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Old 27th Dec 2012, 09:29   #21 (permalink)
 
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One simple reason I have done it is because the requirement was made mandatory in our SOP. I know for a fact, the first carrier where I flew the 400 was instrumental in ensuring the long range nav procedures were carried over from the classic to the 400.

Jammed Stab raises the issue of checking distance, L/L and/or track distances for a crosscheck. I can not tell you how many times I have seen the wrong L/L entered and the distance and track match what the correct route should have been. In addition, when you have a re-route it's not a big deal to plot it out. I might be a simpleton, but I believe one picture is worth a thousand pictures.

Let's be realistic, in this day of CPDLC/ADSB, taking a minute to do a quick plot is not going to upset the work load. It might upset your power nap, but that's about it......
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 09:44   #22 (permalink)
 
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The ICAO MNPS manual for the NAT MNPS (Minimum Navigation Performance Specification) can be found here

Documents

Search the document for "plotting". Several references. I have been plying the Atlantic for 28 years, but only made a few Pacific crossings. Same procedures used IIRC.

Last edited by oceancrosser; 27th Dec 2012 at 09:45.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 09:52   #23 (permalink)
 
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With most of us pilots having dyslexia (5 out of 3 of us have it), are you really just going to trust your FMS typing abilities? How do you know that you are on track without doing a 10 minute past plot? Plotting and checking is what keeps us from having GNE's.

When the regulating agency comes looking for you after you have a GNE, what are you going to say "I am to good to follow the reg's or its my FMS's fault" And when they ask to see your Master Docs (FLT Plan, WX, Notams, Plotting Charts, ets.) that you are required to keep on file for 6 months, what are you going to say?

Come on guys how long does it possibly take?
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 10:12   #24 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
While the FAA may propose a procedure which is great for FAA aircraft to follow, unless it is an operating requirement of a particular airspace and promulgated as such, it is not binding on any other party.
A foreign aircraft operating into the US is obliged to comply with Part 91, and 129. Part 129 requires the aircraft to be also operated under OpSpecs as approved by the FAA, which does not include a plotting requirement.
Folks,
fdr has it right.
I spent my whole career crossing large amounts of ocean, the last time I saw a plotting chart in my home airline was the last time I saw a navigator, and we had a navigator because it was before INS. Once we got INS on the 707 (yes!, that long ago), the nav. went on the oceanic routes. With doppler, they had long gone on the over land routes.

Sure, we carried a plotting chart in the reversionary nav folder, but only to be used from the last known accurate position, in the event of a total INS failure. In some 30 post navigator years, I never had occasion to open said folder, and I don't recall anybody else in the company having to, either. That covered millions of flight hours.

The only time I did regularly keep a plot, was several years with another carrier, trans Atlantic, and only then for my own protection, because the equipment we were using was such crap (compared to my long term employer), not because there was a regulatory requirement.

Last edited by LeadSled; 27th Dec 2012 at 10:13.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 11:47   #25 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noneya View Post
With most of us pilots having dyslexia (5 out of 3 of us have it), are you really just going to trust your FMS typing abilities? How do you know that you are on track without doing a 10 minute past plot? Plotting and checking is what keeps us from having GNE's.
I should mention that our random route flight plan along with all our other flight plans are downloaded into our FMC's by ACARS, so they are not manually entered into the FMC's by typing. However, even if manually entered, can they just be compared with distance and bearing comparison to the paper flight plan?

