FS2Crew is widely known for their virtual co-pilots. Many see no other way to fly than with their copilots. Over the last few years, FS2Crew has been developing a new program that is a Virtual Ground Crew for your airplanes. This addon has been very welcomed into the community since its release a few months ago. Ultimate Ground Crew X has set out to give the simming community a better pushback system, as well as some other features they think you will enjoy.
Installing UGCX is fairly straight forward. The installer is very easy to follow. The only two options are to select your simulator, and to confirm the installation location. A DirectX installer then pops up, prompts you to accept the terms, and then the installation continues. So far so good.
Once installed, a UGCX Configuration Manager icon appears on your desktop, opening this will prompt for your name, email, and order number to activate the product. After that, UGCX is activated and ready for use in your simulator.
The UGCX Configuration Manager includes manuals, videos, a link to the forums, a logo manager, and a way to check for updates.
UGCX uses the default Prepar3D menus to interact with the product. To summon the menu, simply click on the addons tab on the P3D toolbar at the top, and select Ultimate Ground Crew X. Not having a key command to summon the window is fairly annoying, especially since its direct competitor has a key command to summon the same type of menu.
The options have a good amount of customization to them, and are also easy to navigate. Some of the options include ways to change languages and switching between voice and menu controls. There are also a lot of aircraft specific features such as changing where UGCX sees the aircraft’s wheel position, to include a bypass pin, enable or disable the rampers, how far back the marshaller is, and a lot more.
The voice controls are a nice addition to UGCX, which allows you to have more immersion when communicating with the ground crew. However, one of the biggest issues I have run into is that UGCX needs to have a specific, word for word command said to it for it to register what I have said and to move onto the next step. For example, when the initial parts of the pushback are underway, UGCX asks for a communications check and to confirm the brakes are set. You need to say “Communications are ok and the brakes are set” exactly like that, or it will not register and continue with the pushback. Having a system that listens for key words like “brakes set” or “communications good/ok/5 by 5” would work much better as many pilots fly differently from others.