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What is Acars

Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (or Acars) is a digital datalink system for transmission of small messages between aircraft and ground stations via radio or satellite. The protocol was defined in the 1970s and uses telex formats. It will be superseded by the Aeronautical Telecommunications Network (ATN) protocol. (From Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia).

XAcars is a plugin for X-Plane that emulates the real world Acars system. The flight data sent by the XAcars system can be used to plot a pilots position on Google Maps and Google Earth.

Download and install Google Earth.

Download the CAX on Google Earth overlay in the Add-Ons section of the hangar and open it in Google Earth. Save your temporary places folder when you exit Google Earth. This file is not needed any longer after you have saved the changes in Google Earth.

XAcars can also be used to send your flight report (PIREP) to CalAir.

Download the XAcars Plugin


How to Install Acars


Download the Acars Plugin

Copy the file xacars.xpl (capitalization is different for mac, linux and windows) and the folder XAcars to your X-Plane/resources/plugins folder.


Windows users must copy the files from BASEDIR to x-planes root folder (that's the folder where your X-Plane.exe is). On Linux and OSX these libraries should be installed - if not please install them.


Download the XAcars.ini file

Download the XAcars.ini file for California Airlines from the Add-Ons section of the Hangar, unzip and copy XAcars.ini to the X-Plane/resoures/plugins/XAcars folder. Make sure you perform that step as described above, it will automatically fill in all the fields in XAcars Preferences except ACARS Server User and Acars Server Password that you will need to enter accordingly. (see below).

Using Acars for the first time


Entering XACARS Preferences

Start X-Plane and open XAcars when you are ready. Before you can use XAcars the first time, you have to enter your login name and password (the same as the Home page login) in XAcars Preferences. You can only enter the XAcars Preferences when the engines are off.

Preferences should be set as follows:



FlightInfoServer URL:

ACARS Server User: Your California Air username.

Acars Server Password: Your California Air password.

Time Interval for PosReports (minutes): Please enter 1.

Enable LiveACARS: Ensure this is checked.

Enable PIREP: Ensure this is checked.

Send PIREP at end of flight automatically: If not checked, you will have to open the ACARS window to file your PIREP at the end of your flight. You should check this.


Preparing for your flight

You can enter the Acars flight info manually, import from Acars (Flight Schedules), import from XSB, or import from FMS.

- Enter the flight number to import a flight from the flight schedules.

- You need to start XSB and enter your flight plan before clicking Flight Data from XSB.

Enter a valid flight number from the schedules, or, if not a scheduled flight, you may include any alphanumeric characters with these flight number prefixes.

FLY = Flyin Event

PVT = Private Flight

VFR = VFR Flight

CAXTEST = Test Flight

(only for California Airlines Test Pilots use)

The route for the flight must be entered. Please refer to our flight planning links for details of how to obtain valid routes. If flying VFR, DCT is acceptable as a route. If flying IFR, please limit DCT as much as possible, you should plan your flight correctly.

Chief Pilots have the discretion to delete DCT flights from the pilots log, particularly where it relates to long haul flights.

The Aircraft must be a valid California Airlines Aircraft ICAO code.

If the type of flight is a Test Flight, enter a valid California Airlines Aircraft ICAO code. If the ICAO is not found the aircraft will be changed to R and D Aircraft and the text entered for the aircraft will be saved as Type of Test when the PIREP is saved in the database.

When you are ready to make your flight click Start Acars. You can only start acars tracking when the engines are off.


When you finish your flight

When you finish a flight and shutdown the engines XAcars will open for you to send your flight PIREP, if it doesn't open automatically, open it manually. XAcars version 2.5 has a comments line, enter a comment if you would like, your comment will be stored in the database and will be included in your PIREP sent to your Regional Base of Operations Manager. Click View PIREP and then click Send PIREP. You may want to Save the PIREP if it is not sent successfully.

Note: DO NOT click exit until you have saved or sent your PIREP. You may NOT be able to view it again.