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MerlinCH65

Some General Questions & a Question regarding the Tutorial

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Dear FriendsI just completed the tutorial flight (a bit like a chimp on the left seat clicking the buttons the almighty suggests LOL.gif ) and here we go with some questions. Feel free to point me to other threads!General QuestionsThey all revolve around FSX ATC vs. Flightplan of the 738 FMc.a) How can I "tell" the FSX ATC my (very detailed flight plan incl. SID/STAR)? I am used to create the flight plan with FSX directly but this won't work anymore as it will never correspond to the one I create with the FMC of the 738. Does that mean that I'm "done" with ATC-Support in FSX when flying the 738?cool.png There is another great Tutorial flight from KIAH to KLAX. There the Tutorial tells me to lift of from Rw 9R. When I ask FSX ATC, it will always assign me Rw 33L or 33R (issue is probably the same as a)My assumption: Are you using a specific tool to create the Flightplan first "offline", save it and import it into FSX and only LATER "recreate" the same flight plan in the FMC of the 738? If so, are you using VRoute?Tutorial-Flight Specific QuestionHere, it is all about the Autopilot. I was already using the AP on a standard 737 and I was able to operate it. Here in the 738 I do have some issues. This is what I can recall "by Heart":We are ready to take of, MCP is set as described in the TUT of PMDG (Gatwick-Schipool). I start to accellerate (moderately) and I can engage the TO/GA so that the plane now accellerates itself.We rotate, I gently lift - Autothrust works fine. Now I engage AP A - the button lights up. Now the issue: The plane does not climb as described. It only climbs if I manually set the V/S rate (e.g. 900) - then it climbs. But this is probably not as it should be - as settings V/S is not said in the tutorial. I generally have some warnings/beeps (those 3 AP-Warning lights that go off eventually - but they are probably just a follow-up issue of my general problem of not getting the AP to climb as it should.Can you help the rookie?Your advice is - as always - very highly appreciated.MerlinCH65 - aka Michel Bühler"You have not been cleared for take off - Flightplan cancelled" Shocked.gif

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Hi !If the ATC assigns you a different runway than in the tutorial it's because of the wind... you always take off with headwind ! I don't think it's possible to tell the ATC what your flight plan is, because the FSX ATC works with the FSX flight planner... That's why I'm no flying with ATC :D Nevertheless you can buy an ATC addon way more realistic as Radar contact ! Is VNAV engaged before take off ? If it is, normally you just need to engage AP A or B at around 1000fr AGL and that's all !Hope it helps


Sam Greer

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Hi FreakThx! Actually, yes - I do have VNAV and LNAV engaged as described in the Tutorial. I just tried 2 times again. I have mixed results. I think that I need to engage the AP (Cmd A) "the right moment". I made it just right now - the AP took over command, flew the plane on the leg - everything OK (I can see the pink cross from the AP that "tells" the plane where to fly to.Now, what happens is that "everything seems AOK - then suddenly VNAV extinguish and the plane dives". I have no idea why VNAV gives up its job (LNAV is still on duty) I tried to manually level out the plane and to bring the bird into a stable situation - then took of my hands of the joke and tried to engage VNAV again. Once that worked, the last test I did it did not. I was not able to get AP to work again.Is it possible that this AP - Stuff is very sensitive or am I just missing something? I mean I follow the MCP setting at the point - my Flight Plan in FMC is also OK (checked the legs distance/height/speed limit etc. - all is OK. I don't get it.Any idea?MerlinCH65 aka Michel BühlerDarn - the button does not light up - click click click click cl.....

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Have you tried a different take off ? I mean, in a different airport, or with a different SID ?After VNAV is disengaged do you have any "warning" message on the FMC ?


Sam Greer

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Hi FreakI would rather like to get that tuturial flight well from A-Z a couple of times before changing the parameters.I will check for some warnings on the FMC - let me try it again this evening - will let you know! What I remember is that I get some amber or yellow warning lights at those 3-Buttons on the front panels that deal with the AP - normally I get yellow, once or twice even amber warnings. What bugs me most is that VNAV suddenly stops while I am perfectly leveled out "en route" - this shouldn't be, no?Cheers & Don't give up Guys - we need to ship those Tommies to Amsterdam damnit LOL.gifMerlinCH65 - aka Michel BühlerNo Captain, this is the door-butto......

