COVID-19 Relief Flight Series #7

We’re somewhat turning a corner with our 7th installment and headed back towards Europe and the United Kingdom.  We’re departing out of Abu Dhabi International (OMAA) and headed to London Heathrow (EGLL).  While much of the cargo headed into the London area of England flows through London Stanstead (EGSS), some does still flow through Heathrow.  Our flight today will be simulating an Emirates SkyCargo flight operating the Boeing 777 freighter. 

Route:

1

Let’s Go to London

Our chariot awaits. 

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If you’re unfamiliar with GSX and GSX level 2 expansion by FSDreamTeam, it’ll sure help add an extra bit of immersion to your flights.  As an example, I’ve showed these cargo loading images several times throughout this series.  The cargo containers actually move from the carts onto the loading platform. 

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The the loading platform raises and the cargo container moves along.

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And finally into the aircraft. 

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We can only look at the aircraft on the ground for so long.  After all, we have a 7 hour flight ahead of us. 

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Leaving the sand behind us.  We’ll be back.

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Scooting along and making good time. 

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Over Cairo

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The Swiss Alps

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The English Channel ahead.

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A cloudy day over southeast England.

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Old London Town

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Touchdown!

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Reverse Thrust….

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Time to unload…

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and go to the hotel

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Another absolutely fun flight in the books. 

Credits

Flight Simulator:  Prepar3D v4.5 (hotfix 1)
Aircraft:  PMDG 777 Freighter
Airline: Emirates SkyCargo (UAE)
ATC:  VATSIM
Airport Scenery: OMAA Abu Dhabi International (Simbreeze), EGLL London Heathrow (UK2000)
Terrain Scenery: Orbx Global Base, Orbx Vector
Sky/Cloud Textures: REX 5 SkyForce and REX 5 Environment Force
Immersion Effects – Parallel 42 777 Immersion
Weather Generation: ActiveSky (ASP4)
Flight Planning: SimBrief, Navigraph, FlightAware, FlightRadar24

Note:  If you are interested in any of the above mentioned add-ons.  Visit my P3D Add-ons directory for links.

COVID-19 Relief Flight Series #6

Hello and welcome back to installment 6 of my COVID-19 Relief Flight Series.  I’m happy to report that both my wife and I are still healthy and alive.  Best of all, being cooped up with each other now for three weeks hasn’t caused any frustrations between us.  We both go about our work days and then spend time together in the evenings.  It’s all good!

Our flight today is from Moscow (UUWW) down to Abu Dhabi (OMAA).  I picked up the Abu Dhabi International airport scenery and this is the first time I’m flying into this airport.  In the real world, much of the cargo operations within the UAE is handled via the newer Al Maktoum International Airport (OMDW) also known as Dubai World Center.  But there are a few cargo flights going into and out of Abu Dhabi and that is what we’re simulating for this flight today. 

Our flight today will be in an Etihad Cargo Boeing 777.  This is a fictional flight as this flight does not operate between Moscow and Abu Dhabi.  But that’s OK (as I’ve explained in the past).

Route:

1

Ready?

Before we can go, we must load cargo. 

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The ground crews here in Moscow are top notch.

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Almost done!

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We’re all buttoned up.  Pushing back.

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Still a bit of snow on the ground from the storm yesterday.  Love the attention to detail the developer of this scenery thought to include some tire tracks through the snow.  Just make the immersion even better.

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Ready to go on runway 01.

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While we’re heavy with cargo, our fuel load is relatively light for the 5 hour flight.

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A snow covered Moscow as we climb out and make our turn to join the departure.

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Our engines are gently purring along. 

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The big girl is doing well.

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In no time we’re in our cruise.  Should have smooth skies for the rest of the trip.

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High above the Caspian Sea.

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Down to the last 150nm as we are leaving Iranian airspace and about to cross the Persian Gulf.

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Abu Dhabi International just off the starboard side. 

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Sand everywhere…

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Runway insight

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What that saying about when the big Triple Seven sees its shadow?  Many more happy landings!

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Touchdown!

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Slow her down…

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Another successful cargo flight is in the books. 

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Yep, another successful cargo operation is in the books.  Where do we go from here?  Well….you’ll just have to tune in next time to find out. 

Until next time….please take care of yourself and your family.  May God continue to bless you and keep you safe. 

