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Home > Flying the Plane > How to set up the Flight Management Computer (FMC) from London to Dubai?
How to set up the Flight Management Computer (FMC) from London to Dubai?
Flying - Flying the Plane
Saturday, 19 March 2011 04:34

Hi Capt Lim,

Could you please tell me when setting up a flight route on a plane like a Boeing 777, say on a London - Dubai sector, is it the Pilot's job to select a South-Easterly SID against the active runway or is this dictated to you by control???

Are SIDs and STARs included in your submitted flight route??

When you program the FMC; at what stage would the STAR be entered for Dubai?? Would you know this before takeoff in London or would you have to wait until nearer your destination in Dubai and then listen for the active runway and program in a specific STAR???

I'd imagine this could become quite a handful if things/plans changed nearer your destination airport etc??



A Fast FMC set up
Hi Ian,

Normally, the pilot would use a South Easterly SID (Standard Instrument Departure) if he is departing from London for Dubai regardless of whether he is using the active or inactive runway. Firstly, he would plan the SID from the active runway and use his secondary FMC (SEC FLT-PLN) as a standby for the SID from the inactive runway in case of a last minute runway change.

Generally, SIDs and STARs (Standard Arrivals) are not included in the submitted flight routes but the fuel planning would cater for the worst case, that is, the longest SIDs and STARs. So the pilot is not short-changed if the furthest departures or arrivals are given by the ATC.

When the pilot programs the FMC, he would set up the STAR for the possible runway (a pilot would know it based on the forecast wind) in use in order to give a good estimate of the landing time for the passengers.

If unsure of the STARs on arrival, a good pilot would set up the most likely STAR for Dubai on his main FMC and the next possible STAR on his standby FMC.

Once the pilot is in contact with Dubai Control, he would be given the correct STAR in use. If it were different from the one he planned for, he would now activate the standby STAR as programmed or set up another new one given.

If the pilot plans for his arrival well in advance with the all the different possible scenarios (possibly only two), it would not be a handful. A good planning is half the battle won!

FMC Tutorial on a Boeing 747-400


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Thank you Captain Lim for your excellent and informative answer.
The only experience I have with all of this is with MSFS 2004 and MSFS FSX FMC via Precision Manuals 737NG etc.

I didn't realise you could setup a secondary FMC also. That's cool. I see what you are saying about a South Easterly SID regardless of Active Runway or not, just have to have both setup as you suggested!!!

Thanks again,
Ianjf , 19 Mar, 2011

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