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FMC Alterations Lead To Instant Freeze


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12 replies to this topic

#1 BeechPapa

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:29 PM

Every single approach I try to make into KSFO leads to a freeze at the exact same time/place and always while I am adjusting values in the FMC. It happens when I am on the BSR2 STAR and attempt to lower my speed at Menlo by entering 210/ (instead of the prescribed 240kts) into the LSK. I get an instant freeze whenever I try to replace the FMC speed at Menlo. Its a rather vicious freeze too - I can't even access Process Explorer because it seems I need to force an "end task" to get my desktop back (FSX is running in full screen mode). I have also had the same kind of freeze while departing LAX - I was on a prescribed heading course for VTU SID, and once I was given ATC consent to follow my own navigation, tried manually inserting VTU into the LSK to proceed from the prescribed 250 degree departure heading direct to VTU.... and again, instant freeze. It seems something about this bird doesn't like alterations to the FMC mid-flight and its getting rather frustrating. Since these are specific circumstances, I was hoping someone else may be able to replicate the situation, or may have encountered it themselves. I'm really going nuts here, so any help at all would be appreciated. 


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#2 Tabs

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 09:32 PM

Ethan,

I flew the LAX-SFO flight a ton during testing, never saw this. I'll try it in a bit here with the RTM build...


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#3 BeechPapa

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 10:06 PM

Thanks Ryan. I'll sit tight for a bit. I should mentioned these were also dusk/night flights. I didn't have any issue so far with a day flight leaving KSFO or the daytime tutorial flight to Dubai, so thought maybe cockpit lighting could be a factor in the freeze. Sorry if I'm grabbing at straws, just trying to think of anything that might be different about the flights that end up freezing.   

 

Also, Is there any way this is the pause mentioned in "known issues" part of the documentation? I haven't really given it any longer than a minute or two to clear up since FSX shows as "not responding". Also, the sound is still going while the simulator freezes... not sure what that could mean, but I thought I should mention it.


Ethan Edelson


#4 ClearedtoLand

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Posted 06 September 2013 - 10:46 PM

I think you and I may have the same issue. I did a flight last night from VHHH to EGLL, during the course of the flight, the program froze up for a total of 2 and half hours, 20 minutes here, half an hour there, and the most annoying one was the 7 minute one with 6 minutes before descent. In each instance, the program unfroze after a certain amount of time with no real issues, apart from the annoying one of having to sit there and wonder when the next one is going to be. As with your description, the sound keeps running, and not only the sound, but also some of the plane's systems, it used up the extra fuel for those two and half hours, even though it did not fly an additional 1100 odd nm, nor does it indicate that it had traveled any distance, it only burns the fuel for the time it was frozen. Unlike your flight though, mine was a continuous day flight. It happens at random times, which makes it impossible to predict. It happens whether I switch views frequently, or whether I just leave it in the VC.

 

However, I also experience this every flight I have with the 747 400x and the NGX, so I suspect that it is not necessarily a fault with the 777. It does not happen with the JS 4100. With the NGX, the freeze affects the plane exactly like it does with the 777. However, in the case of the 747, it happens once a flight, lasts for about 20 minutes or so, but when it unfreezes, it disengages the auto throttle. And in one instance it caused a failure in the number 3 engine. I suspect it may have something to do with the way we set up our computers.


R. Francois Myburgh

 

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#5 BeechPapa

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 12:14 AM

I think you and I may have the same issue. I did a flight last night from VHHH to EGLL, during the course of the flight, the program froze up for a total of 2 and half hours, 20 minutes here, half an hour there, and the most annoying one was the 7 minute one with 6 minutes before descent. In each instance, the program unfroze after a certain amount of time with no real issues, apart from the annoying one of having to sit there and wonder when the next one is going to be. As with your description, the sound keeps running, and not only the sound, but also some of the plane's systems, it used up the extra fuel for those two and half hours, even though it did not fly an additional 1100 odd nm, nor does it indicate that it had traveled any distance, it only burns the fuel for the time it was frozen. Unlike your flight though, mine was a continuous day flight. It happens at random times, which makes it impossible to predict. It happens whether I switch views frequently, or whether I just leave it in the VC.

 

However, I also experience this every flight I have with the 747 400x and the NGX, so I suspect that it is not necessarily a fault with the 777. It does not happen with the JS 4100. With the NGX, the freeze affects the plane exactly like it does with the 777. However, in the case of the 747, it happens once a flight, lasts for about 20 minutes or so, but when it unfreezes, it disengages the auto throttle. And in one instance it caused a failure in the number 3 engine. I suspect it may have something to do with the way we set up our computers.

