737ops by Simon Holderness

By Simon Holderness 737-800 F/O Kulula (http://forum.avsim.net/topic/347021-comparisons-to-rl/ ) Posted 30 August 2011 - 03:30 PM Hi all, I posted a response in another thread here before realising that there may already be a whole bunch of people here who actually fly these things for real, and the forum may not need some guy butting in with anecdotes of real world ops, which may or may not relate to the product. Whilst I don't own the NGX, I've been simming for years, and owned other PMDG products which have been consistently excellent. I happen to fly -800's IRL. Flying 101 (ZS-ZWP) in particular is one of my 'rides', which happens to be an available paintscheme (I sit in the labelled seat of 'Co-Captain', lol)! We operate short-haul, quick turnaround kind of ops. Typical LCC stuff I would imagine, although our destinations are fairly limited. In the past, I've always wished to be able to ask questions of a line pilot on type, not so much regarding technical questions (the manuals do a decent enough job of that), but regarding the nitty-gritty details of day-to-day operations, ie what gets done when in practice, and WHY. So.....if anybody wants to know something, or have me check how something works on the actual aircraft I'll have a go. I've got a sim ride coming up mid-September as well, so I can try the barrel-roll/aerobatic moves that you need me to do then :) I apologise if this is not needed, or if there are already plenty of sources for this info - I just remember wanting this kind of stuff when I was starting on the more complex products out there. Edit to add: A quick browse seems to show that you guys have this covered! Anyway, just though I'd ask :) Short haul flights in South Africa for kulula.com (we also fly the British Airways franchise in South Africa) are usually as such - During sign on, we download weather/NOTAM/aircraft technical status to our company laptops, which we then check and discuss. Fuel planning is done using proprietry software. This incorporates upper winds, expected runways in use, expected arrivals, and optimises the flight level based on expected weights/winds/cost-index based cruise speeds etc. The bottom line is that it's basically all done for us by the despatchers, we just check it and modify things based on our experience - the aim being to minimise our sign on time for flight and duty purposes. We only get twenty minutes for all this before we get shuttled to the airport by bus from our operations department (a five minute ride). We then endure the traditional escapades of the travelling public, ie bag searches etc, just in case we want to hijack our own aircraft with the toothpick we accidentally left in our bags. Summary for FS purposes - For realistic ops, you'll need this to program the FMC: Waypoints and/or airways that you'll be flying along, a guesstimated SID/STAR and RWY in use for departure and arrival, cost index (normally about 20 for us), fuel to alternate, average cruise wind, temperature at cruise altitude, descent winds. If you don't know them, take a guess or leave blank :) The FMC will assume standard ISA conditions/zero wind if in doubt.

Transcript of 737ops by Simon Holderness

Page 1: 737ops by Simon Holderness

By Simon Holderness 737-800 F/O Kulula

(http://forum.avsim.net/topic/347021-comparisons-to-rl/) Posted 30 August 2011 - 03:30 PM Hi all, I posted a response in another thread here before realising that there may already be a whole bunch of people here who actually fly these things for real, and the forum may not need some guy butting in with anecdotes of real world ops, which may or may not relate to the product. Whilst I don't own the NGX, I've been simming for years, and owned other PMDG products which have been consistently excellent. I happen to fly -800's IRL. Flying 101 (ZS-ZWP) in particular is one of my 'rides', which happens to be an available paintscheme (I sit in the labelled seat of 'Co-Captain', lol)! We operate short-haul, quick turnaround kind of ops. Typical LCC stuff I would imagine, although our destinations are fairly limited. In the past, I've always wished to be able to ask questions of a line pilot on type, not so much regarding technical questions (the manuals do a decent enough job of that), but regarding the nitty-gritty details of day-to-day operations, ie what gets done when in practice, and WHY. So.....if anybody wants to know something, or have me check how something works on the actual aircraft I'll have a go. I've got a sim ride coming up mid-September as well, so I can try the barrel-roll/aerobatic moves that you need me to do then :) I apologise if this is not needed, or if there are already plenty of sources for this info - I just remember wanting this kind of stuff when I was starting on the more complex products out there. Edit to add: A quick browse seems to show that you guys have this covered! Anyway, just though I'd ask :) Short haul flights in South Africa for kulula.com (we also fly the British Airways franchise in South Africa) are usually as such - During sign on, we download weather/NOTAM/aircraft technical status to our company laptops, which we then check and discuss. Fuel planning is done using proprietry software. This incorporates upper winds, expected runways in use, expected arrivals, and optimises the flight level based on expected weights/winds/cost-index based cruise speeds etc. The bottom line is that it's basically all done for us by the despatchers, we just check it and modify things based on our experience - the aim being to minimise our sign on time for flight and duty purposes. We only get twenty minutes for all this before we get shuttled to the airport by bus from our operations department (a five minute ride). We then endure the traditional escapades of the travelling public, ie bag searches etc, just in case we want to hijack our own aircraft with the toothpick we accidentally left in our bags. Summary for FS purposes - For realistic ops, you'll need this to program the FMC: Waypoints and/or airways that you'll be flying along, a guesstimated SID/STAR and RWY in use for departure and arrival, cost index (normally about 20 for us), fuel to alternate, average cruise wind, temperature at cruise altitude, descent winds. If you don't know them, take a guess or leave blank :) The FMC will assume standard ISA conditions/zero wind if in doubt.

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When we get to the aircraft, it's almost always powered up. The engineer would have checked and tested systems such as the fire warnings, EGPWS, Circuit breakers in etc. 19 times out of twenty it's powered, normally by the APU, but if it's been left for longer than 45 minutes between flights it will often be powered by a ground power unit, with the APU shutdown for fuel saving. Fuel state will be as the previous crew left it. It does happen that occasionally you get to the aircraft and the engineer hasn't arrived (due to some cock-up) to power it up and do his checks, in which case it's a startup from cold and dark, which is supposedly done from the book.(Supplementary procedures). As I said though, most times it's powered, and in fact you'll often be sitting in a still warm seat having hurriedly shaken the hand of your outgoing coworker as he bails out on the way home. The engineer will ask you for a fuel figure, and will disappear to go and fuel the aircraft. For FS purpose: Get a cockpit state with the battery on, aircraft powered by GPU or APU, IRS's off, panels dimmed, Galley/IFE switched off, emergency exit light switch off. Most times, as mentioned, it's the APU doing the powering. This is a realistic start state. The cabin crew check out the cabin, the Captain does the walk around and inspects techinical forms (company specific, thats how we do it), and the F/O sets up the cockpit, running in logical order through every switch and positions things as desired. The cockpit is divided into areas of responsibility for different phases of operations. Lets just say that it isn't unrealistic for the F/O to set up everything, including programming the FMC at this point. Naturally it is crosschecked by the other crewmember. Current ATIS is obtained, and ops it contacted by radio to get an updated (but not final Zero Fuel Weight (ZFW)) which is again checked on the computer to make sure we're not restricted in any way (ie by landing weight for short sectors). The -800 is excellent in this regard, almost never being limited. Air conditioning packs are run to warm/cool the cabin if needed prior to boarding. The -800 can run both packs at once, which is nice. African summer can be warmish. Set levels to frigid! The cabin crew will come and complain if you forget to turn on APU bleed air soon (no water pressure) and galley power (no hot water for coffee - Captains also get upset about this) FS: Run through the cockpit in a logical flow and setup up everything for flight/startup. Some points to note: IRS's aligned/aligning, yaw damper on, the fuel pumps will stay off except #1 tank left switch if running the APU, electrical hydraulic pumps remain off for the moment, but engine driven hydraulic pump switches stay on the whole time. Once the cockpit is setup, the Captain will do a few checks of his own, then discuss aircraft technical state and how it affects the day. The 'Preflight Checklist' is done once the IRS have aligned and valid instrument displays are up. A note on checklists: They are not 'read and do', they are merely for checking that you have already done the item in question. Departure clearance is obtained from ATC which will tell you which runway, departure frequency, squawk and SID (if applicable) is going to be used. Then the Captain will do the compulsory briefings (RTO and cabin alt. warning), and the nominated PF (pilot flying) will brief the engine inoperative flight path (we have preplanned routes for each airport, if in doubt just fly straight if you can!) and the actual SID, plus any abnormal threats (ie thunderstorms in the area, airshow nearby, technical state of the aircraft which affects normal ops for eg. no autothrottle etc and how we will plan/work around these issues)

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For FS: Most FS users have the equivalent of a shiny new, snag free plane, so you probably won't be hauling out the MEL to seek dispatch relief. Guess/brief what you'll do for departure, magic up a squawk and do the Preflight Checklist. Meanwhile, the floodgates will have opened, and the hordes will be descending on your patient team of cabin crew behind you. Short turnarounds are the order of the day, and getting a whole boatload of pax onboard through one or two doors (1L is always used, 2L may or may not be used, depending on circumstance) in a reasonable amount of time is critical. Once the flight is 'finalised' (ie closed for checking in), an updated flightplan with the exact weight is sent to the aircraft by a ground staff member from the trim office. The exact weights and passenger figures are meanwhile passed to our laptops via a 3G connection, or via radio to us. The laptop computes ZFW, TOW, LW, % Mac and generates a signature for the trim office for record keeping. Take off data is cross checked, and then each laptop (Captains and F/O's) spits out V speeds (from company specific tables built into our laptop database), engine inop accel height, and trim, and the values are cross checked on both laptops then entered into the FMC by the Captain, under the eye of the F/O. We normally use a reduced thrust take off with 'improved climb' speeds. I'll skip the technicalities, but the thrust reduction is entered by entering an assumed temperature into the FMC. In practice, the -800 is pretty good at getting a max reduction take off (even at FAJS, 5500' at 30*C), so guessing 60*C (max) won't be miles off. For FS: Load the aircraft using the loadplanner - get a ZFW, TOW, %mac. Input these final figures into the FMC. Use QRH V speeds for the take off if possible here if you don't have anything better, and as mentioned above, guessing a 60*C reduction shouldn't kill you. Once the passengers are all aboard, the final flightplan received, and the fuelling slip signed for, the doors can close. Off we go, herewith starts the fun stuff. Except it's midnight and I didn't realise how long this would take. And I'm supposed to be on standby from 0500 tomorrow so I'm going to sleep now. :) More later.....fire away with any questions for the above if needed though.

