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by nunuma

Crossing The Atlantic: ETOPS and Oceanic Procedures (Part 2)

Crossing The Atlantic: ETOPS and Oceanic Procedures (Part 2)

At the dispatcher's office for a short visit

pfpx flight plan notes}

The purpose of this flight is to give an overview of activities in the cockpit before and during our oceanic crossing. Looking at the flight plan screen on PFPX we can see:

  • We will be flying London Heathrow (EGLL) to Boston Logan International Airport (KBOS). We expect the runway in use at Heathrow to be 27L and the landing runway at KBOS 22L.

  • Our zero fuel weight for today is 206.387 Kg.

  • The route our dispatch office prepared for us is (well, you will do this yourself, just like I did, but let's pretend I did not go through that at all and I just arrived at the dispatch office, fresh and shiny):

CPT3G CPT UL9 KENET UN14 PEMOB UN24 SLANY DCT MALOT NATA CYMON N144B EBONY DCT ENE OOSHN2

We read this as:

We expect runway 27L today and the Compton 3 Gold departure to Compton. The standard route to the OCA entry point takes us via UL9 to KENET, UN14 to PEMOB, UN24 to SLANY, and then DIRECT MALOT. At MALOT we enter Track A, which ends at CYMON. From CYMON, via the North American Route (NAR) N114B, we fly to EBONY then DIRECT KENNEBUNK (ENE), which is also our transition for the OOSHN2 STAR at KBOS.

Track A was the best alternative for today:

pfpx nat track roues}

We did not go over this on Part 1 so we will spend a few moments here. I go by the idea that if I have 8 hours to spend on a flight, I can give planning a good 30 minutes at least. I run 3-4 tracks and see what gives me the best fuel economy, less distance, less time en route. This is done by returning to your flight information page after computing a flight, editing the route, and computing again. PFPX will save all results and will compare them to each other and underline where a route performs better than another one. As you can see, I also save the routes so that I can load them again if PFPX crashes and of course, I can see which route is in which line via the Route/Remarks section. I delete these routes after I finish my flight since the North Atlantic Tracks change daily (for each direction). Below is the ETOPS page setup in PFPX. We will go through all of that as after we get our briefing package.

pfpx etops pmdg 777}
  • We will be operating under ETOPS180.

  • At any time during our route, we will be within 180 minutes/1320nm of one of our ETOPS alternates, based on our performance in a hypothetical one-engine out + decompression scenario.

  • Our adequate airports for today are EGLL EINN CYYT CYYG KSFM. PFPX picked them up for us. I just switched EIKY with EINN instead.

  • We will enter ETOPS 60 minutes from EINN in our outbound leg.

  • We will exit ETOPS 60 minutes to CYYT in our inbound leg.

  • Our ETOPS alternates for today are EINN and CYYT.

  • We will be at FL360 and M.84 as long as we are on Track A.

Let’s get our briefing package now and start going over each part. This is based on the default PFPX format. The terminology might change with other OFP formats, but you will find what is what with ease.

The flight briefing package

payload pfpx pmdg 777 cross atlantic}

Everything is important, but what you really need to take note is:

  • RELEASE fuel. This is what you will load in your PMDG menu (54824).

  • FINAL RESV + ALTN FUEL. This what you put in the FMC reserves entry block (9255).

  • ZERO FUEL WEIGHT This is what you put in the PMDG Payload menu 209106.

Limitations will be fine unless you ignored PFPX warnings when computing the flight. In that case, check carefully the weights and their limits. If you are flying in major events, make sure to load in some extra fuel.

  • COST INDEX That is what we will put in the FMC PERF page.

  • INIT ALT The first altitude we will climb to. It should be the same in our FMC.

Other information in this section provides information in regards to weight limits, fuel penalties for different altitudes, or weights than those in the OFP and other information which is a good read, but we got what we needed here.

The section related to estimated and scheduled times is of no relevance for us today. The flight will be flown departing at around 1530z. However, take note of them in your flights. If your destination has special noise abatement procedures or runway configurations, it pays to know ahead. More importantly, you check your estimated time of arrival with TAFs for the airport and see what the weather will be like when you get there.

