GeographyFlyer
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Polar ops on the 777

Thu Mar 21, 2019 4:07 pm

Hey guys,

I have another question, this time especially for the 777 pilots.

Could you tell me how do you configure your plane before flying close to the North pole? (and how it differs from normal ETOPS flying) And also how do you use grid charts? You can tell me every detail, I´m very interested in this topic.



A big thank you, GeographyFlyer.
 
BravoOne
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Thu Mar 21, 2019 10:56 pm

Suggest you Google Polar Ops, Boeing Aero 16 as it lay it all out for you for each Boeing model. Also check out Adivisory Circular, AC120-42B, Chapt 6.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Fri Mar 22, 2019 3:28 pm

There are some differences to plain vanilla ETOPS but mostly it is about comms and clearances.

The FM can follow waypoints at high latitudes, so while we understand grid navigation because we had to learn it in flight school. in practice we don't use it nowadays. At least in my experience.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
BravoOne
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Fri Mar 22, 2019 4:33 pm

Boeing offers Grid Nav option the 777/787 but as you say it is not commonly used. The only carrier I have seen with formal Grid Nave procedures laid out in their Polar Ops manual is Korean.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Fri Mar 22, 2019 10:41 pm

One difference is that the headings used are True instead of Magnetic above a certain latitude. There's a pushbutton to switch between them.

You fly a series of waypoints defined by latitude and longitude. Comms is nominally via HF, but in practice you get your clearance via datalink before entering the polar region, and then make regular position reports via datalink. You might not actually talk to anyone for hours.

Fun fact: When flying from the Eastern US to East Asia, for long sections of the flight the closest alternate might be in Norway or Finland.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Max Q
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:46 am

Starlionblue wrote:
One difference is that the headings used are True instead of Magnetic above a certain latitude. There's a pushbutton to switch between them.

You fly a series of waypoints defined by latitude and longitude. Comms is nominally via HF, but in practice you get your clearance via datalink before entering the polar region, and then make regular position reports via datalink. You might not actually talk to anyone for hours.

Fun fact: When flying from the Eastern US to East Asia, for long sections of the flight the closest alternate might be in Norway or Finland.



Does the switch from magnetic to true heading take place automatically on the
triple or do you select it manually at the appropriate latitude ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns and the love of them by a loud minority are a malignant and deadly cancer inflicted on American society
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:07 am

Max Q wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
One difference is that the headings used are True instead of Magnetic above a certain latitude. There's a pushbutton to switch between them.

You fly a series of waypoints defined by latitude and longitude. Comms is nominally via HF, but in practice you get your clearance via datalink before entering the polar region, and then make regular position reports via datalink. You might not actually talk to anyone for hours.

Fun fact: When flying from the Eastern US to East Asia, for long sections of the flight the closest alternate might be in Norway or Finland.


Does the switch from magnetic to true heading take place automatically on the
triple or do you select it manually at the appropriate latitude ?


Don't know for the triple, but on both A330 and A350 the procedure is to press the "NORTH REF" (A330) or "TRUE MAG" (A350) pushbutton. If we forget the switch is done automatically once we enter the polar zone. In the latter case we get a few warning messages, and worst case the autopilot may disconnect since the IRSs might not all register the polar zone entry simultaneously.

It does not automatically switch back once we leave the polar region.

Side note: grid track will be displayed once in TRUE and above a certain latitude.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Tartarus
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:55 am

Max Q wrote:
Does the switch from magnetic to true heading take place automatically on the
triple or do you select it manually at the appropriate latitude ?

Yes, it switched automatically to TRUE, and then back again to MAG when exiting polar.
 
Max Q
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Sat Mar 23, 2019 4:38 am

Thanks for the replies
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


Guns and the love of them by a loud minority are a malignant and deadly cancer inflicted on American society
 
BravoOne
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Sat Mar 23, 2019 1:59 pm

Max Q wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
One difference is that the headings used are True instead of Magnetic above a certain latitude. There's a pushbutton to switch between them.

