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Question On Real World Flight Planning

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I use the PMDG 777 in  P3d. My question. Is the FMC pre loaded with the flight. Including SID Flight Plan and STAR before take off? Does the pilot/copilot manually load the SID? Is the STAR loaded after ATC has assigned your landing runway?

 

 

Thanks.

 

Bill

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Generally speaking, an airline dispatcher prepares flight plans for each flight, and they are uploaded wirelessly to a given plane's FMC.  Not sure if they typically include SIDs /STARs at this point or not.  That will likely depend on the procedures of the specific carrier.  However, in practice it does not make much difference.  SIDs/STARs, may be easily input/ changed by the pilot if advised to do so by ATC.  The whole point is that they are standardized and included within each FMC's database, which makes them very easy to select/switch between.  Also keep in mind that not all airports use STARS/SIDS, and those that do still my not always use them.

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OP,

 

most airlines leave the runway and SID/STAR open. Other companies insert a SID/STAR according to forecast to make sure the flightplan fuel is as accurate as possible. In a Boeing 777 operation I am pretty shure that most operators use the 777's datalink capability to send flightplans. Notwithstanding which terminal procedures are there or not, FCOM normal amplified procedures makes sure that the appropriate data is inserted for the actual departure time.

 

Cheers,

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Is the STAR loaded after ATC has assigned your landing runway?

 

You get a clearance for an arrival route or STAR from enroute center, you won't get an expected landing runway until you check ATIS just before checking in to approach.. and the landing clearance comes from the tower.  Of course this varies, for example most of Europe has unique arrivals for each runway but usually only the designation changes the entry fix is the same...it's not as simple as your question presumes.

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Just to confirm what was said before and add on to it.

Some operators (probably most nowadays) make use of acars uplinks for the route.
In my company the route is uplinked without any SIDs/STARs/RWYs, although the OFP (Operational Flight Plan) compiled by the dispatch includes the arrival and departure routes for fuel planning purposes.
During cockpit preparation both departure and arrival runways (expected based on ATIS, METAR, TAF) are inserted in order to compare/check that the required fuel on OFP is reasonably close to the FMGS computed one.
During your descent preparation you shall insert and expected STAR (which you generally figure out by looking at the charts, experience or asking ATC) and the briefing should include the validation of the FMGS STAR vs. Charts (check of waypoints, constraints, track and distances).
Occasionally ATC might give you a different STAR or different runway than expected; in that case you will just amend the FMGS and your briefing accordingly.

 

Ciao

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Thanks to everyone.

 

The reason for my question is that I have the updated version of PROATC. This version assigns SIDS and STARS into your flight plan. Unlike the previous version that allowed you to assign them. I found that when I was assigning them I had no trouble flying them. Or shall I say less trouble. My being able to follow them is of course the level of my ability not PROATC.

 

Just looking for how the real world worked.

 

Bill

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Thanks to everyone.

 

The reason for my question is that I have the updated version of PROATC. This version assigns SIDS and STARS into your flight plan. Unlike the previous version that allowed you to assign them. I found that when I was assigning them I had no trouble flying them. Or shall I say less trouble. My being able to follow them is of course the level of my ability not PROATC.

 

Just looking for how the real world worked.

 

Bill

Greetings Bill,

I'll give you a little different perspective.I've done cargo, airliner and currently operate in corporate aviation. In my current ops, we are ARINC Direct centric. Our dispatch cell plans and submits our flight plans based on our preference, while the crew is responsible for submitting the file request to ARINC. The ARINC guys are awesome, especially with their flight following service. The day of the flight, we download the plans, weather and documents through the ARINC app on our EFBs(IPADs). After a quick review of the paperwork, we submit a file request. At the same time, the flight plan is beamed to the aircraft. By the time I reach the aircraft, I have a uplink message stating that weather, winds, flight pans and NOTAMS are available for download. I download the data and check for any other messages that ARINC has sent to the FMS. Our advanced fleet of Gulfstreams will not fully PERF until the flight plan is loaded and closed. In the corporate world, time is money so i load the expected SID/STAR based on current conditions. This allows the FMS to PERF and give me a good idea of timing. Our customers will show up an hour late expecting to arrive on time. I've flown as fast as .88 trying to make up time if i have the fuel to burn.

