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About SimBrief

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  • Birthday 04/03/1987

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  1. Hi Gerard, please try logging out and back in to the Downloader. You can log out by hovering over your name at the top right of the main Downloader window. Best regards,
  2. If you didn't link your old SimBrief account when you started logging in with Navigraph, logging out and back in to the Downloader should fix it. In the main Downloader window, hover over your name at the top-right, choose "Logout", then log back in normally. Best regards,
  3. For those interested, I have actually just added a VOR option to SimBrief's route finder. Full instructions can be found here: https://forum.navigraph.com/t/vor-dme-navigation-only/5698/2 Cheers,
  4. My understanding is this is not a bug, I’ve posted a detailed response to this question in the SimBrief forums here: https://www.simbrief.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=1882#p5872
  5. Just a quick correction if I may: This is incorrect, SimBrief does update NAT tracks, NOTAMs, and weather on a regular basis (every few minutes actually), without the need for any subscription fee. This information is all freely available on the internet after all. It should be noted that there is no absolute requirement to file a NAT track when crossing the Atlantic. Just like real world airlines, you will occasionally see SimBrief propose an off-track routing (officially referred to as a Random Route) defined as a sequence of custom lat/long waypoints (for example, TUDEP 52N050W 53N040W 54N030W 55N020W VENER KOKIB) As far as routes go, SimBrief does try to use FlightAware routes whenever possible. Generally, this tends to give the best results as FlightAware routes are sourced from the real world and therefore should comply with any restrictions and preferential routings. Lately, there has been an increase in routes that begin with either a PBD (Place/Bearing/Distance) waypoint or a custom Lat/Long. I don't know why FlightAware has started altering routes like this, but Marc's theory on vectoring sounds logical. I'm going to look into identifying, filtering, or correcting these routes prior to including them in SimBrief. I'd like to also note that you can always select one of the other Suggested Routes on SimBrief if you don't like the default route it proposes. Generally there are up to 5 different route suggestions you can choose from. You can also generate your own custom route from scratch by using the "Route Finder" tool on the Dispatch Options page, which gives options to enable, disable, or force a specific NAT track depending on your preferences. Hope this helps!
  6. SimBrief is designed more as a pilot tool than a dispatch tool. Which is to say, a lot of work was put into automating the role that a dispatcher would play so that you, as a pilot, would only need to input the basic flight info. In return, you get a full briefing generated for you containing valid alternates, ETOPS, payload/fuel figures, etc. all pre-chosen for you by the system. If you wish to invest a bit more time planning your flight, the auto-selected parameters can be overridden in SimBrief's Dispatch Options page. The interface in PFPX is much more reminiscent of real dispatch software, which makes it ideal if you wish to play the role of both the dispatcher and the pilot. It offers many more options (the learning curve is a bit higher as a result), but it can also be used to quickly churn out dispatch releases once you get a hang of it. One could argue though that if your only intent is to quickly generate a dispatch release without using the advanced options that PFPX offers, you might not be using the program to its full potential and might want to consider other, less expensive options. With regards to accuracy and aircraft profiles, SimBrief's fuel planning calculations are just as accurate as PFPX's when comparing detailed aircraft profiles. All of PFPX's profiles are detailed, whereas SimBrief's profiles vary in detail and therefore in accuracy (currently about 50% of SimBrief's profiles are detailed, the rest are basic profiles). This use of basic profiles means that SimBrief can offer more aircraft types, though not all of them are guaranteed to be a 100% match to the real aircraft. A full list of available aircraft profiles for SimBrief can be found here; note how each aircraft is labelled to indicate how detailed the profile is. As far as aerodrome availability goes, I have never heard of PFPX offering less airports than any other software. It uses AIRAC cycle data like every other program, logically it should therefore contain every airport/navaid/airway that the other programs do. Hope this answers some of your questions,
