Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Los Angeles - Las Vegas / Boeing 737-800 / IFR

Trying to work with the wind instead of against it, I flew from Los Angeles to Las Vegas today. Strangely, the winds aloft seemed to mysteriously change direction again, and I still had a headwind flying to Las Vegas.

I tried tweaking the FMC along the way, changing between MAX RATE and MAX ANGLE, and so on, but I just messed things up, probably in part because the flight is so short. For example, I filed FL290 in emulation of Southwest Airlines Flight 802, but the FMC insisted that I could go no higher than FL270 and still meet my climb and descent paths. After messing things up, I actually only got up to FL250 before it was time to come back down. ATC was not online en route, though, so I was able to experiment.

I landed by hand, not ideally, but I got to my gate intact. I noticed flickering on the airport, which hadn't been there before. I tried all sorts of things to make it go away, then finally I rebooted. My theory is that something gets messy after a while and affects this, but I really don't know. Next time I'll just trying logging off Windows and logging back on.

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