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About ahuimanu

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  1. ahuimanu

    The Joy and Anguish...

    Well, I guess this petered out. 😀 There were some good reflections here though and I've thought about them more. Since a fair bit of landing wisdom suggests that the approach dictates the landing, I am noticing that when to go from flight-director and instruments to PAPI and visual references is another factor. My point is that any changes in wind and/or moving from the ILS guidance to visual guidance, means some reconfiguration in power, pitch attitude and roll. Since my signature belies what I spend 95% of my simming time flying, it is worth noting differences between the queen and the triple seven. First, I've changed my pattern recently to stick to the 777F or 744F for about a week at at time to pay better attention to characteristics of handling. First off, HANDS DOWN (no pun), the 744F's hand-flying characteristics are so satisfyingly smooth and direct, that it is like a breath of fresh air when I transition to it from the 777F. For instance, over the last 3 days I've landed the 744F in EHAM, ZBAA, and PANC in a variety of conditions and all landings have been extremely satisfying with a nice touchdown in the "zone" and immediate and firm deployment of ground spoilers, auto-brake and reverse thrust. I contrast with my log book from the prior 7 days, all in the 777F, and all manner of weirdness was afoot. Angst-ridden moments like: I've touched down, why can't I keep the reverse thrust engaged? why do the auto-brakes tend to trip and disable more readily? why do control inputs seem to not result in immediate reaction from the aircraft (the nose won't lift). I suppose I will soon need video evidence and I'll gather that and post in a fresh thread. In any case, the 777F seems to get away from the glideslope and localizer more readily than the 744F. However, I realize that only a controlled test, in similar circumstances and conditions, could substantiate these anecdotal observations. However, I've flow the wings off these two aircraft highly frequently over the last 18 months and I want to enjoy the 777F as much as the 744F. Which leads me to make my request again: ANY talk-throughs/walk-throughs (or videos) of successful approach and landing habits in the 777 would be welcome. As I mentioned earlier, Kyle on the PMDG team had a good 777F tips video, but he does an automated approach and landing in that, so it isn't helping my "hand fly from 1500 feet" quest here. Perhaps, as Dan noted above, I came across as snarky before - it wasn't my intent. I would really like to hear from someone who likes to hand-fly, with manual throttle control, their approaches. Perhaps there is some technique advice that would provide me with a break through. I can certainly gather my logbook to substantiate the recent experience. Perhaps there is some analysis software I could use? I know the built-in stuff is good in P3D, but I don't think its monitoring in the background? Teach me sensei!
  2. The hand-flying between these two options - the 777 and the 744 - is night and day. Hand-flying the 744 IS A DREAM! I hope upon hope that the 748's hand-flying characteristics will be derived from the 744.
  3. ahuimanu

    The Joy and Anguish...

    Thank you for the fresh perspectives. No insult is intended with the "guru" part and I'll take input from gurus of any acclaim, ascent, or demeanor. Dan, yours is a good description and perhaps my stubborn desire to turn off A/T as well is something to contemplate. I too do not actually closely look at the pitch on the PFD as much as the sight picture. Wilhelm, I am very interested in your or your hockey buddy's insight.
  4. ahuimanu

    The Joy and Anguish...

    Thanks for the great discussion - wish come true and I hope it continues. I am not sure if it is trim as I keep the "fake" indicator on and move to hand-flying after the glide slope is captured and the approach is otherwise stabe. I experience more of what william talks about in terms of "disconnected" pitch feel versus control inputs. my observation from the LIMC landing this morning - around 1300Z: On short final to 35R, I was relatively stable from ~1,500 ft AGL At around 50 ft AGL, the runway threshold was certainly well under the nose and my eyes were down the runway towards the end (best to gauge sink rate) Despite the always-present slight "disconnected" feel between the stick and pitch response, I was able to get about 3 degrees of nose up. I still made the mistake of flaring and reducing throttle at the same time I think the manual suggests we flare, and only then reduce throttle so as to touchdown coming to Vref, but I still do them both together instinctively I got a 200fpm landing, which was fine (the landing sound is softer in the 777 when you land at normal-ish speeds). However, the feel remains wrong - I can only use the term "slightly disconnected." I love the 777 as a compliment to my heavy-iron flying, but the last 50 feet are problematic. If I were doing the same approach in the 744, I would have greased it on like a pat of butter on a warm griddle. I have the null zones for CTRL Wheel and CTRL Column down to 1%. These were SP1 additions the bird in 2015 I believe. To add some additional thought to the discussion on trim: I find that I have to work much harder to get the 777F back into the LOC/GS "groove" when the speed isn't right. This gives some credibility to the "trim for speed" aspect of this discussion. I guess I'm being stubborn about hand-flying as maybe speed stability is required in order to have pitch behave "like a Cessna." I honestly find that the 777 autopilot will "hunt" much more regarding speed as opposed to the B744. REQUEST Will a self-professed "guru" of the PMDG 777 please provide a talk-through and/or video on how to do it right? I've watched Kyle's B777F tip video, but he autolands it, which doesn't help in this case. Thanks.
  5. ahuimanu

