So I found a new (to me) exciting way to experience CTD’s that I should share a heads-up on. Apologies if it’s been pointed out before, but I haven’t seen it mentioned in the forums I frequent.
Because I am lazy (some would say efficient) I tend to use certain buttons on my controllers for multiple commands that either compliment each other or should not conflict with each other, as opposed to making X number of new controller profiles for every plane. For example, I have the same button mapped to “Toggle Spoiler” as I do for “Toggle Water Rudders” because, let’s face it, there aren’t any floatplanes yet that need spoilers. I picked up this habit from IL2 which has unique commands for many planes but they essentially serve the same function - like “Open Radiator Inlets For A-20-Havoc” versus “Open Radiator vent for Ju-87 Stuka”. All I want as a pilot is to hit the same button to do the roughly same relevant thing for the plane I’m flying, with as much of a standardized layout as possible. I refer to this practice as “Assignment Overloading” and it has served me well for years and years.
So recently I needed to map some buttons for the Hype Performance Airbus H145 Helicopter and when I looked at what needed to be mapped it made perfect sense to just add to existing assignments since they shouldn’t really conflict. The MSFS commands in particular are as follows (what the helicopter does with these is different and not relevant here):
INCREASE PROPELLER 4 PITCH
DECREASE PROPELLER 4 PITCH
INCREASE PROPELLER 3 PITCH
DECREASE PROPELLER 3 PITCH
So I figured I’d just re-use the 4-way switch that I have mapped for Increase/Decrease Mixture (up and down) and Increase/Decrease Prop Pitch (Forward and back). The logic being, if I’m flying a single or twin-engine aircraft, pressing the 4-way switch would still control the normal prop and mixture, and the Prop 3 / Prop 4 commands should be ignored since there is no Prop 3 or Prop 4. Conversely, when flying the H145, the (standard) mixture and prop commands would be ignored since there is no prop or mixture to control (instead, the H145 re-routes the above commands to function for Cyclic Beep Trim.
And this all seemed to work quite well for flying the H145. However, the next day when flying the stock C152 to do some pattern work, when I touched the same button to pull the mixture back, INSTANT CTD. Tried 4 more times (getting a chance to acquaint myself with the new MSFS “Safe” Mode) and the same thing happened. Changing planes to the stock C-172, then the Aviat Husky, got the same results.
I was quite perplexed about this and thought my system which has been very stable (well, as stable as can be expected with this sim since SU5) was finally puking and dying or something, but remembering what I had done the day before I deleted the extra assignments and the problem vanished. I’ve now added the assignments back in and duplicated the problem. It seems to be when decreasing the pitch or mixture, not increasing it. But God only knows what other conflicting command combinations are possible.
You can try it yourself, just map whatever assignment you have for “DECREASE MIXTURE” and also map it to “DECREASE PROPELLER 4 PITCH”, or map the button you have for “DECREASE PROP PITCH” also to “DECREASE PROPELLER 3 PITCH”. Then start a flight in a common, default single-engine prop plane that has no prop 3 or 4 and press the button to decrease pitch of mixture, and BAM - CTD. I’ll bet you a dollar.
What this implies is that we have next to nothing in the way of proper exception handling in this program to handle certain command assignments that are easily possible to create and more likely to occur as more and more aircraft with specialized commands are released. So be careful in that regard and if you get a CTD that in any way occurs when you are manipulating the controls., I’d suggest taking a second look at what commands are assigned to that control and perhaps creating a dedicated profile for related aircraft instead.
And, no… I don’t overclock, and my Community Folder contents should have been ignored since that what the new Safe Mode does. Right? Right.