jon b

EICAS: FMC vs FMC MESSAGE?

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Hi, I’m just wondering about the message that pops up on EICAS When you have an FMC Scatchpad message?

The sim gives the EICAS message “FMC” which always makes me jump as I associate it with the message ‘FMC LEFT,RIGHT” which signifies a potentially troublesome FMC failure.

Im not sure if this message is one of the many company specific options but certainly on my aircraft an FMC scratchpad generates the EICAS message “FMC MESSAGE ‘

I Know the message has been “FMC” since the legacy versions, which I was involved in testing and advising on , but I can’t remember if I raised the question at the time so it may well be company specific or if not it’s probably my fault for not raising it 12 years previously !

I have a picture of an EICAS “FMC MESSAGE “  for your enjoyment, but not sure how to attach it to a post.

cheers Jon Bunting 

 

 


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Weird thing for me is, when I flew the plane in FSX, it always said FMC MESSAGE. When I flew it in P3D V4, I only ever saw it read FMC.

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Thanks Kevin, then perhaps it’s my memory that’s at fault or it’s the FS9 version I’m remembering. The real world version I operate  at least,has FMC MESSAGE, just wondering if the “FMC” EICAS may have slipped through if it’s not a company specific option?

Jon Bunting

 

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36 minutes ago, jon b said:

Thanks Kevin, then perhaps it’s my memory that’s at fault or it’s the FS9 version I’m remembering. The real world version I operate  at least,has FMC MESSAGE, just wondering if the “FMC” EICAS may have slipped through if it’s not a company specific option?

Jon Bunting

 

Funny you mention this because I saw the same "FMC" EICAS message the other day flying the PMDG SQ B777.  I agree with you that this message should in fact be careted on the B744 because it is not found in the QRH and read " >FMC MESSAGE ".

Bertie G

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Now that’s interesting, because as you say Bertie you would expect FMC MESSAGE to be careted as there is no QRH action, and indeed it has a caret on John’s photo above. And yet I have a photo here (which I’m not sure how to post)I took the other night on the aircraft of FMC MESSAGE without a caret !

Now, this particular FMC MESSAGE was triggered by a CPDLC comm established scratchpad message.I wonder if there is a difference between internal FMC generated scratchpad messages and ones generated by CPDLC activity? Or perhaps a different software version on the aircraft.

Jon Bunting  

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A video from my screen from two months ago, but starting at 5:48:00, you can see it read just FMC. This is P3D V4.

 

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Posted (edited)

As I recall, a white FMC status is a prompt about data uplinks for the FMC. Amber FMC MESSAGE means there’s a scratchpad warning message that needs attention. 

Edited by kevinh

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On 5/24/2018 at 1:50 PM, kevinh said:

As I recall, a white FMC status is a prompt about data uplinks for the FMC. Amber FMC MESSAGE means there’s a scratchpad warning message that needs attention. 

I think you maybe thinking about the EICAS memo messages“ ATC MESSAGE”  or “ACARS MESSAGE” which are in white.

There’s the Amber “FMC LEFT”. “FMC RIGHT” and “FMC MESSAGE” EICAS advisories but no EICAS or memo message which just states “FMC”, to the best of my knowledge. Jon Bunting

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You guys should submit a support ticket or make sure you let them know somehow 🙂

 

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Yep, I’ll submit a ticket if that’s the right thing to do. I just thought I’d post here first to make sure it wasn’t correctly modelled on some other variation of software I wasn’t familiar with. This thing has so many variations and options it’s easy to make a fool of your self by pointing a finger at something you’ve personally not seen before.

cheers

Jon Bunting 

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Posted (edited)

There was a Boeing Service Letter 747-SL-31-092 (8 Nov 2010) which mentioned this:

Quote

34: >FMC MESSAGE ... C.... Revised to add caret to make this message applicable to 747-400 IDS systems with new FMC.

Do they mean the NG software? And does it apply to those aircraft which don't have new FMCs?

Surely they didn't have NG FMCs back in 2010?

Edited by Qavion2

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As of last week my jet, with the original FMCs , was throwing out FMC MESSAGE without a caret !

Maybe they’ve changed their mind again, who knows. 

Jon Bunting 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, jon b said:

Maybe they’ve changed their mind again, who knows

My photo was taken in 2013.... Who knows 😋

(EDIT: A QRH dated 2015 shows "FMC MESSAGE")

Edited by Qavion2

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On 5/25/2018 at 11:16 PM, jon b said:

I think you maybe thinking about the EICAS memo messages“ ATC MESSAGE”  or “ACARS MESSAGE” which are in white.