    The Joy and Anguish...

    Thank you Dan. I do mention this as being my practice in my first post here - it's been so since both my earliest days of simming and in obtaining a PPL. I can almost always smoothly lay the 744F onto the runway with the proper visual technique whereas with the 777F, it always feels twitchy.
  6. ahuimanu

    The Joy and Anguish...

    You are right Chris, it is those last 50 or so feet which is vexing me profoundly - even after all this time. I guess I should operate the bird as intended - leave A/T on. Still, it is the flare angle and the throttle reduction "dance" that continues to be a problem. I'm 10 minutes away from another datapoint landing in LIMC right now, so we'll see again. Thank you for the input so far, I really did hope a discussion would ensue.
  7. ahuimanu

    The Joy and Anguish...

    Of hand-flying this aircraft to landing from approach. Let me explain my typical procedures and other details: I fly the B777F exclusively in the 777 line - my aircraft is always the D-ALFA tailed Lufthansa ship. I will select the APP autopilot mode as I transition from arriving on the SID and I am otherwise on a track to intercept the localizer. I follow speed and flap schedules but generally I am transitioning like this: From 10,000 ft AGL to around 8,000 ft AGL: I decelerate from 240 KIAS to the Flaps Up speed marker (typically around 230 KIAS) Then, to Flaps 1 and 210 KIAS (generally Flaps 1 is around this speed) - altitude is typically from the 7,500 to 6,000 ft AGL Then, to Flaps 5 amd 190 KIAS (generally Flaps 5 is around this speed) - altitude is typically from the 6,000 to 5,000 ft AGL Then, to Flaps 15 and 170 KIAS (generally Flaps 15 is around this speed) - altitude is typically from the 5,000 to 4,000 ft AGL Then, once Flaps 15 speed is achieved, I'll select Flaps 20, still at 170 KIAS - altitude is typically from the 4,000 to 3,000 ft AGL Then, with the localizer captured, and as the G/S becomes active, I'll select gear down. Then, with the gear down, I'll set speed to Vref + 5kts (plus gust 1/2 gust correction if required) then, when the gear is down and I have three greens, I'll select Flaps 30, I am usually between 2,000 ft AGL and 1,500 ft AGL at this stage At this stage, I prefer to hand fly to touchdown and the anguish begins I will first disengage the autopilot when the previous configuration is stabilized (I am at Vref + 5 with gust correction (if needed of course), the gear is down, spoilers are armed, auto-brake armed, and Flaps 30 is selected and indicated) Once I am convinced that the I have a stable aircraft, and I've matched the physical power levers to the sim power levers, I'll disengage auto-throttle Now, I realize that the aircraft is designed to use auto-throttles all the way down, but I fly the 744F in the same manner, so I try to remain consistent as I alternate between models I follow the flight director bars and tend to only seek visual runway reference exclusively at decision height As a side note, I have read/watched Denis Okan (watch his eyes in this video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqLTlpTPEHM) describe his preference to continue to closely follow the flight director bars even in visual conditions and his advice/perspective has stuck with me At decision height (or a bit earlier if atmospheric conditions aren't too squirrely), I'll transition completely to using the visual runway environment as my sole cue for my flight path corrections At decision height, my visual aim point is generally the touchdown zone markings As the runway threshold passes by under the nose, I adjust my visual reference to be the end of the runway When I hear "30" from the autopilot radar altimeter reading, I do my best to bring the nose up for a flare angle change of about 3 degrees or so - this is challenging to be precise as I have my eyes outside as a prime sensor for flight path correction I am probably simultaneously bringing the power back here as well and I realize that the manual tells me to pull up the nose and THEN pull back power I probably subconsciously pull back too much past the flare sometimes - I work on it, but this all happens in 10 seconds or so. I try to be smooth in these last 30 feet, BUT... No matter how I've played with sensitivities, I find that stick movement "feel" is disconnected more so than any other PMDG aircraft I fly. I realize this is fly-by-wire, but the advice here in this forum still