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RKillins

When To Enter GPS Flight Plan

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When do pilots usually enter their flight plans etc into their GPS or FMC units? Before or after engine start?

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RM Killins

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Every airline/aircraft will be slightly different but the route gets put into our FMCs (747) just after the initial cockpit scan (often, the route is requested before the scan and the scan done while waiting for the route to arrive, some guys even request it before they've looked at the tech log(s) - it takes a while sometimes).

It would then be checked by the other guy (P1 or P2 depending on the number of crew operating the flight) before they get together to put the weights/performance into the FMC and have a brief.

It gets expensive and busy after engine start so we try to do as much setup/admin as humanly possible before and then as little as humanly possible after (apart from fly the plane, obviously).

HTH,

Ian

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I wonder if the flight plan is entered before the flight crew even board the aircraft - ground crew setting up as much as possible? Can it be entered remotely from the airlines dispatch office, assuming the aircraft's avionics were powered up? As you say, Ian, every airline is different.

Expensive & busy after engine start - I like that! :laugh:


Mark Robinson

"What's it doing now?"

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I made the baby cry - A2A Simulations L-049 Constellation

Sky Simulations MD-11 V2.2 Pilot. The best "lite" MD-11 money can buy (well, it's not freeware!)

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On 1/12/2020 at 7:21 PM, HighBypass said:

I wonder if the flight plan is entered before the flight crew even board the aircraft - ground crew setting up as much as possible?

Possible but I don't really see an advantage in it. The act of requesting and loading the flightplan is just a couple of button clicks and, as I said before, most people send the request off before doing other stuff so loading the route is rarely on the critical path. We're going to check everything we need to check before departure, getting someone else to come in before us and do it, or even to remotely pre load the route, won't reduce our workload.

We're still going to go through everything to make sure it's all correct as we're the one's who'll be blamed (or shot down) if it's wrong, so it just adds more cost to the process for very little gain.

From a technical perspective I'm sure it could be done but I'm not sure they'd be much advantage in doing so, so airlines wouldn't spend the time/money developing the procedures/systems to implement it.

 

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On 1/14/2020 at 1:09 PM, iwebber said:

...or shot down...

Unfortunate choice of wording in the current climate, but I know what you mean, .... and it's a very real option if a country chooses not to intercept a wayward aeroplane with jet fighters.

Thanks for the insight, Ian.:cool:


Mark Robinson

"What's it doing now?"

Greenbrier Aero Club former member

I made the baby cry - A2A Simulations L-049 Constellation

Sky Simulations MD-11 V2.2 Pilot. The best "lite" MD-11 money can buy (well, it's not freeware!)

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On 1/12/2020 at 2:21 PM, HighBypass said:

I wonder if the flight plan is entered before the flight crew even board the aircraft - ground crew setting up as much as possible? Can it be entered remotely from the airlines dispatch office, assuming the aircraft's avionics were powered up? As you say, Ian, every airline is different.

Expensive & busy after engine start - I like that! :laugh:

There are no ground crews to set anything up  for us in the cockpit. And I wouldn’t want anybody else not going with me to set anything like that up for me either. However, your flightplan can be uploaded directly into the fms via acars from dispatch or from atc via cpdlc. The onus is still on us to verify that it is correct.

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2 minutes ago, KevinAu said:

..However, your flightplan can be uploaded directly into the fms via acars from dispatch or from atc via cpdlc.....

Ah, that's possibly what I was thinking about, thanks Kevin.:cool:


Mark Robinson

"What's it doing now?"

Greenbrier Aero Club former member

I made the baby cry - A2A Simulations L-049 Constellation

Sky Simulations MD-11 V2.2 Pilot. The best "lite" MD-11 money can buy (well, it's not freeware!)

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