Monday, November 3, 2008

Oakland - Orange County / Boeing 737-800 (SWA3854) / IFR

I decided to fly something different for a change of pace, so I mirrored Southwest Airlines Flight 3854, from Oakland to John Wayne Airport (Orange County), a one-hour flight.

The flight was pretty routine, through about a 4/8 or 5/8 overcast the whole way. I was cleared for a visual approach to 19R after the TANDY3 arrival. I was in a daring mood, so I switched off the autopilot and autothrottle and flew the approach by hand. It was hard to see the field at first because of low clouds, but once I saw it and was cleared for the approach, I made a nice smooth turn just west of Disneyland and came around quite well aligned with the runway centerline. My descent rate was good, too, and I was at Vref just as I was supposed to be. The only problem is that I drifted right for some reason during the last half mile or so, and big airplanes being what they are, I couldn't coax it back onto the centerline before I flared, so I landed with some of the main wheels on the paved perimeter of the runway. That would be a bumpy and expensive mistake in real life. I can see it's going to take some practice to get it right. At least I can land little planes without any trouble now (I recall when that was a challenge, too).

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