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Guest alexmi6rider

Madrid Barajas to Geneva Airport ILS

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Guest alexmi6rider

Hello FS Friends,I'm new on this forum and I wasn't 100% sure which forum this topic should come under, so I took the risk of posting it on any section from the main page and I'd like to apologise to the Administrators if this was an incorrect decision.First, I'd just like to say that I'm absolutely thrilled by the "realness" of the PMDG 747 and the way it operates on FSX just makes it feel like you're in charge of a really powerful machine.Second, I'd like to correct myself if in the Topic Description by quoting "Approach problems" because I'm not 100% sure if there's a problem from the aircraft's part and feel that I may be missing something out on the Approach procedures which sprouts as a puzzle as far as the FMC and VNAV are concerned from this Approach stage (the point from when ATC advise to descend).I'm actually trying out my first ILS flight using the PMDG 747 on a fairly sensible, beginner's-style plan from Madrid Barajas (LEMD) to Geneva (LSGG) having already successfully mastered ILS landings with the default 747, 737 and the A320; I've also done it with the CLS A340-600 (still need to try the 777 - the POSKY version; only problem is I don't have the default 777 gauges for the POSKY renditions to work completely on FSX!). This is my second time I'm doing this flight because I did it the first time on Monday, but then thought I'd improve on it and see if I could do it a bit better; it's still my first ILS flight. Everything's absolutely fine from Takeoff to Cruise mode, but there comes a moment when it's time to Approach when things start to go a little out of hand. Maybe it's just the speed of the activities you have to do (since it's my first ILS), or maybe its just the speed of the plane that's causing the scale of activity for the pilot to accelerate, I don't know.I would be greatly appreciative if you could please advise if I'm missing out on something and also please correct me if I'm doing anything incorrectly during the Approach phase. I'll just outline in bullet points how things go from TO to Approach (and LANDING obviously) and how I'm inputting information into the FMC at the gates and during Approach:GATES, PRE-START UP

  1. Start APU (it takes while for APU1 and APU2 to become available)
  2. Switch STANDBY POWER to Battery
  3. Turn off engines
  4. Once APU1 and APU2 are available, switch on APU 1 and APU 2
  5. Activate APU switch (bottom right hand side); get some power going
  6. Switch STANDBY POWER to AUTO
  7. Upper and Lower Recirc. On

FMC

  1. Switch IRS on overhead to Align
  2. Enter POS INIT page of FMC; input IRS position into FMC
  3. Switch IRS back to NAV (I chose instant IRS alignment rather than the 10minute rule).

RTE PAGE

  1. Depart from LEMD
  2. RW 33L
  3. Arrival at LSGG

DEP/ARR PAGE

  1. DEP (for LEMD) from 33L
  2. ARR (at LSGG) at ILS05

PERF INIT

  1. CRZ ALTITUDE FL360
  2. GR WT DUAL @ 569.8 ( " " )
  3. FUEL 103.1 CALC
  4. ZFW 466.7
  5. RES. 30
  6. COST 100
  7. CRZ CG 23.2%

TAKEOFF REF

  1. FLAPS 10: V1 @ 122K; V2 @ 132K; V3 @ 153
  2. TRIM 4.6
  3. E/O ACCEL HT 800FT
  4. THR REDUCTION FLAPS 5 CLB
  5. WIND SLOPE H00/u0.0
  6. RW COND DRY RW 33L
  7. EXEC.

