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ATPL Flight Planning Tricks, Short Cuts etc

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ATPL Flight Planning Tricks, Short Cuts etc

Old 11th May 2008, 09:43
  #21 (permalink)  
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Thanks capt787, I find using either 415 or 420 yields the right answer in most practice questions.

FYI, I've also found super sectors close enough to get a tick in the right box.

Keep those tips rolling in - they've been really useful. Good on ya, mate.

Last edited by ReverseFlight; 12th May 2008 at 06:04.
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Old 12th May 2008, 06:19
  #22 (permalink)  
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For EMZWs between 70 and 80 tonnes, and a cruise level between FL290 and FL350,

Mach No: SAR (nil wind)

M 0.84 10.3
M 0.82 10.0
M 0.80 9.5
M 0.79 9.5
LRC 9.2

If your EMZW is not between 70 and 80 tonnes,
If over 80 tonnes, add 0.5
If under 70 tonnes, subtract 0.5

If your cruise level is outside FL290-FL350, add 1.0

For a headwind, add 0.02 per knot of wind.
For a tailwind, subtract 0.02 per knot of wind.

The resulting number will be pretty darn close to your SGR.
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Old 12th May 2008, 09:44
  #23 (permalink)  
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Thanks Lasio! Am gonna give them a whirl!

Are there any factors to add for unusual ops, such as DP, 2E, GE or TSE?
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Old 12th May 2008, 14:21
  #24 (permalink)  
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No, that's just for Normal Operations. But it saves a HEAP of time over the long questions.
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Old 12th May 2008, 20:29
  #25 (permalink)  
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Thanks Lasio, you're a champ!
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Old 13th May 2008, 13:10
  #26 (permalink)  
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Thanks Lasiorhinus, those numbers 70/80 tonnes and FL290/350 are certainly new to me. Great stuff for the exam.

WannaBeBiggles, I am only aware of the following abnormals:
GE 20.0

Do these accord with your understanding? Some books say YDI @ 9.2 and TSE @ 10.0 but I think that's on the low side.
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Old 13th May 2008, 20:21
  #27 (permalink)  
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Nathan Higgins provides the following figures

Normal Ops 10
1-INOP 11
DP 13
YDI 10
TSE 11
LGE 20

However these are conservative, I've been getting much closer with some of the above figures.

I am playing around with track and wind averaging as well

((trk or wnd) x dist) + ((trk or wnd) x dist) + ((trk or wnd) x dist)
Sum of Distances

However I found that with track averaging, sometimes it's easier (and still rather accurate) to get out the protractor and just measure A-B.

Also, be sure to get to know the company policy well... been caught out a few times in the beginning taking 3300kg out for reserves in an inflight question, as opposed to 2250 (company policy stipulates that you only need 30mins fixed reserve when in-flight planning)
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Old 14th May 2008, 09:37
  #28 (permalink)  
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Agreed those SAR figures are conservative as more often than not strong HWCs and ISA+ temps push up the final SGR figures.

I've also found detailed track averaging too cumbersome and liable to mistakes under exam pressure conditons. Basically eyeballing the RSWT against the ERC-H waypoints produces a very near result in many cases.

Also regarding fuel allowances they often switch between startup weight and BRW - one of the many annoyances to get you wandering further off the correct answer.
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Old 25th May 2008, 01:15
  #29 (permalink)  
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I finally got to meet the great legend himself, Nathan Higgins. With his help just recently, I was able to pass Flight Planning first crack! 80% and finished with an hour to spare

I found that there's only one way to pass this bugger, and that's to just do the work, the good ol' PPPPPP (Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance) comes to mind. No short cuts here I found.

My pointers to pass. Get a good picture in your head on what the subject is all about. I found with this, I was easily able to jump from one question to another with minimal fuss. Also, KISS - Keep It Simple Stupid!

For the flight plans, I broke it down into approx 5 box's, the first was getting, tracks: dont do the super sectors, too much work and worry. If you get your groundspeed out by more than 2-3kts, it can create havok at the end! Break it down, have a look at the wind sections then plan to a waypoint that is closest to it. If there's only one wind (like: YSSY-YBBN), then bonus, just plan YSSY-TOPC-TOPD-YBBN-APPRoach.

next distances, planned heights, ISA dev, wind (as per track notes above, and everyone elses, ie, 2/3's climb and 1/2 descent), TAS, Wind Comp and final GS. I found that all these in the above order just bounced off one another.

2nd box in a forward plan: figure out the climb figures - bang, done!

3rd box: figure out the descent figures - bang done!

4th box: do the rest of the cruise - bang, done!

5th box: calculate the fuel then add reserves.

Backward plans: 1st Box, 3rd, 2nd, 4th, 5th.

CP's, work out the CP first, then same as forward plan.

PNR's, pick one, then work towards it like the forward plan. Be careful to get the right amount of flight fuel. Then figure out how far you've got to move (if any) to the correct PNR using SGR's..

CPDP's are a give away 5 marks, pray for these buggers!!

Also got one 4 mark Payload question, so lucky!

