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Dec 01 -- 0901z

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MCDU Flight Plan Programming


The following is not a new message from Flight Standards, but rather some good info I pass along to OE trainees and during Recurrent Line Checks.


Just a reminder to check the end of your MCDU flight plan.  It should always end with some type of specific closure or plan.  So if you do nothing upon reaching the fix, the aircraft will proceed as expected by ATC.


For example the CAMRN 4 Arrival at JFK has a note after CAMRN to EXPECT RADAR Vectors.

In this case it is OK for the flight plan in your MCDU to end at CAMRN.

No Problem there.


Many arrivals have programmed headings or tracks after the last arrival fix.  In those cases it is also OK to end the arrival at the last fix.

No problem there.


One issue we are seeing is when the flight plan with NO STAR in the MCDU just ends at a fix, with no plan afterwards.

This can be a problem.


One example is SAALR or BEANO going into SJU.

If you look at your release routing, after SAALR or BEANO it usually states DCT TJSJ.















In the A320/321 series, the aircraft will revert to HDG upon reach SAALR or BEANO if you don't manually insert SJU or TJSJ.


If your were deviating for weather then went direct SAALR for example, you may not be pointed toward SJU anymore, and the aircraft will depart SAALR on the same heading it arrived at.  Be sure your all your fixes and waypoints match your release routing, and after the last fix the aircraft will behave as exected by ATC.

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