ETOPS Briefing

pfpx etops briefing pmdg 777}

Again, everything is important, but what you really need to take note is:

EROPS ENTRY (EINN) - Read as ETOPS Entry Point. This is where you are 60min from your last adequate in the list of adequate airports for this flight. In this case, EINN. Its coordinates and location relative to the next waypoint in your route are shown.

EROPS EXIT (CYYT) - Read as ETOPS Exit Point. This is where you are 60min to your first adequate in the list of adequate airports for this flight, in your inbound leg. In this case, CYYT. Its coordinates and location relative to the next waypoint in your route are shown.

EROPS ALTNS WX/NOTAM SUITABILITY PERIOD Weather for EINN is of relevance to us from 1931z-2156z. Weather for CYYT is of relevance to us from 2122z-2156z. Weather, if provided in the weather briefing section of the briefing package. I will not go over it in this guide. For this flight, I am looking at ceiling above 1800ft and visibility of more than 10Km in both cases. I have to check even though I selected them in the first place. Reason being you have to sign the dispatch so it is a good idea to read and make sure someone did not mess up by mistake.

ONE ENGINE OUT DECOMP ETP 1 FOR EINN/CYYT - Read as ETOPS Critical Point between EINN and CYYT. This is the point where it takes us as long to reach EINN as it does to reach CYYT. Make sure fuel planned at the ETP/CRP, is enough by comparing it to the ETP FUEL REQ. In this case, it is. If it was not, PFPX would have made an extra entry for ETOPS fuel in my fuel dispatch. Take note of the coordinates as we will put them in the FMC when we get to that point.

pfpx etops waypoints navlog}

ATC ROUTE - In our case, that is what I file on VATSIM.

ALTERNATE PLANNING - KJFK with the route to get there from KBOS. This goes into the FMC as well.

NAVLOG - What follows is the NAVLOG. This where you crosscheck winds and fuel usage, get information as for the leg distance and what heading to track towards each of them and other important information. I am assuming you are somewhat familiar with it. If you are not familiar then I don't think it is polite not to go over what is what:

  • AWY - Stands for airway. (UL9, UN14, NAT A). SID and STAR name appear in this column as well.

  • WAYPOINT NAME - Exactly as it says.

  • MT - Magnetic Track. After each waypoint, we need to crosscheck if that is the track we turned to.

  • ALT/TMP - Altitude and temperature at that altitude. Not shown when climbing or descending.

  • WND/VEL FREQ - Forecast wind direction and speed for the waypoint and altitude. Below wind, the frequency of waypoint when that is a navigational aid is given.

  • TAS/GS - True airspeed / Ground speed

  • REM/DIST - Distance to the next waypoint and below that our progressive distance to Boston in this case.

  • FUEL Column - Shows expected fuel remaining and fuel used at each waypoint.

  • POSITION - Shows the coordinates (LAT/LON) for the waypoint.

The last column is related to time, it shows the leg time and cumulative time en route and you have dots to fill them with your actual values during the flight.

The rest of the briefing contains wind information, the weather briefing for our airports of interest, including ETOPS alternates, NOTAMS, and wind charts. I look at the wind information and weather briefing, scroll through the NOTAMS, and look at the wind charts briefly.

pmdg flight deck cockpit}

Finally, we are on the flight deck. This is the part most of you wanted in the first place, but a good ground knowledge refreshment does not hurt anybody. I will not outline the normal procedures flow here, but just the procedures related to ETOPS and oceanic while on the ground and en route.

pmdg 777 fmc}pmdg eicas fmc}

Until now we have:

  • Loaded fuel and payload as per PFPX flight plan.

  • Loaded the route in the FMC.

  • Did the normal flows for this stage. In the screenshot above I am checking if oil quantity is more than 23 quarts so that I am good to start the engines when I get to that point.

  • In the PERF INIT page you will notice fuel is at 15.0Kg. That is because I use real-time refueling on the Ground Operations menu. It will load all the quantity eventually. Notice the RESERVES entry from our OFP and confirm ZFW is correct as per the flight plan.