seems to be "fly it like a Cessna." However, I still maintain that there is a disconnect in feel here. The control inputs required, and general feel, don't seem to be as "disconnected" for me in rotation, departure maneuvering, or arrival maneuvering. However, on short final, where I find the finesse I can get out of the Queen (she hand-flies like a dream), I find a lack of fluidity in the movements I make for flight adjustments to be just disconnected enough to make consistent landings in the 777F very trying. I suppose what I'm saying is it feels like there is some play in the controls before the plane reacts and, thus, the latency makes fluid flying a challenge. The Queen, on the other hand, is buttery smooth and I so enjoy hand-flying to landing in that aircraft. On the other hand, it feels like a Monte Carlo simulation when I hand-fly the B777F to touchdown. I have put 2000 hours into the B777F since June of 2017 (thank you 64-bit, I was so starved for long haul) and I average 8-hours per flight. In the last 6 months, I'm more apt to hand-fly up to lights off +/- 5,000 feet. However, my preference to hand-fly the last 1,500 feet of the approach has been in effect nearly the whole time. I will perform an autoland when the conditions require it, but I find hand-flown approaches to be much more satisfying. Lest you believe I should "git gud" - as the kids say - I've read the manual extensively and suggest that the 2,000 hours have provided ample practice. Further, I've been simming since the 1980s, so I'm not a rookie. As for flight controls, I use a Thrustmaster Warthog HOTAS, which provides me simming versatility and is a fairly great setup even for heavy iron. I've certainly played with things like deadzones - usually needed for the MFG Crosswind pedals I use - and I don't feel that I'm using anything crazy. In fact, in roll and pitch, I have no deadzone as the Warthog stick is very smooth. BOTTOM LINE Help!?!?! What am I doing wrong? I can land the B744F smoothly flight after flight after flight (I put in an equal number of hours in the B744F from June 2017 until now), but I feel like its anybody's guess as to whether I'll come down in the touchdown zone at 75 fpm or slam it down at 600 fpm in the B777F with what I feel is the same techniques. My "norm" in the B744F is around 150 fpm. Now, I do use ActiveSky, so I concede that weather will always play a heavy role, but I would propose to you that I'm not crazy - there is something ODD about hand-flying the B777F and I'd love to discuss it and otherwise hear your perspective and thoughts. I just want to have the same experience every week in the B777F as I enjoy in the B744F. Perhaps the B748F will cure me of this affliction but if it is also fly-by-wire and otherwise behaves like the B777F, I am concerned. Thanks for reading my wall of text, I really would like to hear other perspectives.
  8. ahuimanu

    LITE model and GTN 750

    The panel switcher isn't installed in my LITE model, is that the case on your end as well?
  9. Is there a clickspot for this?
  10. ahuimanu

    AUTOPILOT DISC message when established on ILS

    Kyle, Yes, the hard disconnect in Richard's case seems acute to some non-777 quirk specific to his environment. However, the idiosyncrasies I speak of are particularly noticeable on approach and landing in the 777. A project I started promptly upon 64-bit availability was overnight long-haul 6 nights per week. My policy is to hand fly after stabilizing on G/S after around 2,500 feet radar alt, to be stable in the hand-flying stage by 1,500 feet. In my experience, the "quirkiest" between hand-flown approaches in the 777F and the 744F, by far, is the 777F. I have to chase the FD with more yoke and throttle movement in the 777F than the 744F. So, from just this simmer's experience, I am less surprised when I encounter, or about hear from others, strange 777 behaviors. That said, at this point I am not implying that quirk == bug, just that odd behavior on approach is less surprising with the 777F. For me the 777F is not as sophisticated in the hand flying department as its older 4-engined cousin is. Thus, I know a major difference to be the fly-by-wire. I wonder if I wont fall in love as much as I am hoping with the 748F because of fly-by-wire. Of course my only experience with fly by wire is in flight simulators. I personally find the airbus FBW to be less squirrelly on approach than the 777F's .
  11. ahuimanu