There’s the Amber “FMC LEFT”. “FMC RIGHT” and “FMC MESSAGE” EICAS advisories but no EICAS or memo message which just states “FMC”, to the best of my knowledge. Jon Bunting

No, it's definitely "FMC" in white. Perhaps it's only in the 777?

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The 777 does have these white COMM messsages related to the FMC. Have these been incorporated into the 744 software? Or is this only on the 747-8?

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On 5/25/2018 at 11:16 PM, jon b said:

I think you maybe thinking about the EICAS memo messages“ ATC MESSAGE”  or “ACARS MESSAGE” which are in white.

There’s the Amber “FMC LEFT”. “FMC RIGHT” and “FMC MESSAGE” EICAS advisories but no EICAS or memo message which just states “FMC”, to the best of my knowledge. Jon Bunting

Jon,

I agree with your comment that these are the only three FMC EICAS Advisories on the actual B744; and only ">FMC MESSAGE" is careted.  The other two (FMC LEFT/RIGHT) are covered in the QRH and if you end up losing both FMC's the workload will definitely increase. Unfortunately, this isn't helped if you are using the spilt standby instruments in the QOTS, because there are currently no white bugs on the Standby ASI or Altimeter on which to set the Flap speeds and Decision Altitude for the approach and landing.

Bertie    

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On 5/27/2018 at 12:47 PM, kevinh said:

No, it's definitely "FMC" in white. Perhaps it's only in the 777?

Ah, OK thanks Kevin, I’m not familiar with the 777.

On 5/27/2018 at 7:08 PM, berts said:

Jon,

I agree with your comment that these are the only three FMC EICAS Advisories on the actual B744; and only ">FMC MESSAGE" is careted.  The other two (FMC LEFT/RIGHT) are covered in the QRH and if you end up losing both FMC's the workload will definitely increase. Unfortunately, this isn't helped if you are using the spilt standby instruments in the QOTS, because there are currently no white bugs on the Standby ASI or Altimeter on which to set the Flap speeds and Decision Altitude for the approach and landing.

Bertie    

I’ve raised a ticket as suggested. Support were most helpful and say they are going to mention it to the technical team to take a look.

I think (hope) everybody is agreement that the  EICAS  “FMC” should in fact be “FMC MESSAGE” , but now I’ve opened another can of worms as to wether there should be a caret > or not.

My machine doesn’t caret the “FMC MESSAGE” advisory wether this is software version or company specific I don’t know.One could say the my company is all stick and no caret, however I personally couldn’t comment !

 

Jon Bunting

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11 hours ago, jon b said:

Ah, OK thanks Kevin, I’m not familiar with the 777.

I’ve raised a ticket as suggested. Support were most helpful and say they are going to mention it to the technical team to take a look.

I think (hope) everybody is agreement that the  EICAS  “FMC” should in fact be “FMC MESSAGE” , but now I’ve opened another can of worms as to wether there should be a caret > or not.

My machine doesn’t caret the “FMC MESSAGE” advisory wether this is software version or company specific I don’t know.One could say the my company is all stick and no caret, however I personally couldn’t comment !

 

Jon Bunting

I am fairly certain that Boeing will have standardised their basic EICAS messages, so my guess is that the ">FMC MESSAGE" will be careted on all B744 aircraft. Like you I'm not that familiar with the B777, but why would Boeing want to change something if it works well and re-invent the wheel?  As you probably know, all the Caret symbol means is that there are no procedural steps for the alert message.

Bertie   

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12 hours ago, berts said:

I am fairly certain that Boeing will have standardised their basic EICAS messages, so my guess is that the ">FMC MESSAGE" will be careted on all B744 aircraft. Like you I'm not that familiar with the B777, but why would Boeing want to change something if it works well and re-invent the wheel?  As you probably know, all the Caret symbol means is that there are no procedural steps for the alert message.

Bertie   

The white FMC status for data uplinks was an additional feature in the 777, not redesigning the wheel. FMC MESSAGE is the same as the 747.

I don’t remember seeing a caret next to FMC MESSAGE in 747v3 but I can’t be sure. Will watch out for it. 