You fly a series of waypoints defined by latitude and longitude. Comms is nominally via HF, but in practice you get your clearance via datalink before entering the polar region, and then make regular position reports via datalink. You might not actually talk to anyone for hours.

Fun fact: When flying from the Eastern US to East Asia, for long sections of the flight the closest alternate might be in Norway or Finland.



Does the switch from magnetic to true heading take place automatically on the
triple or do you select it manually at the appropriate latitude ?


The switching occurs automatically when above 78N and a number I forget for XX South, It,s all covered in the Boeing Aero 16 article I referenced before. You really should be in True while operating within the Northern Control Area in that all charting is in True along with flight plan data. Some airlines do this while other seem to ignore this detail. The airline I use to work for would select True at coast out and Mag at coast in. So much easier the working with Mag and alll Mag Var/Nav Data Base variables IMO. Pure navigation simply works better in True.

Regarding HF in the Polar Region. If your working with Inmarsat you drop off when above roughly 80N. If on the other hand if your have Iridium you will maintain through out the upper Polar region. In the past some airliens have invested in HFDL to overcome this comm loss with Inmarsat.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Sat Mar 23, 2019 3:04 pm

The airline I use to work for would select True at coast out and Mag at coast in. So much easier the working with Mag and alll Mag Var/Nav Data Base variables IMO. Pure navigation simply works better in True.


Is that ever true (pun intended) especially if you have a re-route and have to redo the CFP using the track tables to find track/distances.

GF
 
BravoOne
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:31 pm

I doubt that anyone uses the Universal tables anymore, even in the case of a a reroute on the NAT. After all, what could go wrong.....
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Sat Mar 23, 2019 7:59 pm

Well, if you don’t have an ACARS flight plan sent up, that’s what I did. Maybe behind the times, but we didn’t have the option to get a new flight plan last I flew the Global 2 years ago. I suppose we could have asked Jeppesen to recompute it and send it by email.


Gf
 
BravoOne
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Sat Mar 23, 2019 8:33 pm

I tried to get the the Universal Tables for project I was doing ten years ago and could not find them inspite of search high and low. Best I could up with an set from my days on the MD11 at DL. Haven't searched for some time so maybe they are around the net somewhere. I'm surprised you could not get a flight plan from your service provider? Did you have a wide carriage printer on your aircraft?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:57 pm

I suppose we could have, it was a lot more than 2 years ago and reverted to the USAF, make it work somehow method. We had, and the international handbook we carried had universal tables. It only took a few minutes to plot and update the FP using them IF I just went to true and play with variation. Also, I was moderately annoyed with the other pilot who insisted on adding a bunch of fuel we didn’t need bacause he just thought “fill it up” was the way to go despite a flight plan much lighter and my protests about what did we need an extra 30% on board for. Rerouted at a lower level, just burned it off anyway. The joys of corporate.

The bizjet international training providers included the tables.

Yes, has printers, internet, fax on board. It would have involved calling Jeppesen in SJC, request a new flight plan and emailed to us. In the world of reduced lat/long separation, I would make the request nowadays.

GF
 
Yikes!
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Sun Mar 24, 2019 5:47 am

BravoOne wrote:
I doubt that anyone uses the Universal tables anymore, even in the case of a a reroute on the NAT. After all, what could go wrong.....


What could go wrong. Good question. EVERYTHING!!!

I transited 90N about 5 years ago in a Dash 7. The FMS actually accepted 90N as a waypoint. It should not have, but it did. As we approached 90N (~10 miles prior) the FMS began dividing 90 by zero to complete its calculations. Mathematics 101 states this is the definition of infinity. Crossing 90N (the FMS actually displayed 90 00.00N), all 7 of our onboard GPS and our dual IRU navigation computers crashed.

Fun, fun, fun. Which way south?

