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PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff 2 - 1

PMDG 747-400 Type Rating Course Introduction

What is the PMDG Type Course?: This type course is designed to help you learn and explore various aspects of the PMDG 747-400 that you might not otherwise have discovered after reading the supplied documentation. Please note that this type course will assume that you have read the documentation we supplied with the airplane. This course will also assume that you have printed the Chapter 5 Normal Procedures checklists, and the Flight Use Checklist to use and follow during the type course. The entire type course will consist of several lessons broken into pieces. These pieces will roughly reconstruct the entire type rating maneuver evaluation conducted for certification in the 747-400 type aircraft. Please note that this type course is written very generally for the learning and interest of our flight simulator customers and does not reflect the actual operating procedure of any specific carrier or training techniques taught by any specific training facility. This type course may contain errors and omissions which we may correct from time to time at our discretion. Additionally it stands to reason that no aspects of this course should be used for any purpose other than the enjoyment of our PMDG 747-400/400F simulation products. Lesson Plan Overview: The PMDG Type Course will begin at KBFI, where you will learn to power up the PMDG 747 from a parked and de-powered state. You will be taken through programming of the FMC for a flight from Boeing Field in Seattle, Washington, (KBFI) to Moses Lake, Washington (KMWH) where you will learn to conduct various visual and instrument approaches in order to improve your proficiency with the PMDG 747-400. Along the way some lessons may require repetition in order to help you learn specific tasks. To help with this repetition process, we will provide specific saved flights that you should load and run in order to ensure that your experience matches the teaching materials for the course. Please remember at all times that in the complex field of aviation there are many different regulatory bodies, corporate policies and personal operating procedures that vary from others, and sometimes they even conflict with one another. Do not be intimidated by different techniques, as it is always valuable to expand your skills as a pilot but we recommend that you use the techniques we teach in this course at least initially until your grain comfort with the airplane. Our hope is that upon completion of this Type Course, you will have gained sufficient experience with the operation of the PMDG 747-400 to dramatically increase your enjoyment of this simulation. It has been our experience that many customers never take the time to really learn the depths of this simulation and subsequently miss out on the true simulation value and learning experience of this product. We hope that this type course will help you to experience just how complex this PMDG 747-400 simulation truly is!

Copyright 2006 PMDG All Rights Reserved

For use with PMDG 747-400/400F ONLY

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PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff

PMDG 747-400 Type Rating Course Lesson Two: Takeoff


Lesson Two Overview: For this exercise, I have provided a series of saved flights. These flights are designed to work with specific sections of this lesson, and you will be prompted which saved flight to load during each phase of the lesson. Each saved flight will be used to demonstrate a different technique for takeoff. Some of the saved flights will be reused a few times in order to demonstrate different techniques. This lesson picks up where Lesson One ended, so you will notice that the aircraft/FMS setup is familiar! This lesson will take you through normal takeoff techniques, aborted takeoffs, engine failures during takeoff, high and low gross weight takeoffs/aborts/engine failures, and you will finish up with low visibility takeoff procedures. The intent is to teach you the proper techniques to use for planning your takeoff and preparing for all eventualities that you might face while operating your PMDG 747-400/400F. What you will need: The following items are needed in order for you to gain the most benefit from this course: You must have a copy of the Type Course source files. (You should have them if you are reading this!) You should print ALL of Chapter 5: Normal Procedures and keep it nearby for reference. (Hint: Windows START menu, ALL PROGRAMS, then PMDG Simulations, PMDG 747400 Operating Manuals.) You will also need to print the CHECKLIST located in the PMDG Simulations, PMDG 747-400 menu as well.

You will find it most helpful to print this Lesson Plan before commencing. Additionally, we find that it is helpful if you keep your checklists nearby in printed format as you will reference them continually during your first few starts. You can use any PMDG 747-400/400F livery for the purpose of this course as it may suite your taste. The images within the documentation will be from the new PMDG 747-400F.

Installing This Type Course Lesson: The ZIP file that contains the lesson plan should be unzipped to your main Flight Simulator directory. We have structured the zip file so that all of the required files will be appropriately placed in the correct directories for you provided that you have use directories selected in WinZip. If you have problems, just copy the following files to the correct locations: PMDG-744-TRC-<lesson name>.sav -> <Flight Sim Root Directory>\PMDG\747400\PanelState\ PMDG-744-TRC-<lesson name>.FLT -> <Flight Sim Root Directory>\Flights\PMDG\ PMDG-744-TRC<lesson name>.WX -> <Flight Sim Root Directory>\Flights\PMDG\

For use with PMDG 747-400/400F ONLY

Copyright 2006 PMDG All Rights Reserved

PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff 2 - 3

PART ONE: How Hard Can This Be?: Note: At this point, please stop your simulation and use the FLIGHTS, Select A Flight menu in MSFS to load the saved flight PMDG_744_TRC_Lesson_2_Part_1. Goal: The point of this lesson section is to take you through the completion of your pre-takeoff checks and aircraft configuration. During this section you will also learn some valuable techniques related to taxiing the aircraft. Takeoff. How hard can it be? Push up the throttles, maintain the centerline, and raise the nose before you run out of pavement. Simple, right? Not really Takeoff is a very routine part of flight, but it is routine only because of the proper preparation and planning that must go into it. With any size airplane you should never take casually the energy required to take an aircraft from a standstill to climbing away from the solid ground. The larger the airplane, the more interested you should become in the amount of energy involved. Now to be clear, Im not talking about energy in terms of fuel! The energy that you are concerned with in this case is the kinetic energy involved. I dont want to turn this into a physics exercise, but by the time you finish this lesson, you will no doubt agree that energy management is extremely important! Lets get started! Start Flight Simulator 2004 and use the SELECT FLIGHT option to load PMDG-744-TCLesson2_Part_One from within the PMDG folder. Your aircraft will appear sitting on the ramp in front of a hangar at Boeing King Country Field in Seattle, Washington. This saved flight picks up where you left off after starting the airplane and completing the after start checklist.

Someone Call a Taxi?: Techniques to use for taxi vary widely by airplane. With the 747-400, you will find that the amount of thrust required to move the airplane varies widely depending upon the weight of the airplane. For our flight, we are very lightly loaded for an airplane of this size, so in order to demonstrate our competence to the surrounding ground crews, it is important that we use only the very minimum thrust required to get the airplane moving! (Thrust management is key to the safety of ground crews, other aircraft and in many cases airport buildings and infrastructure! Ask any airline employee who has worked on an airline ramp to tell you about pilots who use thrust without regard to ground crews. They will have colorful stories for you, mostly involving equipment damage and/or personal injuries. Such crews are never favored.) Since our simulator does not provide us with any physical sensation as feedback for acceleration, it can be hard to tell whether the speeds and accelerations we use are realistic when taxiing or flying within the simulator. When observing most simmers ground operations in the online world, it is fairly universal that most sim pilots are using far too much thrust on the ground, and taking corners at far too fast a speed for the comfort of passengers. Exactly how much thrust is enough will depend largely upon the weight of the airplane, as already mentioned. For this demonstration of , well use our current setup to demonstrate how it should look in terms of a realistic approach to taxiing the 747-400.

