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DavidP

Real World FMC Setup

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I have a small query that a real world insider might be able to answer.

 

You are setting up the FMC for a long haul flight - with the route entered into the FMC, do the crew usually just enter a plan to overhead the field initially? I ask this because at the start of a 14 hr flight you aren't going to know what runway or indeed STAR you will be allocated, so it would seem a bit strange to attempt these entries so far out from the destination.

 

So, any idea what real crews do?

 

Rgds

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I think this is one of those "it depends" questions.  Sometimes you won't know arrival or approach but some places are pretty straight forward and you have a pretty good idea.  For example, EGLL or KLAX or a dozen others, you know which arrival because it is based on your route and there is only one arrival.  Other locations have arrivals that vary by direction of traffic and landing runway, but if the TAF forecast is close then you can anticipate the direction.  My preference is to program the arrival and leave the approach open or select a VFR runway, if I don't know the approach I'm going to be using.

 

Regardless, at about 1000 nm before arrival you  can check weather and start lining up your STAR at most locations.

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Or you could use rte copy and setup arrival for 2 runways. For example KLM or BAW 744's into CYYZ will always land on either 23 or 05. The star is fixed for routing.

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There is more than a few ways to go about them and the biggest thing to remember is THERE IS NO WRONG WAY!  When I get settled in I personally enter the arrival that is on the ATC flight plan.  Depending on my destination I'll enter an approach...I think more times than not I add some sort of approach into the system.  A few hours out of my destination I start getting more focused on updating the arrival information if its need.  This could include a quick question to ATC if they aren't busy if I really feel like the arrival has changed.

But like I said, there is no real wrong way to do it...except for maybe getting to the last fix of your entered route then trying to program an arrival...thats just bad form  :smile:

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I like to have at least something in there, so predicted fuel etc is a little more accurate. Certainly you want something in there by TOD.

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I like to have at least something in there, so predicted fuel etc is a little more accurate. Certainly you want something in there by TOD.

Those were my exact thoughts.

Thanks for the feedback everyone.

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