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ArjenVdv

Strange crusing altitudes from PFPX

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I have planned a few flights for the 777 using the PFPX so far, and everything has been going fine. However, I decided to get back into the NGX for a few flights and of course also used PFPX for planning. In my first flight from LROP to EGGP I had an initial altitude of FL280 and while later I had to climb to FL360 then FL380 (all according to the flightplan). No big deal, but today when making a flightplan from EGGP to LIPX I got this:

 

N0422F230 NANT2V NANTI UY53 NUGRA Y53 PEDIG M605 DTY/N0444F290 UL10
           DVR/N0398F190 L10 RINTI B3 CMB/N0447F370 UM728 LESDO UL15 BEGAR UN491
           TRA UP131 RESIA UZ909 ELTAR ELTA2N
 
So it's telling me I should climb to FL230 initially, then climb to FL290 after DTY, then decent to FL190 after DVR, then climb to FL370 after CMB.

Does this make sense? Is this common in the real world? If so, how do I properly program this altitude profile into the FMC? Currently all I did was entering my initial altitude (FL230) into the CRZ LVL field, and simply climbed to subsequent altitudes when supposed to, which automatically changed the cruising altitudes in the LEGS page. Is that correct?

 

 

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You can use the find feature in pfpx to find only high airways which may help. I forget the exact button to click but it's in the top menu bar when filling out your flight plan.

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No big deal, but today when making a flightplan from EGGP to LIPX I got this:

 

My guess is that there are altitude restrictions on those routes, and it's simply adjusting your cruise altitudes to meet the segment restrictions.  I'm no expert in the airspace over there, though, so I'm not entirely sure.

 

 

 


Does this make sense?

 

No.

 

 

 


Is this common in the real world?

 

To ascend and descend like that?  No.

 

 

 


If so, how do I properly program this altitude profile into the FMC?

 

You don't.  The FMC expects: climb - cruise - descend.

 

At max, you could set an altitude restriction for the first segment if it were lower than the next segment (and I'd set that as your cruise), and then altitude restrictions to begin the descent in the next cruise portion...but that's not realistic.

 

The operator would probably just find a better route with better altitude handling, or it would file the altitude of the lowest restriction.

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That route is ridiculous, do not use it.

 

That NANTI SIDs are just a dead end, you are stuck at lower air routing until HON VOR. I guess PFPX cannot handle that complicated routing, it's trying to push you to upper routes as soon as possible, but there is no way.

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Here's a random plan I have just created
 

N0452F360 ADOS5U ADOSA UM736 BORMI UL613 DIBAX UM985 ASKOD UL156
           TUMPO/N0448F370 UL156 HLV UM984 TUSIN/N0420F230 M984 JED M866 LOGDA
           LOGD4U
 
As you can it's once again giving me a few strange altitudes. FL370 on heading east? Suddenly decend to FL230 after TUSIN?

I don't know what to do about this. I tried looking for an option only to include high airways, but I can't find it.

Never mind, I got it.

Now I got this:

N0452F360 ADOS5U ADOSA UM736 BZO UM726 KOGOL/N0453F370 UN871 LAGAR

           N871 OKENO Q277 AGAVA AGAV4U
 
However, it's still going FL370 while going east, that is not allowed is it? Secondly, my aircraft is easily capable of flying at FL380 - FL400, why are my altitudes still planned differently?

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Generally odd FLs go eastward, but there are exceptions.

 

Anyway, first plan is somehow awkward. The main problem is that I found inconsistencies between Poland AIP and skyvector. As AIP is only official source of data, I find it more accurate. M984 airway is one directional above FL245 so PFPX chose to put you down at first available FL, and that is FL230. Why it chose UM984 (also one directional) and put you onto wrong way is out of my knowledge.

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I consider the whole PFPX project too ambitious of a project. There are too many features in it to get them all correct and to everyone's liking. I have seen some bizarre routing in the United States involving SIDs and STARs that is simply not right plus the climb, descend, climb problem. Sometimes I have ended up using routes I already have and estimating fuel usage based upon previous flights and the winds aloft. Gill needs to be encouraged to get the 77LR and 777F working in TOPCAT.

 

Michael Cubine

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According to the Austrian AIP even levels are used on UL156 between LAPNA and TUMPO, and odd flight levels between TUMPO and HLV. That's correct.

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I have PFPX but I don't know how it can auto assign a FL. I always enter it in the FP page...

 

 

Enviado desde mi iPhone 5S con Tapatalk

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Now I got this:

N0452F360 ADOS5U ADOSA UM736 BZO UM726 KOGOL/N0453F370 UN871 LAGAR
N871 OKENO Q277 AGAVA AGAV4U

However, it's still going FL370 while going east, that is not allowed is it? Secondly, my aircraft is easily capable of flying at FL380 - FL400, why are my altitudes still planned differently?

