Frequently Asked Questions

User Guides

Power User’s Guide for QuickPlan

I do not have an iPad and/or a computer running iBooks. What other formats does Power User Guide for QuickPlan come in?

The short answer, None.  This has been a common question.

Early on in the development it was decided to write Power User Guide for QuickPlan using the powerful iBooks format due largely to the fact that many customers of FSWidgets QuickPlan purchase the iPad version, but also the ability to leverage iBooks features to make the guide that much more useful and enjoyable.  It was decided to go exclusively on iBooks.

I cannot purchase esci’s Power User Guide for QuickPlan where I live- how can I get it?

Apple™ employs separate iStores for each country that they serve.  They are constantly expanding.  When we first published the Power User Guide for QuickPlan  there was approximately 29 Apple iStores around the globe.  Send a request using the “Contact Us” form, list your country, and if it is now available, esci will add it to our sales list and email you when it is complete.


I’m at the end of a mission and I should be seeing the “Mission Success” pop up…but I don’t. Why not?

We're afraid it is because you missed something.  Check to see what tasks you missed by bringing up the “Kneeboard” (F10) and going to the Goals page. 

If a task doesn’t have a ✓ next to it, it means you didn’t accomplish that task.  At esci we have worked hard for this not to happen.  Normally if you do not complete a task in the desired amount of time or space, you fail the mission (Red X and a Failed popup).

However, with missions this complicated, there are likely a few–we think very few–unclosed “loop holes”.  If you find one, please let us know and we will try to fix it…except if it’s a landing issue - see below.

I’ve landed at the end of a mission, taxied to the stand, shut down engines and still no “Mission Success” pop up! No ? for the landing. What the heck?

Believe it or not, it is probably because you landed long.  To force the player to use a specific runway for landing (normally because it is a more challenging approach), that runway called out in the mission coding logic.  However, it is unclear just how much that runway “counts” for a successful landing.  There is a “landing zone” as it were.  Land inside the zone and it counts.  Land outside and it does not.  esci did some testing which demonstrated that this zone is definitely less than half the runway length.  It appears to be somewhere inside one-third of the runway length.  (It is unclear how things like a displaced threshold or a blast pad effects the zone.)  

For missions where landing on a particular runway may be difficult, the novel provides “hints”.  Most all missions allow you to “Go Around” at least once if it looks like you landed too long.  Basically you need to “land on the numbers” or the indicated landing area (two thick vertical stripes on the runway, just past the numbers).  With this in mind, it is probably a good idea to save your mission just before you begin your approach if you think landing may be an issue.

The Dreaded SCENERY.CFG file error!

Actually it’s not that dreaded.  It just means that you didn’t load Pilate’s Ghost to the same folder as the Flight Simulator X installation.  Probably because you flashed by that page where it asks you “Where do you want to load Pilate’s Ghost?” and just took the default and hit Next.  So now you got an error when you started FSX.

Looks bad.  It isn’t.  It is easy to fix.  Simply uninstall Pilates Ghost (you will find the uninstall for “Pilates Ghost version 1.6” in the Control Panel under Programs and Features, Uninstall a Program.  If you sort by date installed it should come to the top of the list).  After you uninstall it…just reinstall it remembering to use the correct path.

This most often occurs when somebody using a 64 bit Windows.  A 64 bit Windows Operating system loads most programs, including FSX, under a folder called Program Files (x86) .  The default path used by the Pilate’s Ghost installer is based on the more common 32 Bit Windows operating system where Windows loads most Programs under a Folder called Program Files…no (x86) at the end.  Unfortnately, the 64 Bit Windows also has a Program Files folder, with a Microsoft Games sub folder.  Why?  I have no idea.  However, it means that it will appear that Pilate’s Ghost is loading properly…but it isn’t.

My Installer will not take my Registration Code.

First, try to copy and paste the entire code into the Registration Code window - hyphens and all.  This was the way the registration code was meant to be entered.

If that didn’t work (or you need to punch it in by hand) look at the code itself:  The Registration Code contains 5 fields and 4 dashes.  All must be entered properly. All characters are Capital letters.