Just a quick note on the programming of SIDS/STARS (as requested) We have 'company routes' programmed into the FMC database, which greatly simplifies route entry. Basically if routing from Jo'burg to Cape Town (FAJS-FACT), using RWY03L for departure and RWY19 for arrival, we would enter 'JNBCPT0319' into the 'company route' line under the RTE (route) page. This would then assume RWY 03L (the standard departure RWY in FAJS), the RAGUL3A depature (pretty much the only one you can do on that route), and the WY4D arrival(again, pretty much the only arrival you can do for that route) for RWY19 in FACT. So....if you don't know what SID or STAR to use, you're going to need an airway chart - look up an appropriate route between your take off and landing fields, and see where and how you would join this route. Find out which SIDS/STARS begin/end closest to points on that route and just use those. It may not be utterly realistic in terms of what real aircraft do on those routes, but the net workload/effect for you as a simmer is the same. It's nice to have the airway for simplifying route entry - just program a start waypoint position on the route, enter

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the airway designator under the 'via' section of the rte page, and the termination waypoint, which must then of course be on that route, otherwise it won't be accepted. Failing that, enter the individual waypoints along the route you'll be flying. Yeah, sorry, I don't actually have it :) The only fly in the ointment! I was wondering about that though. In the meantime, can anybody list all the company specific options that PMDG has (ie TRK/HDG up, placement of radio alt display, speed/alt tape config, pump config/mod status etc etc etc - there are a lot!) I can then note the specifics for ZWP and put them here. Failing that, I'll probably buy the plane (fine, twist my rubber arm!) when I'm at home again with my FS setup (posting with work laptop - I live in FACT, but am based in FAJS, a real pain) I'm on standby today, but scheduled to fly an -800 for the following three days, hopefully ZWP, but otherwise one of the other four we have (they're all specced slightly differently, originally being from other carriers, our brand new ones only start arriving from Boeing next year and they're of course specced identically), so I'll try to take note of the specifics for ZWP if possible, and try to get a photo of the landing attitude (depends on the situation whether that may be possible). IRS's: A full align takes seven minutes at this lat (may vary, but always the same here), whereas a short align takes about three (seems faster in the -800 with it's GPS input, not sure about this atm - I never do a short align). On shutdown, once the shutdown checklist is completed, one of the first things I do is start a full align - there is easily enough time for the more precise full align before we need the instruments aligned for the next preflight checklist. I must add a slight apology for my lack of proof reading - format, grammar and spelling are not up to my normally impeccable standards (lol) since I'm just banging this out 'cause there's so much to type. :) ...meanwhile, we catch our intrepid crew as the doors are being closed by our beautiful and patient cabin crew. All paperwork is aboard, including our finalised flightplan based on actual weights etc. The armoured cockpit door (thanks Osama) is locked by the CC (cabin controller) with a 'See you guys later!', sealing us into what is actually a fairly small cockpit by airliner standards. The CB panels are right behind us, and there is a narrow space between them for 1.5 jumpseats. I add the .5, since apart from the fold-out jumpseat in the small alleyway, there is often another one behind the Captain, but you would need legs of approximately 2cm diameter to fit there. Boeings little joke I guess? South Africans tend to be tall (that Dutch descent thing I suppose, although I am English), so a lot of us have the seat on it's extreme rearwards position. The Captain would be just about done with his little welcome aboard speech, and the CC will be about to begin his/hers. We do not have automated safety briefings, so the cabin crew have to stand in front of the passengers and demo it all. This continues into the taxi. Now we get our game faces on, and things happen quite quickly. FS: Make sure all doors are closed, seat/eye position is correct, and if you have a cockpit door control it would now be locked. Everything should be at hand and ready to go. The Captain calls the engineer over the intercom (each yoke and audio selector panel has a two position push to talk (PTT) switch - pushing one position talks over the selected device, pushing the other talks over the intercom) and establishes comms. The engineer has just

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finished a final walk-around (checking all doors and panels closed, not forgetting the E&E bay doors under the aircraft!), pulling all the chocks out from under the wheels, and all safety cones have been removed from around the aircraft. The Captain asks 'Are we clear to pressurise hydraulics, is the nosewheel steering bypass pin installed?' The Engineer replies 'Affirm, nosewheel bypass pin is in, you're clear for hydraulics'. This is to ensure that the towing bar is not whipped around by a sudden application of nosewheel steering input from system A hydraulic pressure. Once clear for hydraulic pressure, the F/O has a certain 'flow' (a series of actions) to perform - fuel pumps get turned on (more on this soon), electrical hydraulic pumps are switched on, packs (aircon) are switched off, and the rotating beacon (anti-col) gets turned on. The Captin sets the precomputed trim on the pitch trim wheel. Regarding fuel pumps, this is dependant on the mod status of the fuel system - ZWP for example does not have all the mods done, so has certain restrictions on operating the centre tank pumps. It's quite long winded, so I'll just mention that the normal Boeing policy is to turn on the centre tank pumps if the centre tank has more than 453 kg of fuel (why 453kg? Becuase that's 1000lbs! Metric vs imperial, we use metric) Once these actions are completed, the Captain calls for the 'Before start checklist' and once this is done, asks the Engineer if he can release the park brake. With this done, the aircraft is now free to move under tug power, and it's time for ATC pushback clearance. For FS: Assuming no comms with an engineer, turn on on the fuel tank pumps, elec hydraulic pumps (the engine pump switches are already in the on position), and the anti-col beacon. Release the park brake. The F/O asks/humbly begs ATC for a pushback clearance. FAJS can be pretty busy, so getting a word in edgeways can be tricky at times. Once pushback clearance is obtained, the Captain tells the Engineer which direction to face once the push is completed, confirms the engines are clear, and tells him the starting order. We still try to start the engine that will be on the downwind side first, so the exhaust gases don't blow back over the fuselage. Opinions may vary on this one, but that's what we do. The F/O then reaches up for the start switches, and positions the nominated engine to 'GND' (going from memory again here) - bleed air rushes through the starter motor, and the engine begins to spool up. The 'START VALVE OPEN' annunciation is displayed, and called out by the F/O. Obviously, the centre display should have already been set to display the secondary engine instruments, which new F/O's from the -300/400 fleet sometimes forget to do (guilty as charged). At 25% N2, the Captain moves the engine start lever (note difference in terminology between start SWITCHES on the overhead panel, and start LEVERS on the throttle quadrant) to on, which allows fuel into the engine. The EGT begins it's climb, and the N2 and N1 indications continue to rise. Oil pressure will also be seen to rise. Max EGT for start is 725*C, and it is incredibly rare to get to the limit (never happened to me). The -800's CFM56-7's start a lot more quickly than the older CFM56-3's of the -300/400's. Once N2 passed 56%, the starter should automatically cut out (the F/O calls 'Starter Cutout'), and the start switch snaps back to the off position with a pronounced 'click'. Once that engine is stabilised, the other one can be spun up. Our company policy is to avoid starting the second engine whilst still connected to the tug, to try and avoid too much residual thrust pushing the towbar and tug. Once the aircraft is stopped, the engineer calls for the parking brake to be set and the Captain responds with confirmation, asking for the towbar and bypass pin to be removed as well. The second start is accomplished. Once that engine is stable, the Captain says cheers to the Engineer, who unplugs and wanders off for a drink (of what we hope is coffee), but not before waving the

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steering bypass pin at us so we can see that we'll actually be able to steer once underway. We have to wait for the towbar to be disconnnected before we can put the engine driven generators on the bus (as per the manual, which states no change of electrical power while the towbar is still connected). For FS: Depending on what facilities you have, start the pushback, and start either engine. Once stationery, apply the park brake and start the other engine. The F/O then does another 'flow' - the engine driven gennies are put on the bus (no more 'clack', 'clack' as this is done as per the older -300/400's!), the anti ice is checked, both pack switches are put into auto and the APU bleed air switch is turned off, the start switches go to 'continuous', and APU is switched to OFF which starts it's cooldown cycle, the centre display is changed to the systems page (which varies from aircraft to aircraft), and the flaps are set on the command of the Captain (normally 1 or 5). The Captain pushes the Master Caution Recall, and does a control check, the centre display is then turned off by the F/O, and the Captain calls for the 'Before Taxi checklist' Once completed, ATC clearance for taxi is obtained. For FS: All these actions can be done realistically precisely as per the real thing in the same order. With taxi clearance, we often use intersections for take off to shorten the taxi time and save some fuel. This is planned for before start using the laptops, but we may not always be able to use the intersection depending on traffic. During the taxi, the cabin crew will finish securing the cabin and inform us that they are ready to go. We then let ATC know we're ready, and if we're still with the ground controller, they'll then had us over to tower. Subject to traffic, we'll get clearance for take off, or perhaps to just 'Line up and wait' (In Americanese: Position and Hold). In either case, once we enter the runway, the F/O does another little dance - strobes on (I check autothrottle is on even though it's now switched on after the Captain programs the FMC in the bay, a legacy of the older Boeing procedures), engines good (thats just me again), the weather radar gets switched on on at least one side, and the other pilot gets the EGPWS terrain display, the tranponder is turned to TA/RA (full ACAS readiness) and the cabin crew gets alerted to the coming departure. The Captain calls for the 'Before take off checklist', which is now read from the yoke and not what we call the 'glareshield package' (a laminated bunch of pages that gets tucked into the glareshield above the MCP). We are now ready in all respects to take off. For FS: Before entering runway, turn on strobe lights, WX radar/EGPWS as per situation and transponder. A quick look around to make sure everything looks right won't hurt either! Once clearance for take off is received, the PF (pilot flying) will take over the controls (confirmed by both pilots) - this could be either Captain or F/O, and will have been discussed before the flight. The FD master switch will have been set, with the PF having the 'master' light illuminated (that little light next to the FD switches on the MCP). The Captain is always the PF on the ground, since in most of our aircraft, he's the only one with a tiller, so only he can steer on the ground! The pedals do have limited nosewheel authority (about 5* or so IIRC) but for larger turns (greater than 40* direction change for example), you pretty much need the tiller. The Captain will always have control over the thrust levers during the T/O. He

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advances them to obtain about 40% N1, checks they're stable (the initial spoolup can be sluggish, hence stabilising them at 40% first, although the -800's engines are again very quick and consistent here), then pushes the TOGA button. This activates several modes - N1 thrust mode for the autothrottle (A/T), TOGO pitch mode, and sometimes (aircraft dependant), HDG roll mode. The FD bars will appear, and the engines will spool up to the FMC commanded N1, based on the entered thrust reduction settings. Off we go! The pilot monitoring (PM) calls 80KIAS, V1, Rotate. Some of our aircraft (disconcertingly) call out V1 as well, which often comes as a mild surprise for the first take off of the day. Rotating is done smoothly (approx 2* per second), being careful not to whack the tail on the ground, which would occur at just over 11* nose up (going from memory again!). It requires a little bit of force to get it going, but once the nose is rising, you often have to check forward slightly to control the rate. It's also quite pronounced when the tail gets into ground effect (the rotation rate tends to slow down, and you may have to pull a little more). Anyway, as our main wheels leave the runway (you can often hear a 'click' from the undercarriage lever as the solenoid activates as oleos extend) the pitch attitude, which is noticeably lower in the -800 (about 15* or so initially - something like that) compared to the -300/400 is adjusted to maintain V2+15 to 20 (this bug, V2+15, is added on the speed tape by default). I find the -800 quite pitch sensitive, ie it's harder to get it stabilised at a certain airspeed in the initial climb compared to the older types of 737. This is probably a result of the longer fuselage, and greater inertia, which results in changes being a bit slower to be noted. In any case, it's not hard. Passing 400' radar alt we can call for LNAV mode in order to follow the preprogrammed SID. The -800's dual GPS input to the FMC position means that it's very accurate, as compared to the all inertial systems of the older -300/400. Once above 1000 radar alt we can engage the A/P if we want to, but I always hand fly to at least 10K' if I can (in high workload situations we would always try and use the A/P if possible however, to free up attention for monitoring tasks). In FS: You're going to have to know the keystrokes for TOGA, or even better, have it bound to your throttle somewhere. The 737 only has two controls on the thrust levers - TOGA (in front of the thrust lever handles on top, for your index fingers), and autothrottle disconnect (next to your thumb, on the sides of the handles on top), both of which you can setup on your throttle quadrant. Spool up the N1's to 40%, and press TOGA. At Vr, commmence a smooth rotation at 2*/s to reach about 15*, then pitch to maintain V2+15 to 20 or so. At some point, you can engage LNAV. A note here: We don't pre-arm LNAV (for fleet commonality with our -300/400's), but it may make sense to do so for FS, since FS controls tend to be 'jerkier' than the real thing, which is quite smooth. Also, we have a second pilot who pushes this on command, unlike FS, where you'll have to possibly take your hands off the stick to push the button. Also, the real -800 has (IMHO) an unpleasant autotrim function, which I find often seems to want to go in the opposite direction to what I would like! I'm not sure how well (badly) PMDG have captured this aspect :) Thanks Boeing, it sucks. Luckily, manually running the trim (using the switches on the yoke) inhibits the autotrim for five seconds, so you can do it properly then. And yes, I know the autotrim is just supposed to trim out the stick force you're already applying yourself, but in practice it seems to do it's own thing! Yes, we always do a full align at every stop - turning the IRS to 'OFF' will allow the IRS to go through their shutdown cycle for several seconds (the ALIGN light illuminates during this time IIRC), then go out. Once they've gone out, the IRS's can be set to 'Nav' mode directly......hold

