Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Miami Vice

I was a huge fan of the series when I was a kid. I loved the way Sonny and Ricardo chased crooks in their Ferrari Daytona. It was only when I grew up that I found out cops didn't drive around in Ferraris, even in Miami.

The 2006 movie by Michael Mann was even better. There are also great aircraft scenes with Ricardo flying, interacting with the ATC and a sleek Piaggio Avanti climbing out of a narrow gorge. I think Mr Mann is an aviation fan of some sort because he always includes aircraft scenes in his movies.

This review's flight is not with the sleek Avanti but with the good old NG, from Barbados to Miami International. I flew the real world flight of AAL 602 which is normally operated by 757s, by the way. The reason I didn't go with the "75" was because I was simply too lazy to search for a PSS AAL livery. The NG featuring here doesn't have winglets either, again, because I was too lazy to install one.

Today's route

The weather at Grantley Adams was beautiful, winds blowing mildly from the east with few clouds at 2000 and a balmy 31C. Perfect for a Gin tonic before dinner at the oceanside.

The traffic was calm, except for an Air Jamaica A320 coming in just after my departure. The freeware TBPB I used was absolutely a masterpiece and makes you want to fly here more often. Great job, Max Kraus!

160 passengers on this evening trip to Miami.

Left is clear, right is clear...

The taxi to 09 gave me the opportunity to contemplate more of the scenery. I would have liked more traffic but hey, I don't think this airport is a major hub in real life anyway.

There are 2 moments I absolutely love during my flights and I'm sure most simmers enjoy these too (I know Al does!) One of them is the line-up and take-off roll sequence and the other is the final approach and landing. I actually get excited during these phases and get a huge kick out of every second of it.

Barbados apron

I followed the Rnav departure after take-off which basically calls for a runway heading to PEPTI or upto 2500, whichever is first and then direct to an initial waypoint specified on the chart according to the flight plan.

Climbout was smooth and the visuals got better as I hit the clouds above 2000 feet.

Climbing through the clouds

The flight was proving to be well over 3 hours with 1500NMs to go so I let the A/P take full control as I reached my cruise altitude of FL380. The ride got mildly bumpy above FL200.

The flight must have taken me over Puerto Rico and the Bahamas, I say "must have" because I wasn't in front of my PC for the most part. It was dinner time so I set off to make myself a nice home made burger with green salad. In the perfect world of FS, pilots are allowed to have alcohol so a beer was in order as well.

After a pleasant dinner, I took my seat and started on my arrival "briefing". Can you call it a briefing if you do it by yourself? Probably not. The weather didn't seem to have changed since my departure, the winds were 123 at 7, scattered clouds at 3400 and 33C. I had planned for a runway 12 arrival via the Flipr2 arrival at Barbados. Clearance came at 99 miles out and just as I had predicted, the easterly runways were in use. FS ATC was on a good day today and the instructions suited perfectly the FMC.

The downwind leg was a bit of a pain, as they all are, but it gave me the opportunity to get familiar with downtown Miami, well, as much as it can be done in FS anyway.

Flipr2 arrival

If you've noticed it in Michael Mann movies, there are always scenes close to airports with airliners taking off and landing, capturing beautifully the harmony between the city and aircraft lights. No where near Mann's masterpieces, I still think my final approach shot reflects a cool Miami evening with a lot of lights.

Final runway 12

My landing was perfect, a textbook greaser. I slowed down with autobrakes 2 and vacated swiftly the runway to make way for the incoming traffic behind me. KMIA is a busy airport and this evening was no exception.

The FRF scenery is quite good in my opinion as far as freeware KMIAs go. I have all runways active which makes it closer to the real deal too. Also, I found the the parking to be correctly set since I was directed to the AAL terminal. It's not uncommon in FS for the ATC to send you off to GA parking!

AA terminal, obviously

My block time was 220 minutes which seemed close to what the real AAL 602 clocks according to flightaware.com

At the gate, where's Sonny and Ricardo?

The next flight is going to be from Australia to New Zealand or vice versa. Like I said above though, I can definitely see myself flying more into and from that gorgeous TBPB scenery.

Thanks for viewing.


  1. I love the new layout Onuvv

  2. The new blog has me in FS heaven with all those clouds!

    The take off and climb out series is awesome! Feels like I was in the right seat! Short final is awesome as always...just like a WAR DVD!

    I always talk out loud for my briefings. My woman thinks I am nuts so I just tell her I am talking to the dog...(you need a dog co pilot Onur!)

    I agree on the freeware TBPB. It is payware quality. For me the really nice scenery adds to the immmersion of the sim. I know you go default on many of your flights but for me that immersion is very important.

    BTW, Mr.Kraus has just finished LCPH Paphos for FSX and says a FS9 version is around the bend! COOL!

    Beer and hamburgers? Hey no cigars this flight???

  3. @Burchavv, thanks Hon, this blog would suck without your ideas

    @Al, yeah, blogger has done a good job with the clouds.

    HAHA, the simmer's best friend F/O, "any questions? WOOF!"

    I agree 100% on sceneries and immersion, makes a big difference. I just wouldn't want to limit myself with them. Lucky for us we have lots of good airports in FS9.

    Normally I would have smoked a cigar, I wasn't in the mood this time though.