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Greetings Mission Planners,

NGA's posted EChum for March and the DAFIF went into effect on Thursday.  You can also download Preprocessed EChum and DAFIF ("60 second update") from the MPSSF.

Speaking of the MPSSF, they're still looking for you to fill out your Mission Planning Users Conference (MPUC) survey.  If you didn't complete one in Las Vegas you can do it online.  The teaser says that upon completion you'll be eligible for a "free gift!"  

Last Tip discussed CFPS shortcut key combinations.  Will Slighter at Hurlburt reports that if you use "CTRL+H" to bring up the hover options you'll be unable to use the menu option to bring up the hover options for that point.  You'll only be able to bring up the hover options by pressing CTRL+H again.  Alternately if you use the menu option to set the hover options then the keyboard shortcut won't work.  Weird but true.

Loogie Hochstein's discovered a problem with FalconView's coloring of airports (Green = Civilian, Blue = Military or Joint Use).  DAFIF categorizes airports as "Joint Use" if they have Military Personnel in the tower - like Albuquerque Intl/Kirtland (KIKR).  Airfields that have a military ramp (Springfield Ohio, Phoenix Arizona, Lincoln Nebraska etc) but a 100% civilian tower are treated as "Active Civilian Airports."  Hopefully a new category will be added to DAFIF to cover (what we consider) Joint Use fields, i.e. all the ones with a military ramp.  Until then be aware that there's more places to park in a semi-emergency than you'd think by  looking at FalconView's blue airfield symbols.

Mission Planning Tip: CFPS Tools Manager

CFPS 3.2 introduced a custom toolbar like the one that appeared in FalconView 3.11 (where you see the TaskView icon), but CFPS upped the ante by allowing you add and remove your own custom tools - something that FalconView won't have until 3.3.1.

On install the Custom Toolbar appears to the right of the other buttons.  Unless you installed a Tybrin AWE that added a shortcut button (like the Handheld AWE) you may not even realize the Custom Toolbar exists.  To setup your toolbar go to:

You can have up to 20 (!!!) custom tools but when you start you'll only find one or two installed.

To add a tool click the "Add" Button (this isn't rocket science) and type in the "Tool Name".  This name that will appear in the "Tools" menu and as Tooltip text when the mouse passes over the button  - in other words you can type anything you want, but please make it descriptive and not profane.

Next click the "..." button to the right of the "Tool Path" and browse to the program you want to add.  In this case I'm adding a shortcut to CFPS System Admin, so I've browsed to the \pfps\cfps folder and selected "SYSADMIN.exe".

When you press the "Open" button you'll return to the Custom Tools Manager and see the Tool Path has been updated:

Neither the Tool Icon or Window Title is required.  If you don't specify an icon (.ico) file then the program's standard icon will be used:

Although difficult to see, the icon on the right is for CFPS System Administration.

You can also create shortcuts to other files.  Switch the dropdown "Files of type" at the bottom of the "Open" window to "All Files (*.*)":

Below I've browsed to the gp.pdf (General Planning) pub I downloaded from NGA:

Documents don't have icons embedded.  If you don't specify an icon CFPS will use a generic "Tool" symbol:

Items you add are also listed in the "Tools" menu:

The most useful tool to add is the last one in the above list - the PFPS Weather Tool.  You'll find it in the \pfps\NPfpsWx folder:

With the ability to configure CFPS Buttons and Menus there's no need for the old PFPS Task Manager.  I always delete it from the Desktop and replace it with shortcuts to CFPS and FalconView.

Paul