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on (opens company FCOM). Yup, the 'ALIGN' lights will come on during the aligning time, and will then extinguish once it has aligned AND it has a valid position entered from the FMC POS INIT page. If no valid position is received by the end of the alignment time, the ALIGN lights will flash. Just to add to the IRS info - it may not seem all that useful to do a full (or even any) alignment in the -800 with it's super accurate GPS inputs, but it's better to have a more accurate IRS input if possible. It's a bit pedantic, but it would only be handy IF all GPS input, AND all radio beacon input is lost - the FMC position would then be reliant on IRS positions only. So....it would take quite a few failures/loss of signal to get there, but they pay us to be safe so.... We start on R for the first flight of the day, and then alternate for each subsequent flight. ie Leg 1 - R, leg 2 - L, leg 3 - R etc etc. Not really all that scientific is it? :) Obviously we can't use both (a failure would go undetected), so we give each a chance. There are certain MEL restrictions based on which side fails, but we have engineering support in almost all our destinations, so they can do whatever cable routing is required based on which side has failed (I won't go into the details, aka I can't quite remember off the top of my head!), since one side is powered by the stby bus, and is therefore critical. Ok, next lot: We're on the departure, climbing out while hand flying the aircraft. The autothrottle is engaged and doing it's thing, having been through N1 prior to 80KIAS, HOLD mode from 80KIAS, and is now in ARM (ie we could move it should we choose) mode on the FMA, and TOGA and LNAV modes are the the pitch and roll modes respectively. FD is annunciated, since we're hand flying. The A/P could be engaged at any time provided we didn't have stick input, if we felt like it, but as I mentioned I like to hand fly (I mean, it's fun right?) until at least 10K', sometimes higher. There's no rules against that thank goodness! The FMC is following the preprogrammed SID laterally, but not vertically yet (we're still in TOGA mode). For our (slightly odd) noise abatement procedures, we will reduce to climb thrust, and begin to accelerate at 1000'AGL - this is done by the PF calling 'Set climb thrust' (the PM presses the N1 button on the MCP and calls the annunciation as always). The A/T will retard the thrust levers to maintain the computed climb N1 (automatically reduced by the FMC depending on the reducing take off N1 setting), and the PF calls 'Set flaps up speed'. The PM sets the flaps up speed in the IAS window based on the flaps up speed on the speed tape. Often there is a change of ATC frequency to the departure controller at this point, just when you're nice and busy. Flaps are retracted on schedule, as called for by the PF. Once the 'Flaps up, no lights' call is made and we are through 3000'AGL, the PM will call for for VNAV. Now the AFDS will command a pitch to accelerate from flaps up speed to whatever the next FMC limit is (often 250KIAS below 10K' if you've accidentally left that entered), and the speed window on the MCP will blank. The after take off checklist can be done here. We will now comply with the FMC programmed SID in the vertical path too, with it's associated speed and altitude restrictions (often just expressed as, for example, 8000A - ie be above 8000' at that point, as per the Jepp plate) Which is not necessariy the coolest thing to do, since SIDs often involve wandering all over the sky at pathetic speeds, getting in everybodies way. (I'm looking at you, hideous KODES 1A from FACT to FALA, which involves taking off and flying in the opposite direction to our

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destination!) So our friendly ATC will often just clear us direct to a point somewhere along our route. This is totally dependant on traffic/atc moodiness/phase of the moon. We will obviously be wanting to get clearance to climb to our planned cruise altitude a.s.a.p., since any restriction to level flight costs fuel, and more importantly delays our reading of the newspaper. Generally we only receive one or two restrictions on our way to the top, and normally we'll be cleared higher before even reaching them. Sometimes however, we get stuck behind a sluggish MD (thanks 1Time!), or even worse (shudder) a turboprop, and get a multitude of little steps and/or vectors around the enemy. I mean, fellow airliner. Through transition altitude, which varies from place to place here (8000' for FAJS, 7500' for FACT for example), you can press the handy button on your EFIS mode controller to switch to standard altimeter setting (QNE!), and be on your way through the flight levels. Through 10K', we do a few checks (ie cabin is pressurising), accelerate, and turn off the landing lights assuming we haven't already done that due to being lit up like a TIE fighter in Star Wars by all the morons on the ground with lasers. Yes, we have a lot of morons here, although this may be a world-wide problem. The morons that is....maybe the lasers too. :) FS: Since you're not limited to our company SOP's, you can actually pre-arm VNAV (assuming you've programmed the appropriate pages) in the same way as LNAV can be, which may actually be better, for the same reasons as I've mentioned before. Just wind up your altimeter as required to whatever you've cleared yourself to, or ATC in the sim has given you and off you go. Once you've gotten tired of watching it fly the departure, you can issue yourself a direct clearance to some point along your route. Or even give yourself random headings for fun, before re-engaging LNAV to some point along the route ahead of you. Through 15K', we have cleared our 'safety window' (ie no messing around below this altitude) and can now start doing the paperwork, something that is probably completely absent from the average FS experience. We fill in our take off time (you did remember that right?) and compute our ETA at each waypoint along the route, as well as the predicted fuel remaining at destination. Crossing each point, we'll jot down the actual time at that point, and update the fuel remaining at destination based on actual burn. The PM (who is doing all the radio and paperwork) will then switch from VHF 1 to VHF 2 to speak to our operations office, and pass them the fuel uplift (in litres this time) and take off time. Once he's back on VHF 1, VHF 2 will be set to the emergency, or 'guard' frequency (121.5Mhz) and remain there until we need to listen to our destination ATIS. Meanwhile, the aircraft climbs up into the rarer (and much colder) air, where we can fly efficiently. Through about FL260, we'll transition from flying at a planned KIAS value to a Mach value (it depends on the speeds and the day, it isn't a fixed alt), normally having climber at just short of 300KIAS, to M.76 or so (dependant on cost index) The FMC combined with VNAV means this is all transparent to the pilot. On the climb page of the FMC, the change will be apparent. Approaching any commanded level off, the PM will call '1000' to level off' to alert both crew to an impending level off. If it's an intermediate alt on the way to the programmed cruise alt, VNAV ALT mode will engage when levelling off, but for the level off at planned cruise level, VNAV PATH will engage in the pitch mode, and FMC SPEED in the A/T mode. And from here it's just monitoring, filling in the flight plan, and a series of frequency changes as we're handed from one area controller to the next. If the upper winds are not quite as predicted, or turbulence is bad, we can make a jump up or down to a different level as we see fit (confirm the new alt in three places - FMC, pressurisation panel, and MCP) This pretty much continues

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until we're about 100nm to top of descent (TOD) assuming ops normal. FS wise, this part can be a bit boring. I mean, it can be a bit boring IRL too, and we have lots more to do, including listen to our fellow aviators getting lost/stuffing it up on frequency (pax brief over VHF 1 anybody? - Which results in insane levels of ripping off, lol!) We read books/the newspaper, play on our laptops/ipads etc. And yeah, monitor the instruments, don't worry! Plus, do any Jepp updates we've been given, general paperwork etc. Speaking of kulula routes if you want some realistic ones for ZWP - Destinations: Cape Town(FACT) Johannessburg (FAJS) Durban (FALE - yeah, epic, I know) This is the new airfield to replace the old FADN. FALE isn't in FSX by default. George (FAGG, some nice mountains to crash into north of the airport, quite close) Port Elisabeth (FAPE) Lanseria (FALA, where the video in my previous post was taken at the start) So, FAJS-FAGG-FAJS, FAJS-FACT-FAJS, FALA-FACT-FALA, FALA-FALE-FALA, FAJS-FAPE-FAJS are all realistic routes. Default FSX tends to make South Africa look like the Sahara desert though unfortunately, it's really not a great representation of the country, and of course the stock airfields are pretty terrible. I mention the routes only for completeness. Some answers:

When I said 'play on our laptops/ipads', what I meant was 'study work and industry related

publications, or study for future checkrides', ok? (looks over shoulder) :) Seriously though,

only one crewmember is allowed to be using a laptop at a time in flight, and then only for the

actual work at hand (technical doc's or working on landing data) :)

PM (pilot monitoring) aka the other guy in the cockpit who isn't actually doing the flying = PNF

(pilot not flying), as pointed out already. To add to this, I think that every so often somebody

gets bored and decides to do an acronym reshuffle. See, I think they thought that if they

called the dude who isn't flying the 'Pilot not flying', then we might get the idea that we could

just sit there staring out of the window in dreamland doing nothing. NOW, because they've

cunningly renamed it to 'Pilot Monitoring', the mere fact that the terminology has changed

means that we'll be all over the pilot flying if he makes a mistake. Put like that, I hope you see

the obvious irony.

Regarding crewing levels, since the longest day we plan on doing for kulula is just short of 8

hrs flying, and about 11 hrs duty, we carry two pilots and four cabin crew. SA law states that

we must have one cabin crewmember for every 50 SEATS, or part thereof, so with 189 seats

four is the legal minimum in the cabin. They have a tough job and I'm very thankful to have

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And yes, the pitot tubes being switched off is to avoid crisping the engineers extremities (they

get really hot! Er....the tubes...yeah) The FCOM is utterly useless at explaining the why of

things, but in Boeings defence that's not its purpose - look to the FCTM (Flight Crew Training

Manual) for that. And even then it's sometimes hard to understand precisely why something is

being done. Watching arguments amongst senior training Captains on how things should be

done is hilarious proof of this.

Re the landing lights, completely correct - an oversight on my part (no doubt one of many).

Our SOP's dictate that landing lights are switched on after take off clearance is received, and

the taxi light is switched off since it's about to get retracted very soon anyway (the runway

turnoff lights, along with the taxi light, had already been turned on once clearance to taxi had

been received).