Copyright 2006 PMDG All Rights Reserved

For use with PMDG 747-400/400F ONLY

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PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff

At 600,000lbs you will experience a realistic breakaway thrust and taxi acceleration if you gently advance the thrust levers until you see approximately 35% thrust set on all four engines. I say approximately because it is not necessary to set precisely 35% on all four engines, as you can see here:

If you watch the taxiway surface carefully, you will see a very slow commencement of motion and a very gentle acceleration. In congested areas, you are looking for a ground speed of between eight and twelve knots. On long straight-away taxiways, you can allow the speed to increase to 20 knots, but care should be taken to reduce taxi speed to approximately 8-12 knots again when turning corners. You can monitor your ground speed on the upper left corner of the navigation display. When your aircraft is heavier than our current weight, you should gently bring the thrust levers up until you see/feel the same gentle rates of movement to commence taxi. Also, please note that largely as a result of the manner in which MSFS models ground traction of the aircraft wheels, it is sometimes necessary to add a tiny amount of thrust while rounding corners in order to maintain speed. Please Prepare for Departure: We have a very short taxi to our departure runway, so after you have experienced proper taxi technique, stop and set the parking brake in order run the rest of the takeoff preparations that are required. This process, to refresh your memory, starts on page 5-13 of the Normal Procedures, TAXI OUT. Start by bringing up the secondary EICAS STATus display. You will monitor this display while checking your flight controls for functionality. Roll your ailerons left, then right, observing that you see proper deflection for your roll controls. Next check your elevator pitch control response, and finally ensure that both upper and lower rudders respond as you expect to see them. When done, bring up the secondary EICAS ENGine page, as you will want this page active during takeoff so that all available engine parameters are easily seen. Next you want to bring up the TAKEOFF REF page on the FMC and re-acquaint yourself with the takeoff speeds that you have selected. Now that you are officially on your way to the runway, give a moments consideration to whether or not this data might have changed. Did your load change before you left the parking stand/gate? Did you have an unusually extended taxi time or perhaps found yourself sitting with the engines running for a period awaiting a departure slot? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, then it serves you well to revalidate the aircraft weight and takeoff speeds before takeoff in order to ensure proper performance! You can revalidate your weight/speeds by simply re-pressing the appropriate Line Select Keys on the TAKEOFF REF page. Our taxi out is very short, so this does not apply to us in this instance.

For use with PMDG 747-400/400F ONLY

Copyright 2006 PMDG All Rights Reserved

PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff 2 - 5

Next, following your Normal Procedures checklist, bring up the VNAV CLB page by pressing the VNAV key on the FMC. You will note that the page title says ACT ECON CLB, indicating that ECON CLB is the active VNAV climb mode. (Note that this page will vary slightly depending upon whether you are flying the 400 or 400F. This is okay.You will learn more about it later!) This page is giving you some parameters that you should expect to see during your climb to cruise altitude.

Starting in the upper left corner, you can see the Cruise Altitude that you have selected for the flight to Moses Lake. (FL210 is 21,000 feet MSL.) Below this, you will see that the FMS has determined that at our current weight and selected thrust mode, a climb speed of 317 knots will provide most economical performance. We will maintain 317 knots until this speed is equal to M0.803, then we will maintain M.803 for the remainder of the climb. At the 3L LSK, you will note that our speed transition altitude is currently selected as 250/10000 or, 250 knots below 10,000. There is a nearly mythical misunderstanding that you may never exceed 250 knots below 10,000 in the USA, however this is exactly that: A misunderstanding. If your slowest clean speed (the speed at which the airplane can fly with the flaps completely retracted) is greater than 250 knots, you simply need to advise ATC and they will authorize the fast speed for you in the climb. You will normally need this assistance when attempting to climb at extremely heavy weights (about 700,000lbs is a general rule of thumb.) If you will need a faster speed when below 10,000 MSL, or if, for example, ATC has given you a rigid speed restriction that cannot be exceeded, you can enter it into this page by up-selecting the speed/altitude restriction to the 4L LSK using the following format: SSS/AAAAA Entering a restriction as such will override the normal restriction shown at 3L. On the right side of the display, you will see your altimeter transition altitude displayed. (In this case, 18000 MSL) Once above this altitude you are required to set the aircraft barometric altimeters to a standard setting (29.92 InHg or 1013 Hpa.) The Max Angle speed displayed here is the optimum climb angle given your current weight. You will find that this speed varies significantly depending upon the weight of the aircraft. If you are flying from the Virtual Cockpit (highly recommended if your system will handle it!) then I suggest that you display the TAKEOFF REF page on the captains FMC, and the VNAV CLB page on the First Officers FMC. If you are flying from the 2D cockpit, re-display the TAKEOFF REF page before continuing as this information is more critical to you right now.

Copyright 2006 PMDG All Rights Reserved

For use with PMDG 747-400/400F ONLY

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PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff

Lets review a few details on the TAKEOFF REF page. I know you have read the FMC Users Guide (Chapter 12) in detail, and probably already understand all of the information displayed on this page, but since there are always a few in class who dont do the homework, I want to walk you through this page in order to ensure that you understand the importance of all of the information displayed here. (Speeds will vary slightly between 400/400F)

Starting at the top left, the 1L LSK displays our selected departure flaps setting, and the altitude above ground level at which we expect to begin retracting flaps in order to accelerate for the climb. You can (and SHOULD!) modify the flap retraction altitude to suit surrounding terrain. If there is significant rising terrain around the airport it is sometimes better to increase this number to ensure that you are well clear of terrain before you start reducing your climb gradient in order to accelerate for the flap retraction! The 2L LSK displays the altitude at which you will lower the nose in order to accelerate the airplane for flap retraction in the event of an engine failure during takeoff. Again it is important to ensure that this altitude allows you sufficient clearance for surrounding terrain. 800 feet AGL is the default entry, but you can up select any figure that suits your operational needs. (In fact, here at KBFI, wed probably be better suited raising this figure to 1000.) The 3L LSK displays the trigger that will be used to instruct the FMS to change the target thrust from TAKEOFF thrust to CLIMB thrust. In this case, the selection of FLAPS 5 will cause the thrust mode to change to the climb thrust mode we pre-selected on the THRUST LIMit page. The flaps 5 entry is standard, however in areas where you are surrounded by rising terrain, or in an environment where a maximum rate of climb is desired, you can set this value to an altitude constraint such as 4,000 ft. Using an altitude constraint is most often used when a rapid climb is more important than engine/fuel economy or noise abatement. The 4L LSK allows you to enter a headwind component if one exists, and the slope of the runway in use. (MSFS does not slope runways, so this value should always be zero.) The RW COND entry is important. If there is visible precipitation on the runway, you should set this to WET by up selecting the letter W to the 5L LSK. If there is no precipitation, a D will set this figure to DRY. If you change this setting you will be required to reconfirm the V-Speeds on the right side of the display. Note that if you set this figure to WET, you are telling the FMS that it is your intent to manually select a lower V1 speed on account of the fact that the runway may be slippery or contaminated by precipitation, thus reducing the effectiveness of braking. (You can find these adjustments in Chapter 01, TAKEOFF) On the right side of the display you will see your V-Speeds and the current trim/CG condition. (Remember to enter this trim figure into the elevator trim or you will not get desirable takeoff performance!) Now that you are mostly ready for departure, now is a good time to check and set a few routine items that sometimes change as our departure process evolves: Barometric Setting

