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787WannabePilot

PFPX, STARS, SIDS and PMDG 777

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I am interested in purchasing PFPX. I like how it uses ASN for wind when creating a flight plan, and you can plan fuel consumption.. however, I heard that the SIDS and STARS don't coincide with the FMC in PMDG. I know you don't export them when creating the route, but matching them up together isn't even possible as PMDG has more way points available than PFPX does. Is there a method to make them more "in sync"?

 

Thanks.

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Hi Robert,

 

So long as both have the same AIRAC version, they should exactly match. I have not had any problems with differences.

 

PFPX does not include SIDs and STARs in its flight plans (although they are present in the printed OFP) because, by the time of your flight, the winds may have altered direction and/or strength, and a different procedure/runway may be needed.

 

I hope that you can successfully create great flight plans with PFPX, export them to PMDG 777, and then add your SIDs and STARs to match the prevailing weather conditions.

 

If you still have problems, just shout, and we are here to help.

 

Regards, Richard

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Thank you for the kind reply.

 

The AIRAC updates the STARS/SIDS for both PMDG and PFPX? From what I understand on browsing the web, sometimes the individual way points don't show up in PFPX, but they will show up in PMDG after the SID/STARS was selected.

 

Thanks.

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I've been using the T7 and PFPX for over a few hundred hours now, and haven't found a single waypoint missing. My AIRACs are always up to date.

Here's the thing, you've got to make sure that the T7 and PFPX are on the same AIRAC cycle. If they are, you can expect smooth sailing. PFPX will export the route to the T7's FMC (without SIDs or STARs, mind you) and they'll play together no problem.

 

Of course the OFP will not include the waypoints for the SIDs or STARs in detail, simply because that could change at any point in flight or on the ground due to the WX. Once you input the selected SID/STAR into the FMC, the waypoints will show on the FP in the T7's FMC.

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But, have you ever tried to match the STARS in the FMC to the PFPX program?

 

Or do you use flight charts... I just would like to see where I am going. :)

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Use charts, and pfpx and plan display mode on ND to verify your SID/STAR. That's the only right way of doing it.

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But, have you ever tried to match the STARS in the FMC to the PFPX program?

 

Yes.  As the others have noted, you need to keep both programs updated by using a nav data provider.  They both need to be on the same cycle.

 

Additionally, keep in mind, there are some things that may not obviously show up in the charts, but show up on the CDU because of how the FMC reads/uses the data.  These points are often in parentheses - (      ) - with an altitude or pseudo-waypoint name in them.  An example of this would be the RNLDI SID out IAD, where the first "fix" is 500 AGL on runway heading (I believe the CDU lists MSL, though), but the first named fix depends on the runway selected.

 

 

 

One thing that I always catch simmers not paying attention to is the fact that the whole picture must match up.  All programs need to have the current cycle of information (currently 1410, I believe), and they must see the same situation.  As an example, if you're using PFPX, you need to tell it what weights and aircraft you're using, and use the same aircraft and same weights (or at least similar weights) in the sim.

 

You can't paint one picture in PFPX, but paint another in FSX.  The results won't be pretty.  Pay attention to the details.  Chances are you're either not understanding the nav data in the sim versus PFPX, or you're not using the same cycle for PFPX and the PMDG aircraft.

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I've been using PFPX for a month now for both 77L & 77W flights of 7-14 hr duration and wonder why I waited so long! The integration with ASN is seamless and my wind forecast in the flightplan is very close to actual encountered in flight almost to a fault. Actual fuel burn and elasped time of flight has always been within 5%, very impressive. The ETOPS capability is powerful and I've been able to acquire a lot more knowledge on the subject thanks to many ETOPS-180/-207 flights. I'm not selling this product and will admitt that it has some bugs and customer support via forum is spotty but when I found a bug and reported it through the support portal, I got a response in hours.

 

As for SIDSTARS: Selecting terminal procedures is pretty easy, and with deference to Richard who knows a lot more about this product than I ever will (he wrote the guide), I believe the SIDSTARS are saved in the exported .rte and .pln files. The 777 will always strip the SIDSTAR from any flightplan not saved by the FMS (see INTRO 0.00.143). I get monthly navdata updates from Navigraph and these include both PMDG and PFPX so the data is from the same source.

 

Finally, the 77L TOPCAT integration with PFPX is powerful and easy to use. Takeoff and landing data can be quickly calculated and different configurations run without problem. Lord only knows when TOPCAT will include the 77W, I've seen recommendations to use 77F data for 77W takeoff calcs and it sorta works but not as well as I want. If you can afford to bundle these two products for the discount, I can recommend it because of the value added to my hobby.

