Flying on the Boeing 777
Tuesday, 11 December 2007 20:35
Hi Captain Lim, (1) I recently watched the "Boeing 777, The 21st Century Airliner" in the Discovery Channel. It was a fantastic! There was one guy who mentioned that the systems in the flight deck are smart enough to tell you if a bulb some where is burnt out!
My question is, "Where is such information available? Is it on the MFD Electrics Page?
(2) As you mentioned in my previous FAQs, if a fuel leak did occur, the following possible indications are :
a. excessive engine fuel flow
b. total fuel quantity decreasing at an abnormal rate
c. FUEL IMBALANCE warning message on
d. FUEL QUANTITY LOW warning message on
e. FUEL DISAGREE message on the Computer scratchpad
f. INSUFFICIENT FUEL message on the Computer scratchpad
g. visual observation of fuel spray from engine
Now, a & b should be observed by the pilots... (imagine they are very busy with ATC!). d & f would come on only when you have lost all the fuel! (so what is the use?). The warnings which help pilots to detect the fuel leak is FUEL IMBALANCE and FUEL DISAGREE.
Could you please explain the actions taken when you get these warnings?
(3) FMS (Flight Management System) gives the Distance, Time and FOB (Fuel on board) for the TO waypoint which is displayed in the ND (Navigation Panel). Now how accurate is this prediction?
Lets say, you are now in CRZ (Cruise) and intercepting a waypoint, say "WLR" which is 60 NM (nautical miles) away. Note the EFOB (estimated fuel on board) at WLR. When you intercept WLR and check the fuel remaining. What would be the differences?
( 4) As a big fan of Boeing 777, there are hundreds of questions which come to my mind.
Instead of asking all these questions, I feel I should make a thorough study and then ask. Operating of the B777 would be fully dealt in the Manuals which you refer to like the Operations Manual, Technical Manual, QRH, etc. Is there any way one could get access to them? As you have advised, I have contacted Boeing through the mails, but they don't seem to be responding.
In many web sites and books, there are some bits and pieces of information, like how control laws are built, etc. They do not give me a full understanding of the airplane. Can you recommend where I can get the Airplane Manuals?
Kindly let me know. Thanking you, Srihari J
Hi Srihari, 1. If I am not mistaken, if a light is burnt out, and if the defect is not of a critical nature, it would not be annunciated in MFD (Multi-Function Display) Electric page otherwise this page would be very cluttered with minor faults. I think what that guy said was probably not about light bulbs being fused but rather system faults.
2. The list of warnings of fuel leaks given by the Boeing 777 QRHs (Quick Reference Handbooks) are some of the scenarios that are possible. Not all the warnings would appear at the same time in real life! As regards to the actions as to how the pilots would react, it would be according to his common sense. A pilot is paid to make reasonable and safe decisions. Not every actions can be spelt out clearly but the QRH's guide is general and adequate for the safe diagnosis of most of the problems.
3. The FMS and the computer's prediction of the distance to go, time and the fuel on board to the Waypoint is very accurate PROVIDED the LNAV and not the raw mode is selected. If you are cruising and intercepting a track to 'WLR' on HDG or TRK SEL mode, with LNAV engaged, (must be on correct intercept track!), then your data of the distance to go or fuel remaining at PROGRESS or LEGS page would be accurate.
4. I am still not sure as to your interest in the technical details of the Boeing 777. If it is for the purpose of enhancing your knowledge in order to do your job, then you must not rely on my explanations as I am not the authority on the Boeing 777 in this aspect. In fact, you should persuade your Company to purchase all the Boeing 777 Manuals for your commercial work from Boeing, the airplane manufacturer! All pilots and engineers are supplied with the Manuals related to the Boeing 777 and if you don't belong to these categories, I suppose you have to write to Boeing Publications officially to purchase them. The address is as follows:
The Senior Manager
Flight Technical Publications
Customer Services Division
Boeing Commercial Airplane Group
P.O. Box 3707, M/S 20-89
Seattle, Washington 98124-2207