For use with PMDG 747-400/400F ONLY

Copyright 2006 PMDG All Rights Reserved

PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff 2 - 7

Flight Director ON Arm desired pitch mode and roll mode for climb out (VNAV and LANV if desired) (How do you know when to use LNAV/VNAV? This will be covered in greater detail in a future Lesson, but for now, the rule of thumb you can use is that if ATC has told you to fly runway heading, then do NOT use LNAV. If ATC tells you to fly your routing immediately upon departure, then use LNAV! VNAV is most often used as it provides over/under speed protection for the airplane. It is not required however.) Ensure your barometric altimeter is set correctly. (A good cross-check here is the yellow ground markings on the altimeter. If they yellow ground proximity markings do not match the center of the altimeter (indicating that you are currently ON the ground) then your barometric setting is incorrect.

<- Incorrect Barometric Setting

Correct Barometric Setting->

Continue with your checklist, and recommence taxi to runway 13R, the active runway we earlier assigned. For the moment we will ignore the protocol of having to receive takeoff clearance from the tower, so just taxi right onto the runway and line yourself up on the centerline as if you had been given instructions to Taxi into position and hold (or Line Up and Wait for our European friends!) Taxiing a city block onto a runway is not always the simplest matter, especially if you are still trying to get used to the geometry of the airplane. A good rule of thumb to use when making a 90 degree RIGHT turn onto the runway is to enter the runway at around 5 knots of ground speed, and continue taxiing straight across the runway until the runway centerline intersects the bottom of the second window post on the FO side of the airplane. You can see this view alignment depicted in the image below:

Copyright 2006 PMDG All Rights Reserved

For use with PMDG 747-400/400F ONLY

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PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff

What if you are making a left turn onto a runway? Easy! Simply look to your left, and when the runway centerline intersects the bottom of your second window post, throw the tiller over and adjust thrust as necessary to rotate around the turn. One operational note here: I mentioned earlier that the MSFS ground friction model is a but suspect. We have done a significant amount of work to make this airplane taxi like the real airplane, but MSFS has some significant limitations due to the incomplete ground friction model used in the simulator. As a result, you will find that it is often helpful to use differential thrust to help get you around slow 90 degree turns like this. My personal technique is to pull the engines on the inside of the turn to idle, and the increase thrust on the outside engines in order to maintain my speed as I round the corner. This is NOT a realistic technique- but it will ensure that the MSFS ground physics bug doesnt make a mockery of your efforts to look professional while lining up on the runway! ;-) Last Moment Checks: The last thing you should accomplish before bringing up the power, is to complete the BEFORE TAKEOFF CHECKLIST. This is a last minute check to ensure that you have your flaps set, you have checked the responsiveness of your flight controls, set your packs for takeoff, refreshed your memory for the desired takeoff thrust, checked to ensure your autopilot Mode Control Panel shows the desired speed/heading/altitude selections, and that you have armed the auto throttle. The last item to go is VERY important. Reach up to your EICAS MCP and press the RECALL button, while observing the caution/warning area on the upper EICAS. Nothing should happen! If you had some hidden system problem buried away that was not currently displayed on the upper EICAS, it would reappear when you press RECALL because you are telling the EIU System that you want to see any messages that were cleared from the status cue but that might still be active. What should you do if something appears? That depends on how much time you have. If the tower has cleared you for takeoff, you should ask politely if you can hold in position for 1 minute. If they refuse, or if you know that the runway is a busy one, then simply tell the tower you need to taxi clear to look at something. Taxi clear of the runway, and use your Abnormals Checklists (Chapter 6) to resolve whatever items is wrong. For our purposes, the caution/warning area should be clear, and we are officially ready to take off!

PART TWO: Fun with Acceleration and Playing the Angles: Note: At this point, please stop your simulation and use the FLIGHTS, Select A Flight menu in MSFS to load the saved flight PMDG_744_TRC_Lesson_2_Part_2. Goal: The purpose of this section of the lesson plan is to teach you the basic techniques used for a normal, four engine takeoff. Weather: Clear, unlimited visibility, no wind. Please note that users of the 747-400 will have slightly different takeoff numbers than those using the 747-400F. This document was written using the 400. Operationally they are the same, but performance numbers very just slightly!

For use with PMDG 747-400/400F ONLY

Copyright 2006 PMDG All Rights Reserved

PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff 2 - 9

You are now prepared for takeoff, but before we launch there are a few techniques and standards that it is important for you to understand. First, lets talk about acceleration! How Fast Can your Reach V1?: Remember when we set the desired takeoff thrust on the TAKEOFF REF page? Since we are lightly loaded, I instructed you to select the TO 2 setting of -15% for takeoff thrust. This is known as a thrust de-rate, or, described another way, it means that we are not going to use all available thrust for takeoff. Other options for the takeoff thrust are TO 1 setting of -5% and the TO setting of 100% of available engine thrust for takeoff. There are some misconceptions that these thrust derates are optional, or are there just to save the airline a bit of money on fuel burned during the takeoff roll. This is partially true, and the rest of their functionality involves safety of flight so it is important that you understand their usefulness! It is true that lower thrust settings will result in less fuel burned during the takeoff. The reason for this reduced fuel burn is that the engines are producing less thrust, which incidentally results in less mechanical wear and tear on the engines themselves. Over the long term this could save you millions of dollars in annual engine maintenance costs across a fleet or airplanes, so it is important for economy and sound maintenance practices that the right amount of thrust be used to get the job done, without using excess. There is an aspect of reduced thrust that applies directly to you, the pilot however! Modern airliners are designed to operate at a broad range of weights. Most notably, this very airplanes takeoff weight can vary by 300,000lbs or more! Since the airplane is designed to accelerate safely to takeoff speed at its maximum weight, the airplane has a significant amount of engine thrust available. If you used all of the available takeoff thrust when the airplane is heavy, it will accelerate to V1 and Vr at a very nominal rate. If the airplane is lightly loaded and you use that same amount of thrust, the airplane will reach flight speeds very rapidly- too rapidly for you to adequately monitor aircraft performance and safely execute the takeoff in some cases! So for this reason, when the airplane is lightly loaded we will select a reduced takeoff thrust in order to minimize wear and tear on the engines, reduce fuel burn during takeoff and to provide a normal acceleration rate for pilot workload and passenger comfort considerations. Heres a live example: Using our current takeoff setup, if you bring up the TAKEOFF REF page, and change the takeoff thrust to TO (100% of available thrust), you can accelerate the airplane from a standstill to V1 (your decision speed) in 19 seconds. While this might seem like a sufficient length of time to ensure your airplane is operating properly, in reality it is a dizzying rate of acceleration and one that would be uncomfortable to most passengers and hard to manage for most crews. Somewhat akin to riding a runaway train! This same takeoff using the TO 1 derate of 5% takes 23 seconds to reach V1. This is still very fast, but we know that our airplane is lightly loaded and we have plenty of runway. So using the TO 2 derate of -15% is more reasonable. Using the TO 2 derate of -15% gives us 26 seconds to ensure that the airplane is functioning well and that the takeoff is progressing normally. The 7 seconds between full power and derated power are very useful when you are managing the complexities of getting a jumbo jet airborne, so I strongly recommend you use them to your advantage!

