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ATPL Flight Planning Tricks, Short Cuts etc

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ATPL Flight Planning Tricks, Short Cuts etc

Old 26th Apr 2015, 04:30
  #261 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 137
Any drift down type questions in the exam. AFT doesn't use it but Rob Avery does in their practice exams

Thanks
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Old 21st Nov 2015, 09:52
  #262 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Fiji
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min tags on "The blue Book"

bula,
please can anyone tell me whats the min tagging on a b727 manual..
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Old 22nd Nov 2015, 09:05
  #263 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Zero tags. Bend pages and highlight away
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Old 28th May 2016, 06:06
  #264 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Melbourne
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I want to bring this thread back to life due to me sucking hard at this exam.
Had two goes this week, 64% and then 44%. Studied the older AFT notes, CASA syllabus and studied hard on 5 practice exams, all averaging around 85-90%. Completely stumped as to what I'm doing wrong and with only one attempt left I need help.
Does anyone have good tips for a 2016 AFPA exam?
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Old 29th May 2016, 01:17
  #265 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Hi, ATPL FPL has always been the hardest exam - partly (it seems) tradition, and partly due to lack of clarity of what is expected.

This is not an exam you can pass by doing practice exams until you know all the answers - you have to actually understand the question, the situation described, how to do a flight plan, and (the hard bit) what SOPs are to be used.

You are NOT expected to produce the most accurate FPL; nor the quickest (though you can't be slow). You are expected to follow a specific set of (poorly defined) rules.

That last bit is the key - the practice exams and notes will test that you can follow a process correctly; not that you really understand the situation and the SOPs. I found out the hard way that many of the notes and practice exams only test part of what you need to know (the process); they don't test you're understanding of the situation described (how to use alternates); and sometimes their assumptions on winds/temps/weights don't match CASAs SOPs. Look carefully through the CASA exam guide - you're looking for how to work out exactly what winds, weights, temps etc you are to use.

No point doing multiple attempts in one week! You obviously were under-prepared in some way - take your time and prepare yourself well.
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Old 29th May 2016, 02:50
  #266 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Melbourne
Posts: 18
Thanks mate. I'm going to go through the whole AFT notes again, read the CASA syllabus again and see where to go from there.
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Old 29th May 2016, 10:22
  #267 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
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Hey stardoggas,

I failed AFPA pretty badly in December and gave myself a few weeks to resist. Passed 2nd time with flying colours.

I recommend knowing the AFT notes back to front and also buy Rob Avery's practice exams. They will show you some different techniques to approach problems that really help.

I also made a lot of mistakes using the incorrect RSWT for the climb data, so I highlighted a line where to use FL185 and FL235. It's a pretty obvious one but it was an easy way to filter out another mistake.

I think the CASA SOP's listed in Rob Averys texts are the most accurate. But also remember the 727 Booklet has a lot of information that they may use to throw you off so make sure you read every page. Know the definitions like block time, etc as these are the little things that will make you waste precious seconds trying to figure out what are they asking.

Good luck with it mate!
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Old 10th Feb 2017, 11:04
  #268 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Error tolerance - that's exactly what the relevant people at CASA don't understand. There were no real tolerances specified last time I checked! (Though I may be a little out of date.)

There must be some hidden away in the exam computers because I understand the questions now require numeric answers, but that's not how our mate at CASA thinks. He genuinely thinks that you follow the "correct" procedure (which only he knows) then you'll get the correct answer. Our mate genuinely thinks "tolerances" are how many decimal places.

If you can convince CASA to do something sensible like specify "you must be able to plan a B727 fuel burn to within +nnn/-nnn kg for flights of up to xxxx nm, under the following conditions xxxxx" then the industry will sing your praises. It would be easy enough, representative of actual FPL requirements, and conform to government policy!

So to answer your question - acceptable "tolerances" seemed to be:
1) record and use to the nearest 1 (1 nm, 1 kg, etc), and
2) be sure you use the "rounding" rules in the exam guide for temperature, wind, etc.
3) do not interpolate except as specified in the exam guide. That will give you a more accurate answer but they want to see you follow the SOPs.
If you follow the rules for selecting wind level, temp deviation, etc, and apply correct alternate requirements, you should get the correct answer.

(PS. I didn't find much advantage to combining multiple legs into longer, averaged legs - unless the long leg is obviously same heading and weather. It saves a little time but opens up more chance for error. But that was just me.)

Good luck.
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Old 2nd Jan 2018, 00:44
  #269 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Australia
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The permitted materials listed on the CASA website for FPL say that if using Jepps, you're can bring Jepps HI Charts. At the risk of this question being silly, does that include the TACs? The distances and tracks in some terminal areas aren't printed on the HI charts.
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Old 2nd Jan 2018, 06:50
  #270 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
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Originally Posted by wishiwasupthere View Post
The permitted materials listed on the CASA website for FPL say that if using Jepps, you're can bring Jepps HI Charts. At the risk of this question being silly, does that include the TACs? The distances and tracks in some terminal areas aren't printed on the HI charts.
Nope, TAC's aren't allowed. If you happen to be given a question where the distances aren't on the ERC, the question itself will usually have the distance from the ADEP/ADES to the fix.

Have heard of one unlucky guy that got a question for a departure out of PH and the distance wasn't given. Fortunately he had seen the same route in AFT before and happened to remember the distance.
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Old 8th Jan 2018, 07:34
  #271 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Easily the worst exam I have ever sat both in terms of difficulty and relevance.

