berts

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  1. I think you have hit the nail on the head here, Dan, because the 744 and the -8 are not the same beast even though they may look alike. It is therefore unsound to assume these two aircraft will be more or less identical in terms of their performance. Like you, I am sure most of these differences can be explained by their different wing design, engine fit, zero fuel weights etc.etc. Simon's notes presumably relate only to the -8 because they do differ to those of the original B744 Honeywell FMS fit. For example, the 744 FMC's Cruise page has an OPT/MAX line but there is no RCMD value; perhaps because the pilots were treated as intelligent in those days and expected to work it out for themselves?! 😁 Anyway, the OPT ALT in the 744 was useful because it would display the altitude which minimizes the trip fuel when LRC or SEL speed is displayed, or the altitude which minimizes the trip cost when ECON speed is displayed. Another difference seems to be the MAX Altitude line, which on the 744 takes into account the number of engines operating, current gross weight and the SPEED line value, but disregards any altitude or speed constraints. . Common sense would say it does although not within 500nms of TOD, but I am just guessing. This has a lot to do with pilot experience and airmanship over and above what the FMC is telling you. When flying longhaul across the Middle East from say India to Europe it is sometimes possible to save a considerable amount of time and fuel by descending to a relatively low FL in the mid 200's because of strong headwinds at the normal cruising altitudes (i.e. in the high 300's) for that aircraft's weight.
  2. Landing a large aircraft like the B744 is not as straightforward as BE19 suggests. Some of his points are no doubt valid for smaller aircraft, but I am reminded of the old saying that “there are as many ways of flying an aircraft as there are instructors”! What I described earlier is a small part of the recommended landing technique adopted by most, if not all, B744 operators that I know of. There is a large difference between the B744’s wheel base and the increased cockpit height; in fact it is almost double that of the earlier generation of longhaul passenger jet aircraft such as the DC8 and B707. This means that the B744’s main gear will not touch down at the selected visual aiming point and during a typical approach its wheels will cross the runway threshold at about 50ft for all normal glidepath angles. Therefore, in order to ensure a safe threshold clearance the recommended touchdown point for the main gear should be at least 1,000ft down the runway. As well as remembering to allow for this large difference between the gear height and the pilot’s eye path height, the aircraft’s inertia must also be taken into account on every approach; especially during the commencement of the flare. Reducing the thrust to idle at 100ft RA for a normal, stabilised approach is NOT recommended on the B744. The aircraft could easily end up landing hard as Simon suggests, or even worse landing short with the pilots kissing goodbye to the main gears (and probably their careers) as the wheels and legs depart the aircraft after hitting the runway threshold.
  3. Kyle, how embarrassing for you! To be perfectly honest, I bet every pilot has been there and misjudged the flare at one time or another. And when it happens it certainly doesn't need a member of the cabin crew to come onto the Flight Deck with a watering can saying "Now you've planted it you might as well water it" to tell you so!
  4. It is sometimes easy to forget when engrossed in operating the PMDG B744v3 that it is only a simulation and a pretty good one at that! Even full sized zero flight time simulators cannot accurately model the exact handling characteristics of a real aircraft. Very large aircraft like the B747 and Airbus A380 have a lot of inertia and so it takes them longer to respond to any change of thrust, pitch etc than it would for a smaller aircraft such, as a Cessna 172 or B737. And has already been said, any decent aircraft addon like PMDG's QOTS B744 and their latest -8 are bound to be affected by the limitations of the actual simulator platforms themselves. When carrying out a manual landing in the QOTS B744 the flare should be initiated at approximately 30ft above the runway; increasing the pitch attitude slightly by approx 2 degrees and then smoothly reducing the thrust to idle whilst holding the pitch attitude constant to counteract the simulated nose-down pitch tendency. The aircraft should be flown onto the runway and not allowed to float, so don't raise the nose any further or change the trim in any way and simply allow the nosewheel to slowly settle as soon as the mainwheels touch down and the automatic spoilers deploy (don't forget to arm them on the approach!). If you are having difficulty with the landing technique then try carrying out an automatic landing on the same (CAT III) runway, listen to the Radio Altimeter callouts and watch carefully what happens to the aircraft pitch attitude from 50ft down to the nosewheel touchdown. It is all a question of numbers, really!
  5. berts

    Bugs disappearing?

