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ARM505

Comparisons to RL

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Hi all,I posted a response in another thread here before realising that there may already be a whole bunch of people here who actually fly these things for real, and the forum may not need some guy butting in with anecdotes of real world ops, which may or may not relate to the product. Whilst I don't own the NGX, I've been simming for years, and owned other PMDG products which have been consistently excellent. I happen to fly -800's IRL. Flying 101 (ZS-ZWP) in particular is one of my 'rides', which happens to be an available paintscheme (I sit in the labelled seat of 'Co-Captain', lol)! We operate short-haul, quick turnaround kind of ops. Typical LCC stuff I would imagine, although our destinations are fairly limited.In the past, I've always wished to be able to ask questions of a line pilot on type, not so much regarding technical questions (the manuals do a decent enough job of that), but regarding the nitty-gritty details of day-to-day operations, ie what gets done when in practice, and WHY.So.....if anybody wants to know something, or have me check how something works on the actual aircraft I'll have a go. I've got a sim ride coming up mid-September as well, so I can try the barrel-roll/aerobatic moves that you need me to do then :)I apologise if this is not needed, or if there are already plenty of sources for this info - I just remember wanting this kind of stuff when I was starting on the more complex products out there. Edit to add: A quick browse seems to show that you guys have this covered! Anyway, just though I'd ask :)


Simon Holderness

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we would love your input I am sure, welcome fellow simmer and real driver


Wayne such

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Hi :) I started another thread requesting a blocks to blocks description of a typical B738 shorthaul flight. I was hoping to discover what state the a/c was in when you get it after a short haul, what you have to program in especially around SIDS and STARS and how real life flights actually are.. ie are you vectored in and out our airports, do you use the published proceedures or is it a mix of both ? As a short haul pilot what does your day look like ? In fact I have a million questions so I hope you are tolerant :-)) The PMDG 738 is briliiant but to me the knowledge from you 738 pilots is crucial to making my flights 'real'. I will keep asking questions as long as you offer answers :-) Kind Regards Mark Lindley Grantham, UK

