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ArjenVdv

Some general questions

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Hi,Today I decided to look around in the NGX, to see which things I still don't really understand, or things that I'm still not entirely sure about, so here are the questions.1. Which minimums to set for takeoff?On my checklist it says that I have to set minimums for takeoff, but I can't find any on my SID chart. Sometimes though, in the legs page, I see a first altitude in magenta. e.g. (486), is that the minimums for takeoff? And when should I use RA and BARO? Btw, I know how to set and where to find minimums for landing.2. Question about operation of the aircraft's lightsI've always had some confusion about the aircrafts lights (on every aircraft btw). For example the landing lights. As you know, on the NGX there are two types of landing lights. On the left, there are the retractable landing light, which have two seperate positions/settings. On the right are the fixed landing lights. My questions are, those retractable landing lights have two positions, when should I use each of them?Also, I have learned that I should turn all lights of at 10,000 feet. But I've seen in YouTube videos, that pilots disengage landing lights just after takeoff already. Also, I've seen them only disengaging the fixed landing lights, and leaving the retractable landing lights in the middle position. So how does this work?A question about runway turnoff lights and taxi lights. When should I use each? At the moment, I use taxi lights upon taxi, and disengage them when entering the runway, at the same moment I turn the runway turnoff lights on. I turn them off again after takeoff. Am I doing this correct?3. Question about DES page in FMCOn the DES page in the FMC, it says FORECAST, when I press forecast, another page appears where I can enter several data. On the top right corner is says TAI, what should I enter here? I think it's got something to do with tempature...Right under this is says ISA/QNH. What should I enter here? I guess the tempature and local QNH setting of the arrival airport?On the left sides, I can enter winds aloft data. But I've always wondered, where do I get this data. And for which waypoints is it? Is it only for the arrival airport? What i do at the moment is startup REX 2.0, go to Weather, then fill in my arrival airport, click Submit. And then the weather for the arrival airport appears, along with winds for several altitudes for the airport. Is this what I should enter?And what's the correct moment in flight to fill in the DES page? On startup? In cruise?4. Question about fuel planningAt the moment I'm using the 737NG fuel planner for fuel planning. I can plan it quite accurately, but not good enough because it's not always spot on. I always leave the enroute wind section on 0. I can choose between tailwind and headwind, then fill in the wind speed. But how do I know the wind forecast for my route? And is this wind forecast average wind for the route?Thanks,I hope you can help me.Perhaps I'll come up with more question later,Thanks!


Arjen Vandervelde

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In response to your question for lights, from what I understand and have been using for years now is (and correct me if I'm wrong):If it is dark, I will usually always keep my logo / wing lights on below 10,000ft. (This includes when I'm parked or during a turnaround at the gate.)whenever engines are on / going for engine start, anti collision should be on.Pushback - after ground crew is clear, rwy turnoff/taxi lights onRunway entry (Day) - Fixed landing lights ON - Strobes & Steady ONRunway entry (Night) - Fixed and retractables ON - Strobes & Steady ONDuring my clean-up, (apprx 3,000 ft? ) I would usually turn my retractables off completely as they do nothing but cause drag. I'd only have these on in bad vis / night time.Upon passing 10,000 I switch my Landing lights off (Fixed) and my wing and logo lights also go off. The rest remain on.Dipping below 10,000 on approach, I switch Landing lights on (fixed) along with the logo and wing lights if night time.When I drop my gear, retractables go out and on during night time ops.When vacating the rwy, retractables go to the retracted position (not all the way up) - this turns them off but doesnt retract them into the fuselage. My taxi and rwy turnoff lights go on. Along with my landing lights (fixed) and strobes going off.When pulling into the gate my taxi and rwy turnoff lights go off, and my anti collision light goes off upon engine shutdown.The retractable landing lights have 3 positions, retracted, extended, and on. Retracted means that they're stowed in the fuselage, while extended means they're deployed (causing drag). On means that the lights themselfs are on. During night ops, or sometimes day ops, they leave them retracted but not stowed, that's probably what you see.The wheelwell light is used for ground inspection.


