Monday, August 3, 2009

Over The Rockies

My flight started with every simmer's worst nightmare, CTD! 5 minutes into it actually. I reloaded the flight for a second attempt and just as I was pushed back, bang! Another one. I opened the scenery folder of the addon scenery and removed a certain AF2 file related to a heliport or something. My third attempt was succesful. CTDs are extremely frustrating and if it happens mid-flight I get so pissed off I don't retry. Luckily this time it came on the ramp.

Anyway, I flew with the Fedex 737W for this review, an obviously fictional livery but one I love for its looks with the huge winglets. From what I gathered on flightaware, CYVR - KDEN seems to be flown usually by United A319s and B733s, I don't have any of these so I just picked the NG from my hanger.

Take-off weight for this 1000NM flight was roughly 120K lbs, with a 20K fuel load.

The flightaware route took me to the J52 airway continuing on an easterly heading to the OCS VOR then to CHR via J163 where I entered the STAR gate for the Tomsn4 arrival.

Total block time was 2 hours and 35 minutes. (thanks to a mild tailwind)

CYVR weather was winds 279/14, 15 miles visibility and 26C

After a very short taxi of a minute or two I lined up on 26R and departed straight away without stopping.

"V1, Rotate!" Rwy 26R

Not surprisingly, traffic was dense at Vancouver with a lot of arriving and departing. I heard a KLM MD-11 departing to Amsterdam just before me.

Once I climbed to around 3000 feet, in some mild turbulence, I turned left and headed to YVR to join J52. The turbulent conditions continued upto 10000 feet.

Spokane airport was on my route. FRF has a good freeware rendition of KGEG if you're interested. As a fan of smaller airports I like it very much. As a matter of fact, I might do a flight there for my future reviews.

Climbing towards the mountains, joining the J52 airway

I don't know how cruise flight went since I wasn't in front of my computer. I ate a sandwich (no, Al, not the tunafish sandwich, I was out of tuna!) while watching a couple of my favorite TV shows. All was well when I sat back in the cockpit after about 2 hours to start my descent planning.

I'm not sure but I think I flew over the Yellowstone National park or at least a portion of it.

Cruising at FL370, lovely sunset

I had initially planned a 16L arrival according to the preflight forecast for Denver. It appeared the weather hadn't changed and I was cleared to visual 16L. FS database does not have this runway so the ILS approach goes out of the window, not a problem if you fly with real world charts though.

Also, before the flight, I had put in crosswind runways at KDEN so there were arrivals for 25 and 26 as well.

As I mentioned in an earlier review, waypoint names can sometimes be very entertaining. The Tomsn4 arrival has a few like FROGS, HYGEN (must be a very clean lat/lon!) and SHAFT. I was also very amused to see the name of a good friend "ALLAN".

BTW, if you fly your PMDG in the US, be sure to use Dan Downs' sid/stars files as they are excellent, you don't get unwanted DISCOs or any other common flaws.

Winds at KDEN were 216/10 with a few clouds at 10000 feet and 17C. I was hoping for some crosswind for an exciting approach but it wasn't enough for serious crabbing. Still, I always love to handfly my final approaches.

Short final, rwy 16L

My landing was good and I slowed down easily on autobrakes 1 without reversers due to my light weight.

This is my first time in Denver, I found out it was quite large an airport. Taxing to the cargo ramp I looked around and saw plenty of Frontier and United aircraft. I have to say, airports and aircraft look much cooler at night.

Making way for company traffic

I want to do a domestic flight in Turkey but before I might do another one in the US, possibly departing from KDEN.

Thanks for viewing


  1. Can't get enough of those great short final shots!

  2. BTW, I flew that same FedEx 737 into KMDW and got raked over the coals by some anal retent on the avsim forums way back when.

    It is one of my favortie livery's.

  3. Any livery and type is good in one's fantasy world of FS...
    I love this Fedex NG, it looks gorgeous!