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Hi,I'll have a go. Pardon my often strange sense of humour, and the wall-o-text which follows (if bored, just read the 'For FS' bits):Short haul flights in South Africa for kulula.com (we also fly the British Airways franchise in South Africa) are usually as such - During sign on, we download weather/NOTAM/aircraft technical status to our company laptops, which we then check and discuss. Fuel planning is done using proprietry software. This incorporates upper winds, expected runways in use, expected arrivals, and optimises the flight level based on expected weights/winds/cost-index based cruise speeds etc. The bottom line is that it's basically all done for us by the despatchers, we just check it and modify things based on our experience - the aim being to minimise our sign on time for flight and duty purposes. We only get twenty minutes for all this before we get shuttled to the airport by bus from our operations department (a five minute ride). We then endure the traditional escapades of the travelling public, ie bag searches etc, just in case we want to hijack our own aircraft with the toothpick we accidentally left in our bags.Summary for FS purposes - For realistic ops, you'll need this to program the FMC: Waypoints and/or airways that you'll be flying along, a guesstimated SID/STAR and RWY in use for departure and arrival, cost index (normally about 20 for us), fuel to alternate, average cruise wind, temperature at cruise altitude, descent winds. If you don't know them, take a guess or leave blank :) The FMC will assume standard ISA conditions/zero wind if in doubt.When we get to the aircraft, it's almost always powered up. The engineer would have checked and tested systems such as the fire warnings, EGPWS, Circuit breakers in etc. 19 times out of twenty it's powered, normally by the APU, but if it's been left for longer than 45 minutes between flights it will often be powered by a ground power unit, with the APU shutdown for fuel saving. Fuel state will be as the previous crew left it. It does happen that occasionally you get to the aircraft and the engineer hasn't arrived (due to some cock-up) to power it up and do his checks, in which case it's a startup from cold and dark, which is supposedly done from the book.(Supplementary procedures). As I said though, most times it's powered, and in fact you'll often be sitting in a still warm seat having hurriedly shaken the hand of your outgoing coworker as he bails out on the way home. The engineer will ask you for a fuel figure, and will disappear to go and fuel the aircraft.For FS purpose: Get a cockpit state with the battery on, aircraft powered by GPU or APU, IRS's off, panels dimmed, Galley/IFE switched off, emergency exit light switch off. Most times, as mentioned, it's the APU doing the powering. This is a realistic start state.The cabin crew check out the cabin, the Captain does the walk around and inspects techinical forms (company specific, thats how we do it), and the F/O sets up the cockpit, running in logical order through every switch and positions things as desired. The cockpit is divided into areas of responsibility for different phases of operations. Lets just say that it isn't unrealistic for the F/O to set up everything, including programming the FMC at this point. Naturally it is crosschecked by the other crewmember. Current ATIS is obtained, and ops it contacted by radio to get an updated (but not final Zero Fuel Weight (ZFW)) which is again checked on the computer to make sure we're not restricted in any way (ie by landing weight for short sectors). The -800 is excellent in this regard, almost never being limited. Air conditioning packs are run to warm/cool the cabin if needed prior to boarding. The -800 can run both packs at once, which is nice. African summer can be warmish. Set levels to frigid! The cabin crew will come and complain if you forget to turn on APU bleed air soon (no water pressure) and galley power (no hot water for coffee - Captains also get upset about this)FS: Run through the cockpit in a logical flow and setup up everything for flight/startup. Some points to note: IRS's aligned/aligning, yaw damper on, the fuel pumps will stay off except #1 tank left switch if running the APU, electrical hydraulic pumps remain off for the moment, but engine driven hydraulic pump switches stay on the whole time.Once the cockpit is setup, the Captain will do a few checks of his own, then discuss aircraft technical state and how it affects the day. The 'Preflight Checklist' is done once the IRS have aligned and valid instrument displays are up. A note on checklists: They are not 'read and do', they are merely for checking that you have already done the item in question. Departure clearance is obtained from ATC which will tell you which runway, departure frequency, squawk and SID (if applicable) is going to be used. Then the Captain will do the compulsory briefings (RTO and cabin alt. warning), and the nominated PF (pilot flying) will brief the engine inoperative flight path (we have preplanned routes for each airport, if in doubt just fly straight if you can!) and the actual SID, plus any abnormal threats (ie thunderstorms in the area, airshow nearby, technical state of the aircraft which affects normal ops for eg. no autothrottle etc and how we will plan/work around these issues)For FS: Most FS users have the equivalent of a shiny new, snag free plane, so you probably won't be hauling out the MEL to seek dispatch relief. Guess/brief what you'll do for departure, magic up a squawk and do the Preflight Checklist.Meanwhile, the floodgates will have opened, and the hordes will be descending on your patient team of cabin crew behind you. Short turnarounds are the order of the day, and getting a whole boatload of pax onboard through one or two doors (1L is always used, 2L may or may not be used, depending on circumstance) in a reasonable amount of time is critical. Once the flight is 'finalised' (ie closed for checking in), an updated flightplan with the exact weight is sent to the aircraft by a ground staff member from the trim office. The exact weights and passenger figures are meanwhile passed to our laptops via a 3G connection, or via radio to us. The laptop computes ZFW, TOW, LW, % Mac and generates a signature for the trim office for record keeping. Take off data is cross checked, and then each laptop (Captains and F/O's) spits out V speeds (from company specific tables built into our laptop database), engine inop accel height, and trim, and the values are cross checked on both laptops then entered into the FMC by the Captain, under the eye of the F/O. We normally use a reduced thrust take off with 'improved climb' speeds. I'll skip the technicalities, but the thrust reduction is entered by entering an assumed temperature into the FMC. In practice, the -800 is pretty good at getting a max reduction take off (even at FAJS, 5500' at 30*C), so guessing 60*C (max) won't be miles off.For FS: Load the aircraft using the loadplanner - get a ZFW, TOW, %mac. Input these final figures into the FMC. Use QRH V speeds for the take off if possible here if you don't have anything better, and as mentioned above, guessing a 60*C reduction shouldn't kill you.Once the passengers are all aboard, the final flightplan received, and the fuelling slip signed for, the doors can close. Off we go, herewith starts the fun stuff. Except it's midnight and I didn't realise how long this would take. And I'm supposed to be on standby from 0500 tomorrow so I'm going to sleep now. :) More later.....fire away with any questions for the above if needed though.