Let's play with circles

Let’s get that ETOPS information in our FMC, no time to mess around looking at how beautiful this bird is.

pmdg left fmc}pmdg fix pages}

There are 4 pages with 4 fixes we can set up. For our ETOPS on the ground, we will use FIX page 3 and FIX page 4. The reason being we will have FIX 1 and FIX 2 to play with en route (read: use as needed to asses information in terms of distance, bearing and time to waypoints/fixes of interest... but boy that is a boring sentence).

How to

  • Go to FIX page 3

  • Type EINN in the scratchpad and copy it to the FIX entry (1L).

  • Type /453 in the scratchpad and copy it to the first BRG/DIS (3L)

  • Go to FIX page 4

  • Type CYYT in the scratchpad and copy it to the FIX entry (1L).

  • Type /453 in the scratchpad and copy it to the first BRG/DIS (3L)

Why

Let’s get back to our list of adequate airports:

EGLL EINN (ETOPS ENTRY) / (ETOPS EXIT) CYYT CYYG KSFM

  • 60 minutes from EINN we will reach our ETOPS Entry Point.

  • 60 minutes = 453nm for us (remember from Part 1, page 3?)

  • 60 minutes to CYYT we will reach our ETOPS Exit Point.

  • 60 minutes = 453nm for us (as usual)

What drew 60 minutes / 453nm circles around our last adequate outbound, and first adequate inbound. Where the EINN circle intersects our path and we are leaving the circle, that is our ETOPS Entry Point. Where the CYYT circle intersect our path and we are entering the circle, that is our ETOPS exit point. We will check this out on the ND in a short time.

Keep in mind This time it happens that EINN and CYYT are also our ETOPS alternates. That is not always the case. These circles are drawn around your last and first adequate, not around your ETOPS alternates.

Setting alternates on the FMC

pmdg 777 alternates}

You can access your ALTERNATES page from the RTE Page. The FMC calculates the 4 closes airports you may divert to. We will leave two for the FMC to play with, and two we will play with ourselves. Grab your two closest ETOPS Alternates, which in my case are EINN and CYYT. I have only two in my case, if more then two, you put in the closest two and update en route so that it keeps being that way.

  • Go to ALTN Page (via RTE page or INIT/REF INDEX)

  • Type EINN in the scratchpad and copy it to the FIX entry (1L)

  • Type CYYT in the scratchpad and copy it to the FIX entry (1L)

You will see them in the bottom of the list and they will show constantly in ND in preference to other alternates. You will see arrows pointing to them in the ND if you zoom far enough as well as a circle with the letter "A" next to their identifier.

Set up the RTE2 page on the FMC

rte2 page pmdg 777}nd view rte2 pmdg 777}

That looks cool, doesn’t it?

Go to your RTE 2 page. We will use it to get our ETOPS alternates, ETOPS Critical Point, destination and destination alternate with the route from our destination to alternate. In the images above you can see the setup on page 1/4 of the RTE 2 page LEGS. I have my ND set in PLAN mode in the EFIS and zoomed out to give you an idea of what this process will do for use. The point you see in the middle of the ND N54W033 is our Critical Point. You have direct lines from EINN to the CRP and from the CRP to CYYT. Because we put EINN and CYYT on our ALTN page as well, their identifier and direction are also shown.

pmdg fmc 777}

What

On our RTE 2 Page, we will put the following (in the same order):

- First ETOPS Alternate - Critical Point - Second ETOPS Alternate ---DISCONTINUITY-- - DESTINATION - ROUTE TO DESTINATION ALTERNATE - DESTINATION ALTERNATE

Why

  • It will display that info when we want to and provide us with a better situational awareness using the ND.

  • It provides a quick way to load the directs to our ETOPS alternates depending on where we are in relation to the critical point (read: which alternate is closer).

  • It provides us with a very quick way to load the route to our destination alternate (KJFK) in case things go south in Boston and we need to divert to the alternate.

  • It looks damn cool on the ND and it looks like we know what we are doing when posting screenshots around :).

