Monday, March 8, 2010

The Outback

The world is a huge place, no, really it is. One of the best things about FS is that it gives a huge amount of freedom and you can go wherever you desire, no boundries, no visas, no conflicts, nothing...

I hadn't done a flight in Australia for my blog and thought it was about time. I had a good Australian friend when I was a kid, Alastair, we used to drink Oranginas and watch American Ninja. I regret not remembering where he was from, I'd say from Melbourne but I'm not sure. So, if you've grown to be a simmer and you're reading this by some chance, Hello buddy!

Also, back in 2007, my girlfriend went to Sydney to visit a friend of hers and got me a neat Qantas 747 model aircraft which sits proudly on a shelf just above my computer. Looking at it I thought "why not?" I had the cool Qantas livery for my NG and the charts anyway.

I flew the real-world flight which is QF982 and operated by this type of aircraft. The 1088NM route was computed by Vroute as the following:

AS T11 ROM G326 BN

My take-off weight was 144K lbs, well within the limits of this 737-800W.

By the way, I got fed up with the blind spots of the default FS weather engine and got Active Sky. Going through the features I felt like an idiot for not getting it earlier. Now I don't have to worry about the ATIS reading " Visibility greater than 20 miles" when the actual one is CAT3 conditions... Cool!

Take-off checklist complete, ready to go, runway 12

Weather at Alice Springs was winds 150 at 7 and CAVOK conditions, calling for a runway 12 take-off on a PULOL1 departure which is pretty much straight out to waypoint PULOL.

The initial climb was a bit bumpy, due to hot weather I assume and the mild turbulence continued all the way to Brisbane. I saw a lot of clouds beneath me so I guess the Outback was rainy today.

Cruising at FL340

Active Sky has a neat feature called Active radar which enables you to keep track of your enroute and destination weather, perfect for planning your arrival route and runway.

Once cleared for my cruise altitude of 34000 feet, I did what I do on most of my flights, eat, it was a morning flight so I had breakfast all the while enjoying the view below and listening to aircraft over the net.

The winds at YBBN were favoring a runway 01 landing, 359 at 5 with few clouds at 2500 and scattered at 5600 so I planned a Glenn4 arrival continuing on an ILS 01 approach via waypoint GLENN.

On the Glenn4 arrival

The approach into Brisbane was fairly bumpy which suits me fine since it adds to the feeling of flying. I absolutely loved the Active sky cloud formations, much, much better that default and freeware stuff.

YBBN was having a busy afternoon with lots of Virgin Blue flights coming and going. I was third for landing and kept my distance with the fellow in front of me who not suprisingly had to go around.

Final, runway 01

Going manual at the 1000 callout, my landing wasn't textbook stuff but wasn't bad either, I think I touched down a tad late, not a problem though, as runway 01 is quite long and you have plenty of tarmac to slow down the NG.

After quickly vacating the runway for the AI behind me I slowly taxied to my gate doing some spotting. I finished my flight at 2 hours and 35 minutes, exactly the same time stated on the Qantas website. This scenery is the freeware VOZ version and is quite well done.

Thank you for flying Qantas

Where to next, the question obviously stands... I might return back to Europe and try out a couple of small airports on which Al gave me the heads up. I might as well do a domestic flight in Turkey as I don't have to worry about weather problems anymore. Hmm...

Before I wrap up this review, make sure you take a look at Al's latest review which is an excellent FS-real world comparison.

Thanks for viewing


  1. I love the short final and Glenn4 arrival shots! In the Glenn4 arrival it looks a little dirty down below! Very cool....

    Well, how was ASV6.5? Rating of 1-10 10 being the best?

  2. Thanks!

    I love AS, works nice and smooth, I would easily give it a 10 but I have to do more flying with it in different conditions. But as I say, no more blind spots and that's most important.