Friday, September 10, 2010

Air Europa Leg Series 3

Alright, time for the return leg.

Find leg 1 here and leg 2 here.

Departure time was 10.35 and taking into account my late arrival to Almeria I had only 20 minutes to get the aircraft set for the trip to Paris.

145 passengers boarded here, bringing the total number to 173 with the 28 previously boarded at Alicante.

Anyway, putting aside the confusion with the numbers my take-off weight was a hair over 161K lbs.

Return leg route

Take-off was from runway 08 following a SORBA 1B SID. The winds had slightly changed at LEAM, now blowing from 124 at 12 and few clouds at 3000. The temperature had risen to 25C by now.

I was parked next to an Easyjet A319 which I found out on its clearance delivery was off to Gatwick.

Easy 5164 pushing back

My parking spot was just next to the runway providing a great view on the arrivals and departures.

The weather hadn't changed at Paris so I set the FMC for a runway 26L approach. Arrival was going to be KEPER 1W if the winds wouldn't shift to the north.

Easy 5164 to Gatwick

I was ready to go by 1030, saving me 5 precious minutes. Time is money in the airline business, hehe...

Cleared to go

The take-off roll took forever as rotation speed was around 150 knots due to heavy loads.

Sorba 1B departure

The return flight route took me over the same places as before but over Agen I took a left turn to fly over Poitiers and approach LFPG from the west, thus the KEPER arrival.

A reason I chose this route was because it passes close to Toulouse where I spent a great deal of my life. I used to look up in the sky and see the contrails of passing aircraft, wondering where they were headed.

Pyrennees on the retun leg

No changes on the arrival route and I was cleared to the ILS 26L. Winds were reported to be 243 at 6 with clouds 4500 scattered.

Coming from the west, the long downwind leg was a real pain to fly.

Final 26L

Not surprisingly, the airspace was crowded over Paris with arrivals and departures everywhere. I was third on final but with good spacing ahead I wasn't concerned.


Flaps 30 this time so the touchdown was much easier, I was able to grease it, the pax would have barely noticed it, it was that good.

Back at LFPG

Block time for this last leg was 2 hours and 30 minutes. I shut down at Roissy six and a half hours after releasing brakes that morning.

Doing multiple legs is huge fun, however, next time I'll probably keep the legs under 400 NM so I could do more at a time.

The latest visitor country on the blog was Latvia so next flight is into or out of Riga.

Thanks for viewing

Air Europa Leg Series 2

Ok then,

With 123 passengers off and 28 on back to Paris, flight 602 is on the way to Almeria to offload the remaining folks and pick up those destined to Paris.

You can find leg 1 here.

Leg 2 route

This leg is a very short hop, only 158 NM at a cruise level of FL220 and 15 minutes of level flight.

The turnaround took 25 minutes with no refuel as it was scheduled at LEAM for the return leg.

There was heavy Easyjet and Ryanair traffic at LEAL, coming and going pretty frequently.

Boarding complete and ready for push and start

Take-off weather was going to be the same as arrival as not much had changed since half an hour. With only 85 passengers and a light load of fuel the take-off was pretty powerful with a steep climb

Take-off flaps please

I took off on the Magal 2A departure and headed directly to LEAM.

Lining up

During preflight I found out LEAM had an NDB only approach for runway 08. The weather forecast was reporting easterly winds so the landing was going to be very exciting.

Just as I had though, the clearance to runway 08 came a few minutes into the flight and I re-read the procedure to be sure.

Like I always say, handflying the PMDG NG is a real joy so I always look forward to non-precision approaches.

I was able to fly the procedure even better than I thought and I was quite accurate with the descent profile too. I was easily stabilized before 1000 feet.

Approach stabilized

The very slight crosswind and gusts added to the fun, constantly requiring corrections during the last 1000 feet or so.

Winds were 114 at 10 in CAVOK conditions and 22C

Short final NDB 08

Once again a firm landing due to the flaps 40 configuration.

Block time for this leg was 44 minutes, a bit longer than estimated due to a slow downwind leg for that NDB approach.

Click here for the return leg back to Paris.

Thanks for viewing

Air Europa Leg Series 1

With the end of the week holiday what a great opportunity to finally do a leg series.

Air Europa flight 601 - 602 and 603 were from Paris, Charles de Gaulle airport to Almeria, Spain and back with a stop at Alicante.

Air Europa, if you already don't know operates 737 NGs and is one of my favorite European charter airlines, perfect for flying in and out of Spain.

First leg route

Flight 601 was scheduled for an early morning take-off, like most holiday charter flights, in order to get the folks to their hotels well before noon.

Departure time was 0700 so I set up my flight at 0630 to get the aircraft ready for the first leg. My preflight usually takes around 20 minutes and the extra 10 minutes is for in case any problems arise like a badly written SID/STAR file which will require correction.

This time encountered no problems so I contacted ATC for the IFR clearance at 0650. I started my pushback at 0655.

Morning arrivals at Roissy

Weather at LFPG was winds 283 at 6 with few clouds at 300 and 14C calling for a runway 26R take-off on the ERIXU 1B departure. At LFPG the inner runways are for take-off and the outers for landings. Perfectly easy to replicate in FS.

Ready for boarding

Morning traffic was picking up at Roissy with Air France flights starting their daily schedules to all over Europe.

I had 170 passengers and their luggage on the way to Alicante and Almeria with a fuel load of 22K lbs. Total flight time was estimated at 1 hour and 46 minutes.

Air France 1542 ahead

I fell in behind AF 1542 to runway 26R which is on the south side of the airport. Enroute weather was looking good with no storm cells in my path and a slight tailwind.

Ready to go

The initial climb was mildly bumpy. The airspace over Paris seemed very crowdy with arrivals and departures at Orly as well so instead of flying the whole SID I took a direct route to ERIXU. I believe that's pretty much how they do it in real life as well, I don't think the whole departure or arrival is fully flown that often, fuel and time being important in this business.

The City of Paris

The route took me over Agen which is very close to Toulouse, the Pyrennees mountains, slightly right of Barcelona and over Valencia which I was to start my descent.

Arrival weather was forecasted to be light winds from the northeast and few clouds at 2000 overcast. I set up the FMC for a runway 10 arrival.

Over the Pyrennees

I flew the Astro 1L arrival into Alicante which takes you close to the mountain tops thus providing a lovely view. It would have been very exciting to fly this approach in the dark.

Final for the ILS Z 10

I've noticed in the shots on that Air Europa uses flaps 40 for landings often so I thought I do so too.

Arrival weather hadn't changed much from the report I got enroute.

The Spanair crew are watching

It's trickier to flare and land smoothly with flaps 40 and I think I touched down a bit firm. My flare was a tad too high resulting in a semi stall touch down, a bit on the firm side, slightly bouncing back in the air. Not too much though.

Spanair departure

I planned 30 minutes for each turnaround. It should be enough to reset the FMC and fill in the necessary paperwork. Block time was 1h 58min.

Click here for leg 2 to Almeria

Thanks for viewing