Thursday, July 16, 2009

Helsinki - Paris with SAS

It's quite hard to pick a route for simming, so many options. This one however was a bit easier. I was browsing the AVSIM screen shot forum and I came across Niclas Andersson's latest photoreal SAS livery for the PMDG 737NG. If you aren't already aware, he has the best repaints you can get for this add-on. You can find them in the AVSIM library once it is back online.

Anyway, seeing the ultra-cool SAS 737-800 in those shots, I decided to fly mine, moreover, I hadn't flown with it since a while so I was really looking forward to it.

SK8360 was from Helsinki, Vantaa (EFHK) to Paris, Charles-De-Gaulle (LFPG). Flight time from start-up to shut down was 3 hours and 7 minutes. I consider this a long flight since I normally fly 1 or 2 hours maximum. This is the route I took at a cruise altitude of 38000 feet:


With the arrivals and departures included, it totaled to approximately 1060NM (Luckily no wide upwind turns or long downwind legs)

Stand 133, "boarding complete", ready for engine start

Prior to preflight, I tuned into the ATIS frequency and got the weather which was winds 167/7, visibility 6, no clouds below 20000 and a mild 20C. It was also a bit hazy.

I went for an Elmut1A departure with a take-off on 22R.

A check for the winds enroute revealed mostly headwinds on the way, strong ones actually so I kept the fuel load a bit high just in case, 22.5K lbs. ZFW was 120K lbs.

After a pleasant taxi looking around at this excellent freeware EFHK with numerous Finnair flights coming and going, I took off from 22R.

Ready to go, 22R

A small note here, I recently started playing around with the Sid/Stars files of the NG. You can find very good and up to date ones on the Navdata website. However, some might have minor mistakes or discrepancies with your own Airac database and unless they are corrected you won't get any ARR/DEP info in the FMC. Once you understand the logic it's fairly easy to edit them. I had to make one from scratch for OPKC as I couldn't find any. All you need are the charts for the airport and Terry Yingling's magnificent tutorial.

Back to the flight. There was strong turbulence on climbout up to 15000, above things calmed down but the ride was quite bumpy (and fun) until then.

Climbing out of Vantaa

In case you haven't noticed, I forgot to turn on the TCAS. I knew something wasn't looking right but I couldn't figure it out until around 15000 feet. No matter how much you fly on the same type, it's always best to use the checklists.

As I was heading west, I was chasing the sunset and the view was beautiful, especially with the clouds. The route took me over Sweden, Denmark and over Munster I entered France.

Cruising at 38000 feet

I flew in occasionnal turbulence zones at cruise altitude, the headwind as you can see in the shot was strong. I hate headwinds! Luckily, it eased off a little over Germany.

I normally set my cruise altitude myself depending on the distance. For longer distances over 600NM I let the FMC decide and go with the computed optimal altitude. FS ATC accepts cruise altitude changes anyway.

The humble FS ATC was too late on the descent this time so I had to ask for it myself, however, it was spot on with the Veler transition to my initially planned ILS 27R approach with the Rensa4P arrival.

At the IAF Veler, approaching Roissy

LFPG is a busy airport and there were a few AI inbound, fortunately they were all spaced and I fell in behind LH 4236 keeping a distance of 5-6 miles. Another AI was inbound for the other landing runway, 26L.

Final approach, 27R, AI on final for 26L

Weather at LFPG was winds 254/7, visibility 6 with clear skies and 23C.

Very short final for 27R, luckily the AI vacated the runway so no go-arounds, I would have landed anyway

One thing I don't like about large airports in FS as in real life (especially if a connecting flight is due shortly!) is the taxi distance after landing. It takes a lifetime to get to the gate. I've been to LFPG a lot of times in real life and as far as airports go, it's not my favorite. It's badly organized and you can't see crap from the terminals, ramp wise.

This is LH 4236 that landed just before me

Large hubs have an advantage here though, you can at least do AI spotting and listen to the departing aircraft on the ground net, if you consider this fun, which I do.

Gate B16, "remain seated please, the aircraft hasn't stopped yet!"

I'm thinking of heading to Jerez, Spain from here, that is unless of course I'm tempted by some other route...

Thanks for viewing


  1. Oh yeah the city of lights! I love the clouds in the climbing out shot! Added to the log....

  2. Yup, you can write down those 3 hours and 7 minutes!