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I've been using PFPX for a month now for both 77L & 77W flights of 7-14 hr duration and wonder why I waited so long! The integration with ASN is seamless and my wind forecast in the flightplan is very close to actual encountered in flight almost to a fault. Actual fuel burn and elasped time of flight has always been within 5%, very impressive. The ETOPS capability is powerful and I've been able to acquire a lot more knowledge on the subject thanks to many ETOPS-180/-207 flights. I'm not selling this product and will admitt that it has some bugs and customer support via forum is spotty but when I found a bug and reported it through the support portal, I got a response in hours.

 

As for SIDSTARS: Selecting terminal procedures is pretty easy, and with deference to Richard who knows a lot more about this product than I ever will (he wrote the guide), I believe the SIDSTARS are saved in the exported .rte and .pln files. The 777 will always strip the SIDSTAR from any flightplan not saved by the FMS (see INTRO 0.00.143). I get monthly navdata updates from Navigraph and these include both PMDG and PFPX so the data is from the same source.

 

Finally, the 77L TOPCAT integration with PFPX is powerful and easy to use. Takeoff and landing data can be quickly calculated and different configurations run without problem. Lord only knows when TOPCAT will include the 77W, I've seen recommendations to use 77F data for 77W takeoff calcs and it sorta works but not as well as I want. If you can afford to bundle these two products for the discount, I can recommend it because of the value added to my hobby.

 

So, if you do a COROUTE in PFPX (minus the SIDSTARS), then load it into the FMC... and then when you choose the departure and approach, the waypoints for the STARS should match what would be available in PFPX when you select the STARS?

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In a nutshell, yes.  Read Kyle's post earlier for some differences you might see. The data is from the same source.

 

I export the PFPX flightplan to the PMDG/777 folder with SIDSTARS included. The FMS will strip the SIDSTARS and you add them during preflight. Very straight forward.

 

Just to correct a minor terminology issue, you are not building a COROUTE in PFPX but you are building a route which you can REQUEST via CDU by entering departure and arrival ICAO codes or the filename for the route (which PFPX defaults to ICAOICAOnn and is close enough to PMDG COROUTE convention to make this very minor).

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It's quite simple.

 

You input them like this:

Route in the FMC -> SID -> (After cruise and a few beers) STAR.

You use the SID to link up to the first waypoint in the route, from the runway. Now, if you're not too confident with SIDs and STARs, you'd just select the SID that that PFPX told you to use. This works out fine 60% of the time. In other cases, the SID may NOT link up directly to the route, and something called a transition is used. This is where you need charts (or PLAN mode on the MFD, your choice).

 

A transition is what helps you link up the SID to the first waypoint on your route, should the last waypoint of the SID and the first waypoint on your route be different. I'm sure you've seen it in the DEPP/ARR page of the FMC. 

For example, here are the RAXET departure procedures out of Mumbai for RW27 and RW32:

5nhLJZ1.png

 

Imagine we are flying out to Dubai. PFPX has told us to take RW27, and the RAXET1A SID out of Mumbai. The first waypoint on our actual route, however, is SAKUN. This means our SID does not end at the first waypoint in our route. PFPX does not tell us that we need a transition. We need to ascertain this for ourselves by checking the LEGS page, and the PLAN mode on the MFD, and by verifying the available transitions from charts.

 

The OFP output by PFPX will show: RAXET1A SAKUN XYZ XYZ XYZ

From there on, it's very simple. Select RW27, select RAXET1A and select the SAKUN transition. 

Congratulations, you've worked in conjunction with PFPX to head out to Dubai!

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Hi Robert,

 

You have now had a comprehensive set of answers from several experienced pilots.  But we may still be missing your point.

 

If you are still not understanding some aspect, I would ask you to be VERY specific about a route and point out where your understanding is lacking. Then we can ensure more targeted answers.

 

I hope this helps.

 

Cheers, Richard

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You have now had a comprehensive set of answers from several experienced pilots.  But we may still be missing your point.
 
If you are still not understanding some aspect, I would ask you to be VERY specific about a route and point out where your understanding is lacking. Then we can ensure more targeted answers.

 

Richard - your tact is unmatched.

 

I second this.  If the question remains, perhaps a specific example would help us RW folks troubleshoot it, or answer it more specifically (particularly because I think all of us RW folks here have PFPX to test the discrep, too).

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Thanks guys.

 

I haven't been able to boot up PMDG in a few days, I'll figure out a detailed response and post it tomorrow.

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