JannikBoLarsen

problems leaving en route altitude

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Hi everyone!

Hope you can help me with a problem.

I have validated and filed a IFR flightplan and all is going well on the en route phase in FL340 (or any other flight level). When I get to the TOD I try to do one of the 2 following procedures:

1) before I reach TOD, I try to call ATC (Center) with <callsign> request enroute descent but I never get any response to that call

2) I keep my en route altitude beyond the TOD but never get (as I expect) a call from ATC to descend.

Can anyone tell me what I am doing wrong?

Kind Regards

Jannik

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Jannik,

Thank you for the report.  If you could email me (admin @ pilot2atc.com) the log file for the most recent flight where this occurred, I will see what's going on. 

Log files are located in:

C:\Users\<UserName>\AppData\Roaming\P2A_200\Logs

where <UserName> is your PC user name

A new one is created each time you start Pilot2ATC.

Thanks,

Dave

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Hi Dave!


I tried yesterday to make a flight in order to get the logfile you asked for.


Unfortunately (or may be fortunately) everything seems to work. I made a setup where I did reach the TOD calculated in P2A and keeping the en route flight level. Just before (< 2 miles) reaching the TOD I got a call from ATC saying the assigned STAR, transition and RWY, and a little later (probably just reaching the TOD) a command to start descend to some lower assigned altitude. So somehow the reaction from P2A seemed to work as expected.

Now I have thought about what was different in the procedure compared to my older flights where I had the problems. One thing came to my mind.

I fly the PMDG B737-800 NGX in FSX and make use of its FMC (FMC-PMDG). Normally, I update the FMC-PMDG with the (expected) STAR and transition some 120 miles BEFORE reaching the FMC-PMDG TOD. This normally makes just a small ajustment to the FMC-PMDG TOD. The next step I do is to add to the flight plan in P2A the STAR I get from the "Recommended STAR" in the pane I get when I press the STAR button in P2A. This I do in order to simulate a case, where the recommended STAR in P2A differs from the expected STAR in FMC-PMDG, but of course, in most cases they are the same just as in the real world flying. Then I try to "synchronise" the TOD in P2A (TOD-P2A) to be as near as possible to the same spot as FMC-PMDG TOD modifying the "descent rate" specified i P2D.

The difference yesterday was, that I did NOT add the "Recommended STAR" to the P2A flightplan BEFORE reaching the TOD-P2A and that might be the difference that made it all work!

I will try to investigate this a little deeper and since I only am able to make one flight max. a day, it might take some days before I can return with the findings here in the community.

Since I am not a real world pilot, but only a simmer, I do hope you or somebody else can tell me what the real world sequence in the descend procedure is. What I try to simulate is the following:

1) modify FMC-PMDG with the expected STAR before reaching the FMC-PMDG TOD.


2) upon reaching the FMC-PMDG TOD call the ATC to get cleared for starting en route descent (I presume that the ATC will never call me to start the en route descent, he has many other things to deal with!)


3) during (the first part of) the descent

    EITHER get so near to the arrival airport, that I am able to get the ATIS and get information on runway-in-use and then if necessary update the FMC-PMDG STAR accordingly

OR get a ATC call informing about an assigned STAR.


4) fly the assigned STAR and make a safe landing hoping the ATC do not come up with changes to the assigned STAR or RWY-IN-USE during the arrival phase.

If that is a correct understanding of the real world sequence, do you have a recommended sequence on how to simulate that in the FSX-PMDG-P2A combination?

Kind Regards
Jannik

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Jannik,

Assuming you do not have a STAR in your flight plan and have ATC Assigns STARs option checked so you can be surprised by the STAR assignment, then you must fly the flight plan without the STAR until it is assigned or you will get called off course by ATC.  As soon as it is assigned, you need to modify the FMC and get the aircraft flying the proper route to stay on course.  Then you can modify P2A's flight plan to be able to see the plan on the map.

If you have a STAR in the flight plan, and ATC tells you to expect that arrival, then no changes are needed.  If you get told to expect a different STAR, then you must change the FMC first and then P2A, as above.

You should be able to wait until ATC tells you to "Descend via the xxx arrival" or to "Descend and maintain xxx altitude" to start your descent.  If told to descend via the arrival, you are cleared to begin your descent immediately.  However, if you have not yet reached the TOD, you can wait until you do, or start a descent with a lower descent rate so you don't get down too early.

If the TOD comes before the first STAR waypoint, you will be told to descend at the TOD to xxx altitude by yyy waypoint and then descend via the arrival.

Hope that helps,

Dave

 

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Hi Dave!

Many thanks to your very useful answer. I have already tried to fly a couple of flights according to your recommendations and it seems that it is working the way you describe.

Kind regards

Jannik

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