Monday, January 24, 2011

Girlfriend's Flight

Back again in the US, one of my favorite flying spots. Plenty of airports to choose from, large and small alike with tons of WOAI liveries to populate those airports. Not to mentions good freeware gems too.

Last week my girlfriend flew off to the US to attend a business convention in San Antonio. Her first flight from Istanbul was to Chicago with TK005 with an A340-300. I was hoping for her to be on one of the newer 777-300s but KORD is usually served by 340s. I didn't do that long haul for obvious reasons, the entire flight taking more than 10 hours, so I thought the American Airlines flight from KORD to KSAT would be cool. I tracked her flight on flightaware too.

At the AA terminal

AAL 597 was operated by an MD-80 that day but I flew it with the 737-800. Cruise flight for the 1000NM or so flight today was 32000 feet. Usually the NGs fly higher but I stuck with the real world data on flightaware, I'm guessing MDs fly at slightly lower altitudes than NGs. I'm not sure though, there might another reason.

O'Hare was bustling with traffic this evening, despite the low number of gates and parking spots of the stock scenery (just an improved AF2 file) the net didn't stop for a second, tons of departing call signs to all over the US as well as a couple of international call signs too.

The weather was moderate winds from the northwest with few clouds at 3300. The temperature was a freezing -14C. The take-off was looking to be smooth.

Terminal area to the right, note the Speed Bird Jumbo

My pre-flight took around 20 minutes, most of it working out the arrival runway. It was difficult choose because the winds were calm at San Antonio. I set 30L because it was closer to my approach route. I could easily do the necessary modifications during the long downwind for runway in case I got 12R.

During my taxi to the departure runway I could say a long string of arriving aircraft despite multiple runways in use. Needless to say most of them were going missed.

KORD from the air

No SID here, I got vectored to my initial fix which I'm guessing is the way it's done in real life at KORD as well.

I flew the climb and after getting cleared to my cruise level, I let the A/P take full control at the first hand-off and came back in front of my computer just prior to the TOD.

The trip took a bit longer than it should have due to the headwinds.

The weather hadn't changed at KSAT but I was cleared to runway 12R despite my high hopes for 30L. The clearance came out at such a distance that I was able to fly my Rodio 1 arrival without having to change anything except the runway at that stage.

Downwind runway 12R

Turbulence was heavy below 10000 feet, the sort that gives you a hard time slowing down, bouncing the aircraft with frequent wind direction changes.

I fell behind Continental 1479 for landing, around 10 miles to be precise. Visibility was good.

Final ILS 12R

Great FS AI management this time, the Continental flight managed to vacate the runway swiftly and before I got cleared a heavy Fedex took-off. You can see it in the ND below.


Finding the AA terminal was easy in this Mach-1 scenery. The gates had huge AA signs on them.

With fellow AA ships

2 hours and 50 minutes are added to the log.

Thanks for viewing