  7. Fair enough, I've actually flown that airspace quite often and have never been put in any position I wasn't comfortable with regarding wake turbulence in cruise. The (few) issues I have had are actually in relatively quiet airspace, where there are fewer airways, most of the traffic is flying either east or west, and it's not uncommon to fly behind, beneath, or to cross paths with another aircraft flying the same airway either in the same direction or in the opposite direction as you. In the specific situation I've been referring to where I deviated for wake, we could actually see the wake descending through the vapor trail and it was apparent we were going to fly through it. I don't know how strong it would have been, maybe it would have just cause light chop, but why on earth would I risk flying through it when all I had to do was request a minor course deviation? Absolutely, I certainly wasn't implying that the wake 5+ miles behind was even close to as strong as it was at the onset. Though it's good that you mention it as I don't think either of us had touched on that yet. I haven't noticed any major misconceptions regarding this amongst my aviation circle, but it's a shame to hear that misconceptions still exist. Sure, most of the time. Generally, if you do hit anything, you will at most get a few ripples, possibly a very brief jolt if you're unlucky and hit the worst of it. For this reason, the spacing policies work and the research has certainly increased safety, I'm not questioning that. On the other hand, I was once #2 on approach, 5 miles behind an Embraer (of all things) and with no warning the aircraft banked to about 60 degrees before I even had a chance to turn off the autopilot and bring it back manually. My aircraft was a Cat E, following another Cat E according to the 3rd link you posted above, with more than the recommended amount of space. These situations are obviously incredibly rare, but they do happen. And if they happen on approach when the seat belts are on and everyone's seated, fine. But I sure don't want that happening at FL400, with people walking around the cabin, with 20 knots between my upper and lower airspeed limits. It's not something to be paranoid about, it's just something that I feel should be taken more seriously than your tone would suggest. It isn't about blindly following the "safety first" culture without thinking for oneself, it's about the difference between being 90% sure nothing will happen, and being 100% sure nothing will happen. Not ranting or anything by the way, just furthering the conversation. You seem to have some knowledge regarding in-trail spacing at the higher levels, I'd be interested to know more on what kind of criteria the FAA uses when spacing aircraft at high levels. Do they vary spacing based on weight categories like they do on approach? You quoted 5-15 miles in a prior post, but that's a fairly wide range. I'm more familiar with the Canadian regs so I'd be interested to hear the FAA side of things. The reason I ask is because surely they can't apply the same minimums at altitude as they do on approach. Even at 2.5nm spacing on an approach, and considering above average approach speeds, that leaves at least 1 minute for the wake to dissipate before the next aircraft passes. Conversely, 5nm spacing at altitude when dealing with 500kts of groundspeed would give little more than 30 seconds, hence my curiosity. While it's practical to space aircraft by reference to in-trail distances, I think we can both agree that what really matters is the time delay between passage. I guess all I'm really trying to add to this conversation is that as someone who has dealt with wake turbulence in a practical context, respecting the minimum separation is a great policy, but one should not take it as a guarantee that you won't get surprised one day. EDIT: Thanks for the links by the way, I appreciate it!