Copyright 2006 PMDG All Rights Reserved

For use with PMDG 747-400/400F ONLY

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PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff

Note: You can conduct this experiment yourself by starting a timer and pressing your TO/GA button at the same time. Stop the timer upon reaching V1, then select FLIGHT/RESET FLIGHT and change your thrust setting in the FMC, then repeat the procedure. When you are done, reset the flight one more time to return to the current part of the lesson plan.

No Strikers on the Pitch: In smaller aircraft, takeoff is simply a measure of raising the nose wheel off the ground when sufficient speed exists. This is not necessarily the case when flying a jumbo jet! You will notice that in TOGA mode, the flight director commands a pitch rotation of 8 degrees nose up. You can see this on the PFD by looking at the pitch command bar in relation to the pitch scale on the PFD.

This is the pitch that you must maintain in order for the airplane to leave the ground in the correct attitude. The goal is that upon hearing your First Officer call Rotate you should raise the nose of the airplane at approximately 3 degrees per second until you reach 8 degrees of nose up pitch. (This should take you about 3 seconds to do.) If you pitch too slowly, you will greatly extend the takeoff roll of the airplane because the optimal pitch for liftoff takes longer to reach. If you pitch to rapidly, you risk over-rotating the airplane and striking the tail on the runway causing tens of millions of dollars in damage to the airplane. As if all of this wasnt enough, you have other worries too! If you under-rotate (to 6 degrees, lets say) then the airplane is going to need to accelerate to a speed far in excess of your computed takeoff speeds before the wing can generate sufficient lift to fly. If you pitch beyond 8 degrees, you place the airplane at risk of a tail strike. (The tail WILL hit the ground at 11 degrees pitch!) So to summarize: Pitch to low or too slow, and your takeoff roll will take longer and use more runway. Pitch to high or too fast and your tail might wind up smacking the pavement. All of these hazards do not make themselves very evident in a lightly loaded airplane, but at maximum gross takeoff weight, you can extend your takeoff roll 1500 feet or more by underrotating the airplane. This can cause problems with terrain clearance and/or clearing obstructions near the end of the runway, so pay close attention to your rotation! In other words, take three seconds to reach 8 degrees of pitch, then hold it there until the airplane flies away on its own. Not 1 degree more, not 1 degree less! Okay- I think youve waited long enough- its time to fly! To commence your takeoff roll, bring your throttles up to approximately 70% of N1, and pause for a moment to let the engines stabilize.

For use with PMDG 747-400/400F ONLY

Copyright 2006 PMDG All Rights Reserved

PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff 2 - 11

(This note applies only to customers who have installed both the 400 and 400F: A quick rule of thumb to help you reach 70% like a professional, is to bring the throttle thrust index lines up until they are just level with the bottom of the blue N1 indication on the upper EICAS. This will give you approximately 70% of N1.)

After your engines have stabilized at around 70% of N1, press your TOGA button (on the joystick, remember?) and the auto throttle will set takeoff power for you! When your first officer calls out Vee One! you are committed to flight! When he calls Rotate bring your nose up so that in 3 seconds you reach 8 degrees of pitch, then wait for the airplane to fly from the runway! Easy isnt it? Okay, you did a nice job there, but we are going to teach you how to make it even better. After all, an airline pilot is a consummate professional, and only perfection will do! Reset the flight using the FLIGHTS/RESET FLIGHT menu in MSFS. Let us consider for a moment what is happening immediately after the airplane leaves the runway. Once you have attained sufficient speed, assuming you have correctly held your takeoff pitch attitude, this grand old lady will loose her grip on the runway and you will be flying! Suddenly things are going to start happening VERY fast, right? The airplane is climbing, accelerating, the flight director pitch cue is moving, the gear have to come up, all the modes displayed on the PFD are changing and eventually you have to bring the flaps in as well! For this first practice exercise, I want you to forget about navigation, and forget about level off altitudes and gear retraction and all the other niceties of flying. The only thing I want you to do is to play a game called, I am the Bug Commander. Playing With Bugs: Leaving the ground is only the beginning of your excitement when flying an airplane that has the capabilities of the 747-400! Remember way back during the preflight setup when we set the MCP speed bug to 166 knots? (Should be 160 knots in the 400F). Do you remember why? If you pull up the TAKEOFF REF page in the FMC, you will find that your V2 speed is 156 knots for this takeoff. Our instructions were to set the MCP Speed bug to V2+10, or 166knots. The reason we have the bug set to this speed is that you are going to do your very best to maintain approximately this speed during your initial climb to your 1000 AGL flap retraction altitude.

Copyright 2006 PMDG All Rights Reserved

For use with PMDG 747-400/400F ONLY

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PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff

In other words, once your airplane has left the ground, and you know that the tail is clear of danger, you will pitch the nose up firmly in order to stop the increase in airspeed thus converting all of the airplanes energy into climb, rather than acceleration! A quick physics of flight review: At high power settings, the airplane will accelerate while climbing. When this happens some of the airplanes energy is being used to climb, and some is being used to accelerate. For the initial climb after leaving the runway, what you really want to do is to convert ALL of the airplanes energy into a climb. The goal is to get as much room between you and the planet Earth as you possibly can in the shortest time possible. To do this, you pitch up until the airplane stops accelerating! DANGER! Dont over-pitch so that the airplane starts slowing down! This is VERY bad! Conducting this pitch maneuver is pretty straight forward: Once the tail is clear of the ground (50 feet should do it) you simply pitch up until you see that the green acceleration arrow is beginning to shrink. When this happens, you very gently adjust your pitch attitude until the green arrow vanishes. Now maintain this pitch, and HOLD THIS SPEED. There is very little chance that you will capture your V2+10 bug when at very light weights, but at heavy weights, it is very likely. If you are heavy and you can capture the speed bug, then maintain that speed! If the speed bug moves UP, then you are too slow. Push the yoke toward the speed bug to get it back into the middle. If the speed bug moves DOWN, the you are too fast. Pull the toward the speed bug to make it rise. Remember, to capture your speed bug, move the yoke in the direction of the speed bug, and it will come back. Remember: You are the Bug Commander. You tell it where to go, not the other way around! If your airplane is very light, like ours is today, then you should not be too concerned with capturing the V2+10 speed bug. Instead you should focus on firmly converting all of the airplanes energy into climb energy by pitching up until the airplane stops accelerating, then HOLD THAT SPEED. (In our case- you should be able to stop the acceleration at around 175 knots) This is a tough technique to master, but your ability to pitch for speed is an important demonstration of airmanship and you should use the FLIGHT/FLIGHT RESET menu in MSFS to try this technique three or four times before continuing. Okay, howd that go? Now, do you want to know the easy way? (There is always an easy way!) Simply watch what the flight director pitch cue commands for your pitch attitude during takeoff. If you can stick the pitch cue right in the middle of your display, youll have your climb out speed nailed! Reset your flight and try to convert your energy into climb energy using the flight director as your guide. Try this a few times, and you will quickly get the hang of it. You will also notice that the flight director gives you very good guidance for acceleration during the initial climb. When you feel that you have the hang of following the flight director pitch cue, start adding in the gear retraction sequence as well. You will notice that the airplane is quite a bit more eager to accelerate with the gear retracted. Once you have tried this takeoff a few times and feel that you have it mastered try using the Instant Replay function in MSFS and watch your takeoff from the tower view. You will be pleased how realistic your climb out attitude looks! (Because you are doing things correctly!)

