Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Los Angeles - Phoenix / Boeing 747-400 / IFR

Today I took one of my private 747s out of the hangar and went for a spin ’twixt Los Angeles and Phoenix.

The weather was excellent in Los Angeles as I started out from the west parking area at LAX. No need for a pushback in this area as I can just go straight forward after boarding. Winds were from the west, as usual, so I was assigned 24L. After a long, smooth taxi, I managed a nice take-off on the HOLTZ9 departure that I filed, and I flew it by hand for a few thousand feet before letting the computers take over.

The flight was uneventful through pleasant skies with scattered clouds, plus an incredible crosswind in excess of 100 knots at FL330. I noted that the aircraft continued to climb through my MCP ALT setting, which was weird, and since I was looking at a chart as it passed through FL330, I'm not sure how it go into that state. Anyway, I brought it back down to FL330 and descended via the GEELA2 arrival, with ILS runway 8 assigned. I fixed the legs so that I went directly from HYDRR to ALLIS.

As I came in over the east side of town, I switched off the computers and flew the approach by hand. I did pretty well, especially in the flare—I checked it afterwards by viewing it from multiple angles. I taxied over to Terminal 2 and parked. Another job well done! I like flying the 747; it's luxurious even in simulation.