After getting 94% on my last pract exam the night before I got 44% in the actual test. I suspect trying to average out the winds hurt me in some areas combined with a few random mistakes.

But at least I am getting better at learning how to flight plan should a time machine happen to send me back to the 1950s.....

It does amaze me that an exam that continues to have a 40 to 50% pass rate overall, with I think 30% on the first attempt has not had some serious evaluation of the conduct of the exam or relevance of the content.
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Old 8th Jan 2018, 09:36
  #272 (permalink)  
 
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I feel your pain, CBR205 - many of us had similar experiences when it was our turn.
Don't get disheartened - get back into it and knock it on the head. Despite the probably valid arguments regarding the relevance of the material, you'll feel great when you pass it and a small amount of it will prove to be useful in your future endeavors. Good luck!
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 01:36
  #273 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
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Does anyone actually know if CASA has done any proper review of the subject and the way it is presented?

Both in terms of the exam tolerances and the relevance of the content to actual real world flight planning. While I can see some arguments about needing to understand how performance calculations such as these are worked out is the level it is pitched correct? Generally one would think that with three consecutive years of below 50% pass rate and assuming people are doing thier best to study it (and not just eager to throw away 180$) would this not indicate there is something wrong? Or is it a case of "I had to do it back when so you should have to do it like I did." I struggle to think of any other training or testing institution that would not look into such a thing. Unless multiple attempt boost the CASA piggy bank via their delivery fee.

However if the goal is to prepare people for the real world would it not make sense to have them plan using modern day methods. And perhaps use an aircraft that is actually still flown in this country.
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 07:05
  #274 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by CBR205 View Post
Does anyone actually know if CASA has done any proper review of the subject and the way it is presented?

Both in terms of the exam tolerances and the relevance of the content to actual real world flight planning. While I can see some arguments about needing to understand how performance calculations such as these are worked out is the level it is pitched correct? Generally one would think that with three consecutive years of below 50% pass rate and assuming people are doing thier best to study it (and not just eager to throw away 180$) would this not indicate there is something wrong? Or is it a case of "I had to do it back when so you should have to do it like I did." I struggle to think of any other training or testing institution that would not look into such a thing. Unless multiple attempt boost the CASA piggy bank via their delivery fee.

However if the goal is to prepare people for the real world would it not make sense to have them plan using modern day methods. And perhaps use an aircraft that is actually still flown in this country.
It has nothing to do with learning anything useful (possible exception Meteorology & maybe Air Law) but to see whether you can absorb information and regurgitate it on demand. The reason the B727 is used for flight planning is that it was the last aircraft with a non-computerised flight (fuel) planner - it was totally manual. There is no logic to any of it but then go on-line and have a look at the EASA ATPL theory - it is also a lesson in futility.
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 17:56
  #275 (permalink)  
 
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Given that the Westwind which ditched near Lord Howe Island in 2009 did so, in part, due to the crew not completing any competent pre flight planning nor en-route PNR planning - Flight Planning from charts and performance tables is still relevant.

Not for an airliner, generally, as you'll have a lot of computer support for that. But for GA turbines? Yep.

... and calculating PNRs in flight is still required for airliners, as the on-board FMS/FMGS can't do that (not without as much fiddling as a paper calculation would require.)
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Old 10th Jan 2018, 23:03
  #276 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
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I believe the content of the exams are still relevant in todays day and age. Even though the flight planning exam is based on the 727, which many consider to be so obsolete and irrelevant it should be removed, it provides a data set which requires a level of aptitude and analytical thinking suitable for a professional, ATPL holding airline pilot. AFPA isn't a knowledge test, it's an aptitude test.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 00:42
  #277 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Oz
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I fail to see what analytical thinking it brings out in people. It is just regurgitating processes and hoping you did it the same way as some CASA guy who came up with the answer. Your suggestion is it should remain as it is because that is how it has always been done? It would not be difficult to change the exam to something that is still difficult but relevant.

Last edited by CBR205; 11th Jan 2018 at 01:19.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 11:16
  #278 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
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Reeeeeeally tired of seeing people whinge about the exam. JUST DO IT. The exam will NOT change before all your other credits expire so put your energy where it will help you. "Regurgitating processes" is exactly what you'll do when you join the airline that teaches you to fly their aeroplane their way.

I agree that the content is still relevant. "But the 727?!" Well guess what, NOBODY doing this exam now will end up flying a 72 so using that type is actually the constant that this exam needs. If the specimen aeroplane was a 73 you'd be saying 'but I'm going for an Airbus gig blah blah whinge whinge'.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 20:44
  #279 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
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You can’t complain that this test doesn’t represent useful skills for today’s day to day airline environment.

Until one of the answers is

“go through flight plan issued by flight ops. Put another ton on for Mum and the kids”

Then you would say that’s more like day to day ops.

However, have a centre pump failure on a 4 hr flight over water and see how long it takes for you to start working out PNR for DP and DP1 scenarios, because if you loose that other centre pump, you have a lot of unusable fuel on board.
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Old 13th Jan 2018, 22:05
  #280 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2002
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Originally Posted by Checkboard View Post
Given that the Westwind which ditched near Lord Howe Island in 2009 did so, in part, due to the crew not completing any competent pre flight planning nor en-route PNR planning - Flight Planning from charts and performance tables is still relevant.

Not for an airliner, generally, as you'll have a lot of computer support for that. But for GA turbines? Yep.

... and calculating PNRs in flight is still required for airliners, as the on-board FMS/FMGS can't do that (not without as much fiddling as a paper calculation would require.)
Surprised you didn't learn PNR stuff at commercial level.
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