Last edited by JammedStab; 27th Dec 2012 at 15:05.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 11:53   #26 (permalink)
 
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wow I thought the plotter wasn´t used in commercial aviation anymore
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 13:12   #27 (permalink)
 
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JammedStab

Consider this. You are flying a random route that is over, near, or parallel to one of the days NAT tracks. You haven't plotted your course or the NATs close to your route. All of a sudden you have some sort of emergency that requires you to descend and divert, ie engine failure. . You comply with mandated contingency procedures and now you are diverting. If you haven't plotted your route and know where you are in relation to the NATs of the day, how do you know that you are now not descending right through a NAT with a high volume of traffic? Some food for thought for those who think plotting is not needed.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 13:47   #28 (permalink)
 
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I worked for a FAR91/121 operator overseas, and we never kept planning plotting (NAT's etc) charts. We had our Jepp library, and all our Jepp CFPs were archived per FAA regs.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 13:47   #29 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by g450cpt View Post
Consider this. You are flying a random route that is over, near, or parallel to one of the days NAT tracks. You haven't plotted your course or the NATs close to your route. All of a sudden you have some sort of emergency that requires you to descend and divert, ie engine failure. . You comply with mandated contingency procedures and now you are diverting. If you haven't plotted your route and know where you are in relation to the NATs of the day, how do you know that you are now not descending right through a NAT with a high volume of traffic? Some food for thought for those who think plotting is not needed.
Thanks G450.....I had not thought of that.

So then when you plot your random route, you also plot the NAT tracks of the day to see where they are in relation to you?

Another quick question that shows my inexperience....do you do a contingency procedure from a random route?

Last edited by JammedStab; 27th Dec 2012 at 13:49.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 13:57   #30 (permalink)
 
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JammedStab

If my random route has me anywhere near the NATs or my diversion alternate has me flying through the NATs to get me from my random route to my alternate, then yes, I plot the NATs also. That way if I have a problem while on a random route I can apply the driftdown contingency and fly parallel to the NAT until I get below then proceed to my alternate. That is much safer for all involved than having someone driftdown perpendicular through the NATs.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 14:04   #31 (permalink)
 
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I think fdr is missing the point but I doubt that anything will chnage his mind at this late date. There are so many examples of the PP saving one's arse that there is not room here for that discussion. I have to wonder who he was flying for in those days?

BTW, I have yet to see an approved polar plotting chart?
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 14:43   #32 (permalink)
 
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Company Ops Specs - If it's printed on a chart no plotting required. That means tracks and random require plotting.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 14:51   #33 (permalink)
 
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OK I only do the "inter european" routes.

Occasionally when flying from northern Europe to the Canaries, we use T9 and T16. Here we do not use plotting, even though there is more than 725 nm between navaids (ref extract from AC91-70A below)

Is that wrong ??



3-6.
POSITION PLOTTING.
a.
Plotting and Systematic Cross-Checking of Navigation Information. During all phases of flight in Class II navigation, each operator’s long-range navigation program (LRNP) will require the standardized application of disciplined, systematic cross-checking of navigation information.
(1)
Plotting Procedures Impact. Plotting procedures have had a significant impact on the reduction of gross navigation errors (GNE). There is a requirement to plot the route of flight on a plotting chart and to plot the computer position approximately 10 minutes after waypoint passage. This may or may not require plotting, depending upon the distance between the standard ICAO ground-based NAVAIDs. This applies to all operators.
(2)
Turbojet Operations. All turbojet operations, where the route segment between the operational service volume of ICAO standard ground-based NAVAIDs exceeds 725 NM, require plotting procedures.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 14:52   #34 (permalink)
 
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G450cpt,

Sorry, but highly unlikely! Even a random route will be more than 60 NM from the NAT tracks. You say you have some sort of emergency and you comply with the contingency procedures! Those will ensure you don't cross a NAT track!! For example an emergency descent. Then, if you have to divert and unable to obtain a reclearance there are further contingency procedures on how to proceed in that case. No amount of plotting will keep you safe if you don't adhere to those procedures!

In the unlikely event that you have an emergency descent, an engine failure, an FMS failure and a radio failure and have to divert, I think common sense should prevail, I'd think you'd be a little to preoccupied to come up with an exact course from your plotting chart and besides that after an emergency descent you'd be below the NAT tracks!!