Jerry

Credits

Flight Simulator:  Prepar3D v4.5 (hotfix 1)
Aircraft:  PMDG 777 Freighter
Airline: Etihad Cargo (ETD)
ATC:  VATSIM
Airport Scenery: UUWW (Moscow) JustSim , OMAA (Abu Dhabi) Simbreeze
Terrain Scenery: Orbx Global Base, Orbx Vector
Sky/Cloud Textures: REX 5 SkyForce and REX 5 Environment Force
Immersion Effects – Parallel 42 737 Immersion
Weather Generation: ActiveSky (ASP4)
Flight Planning: SimBrief, Navigraph, FlightAware, FlightRadar24

Note:  If you are interested in any of the above mentioned add-ons.  Visit my P3D Add-ons directory for links.

COVID-19 Relief Flight Series #5

With our 5th installment of this COVID-19 Relief Flight Series, we’re bringing in the Queen.  The Queen of the Skies, the awesome Boeing 747-400 freighter by PMDG.  I really don’t get enough opportunities to fly the Queen.  But this is about to change as we’re going to be flying her on a few different routes coming up over the next week or so.  As I mentioned in an earlier installment, I’m working from home due to the self-isolation policies and while I’m busy during the time I’m actually working…I can kick off these longer haul flights and either land during lunch (as is the case with this flight) or after my day is done with the truly longer haul flights. 

My gaming machine sits just behind me and once we’re in cruise, I turn things over to my first officer (autopilot) and just let it do its thing.  I can work, take calls or do whatever and P3D and whatever flight I’m flying just runs behind me. 

Flight Planning

Our flight today is a medium haul flight from Liege, Belgium (EBLG) to Moscow, Russia and the Vnukovo International Airport.  This is a new airport in my collection of add-on scenery.  I picked it up free as part of the “Stay at Home” flight sim developers sale that has been taking place the past week or so.  While ASL Airlines Belgium doesn’t fly to this airport, other cargo airlines do connect between here and Liege. 

Route:

1

Back in the USSR

The ground crew is busy loading up our Boeing 747 freighter for the trip to Russia.  They are taking advantage of all cargo doors (including the nose section) in getting us loaded as quickly as possible.

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My first officer and I walking over to our aircraft. 

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We’re loaded, all doors are closed and locked.  Our ground crew here at Liege is pushing us back from the cargo stand.

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Lined up on 05R and ready to go. 

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Our four engines working hard to get us airborne. 

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Leaving Liege, next stop Moscow.

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Making our turn to join the departure.

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The Queen is majestic in any livery. 

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Descending over the greater Moscow area.

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Looks cold down there.

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Runway ahead…I think!

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It’s snowing!

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Almost touchdown!

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This was another awesome flight with a nail-biting finale.  Visibility was pretty much zero until the very end.  I failed to capture shots on the ground during the unloading process.  But will endeavor to do better next time.

For our next installment, we’ll depart Moscow and head down to warmer climates to Abu Dhabi.  I hope you’ll join me. Until then…thank you for reading and please take care of yourself. 

Credits

Flight Simulator:  Prepar3D v4.5 (hotfix 1)
Aircraft:  PMDG 777
Airline: ASL Airlines Belgium (TAY)
ATC:  VATSIM
Airport Scenery: EBLG (Liege) Orbx, UUWW (Moscow) Justsim
Terrain Scenery: Orbx Global Base, Orbx Vector
Sky/Cloud Textures: REX 5 SkyForce and REX 5 Environment Force
Immersion Effects – Parallel 42 737 Immersion
Weather Generation: ActiveSky (ASP4)
Flight Planning: SimBrief, Navigraph, FlightAware, FlightRadar24

Note:  If you are interested in any of the above mentioned add-ons.  Visit my P3D Add-ons directory for links.

COVID-19 Relief Flight Series #4

I hope you are enjoying this series of cargo flights.  As I indicated in the last installment, we’re going to be headed back to Belgium and will return the 738 Freighter back to her home base in Liege, Belgium (EBLG).   Liege is primarily a cargo hub for many different cargo airlines including Air China Cargo, Emirates Sky Cargo, Fedex and Qatar Airways Cargo just to name a few.  It is the 7th largest cargo airport in Europe and 22nd in the world.  While our Boeing 737-800 is branded Fedex, this particular aircraft is leased by ASL Airlines Belgium. 