 

Some places, like in Sicily, will not give you clearance until you are well into taxi. Still, with out clearance, I will load the expected SID/STAR. Typically, you load the SID that you filed. Sometimes you are forced into a specific SID based on the jet's engine out climb capability. You can also deduce the expected SID/STAR based on route of flight, winds and runways in use. This is a 95% effective solution. As always, there's some potential of modification to your flight plan by ATC. If so, you just have to edit/cleanup the flight plan, which is simple. When my VIP peeps into the cockpit to greet and ask about timing, I can readily respond based on my predictions from the FMS.

 

Just a different perspective. I even did the same when I flew heavies in the airline and cargo world. My past military experience has taught me to always be aware and ahead of the game.

 

Rich

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The reason for my question is that I have the updated version of PROATC.

 

There are multiple threads regarding that product and P3D next door in the AVSIM P3D forum, I assume the product has a support forum; in other words, not much PMDG can do to help you with using third part ATC simulation.  I will share an opinion: No ATC software for hobbyists is going to be realistic, and only mimics part of how the real world works. They are so far apart.

 

Full names on all posts here please Bil.

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Dan,

 

First the reason I posted this GENERAL question in this forum was asking a GENERAL question. Not specific to the PROATC product. Since I was using the PMDG 777 I thought this was the best place for the post.

 

2nd I have been a member of this forum for many years. Have never been asked for Full Names in my posts. Maybe you are confusing this with what is requested in the PROATC forum.

 

Rich,

 

Thank you for your different perspective on my question. It is greatly appreciated.

 

Bill

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2nd I have been a member of this forum for many years. Have never been asked for Full Names in my posts. Maybe you are confusing this with what is requested in the PROATC forum.

 

Been a policy for as long as I can remember: http://www.avsim.com/topic/245586-you-must-sign-your-full-real-name-to-posts-to-use-this-forum-posts-without-names-will-be-deleted/

 

Similar pinned threads in each subforum too.

 

All that aside, there are multiple active threads in the P3D forum right now, today, regarding the GENERAL question that you asked regarding the PROACT product. You're welcome.

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I plan the flight with the sid and star included for fuel planning purposes, but when the route is exported, it does not include them - because for many airports, the terminal procedures are runway dependent anyway. I just select them manually in the FMC.

 

nameforavsim_zps06a82147.jpg

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Thanks to everyone.

 

The reason for my question is that I have the updated version of PROATC. This version assigns SIDS and STARS into your flight plan. Unlike the previous version that allowed you to assign them. I found that when I was assigning them I had no trouble flying them. Or shall I say less trouble. My being able to follow them is of course the level of my ability not PROATC.

 

Just looking for how the real world worked.

 

Bill

Hm, odd... the great thing about the new version is that it does NOT assign SID and STAR to the flightplan. You can't even assign them. The fact that you could do that in the previous versions was unrealistic. You shouldn't want to do that. The nice thing is that you get assigned a SID by ATC only after you contacted ATC. You can see an EXPECTED STAR in the ProATC inflight menu but you will get the actual STAR a lot later during the flight. The whole new workflow of the current ProATC version is a lot more realistic than it used to be. All this depends on the weather. It's great how ProATC can change all this depending on the situation.

 

There IS an option to add the expected SID and STAR to the plan (when you start a flight in ProATC): maybe you have that one enabled? Disable it and things will be more realistic.

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You get a clearance for an arrival route or STAR from enroute center, you won't get an expected landing runway until you check ATIS just before checking in to approach..

