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ontheair

question to real 737 pilots

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from the intro manual "The airplane cannot fly the localizer properly if the CRS knob is set incorrectly" In FSX world, at least, no need to set the CRS knob correctly (while it's far better to do so for evident reasons) : if the interception angle is consistent, you can select any course you want with the OBS, it will not change anything, the Loc will be intercepted. But what about real life operations ? Would you please 737 r-w pilots confirm or not what is said in the intro manual ?

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I don't think there's anyone here that can go out in a real 737, with 100+ people in the back, and see if the FMC can fly the localizer without the CRS set properly. What if it can't? What explanation do they give for the missed approach? What if things go badly? I guess that the most any pilot here can do is quote from their manuals. Of course, someone might actually have done this by mistake and can tell us more.


Cristi Neagu

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Cristi, You are right. That's why they have training in real simulators.In fact I would be surprised if that topic is not teached in some kind of mandatory training. So this might not be such a bad question afterall


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Dieter de Wit

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In the sim, you can still Intercept yes, but you'd be approaching the runway from the wrong angle. Effectively an off-set approach. Martin Wilby

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In the sim, you can still Intercept yes, but you'd be approaching the runway from the wrong angle. Effectively an off-set approach. Martin Wilby
Not really.An ILS emits only one signal modulated at 90hz to the left of the localizer and at 150Hz to the right of the localizer. There are no other approach paths than the one defined by the composite diagram of the ILS. I don't know why the 737 needs a correct course to be set, but im sure it is not needed for RAW data approaches as there are no radials to select. Flying RAW data with an incorrect course in the HSI would only confuse you visually. ils-layout.jpg

Omar Josef
Currently: B737 First Officer happily flying for a major European carrier (you know which one).
Previously: A perpetually red-eyed B757 cargo pilot.
737/757/767 type rated

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@Omar Hello, cause this is a "Ouestion to a real Pilot" Topic I´ll ask one more ! How do the RW-Pilots file their Arrival/Approach ?They get updated with Weather/Active Rwy etc. via ACARS from DEP to ARR anytime so they are able to react (e.g. re-program the FMS) when it´s needed (WX-changes,ILS failure...) long before Approaching ?Or they don´t program the Arrival at all until they come in the ATIS Range ?How do they know what Approach (ILS,VOR,VIS...) will be made ? I ask this cause I find it very complicated when you have to program the App after contacting ATC (expect vectors to Rwy XX) on VATSIM.And worse if you´re flying without FO, too much workload (grabbing for charts Arr/Plate, CDU...) BTW: Perdoname, soy un aleman que lleva 7 anos en espana y ahora me cuesta mucho entender el ingles aunque lo aprendi en la escuela pero sin practicarlo... Saludos de Javea/Alicante !!

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I believe the AFDS uses the course to calculate the tracking of the LOC. I was flying in to Kodiak Alaska a few years ago. I asked the CA if he wanted to set the inbound course for the ILS. He said, "Naw, it doesn't matter. The LOC only has one radial." Etc. I forget what the plane did, but it was not pretty. It intercepted, but then it started going off course. I believe we went missed or just did a turn at the marker. Either way, we reset the LOC course to the inbound and it worked perfectly. So, contrary to what you may have heard, it does matter. Set the inbound course.


Matt Cee

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@Chris198 I can answer this, as I own the Westjet 737 cockpit dvd from Just Planes. However, I am not a RW pilot. Here is how they did it in the DVD. At the departure airport, they program their route (obviously) and they already know, via ACARS what the weather and active runway is at their arrival airport. They do not program it however as things can change enroute. Just before Top of Descent, Captain and FO will go through an arrival briefing, based on last known approach, where they will go over charts and any NOTAMS for that airport. If runway/approach does change after that point, Pilot not Flying will reprogram FMC with new arrival. Another interesting note, I often check flightaware to track flights at my home airport in St. John's, NL and when I check for example, tomorrows flights, the STAR arrival is already listed in the route, so it must be known well in advance. But yes, when a pilot first gets in his seat at departure airport, he already knows what the active runway and approach is at destination because they spend time in a room at the airport known as Flight Operations Center, where they have computers with all of this information. Once again, this is from watching one DVD from one airline, so feel free to correct me on any of this or if you are RW pilot and your operations are different, please share.

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The answer is a simple one !! Yes you always set your courses !!!!!!!


Frederic Steiner.

B7382.jpg

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@Omar Hello, cause this is a "Ouestion to a real Pilot" Topic I´ll ask one more ! How do the RW-Pilots file their Arrival/Approach ?They get updated with Weather/Active Rwy etc. via ACARS from DEP to ARR anytime so they are able to react (e.g. re-program the FMS) when it´s needed (WX-changes,ILS failure...) long before Approaching ?Or they don´t program the Arrival at all until they come in the ATIS Range ?How do they know what Approach (ILS,VOR,VIS...) will be made ? I ask this cause I find it very complicated when you have to program the App after contacting ATC (expect vectors to Rwy XX) on VATSIM.And worse if you´re flying without FO, too much workload (grabbing for charts Arr/Plate, CDU...) BTW: Perdoname, soy un aleman que lleva 7 anos en espana y ahora me cuesta mucho entender el ingles aunque lo aprendi en la escuela pero sin practicarlo... Saludos de Javea/Alicante !!
Sorry, I had not seen your questions. I have to say that although I am a real world pilot, i don't have airline experience. All I know about airliners is what I learned during my Air Transport Pilot training and from the 4 years I worked as a flight attendant (one on 737s in Air Europa and 3 in 777s and 330/340 in Emirates). The airline, the type of equipment they have and the type of operation will define most of what you are asking there. In Emirates, the airplanes have FANS on board which is a type of CPDLC (Satelite ACARS), and through it, most of the CDUs information will be uploaded to the airplane and updated throughout the flight. On the ground, before departure, there's just no possible way to know what the exact approach will be when you still have 12 hours of flying ahead of you, so most of the times they will not even enter an approach procedure in the DCU. In Air Europa, airplanes didn't have ACARS back then on the 737s and flights were short. Pilot experience on a particular route leads to knowing what the most probable procedures will be on the arrival airport. So, it is common to set up the most likely approach before departure, There will always be time to change it during the flight and clear up discontinuities after listening to the ATIS. Also, listening to the VOLMET can give you an idea about what winds are like. ( Sadly, Flight simulator does not have VOLMETs). On short repetitive flights, most of the times you will fly the exact same arrival on airports with very stable wind directions so, I have even seen the crew draw in the vectors that ATC will most likely give them. That was very common in the airport that we were based at (GLPA).

Omar Josef
Currently: B737 First Officer happily flying for a major European carrier (you know which one).
Previously: A perpetually red-eyed B757 cargo pilot.
737/757/767 type rated

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Quoting Omar "I don't know why the 737 needs a correct course to be set, but im sure it is not needed for RAW data approaches as there are no radials to select" +1 "the PMDG 737 NGX cannot fly the localizer properly if the CRS knob is set incorrectly". This is amazing but true ! I have checked the way the 737 NGX behaves when intercepting a ILS/Loc. This is why I was curious to collect some r-w 737 pilots opinions about that special behaviour

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