The error message you got will help determine the issue:

***“Incorrect Product Code” - This is the first field - it is a 4 character Alpha-Numeric field that identifies the product.

***“Incorrect number of dashes” - again, the dashes (hyphens or minus signs) must be inbetween the code fields with no spaces between the dashes and the code fields.

***“Incorrect Registration Code” - The registration number code is incorrect.  Please double check that the numbers in those fields are exactly correct.

***“Registration Code is too short” - Somewhere you missed a digit or character, probably in the last two fields that identify the product’s legal purchaser.  It is four numbers, a dash and four characters.

I would like to read Pilate’s Ghost on my Kindle™ eReader or pad app? Can I do that?

Technically, Yes.  Pilate’s Ghost has been provided in MOBI format.  This format is compatible with Amazon™ Kindle™ eReader or a Kindle™ application on a pad or smart phone as well as other other eReaders.  

That said, the following legal statement is required: 

Pilate’s Ghost is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Amazon™ Inc.  esci Flightsim Publications does not endorse any specific pad, computer or eReader.  Further, the customer assumes all responsibility in uploading Pilate’s Ghost to a Kindle device or app, with the understanding that Amazon™ will not provide technical support for the install.

In other words Amazon™ did not authorize esci to make a specific “Kindle™ version” of Plate’s Ghost.  So we did not.  We made a MOBI format version can be used by other eReaders, as well as Kindle™, so it was included.

I’m having trouble completing a simNovel mission and have to start over again after I have completed most of the mission. What can I do?

You can save a mission at any point.  The mission will return you to that point after you restart it.  There is no penalty on receiving a reward at the end of the mission. That said, this works for most missions except sling hoist missions.  For some reason, if you restart a sling hoist mission with a cargo attached, the cargo will swing out unpredictably and the cable will snap (Failing the Mission).  During testing we found no way around this and no fix for it.  Another likely failure on restart is if you saved just before you were about to crash.  You might be able to pull out of it…or you might not.  We recommend to save a mission when in stable flight and where there are no immediate mission check points or tasks.

In the F/A-18, if I select Waypoint SEQ on the HSI, I get a Crash to Desktop (CTD).

Yes you do.  It is a known FSX glitch.  For unknown reasons, attempting the SEQ-function to see your flight plan on the HSI, while in a Mission causes FSX to crash. (It works fine in Free Flight.)  We recommend setting up the HSI with a 10 to 30 Nm range and WPT selected. This will provide the waypoint information, distance and heading cue on the HUD. To determine your position on the flight plan, use Shift 3 to bring up the GPS.

When flying a simNovel mission that involves starting an aircraft, if I have to restart the mission, the restarted mission begins with the engines are already running.

Yes they are running!  This is an FSX “Feature”.  They probably felt that you don’t want to go through that pesky start up sequence again.  That may be fine in Free Flight mode, however, in Pilate’s Ghost Missions, there are factors that are keyed to engine start.

The Solution:  Get out of Missions. Go into Free Flight and select a basic aircraft - the Cessna or the Trike work well - and start the flight.  (It does not matter where, even if you start in flight.)  Once started, shut down the engine - turning the “key” to Off is enough.  Exit the flight and Free Flight, go back to your mission and the aircraft engine state should properly set for the mission.  The other solution is to turn FSX off and then back on.

When using my TrackIR, there are certain views that go “out of whack” and makes it hard to complete the mission.

Using a TrackIR helps out with 95% of the mission time.  However, there are certain times where you can switch the screen to a different view for specific mission purpose. If the TrackIR is on, it quickly “loses” its center point in the new view. The proscribed solution is to:
 a) momentarily look straight ahead in the cockpit view; 
 b) temporarily disable TrackIR (F9); 
 c) then select the special view. 

When all done, don’t forget to re-enable TrackIR (F9).

I keep failing one part of a specific mission and I cannot think why?