Anyway, we'll join our crew as they approach the calculated TOD whilst still in the cruise. I

appreciate all the thanks, I'm happy to be able to share this.

During the cruise, as mentioned, there isn't a vast amount to do, but there is enough to keep

us from falling asleep. Apart from the previously mentioned paperwork, some important points

to consider are: Fuel monitoring - sounds obvious of course, and luckily there isn't too much

to do in this regard. Aside from the fuel checks at each waypoint, if we are carrying fuel in the

centre tank the pumps will need to switched off once we get the first indication of a low

pressure warning from one of them. The centre tank pumps are switched off and the

scavenging system will attempt to get the last few drops out of the centre tank and into the #1

tank. Another aspect to watch is fuel balance. The manual states that the imbalance limt is

453kg (yup, that 1000lb number again!), and it's important not to go for the sense of

perfection that a lot of guys have, who try and zeroise out even the smallest imbalance. This

procedure is nominally carried out from the book (supplementary procedures), although in

practice this doesn't happen (naughty!). The reason for the paranoia from Boeing, is that far

too many crew have done something wrong here - for example, turning the low side pumps

off before they open the crossfeed valve, or my other favourite, forgetting that they're busy

balancing fuel and allowing the imbalance to end up on the other side! My personal paranoia

regarding fuel though is a steathly fuel leak, since if you're not careful, the first indication you'll

get is a 'Using reserve fuel' warning from the FMC as your calculated fuel remaining drops

below the value you typed into the FMC before start. Ideally you'd catch this sooner, and be

able to start making a plan in time to actually achieve something. In reality it's an extremely

rare failure luckily, but naturally during recurrent training the simulator's fuel tanks are riddled

with holes (terrible maintenance on that simulator, stuff ALWAYS fails!) so it's something we

deal with often enough to keep us on our toes. Fuel monitoring is technically the PM's job, but

naturally this is something that both crewmembers will back each other up on. Running out of

fuel being regarded as something on an epic fail in the industry....

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Passenger comfort: The PM (Pilot monitoring) is responsible for adjusting and monitoring the

one thing we have control over in that regard, the cabin temperature. The -800 shares the

three zone controller with the -400, and I've often equated the tools we have as 'trying to do

heart surgery with a butter knife', ie the instruments aren't always super helpful. This is one of

those things that doesn't get much attention in FS, and also always works perfectly in FS. In

reality, just because the zone temp reading is saying it's a pleasant 23*C in that zone, doesn't

mean you're not going to get some hostie (our slang for cabin crew, and indeed they call

themselves that too - it's not a derogatory term) coming in and saying 'We're freezing/melting

back there!' They do try to be diplomatic usually (mostly) though! For some odd reason, on

almost all the -800's we have, the ideal temperature reading for the zones is around 30*C!

This is obviously not the actual temperature, but for some reason they all seem to share the

same error - again, it's one of those quirks of the aircraft (I only have five examples to go on

though). It's often better to try and modulate the temperature based on the supply air, ie if

that's reading about 24*C, they should be ok. Another irritating quirk the -800 shares with the

-400, is that everything can be ticking over nicely, all passengers seem happy, and suddenly

the temp controller decides that the temp has dropped a bit, then turns on the flamethrowers

to bring the temp back up to spec, ie it goes completely crazy with the heat until it decides

you've had enough. You can often smell this in time and quickly make some adjustments. The

older -200's and -300's had a manual control which would manually adjust the mixing valves -

this was often the best. No such luck on the modern stuff though. Another small point here -

under the old Boeing procedures, this job was always the F/O's, and some older Captains are

kind of stuck in this mode. A contributing factor is that the controls and indications for this are

miles away from the Captain, and indeed some shorter guys will simply ask for the F/O to do

this the whole day since they can't reach!

Radio monitoring: Again, nominally the PM's job, but that doesn't mean we don't back each

other up. It's embarrassing for ATC to have to call us more than once, and we naturally have

a friendly laugh at our fellow pilots who get gently chided by ATC for missing a call. Also, I've

personally caught the pilot of a Cherokee during a forced landing calling on 121.5 - he was

behind a mountain in relation to the nearest ATC, and we were able to relay his emergency

and position to them for him. I've already mentioned the hilarity that ensues when some

hapless pilot gives a passenger briefing over the air (PA is selected on the audio selector

panel instead of VHF 1 or 2), and we counter that by always using the PA mic at the rear of

the centre console for PA's. Speaking of which, we only normally do three - once before start,

once at top of climb, and once at top of descent. I personally don't like yammering on, since

most passengers are only interested in what time they'll get there, but we give some brief

details of the flight nonetheless.

For FS: I remember that the LevelD 767 (excellent) had cabin crew who would complain

about the temperature, which at the time I found irritating. Thats pretty much how it is! Baring

something like that, in FS I would imagine it's something to be glanced at and forgotten. The

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fuel monitoring is obviously important, and can be done in FS only if you have a proper

flightplan, something that not everyone flies with. Also, the radio in FS is not nearly as alive as

real life, a great pity really, although not something that's easily simulated.

Now, for some descent planning - this is critical to your energy management during the descent. The -800 is a freight train - it's very slick, it's noticeably harder to slow down when compared to the older 737's, and generally flies at slightly higher speeds to begin with, so you've got a lot of energy to manage. The 737's speedbrakes are notoriously ineffective on top of that. Prior to the calculated TOD, the PM will listen out for the destination ATIS, which all our destination fields have. Failing this, or if we are out of range of the ATIS, we ask ATC for the weather information. The area controllers will have issued us a clearance as we enter their airspace long before TOD, so we already have some idea of the runway in use and we will almost always have been cleared for a specific arrival. A note on this - ATC here will almost always issue a clearance for a specific procedure even if they have no intention of keeping you on the full procedure - this is to make sure that there is at least a basic plan for everyone, and also in the event of a radio failure, since you then have a far clearer picture of what they will expect you to do. I have a sneaky suspicion that ATC don't trust pilot's knowledge of the rules regarding radio failure, and frankly I can see their point! Some aircraft randomly blundering through your airspace while it's crew haul out their Jepp and read up on comms failure procedure is a real pain, regardless whether they've remembered to squawk 7600 or not! And yes, I make sure I know the rules regarding comms failure from memory! Now, to program the FMC - the more accurately you can program this, the better, since it relies on the information it has to accurately calculate a vertical path from your cruise altitude, to whatever restrictions the PF will place on the way down, be they speed or altitude. We will already have the expected STAR and runway set up before we even push back, and we verify that this is as per the current clearance. This will include all the speed and altitude restrictions on that STAR, which we cross check with the approach chart. Accurately forecast descent winds are one of the first things we enter (I enter them prior to pushback already, since they are on our flightplan, and are quite accurate). The QNH and temperature deviation from ISA standard are also entered, as is the transition level (which will allow the aircraft to warn you if both crew somehow fail to change settings). Again, these (or a guesstimate) will often have been entered before pushback but are double checked and refined now. While I'm discussing QNH, the -800 allows you to preselect the pressure setting at the landing field before you even start the descent, so that can be done too. Often, our experience with the aircraft, combined with a bit of local knowledge may cause us to enter further restrictions into the FMC. We also often increase the default KIAS (from the precomputed 'ECON' value) of the descent to a more common number, ie 300KIAS or 280KIAS. This will apply from after the initially flown mach number, until the almost inevitable 250KIAS restriction at the start of the STAR. Another critical value to check on, is whether the FMC has a useful EOD altitude (End of Descent altitude). To give an example, a lot of STARs end with radar vectors - naturally the FMC has no idea how many track miles will be used during these segments of the approach, so it makes a conservative guess - this guess is not normally a good reflection of whats actually going to happen, which would put you high on the profile that you'll end up flying. In these cases, it's better to put a hard altitude restriction in place before the vectored segment. As to what that altitude restriction should be.....you're going to have to do a little calculation based on how many track miles you expect to fly after that point. This is an important skill, and not something I can just type in a few sentences, but here's a basic (very basic - the

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manual has this in more detail!) rule - your block altitude change, in thousands of feet, mulitplied by 3 (ie from 10K' to 4K' is 6, then X 3 = 18 miles). Add some track miles if a slowdown is required during this point (ie 250 to 210: 250-210=40, then /10 = 4 miles needed to slow from 250 to 210 - again, this is very basic, but it's OK-ish until you get a proper feel for it!) As I said a couple of times there, that's very basic. To be honest, I tend to replace a lot (but not all) of the maths nowdays with a gut feel of what the aircraft is going to do (weight, for example also plays role - heavier aircraft hold onto energy for longer), but I have several thousand hours of flying the same routes so it works for me. The EOD values can be checked on the 'DES' page of the FMC. So, you've given the FMC everything you can. It will now refine it's calculation of the TOD point, which is of course drawn as a small green ring and labelled TOD on the Nav display. The PROG page 1 of the FMC will also give a countdown in track miles to the TOD point, and an ETA for this point. Prior to this point, you must have obtained clearance for descent, and set the cleared altitude in the MCP alt window. We normally ask for descent about 10nm prior to TOD. This of course assumes that we're still cruising along in VNAV PATH pitch mode of course. And, to a degree, LNAV, since too much of a deviation from the lateral track means the FMC (understandably) gets confused about what you're actually trying to do, and will probably revert to VNAV SPEED mode. An important point to understand here, is that during a VNAV PATH descent, the aircraft is NOT controlling speed with pitch - it's trying to fly the pre-computed path with pitch, and the correct speed is just incidental (or the result of good planning!) Naturally enough, sometimes it calculates the path slightly incorrectly, especially so if you feed it incorrect information, which will mean it cannot maintain the planned speed. More on this later. ...but meanwhile before actually going down, we're going to have to brief and discuss the arrival amongst ourselves. The PM has gotten all the weather, and whipped out his/her laptop to check that there are no restrictions on our arrival, such as brake cooling limitations, weight restrictions, restrictions regarding crosswinds/wet runway figures etc etc. They will also have radio'd ahead to our ops office to find out the planned ZFW changes for the next sector (so we can refine our fuel figure now already), our parking bay, and whether we will have a GPU available or not so we know whether we should start the APU (on short turnarounds we normally always use the APU though). The PF has programmed the FMC, done a basic descent calculation (using his/her head or calculator!) to back up and verify the FMC computed descent point, and had a good think about what is going to happen during the arrival and what their plan is to get it done properly, and set up all the instruments appropriately, including the MCP course windows, ADF's, VOR's, set ACAS display to 'Below', preplanned QNH setting, and decision altitude (both baro, and radar if needed for a CAT II/III approach, which I won't discuss here just yet!). The autobrake will be set as per preference, often just on 1, but sometimes 2 or 3 depending on runway length and condition. Some experience of the required decelleration for the high speed turnoff on that particular runway plays a role there too. As you can imagine, this takes some time, so you can't leave it all until 20nm from the TOD point. Getting it done sooner at a relaxed pace is always better, but a good crew can do it quite quickly nonetheless. Once all preparations for the descent are completed, the crew will have a quick discussion on the arrival. The PF will brief the approach using the approach and ILS charts as a reference, and then discuss how they've setup the FMC for the descent

