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Need help with my flight plan

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Here's a flight plan that I created with PFPX... It's a very short flight from KIAH to KDFW. It says my initial flight altitude is FL340, but when loading this flight plan into the PMDG 777 and getting ther PERF INIT automatically updated on the FMC, it shows a different FL. So which one do I use? FL340 seems like such a high altitude for such a short flight. Doesn't sound right to me. Not sure what the real world FL is for KIAH - KDFW.


Also what's the proper order to go through setting up the FMS before you take off?


Do I set up the fuel load first using the information provided to me in the flight plan below, enter my ZFW, configure my payload, or does payload unnecessary since it will get that number when I enter in the plane's ZFW?


Looking at my flight plan below, what numbers am I looking at and what numbers do I need in order to set up the fuel load on my 777 correctly? This part I still don't understand. What am I suppose to enter in for the GR weight, fuel, etc on the FUEL LOAD page of the plane's FMC?


In PFPX there's a section for step climb and it's set to 2.000 FT, should I leave it? I've seen tutorial videos on youtube and I see some people change it to no. So I'm not sure what's the proper way to do this.

                    F O R   I N F O R M A T I O N   O N L Y
ALL WEIGHTS IN POUNDS (LB)                                       STD 03DEC/2315Z

UA1950/UAL1950      N771UA/B777-2LR GE                    ROUTE:          (AUTO)

DEP: KIAH/IAH 33R   ELEV    96 FT   COST INDEX: 85        TTL G/C DIST:   198 NM
ARR: KDFW/DFW 18R   ELEV   607 FT   INIT ALT:   FL340     TTL F/P DIST:   209 NM
                                    FUEL BIAS:  100.0%    TTL AIR DIST:   218 NM
                                                          AVG WIND CMP: HD016 KT
ALT: KDAL/DAL 13R   ELEV   487 FT   131 NM
CONFIG      DOW  PAX   CARGO   TOTAL   ULOAD LIM             ZFW     TOW     LDW
STANDARD 316500  191   39390   75971   68529 ZFW     MAX  461000  766000  492000
                                                     PLN  392471  417904  408405
                                                     ACT  ......  ......  ......


COND:    417904 LB // RWY DRY // +16°C  Q1027  CALM  // LMT: OBS(A)
CONFIG:  FLAPS 5 // D-TO1 +70C // A/I OFF/AUTO // A/C ON
SPEEDS:  V1=133  VR=134  V2=138
ENG OUT: AT 4 DME 'IAH' 116.6 RT TO ITCPT R 330 'IAH' 116.6 TO 'GOMER' [24.9
         DME 'IAH' 116.6] (256 INBD,RT)

COND:    408405 LB // RWY DRY // +16°C  Q1027  200/03  // LMT: STRUCT
ENG OUT: RT TO 'FUZ' 115.7 (313 INBD,LT)

               FUEL    CORR    ENDUR
TRIP           9499  ........  00:34 
ALTN KDAL      6364  ........  00:23
FAR RSV        9570  ........  00:45
MIN T/O       25433  ........  01:42       .....................................
EXTRA             0  ........  00:00       CAPTAINS SIGNATURE  (....)
TAXI            570  ........  00:10       
RELEASE       26003  ........  01:52       I ACCEPT THIS OFP AND I AM FAMILIAR
                                           WITH THE PLANNED ROUTE AND AERODROMES

TRIP CORR FOR 10000 LB TOW INCR: +131 LB / 10000 LB TOW DECR: -121 LB
2000 FT LOWER:  +16 LB / EET 00:34  CLB: 250/310/84  DES: 84/320/250

KIAH  STD 23:15Z/17:15L  ETD 23:15Z  ACT OFBL ....  EST T/O 23:25Z  ACT T/O ....
KDFW  STA 00:10Z/18:10L  ETA 00:04Z  ACT ONBL ....  EST LDG 23:59Z  ACT LDG ....
          00:55              00:49   TTL BLCK ....                  TTL FLT ....


