I found a bug this morning, where the search box treats non-breaking spaces as part of a waypoint identifier instead of a space, thus causing missing waypoints.
In this specific case, I copied the flight plan from skyvector, and it turns out that makes everything a non-breaking space. I had to replace all of them with regular spaces before IF would accept them.
I will test after my flight lands if something else can also cause a non-breaking space to end up in the search box, because I have personally experienced seeing missing waypoints before.
In real life waypoints, ICAO codes, VOR’s, and more are used with specific characters. If you make a flight plan, or copy one with no breaks between these specific items there is no way that the software would be able to tell what you wanted to do. For example. if you had a long string of fixes without space inbetween them, a VOR and a waypoint that ends in a letter can be confused.
Example: KMCO = Airport ICAO. MCO = VOR.
If I have a flight plan that had fixes JAFAR, PIGLT, MARK, and MCO in it and there are no spaces, what differentiates the K in MARK from being added to the VOR MCO, in which would create KMCO, a point that would be vastly different?
The easiest way to go around this is to simply make sure there is a space between the waypoints, VOR’s, and airports within your flight plan. Non Breaking spaces have the same effect, to ensure that your flight plan is 100% good-to-go I would suggest using FPL to IF, Simbrief, or Flight Plan Database from here on out to avoid these items from happening.
Check out the tutorial below for more info regarding simbrief, its an excellent recourse that I use!
Additionally, you can check out fpl to if, a website created by Community Moderator Chris to help with the flight plan-making process and much more! I linked it below!
I am talking about the “non-breaking space” character, which is NOT a regular space. The issues is if I type something like “JAFAR PIGLT MCO”, IF recognizes that as three waypoints. However, if I type “JAFAR_PIGLT_MCO” (where _ is a non-breaking space), IF recognizes that as ONE waypoint with spaces in its name.
I honestly have never tried a fpl like that before. I can only imagine IF would accommodate flight plans with clear spaces between the waypoints, flight plans that are produced by the websites I linked above or by typing them out. Sorry that this happens to you, but I do not think that this is a bug, just something that is not supported at this time.
A non-breaking space is visually indistinguishable from a space. As I’ve said already, certain technology converts multiple spaces into non-breaking spaces which causes this problem.
And BTW, I believe typing two spaces on gmail and sending it to my phone actually produces non-breaking spaces. I have to test this, but I’ve actually had missing waypoint problems before, and possibly this is why.