Fictional flight UPS 88 was from the cargo hub of Subic Bay to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The 800NM trip over the South China Sea took 2 hours and 15 minutes gate-to-gate.
By the way, a huge fan and contributor to this blog with her cool ideas, my girlfriend was insisting that I should include a map with the route among the screen shots featuring here. She was around during the flight today and brought up the subject again. From now on, for each flight I will post my route on a section of Google map.
The weather at Subic weather was hectic this morning with severe thunder storms. Surface winds were 240 at 6 with 2 miles visbility and heavy rain. Clouds were 1800 broken, the temperature was a humid 32C. Considering the hot temperature and rain I didn't derate the take-off thrust.
Hectic weather at Subic Bay
I installed a few WOAI packages of airlines operating in the region before the flight but the traffic was very sparse at RPLB. On another note, the freeware scenery is very well done by the way.
I don't know if it was FS ATC or pure luck but ATIS was reading runway 07 in use only (since runway 25 doesn't have a precision approach) but I was cleared for take-off from 25 at the holding point and didn't have any problems such as the IFR getting canceled after take-off. I followed the SID 23 EXORA departure and joined the M725 airway.
Taxing to runway 25
You can clearly see the strong returns on the wx radar above, normally the airport should be closed under these circumstances, fortunately in FS, no such restrictions.
The taxi was long as I was parked at the cargo ramp which was at the opposite end of runway 25. It would have been more fun had there been some AI to spot. Still, I comtemplated the beautiful scenery during the long taxi.
Climbout was very bumpy and the A/T and A/P had a hard time maintaining pitch and speed.
On a side note, I found some replacement FDEs on Avsim, in the PSS forum so I was very curious on how the aircraft would fly with the modified thrust entries. My initial impressions were quite good and I noted a slight improvement over the stock .CFG with the thrust being less brutal and more linear if you see what I mean. I still need to do more flying to be entirely sure.
Climbing out of the weather
The ride got smoother passing FL180 but the storms remained below me for most of the flight. I initially climbed to FL320 and step climbed to FL 370 an hour later.
Once at cruise level, AI showed up on the ND and I heard the usual Asian carriers over the net.
Cruising over the South China Sea
I started my descent 140 miles out of VVTS and the clearance to runway 25L came at 70 miles out. No need to change anything in the FMC as I had initially planned for this runway via the AC NDB prior to departure per Active Sky forecasts. Obviously the weather hadn't changed since.
VVTS ATIS read winds 270 at 7 with clouds 1500 few and 1700 scattered. The temperature here, too, was again a humid 34C.
The Vietnamese coast
I love approaching an airport which I've never been to before and I always try to take note of all the landmarks, as far as they're featured in FS and the visibility permitting of course.
Saigon River? Tracking the localizer
The approach was pretty much straight in. I wish there were an equally good scenery as RPLB for VVTS too. Still, it wouldn't prevent me from flying in and out of here in the future.
Short final 25L
I went manual at the 1000' callout and crossing the threshold at 100 feet, I performed an excellent landing.
Much to my dismay, AI was sparse here too. Maybe I should take a look those Asian packages again...
Welcome to Ho Chi Minh
My next flight might be toTel Aviv per the last entry, possibly a Swiss A330 flight from Geneva. I also have to do a flight into or out of Uruguay which could be with the B200. I'm getting a huge kick flying around places I've never been to before.
I know I'm repeating myself here but I should definitely fly in Asia more often!
Thanks for viewing