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Flight Plan

The example shown here can be used to create any flight plan anywhere in the world. The net is an
almost unlimited source of information, most of it being offered free of charge. However it is sometime
necessary to use payware softwares to improve the accuracy of the planning.

Let us start with the basics of building a flight plan. First we must choose a departure airport and an
arrival airport. In our example we shall pick WIII (Soekarno Hatta Intl) as our departure point and WSSS
(Changi, Singapore) as our destination airport. This route between the Indonesian capital and Singapore
is flown by roughly 35 airlines every single day using a a large number of aircraft type ranging from B737
to A340 and B744. The route is roughly 500 nm and the flying time ranges from 1 hour 10 minutes to 1
hour 30 minutes depending on the departure and arrival procedures used.

The charts used here are all available from numerous web sites for free. I cannot list here all the web
sites offering charts, however should you need specific charts in the future I could either direct you to
the proper site or provide you with the charts. As to aircraft manufacturer’s tables a large number of
payware aircraft add-ons come with extensive documentation including most common tables. To the
best of my knowledge the only aircraft lacking public information is the MD11.

The general direction of the route is north which gives us an indication of which SIDS should be chosen.
Taking a look at the SIDS for WIII we can see that the only SIDS heading north are:




Depending on which runway direction will be assigned for departure.

WII operates two parallel runways 07L/R and their opposite 25L/R. We could be face with the
following dilemma if departure is to the east either CKG1G or CKG2C can be assigned. In case of
departure to the west only CKG2G can be used. Ok we have now identified the possible SIDS which
will direct us toward the north.

Taking a closer look at the three SIDS we notice that they show two possible exit points at which
time the route will start. These exit points ate TULIP and DOLTA. Given the general direction of the
route to WSSS it can be safely assumed that DOLTA is the best choice. A further analysis of the
charts show that there are altitudes constrains to be dealt with for CKG1G 6,000 feet must be
reached before passing CKG VOR, for CKG2C there is an AT or BELOW 5,000 feet constrain when
intercepting outbound radial 350 from CKG. We also notice from the charts that the transition
altitude for these SIDS is 11,000 feet. Below are the charts of the three possible SIDS with
highlights of the most important points to be adhere with.




The second part of the exercise is to build a route which will lead us close to WSSS. For this we can use
either free websites to generate a route. Generally speaking the routes generated by those websites are
fairly accurate and reproduce recent real life routing used by major airlines. We can also create such a
route manually using enroute charts.


We can see that following a general direction towards WSSS we should cross DOMIL, PLB, PARDI, FIR11
and REMES. We also can see on the charts that these navaids are along well established jet airways
which are numbered. So our route sofar could read 2 ways:



At this stage it is useful to start summarizing the different elements already gathered in tables which will
give us a better feeling of the progress of the flight. Let’s start with the departure procedure. I picked
totally arbitrarily CKG1G as our departure SID to draw a first table.


WIII 0 23 S 06 06.8
E 106 39.5
CR 068 4 1500 S 06 05.2
E 106 43.4
241TO 242 13 6000 S 06 11.5
E 106 32.0
CKG 310 0 6000 S 06 11.3
E 106 31.8
SIKAD 328 31 18,000 S 05 44.3
E 106 16.2
Table 1

We read some important things from this table. First, the total distance from the runway up to the last
waypoint before the end of the SID is 4+13+31 = 48 nm. Second, within this distance (48 nm) we should
be able to reach a comfortable altitude which should place us when crossing SIKAD at about 50% of our

Subsequent to the first table we can create a second table for the second part of the flight. We shall
start from the latest waypoint from Table 1 and end the new table at the last point of the route before
the STAR.


SIKAD 328 0 18,000 S 05 44.3
E 106 16.2
DOLTA 329 42 27,000 S 05 07.6
E 105 55.5
DOMIL 329 64 32,000 S 03 55.1
E 105 14.3
PLB 329 72 32,000 S 02 52.7

E 104 39.2
PARDI 347 72 32,000 S 00 34.0
E 104 13.0
FIR11 347 19 32,000 S 00 15.5
E 104 09.3
REPOV 346 32 20,000 N 00 43.7
E 104 03.0
REMES 346 28 6,000 N 00 43.7
E 103 57.6
Table 2

The cruise flight level is usually FL 320 for routes of this distance and in this direction. Although we have
not decided on the type of aircraft which will be used and its payload we can estimate from the distance
between waypoints and safe climb rate that the aircraft should be approximately at these levels.

The third table will be the basic arrival table.

REMES 346 0 6,000 N 00 43.7

E 103 57.6
SAMKO 345 22 4,000 N 01 05.5
E 103 52.9
WSSS 18 15 N 01 22.0
E 103 59.1
Table 3

Now let us spend some time on the STAR procedures. We shall arrive from the south so we have the
choice between REMES FIVE ALPHA (REMES5A) which will position us for a final approach on RWYS
02L/C and REMES SIX BRAVO (REMES6B) which will direct us towards RWYS 20C/R at WSSS.

The REMES5A chart shows that the TA is 11,000 feet and that there are three different holding patterns
which we could be asked to enter along the STAR. Flight levels for each holds is also stipulated in the
chart. From SAMKO on we should expect radar vectors for ILS RWYS 02L/C. Important is that REMES
should be crossed at 6,000 feet or above. Given the distance between REMES and SAMKO the next
waypoint it would not be abnormal to cross REMES at 14,000 feet. SAMKO should be crossed at 4,000 or
above meaning that we should be a 5,000 feet approximately when crossing SAMKO.



