These Frequently Asked Questions are here to help to evaluate FSCaptain and solve problems you may be encountering with installing or using it.

1. Pre-Installation Questions.

2. Installation and Configuration Questions.

3. Flying with FSCaptain.

4. Questions About Penalties.

5. Troubleshooting.

The FSCaptain FAQ

Question 1.1: Will FSCaptain run under Windows Vista, 7, 8, and 10?

Answer: Yes, FSCaptain has been tested and will run under Windows Vista 32 & Vista 64, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10.

Question 1.2: Will FSCaptain run under Windows XP?

Answer: The FSCaptain Administrator EXE will not run under Windows XP. The Administrator and the FCOM/FCDU gauges will run inside the simulator.

Question 1.3: Can I install FSCaptain in separate simulators on the same computer?

Answer: Yes, there is no limit to the number of installations of FSCaptain you can make on a single computer. You may install in FS2004 and FSX and P3D and even in multiple copies.

Question 1.4: How does FSCaptain affect my windows registry?

Answer: FSCaptain does not make any changes to your Windows registry in any way, shape, or form. It does place an 'FSCaptain' folder in the root folder of your FS installation, two gauges in your 'Gauges' folder, two icons on your desktop, and a menu in the 'all programs' part of your startup menu. All this is removed with an uninstall.

Question 1.5: How do I uninstall FSCaptain?

Answer: There is a simple uninstall program placed in the root folder of any FS installation (FS2004 or FSX) that you install FSCaptain into. Executing this will delete the entire install of FSCaptain, except that it will not automatically remove any FCOM devices you have installed in your airplanes -- you must do that before you un-install FSCaptain, because once you do the uninstall the FCOM installation/removal tool wil be gone.

Question 2.1: If I have both FS9 and FSX, can flights in either one apply to the same career?

Answer: Yes! You'll need to install FSCaptain in both FS9 and FSX sim folders normally, and install the FCOM in your airplanes that will use FSCaptain in both sims. But you can select one of the installations as the master log. On the other (non-master), go into the "Options for all Airlines" tab of the Administrator, and change the Log location and Backup locations to point to the folders in the other sim version. Then both sims will access the same log database as if they were one. In order for you to share a career like this, you must be flying the same airline with the same pilot number in both sims. Also, the airline and aircraft databases remain separate, just the logs are shared.

Remember the databases for airlines and aircraft are just text files in folders. You can copy them from one sim installation to another with Windows Explorer.

Question 2.2: How do I make variations of the same aircraft type?

Answer: You can designate individual exceptions to the general rule of an aircraft type. When you create a new aircraft configuration, base it on the general type, but append an underscore and the registration number to the type in the name field. For example, the generic type DC3 might be convertible, but the specific type DC3_N733DC might be cargo-only. This is how could you fly cargo missions for a passenger-primary airline in a passenger-primary airplane.

Question 2.3: The Log file is not a text file. Is there a way for me to access that data in a spreadsheet?

Answer: Yes! There's a program in the FSCaptain\Data folder (where the logs live) called Cvtlog.exe. Run that program and a console window will appear asking you for your airline. Enter an airline file name (minus the .cfg extension) and the cvtlog program will write out the log from that file as a comma-separated text file with the extension .csv -- this can be imported into Excel or just about any other spreadsheet.

Question 2.4: Can I play different music?

Answer: Sure. You can play almost any MP3 music file as your background music. In the current version you'll need to copy the MP3 files you want to play into the FSCaptain\Sound\Music folder, then use Notepad or another text editor to open the file FSCaptain\Config\Sound.cfg and edit it to add your music to the list there. The Sound.cfg file contains many comments to help you fighure out how to change it. the pilots!

Question 3.1: How do I choose between cargo and passenger flights?

Answer: The aircraft configuration determines it. Regardless of the primary role of the airline if you fly a passenger-configured airplane it's a passenger flight. If it's cargo-configured, it's a cargo flight. If it's convertible (which all planes are by default unless you override them with the aircraft characteristics) then any specific preference you have on your pilot profile will determine the type of flight. If you specified no preference (you chose "Either"), then the primary role of the airline determines the flight type.

