It’s a loaded X-PLANE Commercial complete with the 777 Extended Professional Package and five other Boeings, on the 777-200ER/LR and it has the FMS Flight Management System, NAVDATA driven.  I realize this is not CIS quality investigative science, it is however common sense. I do not have the access the big boys do to the transmitted data.  When I saw the actual 777 simulator used for Boeing training and the simplistic one I have, I think this program is brilliant.

Though I retired from flying eight years ago, and sold my last plane, I still relish those few thousand hours, sneak a ride here and there from friends occasionally to stay sharp.   I still keep my hands in the keyboard simulator because it keeps my mind at seven and a half decades plus conception alert and working aviation problems out.  Dead brains create Depression, depression leads to Alzheimer’s and Dementia and I use my computers and work my brain every hour awake.

My unit has the main input controllers and I have set the course changes and emergency descents  from compression loss, front cargo fire,  or loss of the pilots just as you would on the real one as good as a sim can be.  I believe the lithium cells lit off the Halon fire extinguishers in the forward did their job extinguish an impossible fire to extinguish, fire can suck the air from ones lungs in seconds depending on the concentration.  

 A chain reaction due to the huge amount of suspected Lithium igniting off in the front cargo hold was triggered. The cargo hold is forward of the instrument bay hold below the pilots.  The instruments are protected by an exhaust system which sucks air from the instant bay which does not use Halon.  

Halon destroys instrumentation, computers etc and explains the loss of transponders. A lithium fire is more than a fire, it burns with unbelievable speed and temperature and possibly based on the amount caused a chain reaction which went to the Instrument Bay. then the fire go to the instrument bay and everything died except the autopilot and course settings which are very redundant on there channels on the 777.


The flight management system operates on a sophisticated level in many ways like the Garmin GPS in your car, with waypoints programmed in between the origin and the destination. You program in where you are going, and off it goes. The difference is when on and programmed properly it “Drives” the aircraft. Up ( Climb) Across (Cruise) and Down (Decent) safely. 

The FMS will allow the airplane to hook up that routing with the autopilot, and maintain the heading within a few feet. It's amazingly accurate. 

You would use waypoints instead of direct flights because the winds are always changing, the route may be course specific for traffic, big dips in the jet stream, the most direct flight path is not always the fastest or most fuel-efficient. But this was over ocean, big ocean and DCT or direct was the protocol.

Thus if and it’s a big if, the plane continued on, the flight track hands on flying would have and show variances.  The plane was computer driven, I don’t see a human flying that good a track at 12,000 feet and basically laden with passengers and fuel.

The device (two shown) which resembles a Hewlett Package Calculator (HP had something to do with it) are located between the first officer and the captain.   Many airplanes, but not all, have two sets of input units, and you can use either one of them. The 777 on most models has three. The third on this aircraft is just centered on the aisle between the two just aft of the throttles. Thats because the 777 has triple computer redundancy.

I have the latest civilian version (very close) on my simulator and it had a learning curve.  Average Joe is not going to get anywhere with it without training.  A commercial pilot might see one on later versions of corporate rides.   It’s very complex even of a simulator that the public can purchase.  But this is a very complex simulator designed for flight devoid of air to air combat and no shoot-em-ups or alien invaders.  

Generally it kicks in for navigation almost immediately after takeoff, but the decision to fly manually versus on autopilot is up to the pilot. There are methods of hand flying the airplane that will keep it on that same course programmed into the FMS, and some pilots like to hand-fly to keep their skills up.

Quite often, the airline policy for newer generation aircraft, like Airbus and probably the 777, is to turn on the autopilot shortly after takeoff, usually at a particular altitude.  (After gear up passed SIDS, turned on course and climb rates established)

It could be weather-related, or it could be an air traffic control directive. Certainly, if there were some sort of diversion deemed necessary by the crew, they would reprogram the FMS.  It’s not uncommon to reprogram the FMS once or twice per flight. And often in terminal areas, within 50 miles of an airport, we change runways and when we do that we often program the changes into the system.