In my company, GNE is (tempted to) avoided by strict adherence to cross checking procedures, both pilots write down the clearance, one inserts the route, both pilots check that and the tracks and distances, in case of unplanned route consult the track versus distance table etc, etc, before or in case of reclearance while on the tracks or random.

I guess I really don't see the advantage of the plotting chart if you have checked with both pilots the route, the tracks and distances etc, etc! I see the magenta line, I see the aircraft symbol but I have to check the POS page and compare that to a plotting chart?? I'd say that if the airplane symbol is not on position as indicated on the pos chart the FMS is corrupted anyways!!

Now, for situational purposes, in case the FMS dies, I have the enroute chart out, I have the cool little pointy stickers that you can buy at office max and put them on the chart at my coordinates, so I know approximately where I am. If my FMS dies, I'm going to follow the headings on my flightplan, if I have to divert I doubt whether the plotting chart is going to give me anymore accurate calculations than some mental arithmatic, unless that emergency occurred right at the time I updated my plotting chart.

In closing, plotting charts where great in the past, however, today, with the extreme and redundant navigation systems onboard, I really don't see the advantage!

Edited, okay, if you happen to be on a random route OVER the NAT tracks it may have an advantage, but however I think TCAS and the probable chance that you'd hit somebody on the way down?? How would you compare that than emergency descent over busy Europe or northern America? Seriously? I would just follow NAT procedures, go down an monitor or follow TCAS and look outside!! And not inside at my plotting chart!!

Last edited by flyburg; 27th Dec 2012 at 15:05.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 15:32   #35 (permalink)
 
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Flyburg

There have been cases of jets overflying the track system, having to do an emergency descent and triggering TCAS R/As. Most random routes overflying the NATS will cross them at some point. The requirement is to align the aircraft's track with the nearest organized track, offset and then begin the descent, time permitting. I now ask for flight plans above the NATS to follow the routing, if the planned level is above 410.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 15:44   #36 (permalink)
 
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OK, Never too old to learn!

Al crossing have either been on the tracks, north or south of them. Never across and never above since we are generally to heavy to get above them.

I'll have to read up on those procedures you describe I guess, I can't recall those. If that's true, I stand corrected!
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 16:08   #37 (permalink)
 
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I've done crossings at 430 where we crossed EVERY track, so it would have been near impossible to correctly align with one of the tracks accurately. That's why I went to just flight planning along the nearest track, whenever possible. I do load the nearest tracks in the FMS, just to be ready.

I will say, the diverts I have done, door issues and an engine failure were a non-event. In all cases, Gander or Shanwick handled it with ease once they worked out our position and request.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 16:13   #38 (permalink)
 
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Flyburg

Yes our random routes overfly the NATs all the time. We better know where we are in relation to the NATs so if we have a problem we can align with the NAT and driftdown 15 nm offset. Yes we may be busy at that point but having our route plotted and having the NATs already plotted makes life a lot less busy. As for TCAS taking care of all collision avoidance, if you could ask the crew and pax of the Gol 73 that collided with EMB jet over South America. They both had TCAS.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 16:38   #39 (permalink)
 
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Another example where the plotting chart is mandatory would be going from Seattle to Tahiti. You cross all the ATS routes during this leg and doing so without plotting your track plus all the tracks you cross during this leg should be mandatory and anything less is almost criminal. Sort of like crossing a major highway without looking. I for one would like to see the OpsSpecs of those operators that are operating in an oceanic environment that do not require plotting. I know enough FAA International Ops Inspectors that I doubt that they would ever sign off on a deletion of this practice.
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Old 27th Dec 2012, 17:18   #40 (permalink)
 
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Ok, ok, gave me something too think about!!

For practical purposes, do you plot all NAT tracks into the plot? That seems like quiet a workout? When you take it that seriously, you are not just going to plot one track and than draw parallel lines do you?

Last edited by flyburg; 27th Dec 2012 at 17:24.
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