 

For what it's worth, this is exactly how ProATC now works and it has caused a bit of confusion.

 

In the past versions, you were told which runway, approach and STAR to expect even more than 120nm away from your destination airport. The old way was easier for the pilots, but not realistic. New version is more realistic and pilots will have to know how to operate and program the aircraft differently compared to how things were done in the past.

 

EDIT: This is also the reason why there is more questions about how these things are done in the real world (which I find to be a positive thing).

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In "real life" you can "guess" the SID and STAR pretty good.

But if you really get the RWY and SID you expect will be confirmed if you ask for Ground / Delivery for cleareance.

 

"DLH1234, cleared to Dubai via KIRDI1E departure.... bla bla".

 

The STAR can be guessed by experience as it was said above. You know your last waypoint and ATC knows this too.

So normally they clear you for the expected STAR. If not - you simply choose another one in the FMC.

 

90% of the time (or even more) you do not fly the whole STAR. You get vectors.

 

 

Correct me if I'm wrong.

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European airports have started to support Constant Descent Operations in order to save fuel and reduce noise. So unlike STARs in US that end with vectors, STARs in Europe contain "merge points" that allow the aircraft calculate optimal descent profile and skip vectors.

 

An example from ENGM:

 

"ENGM STAR is based on Point Merge System (PMS) and accommodates Basic Continuous Descent Operations (B- CDO). Each STAR contains segments forming a curved sequencing leg equidistant from the Merge Point (MP). The sequencing leg shall be regarded as a delay manoeuvre for use during periods with heavy traffic. All STAR procedures are described from the start point via intermediate waypoints to the MP, from where an instrument approach procedure commences. Arriving aircraft established on the STAR can expect clearance direct to MP when traffic permits. Succeeding aircraft will subsequently be cleared direct to MP when sufficient spacing to preceding aircraft is obtained. Hence, a precise sequencing can be achieved whilst the aircraft maintain own navigation (LNAV). When cleared direct to MP and also having received an instrument approach clearance, the aircraft shall follow the transition from MP to final as stated in the relevant instrument approach procedure.”

- ENGM AD 2.22 Flight Procedures"

 

So if traffic permits, you won't receive vectors.

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European airports have started to support Constant Descent Operations in order to save fuel and reduce noise. So unlike STARs in US that end with vectors, STARs in Europe contain "merge points" that allow the aircraft calculate optimal descent profile and skip vectors.

 

The United States is doing this now too. Most of the nations major airports have been updated to utilize RNAV SIDs and STARs, some are still in the process of getting this done, like Southern California. The arrivals allow for an optimize profile descent, and usually end on an IAF for either an ILS or RNAV RNP approach. A good example is San Francisco and the SERFR or DYAMD arrivals.

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European airports have started to support Constant Descent Operations in order to save fuel and reduce noise. So unlike STARs in US that end with vectors, STARs in Europe contain "merge points" that allow the aircraft calculate optimal descent profile and skip vectors.

 

 

 

In Munich they fly Continous Descent Approaches (CDA) when there is only little traffic:

http://nav.vatsim-germany.org/files/edmm/charts/eddm/public/transition/EDDM_TRAN-03_CDA_08L.pdf

 

Otherwise they fly the "normal" STARs.

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TL;DR: Put in the box what ATC tells you to do. Put it in the box when ATC tells you to do it. Don't put anything into the box if ATC didn't tell you to do it. Don't let the box do something ATC didn't tell you to do.

 

-------------------------------

 

I only saw this thread a couple days ago, and wanted to add my thoughts on the issue.

The responses I have seen so far fail to highlight a very important understanding of the route loaded into the FMS.

I am planning a route for my next FSX flight, and thought this would be a good time to make this post.

Before the question can be answered, I think it's important to understand the context in which this discussion takes place. My frame of reference is the United States, so I will be quoting relevant regulations from the F.A.A. Since these are most likely I.C.A.O. standard, I expect there to be little regional differences. My references are not the complete regulation, but only the portion I feel is relevant.

