of the checklist for you!   Not only that, she'll actually fly the plane at certain points if you ask her to.

    Michelle Assists you with the Takeoff and Climbout
    You've just completed the Before Takeoff checklist and you've received takeoff clearance from the Tower. Michelle asks, "Captain, would you like me to execute the takeoff and climb out checklists?" You respond with "Affirmative", or "Yes please". She'll then ask, "Would you like me to assist you?" Once again, You respond with "Affirmative", or "Yes please". Whether you are rumbling down the runway in a Boeing 747-400 jumbo-liner, or putt-putting along in a Cessna C172, Michelle automatically calls out the proper V1, Rotate and V2 airspeeds. Once positive rate of climb is obtained, and without you saying a word, Michelle pulls up the landing gear on the 747 and retracts the flaps at the proper airspeeds. In the case of the 747-400, Michelle turns off the Takeoff/Go Around switch (TO/GA), turns off the Taxi Lights, turns on the Auto-Pilot, sets the heading, engages the Altitude Hold, and performs many other functions, all at their proper time and altitude, and in the correct sequence.

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    Above 10,000 Feet
    As you climb through 10,000 feet, Michelle asks, "Captain, we have climbed through ten thousand feet. Should I adjust the airspeed?" You say "Yes please" and Michelle sets the Airspeed to 300 knots... after all, she always knows the correct airspeed for this part of the climbout, whatever the aircraft. She then automatically turns off the Landing Lights.

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    Above 13,000 Feet
    As the aircraft passes through 13,000 feet, Michelle calls for the Fasten Seat Belts sign to be turned off. This presupposes that, due to turbulence, she has not already instructed the passengers to remain in their seats with their Seat Belts securely fastened, in which case, Michelle automatically turns off the Seat Belts sign once the aircraft stabilizes.

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    Passing Through 18,000 Feet
    As the aircraft climbs through the Transition Level (18,000 feet), Michelle automatically resets the Altimeter to 29.92 (or 1013 Millibars) then asks if you would like her to maintain an optimised Airspeed through the climb and descent. You answer, "Yes please". Throughout the flight you notice the Mach speed changing periodically as Michelle works to maintain an airspeed of approximately 11 percent below the barberpole.

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    Flight-Following Channel
    Once a General Aviation aircraft, like a Cessna C172 or a Mooney Bravo climbs above 5,000 feet, the Flight-Following system becomes active. Depending on the geographical areas that the aircraft is passing over, Michelle points out items of interest on the left side of the aircraft to you, and tells you what she sees on the right side. In addition, Michelle gives you the ground temperature at various places en route.

    If you are flying a jetliner, once the aircraft climbs above Flight Level 205, Michelle performs Flight-Following announcements to those passengers who are listening to that channel with their headsets. Once again, depending on the geographical areas that the aircraft is passing over, she announces items of interest to passengers on the left and/or right sides of the aircraft and also indicates the ground temperatures.

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    Cruising Level
    Once the aircraft reaches its Cruising Flight Level, Michelle recommends that you execute the short Cruise Checklist. If you respond in the affirmative, Michelle will ask you to check the Flight and Engine Instruments, verify that the Fuel Quantity is correct and confirm that the Radios are properly set, etc. On longer flights, Michelle repeats the Cruise Checklist every 20 minutes or so.

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    Turbulence and Fasten Seat Belts Warnings!
    If the aircraft experiences excessive turbulence, Michelle will turn on the Fasten Seat Belts sign and say, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is the first officer speaking. Please ensure that you are in your seats with your seat belts securely fastened, as we are expecting some turbulence up ahead. Thank you." Once the aircraft has stabilized, Michelle will turn off the Fasten Seat Belts sign and say, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is the first officer. I have turned off the fasten seat belts sign and you are free to move about the cabin. However, while in your seats, we suggest that you do as we do up front, and keep your seat belts fastened at all times while in your seat. Thank you."

    Whenever Michelle is controlling the airspeed above the Transition Level, she strives to keep it at approximately 11 percent below the barberpole. She may automatically extend the spoilers to 25% or 50% and rapidly decrease the Mach speed if the aircraft experiences severe tail winds and/or Clear Air Turbulence (CAT). Once the proper airspeed is regained, Michelle automatically retracts the spoilers.