PUSHBACK

  1. Autostart OFF
  2. Engine 1 and 4 switch ON; CON switch on; Throttle 'RUN' switch: CUTOFF to RUN
  3. Engine 2 and 3 switch ON; CON switch on; Throttle 'RUN' switch: CUTOFF to RUN
  4. APU OFF once all 4 engines are awake
  5. APU switch on bottom right hand side OFF
  6. CON SWITCH OFF; AUTOSTART SWITCH ON

COCKPIT DISPLAY and COM

  1. Input V3 reference onto IAS/MACH knob; set HDG to 325 (runway heading as ATC advised); set altitude to 7000 (ATC advisory)
  2. Switch on Flight Director
  3. Switch on AT/ARM
  4. VNAV on
  5. Test TCAS -> adjust to TA

AT TAKEOFF

  1. Engines to 50%
  2. Activate Autothrottle (the little screw)

AFTER TAKEOFF, CLIMB

  1. Autopilot on as soon as the plane takes off (not immediately ... about 5-6 seconds after)
  2. I switched off VNAV almost immediately once AP was switched on because the V/S was set to 5,600 by the FMC!!! So I made the plane climb using the ALT and V/S knobs. (Similar episode happened when I was performing the initial climb after takeoff on my very first ILS flight on Monday - I took off, activate AP (with VNAV on) and I let the plane climb at the ATC set altitude at 5,600ft; when I established, say, the 7000ft altitude bar and ATC said to climb say 13000ft, leaving VNAV on, I set the ALT to FL130 and then the plane would climb at the FMC set V/S (if I'm correct in saying that) to 5,600 which was very strange, so I turned it off and, as I said, switched to captain instructions)
  3. Follow ATC climb and navigation instructions towards the route plan
  4. Once the plane is in line with the calculated route plan (on Navigation display), activate LNAV
  5. Once established at 36,000ft, activate VNAV (but reduces speed to 280k, why is this please??)

APPROACH

  1. FMC calls out "RESET MCP ALTITUDE" and ATC requires descent to FL230 - these two events happen simultaneously and I don't know what RESET MCP ALTITUDE is, so I clicked on the CRZ ALTITUDE on TAKEOFF REF and clicked on it again (FL360 -> FL360) (! not sure if this is what I should have done!)
  2. Turn off VNAV by following ATC navigation instructions (ATC advised to descend to FL230, then to turn left 50 degs left and then 20 degs left probably assuming the plane wouldn't be able to descend to that altitude in good time - FSX ATC are so erratic by the way! - LNAV got switched off as well since the plane was being manually manouvered via the HDG knob and manually brought down by the ALT and V/S knobs by myself)
  3. Reduce speed from 280k (cruising speed set by VNAV) to 260k
  4. Enter FMC: APPROACH page; select F25@147K for landing reference
  5. Enter NAV RAD: select ILS-MLS and then click on it again (an M appears at the end of 110.90/046 which I understand is the ILS frequency for runway 5 at LSGG)
  6. FLAP1 activated at 14,200 FT
  7. FLAP5 activated at 11,000 FT
  8. Reduce speed to 220K
  9. ATC advise to return back to the route plan on the Navigation display (turn 80 degrees right which would allow the plane to intersect the route plan, but I had to leave their ATC centre and switch to Geneva Tower, so I decided to put the plane back on its track once it intercepted this line by activating LNAV. once the plane is aligned with the route plan ... )
  10. LOC ON : how can you tell if the localiser is active and alive by the way; and the glideslope for that matter too? - in the FSX default 747, you can hear the morse-code sound to confirm that the plane has picked up the ILS frequency. Oh, and also, I've heard in some Youtube videos and read on Wikipedia about the ILS approach system and says that when you've passed the Outer, Middle and Inner markers, you hear a set of sounds to indicate that you've gone through them; is this not featured in the PMDG? I've heard this too in some cockpit-recorded videos of the 747 during its final approach but I don't heard anything in the cockpit. Right, I didn't know when to do this next thing because of the uncertainty of the recently explained, but about 15 seconds after ...
  11. APP ON : and the plane automatically gets in line with the runway to prepare for descent
  12. VNAV ON : but what it did was, when I switched on VNAV whilst the plane was in APP mode, it was descending at such a rate, the plane's nose dropped down further and further to about minus 8-9 degrees and it kept dropping altitude fast. I checked on the glideslope and the plane kept going further and further below it (the rhombus icon for the glideslope was right at the top meaning the way it was coming down, there seemed little opportunity for it to pick up the glideslope). The plane was in line with the runway however. I didn't know what to do from here, so instead of turning it off, I stubbornly to set the ALT to 0ft, clicked on the knob and I think it stabilised from thereon. It picked up the glideslope later on; then I
  13. Reduce speed to 180K, FLAPS 20; gear down
  14. Reduce speed to 160K, FLAPS 25
  15. The plane approaches the runway with the nose continually going up and down (maybe it's just a problem with the speed and it to get perfectly in line with the glideslope; actually, I'm just a little afraid and panicky sometimes about the speed issue and the 747 because I just think there's no way a 747 can descend or fly at below 160K, but obviously this is a position I'm definately wrong in and need to get into the habit of accepting otherwise! I'm not sure whether I should have set the plane to descend at 160K, or even below, before it even hits the glideslope
  16. About 300 ft from the runway, the plane's hit by unusual crosswinds, but manages to still get in line with the localiser of the runway
  17. The nose drops down fiercely to drop altitude
  18. The plane stabilises 8ft above the runway and then drops down heavily on the Autoland and I stupidly ignore the fact that the throttle of my joystick is at around 30% power once, I understand, the AT is deactivated.

