Sunday, February 1, 2009

Phoenix - Las Vegas / Boeing 737-800 (SWA852) / IFR

This was a very nice little flight from Phoenix to Sin City. My simulated flight almost perfectly mirrored the real-world flight, with nearly identical departure and arrival times. The weather was blazingly hot (I'm glad I didn't have to endure it for real), but it was clear.

I've been making an effort to hand-fly take-offs and landings for longer periods in the large jets, and I'm getting better at it. Flying big iron is very different from flying small aircraft, of course. You have to anticipate a lot more in a large aircraft, since it takes a while for it to respond to anything you do. For example, if I increase power to reduce my descent rate in an approach, I already start backing off even before the full effect of the power increase becomes apparent, because it takes a while for the aircraft to actually do what I've asked. If I wait too long, my descent rate diminishes too much, and then I can easily get into a vicious circle of overcorrection. On a small airplane, this is far less apparent, and you can nearly adjust things in real time, although no aircraft reacts instantly to anything.

Anyway, all went well on this flight … except that some American Airlines plane (looked like a 767) was blocking my assigned gate (C24) at Las Vegas, which peeved me a bit. I parked at C22 instead.