Jeppesen FLightstar 9 - POS WARNING

I spent hours today trying to get Jeppesen Flightstar 9.029 to accept an aircraft model reflecting LOP operation. Let me tell you, that software is such a piece of crap when it comes to basic binary file management, error checking, a complete lack of any debug information, and JeppesenÂ’s ability to support it. This has nothing to do with the LOP numbers. Even their own supplied SR22 aircraft model will exhibit data integrity errors when simply scrolling through its entries!
There seems to be no rhyme or reason for the inevitable error message: “This aircraft model contains invalid performance information. You cannot use it for flight planning.” Jepp tech support says it means “corruption” and advises “start over again.” Very nice, after hours typing in the data. I got to where I’d do one altitude, save, and if the error didn’t come up I’d exit the software, copy the file to a save folder, and start it again and add another altitude. Very tedious. But I’d always run into some point where it seemingly would not accept any further entries.
Guys, I write software. I have simply been trying to enter three entries per altitude (one for 2500, 2600, and 2700 RPM). I’ve been trying to put in even altitudes from 16000 down to 2000, like their model. Nothing voluminous. Nothing weird. I’ve even tried entering slightly different fuel flows and % powers per row, thinking maybe they have a screwed up interpolation algorithm. It has always come up at some point with the “invalid” error, which by the way dumps you out of the editor and, according to Jepp, means the file is then corrupted. I think this software is built on very shaky foundation of a lot of ancient code that nobody wants to rewrite.
Their tech support basically throws up their hands and says “we know – sorry – nothing we can do about it.”
WHAT A PIECE OF CRAP!

OK Gordon,

Next time you’re here in Prescott, (enjoying that Flying Noodle Pasta!) you can try entering the data for operating LOP in my RMS Flight Soft to see how it works.

Take care,

Walt

Gordon,
If you don’t like that jepp product you’ll dislike there jeppview a flightdeck even more. It’ll take you back to DOS and windows 3. The most bug ridden and un intuitive software I’ve seen since the 80’s.

Ray

Thanks Gordon! Whew, that was close!! I was about a milimeter away from making this purchase - checking out their site and trying to figure our how to buy on line, got a bit frustrated with the site and came back over to COPA and saw your post. I even have their very attractive brochure offering the 20% discount here in front of me. It is now in file 13…I’ll stick with the AOPA version for now…

I couldn’t agree more. Jepp still uses tedious dialog boxes for various data entry, and fails to permit changes to basic data once it’s entered. Try changing the amount of fuel on board after the flight plan is established.

As for LOP operations, I do my planning off line, then override the TAS and fuel flow data rather than try to program the performance charts. Too much pain otherwise.

FliteStar has it’s merits, but feels ancient compared even to the average Windows app, and feels absolutely pre-historic for those of us lucky enough to use macs with OSX.

Fortunately we have nice planes to fly when we get frustrated with bad software. :slight_smile:

Until I updated with the patch (9.029), version 9 would crash every time. Now it only crashes sometimes. I just started it and it crashed immediately but ran when immediately restarted. It seems they never tested using FliteStar by itself. Still, I like the functionality better than Flitesoft. Version 8.51 was a lot more stable.

Another weird thing, the mouse movement is very slow in version 9. If I open the help file then it speeds up but it slows down again upon exiting help. Once Flitestar is exited, all is normal.

Gordon, sorry to hear about your problems - sounds incredibly frustrating.

I’m not sure whether this will solve your issues, or others’, but I use Destination Direct with no problems whatsoever. I have two planes set up - N2578B and N2578B LOP. Different performance for both planes, and planes can be interchanged on any given flight plan. Filing with DUATS isn’t impacted by LOP designation; it files with the right N-number either way.

Andy

Here’s some other warnings about the POS known as Flightstar 9.0 from another newsgroup:

There is a bug which will cause ALL USER-DEFINED WAYPOINTS TO BE DELETED when you install the 2004-02 update! The suggestion is to back up the file containing these waypoints before doing the install. I have no idea what file to back up. Fortunately I do not have any user-defined waypoints. However, I thought I’d pass the warning on to some of you who might be affected by this-latest-of-many Jeppesen software bugs.

(I spent 6.5 person-hours installing the 2004-01 (1/22/04) NavData update which updated my software to V9, and I was on the phone with their poor technical support five times to get it done right. How I wish there were competition for Jeppesen. They are so bad, they almost kept me from installing a new GNS 530 and MX20 with JeppView, because now I will be forced to buy more subscriptions from them.)

P.S. Oh, when your NavData CD arrives for 2004-02, take note: the CD label was misprinted, and it will say 2004-01!!! How do these folks screw up so often?

P.P.S. There is another bug with V9: even after closing down the software and re-launching it, the previously retrieved weather data (from Duats,
e.g.) will still show in your map view, and the old winds aloft will be included in your new flight plan! Be careful.