The issue is likely somewhere in the instructions; perhaps a small item overlooked.  Mission instructions are found in five places.
1 - the novel itself where the mission is planned or at least outlined.
2 - Flightsim Flying Notes that goes into FSX fligtsim specifics.
3 - The mission brief itself will provide a lot of information in bullet format plus a series of graphics.  It is best to study the brief well or even print it (there is a button in the upper right corner to do so).
4) - The kneeboard:  It will be mostly maps & charts, but they are annotated.  Most missions give the pilot a chance to study the kneeboard pad, on the ground or in the air, before the critical mission phases begin…or you can always pause things [P].
5) -  Inflight communications:  A mission objective may change mid flight.  You need to be flexible enough to adapt to the changes and fly according to the new instructions.

Bottom Line: For each mission, all the answers to properly fly it are not found in one place.  You must “gather them up” perhaps even take notes as you go along…just like real pilots do.  That’s the basic answer which holds true most of the time.  

The Point of Interest (POI) markers or not showing up / distracting me.

Press “U” until you get the view you want.

I’ve passed a POI marker and it will not go away.

This means that you did not fly close enough to the POI marker’s “gate” - an invisible box in space that you must fly through for “reaching the POI” to count.  Depending on the mission, this may mean nothing – a slight distraction on the screen perhaps; or it may mean that you will not achieve an award or goal.

We have made the POI “gates” fairly large.  If you are consistently missing one you are probably flying too wide or too high.  Try again flying closer.  If it still doesn’t disappear, contact us using the aptly but unimaginably named “Contact Us” form.  Please specify which mission and which POI.  We will check the gate size & location.  

According to the Mission plans, something was supposed to happen, but it didn’t.

Again, the invisible “gates” are likely the issue.  “Gates” (technically Areas for Proximity Triggers) are placed around Navigation points, other aircraft or vehicles, various buildings and landmarks, etc.  Again, we have made them appropriately large but not necessarily huge as many times that would defeat the purpose.  You may be required to approach an object on a certain side and / or at a certain range.  Ranges are normally given in meters…if they are given at all.  (For the US folks a meter is about the same as a yard.)  If a specific range is not given, keep closing  until something happens.

Some of these missions are impossible!

Actually they are not.  At esci, we tested each mission to its successful end as well as testing all the Failed Mission criteria.  Not impossible, but potentially very challenging.

So get a little practice.  We recommend selecting the “Enable changes in selected Mission (no rewards given)” box on the mission list page.  This will allow you to change all the parameters you want.  Having trouble landing at night, change into day time and practice.  Shoot touch and goes in a specific jet…or switch to another aircraft to get used to the airfield.  Gliding skills are not often practiced and many, my self included, are a little rusty.  Practice under mission conditions.

Or just fly around for a familiarization flight (FAMFLT).  Remember, when you fly, the character you are emulating is an experienced pilot who knows the area (mostly)…Taking a FAMFLT or two in order to “get into character” sounds like a good idea.  When you think you are up for it, uncheck the box and try it for real.

I am using ORBX FTX Global Base and/or FTX Global Vector and/or FTX Global openLC Europe and…

Say no more.  The Pilate’s Ghost missions were developed using the default scenery of Europe.  Microsoft® actually did a pretty good job with the Swiss Alps.  At 18m Mesh resolution, they came out fairly well.  While the ORBX add-ons are fantastic, making missions that would work just as well with both is a monumental task.  There are just too many differences.

To fly these missions as designed, disable / remove the FTX scenery and set the scenery sliders as described in the “Seriously Read Me” file that was installed with Pilate’s Ghost.  In the future esci may produce a simNovel which employs 3rd-party scenery.

I am using FSGenesis High Definition Mesh for Europe and…

Again, say no more.  See above FAQ answer and substitute “FSGenesis” for “ORBX” and “FTX”. 

I am getting odd appearances in the ground around the custom made simNovel scenery.

Did you read the “Seriously Read Me” file?  If not, please go ahead and read it - specifically the Scenery Display section.  If that doesn’t fix it, contact us using the Contact Us window.


What is the capital of Montana?

It is Helena.  Most people seem to thinks it’s Billings.  Billings is the largest city in Montana.  At esci, we have no idea why people frequently ask this question.