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Greetings Mission Planners,

If you didn't attend NGA's briefings at MPUC then you missed a great opportunity to learn how NGA's working to produce CIB, CADRG, DTED, DAFIF/AAFIF, Vertical Obstructions etc. to support you.  Unfortunately NGA decided not to allow the briefings to be posted on the MPSSF's website but you can request a copy via email - details are posted on the MPUC 2004 download page.  You can download any of the other MPUC briefings directly.  

The Combat Support Database (CSDB) on the SIPRNET is the place to go to get updated (read: real) threat parametrics.  Recently their web url has been changed to http://explorer.aia.af.smil.mil/wdbctx/csdb/CSDB.home.  Their previous web address might work, then again it might not.  If not then try the alternate.

I've posted a new version of Excel2FV Mark II in the Download Section of the website.  You can now connect all your points to form a continuous line or closed area in a drawing file.  That's different than Excel2FV's capability to connect all points in the same cell to form a line/area. The new capability is useful if someone gives you a list of hundreds of points that define an area.  If you have a spreadsheet where the first 15 rows are "point" records and you want the next 45 points connected you'll have to do some cutting and pasting to separate the two types of data.  Once you've separated the points you can use Excel2FV Mark II normally, then use the second spreadsheet to add the line/area to the same drawing file. 

Mission Planning Tip: FalconView MTR's

MTR stands for "Military Training Route".  According to FLIP General Planning (GP) "Airspace of defined vertical and lateral dimensions established for the conduct of military flight training at airspeeds in excess of 250 knots indicated airspeed."  MTR's used by all four Services for routine training.  There are several type of MTR:

  • IFR MILITARY TRAINING ROUTES (IR) - Routes used by the Department of Defense for the purpose of conducting low-altitude navigation and tactical training in both IFR and VFR weather conditions below 10,000 feet Mean Sea Level at airspeeds in excess of 250 knots indicated airspeed.
  • VFR MILITARY TRAINING ROUTES (VR) - Routes used by the Department of Defense for the purpose of conducting low-altitude navigation and tactical training under VFR below 10,000 feet mean sea level at airspeeds in excess of 250 knots indicated airspeed.
  • SLOW SPEED LOW ALTITUDE TRAINING ROUTES (SR) - Not an MTR according to GP, but otherwise treated just like one.  An SR is just like a VR, but without the ability to exceed 250 knots below 10,000 feet.

FLIP descriptions of the MTR's are published in AP-1B, but the same information is encoded in DAFIF.  PFPS imports the data and the MTR's can be displayed in FalconView and used for route planning throughout PFPS.  You can turn on the FalconView MTR overlay (not unexpectedly) from the Overlay Menu:

You control the MTR overlay from the Overlay - Options... window:

You'll note the Overlay Options are a lot like the Airways Options - but with several differences.  First, you can toggle VR, IR and SR routes on and off as a group.  Next you can "Display All Route Names" or "Display All Routes".  Displaying all routes is pretty obvious - you couldn't do this with Airways because there's just too many. More about displaying route names later.  You've also got a range of options for how to display the MTR's themselves, to include things like the route corridor, centerline, point names, direction arrows etc.

Turning on "Display All Route Names" will display the MTR name at the first route point:

You can right click on the map or on an MTR point to get a context sensitive menu:

In this case I've right clicked on IR344 so in addition to the "Display Military Training Routes in Region" (which I'd get anywhere on the map) I've also got menu items that relate to either getting info on or displaying IR344.  I've also got a menu choice to display information about the underlying VMap Level 0 "coastline/shoreline".  Selecting "Display Military Training Routes in Region" allows me to "drag" a box on the map to select routes to display - just as I could do with the Airways Overlay:

When you drag an Airways box on the map it's a mystery just what Airways will appear.  Since I'm displaying the MTR names there's no mystery as to what I'll turn on - IR344.  If I'd checked SR and VR Routes in the Overlay Options then I could turn on all the MTR types simultaneously.

You'll can see the MTR display features - things like the centerline, corridor, turnpoints, direction arrows and point labels.  Of course this doesn't tell the entire story of the MTR.  If we return to the right click menu and select "Info: IR344..." we'll see the textual description of IR344 that you normally read in AP-1B:

Although all the Remarks from AP-1B are included, you'll note they are broken up.  In some cases words are split in two - like "schedulin" and "g" or "communic" and "ations".  CFPS does a much nicer job displaying the remarks so if you need to do serious study or print you should go there.

This display of IR344 shows how FalconView uses different point styles for the different turnpoint types:

Green Square Entry
Green Square with Slash Alternate Entry
Blue Circle Normal Turnpoint
Red Square with Slash Alternate Exit
Red Square Exit

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You can turn off all the MTR's using the Overlay Menu, turn off individual MTR's from the right click menu or from the MTR Overlay Options. 

If you're planning a Low Level (whether you're flying on an MTR or not) you should be plotting crossing MTR's on your chart.  This can help give you the heads up you need. to avoid a midair.

Paul