First, the requirements for IFR flight in Controlled Airspace:

§91.173 ATC clearance and flight plan required.
No person may operate an aircraft in controlled airspace under IFR unless that person has—
(a) Filed an IFR flight plan; and
(b ) Received an appropriate ATC clearance.


Our clearance will contain an assigned route. Next, we consider our requirements regarding the route we were given:

§91.123 Compliance with ATC clearances and instructions.
(a) When an ATC clearance has been obtained, no pilot in command may deviate from that clearance unless an amended clearance is obtained, an emergency exists, or the deviation is in response to a traffic alert and collision avoidance system resolution advisory. However, except in Class A airspace, a pilot may cancel an IFR flight plan if the operation is being conducted in VFR weather conditions. When a pilot is uncertain of an ATC clearance, that pilot shall immediately request clarification from ATC.
(b ) Except in an emergency, no person may operate an aircraft contrary to an ATC instruction in an area in which air traffic control is exercised.

Given our assigned clearance, which is required, we must comply with that clearance unless we get authorization to do otherwise.. or an emergency exists.

Very rarely will an aircraft (such as a B-777) be given a full route clearance. Often, the assigned routing will be "cleared as filed." Remember that it is a requirement for IFR flight that a flight plan must be on file. The regulations dictate what is required information in that filed flight plan.

§91.169 IFR flight plan: Information required.
(a) Information required. Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, each person filing an IFR flight plan must include in it the following information:
(1) Information required under §91.153 (a) of this part;

§91.153 VFR flight plan: Information required.
(a) Information required. Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, each person filing a VFR flight plan shall include in it the following information:
...
(5) The proposed route, cruising altitude (or flight level), and true airspeed at that altitude.

If ATC assigns, "cleared as filed," this is a clearance in which compliance is mandatory. If the clearance is to some waypoint/navaid, and then "as filed," your route must be that filed after arriving at that point.

So what route do you file? This isn't written in regulations, but "Preferred IFR Routes" exist to ease the process of getting an ATC clearance. If in normal operations the route for a given city pair is always the same, it's easier if you file the correct route on your flight plant, so that ATC doesn't have to modify it with a lengthy "full route clearance." You make it easy on them, they make it easy on you.

 

So far, it seems that nobody has made notice of the regulatory aspects of what gets put into the box. With this context, I can accurately answer the questions posed by the OP!
 

 

 Is the FMC pre loaded with the flight. Including SID Flight Plan and STAR before take off?

If these procedures are part of the ATC clearance, then yes they are loaded before takeoff. If you intend to navigate by the FMS, then the route loaded must exactly match your assigned clearance.

 

**Does the pilot/copilot manually load the SID?**

 

This depends on the situation and airline. Some airlines will use ACARS to send the flight plan to the aircraft. If the data exactly matches the clearance ("as filed"), then it can be loaded automatically. If it does not, then the pilots must manually load the correct procedure. If no SID is assigned, then none will be loaded.

 

**Is the STAR loaded after ATC has assigned your landing runway?**

 

Depends. Has the STAR been assigned as a part of your ATC Clearance at the departure airport? Were you "cleared as filed", and the STAR is in your filed flight plan?
Then it must be loaded into the FMS.

Does your assigned (for filed if "cleared as filed") route nave no STAR? Then no star is loaded.

Has it been assigned or changed en route? Then the change must be loaded into the FMS (both pilots confirm the change).

Hopefully the context of FMS routing helps to answer these questions.

 

 

Robert Toten

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TL;DR: Put in the box what ATC tells you to do. Put it in the box when ATC tells you to do it. Don't put anything into the box if ATC didn't tell you to do it. Don't let the box do something ATC didn't tell you to do.

 

-------------------------------

 

I only saw this thread a couple days ago, and wanted to add my thoughts on the issue.