Glasgow? Moscow? Alert?? They were all "south".

Thankfully, having briefed this eventuality before our flight, it was an easy decision to follow the sun to Alert, some 469 nm "south". We couldn't rely on the ADF as there was a Russian ship in the area - they were well known to "spoof" NDB signals.

If anyone wants more detail on how to navigate in high latitudes, let me know.
 
BravoOne
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:38 pm

i use to have a short movie of the 777 MCDU, and ND as the aircraft passed over the NPOLE. I'll try to find it the next time get back home.
 
thepinkmachine
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:41 pm

Hi guys! Fascinating topic.

Could you please tell me what Universal Tables are?

Also, all other info on Polar Nav will be appreciated.
"Tell my wife I am trawling Atlantis - and I still have my hands on the wheel…"
 
BravoOne
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:28 pm

Suggest you Google, http://code7700.com/true_course_10_degree_tables.htm as I don't have time nor skills required to do as a good a job as code 7700 does.

As for "all other info on Polar Nav" how about using some of the reference materials shown previously in this thread. This reminds me of a current TV commercial where the guy wants to do a remodel, but wants his neighbor to do all the research:)
 
thepinkmachine
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Sun Mar 24, 2019 3:43 pm

Thanks for info on the tables - I’ve used those when flying through Atlantic and Pacific (and still sometimes do), thought there was something else when doing Polar Ops.

As for “all other info on Polar Nav”, my post was towards Yikes!, who volunteered to provide further info on navigating over the poles - he seems to have interesting experience to share.

Anyhow, thanks for the references
"Tell my wife I am trawling Atlantis - and I still have my hands on the wheel…"
 
BravoOne
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:28 pm

There is not much to it in today's world of IRU driven nav. Communications has always been a challenge, but even that is somewhat sublime these days.

Back in the sixties I was a Pan Am 2nd Officer (NAV/RP) and did several high latitude crossings from Europe to KSFO. None of these crossed even near the NPOLE, but high enough that we used Grid Nav. You might want to Google Bendix Polar Path compass system as that was, along with cell nav the tools of the trade back then in the 707/DC8 era of Polar nav. We have come a long ways since then..
 
thepinkmachine
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Sun Mar 24, 2019 4:51 pm

Thanks, googled it. So, basically Bendix Compass was an un-slaved DG with latitude correction, which could be used to maintain a constant griid track, right?

Were there any Universal tables, which could give grid tracks, or did one need to obtain Initial True Track and convert it into Grid Tracks?
"Tell my wife I am trawling Atlantis - and I still have my hands on the wheel…"
 
BravoOne
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Sun Mar 24, 2019 6:10 pm

That's correct.

I do not recall any high latitude 10 degree tables, but like everything else, my memory is failing me at times. Just ask my wife. I have a couple of ref docs at home so when get back, I'll check it out.
 
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SuseJ772
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:35 am

Starlionblue wrote:
Fun fact: When flying from the Eastern US to East Asia, for long sections of the flight the closest alternate might be in Norway or Finland.

I am flying JFK-ICN on Saturday and I was wondering this exact thing this morning. Figured it was in Russia.

We are heading to Phuket, but told the wife to pack at least one warmer thing in case we have to divert over the pole :)
Currently at PIE, requesting FWA >> >>
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: Polar ops on the 777

Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:25 am

SuseJ772 wrote:
Starlionblue wrote:
Fun fact: When flying from the Eastern US to East Asia, for long sections of the flight the closest alternate might be in Norway or Finland.

I am flying JFK-ICN on Saturday and I was wondering this exact thing this morning. Figured it was in Russia.

We are heading to Phuket, but told the wife to pack at least one warmer thing in case we have to divert over the pole :)


In my limited experience, you wouldn't normally have an en route alternate in Russia, probably because there are few suitable fields in northern Siberia. You could use Murmansk but at that point, you might as well go to Rovanjemi.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

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