Tuesday, December 28, 2010


I can't spare a lot of time right now so the review of this flight will be a little short. The flight itself wasn't that long either, just 90 minutes. 90 more minutes with a Cessna going to the log.

A recent visitor country on my blog was Nigeria so a flight there was in order. More so that I had never done a flight in west-central Africa. This great part of the World is also excellent for airline or cargo flights. Definitely on the list for the future.

Getting ready, 19L

The problem when flying in Africa, if you consider it a problem is the long distances, it's such a large continent that setting up a short hop requires a lot of attention!

The first flight I set was from DNMM Lagos to a city in Cameroon. When I found out the whole deal was going to take like 10 hours in the C206 I looked for some place much closer.

After 20 minutes, I set up a VOR to VOR route to DNPO Port Harcourt from Lagos Murtala Muhammed. The 260NM route took a tad over 90 minutes from brake-release to shut-down.

Over the plains of Africa

The weather was calm at Lagos, just as expected a balmy 31C with scattered clouds at 1300'

I took off in a southerly direction, turned back to the north to intercept the necessary radial according to my flight plan.

Nice view to the right

The enroute flight was calm to say the least and I climbed to 6000' to ensure some good visibility.

After about an hour and a half of sight seeing and playing around with the instruments in the C206, I flew a left downwind leg for a landing on runway 05.

Approaches are a piece of cake with GA birds, whether curved or staight in. That said, my touchdowns are either too firm or I float too much, not to mention I always touchdown left or right of the centerline.

Final runway 5

The slow approach speed with full flaps provided me some good view of the Port Harcourt city surroundings.

4 white! I don't think so

The VAPIs in FS can go wrong and this was no exception as seen in the above shot. There is no way I was too high there.

DNMM definitely deserves a full airliner or cargo flight for sure, a heavy Air France and Lufthansa arrived just as I prepared for take-off.

This will probably be my last flight for 2010, 43 flights in total this year.

Thanks for viewing and happy new year to all the regulars of this blog!

Monday, December 13, 2010


For those who follow regularly this blog, you know that "rendre hommage" to new visitor countries is a custom here. The idea belongs to my better half who came up with other good ideas for this humble flightsim blog, it's great inspiration for setting up a flight around the world. If you see anything good here, it comes from her, the shitty screen shots as you might have guessed are my work.

I had never flown into or out of Iceland in my FS career before. What a shame, the idea came initially from the Air Iceland 757 WAR dvd.

Flight route

DHL 1881 was from Brussels to Keflavik, chartered to carry some heavy machinery parts on behalf of some big industry for their customers over in Iceland. Departure time was actually scheduled at 19:30 on Saturday evening but the parts only arrived around after 18:30 so the flight was delayed for an hour. Brakes were released for pushback at 20:40.

Company office right across

Weather at EBBR was mild winds from the southwest with low cloud cover at 900 and broken clouds at 3300 with a 6-mile visibility.

The enroute weather was looking to be troublesome over the North Sea with storms directly on our route. Whether a deviaiton was going to necessary would be decided once in the air.

Excitement building up

Take-off and climbout was smooth with no departure traffic, I had runway 25L for landings so the arrivals didn't interfere either. I flew the NIK2C standart instrument departure which requires a right turn to the NIK VOR at only 700'. Once the turn completed I hit the central A/P and speeded up to clean configuration as fast as possible.

Climbing out of Brussels

My GW was around 220K lbs, slightly heavy so I set an initial cruise altitude of FL 320 for planned step climb to FL 380. However, my planning was all wrong and as soon as I reached FL 320, the FMC had already calculated an optimal cruise altitude of FL 360. It stayed that way during the whole flight.

The skies were a bit crowded at this point and I had several close counters with other aircraft, the closest being the one pictured below with a Ryanair NG.

Close call with a Ryanair NG

The heavy headwind component rarely dropped below 90 knots on most of the way. I should have flown the reverse route.

During most of the flight, I played the Gran Turismo 5, exploring the new circuits and cars, pushing them to their limit. If you have a PS3 and you don't play GT, you have no idea what you're missing. Multiply FS by 5 and turn it into a driving simulator and you'll get a rough idea of how good this new Gran Turismo is.

Anyway, I kept an eye on the clock and when it was time to start my descent (per the calculated T/D) I tuned into the FS ATC, which once again was accurate with the descent instructions.

The weather at Keflavik which was already rainy with low visibility at my departure time hadn't improved (much to my pleasure!). The winds were 182 at 8 with an overcast at 300, 2.5 miles visibility and rain.

Once the clearance to runway 11 came, I headed on to the Keita 2 STAR which takes you to the KEF VOR just over the airport, after which you complete a typical teardrop circle to land turn 8 miles out.

Short final, ILS 11

I was lined up behind Swissair 8664 on final with an Iceair flight of which I can't remember the flight number right behind me.

My landing was smooth enough and with autobrakes 3 and reversers I slowed down easily to vacate the runway.

It took around 10 minutes to reach the cargo stand, 10 minutes during which I had the chance to check out this simple yet neat freeware Keflavik scenery.

DHL office at BIKF

Ok, 3 hours and 47 minutes goes to the log.

I see Nigeria is the last visitor country here, it was about time I did a flight in Africa...

Thanks for viewing

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Strip

It had been a while since my last flight on the other side of the Pond, in Northern America.

Real world flight, UAL 460 from San Francisco to Las Vegas was with the PSS 757-200 per the real life aircraft.

The route was taken directly from flightaware:

Porte3 CZQ BIH LIDAT J92 BTY Sunst2

Cruise altitude for today was FL350

Can we go now?

The weather at San Fran was light winds from the east, calm to be more precise with few clouds at 4500 and 11C. I was expecting runway 10R for departure but somehow FS has assigned 28L/R, and btw, I did reset AI after refreshing the weather in AS. Weird...

My preflight took around 15 minutes as usual, not to much data to enter for the 450NM or so flight. Heavy tailwinds were on the menu so I was expecting the flight time to be around an hour.

Arrivals and departures

KSFO was bustling with evening traffic, all of the majors coming and going. I was lucky to witness a simultaneous arrival and departure (see above shot).

The United terminal happened to be on the other side of the airport so taxi time was long, too long to my liking.

Lining up, 28L

The Porte3 departure from 28L takes you back inland, to waypoint wages which is the exit gate of the SID.

Cruise flight was uneventful and short, plus, being dark there wasn't much to see either.

Approach into Las Vegas was exciting as I hadn't ever flown into KLAS before in FS. I was really curious about how the Strip was done.

Las Vegas to the left

The Sunst2 RNAV arrival takes you to the south of the airport where you fly the downwind leg for runways 25L/R. If I'm not mistaken, KLAS is very much like KLAX in terms of runway usage. Mostly 25L/R are used.

The southerly winds were blowing steadily at 5 knots with few clouds at 11000 and 8C.

Night flying rules

Night flying, especially the approach phase is extremely rewarding. Every single time the runways lights as in the shot above takes my breath away... Every final approach at night is a great experience.

My landing was slightly off centerline, a tad to the right but was still quite smooth. My taxi time back to the gate was long here as well.

The Strip

An hour and 27 minutes added to log, this one included we should be at 91 with Al. 9 to go to reach our 100 mark. 9 more flights to complete in 24 days. Only a couple of leg series each and we're there.

It should be possible.

Before I wrap it up, I'd like to point out Al's Las Vegas flight in 2009 with the same aircraft here.

As Iceland is the last visitor country on my blog, a flight over there might be in order.

Thanks for viewing