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ATPL Flight Planning Tricks, Short Cuts etc

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ATPL Flight Planning Tricks, Short Cuts etc

Old 8th May 2008, 09:21
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ATPL Flight Planning Tricks, Short Cuts etc

Hi All

I have just started ATPL Flight Planning and just wondering if anyone that has done it has any short cuts, tips, tricks etc to pass on.

I am going through all of Nathans (AFT) notes and doing all the work, and am getting the hang of it, albeit quite slowly at the moment.

I know some people average out headings, winds etc and create "super sectors" and just including them within TOC and TOD, though not sure if that will yield a constant and accurate result.

I am especially interested if anyone has tricks on creating a good 'guesstimate' on flight fuel required that is more accurate than (NM x 10) + 1600 that would give me a good and more accurate figure to check my final figures against.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks in advance!
WannaBeBiggles is offline  
Old 8th May 2008, 14:37
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Did FPLA a few weeks ago

I have some more accurate figures. PM me for them if you want. The AFT is all you need to pass but if you can be bothered to do a few more minutes of calculation on the big questions then I can help you out. Sometimes the rules of thumb don't give you a clear cut answer in the test. Some answers have only 50 kilo's difference between them. If you muck up your landing weight for a 1 inop PNR then you need all the accuracy you can get.
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Old 8th May 2008, 16:36
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Glad to hear I'm not the only one struggling.

I am self studying Rob Avery due to work commitments and a tight budget. Sure, he's the one suggesting "super sector" calculations. Even so, I am worried I might run out of time in the exam with those. Do I really have to split them up ?

Besides, some of my calculated wind components and SGRs differ slightly from his examples.

Crank1000, could you PM me also ? Any help or advice greatly appreciated.
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Old 9th May 2008, 01:20
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Thanks Lando! Gold.
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Old 9th May 2008, 02:25
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From memory the big questions are worth 4 or 5 marks, and are all toward the end- fun things like PNRs, ETPs etc.

Do these big mark ones first (and hopefully correctly). After the practice exams youll have an idea on how long each of these take- then allow yourself say 10-15 minutes per each of these. If you don't have the answer, move to the next one. Don't dwell on them if you are stuck, move on and come back little later.
Then work down through the lesser mark questions. It's more likely quicker and easier to discount and guess from a 1-2 mark question. Also, if you guess and get wrong a 5 marker as opposed to a 1-2 marker, the impact to your end result is a lot worse!

That's my tip!
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Old 9th May 2008, 03:34
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Thanks for the good advice.

I don't want to start a Rob Avery vs AFT argument (indeed I have great respect for both) but just to give a couple of examples, Rob suggests supersectors rather than split them up, and then on climbs AFT says use FL185 winds up to FL310 but Rob says use the average of FL185 and FL 235 - they both go either way, if you see what I mean.
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Old 9th May 2008, 04:45
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Thanks landof4x, I was recently doing an ETP practice question and your point was right on.

Also, I have slipped up on distances in the past because of the way they worded it - in the heat of the exam, too many flashing lights ...

Keep the great tips coming, I need every one of them to pass this exam.
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Old 9th May 2008, 08:03
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rep, just goes to prove it's just an exam, which is what I have been trying to tell myself, I'll forget everything as soon as it's over. I'm based in Vic and have my hands full, just couldn't get away to Queensland for the course. I appreciate what you're saying. I've only heard praises for NHiggins.

Last edited by ReverseFlight; 12th May 2008 at 06:01.
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Old 9th May 2008, 09:38
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2 hours for AFPA ? That must be a record. Wish I could sit at Maroochy too, as the ladies here tend to be a bit more detailed

Any more shortcuts which come to mind apart from the ERCs ?
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Old 9th May 2008, 11:40
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There's a document floating around that has a very, very accurate way of estimating SGRs.. I'll see if I can dig it up - its accurate enough to get your fuel burn to within 30 or so kilograms, and saves a heap of time - now if only I could remember where I filed it...
Lasiorhinus is offline  
Old 9th May 2008, 23:42
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highlight all of the routes on the erc highs that you use in his practice questions, and wright the distances for the routes next to the route numbers on the erc high
Be careful if you do this. Some exam supervisors are extremely pedantic. After doing the practice exams successfully I was cautiously confident, so I made a serious effort to thoroughly erase all of the marks on my charts. Exams are stressful enough, and I didn't want to put more pressure on myself by worrying about having charts rejected on the day.

