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ArannAvi8tor

777 Auto Step Climb

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I have done a number of flights lately and on every one the Auto Step Climb doesn't seem to be working. I start at the initial  cruise altitude and come back at the end of the flight and I am still at that altitude.

 

I program the step climbs in the legs page with an "S" after the altitude and the altitudes show throughout the legs page correctly, but no climb is made.

 

I believe everything is up to date, I am kind of at  a loss as this worked fine a while ago.

 

Joe O'Connell

Edited by ArannAvi8tor

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Go into the pmdg options and set auto step climb. It is all explained in the manual.


Koen Meier

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3 minutes ago, ph-cxz said:

Go into the pmdg options and set auto step climb. It is all explained in the manual.

I should have been more clear, yes auto step climb is active on all of these flights.

 

joe oconnell

Edited by ArannAvi8tor

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13 minutes ago, ArannAvi8tor said:

I program the step climbs in the legs page with an "S" after the altitude and the altitudes show throughout the legs page correctly, but no climb is made.

Why are you setting them manually?


Kyle Rodgers

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I set them based on the flight plan that I created. I use SimBrief and they plan the step climbs for me.

 

This hasn't been a problem in the past perhaps since the last update but I am not sure.

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The flight plan is a "plan," and when to step climb depends on many variables that the plan cannot predict with 100% accuracy.  Winds and temperatures vary, ATC may not be able to give you the higher altitude, you might be on an airway with altitude constraints, etc.  Only the FMS knows when the optimal time arrives for a step climb... and then depending on winds it might not be the most economical choice so the pilot has to make a decision. 

The auto step climb should be working with manually entered step climbs, unless there is an issue with buffet margins or other safety considerations.

Nothing changed the auto step climb feature in the last update.

Need more specifics if you want to go down this specific case any deeper.  Lots of specifics.


Dan Downs KCRP

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13 minutes ago, ArannAvi8tor said:

I use SimBrief and they plan the step climbs for me.

The SimBrief plan isn't planning the steps for you as much as giving ATC an idea of the segments where you'll be at those altitudes. The steps in the plan serve a secondary purpose of letting you know, too, but you would already know this because you'd be following the FMC steps on the FMC profile, unless otherwise noted (NAT segments are flown at constant alt and speed, usually, so that's one example you'd follow the plan over the FMC).

So, unless you're flying a particular segment with a required altitude, don't throw the SimBrief altitudes in, and, instead, follow the OPT profile.

Either way, it should follow those, provided the altitude on the MCP matches the altitude currently on the VNAV CRZ page.


Kyle Rodgers

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9 minutes ago, ArannAvi8tor said:

OK, so I understand how step climbs work, but what am I missing about the auto step climb feature?

I'm confused by what you mean here.

If you're referring to my earlier post about using the FMC without the 'S' entries, over the SimBrief plan, then I disagree. Your post earlier references using manual entry climbs, which points to a misunderstanding of how they work. Because of this, I clarified.

If you're referring to knowing exactly how the auto step climb function works, then it should be working, which it isn't. Because of this, I have to assume there's a misunderstanding or a misconfiguration somewhere. So far, while you seem to be a implying a lot, you have done very little confirming. It is extremely important that you slow down a bit, and work with us. We're trying to help you. "I know how this works" doesn't help us. It seems like it would, but it doesn't. When offering support to someone, you can never take the vague assertion of "I know what I'm doing."

 

When you get to your initial cruise altitude, what is your MCP set to?


Kyle Rodgers

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I apologize about the confusion.

 

I started the flight like I always do. I take off and climb to FL290 and that is what is on the MCP. In the past with the Auto Step Climb on, the feature would change the MCP to 310 and climb to 310. it doesn't appear to be doing that anymore.

 

In the past it didn't matter how I setup the step climb either letting the aircraft decide when or setting them manually.

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7 minutes ago, ArannAvi8tor said:

I started the flight like I always do. I take off and climb to FL290 and that is what is on the MCP. In the past with the Auto Step Climb on, the feature would change the MCP to 310 and climb to 310. it doesn't appear to be doing that anymore.

We haven't changed the code on this in quite some time, which is why I keep driving at the idea that you're doing something oddly.

To be clear, your last post simply notes a climb to FL290, but the important part is that you must climb to whatever is set in the FMC as the cruise alt, and the MCP must match that altitude.


Kyle Rodgers

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1 hour ago, ArannAvi8tor said:

I started the flight like I always do. I take off and climb to FL290 and that is what is on the MCP. In the past with the Auto Step Climb on, the feature would change the MCP to 310 and climb to 310. it doesn't appear to be doing that anymore.

This makes sense to you but we are not looking over your shoulder, so it is not enough information to define the problem.  MCP ALT is FL290 and FMS CRZ level is FL290?  The first step to FL310 is how far from TOC and is it an FMS STEP TO or is it a manual step?  Does PROGRESS page indicate distance to step climb before you get to the step?  Is the FL290 initial altitude as recommended by PERF page during preflight?


Dan Downs KCRP

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3 hours ago, downscc said:

This makes sense to you but we are not looking over your shoulder, so it is not enough information to define the problem.  MCP ALT is FL290 and FMS CRZ level is FL290?  The first step to FL310 is how far from TOC and is it an FMS STEP TO or is it a manual step?  Does PROGRESS page indicate distance to step climb before you get to the step?  Is the FL290 initial altitude as recommended by PERF page during preflight?

Yes to all of that, the distance was displayed on the PROGRESS page. It was a manual step and it was probably 280nm from TOC where the first step climb was to begin.  I can try the flight again tonight and I can share more detail.

 

It appears that this is not a known issue. I can try to get more information, but it isn't the end of the world or anything I just thought I would ask here in case I wasn't alone in this.

Edited by ArannAvi8tor

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I use manual step climbs on every NAT crossing, because steps while on a track are usually not available.  Auto step climb works just fine when I use it with manual or FMS based steps.  I cannot think of many reasons why it shouldn't.


Dan Downs KCRP

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