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