  8. Ouff that felt slightly dismissive haha . Without going into detail, I do fly for the airlines. I regularly go into the busy east coast airports. Admittedly it's tough to convey my intent through a forum post, when it comes to this stuff it's always going to be a judgement call. Every situation will be different. Let me start off by saying that 30nm was a bit much, allow me to retract that. I re-read my post afterwards but couldn't edit it anymore. If I had to ballpark it, I'd say anything within 10 or 15 miles would probably get my attention (that is to say, it would prompt me to evaluate the situation. Not an automatic deviation). And just to clarify, I'm talking about wake avoidance during the cruise portion, that is at high altitudes where the flight envelope is significantly more narrow. Moreover, there is a distinction to be made between simply crossing paths with traffic, and flying parallel along the same track as traffic. More on that below. On descent or approach is a different situation in my opinion, and I'm comfortable with the current separations being applied in those phases. Even if you were to encounter wake on descent, the separation and airspace structure is such that any encounter is likely to be short lived. And depending where you are, you probably already have the belts on and/or the cabin is mostly secure or in the process of being secured. I consider cruise differently because of the narrow envelope, the fact that it's generally otherwise smooth and the belts aren't on, you're flying much faster (applying the same spacing at higher speeds means you will reach the wake quicker and it won't have dissipated as much), and you have FAs in the back serving drinks/coffee/food. Obviously, when evaluating the situation you consider all the factors available to you. For example, I'd be much more likely to deviate if I saw the vapor trail (generally a good indication of where the wake is) is moving to intercept us, or if I don't see a vapor trail at all and I feel there is a chance the wake will end up in our vicinity. (Disclaimer: the use of the word "I" is only because I'm talking about my own views on the subject. Obviously in the cockpit you would discuss the situation and come to a decision as a team). One situation I've seen was crossing 1000ft below another aircraft on the same airway going in the opposite direction. The resulting wake, should we have encountered it, would have been parallel along our track and would have resulted in a prolonged encounter if we flew lengthwise through it. How bad would it have been? I have no idea, but that wasn't the time nor the place to find out. In the past year I've actually requested a deviation for this only once, so it's quite rare. There have been 1 or 2 other similar situations but the crosswinds and visible vapor trail were such that we deemed it not necessary. I recognize that a lot of study goes into defining the minimum wake separations, and as a pilot I recognize that the system wouldn't work if every pilot and his dog requested special treatment in excess of the minimums. My only argument is that these minimums are a "risk mitigation" tool and not a guarantee that the following aircraft won't encounter wake. Every airline pilot has encountered wake outside of the prescribed minimum separations, conditions and circumstances are such that it happens sometimes. Bottom line: As pilots, our #1 priority is always the safety of the flight, and any pilot who feels a situation is unsafe has a responsibility to do something about it, regardless if it's convenient for ATC or not. I know you weren't disagreeing with that or anything, I just wanted to restate it. Moving on, you could be right about the 757 wake, my comment was merely based on the years of cockpit gossip and not on any formal studies I've read. If you have a link to a 757 wake study or something like that I'd appreciate it, thanks! Agreed, it's good to have discussions like this, so thanks for posting, Rick! I'm not convinced (yet) that my viewpoint is all that different from Kyle's, but we'll know more once he responds to this post. :ph34r:
  9. Agreed. I would however give the edge to the pilots when it comes to wake turbulence issues. 5 mile in-trail on an airway might be ok if both aircraft are at the same altitude (the wake should descend before the second aircraft gets there), but if I was following another aircraft by even as much as 30 miles and 1000ft below their altitude, you can be sure I'd be considering my options. If there was a strong crosswind that I knew would blow the wake off to the side I might be ok with it. Otherwise, I might request an offset/direct/heading to get out of the way. Just in case. That being said, I can't say I've ever heard SCX routinely requesting offsets along airways, though I don't fly in the same areas as them all that often. That would seem quite unusual to me, normally that kind of request is only made if you know of another aircraft in your vicinity that could be an issue (this is relatively rare though). Or for other obvious reasons like weather, it's a question of airmanship really. Also agreed, but I don't think Kyle was disagreeing with that. In any case, offsetting along the NATs is SOP these days (see "SLOP"). Both for extra spacing and wake avoidance. Certainly the 757 is one you'd want to avoid though, those wakes can be nasty.