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Dear JasonThank you very much for your kind offer to look at my issue.I have done some Printscreens in the Word-Document attached. They are done in the order of the "event".First Screen shows the setup prior take off (everything is "set" to go).Second Screnn shows on the runway. Still all is OK.Then, at VR I gently lift off and let the plane climb. AP CMD A is not yet set.Then, at around 400 - 500 ft I push the AP CMD A Button and normally the AP takes over. I make sure that at this time the stick is in it's idle position!I lower the gear and we go on.After a couple of seconds (mostly) I loose VNAV (I can only see the horizontal pink bar on the Captain MFD - VNAV Button is extinguised. This is what you can see on the third screen. (I actually have the impression that sometimes I see a difference in terms of "button lighting" between the VR-Cockpit and the 2D-Cockpit)... During my last test I also got an amber warning light on the leftmost AP-Warning Light that you can find below of the EFIS. On the screen it is dark but this is because it flashes and the Printscreen did not catch that.At the same time the AP CMD A-Button looses the green light. If I try to level out the plane to establish stable situation I sometimes manage to get the AP take over again and VNAVis green again - but that's not helping - the plane does not follow it's path anymore. The plane starts to dive. I took a last screenshot prior to fatal crash.During this event I do not get any message on the FMC Scratchpad.What bugs me most is: During one of my first testflights I was actually able to take the plane to Schipool but for whatever reason I was to fast and the plane could not follow the glide slope vertical-wise (it was OK horizontally).It also happens that the plane starts to dive enroute during a situation that seems to be stable (like between two legs).I'm really wondering what I am doing wrong here... Do you see any fault from my side?Thanks for your valuable time guys!! I do appreciate it really! im%20Not%20Worthy.gifMerlinCH65 - aka Michel BühlerBring me the fish-menue - just for a change today LOL.gif

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Lo & Behold! I think I solved my initial AP-Dis-engage-issue!This time I carefully watched to "stay" within the LNAV/VNAV-'s pink cross. In other words - I took off as if the AP would do it from the start! And this time, when I engaged at around 500/600 ft, the AP could engage and the journey went on! For a while, at least...My next challenge right now is (remember, I'm still in the Tutorial Flight EGKK - EHAM):At Waypoint D015E the height restriction changes from 5000 to 6000 foot. The manual says to manually change the ALT on the MCP which I do. Then, it says to push the ALT INTV-Button which I do. In the manual it says that I have to expect that the plane starts to ascend quite steeply - what it actually does. Then, again - the AP goes ballistic and I am back without any AP-Support... This time I had no chance to get him back on duty... Edit: Just did another test - this time again good take off and AP takes over. Just before Wayoint Tunby - again AP looses it. It all comes down to this question: Why does my AP decides to stop working? My joystick rocks back/forth and the AP is disengaged. Even if get VNAV and LNAV to work (and thus get the pink cross on the MFD) and even if I manually bring back the plane on course and stabilize it - I cannot click on the AP CMD A button - it' s just blinking briefly green and extinguises..Any ideas?YoursMerlinCH65 - aka Michel BühlerWhat's that Button over here - "GG"? Oh, that's the knob you push if you want to see the Gilmore Girls on the MFD

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Hi Michel,I assume that this problem is not so related to specifically VNAV, but to getting the AP to work, correct?One of the first things to ask you- when you attempt to apply the AP, are you attempting to change the attitude of the aircraft with your yoke (or keyboard/joystick, however you manually control the aircraft)? If so, the AP will not come on- it requires that you have the yoke set to a neutral position when you turn on the AP. If you are needing to adjust the yoke, chances are that you have not trimmed the aircraft correctly- that's also explained in the tutorial. If you are correctly trimmed, and you have a correctly functioning yoke, you should be able to take your hands off the yoke and have the aircraft attitude on the PDF match exactly where the FD cue is- hands off.Other things that are less likely that cause the AP not to work include a system problem- such as one engine failing, or the engine generators not being connected to the power bus.Thanks, Bruce.


ASEL, Instrument.

KBJC, Colorado.

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#1 issue.. I get around this by using SimRoutes to plan the "flight". That way I canpunch in the same exact route into the ATC, as I did the FMC in the plane.Overall it works pretty well for free.. The only issue is you will almost always getvectored to your approach and landing, so if you like to do autoflight LNAV/VNAVapproaches and landings, it won't let you do that. But.. in many cases the realworld won't either I bet..But the rest of the flight from takeoff to near TOD works pretty well.I have a collection of Simroute made "flights" that I can choose from, and withevery new route, another gets added. So I have to bother with that less and less.At this point, probably 90% of all my flights have a ready made SimRoutes plan tomatch.As each uses the same SIDS/STARS every flight, you can use them over andover again. The only thing you change is the departing runways, which the ATISwill tell you before you start.#2 issue.. That is due to the FSX weather.. The WX you are using has thosewind directions. With my flights, I use the stock FSX WX, with winds aloft, andI have it set to update every 15 minutes.The depart and arrive runways will never be etched in stone.So, if you want to run that tutorial with the current WX, just choose thatrunway, and use the same SID for the departure.Or if you want to run the exact tutorial, change the weather to makethe 8L-8R and 9 runways active..So yes, your assumption is correct. I make all my flight plans at SimRoutes.BTW, when you make a route there, and save it to the sim, it will not havethe cruise altitude entered. You will need to manually edit in the cruise altusing a text editor. Do not use the flight planner within FSX to do this, orit will booger up the whole plan and convert it to a FSX flight with the goofywaypoints. Use only a text editor.Also.. many of the SIDS/STARS at SimRoutes are out of date.But, most can still be used. They will just be older versions of the currentSIDS/STARS.. IE: the current DUMPY3 arrival into Dallas is listed usingthe older DUMPY2 arrival. But it will still work. And if for some reason theroute is incorrect, you can ignore that SID/STAR, and manually punchthe waypoints in yourself.Anyway, get used to using different runways depending on the weather.As in the real world, they are constantly changing. In fact, I usually don'tpunch in the arrival runway until I get close and know what it's going tobe.


