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Flight planning question for Level D 767 Owners

Pro Member First Officer
Steve (megafoot) First Officer

WHen programming the MCP i set up a flightplan to land at Airport-X runway-24L. (example)

Unfortuneately When i eventualy contact the tower at airport-X the runway i have programmed in isnt active and ATC wont give me approval to land there. I have made a secondary route to be able to switch a secondary runway so that i can get approval for landing but thats a pain in the arse.

I know i can switch runways in the MCP in flight but then i get a discontinuity in the flightplan and the computer goes stupid on me then I have to fly manually into the approved runway.

WHat I would like to know:

What should I do when switching runways for landing? is there some function in the MCP that I am missing to do this smoothly?

I pretty much fly to/from SID/STARS facilities so I want to incorporate it as much as i can into my flightplan. But Frankly I am still a newbie to using SIDS/STARS though I understand the basic concept.

How do I tell which STARS route to use without grabbing one that was intended for another runway if i have multipul choices?. (How do i tell which STARS route to grab?) and how can I inject that STARS approach into my current flightplan seamlessly so that i get no discontinuity?

Is SIDS/STARS even the answer to my problem?

[I mean a real world flight wouldnt be planned by the pilot calling the arrival tower and ask them which runway will you be using in X-hours when I get there? Nor by saying upon arrival "gee tower, I dont have that runway programmed in my MCP, you are going to have to open the one I want back up" ]

5 Responses

Pro Member Captain
Bindolaf Captain

Not specific to the 767, but a couple of pointers:

Check the weather at your arrival airport and pick a runway that's facing into the wind +/- 60 degrees. So if the wind is from 250 and there's a 25 and a 7 runway... go with the 25. If the wind is from 190, still 25. If there are multiple runways, pick the best one. If there is a left and right (for example, wind 250 and there's a 24L and a 24R... just pick one, you can't know which one ATC has active, unless you can tune into the ATIS).

As for STARs. The STAR charts note which arrival is suitable for which runway. The STAR for our fictional 07/25 runway above might say: STARs for 25: ABC01 ADF02 and AKG03. Usually, they are named after the point of entry into the airport's TMA. Look at your flight plan. If you enter the TMA via ADF, let's say, and you're landing on 25, just program the ADF02 STAR.

Pro Member Captain
John Hodges (originalgrunge) Captain

Very few STARs actually are particular to a runway. STARs are particular to the direction you're coming at the airport. So for instance, if you're flying into O'hare, and coming from the South, Southeast direction, you'll take the OKK1 arrival in. Other directions will funnel you into the PMM4, etc. It's all a way of controlling the traffic flowing into an airport from different areas. From the last point (or sooner) on the STAR, then you will get your vectors for the appropriate runway. What you want is to select the STAR according to your direction of flight, and then check out the runway-approach plates to get lined up with the runway. They're two independent things. ATC will usually give you an "expected" runway at 18,000 feet or sooner, so that's more than enough time to wait and program your FMC for the appropriate runway approach after you are informed of the runway. Sometimes (usually on VATSIM for instance) you'll be fortunate enough to be able to check an airport's ATIS from a couple hundred miles out and know what to expect. But don't be surprised if the winds have whipped around and changed the actives when you get there!

So in otherwords, to solve the switching problem, be patient. You won't have to switch runways at all if you just wait to hear the actives. ATC will give you plenty of time to configure your FMC.

To pick an appropriate STAR, go to www.myairplane.com or www.simroutes.com. If you check SimRoutes, it should have the STAR put in there for you, and then you can simply find the appropriate charts on MyAirplane. Or, you could do it the hard way 😉 . Look at the STAR list on MyAirplane.com and take a peek at each one until you find the one that will funnel you easily from the direction you're arriving from.

About the Route Discontinuity issue, that's just the way it works. When you enter the STAR and Approach, it'll add them in with discontinuities at each point. That's simply solved by just selecting the first waypoint on the list you want to insert, and insert it (simply click on it) into the blank space at the end of your active flight plan (right where it says discontinuity).

Happy flying!

Pro Member First Officer
Steve (megafoot) First Officer

I SEE!! THANK YOU! thats exactly what i was looking for! you were most helpful!

I owe ya a 🍻

Pro Member Captain
Bindolaf Captain

Small difference there I guess between US and European STARs 😛

STARs in Europe are particular both to the direction you're coming from and the runway.

Pro Member Captain
John Hodges (originalgrunge) Captain

Yeah, Bindolaf, I think i'm starting to realize that! I flew from O'hare to Toronto, and the STAR still funnels you in, but the last waypoint is different depending on the actives!

I like the heathrow approach, funnel everything to ONE WAYPOINT, and have the planes hold there until they're ready to deal with them 😉

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