Gordon,
Thanks for the heads up. I have been following this thread because I was thinking of buying the software. Now, the E6B looks more reliable.

This thread is the longest one I could find to add a post to in order to start burying those other posts. Besides, I really overuse prepositions and prepositional phrases and thought some people may want to offer some assistance to me by rewriting my opening sentence.
Thanks in advance,
Greg

I am sure you have resolved your problems, one way or another, by now.

I built my own SR22 aircraft model (ROP) some time ago. I too had the same sort of “corruption” issues. I exported the model to a text file and modified it there. Copied the performance data from the POH PDF file. Wrote a simple Perl script to parse the data and rearrange the fields. Imported it. Still got the corruption message. Looked at it again and it turned out I had two fields transposed. Fixed the script and reimported. Now things work fine. If you want to send me your LOP data I could try and put that in a model as well.

–Galvin

In reply to:


As for LOP operations, I do my planning off line, then override the TAS and fuel flow data rather than try to program the performance charts. Too much pain otherwise.


Where do you override the fuel flow and TAS? The route calculator table doesn’t seem to provide the capability to edit these fields. I end up editing RPM and MP to get what I know is the TAS I’ll get, but the fuel flow is wrong, and of course so are the fuel burns in the flight log.

In reply to:


Try changing the amount of fuel on board after the flight plan is established.


In 8.51 you can do this by selecting the flight segment, then going to Preflight -> Weight & Balance, and changing the weight of fuel you start with.

But I’m really sorry to hear about Gordon’s experience. I had hopes for 9.0 to integrate Jeppview, FlightStar and FlightDeck for use on a tablet in the cockpit. But this isn’t a promising start. 8.51 has the capability to export & import aircraft models, which seems to include the performance data. Isn’t that available in 9.0? Might not help with the data integrity problems, but could at least get around the laborious editing.

The TAS and fuel flow can be forced to desired values by ticking the box entitiled “Override cruise:” on the first page of the wizard. That page is called “Pilot/Aircraft Selection”. BTW, I’m still on v8.51, but I doubt the wizard would have changed much.

It’s pretty crude, but the enroute phase of many flights are within a narrow range of altitudes. If not, you could average over the range of altitudes you plan. At least FliteStar uses this data accurately then makes appropriate allowances for climbs and descents.

So the routine is to plan the altitude in advance based on weather and terrain etc. Then enter the resulting performance in FliteStar’s wizard. In my Lancair at a density altitude of 10,000’, I enter 173 knots and 12.6 GPH. Without mucking with the tables, there is no way to model the LOP climbs and descents. But this keeps the results a few gallons on the conservative side.

I have resolved the mouse movement problem. Logitech Mouseware thinks version 9 of Flitestar is a game where version 8 wasn’t. In the Mouseware properties setup there is a selection (checked by default) that says something like “Disable acceleration in games”. Uncheck that box and all will be well as far as mmouse movememnt is concerned.

Gordon:

Re. Steve Demy’s post:

In reply to:


The TAS and fuel flow can be forced to desired values by ticking the box entitiled “Override cruise:” on the first page of the wizard. That page is called “Pilot/Aircraft Selection”. BTW, I’m still on v8.51, but I doubt the wizard would have changed much.

It’s pretty crude, but the enroute phase of many flights are within a narrow range of altitudes. If not, you could average over the range of altitudes you plan. At least FliteStar uses this data accurately then makes appropriate allowances for climbs and descents.


I do the same. I just use 10.5 gph and 173 kts. for flights in the 8,000 to 10,000’ range. The numbers come out fairly close to what actually occurs as regards fuel and time, although I can’t say I am that meticulous to say for sure.

I have version 8.51. I thought, although only briefly, a while ago about editing the aircraft model
for LOP operation. I am glad I did not try and mess with it.

In reply to:


The TAS and fuel flow can be forced to desired values by ticking the box entitiled “Override cruise:” on the first page of the wizard.


That works fine if you are defining a new route. Doesn’t help me with all the existing routes I have defined, though.

I have used Flightstar for years, and it has some nice features. But it is very poorly designed in terms of aircraft modeling, organization of data, and editing.

I also used Jeppview for several years, which was such an ancient piece of software it was laughable. Truly a joke in terms of UI.

In reply to:


8.51 has the capability to export & import aircraft models, which seems to include the performance data. Isn’t that available in 9.0? Might not help with the data integrity problems, but could at least get around the laborious editing.


Yes, and that’s my next stab at it. I’ll let you know if it works!

In reply to:


Yes, and that’s my next stab at it. I’ll let you know if it works!


This also failed. Same error.

I’m crossing my fingers that Seattle Avionics’ Voyager flight plan software evolves soon. Very promising. My initial eval showed some performance issues and some early teething problems. They have promised a LOP model RSN.

Thank you for the warning, I was also close to ordering FlightStar…

But allas Voyager (beautiful screenshots) seems to forget the rest of the world. (No flight planning to Bush International Airport Bagdad) [:)]