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(although the PM will nomally always be aware of this, since any 'execution' on the FMC should be verified by both crewmembers), and discuss the use of autobrake, wipers, anti ice etc. We will also discuss anything abnormal, ie aircraft systems, weather, and plan around whatever the problems may be. The briefing will includes immediate actions in the event of a go-around, which either pilot can initiate, and what we would do following a go-around, especially fuel considerations. Once all this is completed, and the crew and aircraft are ready in all respects for the descent, a quick word to the passengers by the PF can be done. This is followed by the 'Descent Checklist'. Approaching the precomputed TOD point, the PM will ask ATC for descent clearance. If this isn't obtained, the FMC will start complaining at about 6 nm or so to run to the TOD by saying 'Reset MCP Alt', just in case the crew has somehow missed it. The aircraft will not descend unless the MCP has been reset to a lower level. If all conditions are met, the aircraft will begin a gentle nose down pitch at TOD. Down we go. For FS: You may not have very accurate wind info available for FS, but as long as it isn't too strong it shouldn't be too much of an issue. Upper air winds can be quite potent though. We routinely get winds well above 100 knots in winter time here which will naturally cause chaos with your descent prediction if it isn't entered (the FMC will interpolate between what it's actually experiencing, and what is predicted). Perhaps the simplest solution is to manually set lower windspeeds, or even zero wind initially, just to get an accurate result if you're still learning. I'll be honest, I don't have any experience of the better addons for FSX regarding weather, or their ability to provide a prediction before, or even during the flight. Nonetheless, you should be able to program the FMC with all the details as best you can, and it will work as per the real aircraft. As for flying with the approach/arrival plates, it will depend on what you have and what arrivals are available in the PMDG database. If you don't have any arrivals, you can always give yourself vectors to the final approach fix, which happens very often IRL anyway. As for the ILS, the FMC should give you the front course and frequency on the 'INIT REF' page at the very least, so just use that (I'm talking bare bones simming here!) That EOD value is important to check, as I mentioned earlier - Its also a bad idea, for example, to have only the final approach fix as a restriction - that way, if the aircraft gets it wrong, you've got no other points to use as reference until it's too late. IRL we constantly assess our descent using a quick mental calculation, which is a good skill to develop on the sim too. As the aircraft initiates it's descent, the thrust mode will change to RETARD, which when called out can be made to sound like an insult to your fellow crew member :) You can also pick out an appropriate politicians name to use instead of saying 'Retard', and they will understand. The thrust levers will be driven to closed, then the thrust mode will change to ARM (again, this means you can push them if needs be, but the A/T is still engaged. This is kind of a legacy from the old -200's, which would require a lot of manual intervention on the descent if anti-ice was needed, since you had to up the engine RPM for it to be effective). Now, as to how the aircraft wil control itself - since it's trying to fly a path, it will adjust pitch to maintain that path, which, even in real life, doesn't always work out so well. It also varies from aircraft to aircraft (one thing about flying - each individual aircraft always has it's own personality). We have one that will often end up diving aggressively to catch the path, and another that will always end up slow, and have to add thrust. Of those two extremes, slow is better. If an aircraft ends up having to chase the path down (you'll obviously see this on the vertical deviation display on the nav display) there's nothing it can do itself to correct this,

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other than say 'Drag required' on the FMC. In the meantime, it will happily end up going through the redline, and you'll get the overspeed warning, and a nice little letter in your mailbox asking you to come in and explain what went wrong. If you've planned for a nice slow descent (lets say M.74/280KIAS), and it's just edging 10knots over 280 (290KIAS) but not really any more, then you can safely disregard this warning for the moment. If however it's charging towards the redline (which happens), you're going to need to do something. My personal favourite is to revert to a pitch mode that controls speed directly, as opposed to the path following attempt of VNAV PATH. This can be done by pushing LVL CHG - the speed window on the MCP will come alive, and speed can be adjusted here then. Or, by changing to VNAV SPEED on the DES page of the FMC (there's a company option which could affect this though) Naturally, the planned vertical path will now disappear underneath you as the aircraft raises it's nose to slow down. Depending on the rate, you may well need the speedbrake now. Extending speedbrake is something the aircraft cannot do by itself in the air. I mentioned earlier that the 737 speedbrake isn't that great, but bear in mind that it's effectiveness is still best at higher airspeeds (drag rises with the square of the speed, thankfully). Using the speedbrake is best (but not always) done in an 'on or off' approach - half settings tend to make the ailerons particularly sensitive, and the aircraft can be quite twitchy in roll then. Once you are satisfied with the vertical path of the aircraft, they can be stowed, but be on the lookout - if it tended to go fast in the beginning, it's often going to tend that way the whole descent. On the flipside of the coin, if the aircraft ends up slow, once it gets about 10KIAS below the target speed it will start to use thrust to regain the planned speed. The A/T FMA annunciation will change to FMC SPEED, and it will use whatever thrust is required to accelerate and maintain the planned descent speed. This is fine for keeping on track, but not so fine for your fuel consumption in the long term (it won't use that much extra for that particular flight - idle fuel flows are about 300kg/engine/hour, and it may go up to 600-700 with a little thrust on, but the company does prefer to avoid it if possible - too late now though!) Again, if it's slow in the beginning, it can often be that way the whole descent. As you approach any precomputed speed restrictions, the planned vertical path will shallow out to give you around 500fpm rate of descent (again, that's just what it planned - the actual rate may differ) while the aircraft reduces it's speed. If you're already slow on the path, some caution is advised since if you're slowing to 210KIAS for example, the aircraft can end up below the clean manoeuvring speed without attempting to correct it. Just add a little thrust manually if the A/T is still in ARM mode. If its in FMC speed mode, it should be attempting to correct it already - if it's not quick enough, disconnect the A/T and do it yourself, then re-engage the A/T when safe. Of course, you could be flying the profile like a legend, when ATC suddenly decides to say 'Cancel the arrival, route to the centre fix for RWYXX', or (and this happens often) they say 'No speed restrictions' just after you've commenced your descent. This means that the 250 and 210 limits on the STAR, or any terminal speed restrictions now fall away, but you're already in the descent. So, in order to save a minute or two, you delete the speed restrictions (leaving the slower speed limit in is a good idea though if it's close to the airfield), which of course means that your aircraft is now low in relation to the new calculated path. It will pitch up to catch the new path, slow down, and of course then add thrust to keep the planned speed. All good. Remember that to get rid of height, you use speed - you can normally slow

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down or go down, but often not both at once. Of course, if ATC clears you direct (thus shortening the route you'll be flying), you'll end up high - now you'll need to increase speed, or use the speedbrake, or often both. The absolute worst, is if ATC holds you high while making you keep the speed up, then asks for a ridiculously slow speed after clearing you down. Imminent screwup in the making if you don't recognise the trap you're in (cue Admiral Ackbar - 'It's a trap!') ATC (at least in SA, and almost certainly in 1st world countries) does have a way of measuring energy nowdays, and will often ask, in a not-so-subtle way 'Are you happy with your height?', which means you should already have been looking at your energy state with a very critical eye, especially in an -800. The rule is - if you're hot and high, make a plan sooner rather than later, because the closer you get to the airfield, the less chances you have of getting it sorted out. New F/O's can struggle with this. Don't view the speedbrake as some kind of admission of failure - if you need it, use it. Sure, smooth efficient flying is always better, but go-arounds are less efficient (but still safe), or even worse, unstabilised approaches are downright dangerous. IRL, we often know that ATC will be getting us off the arrival and start giving us vectors to slot us into the flow of traffic. We'll of course then use HDG mode to steer as directed, and since we're no longer flying the planned track, I prefer to revert to VNAV SPEED, or even better (IMHO), LVL CHG, and just set the speed manually on the MCP. I personally like to couple HDG and LVL CHG together, and LNAV and VNAV together - that's my personal approach, it's not a rule. Likewise, when I disconnect the A/P and hand fly, I normally always (except for on the departure) also disconnect the A/T. I kind of know what I'm getting then. HDG/LVL CHG is a kind of 'manual' A/P mode, using the 'what you see is what you get' rule, whereas LNAV/VNAV requires you to know what the FMC is planning to do - something that you endeavour to stay ahead of, but if it gets confusing (the famous 'whats it doing now' comment!) you can simplify it by taking it down a notch. They definitely do! But.....we don't I think I mentioned somewhere amongst the million words I've written that we don't in order to keep the operation as standard as possible between fleets - we can hop from a B737-300 into an -800 in one day, so they've kept the SOP simple. Also, in order to pre-arm VNAV, you need to do a little extra programming, which again they've avoided adding into the SOP's for fleet compatability. This may sound silly (I don't know), but there's a lot to be said for keeping things simple. I'm sure it will be added at some stage, especially when there are more -800's in the company. One other factor for us was that not all of our -800's had a software version that would provide windshear escape guidance once it had switched to VNAV (and that is digging deep into the memory banks, so don't quote me!) - but the point is that there was some technical reason too. The packs are one of those 'as needed' items. If you get to an aircraft that's been cooking in the sun for a while, I can promise you that all the crew are going to want those packs on HIGH a.s.a.p., most of all the F/O who will have to sit in a baking cockpit (which receives far more sun that the cabin!) and start flicking switches! The FMC will be the last thing on your mind when it's 30*C+ outside, and a lot more inside! TIA (This is Africa) though. I can imagine it will be the same when it's freezing cold though! Joburg winter mornings can often be 0*C, so we get that too. As regards AUTO vs HIGH, if AUTO isn't giving you what you want in terms of cold air especially, then switch to HIGH! The -800 is much better than the older aircraft with this though - a tired old APU in a -400 or -300 can easily cause a pack trip off on HIGH, or the left wing/body overheat light to come on since the APU has to work really hard.

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The -800's APU is much better in this regard. It still takes a long time to cool a hot aircraft down though. I think a lot of these things come with living with these machines on a daily basis - you soon learn what will be needed, and doing some things in precise order is only required in certain circumstances. As regards GPU/APU, our company policy is that any turnaround longer than 45 minutes should use a GPU, unless passenger/crew comfort requires air conditioning. We're not quite so advanced with the noise pollution thing, we don't yet consider that on the ground. Edit to add: A quick rundown on the normal actions on entering the cockpit, over and above what may be written in the SOP's/checklist (and this is just my routine - everyone will be a little different I'm sure): I try and get stuff stowed out the way a.s.a.p. My bag goes into it's place, I get the charts I need out, I put my calculator in the window frame next to the little clipboard thing, I take out the flightplan/paperwork which is stowed on my clipboard, I get out my sunglasses (hey, it's bright!) and I adjust my seat out of the way (ie full rear and right position) just so I've got max legroom (I'm quite tall). I'll get the galley power on for the all important urn (for coffee and tea), and make sure that there is bleed air to pressurise the boilers for water. Based on temperature, I'll fire up the packs for hot/cold air. If all of this means firing up the APU, then I'll get that going. This is of course after the cockpit safety checks, although starting the APU will be needed if you're doing it all from cold and dark anyway. You can see that this isn't necessarily according to any checklist - it's just what I need to do. Here are some shots of today. I've avoided direct linking so I don't clog this thread with tons of photo's. I've left the photos in their original size, but despite that the quality is still pretty terrible, sorry! I couldn't get the pitch attitude during landing with Flaps 40 since we did both with Flaps 30 due to strong winds. It was quite bouncy, so the cellphone camera struggled to get clean shots, sorry about that. During landing with Flaps 30, the bottom of the centre point marking on the PFD sat just resting on the horizon line. ZWO:

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Just in case we get confused:

The following three are the aircraft and panel state as I received it. The APU is running, the packs are switched off (which is often done during crew changes, despite it being 29*C at the time) and the astute observer will note that the A system electrical hydraulic pump is running due to strong and gusty winds. This prevents the control column from flopping around in the

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cockpit while we work. And protects the family jewels from inadvertent yoke impact (unpleasant)

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PERF INIT page 1:

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Descent forecast page for the flight from FALA-FALE

Lined up on RWY 24R at FALA. It's quite a small field for the -800:

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Again, I apologise for the poor image quality - not terribly educational these pictures, but if

you have a microscope you may be able to see switch positions etc.

