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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.

 

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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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