    AUTOPILOT DISC message when established on ILS

    Not entirely on topic, but an observation from previous experience is that quality control on the Orbx freeware airports is all over the place. I used to have endless trouble with those installed (ditto Orbx Vector). Orbx seems best for small airports and the overall texture replacement stuff with the base and LC products. I know that stability in the sim is so vital that I must favor my tubeliner obsession in terms of what I add into the sim. Given my experience with other things, don't stop suspecting that the 777 can have quirks. It was PMDG's first (and so far only) fly-by-wire bird and I think the implementation, even 5 years later, isn't quirk-free.
  12. I can't work out if or where a clickspot exists in the VC to bring up the 2D panel for the autopilot select panel (Shift + 2). Any ideas?
  13. ahuimanu

    Landing the 777, what's going on?

    I want to chime in support of those who are encountering this problem. May 30, 2017 was a big day for me in my long-ish flightsim career (FS1 on MS-DOS is my beginning and Flight Assignment ATP was my introduction to my love of tubeliners). That date (May 30) was a big one as 64-bit P3D meant that my love affair with long-haul was back on the menu. As soon as the 777F and 744F (God, please please please convince PMDG to bring me my MD11F to complete the trifecta) were made available in P3Dv4, I've stuck to the following pattern nearly perfectly except for travel, illness, or some other uncontrollable circumstance: I fly 2 days on the B744F and 2 days on the B777F and then take a break for a day. I've got the flight logs to prove that the joys of legs like EGLL to KLAX (last night's journey) are available to me. With auto step-climbs, pause at TOD, and auto tank-to-engine, PMDG has really afforded me to fulfill my desires by letting me studiously plan a journey, prep the flight, fly to cruise, and then go to bed. I wake up, put on coffee, and study what the descent and approach will be like. This is a highly fulfilling pattern for me and I am VERY GRATEFUL to PMDG for making this a reality for me. So, that long preamble was meant to establish the following: I fly the 777F anywhere from 2 to 4 times per week I bought the paper manuals from PMDG back in 2013 and study them often - I am familiar with all recommended techniques and speeds; even if I am an average pilot, I am in good practice I get to land in a variety of conditions With that preamble and those caveats I would like to fully support the OP's (and Nick's) observations that something isn't right at all. I experience everything described and it is seemingly at random. This behavior OFTEN ruins flights and I've tried about everything (reset couatl after pushback, reset traffic, etc.). Here is an illustration: using the manual and TOPCAT I should be able to land on Runway 5 at RJTT with in a B777F. However, this floating non-deceleration made for a HAIRY situation there just a few nights ago for me. Nick, one thing I can perhaps think of is that P3D remains somewhat "squirrelly" the longer it runs. I've had numerous "black hole of newfoundland" problems in the past thanks to Couatl. Indeed there are many "dances" I feel I have to do to keep this sim running correctly (deleting shaders when the video card drivers are updated comes to mind). So, in addition to your list, I would put forth the simple act of being airborne for 8+ hours. This is not a support forum and we will likely need to submit a ticket. However, just as is the case with Lockheed Martin, many support encounters end with the vendor seeking to isolate their products from others - which is understandable. So, PMDG will want you to strip down to just Vanilla + PMDG to really take your problem seriously. Lockheed Martin will expect you to reinstall or clear all files such that you are effectively reinstalling. So, i think the "gumbo" of add-ons we use to heighten realism - FSUIPC for the things that require it, Active Sky to get real-time weather, shaders to make her look prettier, EFB add-ons to monitor progress, and so on - these things all add to the "mystery tour" that is successful outcomes. The recent update from last week did not erase these issues as my RJTT experience was the day after I applied the update. So, yes, something is rotten in Denmark and we got trouble, right here in river city. Lastly, I find Dan to be often helpful, but he's giving well-intended answers that cover most "low-hanging fruit" cases. Sometimes I wish we could take proficiency/competency tests and display badges that demonstrate that we have achieved this proficiency. Otherwise, it is very difficult to calibrate what others know and don't and attempts to help are almost always all over the map (ranging from useful to apocryphal).
  14. ahuimanu

    B747-8 Beta PIREP

    Thanks for the PIREPs, the bird looks great. Carl, is this "trolly-dolly" some new accessory to the aircraft?
  15. Sorry, it is difficult sometimes to use consistent language to describe things. This person asked my same question and was answered. I might suggest leaving my post because it uses the word "spinner" which is descriptive of the part. Thanks.