The REMES6B chart shows similar details. That is a TA of 11,000 feet. BATAM to be crossed at 7,000 feet
or above DOVAN at 4,000 feet or above and BIPOP at 3,000 feet or above. We can see also that unlike in
the precedent chart there is a need to keep well above 6,000 feet at REMES if we want to be slightly
above 7,000 feet at BATAM.

For the record I show also the possible approach charts for the different runways.

You will notice that each chart starts at the last waypoint of the corresponding STAR. That is SAMKO for
the 02L/C RWYS and NYLON for the 20 R/C RWYS.

We need to prepare two more things before we move forward. First determine the alternate airport
which in our case will be WASP. Second calculate the total distance to be flown. This will result in a
simple addition of all distances listed in Table 1 to 3 to which we shall add the final approach distance. If
we are asked to land from the south the total distance will be 518 nm and if we land from the north it
will be 543 nm.

The entire route as it stands now looks like this:

The choice of SIDS and STARS for the route are:


As you can see we have build a route manually using charts and maps. Of course we could have used
different kind of software such as FliteStar or NAVTECH to build this route automatically or even we
could have used Vroute at http://www.vroute.net/ or route finder at http://rfinder.asalink.net/free/ or
simroute at http://www.simroutes.com/. Most probably we would have achieved the same result and
this should be the way to go if you are in hurry. However building a route manually and analyzing the
supporting charts prepares you for a smooth ride without surprise.

Next we shall decide on an aircraft to fly and calculate payload and fuel requirements. Here again I will
attempt to demonstrate that most of the calculations can be done manually with a high degree of

First the aircraft. When planning a route it is useful to gather information from real world airlines flying
the route to assess the type of aircraft which are usually used. In our example we have the 2 major
airlines Garuda and Singapore Airlines flying Airbus A 330, A 340, Boeing B 777 and B 744 every day on
WIII-WSSS. Other airlines such as KLM, Emirates Qantas make occasionally stop-overs in WIII and WSSS
during their intercontinental flights. They use B744 and B767 (Emirates). So we have vast choice of
aircrafts to fly. For convenience and ease of access to manufacturer’s tables I will pick up the B744 as
our aircraft.

To make proper calculations we need to know:

- Zero fuel weight of the aircraft : 394,088 lbs

- The Max take-off weight: 875,000 lbs
- The Max landing weight: 630,000 lbs
- The Max zero fuel weight: 542,500
- The Weight of passengers + luggage for a 2/3 occupancy : 46,620 lbs
- The Cargo weight 2/3 occupancy: 73,500 lbs
- Distance of the flight 518nm or 543 nm
- Cruise Altitude 32,000 feet

- Distance to alternate airport 45 nm
- Taxi time at WIII 15 minutes
- Taxi time at WSSS 20 minutes.

All calculation will be made in lbs.

To start with we shall calculate the zero fuel weight of the aircraft when loaded with pax and cargo
weight. This is the zero fuel weight of the aircraft + pax weight + cargo weight. In our case:

394,088 lbs + 46,620 lbs + 73,500 lbs = 514,208 lbs

Next we shall calculate the fuel requirement of the flight. For this exercise we need to use the aircraft
manufacturer’s tables. One of which is available for PMDG users in their documentation.

We shall assume a climb speed to 10,000 feet of 250 KIAS then 300 KIAS to flight level 310 and M .80 to
M.86 to Flight level 320 our cruise altitude. The descent will be at 300 KIAS until we reach the altitude of
10,000 feet and 250 KIAS below 10,000 feet.

Because trip lengths and altitudes are split in arithmetical progression increments we need to make
some interpolation for our specific needs. Our flight is supposed to be between 518 nm and 543 nm and
the cruise altitude is planned to 32,000 feet. Therefore our fuel requirement should be as follows:

Interpolation: 800 + 400 = 1200, 23.4 + 16.7 = 40,1 average distance of flight (518 + 543)/2 = 530.5

Fuel = (40.1*530.5)/1200 = 17,727 That is 39,081 lbs of fuel.

Because the tables is for a planned lading weight of 476,199 lbs we need now to calculate our planned
landing weight so that we can adjust our fuel requirement.

Generally speaking the planned landing weight is the addition of the zero fuel weight + minimum
reserve + holding fuel + alternate fuel + taxi fuel at arrival. If we assume normal flight conditions the
hold and alternate fuel will not be used. Therefore we need:

Minimum reserve : 18,740 lbs

Holding fuel: 5,500 lbs

Alternate fuel: 7,200 lbs

Finally the planned landing weight is: 514,208 + 18,740 + 5,500 + 7,200 = 545,648 lbs

Because the table use originally was for a planned landing weight of 475,200 lbs we need to adjust the
fuel requirement as follows : for every 9,900 lbs deviation we compute the burn/hour correction. That

545,648 – 475,200 = 70,448

70,448/9,900 = 7,115

7,115*319 = 2,270 lbs

So our fuel requirements for the flight (excluding minimum reserves) should read:

39,081 lbs + 2,270 lbs = 41,351 lbs

This example is still short of a couple of issues. The most important ones are weather conditions which
can greatly affect fuel consumption and step climbs. I plan to create further discussions to explain in
some details these two additional components. However I already warn the reader that corrections for
weather events cannot be done manually , we shall need help from some specialized software to do