I know it can be done a lot smoother, and I'm certain I've done some things wrong to make it bad. It's my first (second for improvement) ILS landing with the PMDG 747 having done several with the defaults and the CLS A340-600 (although there isn't an Autoland function with theirs I think - you have to turn off the AP and the AT just before landing; with the PMDG, its just so smooth and easy, the A/T and AP get turned off automatically just before touchdown so you can pull the plane in reverse on touchdown which I really feel in admiration for this great rendition and once again hats off to PMDG for their excellent work).I'd really love to hear any comments or advice if I'm doing anything wrong and if there's anything else I need to do (especially with speed!). Once again Administrators, I'm really sorry if I posted this topic in an unsuitable or in a forum inappropriate to its content.Thanks again friends,Mohammed Munshi

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Hi MohammedAs far as I can see you are doing a few things wrong. The way I learned all this was doing the PMDG Type Rating Course (see the PMDG website) and looking at these tutorials on Youtube - they are excellent:

The only caveat to all of this is that the standard FSX ATC is poor and cannot be relied upon to guide you along the pre-programmed flight plan, nor does it cope with SIDs and STARs. Do a search for Radar Contact which is an excellent, and realistic alternative ATC package. Note their forum is above this one.Good luck.James Ross

James Ross

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It would appear your post concerns the PMDG B744, so I guess you are in the right place... :(Descent phase:Prior to the calculated top of descent (T/D on navigation display and FMS), you need to set the altitude to something lower than your cruise altitude, that is what the message REST MCP ALT means. If you are required to descend to FL230, then you could dial this in to the MCP altitude window, and let the aircraft descend according to the calculated VNAV profile. The profile is affected by en route weather, and windspeeds in particular. So if you haven't entered any descent forecasts for winds, then expect an erratic descent profile, or an inability to stay on the descent profile.As you are cleared to lower altitudes, you would adjust the MCP altitude accordingly to reflect the altitude to which you were cleared.Once you are down to around FL110, you want to start slowing down to around 250KIAS, unless you get cleared for high speed descent (I don't think the FS ATC does that, but the online networks offer it again and again...). As you enter the terminal area, say 30 to 40nm from touchdown, you need to be ahead of the aircraft, selecting slats and flaps according to the speed bugs on the primary flight display, and reducing the aircraft speeds to the relevant ones.You are vectored to intercept the localizer (often best envisaged as the imaginary continuation of the runway centreline), you need to be at the correct altitude (see if you can find the appropriate approach chart for the runway ILS), let us say 3000ft QNH. The aircraft needs to be stabilized, ie flaps at the necessary setting, and speed to match. Once on the localizeer, you maintain the current altitude at the required speed (sometimes defined by ATC) until the glideslope becomes active, ie the glideslope indicator begins to move from the top downwards. As you near the glideslope intercept, select landing gear down and landing flaps setting, and begin to slow down to Vref + correction for winds, always at least Vref + 5...If you wish to carry out an autoland, the aircraft must be configured accordingly, for which you must refer to the manuals...If any of this doesn't make any sense, you need to read through the manuals and tutorial provided for the PMDG B744. Something like this takes time to learn... check out the PMDG Ops wiki... there are some good tutorials there for the B744 I believe...AndrewPS: This is by no means specific to the B744 from PMDG, but generalized Boeing, from a few years of simulation with the B737NG... It is not an accurate procedural step by step for the B744... Please feel free to correct me if anything here is downright nonsense... :(


