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FLIGHT PLANNING

GENERAL BRIEFING

V1.0

12 January 2007

FLIGHT PLANNING

FLIGHT PLANNING GENERAL BRIEFING V1.0 12 January 2007 FLIGHT PLANNING TABLE OF CONTENTS HOME PREPARATION 3

TABLE OF CONTENTS

HOME PREPARATION

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FLIGHT PLANNING PROCESS

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SUMMARY

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FLIGHT PLANNING

GENERAL BRIEFING

V1.0

12 January 2007

Revision Record

Version

Date

Source

Change

Reason

Page/s

1

21/01/07

FOT

P. Donazzan

Original Issue

N/A

All

Disclaimer:

This briefing remains the property of QANTAS. Copying for other than student’s own use is illegal. The subject content of this brief is correct at the time of publishing. In any case, the Flight Crew Operations Manuals are the authoritative documents. It is the responsibility of users to ensure that they are aware of changes or corrections to subject matter circulated by QANTAS.

FLIGHT PLANNING

GENERAL BRIEFING

V1.0

12 January 2007

HOME PREPARATION

Many pilots prepare at home or in the crew hotel prior to trip commencement. There are facilities for Jeppesen Charts/State and specific Airport information on the Qantas website.

Use of Airservices Australia internet preflight briefing facilities for weather and NOTAMs can often be of assistance, The flight ops website also has a Meteorology homepage with extensive links to worldwide resources. The RMS is accessible via the Flight Technical website link Jeppesen charts can be downloaded from the jeppesen website. All these links are accessible via the FOT (Flight Operations Training) Library homepage.

Note: This information does not replace your Qantas produced flight planning package or the up to date onboard aircraft library.

GROSS ERROR CHECKING (GEC)

At the very least, prior to arrival at briefing, an initial mental model of the expected route and fuel order is required. This also forms the basis of gross error checking throughout the planning process. Your own examination of your performance planning for your type will give typical figures for T/O, climb and cruise fuel flow per hour. This together with normal fuel reserve figures will give an expected fuel order.

How do we do this? Firstly we need to approximate our fuel burn for the total flight time. This is achieved by multiplying the flight time in hours by a rule of thumb fuel burn (per hour) figure. On a short sector we multiply a higher figure for the first hour as that includes T/O and Climb and a lesser figure to cover the remaining flight time. On a longer leg an average fuel flow for the whole flight time will account for the extra fuel of T/O and climb. To this we add our estimate for Variable Fuel Reserves (VFR) and Fixed Fuel Reserve (FFR) and Approach (App.) as laid down in the Flight Administration Manual (FAM) Fuel Chapter and come to a final estimate.

Lets take two different types, the 737 800 and 767 GE, and demonstrate a rule of thumb which will form the basis for the gross error checking.

  • 737 800 Sydney to Ayers Rock and 767 GE Sydney to Perth

  • 737 800 SYD-AYQ, ETI 3 hours

    • 1 X 3.0 (Tonnes per hour)= 3.0 kg for the first hour

    • 2 X 2.5 (Tonnes per hour) = 5.0 kg for the remainder of the flight VFR=0.8 kg FFR=1.2 kg App.=0.3 kg

Total estimated order =10.3 kg

ie 10,300 kg

FLIGHT PLANNING

GENERAL BRIEFING

V1.0

12 January 2007

767 GE SYD-PER, ETI 4 hrs 30 mins

4.5 x 5.0 (Tonnes per hour) = 22.5 kg for the remainder of the flight VFR= 1.5 kg FFR= 2.0 kg App = 1.0 kg

Total estimated order =27.0 kg

ie 27,000 kg

When you arrive at Flight Planning you will initially examine your plan and note the total planned fuel, if it doesn’t approximate your predetermined figure then there must be a reason. This difference may be due to various causes, two examples of which may be the carriage of TEMPO fuel, or that your planned cruising level is lower than usual, resulting in a higher burn.

The important point here is, that assuming your gross error calculation is correct, we need to understand the reason for any substantial difference. Errors are made in the planning process and this check is essential to check accuracy.

For your interest, when the above-demonstrated GEC was compared against the actual flightplans on the day that this section was written, the following resulted:

737 10,900 kg MOR, a difference of 600 kg. Therefore a reasonably accurate GEC.

767 30,000kg MOR, a difference of 3,000kg. On further examination of the flight plan, it was noted that there was an extra 45 mins holding requirement on that day, which equated to 3000kg, therefore an accurate GEC.

The above figures are for example purposes only, you should refine your own gross error check method utilising your type FCOM for various weight ranges, previous flight plan examination, FAM and discussions with your Trainers and fellow crewmembers.

AIRPORT AND ROUTE QUALIFICATION

Prior to sign on, Airport and Route Qualification requirements must be completed, as per FAM requirements.

FLIGHT PLANNING PROCESS

The FAM specifies that the Captain will directly request the input from the other Flight Crew members during briefings and critical situations. If you are the pilot flying you will be expected to run the flight planning phase together with your crew. Delegate tasks such as reading Notams/Intams appropriately so that when the fuel decision is to be made, all input is sought and discussed prior to the final fuel order. Though the final decision rests with the Captain, do come up with your own order and an explanation for the decision.

FLIGHT PLANNING

GENERAL BRIEFING

V1.0

12 January 2007

Flight planning requires analysis of the route, overall wind component, flight time v schedule, DPA/DP1/DPD/DPE ports and calculations, payload v additional fuel, enroute alternates and alternates to destination.

The altitude summary provides a clue to potential altitude blockages, ability to cope with enroute weather and potential terminal area descent/fuel problems (usually covered by Arrival Allowance at critical locations). The ATS DATA and NAV/LOG DATA routes are normally reconciled here.

Overall wind component combined with the planned flight time v scheduled block time provides an indication of whether schedule can be achieved and how "optimistic" the MOR (Minimum Operational Requirement) fuel requirement may be. The Regional Sections of the Meteorology Manual provide statistical route wind component data.

In their flight plan preparation, Flight Dispatch Officers carry out a route analysis to determine the shortest time track. This would be modified by political considerations (e.g. civil war in Afghanistan), financial considerations (e.g. the overflight charges in the CIS v the time loss on the Iranian route), and known volcanic activity.

The FAM lays down the policy on technical calls, offload of payload, and enroute diversions (basically, consult with Operations Control as part of the decision-making process.)

Weather now comes into the equation. Consider the weather at destination, alternate and DP ports; are they all suitable for their planned purpose? The Operational Data report should give the very latest information, but occasionally the forecast may have changed due to the elapsed time since the flight plan was issued. Careful analysis here can save great embarrassment later!

When considering the addition of extra fuel the following should be considered:

The Regulated Takeoff Weight (RTOW)-which in turn is affected by actual

environmental conditions, available runways, thrust options, Minimum Equipment List/Configuration Deviation Guide penalty as applicable, variant differences, pavement restrictions at the departure airport and subsequent landing airport and Structural Maximum Taxi/Takeoff/Landing Weights etc Offload of available cargo is subject to consultation with Operations Control

Maximum tank capacity, depending on variant

Additional cost of the fuel carried and the extra fuel burned to carry it.

Initial cruise altitude capability can be severely affected due to the additional weight.

SUMMARY

The aim of the Flight Planning stage is to not only to select an appropriate fuel order by forming a mental model of expected flight details but that by the process of seeking input from all crew members an effective team develops and therefore good leadership is established. Gross error checking is used in all stages of flight and its application in the Flight Planning process is essential.