Flight Planning

Our route today will take us pretty much due north from the island of Mallorca into mainland Europe and terminate at the ASL cargo hub in Liege.  

Route:

1

Our Flight

Holding short, runway 24R. 

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Off we go into the wild blue yonder….

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Perhaps some day we can get back here under different circumstances.

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Making our turn to join the departure.

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All calm at cruise

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The countryside of Belgium

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Just a tad high, but we’ll correct.

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That’s better.  Two white, Two Red

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Back at base for this bird. 

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Another successful flight in the books.  These flights are certainly helping me keep my mind off of the events taking place in the world and I hope these reports are helping you as well.  The next series of flights will be longer haul routes kicking off with a flight to Moscow, then down to Abu Dhabi.  Stay tuned.

Credits

Flight Simulator:  Prepar3D v4.5 (hotfix 1)
Aircraft:  PMDG 737 NGX
Airline: Fedex (FDX)
ATC:  VATSIM
Airport Scenery: LEPA Aerosoft, EBLG Orbx
Terrain Scenery: Orbx Global Base, Orbx Vector
Sky/Cloud Textures: REX 5 SkyForce and REX 5 Environment Force
Immersion Effects – Parallel 42 737 Immersion
Weather Generation: ActiveSky (ASP4)
Flight Planning: SimBrief, Navigraph, FlightAware, FlightRadar24

Note:  If you are interested in any of the above mentioned add-ons.  Visit my P3D Add-ons directory for links.

COVID-19 Relief Flight Series #3

As mentioned in my previous installment, this is a continuation flight to ferry the remaining relief cargo which we picked up in Brussels on to the island of Palma De Mallorca (LEPA).  At the time of the breakout of the Coronavirus, the resort island was packed with tourists and unfortunately not all were able to get off the island and begin their journey home.  The supplies we’re bringing in will help for now and more is planned in the coming days. 

Flight Planning

Our flight this afternoon is pretty straightforward.  The only difference between our arrival and our departure is weather.  But we won’t let become a distraction.  We’ll depart runway 30 and make a right hand turn, then head across Spain to Barcelona.  Then proceed across the Balearic Sea to our destination.  Our total flying time is a short 1 hour, 10 minutes at an altitude of 33,000. 

Route:

1

Let’s Go

We’ve had a bit of weather move into Bilbao today.  But it should not be a factor for us.  The ground crew is getting a bit wet, but we’re dry on the flight deck.

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We’ve got some kind of weird greenish fog moving in as we move out.  Perhaps not the best depiction of fog, but I can live with that. 

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It’s dumping out there. 

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That’s better!

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Making our turn to join the departure and above the clouds.

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Smooth flying at cruise.

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Beautiful skies as we descend into our destination.

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The island of Mallorca just ahead. 

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On final approach and fully configured.

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Runway insight.  Landing in just a few minutes.

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Touchdown?  Almost

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We’ve parked at the military section of the airport where our cargo will be unloaded.  Once unloaded and refueled, we’ll be on our way back to Belgium and the cargo airport of Liege.  This flight will be covered in the next edition. 

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Once we arrive back in Belgium, we’ll say good-bye to our little 738 freighter and stretch our legs a bit with some longer flights as we continue moving much needed cargo around the world. 

Until next time.  Please be safe, take care of your family and stay home.

Jerry

Credits

Flight Simulator:  Prepar3D v4.5 (hotfix 1)
Aircraft:  PMDG 737 NGX
Airline: Fedex (FDX)
ATC:  VATSIM
Airport Scenery: LEBB (Bilbao) Orbx, LEPA (Palma De Mallorca) Aerosoft
Terrain Scenery: Orbx Global Base, Orbx Vector
Sky/Cloud Textures: REX 5 SkyForce and REX 5 Environment Force
Immersion Effects – Parallel 42 737 Immersion
Weather Generation: ActiveSky (ASP4)
Flight Planning: SimBrief, Navigraph, FlightAware, FlightRadar24

Note:  If you are interested in any of the above mentioned add-ons.  Visit my P3D Add-ons directory for links.

My Top 5 Passenger Airlines to Simulate

Yes, another of my top lists related to flight simulation.  This time, this is my top 5 list of passenger airlines I enjoy simulating their operations.  I simply couldn’t narrow my list down to just five and I felt ten was just going to be a stretch.  While I do simulate other airlines than those I’m listing here my typical go to airlines are always pretty much the same. 