  10. Kyle is correct, at the moment SimBrief only plans single ETOPS segments. This can be thought of as a "very conservative" approach, it's perfectly acceptable to do this but sometimes the same flight can also be achieved with multiple, smaller ETOPS segments. Different airlines have different policies when it comes to ETOPS. Quite right. With regards to SimBrief, for the 777 series it uses 1 Engine Out MCT with a target speed of 320/0.84. In the event of an engine failure, the assumed procedure is that you will select MCT on the operating engine and gradually slow to 320kts/0.84M. Once you reach that speed, you begin a slow descent as required to hold 320/0.84. Eventually, you will reach an altitude where you will level off (that is to say, an altitude at which you can hold 320IAS at 1EO MCT without having to descend further). This procedure is known as a "single engine driftdown". You will then cruise at 320 IAS to an ETOPS suitable airport. Because your single engine ceiling varies according to your aircraft weight, so too will your diversion TAS, and in turn your area of operation around your ETOPS entry and exit airports. For SimBrief's 320IAS 1EO diversion schedule, you can reference the following tables to find the applicable area of operation (in nautical miles): B77L: WEIGHT | TIME(min) (kg) | 60 75 90 120 138 180 207 240 270 300 330 -------|--------------------------------------------------- 360000 | 428 532 636 844 969 1261 1448 1677 1886 2094 2302 320000 | 441 548 656 871 1000 1301 1494 1731 1946 2161 2376 280000 | 455 565 675 895 1028 1336 1534 1777 1997 2217 2438 240000 | 467 581 694 922 1058 1376 1580 1830 2058 2285 2512 200000 | 477 594 711 944 1084 1411 1621 1878 2112 2345 2579 160000 | 482 600 719 956 1099 1431 1644 1905 2142 2380 2617 B77W: WEIGHT | TIME(min) (kg) | 60 75 90 120 138 180 207 240 270 300 330 -------|--------------------------------------------------- 360000 | 425 529 632 839 963 1252 1438 1665 1872 2079 2285 320000 | 439 545 652 865 993 1291 1483 1718 1931 2144 2357 280000 | 450 559 668 885 1016 1321 1517 1757 1974 2192 2410 240000 | 462 574 686 910 1044 1358 1559 1806 2030 2254 2478 200000 | 472 587 702 933 1071 1393 1600 1853 2083 2313 2543 160000 | 477 595 712 946 1086 1414 1625 1883 2117 2351 2585 In your case, to draw the range circle around your ETOPS entry airport you would reference the OFP to determine the weight at entry. Then, reference the 60 minutes column of the above graph to determine the distance for that weight. I don't know if pilots do this in real life, or if they simply use an "average" distance to save the hassle of looking into the charts. Maybe Kyle or someone else can enlighten me here. It should also be noted that the whole driftdown procedure only applies to a simple engine failure. In a decompression scenario, you'd obviously be performing an emergency descent to 10,000ft. SimBrief plans a 320kt cruise in decompression scenarios as well. The critical fuel required (PFOB on your SimBrief OFP) to divert from your ETP to either ETOPS suitable airport is the fuel required to reach the airport (either at 10,000 or your single engine ceiling if not depressurized), perform an IFR approach and go-around, perform a VFR landing, then fly 15 minutes at 1,500ft AFE. SimBrief calculates the critical fuel required for the 3 ETOPS scenarios (Engine Failure [1X], Depressurization [DC], and Engine Failure + Depressurization [DX]), then selects the scenario requiring the most fuel. For the 777, the chosen scenario is almost always [DX]. In the ETOPS section of the OFP you posted below, you can see it lists DX as the chosen scenario on the right of the ETP line. The associated PFOB figure is listed for each ETOPS suitable airport. The standard LIDO layout you selected for your OFP only contains info for the most critical scenario. Some of the other OFP layouts list more scenarios in their ETOPS sections. IIRC, the Lufthansa layout (DLH) lists 2 scenarios, and the Emirates layout (UAE) lists all 3. A final note: As others have already stated, all of this is for planning and theoretic purposes ONLY. The OFP is calculated and the flight is released using the above scenarios and speed schedules, but once in the air, everything is at the captain's discretion. I would say that if you are going to divert to another airport than planned, you'd better make sure you have the required fuel and weather at that airport. Otherwise you'll have some explaining to do to management. ^_^ If I've made a mistake in any of the above, someone please correct me!
  11. Thanks Kyle, don't worry I wasn't taking issue with any of your comments. I do feel like SimBrief gets dismissed too quickly by some other simmers though. People assume that because it's "freeware", it must be less accurate and/or vastly inferior to PFPX, when in fact it's every bit as accurate, only less customizable, with a few less features, and a simpler UI. People are always quick to recommend PFPX right off the bat, but rarely do they recommend even trying SimBrief first. For the more casual or time-constrained simmers, SimBrief may well fit the bill and save them from paying for features they might never use anyways. I don't normally post these thoughts since my intent isn't to "steal" PFPX's customers or otherwise affect their sales. That's never been my goal, it's just a bit unfortunate that we ended up releasing our offerings at around the same time last year. Hopefully my site popping up didn't cause them any distress, though I suspect they've still managed to do quite well based on the number of PFPX users out there. Anyways this has gotten off topic, thanks for your contributions to the FS community! I think it's safe to say that few have helped as many simmers with your tutorial videos and forum posts as you have.