Mark Keith

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Hi BrucekThanks for your reply. Actually I know of that "do not touch the stick when engaging the AP" and thus I don't do this. I now have a better rate of success in getting the AP to work - what happens now is that it stops working in the "middle of nowwhere". Is it possible that the AP stopps working if he has to do to much trimming and/or to hard up/down/left/right alignements? Cause that's what it looks like. Also what happened just right now was that for whatever reason the "FD Master" was on the left seat... I always have it on the captain's seat as told in the tutorial (switch FD on first left, then right). Why does it change? I found that out as hitting the AP CMD A-Button did not work and out of sheer frustration I hit the B-AP and it went green. When I then switched of both and then the captain's FD first again (got the green MA) - it did not help either. Can we say that the AP is very "delicate" or is it again just me goofing it up?Hi MarkThanks a lot for your valuable input! I will try that as soon as I stop ramming the plane into south england Whistle.gif

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Do you get the yellow master warning light on when this occurs. And if so, does the yellow master warning light come on t the same time as the AP tuns off.One where in the manuals there is something about reasons why the AP will run off, I think.Also, any warning lights on the overhead panel that com on when the AP turns off? And, do you have any faults programmed to occur?Thanks, Bruce.


ASEL, Instrument.

KBJC, Colorado.

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What you need to know is that Autopilot speak with you, it does with MCP lights and FMA (flight mode annunciator) words. When using fmc functions like VNAV and LNAV also the fmc gives you messages.MCP tells you what is turned ON, but will not tell you what the autopilot/flight director is doing.When you engage AP and when it disengages, check te FMA for messages to see what happened.What is FMA? Check on the manual but it is the top of the primary flight display.When you are in VNAV and LNAV and you get that VNAV stopped working and tha aircraft start to pitch, it is due to 3 possible things, one is the joystick, the other is a route discontinuity on the route or you have not set the descent altitude.In all cases you will have a confirmation on the FMA on what is still active.Probably you will have a CWS P turned on if the AP light is still on.If AP disengages check the failure page on the FMC to see if something is wrong.In all cases, you can post some screensots of the MCP, PFD,FMC and Overhead panel


Regards

Andrea Daviero

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Hello BrucekLet me first answer your suggestion:a) Yes, I get (mostly) the yellow warning lights just below the EFIS Panel in front of me. I also once or twice had an amber light...I did not check the overhead panel, will do so. From what I learned from Andrea (post below of you) I do have even more options to search for the fault (which anyway will be me - as usual Worried.gif )MerlinCH65 - aka Michel Bühler

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Hello AndreaThank you very much for your suggestion too! I will check PFD, FMC (hope to find something there), FMA (have to learn what that is - I think it's those 3 zones above the PFD as you say where I can see in green letters stuff like N1 - VNAV LNAV etc. etc.) and Overhead Panel.I don't think that it's a route issue as I follow the tutorial guide by the letter and I know how a discontinouity looks like in the FMC Legs/Route Page - so here I *should* be save. The joystick could be a possible reason even though I do not touch it when *it happens" en route - but since it's a FF (Saitek Evo Force) there could be something in here. As it happens when I am in between two legs with the same max height (EGKK - EHAM during the first couple of legs where I am still locked on 5000 by MCP and override the FMC commands). That's why option 3 (did not cared for correct descend rate) is probably not the issue as there I'm in level flight or have to ascend from 5000 to 6000 FT. I have to check the FMC etc. as you suggest.Andrea - if I may add one more question:There is something that I don't get: During the Tutorial Flight I have to change the ALT on the MCP from 5000 to 6000 and to click the ALT INTV Button in order to allow AP to follow now the ALT's that are put into the Route in the FMC. Now in the Tutorial it says that the Airplane *will* react a bit jumpy on that because on this flight it is "light" and thus I have to expect quite a steep ascending behaviour of the plane. Now, this is a typical moment where the AP does disengage.What I did found out is that I often seem to loose AP support when the AP has to do some trimming (can hear the pff pff sound hehehe). That was the reason why I supposed that the AP is a bit "delicate" on such manoeuvers. What is your experience? Should the AP normally be able to handle a bit "wilder" manoeuvering (where as wild is a bit much said to be honest... - it's a simple ascend from 5000 to 6000 FT after all) or is that just out of question on a "real" plane such as this PMDG 738?Thanks for your support - to all of youMerlinCH65 - aka Michel BühlerCaptain: What's the most difficult thing about lifting off? "It's not to overspeed!"

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I looked at te tutorial (for the first time), and to see if it is an user error or not, try to put directly the cruise altitude and not the restriction altitudes (they are in the nav database and plane will follow them), see if AP still disengages.PS: If it is a trim disconnect you will see STAB OUT OF TRIM light on, but I'm pretty sure that your trim works correctly.


Regards

Andrea Daviero

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