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  1. 3 points
    brian747

    Another long haul

    This was a straightforward trip from Singapore WSSS to (a slightly murky) San Francisco KSFO. All 7,342 nm of it. The thing is, that for most of the time there's only two things to be seen out of the windshield — clouds, and water. And that's when it's daylight! So I won't burden you with any unnecessary comments, just show you a few pics of the take-off and the landing. Cheers, Brian Top of descent: At last — land! KSFO rwy 28R:
  2. 3 points
    This was a short (by 744 standards) jaunt from the snow of Toronto to the distinctly milder temperatures of Miami. Ready for pushback at Toronto gate C29 Pushed back and engines started It looks icy out there! Let's get somewhere warmer! This stuff is all very well on the ski slopes but... Ah, that's better! Just started the descent towards KMIA Miami, here I come Touchdown at dusk Parked at the satellite International terminal
  3. 1 point
    Looks sunny and pleasant, right? Well TBH this is the first time that I have ever been here that it hasn't been snowing fit to bust. If I tell you that the outside temperature in that picture is a withering -26ºC, then you'll appreciate my agreeable surprise. Welcome to Magadan, which is more or less at the top right hand edge of Russia. Here's the flight map (I'm going from top right to bottom left): As you can see, my destination is Beijing — another of those places where the weather is often not, shall we say, very favourable, since industrial fog is the norm (Mumbai comes immediately to mind in that connection, too). But just for once, back at Magadan the weather was being amazingly kind to me as I taxyed out and took off. Since they have so little daylight up here, I had timed my departure to take advantage of the brightest part of the day. Given the climb rate achievable by my trusty RR engines, it wasn't long before I found myself above the cloud layer: here I'm crossing the sea of Okhotsk. During the cruise I step-climbed from FL360 up to FL420 to save fuel — which was especially necessary in view of the strong headwind. After which it's pretty much steppes and mountains for most of the way.... But a few hours later I was descending towards Beijing.... ....where there are some nasty mountains about, when approaching from this direction. As I got nearer to the ground, the dreaded Beijing smog made its appearance — made slightly worse by the fact that it was also getting towards dusk. Definitely time to light my aircraft up like a Christmas tree! Given the conditions, combined with the fact that it was about time for the compulsory once-a-month autoland to check the equipment anyway, this meant that the landing was boring whilst I watched the automatics make it look easy. Whilst also being tensed like a panther to spring into action in the event that anything had gone wrong, of course — but it didn't. You can never get enough light on the situation, given these conditions! But it was an easy taxy from runway 19 to my appointed gate 508. Job done. Cheers, Brian
  4. 1 point
    Aaaaannnnd…we're there. North America 2017 is done and dusted. For a tour that I essentially abandoned early on, it ended up being quite an enjoyable journey. As with other WWV tours, a big part of the enjoyment is discovering places I never would have otherwise. In terms of the aircraft used on this journey - the Navajo, the Q400 and the Legacy - I found myself fluctuating from day to day during the back half of the tour. When my interest in flight planning started to wane, I jumped in the Legacy. Weather, fuel, airways be damned. Other times, I was in the mood for a bit of challenge and flew the Q400. And occasionally, I'd fire up the Navajo just for the hell of it. Highlights from the back end of the tour included: A lovely approach into Phoenix Sky Harbor A delightful hand-flown departure out of Palm Springs bound for Catalina Island Flying the Legacy into a gusty Monterey was quite a ride as a 30 knot headwind early in the approach turned into a 10 knot tailwind on final. The activation of 'Plan B' followed, with a landing to the west instead of the east. I was pleased to have Ketchikan on the itinerary, it being the only stop on this tour that I've visited in real life. Love the joint. Arrived there in the Legacy to crappy weather, necessitating an ILS approach which I flew so poorly, it made my Q400 approaches look professional. Speaking of the Q400…two of my favourite flights on this tour were the last two legs to Jackson Hole and Chicago. A night time arrival in KJAC where I hit APPR mode and let the Q fly itself down to minimums. Not surprisingly, it tracked the localiser and glide slope more accurately than yours truly ever could. A sunrise departure for the last leg of the tour. It was bloody lovely. Well, lovely once we got airborne. I suspect the tower controller had his hand on the crash alarm as we used up every inch of runway 19 to get airborne. One really should remember to account for airport elevation in one's flight planning. I shall remind one forthwith. The arrival into Chicago O'Hare was bittersweet as always, being the end of another adventure. I took a moment to reflect on how far the simulation experience has come since flying into KORD in MSFS 5, way back in the 90s. (Image courtesy of The Old Flight Simulator Vault) Simpler times, in so many ways. Anyhow, that's me done for another post. Thanks for reading. With South America, Asia, Europe and North America tours 'in the bag', I think it might be time to head home to Australia for the next adventure. Until then, blue skies to all!
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