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1. The only takeoff minimums I'm aware of are for RVR - runway visual range. There's nothing involving the radio or barometric altitude for takeoff.2. This is largely airline SOP and pilot's discretion, but the general rules are:Steady nav lights - on any time the aircraft has electrical power on.Steady and Strobe nav lights - turn on when taking the runway, turn off when exiting the runway after landing.Red beacon - on pushback until after the engines are shutdown.Taxi and runway turnoff - as required by the pilots.Landing - turn on when taking the runway, turn off at 10,000 feet in the climb, on at 10,000 in the descent, off after exiting the runway on landing.Logo - on at night.Wing - this is up to airline SOP I believe, but I'm aware of several airlines that have it on at night any time the aircraft is below 18,000 feet.3. The TAI field is for entering the altitude range where it is expected that Thermal Anti Ice will need to be turned on. Has nothing to do with wind. (see page 1084+ in the FCOM 2 for the description of all the DES page fields)The wind forecasts themselves are something you'll have to get a weather program like Active Sky for - it'll give you a list of all the predictions after you put your route in. In real life, the forecast often comes over the ACARS system from dispatch.4. Use the FMC itself as your fuel planner - it's far more accurate than any external program will ever be. Look at the PROG page and see how much fuel it says will be remaining at your destination and then adjust it according to that. Read up about the PLAN FUEL function on the PERF INIT page too - this is basically a built in fuel planner of sorts, you can run "what if" scenarios using it.


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1. The only takeoff minimums I'm aware of are for RVR - runway visual range. There's nothing involving the radio or barometric altitude for takeoff.2. This is largely airline SOP and pilot's discretion, but the general rules are:Steady nav lights - on any time the aircraft has electrical power on.Steady and Strobe nav lights - turn on when taking the runway, turn off when exiting the runway after landing.Red beacon - on pushback until after the engines are shutdown.Taxi and runway turnoff - as required by the pilots.Landing - turn on when taking the runway, turn off at 10,000 feet in the climb, on at 10,000 in the descent, off after exiting the runway on landing.Logo - on at night.Wing - this is up to airline SOP I believe, but I'm aware of several airlines that have it on at night any time the aircraft is below 18,000 feet.3. The TAI field is for entering the altitude range where it is expected that Thermal Anti Ice will need to be turned on. Has nothing to do with wind. (see page 1084+ in the FCOM 2 for the description of all the DES page fields)The wind forecasts themselves are something you'll have to get a weather program like Active Sky for - it'll give you a list of all the predictions after you put your route in. In real life, the forecast often comes over the ACARS system from dispatch.4. Use the FMC itself as your fuel planner - it's far more accurate than any external program will ever be. Look at the PROG page and see how much fuel it says will be remaining at your destination and then adjust it according to that. Read up about the PLAN FUEL function on the PERF INIT page too - this is basically a built in fuel planner of sorts, you can run "what if" scenarios using it.
Thanks for your answer Ryan. About the takeoff minimums, I've seen several pilot settings minimums for takeoff.For example right here:http://www.youtube.com/user/skysurfer007In his NGX Aerosoft Corfu video, you can see that he sets BARO 900 for takeoff. Btw, this guy is a real pilot, you might know him already. Unfortunately he doesn't explain where he gets those minimums.About the winds aloft data, I already have a weather program, REX 2.0, I use it's weather engine for my flights and it works really well. Inside the REX Weather page, I type my airport (e.g. EHAM), and then it comes up with the weather at that airport. Precipitation, winds, barometric pressure, tempature, etc. Under that it comes up with winds for different altitudes, surface winds, but also for e.g. FL390, FL300, etc. Is this what I should enter in the Forecast page?

Arjen Vandervelde

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I think your still confused about takeoff minimums, I'm no expert on this but have investigated a little myself in past hearing RVR talk.I think what Ryan saying about this is RVR deals with the viability and your ability to see such things as the RCLL (Runway Centerline Lights) and RCLM (Runway Centerline Markings) on takeoff as a distance restraint and not a vertical height restraint. And not dealing with minimums in the same way as landing minimums although RVR applies in landing too.As for Forecast Page and winds aloft data you would enter the ALT on the Left then the direction and speed on the right side.Maybe a real world pilot can sum all the RVR up for us simmers and maybe make our bad weather flights a bit more realistic as real world procedures. I myself have never seen someone need or set a BARO/RADIO mins on takeoff as say a DH.