KDAL/13R  131 FL230  UNK TL005 00:23   6364      - TEX4 FUZ DCT CVE DCT BYP

-FIR     NAME                 ISA WND/SPD  GS  REM  POSITION          ETO / ATO
         KIAH/33R          96 UNK                       25.4 /   0.6            
         GEORGE BUSH INTERCON                  209  N2957.5 W09520.4 ...../.....

LOA9     WLLIS     332   *CLB UNK               38      19.7 /   6.3   07  00.07
                              P04              171  N3032.1 W09539.1 ...../.....

         *TOC      332  FL340 UNK         477   17      18.5 /   7.5   03  00.10
                              P07 262/058 456  153  N3047.9 W09547.6 ...../.....

LOA9     LOA       332  FL340 UNK 110.80  477   22      17.9 /   8.1   02  00.12
         LEONA                P07 264/056 456  132  N3107.4 W09558.1 ...../.....

         *TOD      345  FL340 UNK         474   28      17.1 /   8.9   04  00.16
-KZFW                         P07 264/056 464  103  N3135.1 W09604.5 ...../.....

DCT      CQY       345   *DES UNK 114.80        37      16.9 /   9.1   05  00.21
         CEDAR CREEK          P01               66  N3211.1 W09613.1 ...../.....

CQY8     HOWDY     313   *DES UNK               17      16.8 /   9.2   03  00.24
                              P03               50  N3223.1 W09626.7 ...../.....

CQY8     BELLS     311   *DES UNK                9      16.7 /   9.3   01  00.25
                              P03               41  N3229.2 W09634.0 ...../.....

CQY8     TACKE     312   *DES UNK                7      16.6 /   9.4   01  00.26
                              P05               34  N3234.0 W09639.5 ...../.....

CQY8     WARDZ     313   *DES UNK                8      16.5 /   9.5   02  00.28
                              P05               27  N3239.5 W09645.7 ...../.....

CQY8     DIETZ     313   *DES UNK               11      16.3 /   9.7   03  00.31
                              P01               16  N3247.6 W09654.9 ...../.....

CQY8     KDFW/18R  312    607 UNK               16      15.9 /  10.1   03  00.34
         DALLAS-FT WORTH INTL                       N3254.9 W09703.3 ...../.....


(CLIMB)             (DESCENT)         
FL330  263/056 -44  FL330  286/040 -49  
FL270  281/036 -34  FL270  298/032 -37  
FL200  307/027 -20  FL200  301/022 -23  
13000  315/016  -4  13000  302/012  -8  
 6000  021/013  +6   6000  328/009  +5

END FLIGHTPLAN 00046  UAL1950   N771UA   KIAH-KDFW   03DEC2015

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Generally when loading the FMS the best way to do it is to enter the route first, then put in the weights and performance information. The reason is that if you put the weights in first, when you then go to enter the route the FMC will be constantly trying to update the predictions which in the real thing slows the process down a lot as you have to wait for it to compute before you then put the next leg in (not much CPU power in your typical FMC...).


In a two-crew operation, you would generally load up the route and calculate the performance whilst your mate sets up his side of the flight deck and does his/her performance calculations separately.  At some point you would then come back together to do the "critical data entry" -- the point being that you don't want to just be chucking weights and performance data willy-nilly in to the FMC without somebody else checking it as data entry errors in the past have led to some nasty incidents.


So the way it would work is that one of you reads the ZFW off the loadsheet. The other enters this figure in to the FMC, and reads the calculated gross weight (assuming the fuel is all on board). The guy who read the ZFW off the loadsheet then checks the GW you've just read out against the TOW on the paper flight plan (i.e. out of PFPX). This confirms that all the data from all the different sources (loadsheet, flight plan, FMC) matches up (within a reasonable margin).


You then move on to load the takeoff performance data, again in exactly the same way -- one reads, the other checks against their own calculations and enters.