How

  • Go to your RTE 2 page which is accessible via RTE 1 page.

  • Type EGLL and KBOS for our origin/destination.

  • Go to the next page. Type EINN in the scratchpad and put it in 1R.

  • Note the critical point for one engine out and decompression from the PFPX OFP (page 5).

pmdg pfpx etops}
  • Enter N5406.7W03332.3 (Note: no spaces, add zero after “W”). Place that in 2R

  • Type EGLL and KBOS for our origin/destination

  • Type CYYT in the scratchpad and put it in 3R

  • Confirm there is a discontinuity. KBOS (or your destination) will be right after that.

  • From your ALTERNATE PLANNING section of the OFP (page 6 here), get and enter your route to KJFK, which is our destination alternate, including KJFK. It is shown in the third screenshot above.

Are you where you are?

Let's do our pre-departure position check. We’ll be flying over an area with no radar coverage, so pay double attention to your position.

pfpx pmdg parking location chart coordinates}pmdg position check}

Why

  • Check if our current position is accurate.

  • Check that our position sources are working properly (GPS/INERTIAL)

How

  • Grab your charts for the departure airport and locate the gate positions. I get my charts from Navigraph. I am at stand 533 at Heathrow and the coordinates from the chart are N51° 28.3 W000° 29 compared to N51° 28.4 W000 28.9 from my FMC, which is available on the POS REF page 2/3. All is well.

  • Press 6R to switch to BRG/DIST so that compare the FMC position to our position sources.

  • We read inertial difference at 0.0 All is well, but if that was above 0.3-0.4 I would think that PMDG service based failures were playing tricks on me.

This is done along with all other stuff as well. We have gone through the preflight and before start checklist and are about to start taxiing. A few words next page on our oceanic cruise today and off we go.

pmdg 777 nose view}

From Shanwick with love

NORTH ATLANTIC TRACK MESSAGE ----------------------------------------------------------------------- (NAT-1/3 TRACKS FLS 310/390 INCLUSIVE SEP 21/1130Z TO SEP 21/1900Z PART ONE OF THREE PARTSA MALOT 53/20 54/30 54/40 51/50 DENDU CYMON EAST LVLS NIL WEST LVLS 310 320 330 340 350 360 370 380 390 EUR RTS WEST NIL NAR NIL -

The message is longer, but the part of concern to us is this one.

  • We will be entering Track A at MALOT and after that, we head for 53N 020W. After 53N020W we go to 54 N 030W

  • 030W? Sounds familiar? Because it is. You read about it in Part 1.

pfpx gander shanwick 030 line}

Here is the deal with this one. 030W is where the FIR boundary between Shanwick and Gander runs through. The NAT message valid time is (from above) 1130Z to 1900Z. The valid time is not based on your departure time but on the time you are expected to cross 030W. This means that if we cross 54N030W before 1900Z we're fine with Track A, and if not, we can still cross the other way, but on a random routing. We expect to cross at 030W at 1835z today.

  • After 54N 030W we head to 54N 040W, followed by 51N 050W, DENDU and we exit the track at CYMON.

  • We have filed to be at FL360 and M.84 as long as on Track A and FL360 is available as we can see from the message.

  • We will request oceanic clearance from Shanwick 40-45 minutes before entering the oceanic airspace, which means that we do that 40-45 minutes before reaching MALOT.

  • We take note of our SELCAL and make sure that it is correct in your pilot client, and also part of our remarks section of the flight plan if we fly on VATSIM.

  • We have noted the track message for today and have it handy for when we request clearance later on. For now, we are entering Irish airspace and will soon leave the land, and since they have not yet made floating VOR's, we will soon run out of ground-based navigational aids.

Oceanic Clearance

It is 1648z in the sim with an ETA at MALOT of 1733z, it is a good idea to request clearance now, so I can do a position accuracy check before we fly away from ground-based stations.

At the time you are required to request oceanic clearance, you are still with Shannon Control. Ask for permission to switch to Shanwick (or you can just text Shanwick, but this is better and more enjoyable). The conversation will generally go like this:

  • Pilot: Shannon, BAW21G, request frequency change to Shanwick for oceanic clearance.