For use with PMDG 747-400/400F ONLY

Copyright 2006 PMDG All Rights Reserved

PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff 2 - 13

Time To Climb!: Use the FLIGHT/RESET FLIGHT menu in MSFS to take you back to the beginning of the runway, and lets focus a bit more on the climb out. The climb segment we are going to focus on in this lesson is very short, and things happen very fast, so you may need to reset the flight a few times in order to get all of the pieces into place. Your climb for this lesson is restricted to only 2000 feet because of the published climb-to altitude on the departure procedure for this airport. (If you have AI traffic loaded, you will frequently see departures/arrivals for KSEA passing over your head. THAT is a good reason to make sure you level off at your assigned altitude!) From the time you take off until you reach your initial level off is going to be less than one minute, and during that you need to manage your attention span carefully because this is going to be a busy period of flight For this takeoff, go ahead and retract the landing gear as you normally would. Then simply follow the pitch commands of the flight director. During the climb you are going to notice a few things happening in rapid succession: 1) At 500 AGL, VNAV is going to activate and take over pitch commands to the flight director. When this happens, the speed bug is going to jump up to your climb speed, and VNAV will begin managing all of your speed/pitch requirements to help you manage your climb and acceleration from now until level off. Just follow the flight director! (You will notice that the speed bug jumps to approximately the same speed that you were able to capture by following the flight director in the previous section. Smart airplane, isnt it?)

2) At 1000 AGL, (Remember setting your Flap/Acceleration height on the THRUST REF page?) VNAV is going to command you to lower the nose slightly in order to begin accelerating the airplane in order to retract the flaps. The speed bug will jump to 235 knots, and you should simply follow the pitch cue for proper acceleration.

3) As you pass the small green 5 on your speed tape, select FLAPS 5. At this time you should be very close to your level off at 2000 MSL. Are There Balloons Up Here?: At this point in the climb, you should continue to follow the pitch cue, and you are going to see that the airplane will wind up playing a tough game of catch up as VNAV commands the level off at 2000 MSL. Why? This is not a problem with the simulation. It is in fact a very good demonstration of how powerful your 747-400 is, and how much it dislikes being interrupted from a well planned, carefully executed departure and acceleration process

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PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff

It is unusual in transport category flying to get a level off altitude as low as this 2000 MSL restriction. This is a period of flight where the airplane expects to be accelerating to 240 knots or faster, and it wants to be using all of its power to accelerate and climb simultaneously. Since it is coming out of a normal initial climb mode where the object of the exercise is to climb rapidly, it does not have adequate time to plan for a gently level off, and as such it is likely that at light weights the airplane will overshoot the 2000 climb restriction unless you interceded! Normally during a level off, things happen in a much more sedate fashion, but since our engines are still running at very high climb power settings, the airplane has a tendency to want to balloon through 2000 feet. This is where your airmanship comes in again, along with your good knowledge of how to fly your airplane and how to use the available tools to your advantage! Want to prevent this little overshoot? Reset the flight, and this time, before takeoff, turn on the Flight Path Vector (FPV) by pressing the FPV button on your EFIS MCP:

You will notice a small vector caret appears in the middle of your PFD. This caret shows you the current state of where the airplane is going, regardless of where you have the nose pointed.

No FPV Caret

FPV Caret

In flight, no matter what pitch attitude you have, or what bank angle you might have, the FPV caret will show you where the airplane is actually headed. For this reason it becomes a valuable tool for controlling the aircraft pitch. For example, If you want to quickly pitch the airplane for level flight, simply adjust your pitch until this caret is on the horizon line, and your airplane will fly level. Want a climb gradient of 5 degrees? Set the caret on the 5 degree rung of the pitch ladder and you are there! Want to descend down a 3 degree glide path while flying a visual or ILS approach? Just keep your FPV caret 3 degrees below the horizon, and you will follow a three degree path all the way down. This constantly displayed flight path vector is an extremely useful tool for quickly establishing a specific airplane climb/descent state.

Okay- so lets try the takeoff again, but this time, since you are an experienced 747-400 pilot you are thinking ahead, and you know that this very low level off altitude is going to cause your powerful airplane to overshoot the 2000 MSL level of altitude. You also know that departures from KSEA are going to be passing over your head, so this time, you are going to act preemptively and use your flight path vector to smoothly bring the airplane to level flight right at 2000 feet, even if the flight director overshoots slightly. Ready? Go try it! Now wasnt that easy? You had a plan, you used the right tools and you executed the plan like a professional!

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PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff 2 - 15

A Note On V2 vs. V2+10: It has been observed by some PMDG customers that in our manuals, we instruct you to set the MCP Speed window to V2+10 for takeoff, yet some airlines and operators suggest that you set the V2 speed in the MCP Speed window. Thus you wind up with two different instructions: V2 or V2+10! At PMDG we chose V2+10 simply because this was the technique used by the carrier that initially provided us with data on the airplane. We have since learned that V2 is a more common setting for the majority of the worlds airlines, but for practical reasons we continue to recommend V2+10 in our documentation. You may safely set your speed bug to V2 or V2+10 as suits your needs.

Complete That Checklist: At this point you have all of the skills required for you to successfully complete a normal four engine takeoff. I want to ensure that you recognize that after climb out and flap retraction, you should run the AFTER TAKEOFF CHECKLIST to ensure that you have your airplane fully configured for flight!