Safe Planning,
go_soaring! instead
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Old 25th May 2008, 01:39
  #30 (permalink)  
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congrats, your a 10% over achiever :P
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Old 22nd Jun 2008, 06:49
  #31 (permalink)  
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To save time track averaging, just use the track printed on the ERC at around halfway. Its going to be within three degrees of accurate, and remember, the forecast winds are only ever to within ten degrees anyway.
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Old 14th Aug 2008, 09:47
  #32 (permalink)  
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I'm sitting AFPL next tuesday, an not looking forward to it.. one thing I'm uncertain about is when you do the fuel recalculation for a 3-engine PNR, do you use 3300kg's or 2250kg's for the fixed reserve. I would have thought it was 3300kg's because that's the normal ops fixed reserve, but the working out (done by the instructor teaching it) that I have a copy of for this certain example uses 2250kg's? does anybody know what to use?
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Old 14th Aug 2008, 10:14
  #33 (permalink)  
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I dont have my 727 book handy, but become very familiar with the Company Fuel Policy pages at the front. The table on its side lists the reserves et cetera that you need for each situation, normal ops, normal+alternate, OEI, DP.

But dont forget that for in-flight planning, the reserves required are less than for pre-flight planning. Off the top of my head, I think the 45 min fixed reserve can be dropped to a 30 min fixed reserve, provided the aircraft has already taken off. The page before the fuel policy table explains this. Sorry I dont have page numbers.
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Old 14th Aug 2008, 12:43
  #34 (permalink)  
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1-17 is the preflight planning chart, theres a couple things that you have to change for inflight planning, these are on the page before it in the book.

Basically you only need 2250 instead of 3300 for inflight as compared to pre flight planning, and in some circumstances you don't need taxi/shutdown fuel at the other end
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Old 20th Aug 2008, 02:15
  #35 (permalink)  
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Old aircraft, new procedures/charts

Some questions for those of you with recent experience in Flight Planning:

Non RSVM cruise levels – According to exam guidelines, B727 is not RSVM approved but may operate in RSVM airspace. The charts these days only show RSVM hemispherical cruise levels. Old charts used to show both. Are we expected to memorise the non RSVM levels? Note AIP not permitted in exam so the table of crusing levels south of 65S is not accessible.

Terminal chart distances – Note that TAC’s are not permitted material in exam. How do we get the missing distances on High charts in the terminal area? Are they given in exam questions; do they have be measured against latitude scale?

Apologies if I'm overlooking something obvious....must be Flight Planning nerves

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Old 20th Aug 2008, 02:52
  #36 (permalink)  
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RVSM - it's just a red herring. You can operate in RVSM airspace but only at non-RVSM levels (i.e. those in the book). Just colour code the altitude capablity page for east and westbound levels and you can't go wrong. I wonder if they've just stuck that wording in because someone challenged questions based on the fact that a 727 couldn't operate in certain airspace.

TACs - where information is missing from the ERC then it will be provided in the question i.e. Brisbane to Melbourne route, distance and track from Canty to ML will be provided.

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Old 20th Aug 2008, 07:37
  #37 (permalink)  
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UTR is correct, hilight the level in your Altitude Capability graph and the distances are usually given, however I have heard of 1 or 2 not being given, so a good set of dividers can save your hide
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Old 20th Aug 2008, 11:40
  #38 (permalink)  
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From one who did it long, long ago .. and used to teach it ..

(a) get a good grounding in the basics .. a few texts around .. Worthington is as good as any

(b) the courses available (and I am out of touch these days) probably will emphasise the exams, and that's useful once (a) is addressed .. lots of past/sample papers gets the focus from (a) to the exam

(c) absolute imperative .. make yourself a schedule of mins/question to spread the time allocation according to the marks on offer .. no point in getting the first three questions done perfectly and leaving the rest not attempted ... and then, stick to the schedule .. if you haven't finished the question, leave it, go onto the next one .. and then come back at the end if you have some spare time ...
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Old 25th Aug 2008, 14:16
  #39 (permalink)  
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Silly question perhaps?

Hi all,

Perhaps this is a silly question but in regards to en route climb with landing gear extended (decision made to continue for whatever reason) where do I find the distance in ANM for the climb? Page 5-4 of the B727 POH only mentions 220 KIAS/.50M climb fuel as per normal and climb time plus 20%.

I'm using N. Higgins notes but I can't find it (I'll go searching for an example in the practice questions next but I really want to find a reference).

By rough calculation (220 KIAS compared to approx 300 KIAS) it would seem that it should be some factor of about 40% subtracted.

Ta, and good luck to you all,


edit: I have now also checked ATC book with no joy but now that I think of it I suppose that the distance (ANM) will be the same but will simply take more time. (Is that simply the old L/D relationship coming into play?)

Last edited by FRQ Charlie Bravo; 25th Aug 2008 at 14:25. Reason: add reference
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Old 25th Aug 2008, 14:54
  #40 (permalink)  
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You're spot on - there is no factoring of the air distance, because it will take the same distance to climb, but just take longer to do it.
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