  • Shannon: BAW21G, frequency change approved, report when back.

  • Pilot: Approved, will report back, BAW21G.

I told you to write that track message down because we will need it now. This can happen via CPDLC once the feature is fully supported on both the VATSIM and PMDG side of things.

  • Pilot: Shanwick good evening, BAW21G, with clearance request.

  • Shanwick: BAW21G, good evening. Go ahead.

  • Pilot: BAW21G, requesting Boston via NAT A, MALOT, 53N 020W, 54N 030W, 54N 040W, 51N 050W, DENDU, and CYMON. Flight level 360 and Mach .84. We estimate MALOT at 1733z, TMI 264.

  • Shanwick: BAW21G, Shanwick copies you request Boston via NAT A, MALOT, 53N 020W, 54N 030W, 54N 040W, 51N 050W, DENDU, and CYMON. Flight level 360 and Mach .84, estimating MALOT at 1733z, TMI 264.

  • Pilot: Shanwick that is correct, BAW21G.

  • Shanwick; BAW21G, roger, stand by for clearance.

Shortly after

  • Shanwick: BAW21G, I have your clearance, are you ready to copy?

  • Pilot: We are ready to copy, BAW21G.

  • Shanwick: Shanwick clears BAW21G to Boston via NAT A, TMI 264, FL360 and Mach .84, no time restriction for MALOT.

  • Pilot: Cleared to Boston via NAT A, TMI 264, FL360 and Mach .84, no time restriction for MALOT, BAW21G.

  • Shanwick: BAW21G, readback correct, stand by for SELCAL.

After my speakers go DING DONG

  • Pilot: Shanwick, SELCAL received, BAW21G.

  • Shanwick: BAW21G, you can switch to domestic, first position report over MALOT.

  • Pilot: Switching to domestic, with first position report over MALOT, BAW21G.

We switch to Shannon and get ready to perform a position accuracy check, but just before that a few notes:

  • Overland you communicate via VHF radios. Over the Atlantic however, we use HF radios which are terribly noisy due to interference. HF is not simulated on VATSIM however, all the same

  • Listening to all other pilots going with their position report is not fun for a long time.

  • SELCAL gets you away from that noise by acting as a flight deck "phone number". I.e. You do your position report and switch frequencies so you are not hearing all the mambo jumbo going around. If ATC wants to talk to you, they just call you via SELCAL. You will hear a DING DONG sound which is different depending on your SELCAL. My 777 SELCAL is GJ-CS, and I put that in a prominent place at the beginning of the remarks section of the flight plan. It may be the only thing I put there on VATSIM as anything else will probably be skipped by controllers.

  • If the controller does not initiate the SELCAL check, you should do so before flying past solid ground and into the ocean. Just ask for a SELCAL check and tell the controller your SELCAL. He will send the SELCAL to you in no time and you are good to go.

  • You ask for a SELCAL before entering oceanic airspace. In this case, you ask it from Shanwick.

  • You ask for a SELCAL before crossing 030W (FIR boundary) to make sure you establish positive SELCAL is OK with Gander as well.

  • On VATSIM if either Shanwick or Gander is online, they control both FIRs. If only one of them is online there is no need to confirm SELCAL again at 030W, although I recommend so you establish a routine for oceanic flights independent of ATC coverage on VATSIM.

Restrictions

  • Shanwick might clear you for a different FL than what you asked. You fly that flight level.

  • Shanwick might clear you but ask that you reach MALOT (in this case) before or not before a certain time. You monitor your ETA to MALOT and take actions accordingly or inform ATC of your ETA and inability to comply with the asked time.

Squawk / Transponder Code

  • We switch from our assigned one to 2000, 30 minutes after oceanic entry.

  • We estimate MALOT at 1733, at around 1805z we will set our squawk to 2000.

  • We will be given a brand new one when we exit the track.

Strategic Lateral Offset Procedure

  • To reduce the chance of mid-air collisions, we fly centerline or offset by 1 or 2 nm right of our track.