PART THREE: When Good Takeoffs Turn Bad: Note: At this point, please stop your simulation and use the FLIGHTS, Select A Flight menu in MSFS to load the saved flight PMDG_744_TRC_Lesson_2_Part_3_A. Goal: The purpose of this section of the lesson plan is to teach you the basic techniques used for an aborted takeoff, and for handling single engine failures during the takeoff. Weather: Clear, unlimited visibility, no wind. Important Instructions: To initiate a rejected takeoff in a large Boeing transport, it is simply a matter of grabbing the throttles and pulling them back to idle. The airplane will take this action as an indication that you intend to reject the takeoff. Unfortunately, since it is rather unusual for simmers to have a throttle console setup that has motorized auto throttle servos, we have had to implement some realism features that you may or may not want to activate. If you open the PMDG/General/ Options menu in MSFS, then select the AFDS tab, you will notice an area known titled Controls Override. These boxes are NOT CHECKED by default. Checking the THROTTLE box will give you very realistic functionality for your throttle controls. Specifically, any time the airplane enters the thrust HOLD mode, you can move your joystick throttles and manually adjust thrust to suit your needs. With this box checked, you can also grab the throttles and shove them to idle in order to reject a takeoff realistically. Unfortunately, it has been our experience that sometimes users do not realize that if their joystick throttle is set to half or full when the airplane enters thrust HOLD mode during a takeoff or a descent, there is a slight chance that the throttles will then add/subtract power and cause the airplane to over speed in the descent or change thrust during a takeoff. This is not a problem with the simulation, but the result of the joystick throttle adding power when you do not expect it to. This should not be a factor for most users, but it can happen, and as such we recommend that inexperienced simmers leave this box UNCHECKED. If you check this box- be sure to pay attention to your throttle settings at ALL TIMES! (we warned you!)

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PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff

With that being said- we are about to experience some rejected takeoffs, so you need to make a decision about how to set this box. If you have the box checked, you can reject the takeoff by pull the throttles to IDLE. If DO NOT check this box, then you can reject the takeoff by doing the following: 1) Pull your joystick throttle to IDLE. 2) Hit the button on your joystick (or key combination) that you mapped to MCP Abort TO/Discon AT during lesson 1. For more information on how the auto throttle works, please see the Auto throttle Care and Feeding guide in our downloads area.

Note: Due to the way the PMDG 747-400/400F initializes itself, the Autobrake switch will NOT remain in its saved position between flights. As such, it is necessary to reset the AUTOBRAKE switch to RTO every time you commence a new takeoff to practice this procedure! Feeling A Little Rejected: There really isnt much science to the process of aborting a takeoff in the PMDG 747-400. At any speed above 80 knots, simply initiate the reject using one of the two techniques described above. Initiating the reject will cause the spoilers to deploy and the autobrake will engage to bring the airplane to a complete stop. Rejecting a takeoff is never a decision that should be taken lightly and a takeoff should never be rejected spontaneously. For every takeoff you should carefully consider combined factors such as available runway length, aircraft weight, and the speed at which a takeoff might be aborted without placing the aircraft in danger. For example, a light weight airplane on a long runway has plenty of room and excess braking capability to safely stop. A fully loaded airplane on a moderate length runway could place the aircraft in great danger. A typical pre takeoff crew briefing will include some discussion of the plan to be used for a rejected takeoff. The plan will vary slightly depending upon the factors I mentioned above (takeoff weight, runway length and weather conditions) in order to ensure that a safest solution is used in the event of any abnormality during takeoff. A light weight takeoff on a clear day sufficient runway length may sound something like this: Prior to 80 knots, well abort the takeoff for any amber EICAS messages, Cautions or Warnings. After 80 knots we will only reject the takeoff for Cautions or Warnings, engines failures, severe vibrations or aircraft controllability issues. Any failures after V1 we will address once airborne when the airplane is cleaned up and clear of terrain. A heavy weight takeoff, or a takeoff on insufficient runway or on a wet runway might sound something like this: Prior to 80 knots well abort the takeoff only for Cautions or Warnings. After 80 knots we will only reject the takeoff for Warnings, engine failures, fires, severe vibrations or aircraft control issues. Any failures after V1 we will address once airborne when the airplane is cleaned up and clear of terrain.

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PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff 2 - 17

Can you see the subtle difference between them? In summation it boils down to this: A rejected takeoff can be a very dangerous exercise. The speeds and inertial energies involved can cause significant stress damage to the aircraft and depending upon the failure involved may very well place the aircraft in greater danger than the event that triggered the rejected takeoff in the first place. Once over 80knots, you really should be focused on continuing to flight with any problems that do not have immediate safety of flight implications. Losing a generator, for example, is not necessarily a safety of flight issue, so rejecting a heavy weight takeoff at 130 knots would be foolhardy. A fire detection warning in the cargo area would be cause for a rejected takeoff in ANY situation, as it could imply a very severe safety of flight concern. So lets demonstrate the concept, shall we?

Load PMDG_744_TRC_Lesson_2_Part_3_A: This is an aborted takeoff scenario using our light weight airplane. Set the AUTOBRAKE switch to RTO, then commence the takeoff roll. When you reach 120 knots reject the takeoff and maintain steering until the brakes bring the airplane to a complete stop. You may use reverse thrust if you desire, although braking certification for transport category airplanes assumes no reverse thrust is used. When the airplane comes to a stop, bring up the secondary EICAS page, and select GEAR. You will notice that all of your main gear wheels are registering slightly elevated brake temperatures as a result of the energy absorbed during the rejected takeoff.

Now Load PMDG_744_TRC_Lesson_2_Part_3_B: This is a heavy weight takeoff scenario. Set the AUTOBRAKE switch to RTO, then commence the takeoff roll. You will notice that I have set the cockpit up to reflect the correct takeoff weight for this takeoff (875,000lbs) and I have adjusted the takeoff thrust to TO 100% and selected FLAPS 20 for departure. On this takeoff, when you reach 150 knots, reject the takeoff and maintain steering until the brakes bring the airplane to a complete stop. You may use reverse thrust if you desire as per above. When the airplane comes to a stop, bring up the secondary EICAS page, and select GEAR. You will notice that the brake temperatures have turned amber, indicating that a

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PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff

significant brake overheat condition exists. Additionally you may get an upper EICAS advisory BRAKE TEMP message.

In this condition, you would not be able to move the airplane until mechanics had ensured that none of the tires/brakes was in an overheat/fire condition, and that all of the fuse plugs designed to let pressure out of overheated tires had remained intact. Additionally, it is hard to ignore the much closer proximity to the end of the runway. You should stop approximately 1000 from the runway end, and a mere 1500 from where the pavement ends. While this rejected takeoff was done perfectly in accordance with regulations and protocol, you can see how reduced braking friction as a result of snow, slush or water might send you for a trip beyond the end of the runway. One last word about rejected takeoffs: They can be dangerous, but they can also save many lives. The Pilot in Command ultimately has the responsibility to make that decision and weigh the risks when a caution or warning appears during takeoff. In some conditions, you may choose to fly away even with a warning annunciated during the takeoff. At other times, you may want to stop for even an advisory. Ultimately, you must know your airplanes capabilities as well as its limits, and you must make the right choice instantly and be prepared to explain your split second decision to armies of second-guessers who may take months to analyze your decision