So the charts I took in were completely clean, except for some very faint remains of the marks from doing practice exams. The supervisor spent 3 minutes with a rubber making them even fainter and wasn't happy even then (and did the same again at the end of the exam !)
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Old 10th May 2008, 00:47
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When working out your fuel, work backwards. IE figure out what fuel you should have when you arrive (reserves), then start working out your fuel burn sector by sector, starting with the last sector first, first last. A short cut to calculating your take off weight.
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Old 10th May 2008, 02:28
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Good one, kangaroota, I almost forgot this is crutial esp in PNR questions.

The problem I face most is how exact or how much of an average I should use to calculate winds from the RSWTs as I am finding great variances in deriving the SGR on longer hauls. Any one has good suggestions ?
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Old 10th May 2008, 03:14
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did my one at Oct last year, finish it in less then 2 hours

from memory, when a/c goes up you will use the wind at 2/3 of the Altitude you are going to (ie. Sea Level to FL370 = use the wind @ FL235). when a/c goes down you will use the wind at half of the altitude you are going to (ie. FL370 to Sea Level = use the wind @ FL 185)

for 1 ENG INOP CP, always use Airspeed of 415kts (thats the way the question is writtern)

DP ops, always use F130 (both east and west) and M0.59, wind @ F180. descend time to Sea Level = 13 mins and 990kgs of fuel (including 400 kg of approach fuel)

write the total distance of the airway you have used in practice exam on ERC with pencil, that saves a few minutes

Airspeed = Mach no X 39 X sqrt (Temp in degree K)

always double check your mid-zone weight because you may be out by 0.1 tons and that make the difference between pass and fail

Typical fuel burnt per hour (both normal and 1 ENG INOP, depending on weight) ~ 4200-4400kg, anything outside that range usually indicate some error
capt787 is offline  
Old 10th May 2008, 03:18
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rep
 
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from looking through my b727 manual, the SGR's i have written down are:

standard: 10kg/nm
depressurized: 13kg/nm
yaw damper inopp: 11kg/nm
OEI: 11kg/nm
landing gear extended: 20kg/nm

then u had to put in some manual changes like if you had a tailwind, e.g. your standard 10kg/nm woul be reduced by 1kg/nm per x amounts of tailwind component (dont remember the number). oppisate with headwinds of course
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Old 10th May 2008, 08:42
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Thanks to rep and Cap787 for the golden advice. It has really lifted my spirits.

A question for Cap787 : the POH uses LRC for OEI so at FL230/240 the TAS goes from 405 to 415 as the weight increases from about 70T to 76T, which might make a difference with the SGRs. How can I be sure about using 415 TAS as you said ? Appreciate more input.
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Old 10th May 2008, 09:10
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rep
 
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hes kinda right

my book says use 420kts for the TAS

for finding out the CP for OEI you just use a TAS of 420kts period. why? who knows we just did what nathan said! :P

for normal ops u get ur TAS from the temp and mach no.
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Old 10th May 2008, 09:19
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Thanks rep for the response. If NH says 420, then 415/420 is good enough, no questions asked. I just want a pass !

Back to the grinding stone for now, but will keep checking this thread.
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Old 11th May 2008, 01:04
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Thanks for all the fantastic advice guys!
Laso, if you could find that doc that would be awesome!!!

Any more info would be grealty appreciated!

I'm doing my ATPL exam at YBAF, I just hope I don't get the cranky pedantic exam supervisor that is there sometimes...
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Old 11th May 2008, 09:04
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i did my one with len sales. i guess 415/420 won't make too much of a difference

415/420 can only be used with CP calculation. DO NOT use this figure with anything else
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