  • How we accomplish this? On RTE 1 Page, type R01 or R02 in the scratchpad and put in 6R to activate. Depending on what your choice was you will be flying 1nm or 2nm right of the track.

  • On this flight, we are flying centerline. Make it a habit to alternate between the three options on your flights. VATSIM is not that busy, but it does get busy during events, etc. If we can avoid close encounters and do out part of the job properly, everyone is happy.

  • Getting to your offset might be quicker with the HDG SEL mode instead of LNAV. You re-engage LNAV when you intercept the offset track. You can of course just not touch anything and LNAV will turn and intercept the offset track on its own.

  • You offset AFTER entering oceanic airspace (after MALOT in this case) and return on centerline BEFORE exiting the oceanic airspace. You only offset within the track.

Position accuracy check

As we get near Shannon, we are going to perform a position check with one of the ground-based navigational aids. In this case, it will be Shannon VOR (SHA). We will crosscheck what the position in relation to SHA is indicated by our FMC compared to the one by our radios. If they are close, then we are all set and will continue straight to the ocean. Which station you use is up to you. You do this before you leave the area and when you are close to the station you will tune to. Let's get over with this so we can get to our first position report over MALOT.

pmdg position accuracy check check}pmdg position accuracy check}

How

Go to your NAV/RAD page and tune in a nearby radio station. In my case, I put in SHA and select the SHANNON VOR/NDB from the list that pops up. Take note of: RADIAL (FMC) 126 DME (ND) 35.5

Go to your FIX page 1 (remember we left 2 fix pages empty for use en route? This is why.) Type SHA in the scratchpad and put up to 1L. Note the BRG/DIS just to the right. BEARING (FMC) 126 (0° difference from radio data) DME (ND) 34 (1.5nm difference from radio data)

The tolerances within 50nm of the station tuned are 8° on the bearing and 4nm on the distance. Our check results in a difference of 1.5nm, which is less than 4nm, so we are good to go ahead.

Altimeters check before entering RVSM airspace

Check the captain's, first officer's and stand by altimeter for any disagreement. The tolerance here is 200ft between the captains and the first officer's. Higher than that and your oceanic cruise is over. Get back to ATC to sort out what to do. Refer to the stand by altimeter to investigate the issue and have an end to that endless argument you are having with your first officer. However, they always agree on my end.

Position reports

It is time already. We are no flying over MALOT and our first position report is due.

pmdg vatsim position report}malot pmdg position report}

Let's check a few things first:

  • Confirm LNAV Engaged

  • Confirm VNAV Engaged

  • Confirm the next waypoint with the one in your OFP, with its track and distance.

  • Confirm offset 0, R01, or R02 in route page and activate after passing MALOT for SLOP (page 14). We are flying the centerline in this case.

Verify position accuracy again on POS/REF PAGE 2 and at every waypoint:

  • Press 6R to switch to BRG/DIST so that compare the FMC position to our position sources.

  • Check GPS is being used by the FMC for position updating FMC (GPS) is shown on line 1.

  • Check our inertial position doesn't differ by more than 4nm. In this case, they do not differ at all (0.0nm).

  • Check that our actual navigational performance is better than our required navigational performance (RNP). In this case, we have an RNP of 2 and an actual of 0.06. In other words, our requirement is for our airplane to calculate its position correctly within a radius of 2nm. It is actually calculating it correctly within 0.06nm. That's the default RNP value in the PMDG 777LR and I have not touched it.

Before we have that conversation with Shanwick telling them where we are and where we are headed, you might have noticed the dotted green arc in our ND, which is part of the 60min/453nm circle we built around EINN. Where that dotted arc intersects the magenta path representing our route, we reach our ETOPS entry point. Check the weather and NOTAMs for EINN and CYYT again so you are aware of the situation.

OK, checks all done, it is time to give Shannon some accurate information regarding our position so they can do the math and keep us apart from other aircraft.

Our first position report

Go to your POSITION REPORT page from the PROG page (previous page), contact Shanwick, and then just read what your airplane is telling you out loud to Shanwick.