 

I'm sorry to hear you're having similar issues. Waiting out the freeze seems excruciating, especially if you are within the STAR portion. I'd never have the patience to wait by the computer, so I'd probably go grab a bite to eat, and come back to lord knows what kind of situation. With all of the 777's automation she might very well be sitting safely at the end of the runway... but still, its not the way I'd like to end any flight. I haven't had any issues with the NGX like this. There's always minor hiccups and occasional crashes, but nothing consistent and predictable. The J4100 for me has also been rock solid. One thing I haven't explored yet is the fact that the freezes I've had so far have been in the American Airlines livery. I'm gonna try the PMDG house livery before I goto bed and see if that works on the same flight. As disappointing as it is to have all these issues, its hard to stop trying to fly her. She's addictive almost. It really is an awesome plane. Hope the wrinkles get ironed out. 


Ethan Edelson


#6 BeechPapa

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Posted 07 September 2013 - 08:52 PM

UPDATE: After experimenting with different configurations I have found that the FMC freeze happens when the plane is initially loaded in a Cold and Dark state. Subsequent attempts to make the same trip using other saved panel states have not ended in a freeze, I was able to alter the FMC values mid-flight, and I landed successfully at SFO on two occasions using these other panel states (long state and a custom state).

 

If I try to load the plane from Cold and Dark, I get a guaranteed freeze in the situations I stated in my first post. Changing liveries had no effect, disabling weather had no effect, and waiting it out didn't work either (I gave it an hour on one attempt, and it was still frozen). I really hope the guys at PMDG are doing their best to sort through these cold and dark issues. So far I have encountered the ILS/erroneous caution light as well.


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#7 ClearedtoLand

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Posted 08 September 2013 - 07:59 PM

After searching the forums and going through endless suggestions, tweaks and fixes, I actually managed to apply a few tweaks and fixes which, thus far, appear to have solved the problem in both the 777 and the 737. I haven't yet tried the 747, but I suspect that if the 777 runs on a long haul flight without a hitch, then the 747 will likely show the same result.

 

So, in my case, my problem would appear to have been as a result of issues within FSX, and not with the PMDG products. Those issues appear to be fixed now.


UPDATE: After experimenting with different configurations I have found that the FMC freeze happens when the plane is initially loaded in a Cold and Dark state. Subsequent attempts to make the same trip using other saved panel states have not ended in a freeze, I was able to alter the FMC values mid-flight, and I landed successfully at SFO on two occasions using these other panel states (long state and a custom state).

 

If I try to load the plane from Cold and Dark, I get a guaranteed freeze in the situations I stated in my first post. Changing liveries had no effect, disabling weather had no effect, and waiting it out didn't work either (I gave it an hour on one attempt, and it was still frozen). I really hope the guys at PMDG are doing their best to sort through these cold and dark issues. So far I have encountered the ILS/erroneous caution light as well.

 

 

I really hope you are able to get to the bottom of this, I did my first uninterrupted 777 flight tonight, and, [expletive censored], I am speechless. It's a masterpiece. When everything comes together for this plane, it is beyond enjoyable.


R. Francois Myburgh

 

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#8 BeechPapa

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 08:50 PM


After searching the forums and going through endless suggestions, tweaks and fixes, I actually managed to apply a few tweaks and fixes which, thus far, appear to have solved the problem in both the 777 and the 737. I haven't yet tried the 747, but I suspect that if the 777 runs on a long haul flight without a hitch, then the 747 will likely show the same result.
 
So, in my case, my problem would appear to have been as a result of issues within FSX, and not with the PMDG products. Those issues appear to be fixed now.

 

Awesome, I’m glad to hear everything not only worked out on the 777, but that you’ll be able to enjoy all your other PMDG products to their fullest. I solved my issue by saving a panel state w/ just the battery on and ground power available. On the negative side, I miss the 1:30 foreplay… ahem, I mean start up procedure… before the system’s are up, but on the plus the ground power is equipped. It also gave me the chance to delete the ILS selection and put it into park mode. I’ll probably use my own save even after PMDG fixes the CLD/DRK state, just because of that ground power perk. 

 


I did my first uninterrupted 777 flight tonight, and, [expletive censored], I am speechless. It's a masterpiece. When everything comes together for this plane, it is beyond enjoyable.

 

I totally (expletive) agree. The external textures and modeling are beautiful, the cockpit a sensory experience and utterly immersive and the way light reflects from it is pure eye candy. The cockpit is more logical than the 737. The pre-flight stuff is a breeze now. I feel like a few clicks and I’m off. At first I was slightly bummed about the automation, but the system integration really is amazing. The cockpit is thoughtfully laid out and inviting to use, the warning and safety systems are amazing (it catches my goof ups each and every time) The climb rates are astonishing, the autopilot is quick, it doesn't lollygag getting to its altitude target, but doesn't jam right into it either. Its still smooth as silk. Its all incredible. Could go on and on and on. I love flying it.    


Ethan Edelson


#9 hopskip

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 09:30 PM

My first 'big(ish)' flight was a Trans Atlantic in the Delta Airways 777LR from Boston to Amsterdam. (Vatsim Cross the Pond practice).