Question 3.2: How do I fly a scheduled flight?

Answer: For a scheduled flight without an arrival time assigned to it, just select that flight from the flight list on the Administrator's Flight Dispatch tab, or from the flights presented to you in the FCOM. It does not matter what your time in the simulator is, you can start the flight any time. However, if the flight has an arrival time and your airline scores you against arrival times you must set your sim time to be about 10 minutes before the scheduled departure. This is called the "departure window" and it can vary by airline, but for the default ones the gate will not be ready to board passengers or cargo before this window starts (default 10 minutes).

Question 3.3: What are the advantages and disadvantages of the different special flags on cargo flights?


  • Priority - arrival time window is narrowed, and points are doubled both for on-time and early/late. Bigger loss or gain - arrive within that window for extra points!
  • Fragile - Damage parameters are narrowed significantly, you must fly and land more carefully but extra points awarded for safe landing with no damage.
  • Live - You are carrying animals or patients. Damage parameters are narrowed somewhat, and you must avoid high flights in unpressurized airplanes.
  • PAX - You have jump seat riders. Same effects as Live plus the live cargo in this case can and will comment on the flight, thus gaining or losing points based on their perception of your performance.

    Question 3.4: I sit at an airport gate but FSCaptain doesn't realize I'm at that airport, or it thinks' I'm at a different one.

    Answer: This is caused by two potential issues, one fixable and one we have to live with in the world of MSFS. It may be that you've customized or added airports. The FSCaptain databases are configured with all the airports that are distributed with FS, but these are not automatically updated when you add or change scenery in FS. To fix this go to the "Options for All Airlines" tab of the Administrator and click on the "Rebuild Airports Database". If this is the source of the problem it should disappear.

    A second issue which we can't do much about is the situation in MSFS where two airports are located so close to one another that when sitting at a far-out gate of airport A you are geographically closer to the center point of airport B. This particularly shows up at PANC (anchorage AK) where a water strip is located so close that FSCaptain (which always looks for the closest airport to your airplane) will sometimes believe that some of the gates at PANC actually belong to the water strip. Because of the way MSFS works there is no perfect solution to this problem. You can simply relocate to another gate further away from the "bogus" airport. Brave and knowledgeable tweakers can make a scenery mod that deletes the unwanted minor airport near the major one.

    Question 3.5: Why does FSCaptain think my airplane is/isn't pressurized? Question 3.6: Why does Dispatch give me unrealistic flight time estimates Question 3.7: Why does Dispatch give me unrealistic fuel burn numbers?

    Answer: These are all caused by the same problem: a mis-configured airplane. When FSCaptain sees an aircraft type that isn't in its database, it adds it to the database with default settings in its configuration based on assumptions it makes. Sometimes these assumptions are accurate, sometimes not.

    From the 'Dispatch Online' page just after you log in, press the F5 key to get Aircraft Characteristics. The title will say something like "B737 Aircraft Characteristics". The B737 in this example is the aircraft type which is defined by the designer as the 'atc_model' parameter in the aircraft.cfg. This is the data item FSCaptain uses to access its characteristics file, in this case B737.cfg in the FSCaptain\Aircraft folder. You should use the Administrator Aircraft Characteristics tab to load and correct these characteristics.

    Question 3.8: Why do the weather stations I inquire on say "Weather station not set in FS"?

    Answer: It's most probably because you have a weather add-on which does not set every station. By default if you use the built-in weather, almost every weather station in the world will be set if you download "real weather". But weather add-ons just set the stations within a certain radius (usually about 60-100 miles) of the user's aircraft. Thus, if you inquire using the FCOM's weather facilities on your destination airport which is, say, 200 miles away -- it hasn't been set yet by your add-on. It will be set as you get closer.

    Question 3.9: Can I pause an FSCaptain flight?