Andrew Entwistle

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Guest alexmi6rider

Thanks James for the link, I'll give this a try and see how it goes!Thanks again :( Mohammed

Hi MohammedAs far as I can see you are doing a few things wrong. The way I learned all this was doing the PMDG Type Rating Course (see the PMDG website) and looking at these tutorials on Youtube - they are excellent:
The only caveat to all of this is that the standard FSX ATC is poor and cannot be relied upon to guide you along the pre-programmed flight plan, nor does it cope with SIDs and STARs. Do a search for Radar Contact which is an excellent, and realistic alternative ATC package. Note their forum is above this one.Good luck.James Ross
Thanks for replying AndrewAh, I thought the RESET MCP ALT meant something to do with the descent. I guess that's why the FMC called this out and ATC requested descent to FL230 both at the same time.I agree I was making a large number of mistakes on the approach and finals; thanks for advising me about the approximate times when to activate the localiser and use the flaps on the finals.But it would be true in saying that the 747, once hitting the glideslope, must descend at a much slower speed, say near 160K or below?Thanks again :( Mohammed.
It would appear your post concerns the PMDG B744, so I guess you are in the right place... :( Descent phase:Prior to the calculated top of descent (T/D on navigation display and FMS), you need to set the altitude to something lower than your cruise altitude, that is what the message REST MCP ALT means. If you are required to descend to FL230, then you could dial this in to the MCP altitude window, and let the aircraft descend according to the calculated VNAV profile. The profile is affected by en route weather, and windspeeds in particular. So if you haven't entered any descent forecasts for winds, then expect an erratic descent profile, or an inability to stay on the descent profile.As you are cleared to lower altitudes, you would adjust the MCP altitude accordingly to reflect the altitude to which you were cleared.Once you are down to around FL110, you want to start slowing down to around 250KIAS, unless you get cleared for high speed descent (I don't think the FS ATC does that, but the online networks offer it again and again...). As you enter the terminal area, say 30 to 40nm from touchdown, you need to be ahead of the aircraft, selecting slats and flaps according to the speed bugs on the primary flight display, and reducing the aircraft speeds to the relevant ones.You are vectored to intercept the localizer (often best envisaged as the imaginary continuation of the runway centreline), you need to be at the correct altitude (see if you can find the appropriate approach chart for the runway ILS), let us say 3000ft QNH. The aircraft needs to be stabilized, ie flaps at the necessary setting, and speed to match. Once on the localizeer, you maintain the current altitude at the required speed (sometimes defined by ATC) until the glideslope becomes active, ie the glideslope indicator begins to move from the top downwards. As you near the glideslope intercept, select landing gear down and landing flaps setting, and begin to slow down to Vref + correction for winds, always at least Vref + 5...If you wish to carry out an autoland, the aircraft must be configured accordingly, for which you must refer to the manuals...If any of this doesn't make any sense, you need to read through the manuals and tutorial provided for the PMDG B744. Something like this takes time to learn... check out the PMDG Ops wiki... there are some good tutorials there for the B744 I believe...AndrewPS: This is by no means specific to the B744 from PMDG, but generalized Boeing, from a few years of simulation with the B737NG... It is not an accurate procedural step by step for the B744... Please feel free to correct me if anything here is downright nonsense... B)

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