# Step Climbs

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Could someone please provide advice as to how to plan step climbs and then enter them into the FMC. I would have thought that they would conflict with the cruising altitude that's entered when the FMC is programmed before flight. I've been watching the great DVD showing the Virgin Atlantic flight between LHR and SFO and saw a number of planned step climbs on their route.One can never learn enough about the -400..!!Cheers,Guy

Regards,

Guy Burton

The FMC will calculate them for you provided your flight is long enough to make them useful. After you finish setting up the FMC, look at the VNAV CRZ page (2) and fly at or slightly below the optimum altitude listed. The FMC will automatically insert step climbs at the optimal points along the route. When you reach those points, just dial up the new altitude and press the alt knob.

Ryan Maziarz

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Ryan,Many thanks for your assistance.Flying anywhere from Australia is going to make it a long flight with the chance for step climbs; I'll give it a go....Cheers,Guy

Regards,

Guy Burton

Hi captains,Sorry to bump up this old topic, but i have a question about step climbs and Crz altitudes :I know the FMC is calculating the optimal FL and the step climbs, but how to determine the first -initial- climb alt ?In other words what are the criteria to determine the first Crz alt ?

Regards,

William Vrielynck

>Hi captains,>>Sorry to bump up this old topic, but i have a question about>step climbs and Crz altitudes :>I know the FMC is calculating the optimal FL and the step>climbs, but how to determine the first -initial- climb alt ?>In other words what are the criteria to determine the first>Crz alt ?>>Hey,As I do for every flight that I am operating with the B747-400, the first climb that I reach is FL310 (or depends in wich direction you are flying too, respect everytime the RVSM rule)Open you FMC and look then for the Optimal Flight Level and Maximum flight level. Then you can determine which FL is more cumfortable for the airplane, and also for the fuel comsumption.

Hi,Step climbs are a really interesting one, but you can pre-plan them yourself. There are tables in the manual, that tell you about fuel consumption times.. let me look for the page.. one mo ;) (the advantage of forums is.. while I'm digging this out it'll look instant!) ..... looking... looking still.... still looking... AH HA.. here we are.. page 2-8 and 2-9.. have a look here..SO you plan your trip.. you know the time and distance.. so.. if you weigh.. say.. 850,000lbs at take off.. we can look it up in this "Maximum & Optimum Cruise Altitudes" table.. let me see.. If we're 850,000lbs.. then we're between 870 and 810 and then our cruise will be FL310.. after 1 hour 26 mins (final column).. we'll be in the range of 770 to 840.. then our optimum is then FL320.. and so on.. after say .. 6 hours from our take off we'll be.. let me see... 670 - 740 bracket.. so we're at FL350.. that's just rough obviously you can work it all out yourself.. BUT.. if you then marry these times with your flight plan.. and FSBuild is good like this as it gives expected times.. you can see exactly WHERE you'll be for your desired step climb.. and over a long flight.. you might want to plan 2 different ones... this table let's you do just that.. as it goes over 15 hours of flight time..So although it is good to check with the FMC for the calculated figures.. with this table you can plan it all manually.. and then use the FMC to confirm it..I think, the important thing here, is that a lot.. and me included!.. use the FMC far too much and rely on it as the word of our lord and master.. BUT.. if you speak to pilots.. the FMC is a TOOL.. to HELP you.. not TELL you.. what to do..:) Hope that helps..Craig

Hi Craig,I have printed all the manuals, TRC's, tutorials and all that other stuff and i read them every day (its my bible :;-) ) and guess what : i did not even think about looking in that chapter;( )Thanks for the advice@ Ludovic, thanks for the advice too

Regards,

William Vrielynck

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