    Health and Safety and the FAA would definitely have a field day if your Cousin did this and she actually fell out! You say she was flying the 737 at the time which amazes me, because she clearly hasn't learnt any lessons from the BAC 1-11 accident where the Captain found himself hanging out of his window in flight. A rumour went around at the time that he was allegedly going to buy the beers later that night and, because his wallet was in his back pocket, the other crew members wouldn't let him go. All joking apart, Capt Lancaster's experience is well documented elsewhere and he was very, very lucky to survive his unfortunate incident. The recommended way pilots should clean the windows of a B747 is by making an entry in the Maintenanace Log and letting the Ground Engineers clean them using the proper equipment. However, if the bug contamination is relatively small it is also possible to use the windshield washer fluid first and then remove the bugs by activating the wipers. The only downside to this second method is that it can lead to some smearing when removing any 'baked-on' larger bugs and it definitely doesn't work with bird debris, especially Shyte Hawks!
  6. berts

    P3Dv4 777-200LR with EFB

    To be; or not to be? Now that really is a good question!
  7. berts

    British Airways 'crest'

    I think you will find PMDG have faithfully reproduced all of the airline liveries they have released. Although I haven't checked them all for accuracy myself they look pretty good to me and I presume they are based on the period in time when each livery was being created. For example, the BA Crest has not always been present on some of this airline's external color schemes (the old Landor scheme being one obvious exception).
  8. berts

    747-8 ETOPS procedures

    I think Ian Webber is right, we are in agreement when talking about hindsight being a wonderful thing. Isn't this what lawyers sometimes rely on when testing the 'evidence' in court after something has gone seriously wrong?! Every flight and failure is different and even the same event happening on a different day to the same crew will be handled differently. This is why non-jeopardy training for crews in a zero flight time simulator using realistic scenarios can be such a powerful learning tool. After all, isn't it much better to learn from your mistakes in a simulator and so improve your knowledge of the real aircraft and enhance your piloting skills? I don't see why the FAA got into a huff (or not) over the 747 engine failure that Wes mentions. I am not familiar with this particular flight so I can't comment on it, but it is perfectly normal to continue on three engines in a 747 and try and make your original destination if you can - provided of course that it is always safe to do so. If I had to carry out an unscheduled landing or diversion in the USA then JFK would not necessarily be my first choice. It's perhaps worth bearing in mind that the FAA have also approved three engine ferry flights - and 2 engine ETOPS!
  9. berts

    Advice needed on perf calc 744

    Lukas, I was referring specifically to the B744 and not the -8. Different operators will sometimes use different operating procedures for the same aircraft type and these procedures will also change over time; especially if they are found to be necessary following an investigation into a serious incident or accident. However, the performance information in my earlier post is accurate for the 744's I am familiar with.
  10. berts

    How to active GPWS test

    Dan, as far as the pilots are concerned you are quite correct (as usual 😊) about there being no TCAS Test button in the -8, but there is one in the 744 and it is located on the Transponder panel.
  11. berts