    Answer: When you pause Flight Simulator FSCaptain will pause, and when you unpause FSCaptain will likewise resume.

    Question 3.10: Can I use FSCaptain at simulation rates above 1X?

    Answer: There are no consequences to accelerating your simulation rate in FSCaptain. We would not recommend you use a rate past 8X, with 4X being a practical maximum. But FSCaptain does not reward your score for remaining at 1X the entire flight, nor punish you for increasing the simulation rate.

    Question 3.11: Can I save an FSCaptain flight?

    Answer: Yes! You can easily save your FSCaptain flights - if you use an autosaving utility, your FSCaptain flight will also be autosaved. You can restore your flight as long as you 1) Do not make any new FSCaptain flights in the same aircraft type; 2) Restore near to the save time and location; 3) You have not upgraded FSCaptain to a newer version.

    Question 4.1: I get a penalty "Lights not set properly" what caused that?

    Answer: Every airline requires you to have your NAV lights turned on during all phases of flight. If you have your NAV lights off at any time when in the air you will get this penalty. In addition, some airlines may require that you have your landing lights turned on under 10,000 and off above that altitude. If you do not comply with this policy you will get the penalty. The actual penalty is triggered if you exceed 10,900 with the lights on or fly below 9,100 with them off. If your aircraft is large enough to have a First Officer he or she will remind you about the lights in time to avoid any penalty.

    Question 4.2: What do the terms PAXCOM and FACOM mean?

    Answer: PAXCOM and FACOM are comments (positive or negative) received by your airline from your PAX (Passengers) or Flight Attendants, respectively. They will influence your score.

    Question 4.3: I get a penalty "PAXCOM: Poor Service" what causes that?

    Answer: On some scheduled flights, meals or snack service is promised on the schedule and planned for by the airline. If the meals or snacks do not get served, the passengers will likely complain. Also, and a more common problem, if a meal or snack service starts but is unable to be completed because the flight enters the approach phase and the Attendants have to quit serving, the PAX may well complain.

    Question 4.4: I received a penalty "PAXCOM: Rough Flying" why did that happen?

    Answer: Three things will trigger this: excessive G forces during your flight, exceeding a bank angle of about 40 degrees in a turn, or a really hard landing. Sometimes, very turbulent air can trigger a "Rough Flying" complaint which may not be fair to your flying.

    Question 4.5: On one flight I got "PAXCOM: Nice landing" yet another time I did not get that after a very smooth landing. Why?

    Answer: All PAXCOM comments have a random factor involved, just like in real life. Over time, if you consistently make smooth landings, your career will reflect positively, even if sometimes you don't receive praise. This applies to negative PAXCOMs too, sometimes you "deserve" one but manage to avoid it. In determining negative PAXCOMS, FSCaptain uses a random factor to determine if you have one or more "complainers" on your flight. There's roughly a 15 percent chance of a complainer showing up for every 100 passengers. If you have one, the limits that will trigger a complaint get narrower. You do not have a way to know, directly, if you have a complainer. Always fly conservatively when you have PAX aboard.

    Problem 5.1: I'm using FCOM with FS2004 - it's very slow and my cursor is an hourglass much of the time.

    Answer: You may be using the FCOM that's made for FSX, possibly because when your FCOM gauge was installed the installer was executed inside an FSX folder. One solution is to remove the FCOM using the Installer and re-install it. Another is to manually use Notepad or another editor to open the panel.cfg file for the airplane and search for the string 'FCOM!' and replace it with 'FCOM9!' ... there will be three or more of these strings be sure to find them all.

    Problem 5.2: My Mp3 files won't play with FSCaptain.

    Answer: The program uses the Windows MCI (Media Control Interface) to play MP3 format files. The MCI is known to have issues with some formats of MP3 files that play with other software. You can test an MP3 with the "MP3 Tester.exe" program in the FSPCaptain\bin folder. It uses the same MCI system. If it will play an MP3 then FSCaptain should and vice versa.