Sunday, November 28, 2010
I had arrived in Koeln at 0830 local time and my return flight, AB6498 wasn't due until 1115. I'm sure I messed up the flight numbers here because they certainly don't match but at the same time, I did note them down carefully from the Air Berlin website.
I loaded my return flight a little lighter than the inbound leg, my take-off weight was 135K lbs to be exact. Tailwinds were forecasted so I was expecting to be in ESSA in under 2 hours
With lighter loads and a dry runway, I went with derated take-off to ease off on the engines in terms of wear and tear (as if that existed in FS!) The wind direction hadn't changed in EDDK so the active runway still being 14L, I took off and followed the Podip 3F departure.
Company Fokker coming in
Departure traffic was light and I was number 1 but had to wait for an inbound company Fokker. (seen above)
Watching AI coming into land is huge fun. The weather enroute was good enough with tailwinds until over Sweden where I encountered CBs, requiring deviation. It had been a while since I used the offset function in the PMDG FMC, which I noticed again how good it worked. This add-on just doesn't get old.
CBs ahead, deviation required
My approach was straight in, on the TRS 3M STAR for an ILS landing on runway 01R. I made a silly mistake here with the AF2 file. I wanted separate runways for landing and take-off so I set the closest runway to the terminal area for departures and the other one for arrivals. On my own arrival I found out that runway 01R approach plate wasn't among my charts! Luckily my inbound route was pretty much a direct route to the localizer anyway. The weather was better than that morning with lighter winds and better visibility. You know I would have preferred CAT3 conditions though.
Very short final, just before going missed, note the middle guy going missed too
I encountered some traffic on final approach and had to go-around because the idiot in front couldn't vacate the runway quickly enough. I flew a right-hand circuit at 2000 feet and came back on the localizer 8 miles out. Btw, I found out my missed approach skills needed a lot of practice!
Very short final, again
My landing was perfect, spot on the centerline with a nice greaser. The taxi back to the terminal was way too long, I have to reconsider my runway usage for ESSA...
At the gate
Btw, in case you might be curious, the Arlanda scenery above is the recently free released Swedflight version (previously payware). A great thank you goes to the folks at Swedflight for this freeware gem.
My next flight, will be another leg series, most likely in the US this time.
Pushing to 100, eh Al?
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Where better to start a winter flight than Stockholm, Sweden..? Although, Winter hasn't really started yet.
Still, my random choice was spot on since there was light snow at Arlanda.
Flight AB8103, a real world Air Berlin flight per their website was from ESSA, Stockholm to EDDK, Koeln-Bonn. I flew the round trip, 2 legs. I should have started the series at EDDK since Air Berlin is German but Arlanda seemed more appealing somehow. Probably because of the snowy conditions.
Taxing to the active
The weather at ESSA was winds 058 at 14 with few clouds at 700 and broken clouds at 1500 in light snow. The temperature was a freezing -7C. Perfect conditions for fliping those anti-ice switches on the overhead panel.
With northeastern winds, I took off from runway 01L and follwing the Nosli 4C departure route, turning south and joining the UN850 airway.
The take-off was pretty bumpy, mostly due to the slight crosswinds and gusts but above the low cloud cover the ride got smoother. I ran into some turbulence for a minute or two at FL200 but nothing serious. The clouds didn't clear until I left Sweden.
The weather was much better at EDDK with very mild winds from the east, few clouds at 1600 but still quite chilly at -1C.
For your information, on the day I did the flights my howntown of Istanbul is still in the low 20s!
I flew the Kopag 1V arrival for a landing on runway 14L.
Very short final
One of the advantages of a leg series is that you can fly both at night and during the day, enjoying the night-time atmosphere of the runway lights and the sight-seeing oppotunity of day-time.
Traffic was calm on this Sunday morning at Adenauer airport. Just a few company aircraft along with the regular customers such as GermanWings or Lufthansa coming and going.
At the parking stand
Click here for leg 2
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Sunday, November 21, 2010
On to leg 2,
Before I continue, I have to explain a couple of details.
Normally the return leg should have been flight 218 but, I wanted to fly at night so I skiped a few legs and flew 214 which in real life is the last daily flight back to Riga.
By the way, if you haven't read about leg 1 you can find it here.
I simulated a 45-minute layover, more than enough to get through the flight preparations which normally in my case only takes 20 minutes or so.
The loads on this trip was just a tad heavier than the previous flight with the take-off weight nearing 185K lbs.
The weather was more or less the same, only the winds were lighter now, below 5 knots. I took advantage of the situation and didn't refresh the AI via Active Sky, leaving runways 08L/R in use. This helped shortening the departure route which was Gerga 1T for this evening.