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    Descending to 10,000 Feet
    As the aircraft begins its descent, Michelle says, "Captain. Do you want me to go through the descent checklist?" You respond by saying "Yes please" and Michelle calls out the checklist items. Since Michelle has been asked to control the airspeed, you notice the Mach speed setting decreasing as the aircraft descends. When the aircraft drops below FL200 (20,000 feet), Michelle says, "Captain, I will let you take care of the airspeed until we begin our approach towards final. Please switch the display from Mach speed, to airspeed." Michelle then says, "Captain, don't forget to check the altimeter setting once we drop below the transition level." On the way down to 10,000 feet, Michelle says, "I recommend an airspeed of ??? knots, depending upon the aircraft being flown."

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    Descending Below 10,000 Feet in a Jetliner
    As the aircraft descends below 10,000 feet, Michelle asks you to turn on the Landing Lights, arm the Auto-Spoilers, and asks you to set the Auto-Brakes to the desired position if applicable. She then asks that you verify the Course setting, ensure that the NAV/GPS switch is set on NAV, verify that the Fuel Quantity is correct, and instructs you to turn on both the Fasten Seat Belts and No Smoking signs.

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    Approach and Landing
    In this section, let's assume that we are flying a 747-400. At approximately 20 miles out, Michelle asks "Captain. Do you want me to go through the approach and landing checklists and assist you with the landing?" You respond with, "Affirmative". She ensures that the avionics are on, the radios are properly set and makes sure that the NAV/GPS is set on NAV. Assuming that this is an ILS approach, Michelle will report when both the Localizer and the Glideslope are alive. During the approach, Michelle automatically and systematically begins reducing the airspeed and extending the flaps to their proper settings. Once the aircraft intersects with the Localizer, she says, "Switching to ILS Approach Mode." Moments later, she says, "Locked on the Localizer" and the aircraft assumes the runway heading. She continues reducing the airspeed and extending the flaps (based upon the aircraft being flown) until the Glideslope is intersected at which time she says, "We've captured the Glideslope." The aircraft begins its traverse down the Glideslope towards the runway, and at approximately 2,000 feet AGL, Michelle lowers the landing gear. At approximately 1,800 feet AGL she sets the flaps to the most suitable landing position based upon the weight of the aircraft.

    Michelle calls out the aircraft's altitude on final descent and asks you to ensure that the Parking Brakes are off and the Auto-Spoilers are armed. "Five hundred", "Four hundred", "Three hundred', "Minimums", etc. If the aircraft experiences windsheer, the Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) starts screaming, "Windsheer, windsheer, windsheer." If you turn off the Auto-Pilot during the descent, and you drift above or below the Glideslope, once again the GPWS will begin yelling, "Glideslope, glideslope, glideslope." At approximately 150 feet AGL, if the Auto-Throttle is engaged, Michelle will turn it off and pull back on the thrust levers.

    As the aircraft touches down, the Spoilers extend automatically and Michelle turns on the Reverse Thrust. Once the aircraft's speed drops below approximately ?? knots, she turns off the Reverse Thrust, retracts the Flaps, turns on the Cabin Music and reports that the Approach and Landing checklists have been completed. To add yet more realism to your flight, if you listen carefully, you will hear the passengers applauding your perfect landing!

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    Taxi to the Gate/Ramp
    Michelle will automatically ask you if you'd like to execute the Taxi to the Gate checklist, typically after you leave the runway. She'll automatically turn off Landing Light, turn on the Taxi Lights, reset the Transponder to 1200, set the Elevator to the Takeoff position, etc, etc, etc.

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    Parking
    If you're flying a jetliner, then Michelle will execute the Parking Checklist upon your command, "Resume Checklists." The Parking Checklist has you shuts down the engines, reset various other checklist items, then informs the Cabin Crew to prepare the doors for arrival and opens the doors. At the end of this procedure, the jetliner is ready for a turn-around... i.e., the Navigation lights are still on, the Cabin Music is playing, etc. Naturally, the Parking Checklist is not applicable to smaller GS type aircraft, like a C172.

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    Shutdown
    The Shutdown Checklist resets the aircraft to a complete Cold and Dark status.

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    Rejected Takeoff (RTO)
    If during takeoff, after 80 knots, but before the Rotate command is given, you experience a problem with the aircraft, you can yell out... "Execute Rejected Takeoff!" The aircraft will slam on the brakes, throw the engines into reverse thrust (given that there's NOT an engine problem), and bring the aircraft to a halt ASAP. There'll be a lot of smoke!!!

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    Execute Going Around
    If at any time during the approach something doesn't feel just right, you can say to Michelle, "Execute Going Around." She responds with, "Captain. I will repeat the approach and landing checklist on the next approach." She then pulls up the flaps, goes to full throttle, pulls up the landing gear if necessary and climbs to 2,500 feet AGL at the proper airspeed. You then contact ATC and report that you are going around.

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