Simon Holderness

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Just a quick note on the programming of SIDS/STARS (as requested)We have 'company routes' programmed into the FMC database, which greatly simplifies route entry. Basically if routing from Jo'burg to Cape Town (FAJS-FACT), using RWY03L for departure and RWY19 for arrival, we would enter 'JNBCPT0319' into the 'company route' line under the RTE (route) page. This would then assume RWY 03L (the standard departure RWY in FAJS), the RAGUL3A depature (pretty much the only one you can do on that route), and the WY4D arrival(again, pretty much the only arrival you can do for that route) for RWY19 in FACT.So....if you don't know what SID or STAR to use, you're going to need an airway chart - look up an appropriate route between your take off and landing fields, and see where and how you would join this route. Find out which SIDS/STARS begin/end closest to points on that route and just use those. It may not be utterly realistic in terms of what real aircraft do on those routes, but the net workload/effect for you as a simmer is the same. It's nice to have the airway for simplifying route entry - just program a start waypoint position on the route, enter the airway designator under the 'via' section of the rte page, and the termination waypoint, which must then of course be on that route, otherwise it won't be accepted. Failing that, enter the individual waypoints along the route you'll be flying.


Simon Holderness

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Sir... Fantastic reply, thank you for taking the time )). You will excuse me if I hold back on more questions until I absorb all the information you have given.. I think this kind of info is crucial to anyone wanting to simulate short-haul ops and I am immensly grateful for your input. Kind Regards Mark LindleyGrantham, UK

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Welcome Simon! Could you give us your input on approach and landing aircraft attitudes?There is a difference of opinion,on weather PMDG's NG is correct,or notThanks!


Jim Driscoll


 

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Question regarding the IRS. Is a full align usually performed between each flight, or is a fast align done between flights? Thank you for this useful thread.

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+1000, Mr Holderness! The most enjoyable read I've had on this forum in quite some time - it is so refreshing to NOT read folks' peeing and moaning about something they think this "73 Sim should be doing, or is doing a little too much, etc. etc.. My computer is far from state of the art, and the plane flies just fine. Anyway - Thanks so much for sharing a bit of insight into your life's work with us.......I for one would love to read more! LOL.gif BTW - I enjoy this latest PMDG creation more than any of my other planes (even my MD-11, which I thought PMDG could never surpass). The new "73 is truly a masterpiece! All best, Ray Landolt (Blackbird)

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Thanks for that Simon !It brings back memories of my few years with Ryanair. I miss the smell of Avgas in the morning ! lol


Frederic Steiner.

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Thanks Simon, for your input.


System: X-PLANE 11.40, ASUS Maximus XI Hero,  Intel i7-8086K o/c to 5.0GHz, Corsair AIO H115i Pro, Corsair Spec Omega Case,Nvidia GTX 1080 Ti 11Gb, Samsung 970 EVO M.2 SSD, 1Tb Samsung 860 EVO SSD, 32Gb Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3200Mhz RAM, EVGA 850+ Gold PSU,Win 10 Pro 64-bit, LG 43UD79 43" 4K IPS Panel., Logitech X56 Hotas Stick and Throttle, Logitech/Saitek Flight Yoke System, Multi, Radio, Switch Panels

 

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