As to when to do the actual physical loading of the aircraft -- it doesn't really matter, as long as it's complete by the time you push back. Obviously for the reasons mentioned above it's useful to have the fuel in before you do the critical data as this enables the FMC to give you an accurate GW figure, but as for loading pax/cargo etc -- in FS I would tend to do that immediately (unless there's a "real-time" loading capability such as in the Aerosoft Airbus) as then I can forget about it! Obviously in real life the pax and bags are going on whilst you are doing the setup. You'd have a provisional loadsheet, which you'd use for all the calculations etc, and you might get a final loadsheet (via ACARS) once the doors are closed and it's known for certain who and what is on board. If the final loadsheet figures are different (outside tolerances) from the provisional, you would then have to re-do the critical data procedure and takeoff performance.


Fuel load on that OFP layout -- RELEASE fuel is the minimum fuel to load. As PIC you may elect to add to that if you feel circumstances dictate that you need it (bear in mind if you add significantly -- like, tonnes and tonnes -- more, then all the calculations on the OFP will start to be off).


TRIP is the fuel required from takeoff to touchdown.

ALTN is fuel required to divert from your destination to your alternate

RESV is your final (never-go-below) reserve

MIN T/O, it therefore follows, is all of the above added together -- the minimum fuel that you need on board when you push the throttles forward to take off.

EXTRA is any extra fuel you specified at the flight planning stage (for delays, holding etc).

TAXI is fuel for the taxi out.

RELEASE is all of the above (i.e. MIN T/O plus EXTRA and TAXI).


Step climbs in PFPX -- generally, unless you have a good reason for forcing PFPX not to use step climbs for the entire flight (I can't think of many situations where this would be necessary) then 2000ft is fine. In the olden days before RVSM (1000ft vertical separation between aircraft above FL290), you had to have 2000ft separation between traffic in the upper levels, therefore same-direction levels were 4000ft apart, so you would have entered 4000.


I think I already answered your question about the initial flight level in your other thread -- depends on the situation and what ATC are prepared to give you!

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Okay so let me confirm what you just wrote. Please correct me if I'm wrong. So after loading my flight plan that I just created in PFPX into the FMC. I enter in my departing runway and hiy ACTIVATE  and EXEC. Then I go to my FUEL setup page on the FMC, enter in my fuel weight in the LSK1 field (Total LBS), which is the Release value which is 26003lbs? 


What do I enter in as my ZFW? the PLN 392471? or the MAX ZFW? 


Also on the TAKEOFF REF page on the FMC, under the v1,vr,v2, it says GR WT 418.2 and then TOGW ---.-. What do I enter for that field?

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Bear with me a little bit because although I'm familiar with Boeing FMCs in general, I'm not specifically familiar with the PMDG 777.


Bear in mind that there is a difference between physically loading the aircraft (so that the weight is in there) and programming the FMC.


I think the PMDG 777 has some form of load and fuel setup page in one of the FMC menus that enables you to fuel and load the aircraft. So in here you need to put the release fuel (i.e. whatever fuel you want to load) and the actual ZFW you generated the plan with (392.5 klbs -- as read from the PLN (planned) ZFW column). This loads your aircraft with that amount of fuel and weight.


After you have loaded the route, you then need to go to the INIT REF page where there should be a box to enter the ZFW and/or GW. The usual practice is to enter the ZFW (the planned/actual ZFW that you just entered to load the aircraft). Once you have entered this, you will see a figure appear in the GW field which should be the ZFW plus the sensed fuel on board (check it against the totaliser).


On the Takeoff Ref page, you don't actually need to enter anything in to the TOGW field. However, it stands for Takeoff Gross Weight. The reason it is there is because the aircraft will be calculating the speeds based on the current gross weight (in the GW field), which obviously includes the taxi fuel you have loaded. However, a couple of hundred kilos isn't going to make any practical difference most of the time on an aircraft the size of the 777 and the weight difference is in a safe direction (i.e. lighter than planned) anyway.

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