  12. SimBrief isn't better than PFPX overall, it isn't designed to be either. I believe I designed SimBrief with a slightly different goal than PFPX's developers. SimBrief is intended to replicate flight planning more from an airline pilots perspective. In real life, the dispatcher does all the flight planning, and the pilot simply gets to the crew room, prints/reads the OFP, and heads out. Unless they take issue with something the dispatcher planned, they don't generally participate in the flight planning process. I programmed as much automation into SimBrief as I could to achieve this "feel", at the expense of the level of customization (though I have been gradually adding more options as requests come in). PFPX lets you play the role of the dispatcher, and offers complete customization as a result. Despite having less features overall, SimBrief does have a (slight) edge over PFPX in certain areas. I think what the earlier poster was referring to is that SimBrief's OFP layouts are truer to the real airline OFPs. While PFPX does offer the template system (which I think is a great feature), it comes at the expense of limited flight plan variables. In PFPX, some formats have little inaccuracies due to a variable not being available through the template system, or a variable that can't be customized exactly the right way. I also don't believe that PFPX can customize the NOTAM and weather section layout like SimBrief does, correct me if I'm wrong on that. Please don't take this as "bashing" PFPX in any way, I own it and I think its a great program. Obviously I use SimBrief for my flights, but that's normal since I designed it to my own specifications.
  13. You should have a download option, along the top-right of the Output page. Labelled "Download FMS", along with a dropdown menu to select your desired format. You can choose from 12 formats, including FSX, PMDG, Level-D, Airbus X, etc.
  14. I can confirm I have noticed the same discrepancy while testing the 77W with SimBrief. Reference the following fuel burns for the cruise portion (between TOC and TOD only, since climb/descent/approach phases can skew the figures): Cruise fuel burn and time according to real 77W OFP: 40.3 / 5:32 Cruise fuel burn and time according to SimBrief: 40.1 / 5:30 Cruise fuel burn and time observed using PMDG: 38.4 / 5:33 This was at CI22 giving Mach 0.83 for the cruise portion. Average ISA was +4. ZFW was 225 tons and TOW was 283-284 tons. Initial cruise at F330 with steps to F350 and F370, weather parameters were closely matched in the sim using ASN. This gives about a 5-6% discrepancy when you crunch the numbers, PMDG themselves advertise the 777 as being "within 5% of the actual Boeing aircraft performance charts", so one could argue this is pretty close to 5%. You also can't base this sort of thing on one flight, several tests have to be made and averaged out, but at first glance it does appear to be a little "lean". As Xander said, you can tweak the fuel flow using the "fuel_flow_scalar = " parameter. I haven't experimented yet with the 77W but might do so in a few days, I suspect it doesn't correct the FMC predictions unless PMDG specifically programmed it to base calculations on the Fuel Flow Scalar. I have done testing on the 77L as well and have actually found it to be very accurate to both SimBrief and real OFPs. It should be noted that the PFPX template for the PMDG 77L includes a fuel bias of 1.04, aka +4%. Did you take that into account during your testing, Xander? One could argue that was an error on PFPX's part rather than PMDG's, when using a fuel bias of 1.00 the numbers match up nicely for me. Granted, I only did 2 flights with it so I suppose I could be wrong. - Derek
  15. Hi Andy, You probably left the route field blank, or entered your route as simply "Direct" or "DCT". Without specifying a route, there aren't any waypoints to consider, hence the detailed navlog is automatically disabled in the final flightplan. Try choosing a route from the list to the right of the route box, or alternatively, copy/paste one from one of the resource sites (flightaware, vataware, etc) listed above the route box. Hope that helps,
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