Luftfahrer
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Ryanair B737 MCP Question

Fri May 28, 2010 2:07 am

Hi all,

I was browsing through FR B737 cockpit pictures and while doing so, I noticed the following. The altitude entered on the MCP (Master Control Panel) after landing/before departure seems odd (not in mathematical sense) to me. For example, it's 5100´ instead of 5000´, 2900´ instead of 3000´, etc.
Some pictures:


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Photo © Conor Amoia - Jet Images
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Photo © Janco Nagelhout


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Photo © Joost de Wit
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Photo © Konrad Bodzak



I know it's a minor thing, but it still made me curious as to why this seems to be common practice at Ryanair. I checked some of the published G/A altitudes, with no result. Also, it's virtually impossible those are initial climb clearance altitudes.
Maybe someone can enlighten me? Thanks in advance!
'He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified.' Joseph Conrad
 
bio15
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RE: Ryanair B737 MCP Question

Fri May 28, 2010 2:47 am

Most times the initial climb altitude and other MCP selections for the upcoming flight are known, and they can be set prior to receiving the ATC clearance. Some airlines select the MCP altitude +/- 100 ft to see an odd setting as a reminder that the ATC clearance has not been received, and that the MCP altitude is not yet the cleared initial climb. So, if you see 5900 or 6100 on the MCP it can be a reminder that you are pending ATC clearance, probably for an expected 6000 initial climb.


Other than that, my best guess would be that it is the published missed approach altitude. So far I have not seen any missed approach altitudes with a 100 ft difference from the normal flight altitudes.


MCP stands for: Mode Control Panel


Regards

Alfredo
 
Luftfahrer
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RE: Ryanair B737 MCP Question

Fri May 28, 2010 11:59 am

Hi and thanks for your reply. I noticed the published missed approach procedure for runway 25 at Lodz (EPLL) is to climb to 2790´ (translates to 2800´), and they set 2900´ (lower right image) = +100ft. Not sure what's the logic behind this.
As for the expected inital climb alt, it sounds like a comprehensible procedure to me. I've never seen it done by other carriers though.

Quoting bio15 (Reply 1):
MCP stands for: Mode Control Panel

Good to know.

[Edited 2010-05-28 05:11:17]
'He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified.' Joseph Conrad
 
bio15
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RE: Ryanair B737 MCP Question

Fri May 28, 2010 6:07 pm

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 2):
I noticed the published missed approach procedure for runway 25 at Lodz (EPLL) is to climb to 2790´ (translates to 2800´), and they set 2900´ (lower right image) = +100ft. Not sure what's the logic behind this.

Not sure either. The heading and Course selections are the same, suggesting they are still set for the approach and that probably the pilots still haven't made the next flight MCP entries, so it's hard to tell why the MCP altitude was set to that value.


Alfredo
 
Dogbreath
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RE: Ryanair B737 MCP Question

Mon May 31, 2010 10:12 am

Quoting bio15 (Reply 1):
Some airlines select the MCP altitude +/- 100 ft to see an odd setting as a reminder that the ATC clearance has not been received, and that the MCP altitude is not yet the cleared initial climb.

Yep, you got it exactly right.

Some airlines will set the MCP altitude to the expected SID stop altitude plus 100 feet on the departure set-up to indicate that the departure clearance has not yet been received. When the clearance is received the PF will reset the MCP altitude to the cleared altitude/level, and input that altitude into the FMC (if required). Therefore during the pre-take-off briefing during the Taxi checks, if the MCP altitude has, for example 4100ft set, then the clearance has not yet been received, and is an check gate to ensure that the crew doesn't attempt to depart without a clearance.

For LCC's such as FR, a great deal of their destinations are to airfields that have basic ATC services and departure clearances often aren't received until the taxi-out phase, so their SOP's have this +100 procedure for good reason. Obviously for other carriers that operate into major airports they would receive their clearances from a Delivery frequency well before push-back and will have their own SOP's on this subject.

Does that answer your question?.
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Luftfahrer
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RE: Ryanair B737 MCP Question

Mon May 31, 2010 9:40 pm

Quoting DogBreath (Reply 4):
Does that answer your question?

Yes, it does! Thank you.  

Especially the last part of your post is interesting to me. I wasn't aware of that – but indeed, that's a good reason.
'He resembled a pilot, which to a seaman is trustworthiness personified.' Joseph Conrad

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