The Fans Keep The Pilots Cool: There is an old adage the engines are designed to keep the pilots cool. This adage is backed up by pointing out how much pilots sweat when the engines stop working. For this exercise, please load PMDG_744_TRC_Lesson_2_Part_3_C. Note: We did not program the ability to save failure setups so you will need to help me set this one up for you. Open the PMDG menu, then FAILURES. Select ENGINES T/O from the menu, and select #1 Fail Before VR to be ACTIVE. There is no surprise here that you are going to lose an engine. If you want the potential for surprises, we recommend reading CHAPTER 0, INTRODUCTION for a full instructional on how to set up random failures for your flight experience. Since this is an instructional session, I want

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PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff 2 - 19

you to know the engine failure is coming, and I want you to think through how you will handle the failure. When the #1 engine quits working, it will happen sometime before your First Officer calls rotate. This is a very lightly loaded airplane, so things will happen pretty quickly, but you will be off the runway before you get too much of a chance to get into trouble. Here is what to expect: 1) The airplane will begin to drift left. You will not see lots of lights and sounds because all of those things are suppressed by the airplane in order to keep from distracting you during this critical phase of flight. When you do see any messages or warnings, your job is to ignore them, and focus on flying the airplane. After all, engine failures are not subtle, so you know you had one, right? 2) When the airplane begins to drift left, your goal is NOT to return to the runway centerline. Your goal is merely to add enough rudder to stop the drift away from the centerline. This will result in you paralleling the runway centerline for the rest of the time you are on the runway. Do not add too much rudder, or the wings will start rocking back and forth, which will make controllability more difficult. Just use some finesse with that rudder. 3) Hold the nose down firmly, and wait for the Rotate call. 4) When you hear rotate raise the nose just like you do during a normal takeoff, and just pitch yourself right up to the flight director and HOLD IT THERE. 5) When the airplane is established in the climb, bring up the gear, and fly away normally. 6) During the climb, the airplane is going to want to bank left. DO NOT level the wings using the ailerons. Adjust your rudder trim slightly to the right until you can maintain wings-level flight without using your ailerons. (Using ailerons will decrease the lift of your wings and reduce your climb gradient. This can become critical at heavy weights!) 7) At 1000 MSL, lower the nose slightly to allow the airplane to accelerate. Set your speed bug to 250 knots, and as the airplane accelerates, raise your flaps in accordance with the flap retraction schedule on your speed tape. 8) When you have leveled out at 2000, you can open chapter 6 Abnormals and run the Engine Failure checklist to familiarize yourself with how this checklist works. 9) FLY THE AIRPLANE. You are going to be level at 2000 pointed directly at one of the tallest mountains in North America. Tell ATC you need a climb and a vector, and declare an emergency. If an engine quits- you want them to cater to you, not the other way around. 10) When you have finished with your checklist, consider the exercise complete. There should be one overwhelmingly obvious lesson here: An engine failure in a 747-400 can be handled calmly, methodically, and slowly. Dont rush and do not panic. Focus on flying the airplane, and everything will work precisely as it is supposed to! You may need to fly this scenario a few times until you get used to how the airplane feels with an engine out. For the most part the airplane doesnt fly all that much differently, with the exception of the fact that things happen a bit slower on the initial climb. Use the extra time to settle down, adjust your rudder, and keep the airplane in control. You have some nice cockpit aids to help you fly away with an engine out- the most valuable of them is your flight director. Keep the pitch and roll cues centered as you climb out, just as you would during a normal four engine climb, and you will fly your departure profile perfectly! Keep in mind that as you level out and adjust the speed and engine power, your rudder inputs will need to change as well as a result of the variances in engine thrust. As you ADD thrust, you will need to ADD opposite rudder trim. As you REDUCE power, you will need to REDUCE rudder trim.

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PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff

Try changing heading and climbing to 5000 MSL. Do not be afraid to put the airplane on autopilot and reduce your workload. Any pilot who tells you that autopilots are for weak pilots has never received professional training in complex aircraft. If the tools are available, you should use them to reduce your workload. The lighter your workload, the more likely you are to make good sound decisions when things are coming un-nailed all around you! Okay- once you feel comfortable with a light weight engine failure, lets raise the pressure a little bit! Load PMDG_TRC_LESSON_2_PART_3_D. Note: We did not program the ability to save failure setups so you will need to help me set this one up for you. Open the PMDG menu, then FAILURES. Select ENGINES T/O from the menu, and select #1 Fail Before VR to be ACTIVE. When the #1 engine quits working, it will happen sometime before your First Officer calls rotate. The biggest difference between this failure and the light weight failure is that you are going to spend some time rolling down the runway while the airplane accelerates to flight speed. It is absolutely critical that you arrest the drift to the left, and parallel the runway centerline as you accelerate. If you start wagging the rudder around, the airplane will begin rocking, which will only elongate your takeoff roll and make controllability more difficult. It might feel like an eternity before this heavy bird starts flying, but she will! Here is what to expect: 1) This is going to be a challenging takeoff. There is a reason why airline pilots are continually requalifying on their equipment. The hope is that you experience 600 engine failures in the simulator and never have to call upon those skills in the airplane. If you need them, however, the must be sharp and you have to hit the numbers precisely the first time. 2) The airplane will exhibit the same drift to the left. Again you will not see lots of lights and sounds, but it will be obvious that the airplane is struggling to reach takeoff speed. Expect the main gear to leave the pavement near the very end of the available runway. 3) When the airplane begins to drift left, stop the drift, but do not try to regain the centerline. Be satisfied just to parallel the centerline as you accelerate. 4) Hold the nose down firmly and wait for the Rotate call. 5) When hear your First Officer call rotate you should firmly rotate the airplane to takeoff pitch attitude (8 degrees nose up! 3 Seconds!) and HOLD IT THERE. The airplane will fly away. 6) Once established in the climb, raise the gear. STAY WITH THE FLIGHT DIRECTOR! 7) The airplane will climb horribly in this condition. This is why it is so important that you trim the rudder so that the wings will stay level without spoiler/aileron input. At these weights, if you manage to deflect the flight spoilers in the climb there is a very good chance that the airplane will bleed speed and much need lift, and you will be unable to clear surrounding terrain. 8) When you reach a safe altitude above the ground, lower the nose until you are in level flight. (The FPV is VERY handy here!) and let the airplane accelerate. Set your speed bug to 250 knots, and raise the flaps in accordance with your speed tape you accelerate. When you reach FLAPS 5, start climbing again to get away from the surrounding terrain. While FLAPS 5 imposes some drag, it is significantly less drag than the FLAPS 20 we used for takeoff! 9) When you have leveled out at 2000, you can open chapter 6 Abnormals and run the Engine Failure checklist to familiarize yourself with how this checklist works. 10) FLY THE AIRPLANE. You are going to be level at 2000 pointed directly at one of the tallest mountains in north America. Tell ATC you need a climb and a vector, and declare an emergency. If an engine quits- you want them to cater to you, not the other way around. 11) When you have finished with your checklist, consider the exercise complete.

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PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff 2 - 21

You may find that you need to re-fly this scenario a number of times before you succeed in climbing away without wandering all over the sky. I have purposely chosen a location where you are basically surrounded by rising terrain that forces you to get through your cleanup and establish a solid climb.