Took off at night, enjoying the landing lights etc.

 

At dawn... wow. that light reflecting thing with the fuselage is just jaw-dropping wow!

 

No, like really, this is the best looking plane ever to be in FSX!

 

Last night on Vatsim I did a short flight YSSY - YMML (1h30min from push back to park brake on at destination).

That light, she climbs like a rocket ship. Passing 2000ft, next stop Near Earth Orbit!


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#10 Tabs

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 12:59 AM

Ethan,

I just tried it from the Cold and Dark state - no freeze for me when inputting the 210/ at MENLO.

 

I need you to show me 100% what is you're doing. A saved flight just before you trigger the crash, screenshots, video etc would be helpful.


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#11 BeechPapa

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 04:40 PM

Ethan,

I just tried it from the Cold and Dark state - no freeze for me when inputting the 210/ at MENLO.

 

I need you to show me 100% what is you're doing. A saved flight just before you trigger the crash, screenshots, video etc would be helpful.

 

Well, I am now unable to get past the D-> VTU maneuver out of KLAX, so can’t get close to SFO (only from COLD/DARK though – other flights have been great, and must stress that I’m still enjoying 99.9% of the planes features). Unfortunately if I make a save with a corresponding panel state the freeze problem goes away since it is no longer loading from cold/dark. I’d be glad to upload it though, along with the .pln file, I’m just not sure how to do that on AVSIM. Sorry, I’m a bit new to things here. These are exactly the steps I take to a flight, bearing in mind these steps are all taken with the default startup state set to Cold and Dark:

 

1)      Create a “high altitude” IFR flight plan using FSX internal flight planner that with all waypoints for the route KLAX VTU RZS J501 BSR BSR2 KSFO, including STAR waypoints like Menlo. The origin is LAX Gate 103 and cruise alt FL320.

2)       Load the route into flight planner at the “Fly Now” screen. When FSX asks if I would like to move the airplane (at this point just the trike) to the flight plan’s departure location I click ok.

3)      Change time/date to dusk and manually roll back clock to earliest it will go before turning into day.

4)      Load the 777, usually in American Airlines livery (its crashed on Delta and PMDG House livery as well so I don’t think that liveries are causing it).

5)      I click Fly Now and load the sim, wait for it to anti-alias systems and set the plane up for the flight.  I get IFR clearance from FSX ATC at the gates during the pre-flight, listen to ATIS, then after pushback/start I get ground clearance for taxi, then tower clearance for takeoff once at runway hold line.

6)      I takeoff as normal with TOGA, engage AP VNAV/LNAV once flaps and wheels are up, and tower transfers me to departure.

7)      This is where things go bad usually… once I switch to departure and get the clearance to turn toward VTU (or whatever heading FSX associates with it) I acknowledge the instruction, close the ATC window and goto the LEGS page on the FMC. I click VTU and VTU fills in the entry window. I now click LSK1L to replace the current leg, a 250 degree vector, and that’s exactly when it freezes.  

 

I tried to take a screenshot using both FSX and PrintScreen button, but neither worked. My clipboard still had something from earlier in the day, so it seems the system is unresponsive through the freeze. The sound is still going, and the mouse still looks like a hand not a pointer (the kind of hand you get when you hover over a button or dial). I’m sorry I couldn’t provide screenshots.

 

Options I have on the FMC different than default:

Pause at TOD

PNF calls vR and v2

Throttle never overrides A/T

Realistic IRS time

 

Please understand that I am still enjoying the 777 immensely and already feel like I have my money’s worth. You guys produced a spectacular experience. I would love for things to get perfected though, so if there’s anything else I can provide just let me know. 


Ethan Edelson


#12 BilboBaggins

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 05:25 PM

There are so many factors..... have you tried a flight without using FSX ATC at all? Never opening a window? I think it uses the sound system independently from the other sounds being processed in FSX, so it's possible there could be some contention there. My first non-interrupted flight involved doing just that.


#13 BeechPapa

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Posted 10 September 2013 - 08:47 PM

I have not tried a flight without ATC. But I'd rather sacrifice cold and dark than FSX ATC. The panel state I have now is close enough to cold and dark anyway, and that seems to work with ATC.

 

One thing you said about the sound caught my attention though... on one occassion, after the 777 froze, the next flight I loaded was a simple GA plane (just wanted to relax a bit) somewhere totally different, and right before FSX started loading its data I heard the "click" sound, just like the PMDG sound effect for pushing FMC buttons. It was as though the sound effect were caught somewhere in FSX's memory, and loading another flight somehow released it. That probably sounds quite random and vague, but its something I noticed and thought I should mention. My sound card is a Xonar Essence STX, and I don't have Realtek on my system (although the Xonar drivers might be problematic as well). 


Ethan Edelson