Jump to content

Sign in to follow this  
Guest Revraz

Flightplanning

Recommended Posts

Guest heclak

Hi guys,i'm starting to pick up 'real' planning instead of just using the auto route functions. How do you do actual flight planning. I'm sure there's a difference for one with a FMC like the 767 and without like the cessna. But how do you go about? Maps? What kind do you use? Enroute? Sectionals? How do you calculate flight levels and speed when crossing points since you have to program them into the FMC. And most importantly, fuel. How do you calculate that? What information do you need? Performance tables? I know alittle about VFR flying. There's the "computer" which is actually a disc to calculate the actual flight paths based on winds. But since winds change all the time? Why call up the station in advance to find out the winds to calculate a path? Its all based on vectors, that i understand, the praticality of it i don't get.Thanks guys, hopefully i can form up my all in one flight planning system.haha.Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am a GA flyer but I start with this free program to do flight planning:http://www.flightprep.com/rootpage.php?pag...meFlightPlannerOnce I get a good plan-I go to airnav.com and check out fuel prices-then plan a stop where I can save the most $$$.On route-I run fliteprep software on a tablet pc with xm weather-it downloads the winds aloft as I go and I can find the optimal altitude to fly.Probably higher tech than a lot of commercial jets with their fmc's lol.http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'll echo pretty much what Tord is saying. PocketFMS is nice and the fact it runs on a PDA makes it really useful (especially if you have a PDA!). Personally I use a program called Navbox, which includes monthly updates for airspace changes etc. It only covers Europe, but that's fine 'cos that's where I fly.The first thing you need to decide is where you're going - from and to. In the real world, the 'from' is easy, since it's where you last parked your aeroplane! There are a number of factors regarding the 'to'. Look at the SigWx, or even a synoptic off the TV. Are there natable areas of better or worse weather? How fast is the weather moving according to the forecasts? That will inform the general direction you want to go in. (other factors in the real world might include how expensive is it to land at? Do they have fuel? Do they have food, and how good is it? etc!)Having got your start and end points, you need to plan the route between them. Your starting point is usually 'direct', ie a straight line between the two. (I'm assuming this is a single flight within the fuel range of the aircraft.) Then you look down the route to see if there are any 'avoids' - terrain, restricted/prohibited/controlled airspace etc. and adjust the route to avoid them. Note that it's often possible to go over or under airspace, so you need to take that into account when planning your altitude. When you need to 'dogleg', it's usual to pick a distinctive feature as the turning point - town, road intersection, bend in the river etc. or even a conveniently located VOR or NDB (but there's no point in planning to a navaid if your plane doesn't have the appropriate receiver fitted!)Plan your elevation profile. Aim to be at least 1000ft above the highest point or obstacle within 5 miles either side of the route (calculate this 'minimum altitude' for each leg). You can fly higher than this, but once above 3000ft you will need to follow the 'semi-circular rule' which governs the altitude you fly according to whether your track is easterly or westerly. You will also need to know the cloud base (METARs and TAFs for places close to the route will give you this), since if you are VFR you'll need to stay clear of clouds. Finally(!) calculate your headings and times. If you've drawn the route on a chart, you'll need to use a calibrated rule and protractor to get track and diastance (don't forget that the 'northings' on the chart are 'true', not 'magnetic'). Then given wind speed, direction and the true airspeed of your plane in the cruise, you can calculate heading, time and ground speed, and hence also fuel usage.Hope that's not too confusing in a few paragraphs - there are entire textbooks written just on this subject!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest heclak

thanks for all the great info. Thats real deep just for GA. How about airlines. How do they plan? When flying heavies, how do you come up with flightplans. Not just in real life but simming too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, apart from the fact that the airlines have dispatch/operations depertments that handle the planning it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Revraz

High Alt Jetways>thanks for all the great info. Thats real deep just for GA.>How about airlines. How do they plan? When flying heavies, how>do you come up with flightplans. Not just in real life but>simming too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest heclak

Then how do the guys flying the heavies in FS get routes for their flights? Plan them with maps? Sharing?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,They have a full staff of flight dispatchers, performance engineers and what-not who takes care of this. Usually every citypair, departure and destination, has a number of different routes for the dispatcher to choose from depending on weather conditions enroute, winds aloft, anticipated traffic congestions and so on and so forth.Also the software used by the dispatchers usually is capable of determining the most efficient/economical route out of a selected number of routes automatically taking the above conditions into consideration.Cheers,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest beloka

I used to be a flight dispatcher on DC10, B727 and A319.Commercial flight plans are almost never made with rulers and calculations on paper (altough every dispatcher has to be able to do so in case of system failures). Companies use special software like Sita or Jeppesen flight planning software(big companies may have their own flpng prgs: ex British Airways, Lufthansa) What it comes down to is that the flightplanning software has a profile of each plane (usually by registration number and aircraft type) stored with all its specifications: Zero Fuel Weight, Max Landing, max Take Off etc... and a couple of adjustements for every individual plane (since not one plane has execatly the same weights) and then the companies policy on contingenies, reserves, etc ...) Once the profile is tweaked its just a matter of input for every flight: departure airport, payload (passengers and/or cargo) destination airport and alternate(s) airport(s) and maybe some preferrential route or waypoint or repetitive route (in case of regular flights). Once you execute the flightplanprogram it will give you a plan with all necessary parameters based on actual weather conditions at dept, and previsons for onroute and arrival. Its then up to the dispatcher to make sure the program hasnt sent the plane into some forbidden areas like : military training zones or war zones,...(whcih happens more often than u think) on the hand of available 'paper' maps (jeppesen f.i.) and last minute notams. Once a flpln approved by dispatch the briefing is done with the pilots and the final approval given and filing to ATC can be done. Every company might have slightly different procedures but it largely comes down to the same and i can tell you that its a demanding job but i sure miss it a lot!grtzeric

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest heclak

thanks. I'm hoping to find out more about flight simming now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...