Here we have been cleared direct to TGV (the beacon at FALE) - I've switched from VNAV

PATH to VNAV SPEED (seen in the FMA on the right) because I'm not too worried about our

precise height when we get there - I know we are going to get vectors to the final approach fix

which will allow me some leeway to sort the height out. The calculated path is less than 400'

below the aircraft (seen in the nav display on the lower right side). The FMC commanded

speed is 280KIAS and the aircraft is descending through 18500' (FL185 actually). Were we to

go back to VNAV PATH, the aircraft would dive to recapture the path, and the speed would

increase, but in this case only slightly (maybe to about 300KIAS).

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As it turns out, we saw the field and were able to get a visual approach in - the height worked out perfectly, which is way you pay to keep experienced crew (hey, I don't alway get it 100% though!) for the long term :)

Sorry, that part wasn't clearly written - we're still hand flying (FD annunciated over the PFD)

and in LNAV roll mode - so the FMC is commanding the FD bars to give us roll guidance to

keep on the programmed path - in this case the SID. But of course we have to manually

control the aircraft and keep the FD bars centered by hand if we want to actually do this. In

pitch, TOGA pitch mode won't follow the planned vertical track that's in the FMC of course, it

will just command a certain pitch attitude - but of course once again, since we are hand flying,

we have to keep the FD bars centered IF we want to do this (sometimes it's handy to be able

to 'look through' the FD and ignore it if it's giving you something you don't want to do)

Well spotted - the physical parts are actually interchangeable. Technically thats actually just a CDU (control display unit) though, not actually the FMC which sits in the E&E bay under the cockpit. Did I use enough acronyms in that sentence? Not sure.... :) So yes, the older CDU's are interchangeable with the newer aircraft. Handy when you're operating a mixed fleet.

Hmmmm.....now that I think about this, to be honest I (shockingly) can't remember whether the water heaters are fed directly from the potable water system, or whether the cabin crew have to actually put water in them themselves....either way, they need bleed air pressure in the system to provide pressure to get the potable water out! I've made a point of doing this all from memory - don't make me go and look up how the potable water system works now! :)

The following is a bit of a long-winded blah blah, but there's actually a lot of stuff happening now so it's hard not to go on and on - sorry!

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..and back to our intrepid crew, who by now are getting pretty close to the airfield. Hopefully they haven't botched it, and are reasonably set up for either a visual approach, or ready to catch the localiser for an ILS approach. Or, as often happens, a visual approach backed up by the ILS, ie we will call the field in sight within 25nm, and be cleared for a visual approach (and are therefore responsible for keeping ourselves clear of terrain), but will still use the ILS for reference to improve our approach. This can be hand flown if desired, but an ILS approach in IMC (instrument conditions), or with a high crew workload will be flown with all the automation available to us. Passing FL150 on the way down we enter our 'safety window', and we only talk about the task at hand. No more major programming of the FMC - it can too easily become a distraction from the primary task of flying the aircraft. The old rule of 'Aviate, Navigate, Communicate'....Passing FL100 the PM will switch on the landing lights to improve other peoples chances of seeing us, and we will often have to slow down to 250KIAS passing FL100 as well, if we haven't already done so. It's also correct to check that the cabin pressurisation is well on it's way to gettting the cabin down to the appropriate altitude for landing. The ACAS traffic display will often be getting pretty busy now, and we will be handed over from the area to the approach controller in most cases. Depending on the amount of traffic, the conversations can be pretty rapid fire now, and missing calls or hmmming and hawing on the radio at this stage is asking for trouble. Sometimes even getting your initial call in can take a while, and ATC may end up calling you before you get a chance to call them. At this point you're almost certainly going to start getting vectors and specific airspeeds as well, as ATC finds a hole for you - meanwhile, you need to constantly monitor how the approach is going in terms of energy levels. If you need to be faster/slower than what ATC is giving you, you're going to have to let them know. If you have the field in sight, asking for a visual can help ATC since they no longer have to constantly steer you around - however if it's busy, it can sound like a hilariously unsubtle attempt to jump the queue, that is doomed to fail :) Johannesburg is the prime candidate for crazy levels of business, since ATC are pretty short-staffed, and often one guy is handling the whole terminal area, but it's normally not too bad. The smaller airfields can be very relaxed, with the approach controllers first words to you being 'Cleared direct to a 10 mile centre fix, no speeds, visual approach available on request!' which is first prize. Since we're almost certainly off the STAR by now, and probably getting specific airspeeds, we'll probably be flying on HDG select and SPEED or LVL CHG mode and may have kicked the A/P out to hand fly. Cue A/P disconnect warning horn, and frantic pressing of the disconnect button to make it shut up. If we're cleared for the visual approach, we're going to be making a lot of small heading changes and the PF will often ask for the FD's to be switched off as well, so we end up flying 'raw data' (oooh!) which is important to do to keep your eye in IMHO. No more cues from the flight director. The PF will call 'Set runway heading, Set missed approach altitude', just so we've got those references should we need to go around at any stage. The aircraft still needs to be configured for the landing of course. Once below 250KIAS, flaps can start to be extended, but sticking them out precisely on the limit is to be avoided if possible to reduce the aerodynamic loads on them and extend their lifespan. Ideally, we'd like to extend flaps about 10knots above the manoevring speed for the current setting (ie assuming a minimum clean speed on the speed tape of 212KIAS, extend flap 1 at approx 222KIAS if you plan on slowing below 212) The PF calls for the flap setting, and the PM moves the lever and automatically sets the manoevring speed for that flap setting (unless instructed otherwise by the PF), which is shown on the speed tape. Once the flaps roll to the

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selected setting, the PM calls 'Flap XX, green light', the 'green light' indicating the LE device annunciation just below the flap gauge (assuming it is actually green!) Flaps provide useful drag to help us slow the aircraft down now - trying to get down the glideslope in a clean configuration can be very difficult (if not impossible) without building up speed, especially if the aircraft is heavy. If doing a tight visual approach, or an ILS on a reasonably clear day, its best to capture the localiser at minimum clean speed (certainly nothing above 250KIAS, which is pretty adventurous anyway) and get to at least Flap 5 before capturing the glideslope (GS) which really shouldn't be allowed to happen at greater than about 210KIAS. Doing a serious ILS in IMC, depending on the range at which you capture the glideslope, you're probably going to want to have the gear down and be at Flap 15 (at least) already. Once ATC gives you the final heading to intercept the localiser, VORLOC can be armed if you're still using the A/P or FD - this will show as white text saying 'VOR/LOC' mode below the current roll mode, if any, and will become active as you intercept the localiser. The A/P will roll the aircraft to maintain the localiser, or if using the FD, the bars will show the required roll to maintain it. The APP mode can now be armed, which will show 'G/S' in white below the current pitch mode. A quick note here - pressing APP directly, instead of going via VOR/LOC first, then APP (which will just get G/S armed then) is frowned upon with us, but that's basically only because in the older aircraft that we used to operate if you did that the aircraft would capture the glideslope without necessarily being on the localiser first, and start descending despite not being on a known lateral path (ie not safe to descend). The newer aircraft don't do this - VOR/LOC must be active before G/S can be active, thus precluding an unsafe descent. Nonetheless, we still operate as if that could be a threat (old company habits die hard I guess) It's not hard to do in any case. (Edit to add: I think this is actually an option, but one that all our newer aircraft have...more research required here) Once the glideslope (or if visually descending on the estimated glidepath) has been captured, and inside of ten miles it's time to start thinking about getting fully configured - maybe even earlier if you're very heavy and there's a slight tailwind or some other factor. If in doubt, configure a little earlier. Leaving it until the last second is asking for trouble, but naturally it saves time and fuel to get it done at the optimum moment. The PF will call for the gear down, and often Flap 15 at almost the same time. Of course, this is when ATC often subjects us to yet another frequency change, from the approach controller to the tower controller! With the PF's call of Flaps 15, the PM will have quick series of actions to perform - the start switches will be switched to CONT, the MC recall will be checked, and the speed setting in the speed window will be set to Flap 15 manoevring speed. He/she will then call 'Gear down' (after checking that it is in fact showing all green!) and 'Flap 15 green light', as normal. The PF will arm the speedbrake by pulling it out of it's detent until the 'Speed Brake Armed' light illuminates. Surprisingly, even if you forget this action, as soon as you pull the thrust levers into reverse on the ground, they'll come up anyway. Clever Boeing! Now the flaps are starting to add a decent amount of drag to the aircraft, and it should manage to slow down without trouble. Having said that, if you've overcooked it, now is the time that it'll really become apparent, since you won't be able to slow very easily to get withing the Flap 15 limit speed (200KIAS if memory serves) Handily, all these limits are nicely presented on the speed tape as the upper red line moves downwards, and what's more (bonus knowledge!), the amber band represents the limit speed for the next flap setting! Except for Flap 25....but I won't confuse the issue now. All very easy to see. Which makes the

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excuses even harder should you bust any of the limits! We have a quirky habit of going to Flap 25 at this point, but you can actually just go straight to Flap 30. Now the target (or 'bug') speed must be set. The basic plan is to add 5 knots to your calculated Vref. If I haven't mentioned this already (I have a sneaky feeling I didn't), prior to TOD we refined out our predicted landing weight and entered this on the approach ref page of the FMC - based on the landing conditions, we nominated a certain landing flap setting (landing flaps are normally only Flap 15, 30, or 40) A quick note on landing flap selection, and this can certainly vary from company to company. Some companies seem to view Flap 40 as the spawn of the devil, and to be avoided unless doom is imminent (or so I've heard), some companies prefer Flap 30 but 40 is still ok, and some prefer Flap 40 but 30 is still ok. We're pretty easy, it's down to the individual. I personally land with Flap 40 in most conditions. It provides easier speed control (more drag means it's easier to slow down), the engines are easier to keep spooled up above 50% N1 (our minimum on final approach), and the aircraft will decellerate slightly better (only a fraction, but still) on the ground. Probably the biggest factor though is that the Vref speed will be several knots lower, which reduces stopping distance, and reduces the amount of energy the brakes must absorb. The downside of increased drag is worse perfomance in the event of a go-around, but only really in the single engine case - on two engines there it plenty of power for a go-around, and of course a fractionally increased fuel burn on final approach (I'm being generous here, if its an extra 10kg I'd be surprised!) I will go with a Flap 30 landing when the crosswind is greater than 10knots (the aircraft gets noticeably twitchy in roll with Flaps at 40 and it can be easy to enter a pilot induced wobble just above the ground if you start being silly with the ailerons), or when the there is a howling headwind (the wind correction factor added onto Vref means that you may end up really close to the Flap 40 limit speeds, and a gust could send you over - which results in the flaps automatically retracting to 30, see 'Flap load relief' in the manual!)

