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Flight Plan Creation Using Universal FMS

The Universal UNS-1 is a very common flight management system (FMS) which is can be found in the Bombardier Q400, Learjet 45 as well as the Boeing 737-500 (retrofit) in Aerofly FS 2 with only minor differences between them. The simulated devices can be used to change the flight plan from within the cockpit, without having to leave the aircraft and going back to the main menu.


The information from the flight management system (FMS) as well as other systems such as the attitude heading reference system (AHRS), global positioning system (GPS) and others are presented on numerous pages in the control display unit (CDU). The control display unit (CDU) is the cockpit interface that the pilot use to input data into the flight management system (FMS).

The Universal UNS-1 pages are

  • DATA - used to access raw data of the GPS, AHRS, nav-data, etc.
  • NAV - navigation page with the current flight plan leg, from and two waypoint and next waypoint after that.
  • VNAV - vertical navigation page to plan the descent profile.
  • DTO - direct to page for navigating directly to a specific waypoint, skipping any route waypoints in between.
  • FUEL - pages for fuel planning and fuel consumption monitoring.
  • FPL - flight plan page to edit the flight plan, selecting departures and arrivals, adding or removing waypoints
  • PERF - performance pages for weight and balance calculations
  • TUNE - radio navigation tuning, auto-tuning option, lists of nearest VORs, NDBs, etc.


The latest alpha/beta builds introduced some new FMS screens in the Q400, LJ45, and the retrofit FMS in the B737; one of them being the flight plane page (FPL). Instead of using the Navigation page to enter the plan into the FMS it's more realistic to enter it manually into the FMS. Because not everyone might know how the FMS works here is a general tutorial showing how it's done.

If you don't already know the route and ICAO to plan the flight a good way to get the information that you need is to use the Navigation page for your prep work. Note: After planning the flight using the navigation page you can clear the plan by clicking on the circular icon in the top right corner; this way the (FLP) page of the FMS will be empty once you enter the cockpit.

  • In this tutorial we will be using the Q400 so go ahead and select that aircraft now.

  • We'll fly from KKIC (Mesa Del Rey) to KSFO (San Francisco) for this tutorial so go ahead and set this flight plan up on your navigation page.
  • Now write down the entire flight plan on paper. Note: You can also select airports from a list on the FMS but for this tutorial we will write it down to simulate real-life planning.

You should written the below information down:

  • KKIC runway 29
  • UAD (this is an NDB)
  • SJC (this is a VOR)
  • KSFO runway 28R
  • Now remove the plan from the Navigation page and step into the Q400 cockpit. The FMS should look like this:

We are at the FPL page already and the first field is ready for input. There are two ways to enter data into each field: you can type it in or select it from a list. We'll start with typing.

1. Type KKIC and press ENTER

2. Type UAD and press ENTER

For the next waypoint we will use the list option. Note: using the list you can enter VORs, NDBs, airports and more: make sure you know what kind of waypoint you are looking for, because you won't find a VOR in the NDB list, which is why we write down all details from the navigation screen.

3. Press LIST and then press the LSK next to VOR (Line Select Key- these are the buttons left and right of the FMS screen). You will see a list with VOR's beginning with the one closest by.

4. Press NEXT until you see SJC in the list (it should be number 12 on the second screen)

5. Type 12 and press ENTER SJC will be added to the flightplan

6. Type KSFO and press ENTER: we also could have used the LIST option for this (KSFO would have been number 41 on the 6th page!)

Now we will select the departure and arrival runways

7. Press MENU

8. Press the LSK next to DEPART (you will see a list of all available runways)

9. We want runway 29 which is number 2 so type 2 and press ENTER

10. Press the LSK next to FPL which will bring you back to the FPL page: the correct runway will be entered in the plan: you can check the heading and AFS2 will have added an automated waypoint in between the departure airport and UAD

11. Press MENU and then the LSK next to ARRIVE

12. Runway 10L has been entered automatically but we want runway 28R so press the LSK next to 10L; you will see a list of all available runways (if there are more runways they may not fit on one screen: in that case use NEXT and PREV to see the rest of the list)

13. We want runway 28R which is number 2 so type 2 and press ENTER

14. Press the LSK next to FPL and you will see runway 28R has been added to the plan (Aerofly will automatically add the final approach fix into the plan (which is always placed 10 nm out of the runway in the runway heading)

15. Press NEXT to see the next page of the plan

Press PREV to go back again or NEXT to cycle through all pages of the plan Note- You can also press FPL to do this.

That's it! Now you know how to enter a flight plan manually into the FMS and how to use the LIST and MENU options to add waypoints like VORs or NDBs and even airports and how to add or change departure and arrival runways. This way you can change the arrival runway even during a flight!

Note- the plan in the FMS is linked and 100% the same as the one on the Navigation page so if you can't get things done using the FMS you can always go to the Navigation page and edit/change things there.

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aircraft/universal_uns1_fms.1561976485.txt.gz · Last modified: 2019/07/01 12:21 by jh