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# ATPL Flight Planning Tricks, Short Cuts etc

The Pacific: General Aviation & Questions The place for students, instructors and charter guys in Oz, NZ and the rest of Oceania.

# ATPL Flight Planning Tricks, Short Cuts etc

23rd Sep 2008, 09:22

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: ˙ǝqɐq ǝɯ ʇ,uıɐ ʇɐɥʇ 'sɔıʇɐqoɹǝɐ ɹoɟ uʍop ǝpısdn ǝɯɐu ɹıǝɥʇ ʇnd ǝɯos
Age: 40
Posts: 714
Passed

What a shocker. I passed but F*** ME DEAD! Somehow I managed to get the AD - PH PNR dp wrong.

Got a toddler to feed. Will debrief later,

~FRQ CB
23rd Sep 2008, 09:26

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sydney
Posts: 42
ksa, I got that pnr question in my exam also. Luckily I had done similar practice questions the day before.

Congratulations to the both of you!
23rd Sep 2008, 09:57

Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Victoria
Posts: 1,467
Well done, all of you!
23rd Sep 2008, 11:54

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: VXXX
Posts: 144
Cheers Fellas, I tell you it feels great to place my AFT book and Secombe flight planning AND the 727 manual (already don P&L) in my bookshelf in the never to be opened again pile. Now there leaves NAV and SYSTEMS.

Anyone planning self study for this course, I would recommend the AFT notes for a more easy going relaxing learning curve.

Unfortunately the only way to pass this one is to do the work.

Good luck to others taking the plunge

A Couple of tips:
• Highlight all the main ROUTES
• Write the total distance of the route in (brackets) around a central area of the route. (great for CP's)
• Write distances from a midpoint from the route with an arrow in each direction indicating distance to. Make sure they add up to what you have in the brackets.
• Also distances from common points where the MET may be subdivided write the distances back to your home and destination.
KSA
23rd Sep 2008, 15:05

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: ˙ǝqɐq ǝɯ ʇ,uıɐ ʇɐɥʇ 'sɔıʇɐqoɹǝɐ ɹoɟ uʍop ǝpısdn ǝɯɐu ɹıǝɥʇ ʇnd ǝɯos
Age: 40
Posts: 714
Hey KSA,

Why not just wait a while to finish those last two exams. You know go travelling or something... then you can come back after they've all lapsed and have just as much fun passing AFPL again!!!

So only one surprise today but it came in the form of a 2 point question so not a terrible surprise (and I got it right). Given fuel burn for NO, OEI and DP for a flight Auckland (Acceptable becoming Suitable with 30 minutes holding fuel for weather) to Sydney (Suitable) what is maximum payload. For starters the airports are irrelevant (the foreign airport is just there to scare you) and it seems straight forward but wait, what's this??? The question actually says (and here's where I feel for the non-native English speakers):
• Flight Fuel Normal Ops XX,XXX from Auckland to CP to Sydney,
• Flight Fuel One Engine Inop XX,XXX from Auckland to CP to Auckland
• Flight Fuel Depressurised XX,XXX From Auckland to CP to Sydney
Normal Ops looks to require the most fuel but then looking closer it looks like they want you to go back to Auckland which requires an additional 2,000 KG of holding fuel. WTF? Anyway, OEI is now the most critical scenario and it was MZFW limited (but I only discovered that after first falling for the Norm Ops scenario) and I'm positive about that as I got it right in the end. (I've approximated the wording of the above scenarios, if anyone can refresh my memory I'd be happy to amend my post.)

One little tip that I would add for those preparing to do this exam would be to prime your brain with a straight forward question in the hour leading up to the exam, just to be able to hit the ground running. Maybe even one that you know the answer to. I found that to be a tremendous help. (Of course, nobody knows your brain as well as you so take that advice with a pinch of salt).

FRQ CB
23rd Sep 2008, 23:41

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: I'm right behind you!!!
Posts: 470
I'm praying I don't get one of those FRQ CB... Auckland isn't on the Jepp charts...
24th Sep 2008, 01:48

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sydney
Posts: 42
You dont need the charts for anything for that question Cap'n. Just work out the FOB of each situation to find the MBRW, then you can work out the max payload.

MBRW is the least of the three:
1) Structural limits (89350kg, if i remember correctly) or
2) MLW + FBO or
3) MZFW + FOB
24th Sep 2008, 08:57

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: VXXX
Posts: 144
Good work passing FRQ, that happened to my cousin, had to do them all again!

I think the timeframe is 3 years. I think I did my BAK exam in November 07, so I think at this rate I should be apples

KSA
24th Sep 2008, 13:54

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: ˙ǝqɐq ǝɯ ʇ,uıɐ ʇɐɥʇ 'sɔıʇɐqoɹǝɐ ɹoɟ uʍop ǝpısdn ǝɯɐu ɹıǝɥʇ ʇnd ǝɯos
Age: 40
Posts: 714
I know someone (quite a well respected instructor around here) who had passed 6 of them and then had his personal life fall into a heap (new job with related endorsement/training, relationship issues & death of loved one in a matter of a few months). They lapsed before he learnt that you can apply to CASA for an extension...

Last I heard he was off to the US to get a three day quickie.

FRQ CB
27th Sep 2008, 15:56

Join Date: May 2004
Location: Oz
Posts: 464
Passed exam this last week thanx to all the constructive posts in here... definitely some nervous moments between clicking submit and getting the result.

Can't emphasise enough spending a week and a half to get up to speed doing practise questions.