100% correct - a ground air source will pressurise the ducts necessary for providing water pressure. Practically speaking for us though, the only time we'll ever use an external air cart is if our APU is unserviceable and then only for starting the #1 engine and nothing else. It's a strange local habit. Ground air carts (generically called 'Copco's' for some reason here, probably due to some dominating company that made them) seem to sometimes be in short supply, so they tend to only be available for the few minutes you need to start one engine before being spirited away to the Ground Air Cart pasture or something. It is odd, although the ones we have here are incredibly noisy (are they all like that?) and they get placed almost right next to my window, so I don't really want them around anyway. Regarding the differences list....for our technical course on the -800, we actually did a full technical (a week in the classroom) with the engineer who presented the lectures highlighting differences during the presentation of each system. I've had a look for an electronic summarised differences list, but I think the only one we got was on paper (and wasn't really a plain differences list, more a systems 'summary' in any case), and I don't have the original file of that....I'll see what I can find but I'm not sure I can help here, sorry!

As a practical note, for our ops I've never even seen a conditioned air cart! And since it plugs directly into the mix manifold, all it can give you is cool/warm air for the cabin, so no coffee.

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On very hot days, during extended delays with a U/S APU, we can ask for a huffer cart to power one or more packs to provide cool air - that's the best we've got in that respect. Ryan mailed me the NGX introduction document, in order that I can find which particular systems/options ZWP has (I'm going to have to fly it again to check, I can't remember them all off the top of my head!) I'm utterly amazed at the level of detail they have included, it's absolutely staggering. I've just finished reading the 'Details and Quirks' section, and the Beta teams input - totally amazing levels of detail here, which must be completely overwhelming for the average user (which many here are NOT I must add, collective knowledge amongst high-end sim users is itself very detailed) I'm sure it's been said before, but 70USD for this level of detail is more than reasonable. A lot more.

But I'd better get our crew on the ground in the meantime... Just to recap, we're on final approach, either hand flying visually, or on A/P with VOR/LOC and GS modes active, and SPEED mode for the A/T (or, of course hand flying using the FD as an aid, with those modes active). We've configured for landing, the the Flaps are at 30 or 40, and we've bugged our planned speed for the landing. A couple of points on that - the rule is to add half the headwind component, and the full gust factor to your Vref (which you got from the FMC). To give an example, assuming a perfect headwind of 10 kts, gusting to 15kts down the runway, we would take our Vref (lets say 145KIAS), add half the headwind (10/2 = 5), and the full gust factor (5), to give us 145 + 10 = a bugged speed of 155KIAS. Note that we use the headwind component only - so if we have a 10kt crosswind, we'll still only add the default minimum of 5kts to our Vref. When doing an autoland, since there are more restrictive wind limitations, you will always add just 5kts to Vref, and the A/T is assumed to be good enough to handle things accurately. All this adding speed to our Vref comes at a cost however - increased landing roll distances, a greater propensity for the aircraft to 'float' along the runway if you let it, and increased levels of kinetic energy that the brakes must absorb. So don't start adding to your speed unnecessarily, and try to fly it accurately. The whole point of adding to the speed is to give you the required safety margin to prevent fluctuating wind conditions from causing a problem - so let the speed fluctuate around your bugged speed, you don't need to keep the speed above the bugged speed the whole time. (Before we continue, I should mention an item that I forgot previously - mainly 'cause I'm so bad at remembering this IRL too!) Ten minutes prior to the estimated landing time, we call our cabin crew over the PA and announce 'Ten minutes to landing', while switching on the Fasten Belts signs if we haven't already done so. If they are on, we'll often just switch them on and off quickly just so the chime will catch the cabin crews attention. The cabin crew will then completely secure the cabin for landing - prior to this, as they sensed the aircraft begin it's descent at TOD, they would have begun the process by asking passengers to turn off laptops, fold away tray tables etc. Now, they make sure that all seats are upright, everybody is strapped in, all window blinds open (maximum light in the cabin in the event of a complete loss of power for some reason), and if it's night, they will turn off almost all the cabin lighting to prepare everyones eyes for a possible evacuation at night. This is also the point where parents travelling with babies discover that their offspring has let loose a particularly foul dirty nappy.

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In my case, since I'm often terrible at remembering the ten minute call, a sheepish 'Er...five minutes to landing' is given. Sorry guys! Luckily they're normally all pro's at this, and get it sorted out quickly. Once they've got it all under control, they will let us know that the cabin is secure for landing. This is often the final requirement for PF to call for the Approach Checklist, despite that checklist only occupying one line in our procedures (altimeters!) However, for us to complete this, we must check - cabin secure, anti ice status, inbound courses (a note on this later), navaids on correct frequencies and identified, correct altimeter pressure setting is up and the altimeters have been crosschecked, ie the PM will call 'Passing 9500'.....now!', to which the PF will respond 'Checks', if it does, or '50' low' for example. Again, a simple checklist has triggered a series of actions/checks. Once the aircaft has been fully configured, the PF will call for the 'Landing checklist', which as usual the PM will read as a 'challenge and response' list where we just verify that all the actions have been completed already. The aircraft is now confirmed as fully configured and in a safe state to land. For FS, most of these actions can be done as per the real aircraft, baring the interaction with the cabin crew, and of course there is minimal cross checking since there is no other crewmember. Multi crew flying is a whole subject by itself, and products such as FS2Crew are an attempt to remedy this single crew feeling of FS. I have no experience of that though, since when I fly FS I want to fly by myself! Working with another person in the cockpit can be both incredibly beneficial (you can catch each others mistakes and delegate work to keep your ability to concentrate), but it can be very tricky in emergencies (or even in normal day to day ops) when a lot is happening and time is of the essence - being able to communicate your concerns/plans/intentions clearly and concisely is absolutely critical and the plan is to turn the crew into a synchonised team, as opposed to two knowledgeable individuals who happen to be in the same cockpit together. It can be tricky. Depending on traffic, we would be about to receive our clearance to land at this point - sometimes, the traffic ahead can occupy the runway until we're only 500' from touchdown, but ATC normally keeps that to a minimum. At 1000' above the runway we will have our first 'in the slot' check. Some of the key points to be 'in the slot' are: Fully configured to land, landing checklist completed, no more than half scale deflection of the localiser or glideslope if not on a visual approach, nose withing 30* of runway heading if turning on a visual approach, engines spooled up to above 50% N1 to ensure rapid thrust response in the event of a go-around, no more than 1000fpm rate of descent, not below Vref, and no more than Vref + 20 (the max allowable correction factor). If any of these factors are not met, a Go-Around should be called by either pilot. We can however, in VMC conditions, relax this slightly to the second, and final 'gate' at 500' AGL. However, below 800' AGL, not meeting any of these conditions will trigger an alert on our QA (quality assurance) monitor, and the crewmember will be contacted and asked to explain what happened later. Not meeting the required conditions below 500' AGL is cause for an immediate, no questions asked go-around that either pilot MUST call. Our QA team is a group of fellow pilots, and the intent is to pursue exceedences in a non-punitive fashion - pilots are encouraged to immediately report exceedences before they are even contacted about them, and their is no stigma attached to doing so - the intent is to gather statistical data to spot trends, provide remedial training if need be, and analyse risk. The culture of being able to own up to mistakes is an important one - being able to do 10000 successful landings without ever making an error of judgement is not something to be

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expected of any normal human, so we must be able to adapt procedures around human error, and ultimately it adds to safety. Abnormal occurences are summarised and reported on our occurence notice board in order that we may all learn from it. So, assuming it's going well, the PM will call '1000', in the slot', then '500' in the slot' at the appropriate times. These calls are made based on barometric, not radar altitude. If doing an ILS approach and the weather is expected to be bad, the F/O will always be doing the flying at this point. I won't go into too much detail here, but the we do what is called a 'monitored approach' where the F/O flies the aircraft down to minimums, and the Captain then takes over if he/she can see the field. But in good weather, we will just stick to whoever is the PF - in visual conditons we won't even bother with a 'Hundred above' (100' to go to decision altitude) call, but a lot of the aircraft have an 'approaching minimums' callout anyway. At minimums, some will also call 'Minimums', but not all do (reading the NGX docs, these variations are all configurable, as per the real deal). In practice, we as pilots have no ability to set these things ourselves - they are set by software package changes, and despite it being relatively easy, it can cost a fortune to get it done, hence the propensity to leaving such diverse settings on a single fleet. Strange but true apparently. All about the $$$. (Ask a class of student pilots: 'What keeps an aircraft in the air?' and you will receive a lot of theory on Bernoulli, angle of attack, lift co-efficients etc etc, but the real answer is, of course, M O N E Y!) Again, radar alt callouts may or may not be being called out by the aircraft. Not only do callouts vary, but so does volume. It's quite funny to watch both crew jump as the aircraft calls out '50!!!!!' in a loud voice! One of ours, just to be different, calls out '50', but then nothing else. If you sit there waiting for anything else, then next thing you'll feel is your main gear slamming into the runway. Most of our -800's call '50, 30, 20...' at the least. It's surprising how used to this countdown one gets, hence the pronounced sense of deafening silence when they don't say anything. At about 20', assuming a nice stable approach, the nose is raised slightly, the thrust levers are retarded (holding a little thrust on, while not ideal, can cushion the landing a little, but try not to do it) and the flare begins. Now, the critical task here is to get on the ground and start stopping! If you attempt to hold it off and let it settle down itself, it will merrily fly along just above the ground until halfway down the runway, and you'll probably run off the end. Compared to light aircraft, this is a very pronounced jet habit. The actuall stall, apart from being different due to the whole swept wing thing, is quite a lot slower than you're currently travelling, so just raise the nose enough not to slam into the ground, and let it fly onto the runway. Trying for a 'greaser' is asking for trouble, but that said it is entirely possible to land smoothly, and more importantly, in the touchdown zone! Getting it wrong in the -800 is quite easy though. It's slightly harder to land than the -400 for example, despite not being that much bigger, and since it's more flexible in general, this can result in an odd feeling of flapping around as the wings bounce up and down! I over-thought my very first landing on the real plane, and planted it down pretty spectacularly (first flights of course are done on the line, with normal passengers, the rating having been fully completed in the simulator), but then just did what I thought was right for the next one, which was very smooth (*cough* if I may say so myself!) From then on I've never had a problem. Again, the important point is getting it down. Once the main gear touches down, smoothly control the nosegear down onto the ground (don't attempt to let it float along above the ground) and make sure the speedbrakes come up - the PM should call 'Speedbrakes up', or not, as the case may be. To start stopping, it's important to use everything you can - this means reverse thrust,

