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Why 'descend' so soon?

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martinlest
Post subject: Why 'descend' so soon?
Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2024 1:25 pm
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I'd love to know why, yet again, on a flight from Blackpool to Teeside in this instance, ATC says I can descend from cruise altitude, when I am still in easy sight of Blackpool Tower and the three piers. OK, 'when ready' but I only just got to cruise alt and have quite a long flight ahead of me (given I am flying a slow SAAB 340) before I even reach my flight plan's ToD.

How can I set up my plans for PF3 differently so as not to be given descent instructions this early? I already usually add manual waypoints around the ToD of my PF3 version of the Little Navmap plan (I prefer to keep doing this in the end, than use the new option to 'clean' the plan of SID/STAR), supposedly to avoid thus, but ...

Does the fact I am taking off initially heading west before 'doubling back' cause an issue perhaps?

Thanks!! :-)

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Dave March
Post subject: Re: Why 'descend' so soon?
Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2024 3:05 pm
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Just change the altitudes... ERGAB ws set to 10,000

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martinlest
Post subject: Re: Why 'descend' so soon?
Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2024 3:45 pm
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Sorry to be a nuisance! I have tried setting PF3 altitudes closer to those in my flight plans (I usually do tweak them in fact), but that often gives me unexpected results too. Thought I'd leave this one untouched, but it didn't come out right either.

As ever, matching up LNM flight plan (original), with PF3, with what appears in the aircraft FMC is a task and a half!


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Dave March
Post subject: Re: Why 'descend' so soon?
Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2024 4:48 pm
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Well the Flight Plan Filter we help, if you used that. I know it's difficult because you guys haven't got the updated user guide but that should be complete very soon and then I'll release it. Here's what's available right now and I've highlighted what would seem to be exactly what you're looking for.
Quote:
Flight Plan Filter – New to 3.22.0 this option is specifically aimed at those users wanting the easiest way to use a flight plan for their FMC and also to be able to load it into PF3. Whilst PF3 would accept any flight plan if it contained a SID and/or STAR, with many waypoints at a short distance apart, you would have a lot of NOTAM messages and would have to remove the offending waypoints. With this option selected, if you load a flight plan containing a SID and/or STAR PF3 will remove all the SID waypoints (except the exit point) and all the STAR waypoints (except the entry point). It will flag (internally) that you have loaded such a flight plan so you will not receive any vectors until you complete your SID (by reaching the assigned altitude of the exit waypoint) and you will be 'Cleared to Final' when reaching the last waypoint (the STAR entry point)

In addition to the above you can also load a flight plan containing no procedures at all when this Flight Plan Filter option is selected and in that scenario PF3 will again enter your cruise altitude in the first waypoint and all those waypoints up to and including your original flight plan's TOD. The descent profile will remain unchanged. When using such a flight plan (with no SID/STAR) you will be able to adjust your altitudes as you can now.

This feature will only work with a valid flight plan. Basically that means it should be in XML format and each waypoint should have a valid altitude, so default FS9 or FSX flight plans would not be valid. The former as it's not XML and the later as the XML file does not include waypoint altitudes. P3D, MSFS, SimBrief and Little Nav Map (to name but a few) all produce such flight plans.

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Dave March

Email: dmarch@oncourse-software.co.uk

I don't know if my memory is getting worse as I get older...
...I just can't remember how it used to be!

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martinlest
Post subject: Re: Why 'descend' so soon?
Posted: Wed Feb 14, 2024 9:32 pm
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Well, I'll give it another try Dave, thanks. Thing is though, as PF3 tends to give instructions (e.g. descent) as it reaches waypoints, if there are long segments immediately before ToD, I always add some false waypoints (into my PF3 copy of the plan only) so that ATC doesn't instruct me to descend too early (or that's the theory, anyway!!). So, if the waypoint prior to T0D is, say, 50nms away, then rather than have PF3 instruct me to descend there, I will add a 'dummy' waypoint much closer to the ToD. Kind of works, though it's a bit hit and miss very often.

Not sure how that will work if I use the filter instead. Maybe I just add the waypoints anyway - but then I am back to having a separate flight plan for PF3 (I don't want those dummy waypoints in the plan I put into my FMC), as now, which kind of defeats the object.


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