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MCP/FCU Settings

Old 21st Jul 2013, 04:30
  #1 (permalink)  
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MCP/FCU Settings

Hi all.

I remember reading somewhere that with the appropriate ATC systems in place and aircraft with advanced Mode S and/or ADS, MCP/FCU settings are visible to ATC. Is this correct?
Do many centres have such capability?

Thanks
777newbie is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2013, 06:01
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This is for London TC.
We can see on a selected mode S pallet on the radar for a selected aircraft, A/C call sign, IAS, ground speed, rate of climb or descent, selected level on FMS, actual level, altimeter setting (I think its from the Captains side only?), heading (actual, not selected) and mode S identifier.
On the radar we always see the selected level of all aircraft.
We also have quick look buttons to see all aircraft IAS, G/S and heading. Using this information, we will be given warnings if the wrong altimeter setting is selected.
We will also be given an indication if the aircraft is outside CAS, but this is not from mode S.
There is also mode S in London AC, they also can see the selected level of aircraft, but I am not sure what else they can see.
Mode S is also used on the ground at Heathrow
No knowledge of other units.
Over+Out is offline  
Old 21st Jul 2013, 06:43
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Thanks Over + Out.

Appreciate the info. Just to confirm, you don't see Selected Speed?

The reason I ask is that I fly with an airline where many guys do not fly ATC speeds accurately. They routinely set +/- 10-15kts for no reason and reduce speed as and when they want. I think it must be a cultural thing but having flown in and out of Europe for 20yrs in another airline, it annoys the hell out of me. I was looking for some ammunition to scare them into following ATC instructions related to speed quickly and accurately.

Regards
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Old 21st Jul 2013, 06:57
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<<The reason I ask is that I fly with an airline where many guys do not fly ATC speeds accurately.>>

If they ever get to fly in busy airspace they might get their fingers burned..
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Old 21st Jul 2013, 07:07
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Just to confirm, you don't see Selected Speed?
Correct, selected speed does not currently form part of the Mode S specification and is not sent by the aircraft, so there is no way that it can be displayed to the controller.
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Old 21st Jul 2013, 10:56
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We only get IAS displayed. However, if someone has been told to fly a speed and we see he's not doing it, we can still see the difference and pass comment.
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Old 21st Jul 2013, 11:03
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Well, I don't know much about mode S specification, but we do have (non-operational though) IAS report from mode S.
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Old 21st Jul 2013, 14:26
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Mode S technology is a significant "upgrade" to the ATC radar systems...

See this presentation;

http://www.eurocontrol.int/sites/def...2012-modes.pdf

SKYbrary - Mode S

At the end of Skybrary page you'll find a video, which corresponds to the .pdf above.
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Old 22nd Jul 2013, 08:05
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And mode S would be better still if ALL airframes equipped with it actually downlinked selected level!
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Old 22nd Jul 2013, 11:48
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I fly with a UK airline based at 4 LTMA airports and even some of our pilots seem unable to respect ATC speed restrictions! It's not like we would climb/descend 500ft for the fun of it, or turn left/right 10 degrees (although I have seen that) so why do it with speed?
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Old 23rd Jul 2013, 08:08
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Couldn't agree more. May as well be talking to myself the vast majority of the time when it comes to speed instructions.
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Old 23rd Jul 2013, 12:43
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Thanks for all the good info.

It is strange that some respect speed instructions less than HDG's etc. I thought it was cultural but it seems there is more to it. I'll start spreading the word over here that ATC is watching IAS. We'll see if that scares them into compliance.

Thanks again.
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Old 23rd Jul 2013, 14:45
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It is strange that some respect speed instructions less than HDG's etc. I thought it was cultural but it seems there is more to it. I'll start spreading the word over here that ATC is watching IAS. We'll see if that scares them into compliance.
Hahah More common than you would believe. A certain south european airline seems to possess a cultural quirk among its pilots where ATC speed instructions are regarded as something of an advisory thing..kind of yeah yeah reducing to 240 indicated, I know what I'm doing, 260 it is until he asks again. I was present in a discussion recently when the downlink of FCU parameters was discussed in the presence of a small number of representatives of said culture and the red faces were almost visible.

As said earlier, London TC have been operationally using these so called Mode S EHS elements for at least five years now. Elsewhere in the Eurolands the idea has been toyed with here and there and it is my understanding that the latest ATC system offering out of Thales will support it and it will be up to local ATC providers to enable/disable what they find useful.
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Old 23rd Jul 2013, 20:23
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Well, I've once been on a jump-seat fam flight with a major European low cost airline, and as we were approaching my home aerodrome, my colleague working at APP position told the crew to slow down - there were apparently three 'straight in' arrivals before us and we were coming from the opposite, downwind direction. The plan was that, with some early speed reduction, we would fly some standard 7-10nm ILS downwind with no delay as no. 4.

Anyway, the captain stated that 'we cannot go down and slow down' and set the AP knobs to 20-30kt faster than instructed (instructions was something like 250->220->180->160kt). We ended up at 22-23nm final and made ATCO job much more complicated as the aircraft didn't slow down as he had expected. I wonder if they really saved any fuel that way.

Last edited by samotnik; 23rd Jul 2013 at 20:23.
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 15:50
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I don't understand the logic behind ignoring an imposed speed. There's a reason you're given a speed. If it's impossible to fly or make a required descent profile say, and some other form of separation will be provided. Otherwise, as an ATCO, I may as well not be sat in front of my radar if I'm going to be ignored.

Had a flight today flown by a major UK airline into the LTMA consistently flying 25-30kts above the imposed speed. I shouldn't need to patrol people's Mode S to ensure speed conformity. The pilot knew full well they were fast, and sounded very sheepish when challenged. The worst example I've seen recently was an Irish airline told to descend at 280kts, and was observed to fly 330kts for a significant chunk of their descent. Frustrating.
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Old 25th Jul 2013, 16:27
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I can't imagine who that might have been!!!
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Old 27th Jul 2013, 19:25
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Originally Posted by Defruiter
I can't imagine who that might have been!!!
Aer Arann???
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