If you find that you can consistently fly this scenario without placing the airplane in danger, then you should pride in this accomplishment. You will likely also understand why rising terrain and maximum weight takeoffs require that you have a good, well thought out plan BEFORE you push those throttles up! Know how you are going to clear surrounding terrain, and which direction you are going to turn to escape terrain before you get on the runway. There is no substitute for preparation and vigilance in the cockpit of a modern airliner. Dont let the airplane take you someplace that your brain hasnt been twenty minutes before!

PART FOUR: Doing it Blind: Note: At this point, please stop your simulation and use the FLIGHTS, Select A Flight menu in MSFS to load the saved flight PMDG_744_TRC_Lesson_2_Part_4_A. Goal: The purpose of this section of the lesson plan is to teach you the basic techniques used for low visibility takeoffs. Weather: overcast, visibility poor, Runway Visibility Range <1000 feet, no wind.

Youll Go Blind Doing This!: For this scenario, we are attempting to conduct a low visibility takeoff. The visibility is <1/16th of a mile, with overcast skies and heavy rain. There is no wind. When you load this scenario, look carefully out the cockpit windows. You will see only two runway edge lights visible on each side of the runway. These lights are 250 feet apart, so you can tell immediately that visibility is approximately 600 through this fog and rain mix that we are faced with. You will also notice how the runway centerline becomes indistinguishable in the haze. While most airline pilots are qualified to conduct low visibility takeoffs, you would not be able to conduct this takeoff legally from Boeing Field because the runway has no centerline lights. (The regulations related to low visibility takeoffs is something we may address in a later update- but for now, trust me. Ive done it!) To see why you must have runway centerline lights, change your time of day to NIGHT. For some real fun, go ahead and commence your (illegal!) takeoff roll, and you will see why conducting a low visibility takeoff on a runway with inadequate low visibility lighting is such a bad idea! Notice how you never quite see more than two runway lights on either side of the airplane? Do you also notice how you have the urge to steer toward those lights when you fixate on them in order to maintain the runway centerline? Imagine trying to parallel the runway centerline after losing an engine? It would be nearly impossible to do without a stroke of good fortune. This is dangerous. Incredibly dangerous- and in daylight, things dont get much better.

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PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff

Okay, now load PMDG_TRC_LESSON_2_PART_4_B. This scenario places you at KSEA on runway 34R in the same conditions. You will notice that you can still see only two runway edge lights on each side of the airplane, but far more noticeable is the dense string of light running down the center of the runway. These lights are known as Runway Centerline Lights. These lights are spaced 50 feet apart, extend the entire length of the runway and they are critical to the operation of the airport in low visibility conditions such as these. We may safely conduct a low visibility takeoff by using the runway centerline lighting as a guide to maintaining the runway centerline, a task which is significantly easier now, even in the event of an engine failure. Okay- now that you understand why you must have centerline lights to conduct low visibility takeoffs, lets try one for real! Using PMDG_TRC_LESSON_2_PART_4_B, change your settings to day or night as suits your tastes. Be certain that your heading bug is set to the runway heading, and if you ever conduct one of these takeoffs during a live flight, be ABSOLUTELY certain that when you line up on the departure runway, you double check your NAV display shows that you are located on the runway. Taxiing around even a familiar airport in low visibility is fraught with pitfalls, and you do not want to commence a takeoff on a runway that is closed or not well suited for your airplane! Again, the cockpit of a modern airliner is a calm place. Take your time, read the displays, see what information is present and ensure it matches your expectations. If you do this, you will never be surprised. Commence the takeoff, paying VERY careful attention to keep your focus outside the cockpit and carefully on the runway centerline lighting. (I find that the taxi/landing lights in MSFS are not very realistic in terms of the refractivity of light off the ground, especially in low visibility conditions. As such, I turn them off, as I find that this looks more real.) It is also worth noting that in conditions like these, you will want to use 100% takeoff thrust, rather than derated thrust. The goal is to get off the runway was quickly as possible using all available performance of the aircraft. Your first officer will call out your alert speeds just like a normal takeoff. When you hear the Rotate call, begin to rotate as you normally would, but immediately transition your attention to the primary flight display, making certain the precisely maintain the runway heading using both your heading indication on the PFD, and the lubber lines on the navigation display. (With the runway displayed on the Navigation Display, the aircraft lubber line should precisely overlay the runway extended carline as displayed here:

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PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff 2 - 23

If these two lines begin to diverge while you rotate, immediately use the rudder to bring them back together, or you risk departing the edge of the runway while you are rotating. (The good news here is that foggy conditions like this are generally an indication of no wind. Fog doesnt stick around well with wind! If your low visibility conditions are the result of blowing snow or heavy rain, I suggest you rethink your strategy and wait for better conditions for takeoff. After all, in the event of a rejected takeoff, wind and blowing snow/rain are going to make your life very exciting and very dangerous.) Pitch the airplane up into the flight director pitch bar (8 degrees in 3 seconds!) and wait for the airplane to fly off the runway. It is highly likely that you will lose all ground reference during rotation, and you will have no cognitive capability to discern the aircraft pitch unless you are looking at your PFD, so the moment you begin rotating the airplane you should ignore all out of window visual cues. There is nothing out there to see! Note that in the image below, the airplane has only been rotated 5 degrees, but the runway centerline lights are already invisible. This should highlight the importance of immediately bringing your focus into the cockpit, and using your PFD/ND to fly the airplane safely away from the runway even in conditions of almost no visibility. It will be tempting to watch the string of rapidly moving centerline lights as it disappears behind the panel of the airplane, but you should avoid this trap at all costs! Your first indication of an engine failure is likely to be a yawing of the heading, and if it happens you want to be IMMEDIATELY on the rudder to prevent the sideways drift! (If you are in for a really sporting time, try an engine failure in these conditions.)

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PMDG 747-400/400F TRC 2: Takeoff

The aircraft doesnt care much about visibility or darkness, so it will fly away from the runway just as it always does! You must be careful to maintain a normal climb pitch angle and fly away from the ground normally because you do not have your normal out of window cues at this point in the takeoff. Concentrate on your PFD, and watch for TWO indications of a climb before raising the landing gear. (These two indications should be: Altimeter is rising and the vertical speed is sufficient to indicate a climb.) Once a climb has been safely established, raise the gear and continue your climb out as normal!

The primary danger during a low visibility takeoff is pilot disorientation. If you attempt to use out of window visual cues, or if you attempt to maintain pitch without closely monitoring your PFD, there is a strong likely hood that you will not rotate sufficiently to attain flight at a normal speed, or you may cause the airplane to settle back onto the runway, creating a serious hazard for a runway overrun at high speeds. Watch your PFD, and fly the flight director! Run through this Lesson a few times to ensure you understand the principles introduced. This lesson includes a significant amount of information, and it is natural that you might not be able to digest all of it in a single sitting. Refly the scenarios as often as you like, and when you have them mastered, move on to the next scenario! Here Endeth The Lesson! PMDG Type Rating Course Lesson 3: CLIMB is coming soon!

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