Taxing to 08L
Taxi time was 10 minutes and with light traffic I didn't have to wait for any departing aircraft.
That said, traffic wasn't sparse at Tegel but most of it cleared up during my preflight.
Cleared to go
Cruise flight was uneventful, except for some mild turbulence over Poland. However, the flight got interesting as the weather in Riga got worse. Before take-off, weather reports for EVRA were showing 0,6 miles visibility. By the time I was going through the approach briefing (by myself!) the visibility had dropped even lower to 0,4 miles. Perfect for a CAT3 landing. Winds were calm with foggy conditions.
The arrival route was Gunta 3A for a CAT3 ILS landing on runway 18.
Approaching Riga, RVR is 300 meters
The fog was pretty dense and the runway lights only came into view just after the 300' callout. It was very exciting and huge fun to fly a full CAT3 approach and autoland with no visibility. Waiting anxiously for the runway lights, checking the instruments to ensure everything is alright and finally monitoring the autoland were definitely the highlights of this leg series.
Autolands may be dull and boring to some simmers but it's a favorite of mine and I bet it's very exciting for the crew in real life as well. Those who have seen the missed approach in the TUI FLY WAR dvd will know what I mean.
The autoland wasn't bad, smooth enough. Fortunately the visibility was good on the ground so I was able to find my way to the gate.
Where can a guy get a beer?
1h 35min for the 1st leg and 1h 40min for the return leg, totaling to 3 hours and 15 minutes going into the log.
I've certainly missed flight sim, that's for sure. Even if it means getting up a couple of hours earlier on the weekends I'll try to do at least one flight per week this winter.
I'm planning on checking out some of the Swedflight sceneries which have turned freeware. So a flight into or out of ESSA, Arlanda might be in order.
Thanks for viewing
How long as it been since my last flight? More than 2 months!! I did a couple of GA flights with the GA aircraft but nothing worth putting on the blog, just a few touch and go's.
As I might have mentioned here before, I'm a big PS3 buff so I've been spending all of my free time playing the new Medal of Honor Tier 1 and the very recent COD Black Ops. For those interested in this type of gaming, to put it very briefly, MOH is awesome in single player but is mediocre online and the new COD is huge fun both in single and multiplayer modes. It needs a couple of fixes and it will be perfect just as the previous versions.
Back a couple of months ago, I was so sure we would be able to do 100 flights with Al by the end of the year, it seemed possible then. We should be around 87 right now. Would 13 flights be feasible in 6 weeks? Not very likely. I guess 90 would be the correct number to settle for, eh Al?
Anyway, on with the flight.
The 1st leg is from EVRA, Latvia Riga to EDDT, Berlin Germany. I flew with the Air Baltic 757-200, the type is used on this route in real life as well. Well, according to spotter shots on various sites.
On a side note, the Air Baltic WAR dvd is very well done, great footage with plenty of explanations by the pilots. I found it very useful for flying the PSS 757.
The loads were light on flight 217 this morning, take-off weight was a hair over 182K pounds with 20K lbs of fuel for this 90-minute flight.
Weather at Riga was winds 086/5 and 8C with clouds overcast at a low 300 feet, visibility 1,5 in miles in light rain.
Cleared for taxi
I took off from runway 36 following the Rogat 1G departure on to the M869 airway.
Traffic wasn't very heavy at EVRA, good enough not saturating the single runway.
Unidentified ATR coming in
After 2 incoming aircraft I lined up and started my take-off roll. Despite the low load figures I used full take-off thrust per wet runway procedures. Needless to say, with all that power I was rotating before I knew it.
Climb and cruise flight was pretty smooth. The clouds cleared over Poland and arrival weather seemed good.
Clearance for 26L came 80 miles out and I flew the Bodla 3Z arrival.
I flew through some mild turbulence at 10000 feet, entering the clouds. Weather at Tegel was winds 228 at 7 with clouds 1900 few and light rain.
Turning to base
My 2 month pause had taken its toll and my flying on approach was sloppy to say the least. I was too high and to fast on final approach but was able to recover by lowering the landing gear, creating some extra drag.
Final, ILS 26L
Once stabilized, the A/P went off and I handflew the approach below 1000 feet.
My landing was good, not excellent but good nonetheless. I touched down slightly to the right but quite smoothly so no discomfort for the pax.
Where's the gate?
EDDT isn't very comlicated ramp wise and since the gate numbers were marked on the ground I didn't need the FS taxi aid.
At the gate
Note the LH 300 in the upper shot. This type was operated on short shuttle flights in Germany and I believe it was phased out this summer. I guess I'll have to wait for the next Lufthansa update from WOAI for the virtual A300s to cease service.
After a 45 minute layover, we're heading back to EVRA.
Click here for leg 2.
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