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Guest Dr-Foo

Flight experience and questions

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Guest Dr-Foo

Hi, I took a flight last night from RJAA to VHHH and had a few things go "wrong" (not with PMDG, but with something I must've done or overlooked), and I was wondering if anyone could spot the problem or provide suggestions/tips. I apologize for the length...I'm just trying to get it all in once so I don't have to write several posts.(1) Initial cruise was FL33, but when the FMC gave an optimal FL cruise slightly higher, I decided to go for it and used FLCH. Got the FL but then I noticed that for the duration of the flight, I was in CLB thrust limit mode. So I went to the VNAV page and saw that the first page was blank, with boxes asking for crz altitude; I entered it, plane went to next level. CLB annunciation changed to CRZ for a minute, then went back to CLB(??). I couldn't figure out how to get the 744 into ECON CRZ so flew in CLB...I'm looking in the manual to see if I can detect what to do, but does anyone have a tip?(2) Maybe this is related the above issue, but I could not get the 744 to manage the speed. IAS/MACH window was blanked so being "managed" by the FMC. Above the speed tape was ".85" but actual speed kept going up into "overspeed"; I'd adjust throttle but speed then kept dropping below the bugged speed pointer, adjust higher and it'd go overspeed again. Authrottle was on for sure, too, but the FMC speed was not being managed by the throttles. I tried adjusting speed on the MCP and pressing button, but nothing seemed to work. (what's the overall different to turning the speed dial to turning or adjusting speed and pressing the button?)(3) When it was time for descent, I thought the FMC would manage the descent altitudes in the FMC. I got a couple messages from the FMC telling me to adjust target altitude in MCP, I ended up adjusting altitude based on what I saw as the target altitudes in the FMC. Speed seemed to change at various waypoints, I could see the bugged speed indicator changing on the speed tape, but wouldn't the FMC put the 744 into descent? Why does the FMC have "330/FL240", for example but not then descend to that altitude and only change speed?Well, 26nm out of VHHH coming in for approach, my computer crashed anyway (aaargghhh). Not a CTD per se, but I heard a click and then my computer turned off! (This has happened a few other times whether using another program or even on the internet...can't figure out why).Thanks for your help....I'll continue searching the forum for some answers that might be related to my experience, but your insights will be indeed valuable to me.Cheers,Dr. Foo

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Guest AJ

1. Assuming that you were originally cruising in VNAV mode, then the FIRST step in changing your altitude should be plugging the new cruise alt into the VNAV page of the FMC. Only then should you change the alt on the MCP and click the "Alt Intervention" button (center of the alt knob on MCP).2. "Authrottle was on for sure, too, but the FMC speed was not being managed by the throttles." I'm not quite sure what this means. Please clarify.3. In VNAV, the autopilot wil not initiate a descent from cruise unless you first lower the MCP alt to your next target altitude. The MCP alt acts as a restriction to the FMC, a sort of saftey catch to make sure that is what your really want to do.All of this is covered in the manual. Go back and reread the VNAV section as well as the "care and feeding of the autothrottle" post at the top of this page.Hope this helps,Andrew

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Guest ColdBear

Dr. Foo,1) Assuming you ment FL330 (not FL30 - 3000Feet). when you leveled off at FL330 did the FMA annuciat "SPD / LNAV / VNAV PTH" ? If yes, then you should, to step climb, just dail in the new altitude and press the alt knob. This will change the FMC to "ECON CRZ CLB"(VNAV CRZ page). The FMA will also change to "THR REF / LNAV / VNAV SPD", when leveling off it will change back to VNAV PTH. You can change the THR LIM on the INIT REF page of the FMC. Click the INIT REF, then INDEX(6L) then THR LIM(4L)2) Make sure there is a speed annuciation on the FMA!3) Could you clarify a bit on this one?Martin

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Guest D17S

The CLB (1 or 2) or CRZ (CON or TO -1 or 2- ) annunciation on the top of the EICAS screen is just a thrust limit. If you are in cruise flight, generally you will see experienced pilots intentionally set

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Guest Dr-Foo

Thanks, Sam, Martin, and Andrew. Good grist for the mill. One of my boo-boo's was to not pay attention to the left/right FMA's during my head-scratching episodes. Sorry about that. I'll make note of them next time.I think you hit the nail on the head, Sam, it is like trying to understand the choreography of a dance/dance steps....getting thing right is hard, especially when there's no tutorial on grasping/mastering these nuances. The PMDG manual describes things, but doesn't actually teach "on the fly" (pun intended).I'm getting better at T/O's to cruise but cruise to approach/landing is still kinda tricky (for me, at least). I'm still trying to remember what tapping/double-tapping the altitude/speed knobs to to managing flight and when to use the SPD or THR buttons....I pressed those a few times during my episode, but they didn't light up, but I'm sure it did something to cause the cascade of errors, LOL!As far as the whole descent thing, it sounds like I need to get RC4 so I can have a "live person" give me descent and speed directions to landing. I've heard it's a "must" :-) Dialing down the altitude myself and haphazard-guessing about when to slow down at what distance/altitude from the airport is not always that fun.(BTW, I'll look into that Mother Board Monitor, sounds like I need it).Thanks again guys for your generous donation of time to get my head wrapped around some concepts. I'll apply your suggestions and see what happens. Practice makes perfect (not sure about the length of time b/w practice and perfection, but everyone started out a beginner, just like me).Dr. Foo

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If you are not using on-line ATC, which I advise staying off-of until you are very experienced with manipulating the aircraft, then RC4 (which I always use - I do not have a schedule that allows coordinating with on-line ATC) is a very realistic application. Search out comments on it in this and browse its forum here on AVSIM.The one suggestion I call to your attention is that in some cases in the final approach stages RC4 can bring you in too high since it monitors maximum terrain elevation within a certain radius around your aircraft. If you are landing let us say where the strip has a mountain on one side it could take that into its minimum altitude calculation and bring you in too high to catch the glide slope.The best way for departure and approach is to have proper charts so you are terrain aware. RC gives you the option of flexible arrivals and departures, including full command of your final approach, so you can deviate or fly your own procedure for the last stages.Either way you can "synthesize" your own departures and arrivals without any ATC and AI turned off by getting a few charts and practicing your procedures until you can get the rudiments down so you can promptly and efficiently perform what is necessary to accommodate ATC and proper horizontal and vertical navigation to follow established published procedures.For US departure and arrival charts free on-line go here:http://naco.faa.gov/and navigate your way to on-line products, terminal procedures, pick your airport, and a list of DPs, STARS, IAPs, and an airport diagram will be displayed.These will provide plenty of practice info for you. Initially choose relatively easy surrounding terrain areas.


Ron Ginsberg
KMSP Minnesota, Land of 10,000 Puddles
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Support Team

 

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Guest Dr-Foo

Good advice! One day soon I'd like to be able to do on-line flying, that'd be really fun.As for RC4, since I'm primarily flying the 744, it's doubtful that I'd be doing any bush-piloting, LOL! So RC4 sounds like a good investment. I'll have to read up on it at their homepage and at the support 4-um.(A little off-topic question I'd like to sneak in here: I like the professionalism/quality of PMDG's planes, and I've heard that Level-D's 767 is very good too [not sure about a 777], but are there any payware Airbuses that are worth looking into?)Have a great Friday + weekend.Cheers,Dr. Foo

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Guest Dr-Foo

Thanks for the great flight tips....great info. Flown a med- and long-haul flight w/o incident, so something's paying off!Been listening to the ATC feeds, thanks for the link(s). I think I'll be able to keep myself out of trouble this weekend for sure (at least for a while).Cheers,Dr. Foo

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