Do a course somewhere! I found the UNSW course to be sufficient to pass, if a little too quick in the delivery. All the material came so fast it was hard to keep ones head above water. Took me a good near week and a half just to be able to 'get it'. What was good was the questions covered in class were way harder than the exam so prepared one well.

My ATPL Performance exam had some stuff from Flight Planning in it so you may want to do this one next.

Good luck.
28th Sep 2008, 03:29

Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Victoria
Posts: 1,467
Well done Duxnutz. Those three seconds between clicking Submit, and before your result comes up are the longest three seconds in the whole course.
28th Sep 2008, 06:42

Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: in a fantasy world that is aviation.
Posts: 75
ill second Duxnutz comments with doing a course somewhere. I also did a UNSW course (perhaps in his class), however had to study up Flight Planning whilst doing the other classes (perf. systems & nav) during the day. Still got through, so its not impossible, im not exactly the brightest spark about either. A tip that i wish i took was, get a calc thats identical to ASLs. I was so used to mine which is relatively new and has a nice screen that works like a memory function. I was constantly finding i was making little figure trouble errors with my calc during the exam which ment eating away at the precious time remaning Good luck to u guys/girls still bout to sit it. I have a bonfire to light
28th Sep 2008, 09:52

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: VXXX
Posts: 144
thats why you sneak in a Casio Scientific Calculator , there was no way I was using that tiny piece of crap they gave me, after doing the hsc only 2 years ago, I am somewhat attached to my calculator!!!

Pocket it and bust it out when the examiner sits down, even if they notice it, most don't bother interrupting you if you look busy/stressed. I used it for all exams

But if a Calculator transition is no biggie, you can buy the exact Calculator given to you in the exam from:

http://www.aft.com.au
28th Sep 2008, 13:00

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Sydney
Posts: 42
Careful with the calculator, I think some use the Aurora while others use Canon. The ones that Bankstown use, are the Canon LS-82Z which can be bought from Officeworks for around \$15.
28th Sep 2008, 16:09

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: ˙ǝqɐq ǝɯ ʇ,uıɐ ʇɐɥʇ 'sɔıʇɐqoɹǝɐ ɹoɟ uʍop ǝpısdn ǝɯɐu ɹıǝɥʇ ʇnd ǝɯos
Age: 40
Posts: 714
Good point about the calculators. First time around I had a piece of crap one with a crap battery. It's dual power but fat lot of good that did me in the Perth ASL dungeon. I should have asked for another but A. the clock was ticking and B. it was kinda good enough. You can bet I checked it the second time.

FRQ CB

Oh, I just practised with a dodgy little Casio (sqr rt button was in wrong place, that was my only hiccough).
29th Sep 2008, 01:35

Join Date: May 2004
Location: Oz
Posts: 464
Yeah i actually made a comment to the testing guy about the calculator i was given (ASL Bankstown). The buttons had alot of play in them and it looked worn out.

I imagine it saw alot of anger during its short life....
2nd Oct 2008, 00:54

Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: I'm right behind you!!!
Posts: 470
BTW FRQ I got that PNR you were talking about for a return to YPAD via a difference track. In the last 20 minutes I re did it and changed by answer and got it right. Had to be one of the worst worded ones ive seen so far. "ignore lateral distance blah blah blah". I just flew out NO, then dropped down to the return route on the way back which was pretty much the same distance anyway.
When I did the course with LS at UNSW he said that came about because someone (angry shaking of fists in their general direction) pointed out to CASA that the AD - PH routes are mostly one way tracks, and that you cannot return to AD on a one way AD to PH track. Basically it means assume that as soon as you have the DP or Eng Fail or whatever, that you magically appear on the track next to yours, heading back to AD, and don't count the distance to get back on the other track i.e. ignoring lateral distance
2nd Oct 2008, 14:08

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: ˙ǝqɐq ǝɯ ʇ,uıɐ ʇɐɥʇ 'sɔıʇɐqoɹǝɐ ɹoɟ uʍop ǝpısdn ǝɯɐu ɹıǝɥʇ ʇnd ǝɯos
Age: 40
Posts: 714
The difference is only 7 nm. If there's any question in your mind (which there shouldn't be after reading this post) then just split the difference. Three or four nm won't make that much difference (all other factors being equal).

You know, it is a prick of an exam but I can now say that it is all relevant material. Sure there's a FMS to do a lot of the crazy maths for the crew of a real AC but there is no substitute for sound theory.

FRQ CB
3rd Oct 2008, 04:02

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Australia
Posts: 143
Do you get flight planning forms in the Flight Planning exam or just the 5 sheets of lined green paper for you to draw out your own?

Thanks
3rd Oct 2008, 04:55

Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Australia
Posts: 35
FP forms

Yes you get about 5 in a booklet, double sided printing.

A suggestion... try and fit 2 or more of the short plans per page (i.e. 3 and 4 mark questions), if in fact you use the forms for the short questions.

If you fill the book and ask for another workbook, they will take away the first one.

If you subsequently have time at the end to review those sticky questions you weren't sure about but pressed on to keep good time, some of your calculations will be gone, sitting in the big blue shredded waste bin.

Simplest thing I can say is work at a steady (fast pace) just below the point where you start to fumble and make mistakes (silly errors, finger errors on the calculator) Typing on the calc at breakneck speed won't necessarily be better.

Do lots of practice questions, and understand the principles, rather than repeating what you have done before. That way you can solve any problem presented to you, rather than parrot fashion re-hashing. There are always twists and variances to some exam questions.

Try not to get flustered if you hit a tricky question (easy to say, I know). Even if you think you're behind on time, stay calm, press on and persevere. You might just be surprised when that magic box appears after a few long anxious seconds with "Pass"

Good luck!