 

The responses I have seen so far fail to highlight a very important understanding of the route loaded into the FMS.

 

I am planning a route for my next FSX flight, and thought this would be a good time to make this post.

 

Before the question can be answered, I think it's important to understand the context in which this discussion takes place. My frame of reference is the United States, so I will be quoting relevant regulations from the F.A.A. Since these are most likely I.C.A.O. standard, I expect there to be little regional differences. My references are not the complete regulation, but only the portion I feel is relevant.

 

First, the requirements for IFR flight in Controlled Airspace:

Our clearance will contain an assigned route. Next, we consider our requirements regarding the route we were given:

Given our assigned clearance, which is required, we must comply with that clearance unless we get authorization to do otherwise.. or an emergency exists.

 

Very rarely will an aircraft (such as a B-777) be given a full route clearance. Often, the assigned routing will be "cleared as filed." Remember that it is a requirement for IFR flight that a flight plan must be on file. The regulations dictate what is required information in that filed flight plan.

If ATC assigns, "cleared as filed," this is a clearance in which compliance is mandatory. If the clearance is to some waypoint/navaid, and then "as filed," your route must be that filed after arriving at that point.

 

So what route do you file? This isn't written in regulations, but "Preferred IFR Routes" exist to ease the process of getting an ATC clearance. If in normal operations the route for a given city pair is always the same, it's easier if you file the correct route on your flight plant, so that ATC doesn't have to modify it with a lengthy "full route clearance." You make it easy on them, they make it easy on you.

 

So far, it seems that nobody has made notice of the regulatory aspects of what gets put into the box. With this context, I can accurately answer the questions posed by the OP!

 

If these procedures are part of the ATC clearance, then yes they are loaded before takeoff. If you intend to navigate by the FMS, then the route loaded must exactly match your assigned clearance.

 

**Does the pilot/copilot manually load the SID?**

 

This depends on the situation and airline. Some airlines will use ACARS to send the flight plan to the aircraft. If the data exactly matches the clearance ("as filed"), then it can be loaded automatically. If it does not, then the pilots must manually load the correct procedure. If no SID is assigned, then none will be loaded.

 

**Is the STAR loaded after ATC has assigned your landing runway?**

 

Depends. Has the STAR been assigned as a part of your ATC Clearance at the departure airport? Were you "cleared as filed", and the STAR is in your filed flight plan?

Then it must be loaded into the FMS.

 

Does your assigned (for filed if "cleared as filed") route nave no STAR? Then no star is loaded.

 

Has it been assigned or changed en route? Then the change must be loaded into the FMS (both pilots confirm the change).

 

Hopefully the context of FMS routing helps to answer these questions.

 

 

Robert Toten

I think his questions were quite simple. Is the route loaded before takeoff to include SID and STAR? Is the SID loaded manually? Is the STAR loaded after the runway is assigned. It's very apparent that the OP unfamiliar with real world ops and was looking for insight to mirror what's done in the real world. He was given some varying answers that answered his question depending on SOPs/ops. As I've stated, I've always loaded everything into the FMS in every operation I've been in to include military ops. We load it and as one guy read of the points, LAT/LONGs, miles and headings, the other guy steps through the FMS confirming it. When ready for clearance, we put on headsets and request it or get it VIA PDC. We both write it down, read it back and then update the FMS.

 

I think it was all pretty clear without the regulations. It's very implicit that you will always fly what you are cleared vs what you file/load into the box. Routinely on the North East coast, the clearance I receive is usually different from what I filed. I've become accustomed to the phrase "and then as filed" because it changes so much when you jam pack multiple airport with arrivals and departures into the same area. When operating out of the same airports routinely, it's easy to guess what departures and arrivals you will get based on the flow. For example, every time I go into KMIA from the North East, I always get the HILEY6 after being cleared to Ormond Beach. Controllers will usually tell you what to expect as far as arrivals, crossing altitudes and landing runways. They will even coordinate your approach request.  

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