 

According to the Czech and German AIP odd flight levels are used on UN871 from KOGOL to LAGAR. It is correct.

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That's the problem with European airspace. You have to open AIP of every single country you are flying through.

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I just tried making a route with the 777, and it's doing it again even though I selected high airways only:

FZAA N0493F340 XIVM1A XIVMA UA611 VNA UL340 ONTAR/N0484F280 UL340

           ILGER/N0485F380 DCT 18S020W 20S030W DCT EKALO UL340 LOBIK DCT ADA
           UW50 NILSA NILSA6 SBGR
 
It wants me to decent to FL280 after ONTAR. I just don't get it. Could anyone else try to make this same route from FZAA - SBGR with the 777, using the higher airways and please see what you get?

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Can you make changes manually? Replace UL340 with UA611F, and try to validate (if you can, I'm not familiar with PFPX).

 

UL340 is not published by Angola AIP (which is quite a mess btw), I do not know how it ended up in skyvector and who published that airway and what restrictions are applied. UA611F is available at (in your case) odd FLs from FL245 up to space.

 

EDIT: Snipped   :ph34r:  :lol:

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Can you make changes manually? Replace UL340 with UA611F, and try to validate (if you can, I'm not familiar with PFPX).

 

UL340 is not published by Angola AIP (which is quite a mess btw), I do not know how it ended up in skyvector and who published that airway and what restrictions are applied. UA611F is available at odd FLs from FL245 up to space.

 

EDIT: Snipped   :ph34r:  :lol:

I can't, whenever I try to change UL340 into UL611F the whole Route field goes magenta and I can no longer Compute my flight, meaning I cannot view my OFP and thus my ATC ROUTE too.

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I can't, whenever I try to change UL340 into UL611F the whole Route field goes magenta and I can no longer Compute my flight, meaning I cannot view my OFP and thus my ATC ROUTE too.

 

When the route goes magenta, doesn't that mean you just have to click BUILD to have it validate the route?

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When the route goes magenta, doesn't that mean you just have to click BUILD to have it validate the route?

Oops yeah, you're right. I tried it and I can modify the route this way. However, between VNA and ILGER it doesn't accept UL611F. If I enter that and click Build it will change into DCT (direct to).

Can you enter whole route manually?

Yes you can, and I just found how to manually modify it. I tried UL611F but it doesn't accept this airway, it will simply change to DCT if I try to put it there between VNA and ILGER.

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Oops yeah, you're right. I tried it and I can modify the route this way. However, between VNA and ILGER it doesn't accept UL611F. If I enter that and click Build it will change into DCT (direct to).

 

haha - isn't learning new software FUN?!?

 

So if it's changing it to DCT, it doesn't recognize it as a valid airway between the points.  If you're getting your PFPX nav data and the PMDG nav data from the same source, it's likely that the plane would object, too.

 

Oh the joys of dispatching...

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I just checked the Navigraph navdata for PFPX and PMDG: UA611F is not included. Solution for PFPX: adding it as a user airway.

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European airspace rules and CMFU validation are a pain. It's fun to fly heavily trafficked routes with realistic procedures, but instead of parsing through airways and regulations I usually cheat and lookup popular Vataware routes online. They always pass CMFU validation. PFPX's "find route" feature is nifty, but charting the maze of euro regulation is a lot to ask of sim software, and makes my head ache to do it manually. 

 

Euro routes aren't shown on Flightaware, but you can see the altitude profile for euro flights and that can be a great source of info for choosing efficient cruise levels. 

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But I don't get it. What else can be done to create normal routes, without getting a crazy cruising profile? Perhaps there should be an option to make it ignore altitude restrictions on some airways. But how do they deal with this problem in real life?

 

Apart from this problem there is more that PFPX is doing wrong. For example, the optimum cruising altitudes given by PFPX often don't even match up with the ones given by the FMC. For example in the NGX on a 500 nm route PFPX sends me to FL370 (without a step climb), while the FMC tells me FL390 is optimal and later in the flight FL410 is optimal. I checked the weights in the aircraft profile, and I set them so they match up precisely with the NGX. The only thing that concerns me is the aircraft variant I selected. I can choose between the -800 and the -800ERW. Which one of the two is the 800WL?

 

PFPX also told me in a flight plan that I should ascend my 777 to FL430 in the last stage of cruise, which we know is impossible assuming the plane is moderately loaded.

 

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk

 

 

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The good thing is I wanted to buy PFPX, but after reading this thread, I'm sure I'm not going to buy it.

 

Expected much more "robust" auto route build engine that would save me a little time, but obviously, one still needs to dig through AIPs to build a correct route. I guess my expectations were too high. 

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