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spoilers, and wheel brakes. Since the engines take time to spool up from idle, getting it into reverse promptly is important. In the real plane, this results in a lot of frantic tugging by new pilots, since the reverse thrust levers won't go beyond a certain point until the reverser sleeves have actually moved into position. Once this has happened, the levers will happily move and tend to slip into a detent which gives about 75%N1 (Don't go above go-around N1, but you have to pull REALLY hard to get there with the -800 in my experience). Meanwhile, as the speedbrakes come up, you should feel the aircraft settle it's weight onto the main gear quite noticeably and commence the usual -800 waggling around as the wings flex. If you haven't selected any autobrake, you should be taking up the slack on the brake pedals just to get a feel for braking action, but if you've done everything right, not much in the way of wheelbrake pressure will be needed to make a reasonable high speed taxiway turnoff. The -800 is takes considerably more brake pressure to achieve decent braking compared to the older 737's - I'm not sure why, but to stop quickly you really need to stand on the pedals hard. On the classics, the same pressure would have the antiskid vibrating away, but I can't even recall getting an -800 onto the antiskid system at all although I might have just not noticed. The PF now just needs to keep directional control, and modulate the braking force applied in order to make the planned taxiway exit. If using autobrake, this system will command a certain rate of decelleration, regardless of how this is achieved, ie if you use a lot of reverse thrust, it won't use quite as much wheelbrake pressure in order to maintain the commanded rate of decelleration. It's a lot smoother than the old system on the good 'ol -200's which, while it worked, could be very jerky. Autobrake 1 is very light, 2 will be the minimum needed in most places, and anything beyond is slghtly unusual for our operations, although 3 does get used sometimes. The recommended method for turning off the autobrakes (apart from overiding them by pushing on the pedals) is to lower the speedbrake lever - turning the switch off manually while rolling down the runway is not recommended (I'm speaking under correction, but I seem to remember a warning, that at a high speeds, if you slipped the switch into RTO, you may end up eating the panel) Through 60KIAS, the PM will call '60 knots', and the reversers are smoothly stowed. The Captain will have to take control now if he was the PM, since the tiller will be needed again to taxi. The F/O then runs about the cockpit stowing the flaps, turning off pitot heating, switching the landing lights off and turning the runway turnoff and taxi lights on if they weren't already, the weather radar is switched off (via the Capt and F/O EFIS control panel as usual), the transponder is turned off, and the autobrake selector is turned off if it was used. I also run the pitch trim to about 5 units since it will still be able to move fast if the flaps are still running - once they're up it will go back into 'slow' mode, which makes setting up the next trim setting a pain. I tend to set up the next frequency for the taxi now (while landing, we have tower active, and I keep approach on standby as opposed to setting up the ground frequency, that way in case of a go-around I just need to click approach to active when needed as opposed to fiddling with frequencies) The tower controller will normally hand us over to the ground controller after giving us our initial taxi clearance, although in Johannesburg, with it's parallel runways, we are now kept on the tower frequencies (there is one for each runway) until we are completely clear of all runways. The ground controller will ask us for out parking bay if the tower controller didn't already, and will then issue taxi clearances to get us there. Crossing any active runways we do the christmas tree thing and turn our lights/strobes on for increased visibility. Approaching the parking bay, the F/O will normally always start the APU unless we have been told that a GPU will be waiting for us. As we turn into the parking bay, the Captain

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will turn of all taxi and runways turnoff lights to avoid blinding the marshaller, even if we're using an electronic marshalling board. The aircraft is eased into the parking bay, and stopped at the correct point, where the Captain will apply the parking brake. The end. Not quite! The F/O will put the APU onto the electrical buses (both sides), which will kick the engine driven generators off the bus, and announce 'APU on the bus'. (One of the 737's electrical 'rules' is that 'oncoming power has priority', ie whatever you switch on, will kick off what was there already. Another rule is that you must always actively switch something in this regard to effect a change, ie simply starting the APU won't make it power the bus automatically). The engines can now be shutdown without a loss of electrical power to the aircraft. The Captain then shuts down both engines by moving the start levers to cutoff, and both engines begin to spool down. Once this is done, the F/O turns off the fasten belts signs (although half the passengers are probably already out of their seats looking for their bags anyway), turns off the fuel pumps except the #1 tank left switch if the APU is running, turns off the electrical hydraulic pumps, sets the packs as needed (normally both on, with the isolation valve to 'open'), and turns off the anti-collision light. This allows the engineer to approach the aircraft and plug his headseat in to interrupt the 'Shutdown checklist', which the Captain has just called for. Once we complete the checklist, the Captain and Engineer will discuss any technical issues we picked up on the flight, and the fuel figure for the next one. The Captain will often then run away for a smoke/conversation with his stockbroker/stand and smile at the passengers, or whatever he or she feels like while the F/O completes all the details in the flightplan (ie block time, flight time, fuel burn etc) and transfers these details to the aircrafts technical log. The flight times and fuel burn are then radio'd to operations to be entered into the computerised, real time monitoring system. We only have 30 minutes to offload all passengers, do a basic cleanup of the cabin, fuel the aircraft, and load the next load of passengers before we do it all again. The F/O gets the ATIS for the next flight, updates the planned ZFW from the trim office, passed them any restrictions and then sets up the cockpit again for the next leg - this can be done more quickly than the first time around, as not too many things need to be changed. And off we go again......... At the end of the day, we collect all the paperwork, clean up the cockpit so it's presentable for the next bunch of guys, and get off the aircraft after all the passengers have disembarked. The cabin crew will cash up and account for all the galley stock before handing it over to the ground staff, or the next crew. We will have a chat to the engineer, who will assume responsibility for the aircraft, or the next crew. We then disappear through the terminal to the (hopefully) waiting crew bus, which shuttles us back to our operations office where the F/O hands in the paperwork and fuel slips. Then, we are officially done for the day :) And thats it! Must go to work now..... I must add my apologies for all the typo's grammar errors etc, since it was all typed pretty fast. There are no doubt quite a few omissions etc, hopefully none too serious. Enjoy though, ask away if needed.

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The flight crew training manual will have a little more on, this, but continuing the theme of 'off the top of my head', the simple answer is 'no' - try to keep you target speed until the flare is begun and thrust is reduced to idle. In real life, on a calm day, the average line pilot can hold target speed within a knot or two (literally), often pegging it exactly on the numbers. Due to the weight (inertia) and stability of the aircraft, it tends to remain reasonably stable in both attitude and speed, so this isn't quite as hard as it may sound. Reduced thrust take-offs for us are simple in practice (I'll avoid the theory right now) - our electronic flight bag software will look at runway length, temperature, aircraft weight, pressure and spit out an appropriate flap setting, a set of V speeds, and a thrust reduction setting in the form of an assumed temperature. We therefore always use the assumed temperature method. We never use a fixed derate for a take-off. Climb thrust however, will be derated automatically by the FMC to ensure that when climb thrust is selected after take-off, the thrust does not increase. The FMC will decide on CLB, CLB 1, or CLB 2 automatically, which if I remember correctly are simple fixed derates. Again, this is all off the top of my head.

Flying in FS, ie just the act of controlling the aircraft is actually harder than IRL, in my opinion. It's debatable, but here's why I think so - In FS, your view is very limited - you have almost no peripheral vision, you have no feedback on motion (which can't always be trusted in the aircraft of course, but at least you can feel if there is motion at all!), and the controls in a real aircraft are generally more smooth and responsive, with more accurate feedback that the sim. I find real aircraft to be more easily trimmed to settle into a steady state too. I used to teach people to fly (I have about 2000 hours of flight instruction), and I have seen a wide variety of students who have come from other 'flying' hobbies, be they model aircraft, or flight sims. As an aside, one of the model aircraft pilots I taught just happened to be one of the best students I ever had - I merely had to tell him how to do something and he could do it almost faultlessly. The sim pilots also caught on very fast - one point that I would always have to repeat constantly to the majority with this background though was 'Look out the window!' - sim pilots tended to focus on the instruments all the time, having come from a background where the view out the window was tiny. Sims in general (and this applies to the full motion sims that we train on too surprisingly) tend to never be able to 'settle' in a constant state - real aircraft can be trimmed for specific conditions more easily, in my experience. The initial feeling of flying is a little bit overwhelming, and the visual and aural (it's a lot louder for example, even with headsets) stimulus is a lot more powerful than sitting in front of a computer, but once these conditions are accepted, sim pilots catch on far more quickly than somebody with no background whatsoever. Thats my opinion, which may well differ from others - but I do have my reasons, having seen a wide variety of sims, and how people with FS backgrounds respond to actual RL training.

Ok, I actually have the NGX now - well done to PMDG on an excellent product!

Now.......I wanted to upload a typical turnaround panel state, and a preliminary options setup

for ZWP (not finalised, I'm actually going to have to go and find one of our engineers to get

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some of the details!), but this forum says 'You aren't permitted to upload this kind of file' or

something to that effect - is there a correct way to do this? This is a lame question, I know...

Flap 40 landing attitude. The quality is absolutely terrible (thanks Samsung phone, learn how

to deal with movement please!), but zooming in you should see the average attitude, which

was a fraction below the 2.5* nose up pitch line....so lets call it 2.4* or so.

About 600' AGL:

About 500' AGL:

Yeah - I also didn't actually look at the camera while I took the photo's, I just vaguely aimed

and pressed the button from feel while I was looking at all the stuff I was supposed to be

looking at!

Basically the same (my blind photography technique improved a little - took me 2 seconds!

The picture still isn't that great though):

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Vref 135, bugged 140KIAS, temp 17*C, landing elev 151', QNH 1024, landing weight 60280kg, RWY 01 at FACT.

Before I create some inadvertent internet storm, I must just re-iterate that I didn't just whip the

camera out of my pocket and act like a tourist at that point :) Previously I had timed how long I

would have before touchdown, found the position to hold it, placed it next to my right knee

(there's a small ledge there), and timed (by counting) how long I would take (I practiced

beforehand). I didn't look at the camera, I just grabbed it, pointed, and mashed the button

quickly before chucking it into my bag, again without looking. Which is why it ended up behind

my bag in the little cubby hole where the sun visor is stored, but anyway. The point being that

I never stopped doing my job, nor diverted my attention from what I was supposed to be

looking at.

Just felt I should mention that.

But you have a 7 kts Tailwind ?

Is it a Hand-flown ILS (I can´t see SingleChannel, CMD or Land3 in the PFD)?

Well spotted - for the following take-off, the runway in use was changed. On the ground, the wind was reported as 'Light and variable'. The aircraft was being hand flown by the Captain.

Thanks to FSMP who described how to fool the AVSIM forums file check, here is a panel

state for how I would receive the aircraft for a typical turnaround - this will differ from company

to company, but I'll just go with what I know because some people did ask, and I've tried to

set every single switch or control to appropriate vaules. Some FS values (Com and Nav

radio's in particular) don't get saved, but that's irrelevant really - I've simulated receiving the

aircraft at FACT (hence some of the settings, ie landing alt, typical fuel state on arrival). The

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passengers have all climbed off, and both doors 1L and 2L are open if I recall correctly.

The file is actually a .rar - just delete the .pdf extension at the end, and unzip to your

FSX\PMDG\PMDG 737 NGX\PanelState folder. I've called the files 'Turnaround'.

This isn't exactly groundbreaking, but anyway :) - let me know if there are any faults.

--- September 4, 2011, 10:44 PM