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.

COVID-19 Relief Flight Series #2

While my first installment brought us to Europe, I’m going to spend some time flying and jumping around to a few different payware airports which I haven’t visited in a while.  Much like flight #1, these may not be actual routes served by the carriers I’m going to simulate.  But these are flights my imagination wants to fly. 

Flight Planning

Our second flight will another cargo flight.  We’re picking up where we left off (at Brussels) and headed down to Bilbao Spain (LEBB).  Bilbao is a payware airport I purchased a few years ago.  For this flight we will be in a branded Fedex Boeing 737-800 which has been converted from passenger service to cargo service.  The aircraft is being operated by ASL Airlines Belgium (formerly TNT Airways).  ASL operates a fleet of 30 aircraft including a number of freighter conversions of the B737 variant.  Typically ASL operates from their main cargo hub at Liege, Belgium (EBLG) and we’ll probably visit this airport soon.

The flight from Brussels to Bilbao is a cargo relief flight to transport many of the supplies we ferried over from Miami to the citizens in NE Spain.  Our flight time is 1 hour, 35 minutes and we’re loading on 17,500 lbs of fuel.  Once we arrive in Bilbao about 50% of the cargo will be dropped off and our flight will continue to our next destination.

Route: 

1

Let’s Go to Spain

Unlike our flight from Miami which required a crew of three, our shorter flight today only requires two.  My First Officer and I are boarding the aircraft while the ground crew and cargo handlers ready our aircraft for flight. 

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Pushing back from our stand and starting engines. 

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Position and Hold, Runway 01.  Note:  I’m aware the correct terminology is now “Line up and Wait”, however, when I began blogging about my flight simulation adventures well over 10 years ago, the terminology at that time was “Position and Hold” and that is what I called my first blog site.  This was before I rebranded to GrizzlyBearSims.  The old blog site still lives in the cloud (should you want to visit). 

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Gear up!

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Making our right hand turn to join the departure out of Brussels. 

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Quick flight compared to the cross the pond flight from a few days ago.  The northern coast of Spain just off the port side. 

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I really enjoyed the approach into Bilbao.  Lots of beautiful scenery.

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Just about to make our final turn.

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Rolling out, the airport is just ahead.

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Yep, there’s Bilbao just ahead.

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Cleared to land.

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Touchdown!

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After a quick taxi, we were positioned in an area of the airport where local cargo services could assist with removing the cargo. 

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This was another fun and uneventful flight.  We had perfect weather the entire trip and reached Bilbao on schedule.  The PMDG Boeing 737 is still my all time favorite payware aircraft to fly.  It’s just a really well done model and it can go just about anywhere.  Plus as it is one of the most popular aircraft  in the world, there is a wide variety of real world carriers one can simulate flying for. 

Until next time, I hope you continue to remain safe and please STAY HOME!  Thank you!

Happy Flying!

Jerry

Credits

Flight Simulator:  Prepar3D v4.5 (hotfix 1)
Aircraft:  PMDG 737 NGX
Airline: Fedex (FDX)
ATC:  VATSIM
Airport Scenery: EBBR (Brussels) Justsim, LEBB (Bilbao) 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 #1

As I mentioned in my update post from yesterday, I have been spending some of my free time flying.  It helps me destress and gives my mind something to focus on.  The title “COVID-19 Relief Flight Series” has dual meaning.  First, yes…in my imagination I’m flying some form of relief supplies from point A to point B.  But secondarily, these flights are providing me a bit of relief from the stresses of everything that is going on in the real world.  I hope you enjoy this series. 

Flight Details

The first flight in this series (and I have no idea just how long this series will be) is a relief supply flight from Miami, Florida to Brussels, Belgium.  Why Miami?  That just happens to be the last location I flew to.  Why Belgium?  Well…why not?  By the way, I realize Fedex doesn’t routinely fly between Miami and Brussels. 

For our flight today, Fedex is transporting some much needed relief supplies from Miami, Florida to Brussels, Belgium.  We’re flying in the beautiful Boeing 777 Freighter and we’re heavy!  Very heavy today.  Our ZFW (zero fuel weight) is just below the limit at a whopping 550,000 lbs. and with our planned route, including weather along the way, we took on 171,000 lbs of fuel for the 9 hour flight. 

Our route takes us up the east coast of the US/Canada.  We begin our North Atlantic crossing at St. John’s Newfoundland and fly eastbound to Shannon, Ireland then across England and finally enter Belgium airspace. 

Route:

route

Brussels Bound

Again, for you hard core virtual pilots who might read this and blow a gasket because Fedex doesn’t routinely fly between Miami and Brussels, just relax or close your browser.  Nothing in our world right now is routine.  Either way, today…this Fedex Boeing 777 Freighter is virtually flying today between Miami (KMIA) and Brussels (EBBR). 

Our B77F is being loaded with all sorts of relief cargo which is needed throughout Europe.  Our departure time is 19:35 and we’re on schedule. 

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An extremely low ceiling makes the airport directly behind almost unrecognizable.  The condensation and immersion effects compliments of Parallel 42 777 Immersion.

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Love the immersion of the condensation. 

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As the sun sets in the distance, we turn to join our northeast route along the east coast of the US. 

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Here comes the sun.  With less than two hours to go, the sun is beginning to rise. 

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Making great time as we’re down to our last hour of flight and just leaving Ireland behind us.  It’s all business here on the flight deck as we begin to plan our descent and arrival into Brussels. 

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The west coast of Wales.

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Beginning our descent as we’re crossing the North Sea and headed towards the Netherlands. 

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Making our turn over Antwerp.  The airfield just in view over the wing is EBAW (Antwerp International Airport).  I’ve flown into this airport many times in real life. 

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On final approach into Brussels.  Nice green fields.

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Cleared to land runway 25R. 

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Slowing this heavy girl down.

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Time to unload the cargo.

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This was a fun flight.  For those that may not be in the know.  The main PC based flight simulators (Prepar3D and X-Plane) are both based on a real world scale.  Unlike American Truck Simulator or Euro Truck Simulator 2, where the distance and time is compressed, flying a flight in flight sim will take just as long as a real world flight would take.  Everything from the aircraft performance, weather, fuel burn…everything is “As Real As It Gets”. 

If you’re looking for a true “simulator”, look no further than either Prepar3D or X-Plane to give you the absolutely best simulation experience you can get on a PC.   Remember, this is not a game…this is a simulator!

Thank you for reading! 

Until next time…

Happy Flying!!!

Jerry

Credits

Flight Simulator:  Prepar3D v4.5 (hotfix 1)
Aircraft:  PMDG 777
Airline: Fedex (FDX)
ATC:  VATSIM
Airport Scenery: KMIA LatinVFR, EBBR Justsim
Terrain Scenery: Orbx Global Base, Orbx Vector, Orbx openLC North America
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.

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