Honorable Mention – VLM

VLM was a small Belgian airline based in Antwerp.  It ceased operations on 31 August 2018.  Ironically, my wife and I used VLM in real life to fly from London City Airport to Antwerp when we visited her family.  The last time we traveled on VLM was our return flight from Antwerp back to London City on 31 August 2018.  Yep, that’s right!  We were one of the last passengers.  VLM operated the Fokker 50 turboprop aircraft and it was always a joy to fly both in the simulator and real life.  My favorite VLM route of course is the London City (EGLC) to Antwerp (EBAW) and the return.

#5 – EasyJet

I consider EasyJet (EZY) to be the Southwest Airlines of the UK and Europe.  They fly everywhere and they fly from many locations.  like Southwest’s all Boeing fleet, EasyJet is an all Airbus fleet consisting of A319’s, A320’s and A321’s.  A perfect airline if you have the FSLabs Airbus packages.  While I don’t fly the FSLabs Airbus as much as I fly the Boeing 737, I do enjoy the time I spend in the aircraft.  One of my favorite EasyJet routes is London Gatwick to Innsbruck, Austria (LOWI).

#4 Alaska Airlines

With the merger with Virgin America, Alaska Airlines (ASA) offers a variety of routes and a variety of aircraft to please just about any flight simulation enthusiast.  Once an all Boeing fleet, Alaska Airlines now operates Airbus A319’s, A320, A321 and the fun to fly Bombardier Q400 along with the Embraer 175’s.  Alaska Airlines offer short-haul routes of 1-2 hours up to medium haul routes of 4-6 hours.  My favorite Alaska Airlines route is Seattle (KSEA) to Ketchikan, Alaska.

#3 Southwest Airlines

I absolutely love the Boeing 737 and it’s my all-time favorite aircraft to fly in the simulator.   So simulating Southwest Airlines (SWA) shouldn’t come as a surprise.  What I like most about Southwest is their routes.  While I do enjoy the hub/spoke route model of airlines like American and British Airways, I also like to be able to fly point-to-point and SWA gives me this freedom while still simulating a real-world schedule.  My favorite Southwest Airlines route is Denver (KDEN) to Austin (KAUS). 

#2 British Airways

British Airways (BAW) ranks number two for many reasons.  First, I’ve been a fan of BA for about as long as I’ve been involved in the flight simulation hobby.  I loved flying the Concorde when it was first introduced in Flight Simulator 2000.  Second, they are one of the only remaining airlines to still be flying the Queen of the Skies, the beautiful Boeing 747.  Today I enjoy flying short to medium haul routes out of London Heathrow, Gatwick and London City.  Between BA’s current and retro fleet of aircraft, there are tons of options to simulate.  My favorite British Airways route is London Heathrow (EGLL) to Gibraltar (LXGB).  For long-haul, of course that would be Denver (KDEN) to London Heathrow (EGLL) in the Boeing 747-400.

#1 American Airlines

In my early career, I spent lots of time flying in and out of Dallas/Ft. Worth on American Airlines (AAL).  Back then most flights were either on the MD-80, Fokker 100 and the Boeing 727.  After moving to Denver in 1998, I still flew American every chance I could.  My first trip to England back in early 2001 was on American Airlines and a Boeing 777-200. 

Around 1999-2000 timeframe was when virtual airlines became popular.  Of course, with American being my favorite airline I enjoyed flying for several American Airline VA’s.  I’ve logged many hundreds of hours flying AA aircraft around the virtual skies. 

While I no longer fly for a virtual airline, American Airlines is my most frequently flown airline in the sim. I tend to fly the Boeing 737-800 the most, but also enjoy flying routes on the 787 and 777.  My favorite American route is Denver (KDEN) to Dallas/Ft. Worth (KDFW).  My second favorite route is Miami (KMIA) to Sint Maarten (TNCM).  The approach into and departure out of this awesome airport never gets old.

In Summary

There you go!  These are my top 5 (plus an honorable mention) of my favorite passenger airlines to simulate.  While this is certainly not an exclusive list of the only airlines I enjoy flying in the sim, these are my most frequent.  But regardless of which airlines make up your top list, I hope you enjoy the time you spend in the simulator as much as I do. 

Until next time…

Happy Flying!

Jerry

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