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On 5/31/2018 at 10:41 PM, berts said:

I am fairly certain that Boeing will have standardised their basic EICAS messages, so my guess is that the ">FMC MESSAGE" will be careted on all B744 aircraft. Like you I'm not that familiar with the B777, but why would Boeing want to change something if it works well and re-invent the wheel?  As you probably know, all the Caret symbol means is that there are no procedural steps for the alert message.

Bertie   

Looking at the current QRH there is the following entry...

FMC MESSAGE 

condition: an alert message is in the CDU scratchpad.

1 check FMC alert message in the CDU scratchpad.

corrective action may be required.

 

So they have in fact now added a procedural step, which would account for the removal of the caret. I agree this should be standard across all aircraft.

My guess would be it crept in with the adoption of CPDLC and PBCS over the years, but I can’t say I noticed when.

Jon

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10 hours ago, jon b said:

Looking at the current QRH there is the following entry...

FMC MESSAGE 

condition: an alert message is in the CDU scratchpad.

1 check FMC alert message in the CDU scratchpad.

corrective action may be required.

 

So they have in fact now added a procedural step, which would account for the removal of the caret. I agree this should be standard across all aircraft.

My guess would be it crept in with the adoption of CPDLC and PBCS over the years, but I can’t say I noticed when.

Jon

This is very interesting, because I know of at least one B744 operator that does not have a QRH procedure for this EICAS message and that is why the Caret (>) is present in their >FMC MESSAGE.  As you say, Jon, the difference in the format of this same message might be explained by the later introduction of a QRH procedure when CPDLC and PBCS came in, or they might both be present on different operators.  In any event, the (>) FMC MESSAGE is rather basic and ought to be self-explanatory to all B744 qualified pilots, so I am rather surprised it needs a QRH procedure; but then flying and navigation was less reliant on computers and their messages only a few years ago!  

I have considerable sympathy for the PMDG development team, who must find it very difficult trying to model as accurately as they do all of the different Boeing aircraft and airline configurations that are available in their Ops Center.

Bertie 

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Posted (edited)

Evening Bertie,

Of course doing it by the book then now, every time a FMC MESSAGE EICAS pops up the correct response should be to call for the FMC MESSAGE QRH checklist! Which is ludicrous!

Just been up over Ireland  doing a standby navigation exercise on the PMDG 74, I failed both FMCs, interestingly I got the EICAS : “FMC”  rather than the expected FMC LEFT or FMC RIGHT, but then shortly afterwards I received the EICAS “>FMC MESSAGE” triggered by the fail light on the CDU I think.

So there is a >FMC MESSAGE Hidden in the programming somewhere!

Jon

Edited by jon b

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, jon b said:

Evening Bertie,

Of course doing it by the book then now, every time a FMC MESSAGE EICAS pops up the correct response should be to call for the FMC MESSAGE QRH checklist! Which is ludicrous!

Just been up over Ireland  doing a standby navigation exercise on the PMDG 74, I failed both FMCs, interestingly I got the EICAS : “FMC”  rather than the expected FMC LEFT or FMC RIGHT, but then shortly afterwards I received the EICAS “>FMC MESSAGE” triggered by the fail light on the CDU I think.

So there is a >FMC MESSAGE Hidden in the programming somewhere!

Jon

I knew the Careted message should be there somewhere!  I would be interested to know if your QRH procedure for "FMC MESSAGE" is real world or not. 

Logically, with both FMC's failed you would think Boeing would have produced a "FMC BOTH" message, but this is not the case on any B744 variant as far as I am aware.  I hope you enjoyed your standby nav exercise because of all the non-normal procedures the failure of both FMC's is potentially one of the most unusual and demanding.  All you have to work with are the MENU pages, Alternate Navigation, RADIO, IRS, IRS PROGRESS and IRS LEGS.

Bertie 

Edited by berts
Repetition

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Posted (edited)

For me, FMC MESSAGE has a caret as expected. However I was able to produce the FMC message (without caret) repeatably. During pre-flight I deliberately entered a low fuel quantity, got INSUFFICIENT FUEL in the scratchpad which triggered >FMC MESSAGE as expected. Then I added a SID which created an UNABLE NEXT ALTITUDE prompt (which would also have trigged the FMC MESSAGE prompt had there not already been one). EICAS added FMC as below:

FMC
>FMC MESSAGE

When I cleared the scratchpad it removed "FMC" leaving me with an uncancellable >FMC MESSAGE.

Looks to me like this may be a bug that exists when there are two or more FMC scratchpad messages simultaneously.

Edited by kevinh

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