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Economics Module Instructions


  • FSX, FSXSE, P3d (These simulators are compatible with the required ACARS program, SPAACARS)
  • Use of St. Paul Airlines SPAACARS program(Version 8 or higher) for auto-submission of PIREPs

SPAACARS Settings:

Make sure you have checked the box "Use Econ Mode" in the SPAACARS settings menu.

Note: The Econ setting now results in an automatic PIREP submission upon landing/crashing. This ensures that pilots are less likely to only send good flights to SPA. To add to the realism, your flight is your flight - and you are rewarded or penalized based on your flight planning and piloting skills.


Econ Flight numbers are post-fixed with the letters "CB" and the flight numbers must be entered correctly as listed in the Cargo/Econ flight schedule. Only those pre-defined flight plans with assigned numbers will count as an Econ Flight. User-defined flights and flight numbers will be rejected as Econ Flights, as will flights saved with earlier versions of SPAACCARS before Version 8 - regardless of econ mod settings. However, practice econ flights will show in the "Econ Practice Page" as long as SPAACARS is Version 8 or higher, and will also show in your logbook and count towards your flight hours. Econ Flights will automatically count towards your regular flights in your pilot's log just as any other flights have previously.

While you can repeat any of the Econ Flights you wish, your first flight entry becomes your 'official entry'. Addtional flights with the same flight number will count towards your regular PIREP's, but will not register as an Econ Flight. In short - you only get one offical run-through of each flight group (currently there are the 3 flight groups created by Yoland - one for each Cargo center - Mpls, PAKT and PAJN. "Do-overs" to attempt a better outcome for a particular flight will not register in the Econ Module - only in your personal logbook.


You can now fly your choice of aircraft on the Econ-Mod flights. Just be sure that the type of aircraft you select is suitable for your flight.

Payload (Cargo and Passengers):

You can fly either cargo or passengers or a combination of both and still get equal credit. When SPAACARS is initialized it will identify your aircraft's Cargo Capacity, Cargo, and Passengers. Your aircraft will automatically have 1 passenger (the pilot) and the remaining payload weight allocated to "cargo" when SPAACARS first initialized the aircraft. As you change the passenger number field in SPAACARS, the remaining cargo weight is reduced.

You don't have to fly with full cargo to get full revenue. Only if your flight is very short, with very little fuel added and almost no payload added will your revenue be reduced. Basically, if you use less than 50% of your aircraft's cargo capacity you could see a 50% reduction in your revenue.

Note: SPAACARS initializes the payload weight based on your simulator payload settings. If you don't add cargo or passengers to your aircraft, SPAACARS will not initialize that payload weight. You must adjust this in your simulator for SPAACARS to recognize it.

Note: The Cargo Capacity is displayed by SPAACARs and is not editable. If you overload your plane, it will just be more difficult to fly and you will receive an overweight penalty.


It's important for you to plan your fuel use for your chosen aircraft, and to load only the necessary amount for your flight plan, alternate airport (up to 1.75 hrs. flight time) including reserve. In any case you must try to land your plane with no more than 1.75 hrs. extra fuel on board, and no less than .5 hrs. of fuel on board. These numbers will be calculated based on your aircraft's fuel burn rate during the flight.

Flying Skill:


If you make crazy turns or fly up and down erratically you will create G-Force extremes that make your passengers sick or frightened and damage your cargo. As a result, these actions will also generate a penalty assessed against your total revenue. If you use SPAACARS sound option in the settings menu, the passenger screams will let you know there's a penalty waiting for you when you land.
Note: You may wish to set your weather addon's wind turbulence setting down a bit with smaller aircraft because excessive bouncing around with addons like ASNext can cause g-force penalties. Sorry - still no do-overs for flying through addon-weather-generated turbulence.

Landing Rate

Slamming your aircraft down on the runway won't impress your passengers or ensure the condition of your cargo or aircraft. As a result, hard landings will generate a penalty that can get very expensive depending on how "hard" you land. Landing in excess of -1000 are considered a crash, and you'll be paying a hefty insurance deductible out of your revenue.

Note: Poor planning and piloting can result in negative revenue - a loss for your company's bottom line.

Here's an explanation of how simulators work with SPAACARS and ECON-2018.

First, the simulator itself doesn't see passengers, baggage, etc.  It only sees payload weight and fuel weight.  All these extra things you see listed are additions handled by a particular aircraft model and controlled by programming for them - similar to the issue in the earlier post on this thread about how landing light switch won't trip the "prepare for takeoff/landing" of SPAACARS (because SPPAACARs reads simulator settings while these are handled by some payware programming outside of the simulator settings on some models).

SPAACARS - SPAACARS takes the total payload weight your simulator is showing and allows you to make the necessary changes as to how much of that weight is for PAX and what is for cargo.  It gets the total payload weight from the simulator AFTER you have initialized the payload and fuel for your plane in your simulator, so SET YOUR PLANE UP FOR PAYLOAD AND FUEL BEFORE STARTING SPAACARS.  Actually, SPAACARS should recognized changes to fuel/payload settings made prior to starting your flight, but you'll want to check the totals on the main screen of SPAACARS to be sure it's correct for PAX and cargo.

For some reason, when I originally programmed this (perhaps to include them in the payload weight), I included pilot/copilot weights as passenger weights.  Thus, for the purpose of ECON-2018 and SPAACARS, when calculating for the PAX number shown in the ECON-2018 flight schedules, you will want to consider the pilot and copilot as a PAX, otherwise it won't come out right on the main SPAACARS when you add it all together with the cargo.

For example, I fly the DHC-6 Twin Otter (Aerosoft) on flight 600000, the first Econ-2018.  It requires 15 PAX and 650 cargo.  Aerosoft has set up payload and pax settings, plus pilot/copilot areas in their fuel/payload area.  When this gets plugged into the actual simulator, as previously stated, it only sees this all totaled as payload weight along with the cargo.  So, I have to add my 13 PAX in the passenger area at 170 lbs. each along with the pilot and copilot at 170 lbs. to equal 15 pax.  I then add my 650 lbs. of cargo weight to the cargo areas supplied in the fuel/payload area by Aerosoft.

Now when, SPAACARS sees the payload weight on the main page of SPAACARS, you can move your 15 PAX over to the PAX column and the cargo will correctly display the cargo weight at 650 lbs.  Additionally, SPAACARS provides the "Cargo Capacity" field which will show the remaining cargo capacity that SPAACARS believes is available given the current fuel, cargo and pax weight according to the simulator readings.  If you fill your plane to Max takeoff Weight this field will read "0", as there is no unused capacity remaining.

So...the short answer is:

Ensure that your aircraft payload weight is set for (#pax * 170) = ttl pax wgt + cargo wgt = ttl payload wgt.

This will allow you to adjust the number in the PAX field of SPAACARS to show the number of passengers required by your ECON-2018 flight and the remainder should show the correct value of cargo for your flight in the cargo field of SPAACARs.

Here are two pics in my photo album showing my settings for ECON-2018 flight # 600000 as explained above.  Click each of them to follow the link to my photo album where they are explained further in the comments area of each pic.

Hope this helps clarify some things for all pilots.

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