    Advice needed on perf calc 744

    There are two fixed derates from full thrust available in the case of the RR G-rated engines fitted to the PMDG 744, namely 10% and 20% and they relate to the selection of TO1 and TO2. As you correctly state, Ian, TO1 is intended for use on contaminated and VMCG limited runways, whereas TO2 is intended for use on 3 engine ferry operations. These two Derates should not be confused with the use of Reduced Thrust. Unless the aircraft's Performance Manual states otherwise, reduced thrust should always be used whenever the actual takeoff weight (ATOW) is less than the performance limit for a given runway and the main reason for doing this is to increase engine life. By entering the takeoff data page with the adjusted ATOW it is possible to derive the reduced thrust setting (EPR) and the Assumed Temperature at which the takeoff could be accomplished at that weight. The calculations for the amount of reduced thrust and reference speeds are done automatically by the FMC; so provided the correct data is input the pilots shouldn't have a problem taking off! 😊
  12. berts

    747-8 ETOPS procedures

    Ian, The point I was trying to make is that when a twin jet suffers an engine failure on an ETOPS operation it is required to land at the nearest suritable airfield, whereas with the same engine failure condition this requirement does not apply to a 744 operation (I know because I have experienced this on more than one occasion!). In most cases a 744 will be able to make its planned destination on three engines - provided there is enough fuel on board and that is what the Captain decides to do on the day. The despatcher's decisions do not figure in my book when the chips are down; because (a) they are not on board to suffer the consequences if their decisions are wrong and (b) the safety of the aircraft, passengers and crew is ultimately the Captain's legal responsibility! You are right about the complex nature of the decision making process pilots face every day. By its very nature every flight and failure will be different. Sometimes the crew's actions in dealing with a serious problem will not be straightforward and may result in actions being taken which are outside the laid down QRH and Emergency/Abnormal Checklist procedures. The Souix City DC10 landing accident many years ago where the center engine blew and took out the aircraft's hydraulic systems is a classic example of this. Although the aircraft crashed and regrettably some died as a result, this accident was regarded as an enhanced outcome simply because many lives were saved by the brave actions of an experienced flight crew who worked together as a team to fly the aircraft as best they could and against almost impossible odds.
  13. In practical terms if you stick to the FMC predictions you can't go wrong! In the early days of the 747 the airframe outperformed the engines, but today's engines can easily outperform the wing and you can get into serious trouble if you climb too early. It is possible to see the red min and max manoeuvering tapes come close together, especially in turbulence or a prolonged turn when close to the maximum altitude for the gross weight. It is all a question of judgement on the day, but if you do climb early make sure it is in smooth air and you are not going to have to descend again for many hours before TOD.
  14. berts

    RCMD Altitude

    The planned fuel burn can increase due to several factors which the FMC will have taken into account to produce the Cruise predictions it has. For example, you are already cruising above the optimum level of FL366, so at FL370 your fuel burn will already be increased slightly over the optimum. It can also increase due to temperatures above ISA and, without looking at any detailed performance data, I have a feeling this is probably the main reason why your recommended cruising altitude is FL350. Assuming the outside air temperature at your cruising altitude is the same as shown in your RTE Data (i.e. -46C at FL370); then it is reasonable to say that the air is considerably warmer than standard. On an ISA day it should be -59C at 37,000ft, so it is actually +13C warmer than standard (it is only +10C above ISA at FL310). Consequently your fuel burn will be greater at FL370 because you are flying above the optimum level and the air is warmer. It really only pays to climb early (but never above the Max!) if you are going to be cruising at that level for a long time and you know that other traffic on the same route might prevent you from climbing at the FMC predicted time. It can cost you as much as a 1 - 2% increase in trip fuel if you are 2,000ft above the optimum altitude and, perhaps surprisingly, an increase of 2-4% if you are 4,000ft below it.
  15. berts

    747-8 tutorial

    Chris, I agree with Jim. There is a manual within the EFB which explains how you can import your own saved pdf Charts (and other documents); but only into the EFB's Documents folder. I prefer Navigraph's Jeppesen airfiled charts to my own saved pdf charts, because they seem to be clearer and easier to manipulate within the EFB when airborne. Apparently Navigraph's en-route charts are not yet supported, so you will need to either save them as a pdf or, preferably, use the Navigraph App with them. Good luck with your simming rig repairs.