  • Pilot: Shanwick, hello again. BAW21G with position report.

  • Shanwick: BAW21G, go ahead.

  • Pilot: BAW21G reports MALOT at time 1732z, FL360, and Mach .84. We estimate 53N 020W at time 1756z. Next 54N 030W.

  • Shanwick: BAW21G, Shanwick copies you over MALOT at time 1732Z, FL360 and Mach .84, estimate 53N 020W at time 1756z. Next 54N 030W.

  • Pilot: Shanwick, that is correct, BAW21G.

  • Shanwick: BAW21G, thank you, next report 53N 020W.

  • Pilot: Next report at 53N 020W, BAW21G.

We report the same way over each position and go through the same routine. It really takes less time to do than write or read about it. We will now go through some other nice things. We are now further into our route and approaching the critical point and some other interesting things. Let's see. First, let's assume we got distracted and got over a compulsory reporting waypoint. Once past that waypoint, it doesn't show in the ND as it is behind us, and we may miss the report altogether. I add a 10 minutes reminder after the waypoint in the ND. Here is how to do it yourself and have that reminder on the ND, so if you return to the cockpit and see that green dot and time, you know sometime in the last 10 minutes you passed a compulsory waypoint.

position report reminder vatsim pmdg pfpx}

How

  • From the ND, take note of our next waypoint and the estimated time of arrival: 5430N /1843Z

  • On FIX page 1 or 2, enter the waypoint name in the FIX (1L).

  • Add 10 minutes to the estimated time of arrival 1843z + 10min = 1853z.

  • Type 1853Z in the scratchpad. Place it in 6R (ETA-ALT).

  • Notice the green dot with the time (1853Z) appearing on the ND.

You can use the same procedure to do other stuff related to time and waypoints.

RTE 2 Page in action

position report reminder vatsim pmdg pfpx}

Go to your LEGS page. Via 6L, go to RTE 2 LEGS. Have a look at your ND.

Let's talk about what the ND is telling us:

Well, for starters it is telling us a lot if we know how to read it and you probably can if you read this far. If you compare these images to the previous ones, you can see that by just showing RTE 2 legs, we made our ETOPS information available on the ND. That is how we toggle it on and off to reduce clutter.

  • N54W033 is not a waypoint on our route. It is our Critical Point / Equi-time Point.

  • There are two dotted cyan lines there. One takes your directly to EINN and the other directly to CYYT, our ETOPS alternates. They meet at the Critical Point (CRP). Past the CRP we go to CYYT, until then, we go to EINN should we need to. Pay attention not to inadvertently activate RTE 2.

  • We are also approaching 54N 030W, which means that our next position report will be to Gander Oceanic as we will be in their airspace. We need to do a SELCAL check with Gander as well to establish positive SELCAL.

  • The green dotted arc in the bottom is our circle around EINN.

  • The green dot with "1853z" next to it, is our 10 minutes reminder past 54N 030W, which reminds us of to accomplish our waypoint crossing checks and the position report. You would hardly forget as we are required to make contact with Gander 10 minutes before entry.

Leaving ETOPS and exiting oceanic airspace

pmdg 777 leaving oceanic airspace}

We are now exiting our ETOPS segment. As you can see we are crossing the circle around CYYT and are now within 60 minutes / 453nm of an adequate airport. We have not exited our track yet. We are just exiting our ETOPS segment. We'll check the accuracy of our position as we enter the area of radio navigation reliability, just as we did when we exited it. The procedure is identical to the one we used to check the accuracy of our position when we left Ireland. If you are given a "Radar contact" by the ATC, there is no need to do it, however, it is good airmanship to go through the checks and make sure we are all set.

Some final notes as we exit oceanic airspace:

  • Do not change altitude or speed without ATC confirmation (if ATC online).

  • Confirm the rest of your route in the FMC.

  • Set your assigned squawk or change to the generic IFR squawk code (2200), in this case.

  • Do not forget to get back to centerline if you were flying offset before leaving the track.

That's a wrap on a long Part 2.

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