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I think your still confused about takeoff minimums, I'm no expert on this but have investigated a little myself in past hearing RVR talk.I think what Ryan saying about this is RVR deals with the viability and your ability to see such things as the RCLL (Runway Centerline Lights) and RCLM (Runway Centerline Markings) on takeoff as a distance restraint and not a vertical height restraint. And not dealing with minimums in the same way as landing minimums although RVR applies in landing too.As for Forecast Page and winds aloft data you would enter the ALT on the Left then the direction and speed on the right side.Maybe a real world pilot can sum all the RVR up for us simmers and maybe make our bad weather flights a bit more realistic as real world procedures. I myself have never seen someone need or set a BARO/RADIO mins on takeoff as say a DH.
Thanks for your reply! But the problem with winds aloft data is, that I'm not sure if I'm getting it from the correct place. I use REX 2.0 Weather Engine for FSX real world weather. When descending, I open the REX 2.0 window, and go to Weather, then I check "Use real world weather", and click OK. After that, you can fill in the airport, which is my destination. For example EHAM. When I type in EHAM and click "Submit", the weather for my destination airport appears. Clouds, rain, tempature, barometric pressure, visibility... etc. Right under it I can see winds for the airport. The winds displayed are from the altitudes: Surface wind, FL050, FL100, FL180, FL300, and FL390. Is this the correct information I need to fill into the Forecast page. And yes, I know how to fill it in, but I'm not sure whether I'm getting the data from the correct place.

Arjen Vandervelde

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I would say REX would be the best place to get this data from as that's the weather engine your using and would be most accurate to the weather in sim so Yes. I've seen some websites that provide the same info too for airports/DME's and if using real world weather I'd say both should be closes enough to work fine. I use real world weather with REX and I uses REX information.I've done flight were I have not entered the data in the forecast page either due too my own discretion or forgetting.Good to see some trying to get all that PMDG has provided us with same way I felt when the air conditioner/heater talk was going on even though we fly no pax to care about such matters = )


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I would say REX would be the best place to get this data from as that's the weather engine your using and would be most accurate to the weather in sim so Yes. I've seen some websites that provide the same info too for airports/DME's and if using real world weather I'd say both should be closes enough to work fine. I use real world weather with REX and I uses REX information.I've done flight were I have not entered the data in the forecast page either due too my own discretion or forgetting.Good to see some trying to get all that PMDG has provided us with same way I felt when the air conditioner/heater talk was going on even though we fly no pax to care about such matters = )
Ok, thanks for your answer. But it all seems a little strange. For example when REX displays for my arrival airport (e.g. EHAM), wind at FL390 is 270/85, then that means the wind ABOVE the airport (EHAM) is 270/85, correct? But when I'm at FL390 I am not above my destination airport! Instead, I'm still around 50 nm away! So wouldn't that be very inaccurate?

Arjen Vandervelde

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You can get data for winds aloft from a DME or airport closer to your flights current position, also this dose not need to be spot on data, as I said I've forgotten to do this before or just neglected too. Pretty much you just need to let the FMC know what winds are pretty much like. Say you have a strong tailwind you might want to let the FMS know this because without to might need more distance to descend without getting VNAV FMC errors of "Unachievable VNAV Path".I've even taken the data from the sensors on the plane itself and input that in the Forecast Page. Example, I'm headed to EHAM and say 50NM before T/D. I will enter the current winds aloft off the data the plane itself is giving me and my current ALT.


-Raven Harris
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Airport winds should be pretty close to those 50 miles away. However, some software like ActiveSky will give you alofts for every waypoint in your plan (if you let it load from FS format), so you can use those.TO minima settings: that would be landing minima in case you would need to return after take-off. So you either set it for departure airport minimums, or, if you have it designated (see Madeira departure video - they use LPPS as TALT), then minimums of that airport.


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