Monday, September 15, 2008

Las Vegas - Burbank / Boeing 737-800 / IFR

Another duplication of a real world flight, this time Southwest Airlines Flight 997—and another occasion where I messed things up.

At first the RW flight was delayed, then abruptly it departed almost on time, leaving me behind at the terminal at my (identical) gate in the sim. I rushed to push and taxi out, and finally got on my way from 25L. I hand-flew the departure for a couple of thousand feet, then let the computers take over. This was an online flight and ATC appeared shortly after my departure, so I checked in with Los Angeles Center and got a new squawk.

While I cruised along, I pulled out the charts for Burbank to see what awaited me exactly. The LYNXX8 arrival is unremarkable and easy to fly. However, it turns out that Burbank has an ILS only on runway 8, and ATC gave me vectors for runway 15. The weather was clear and I got a visual approach, but I had a hard time finding my way to the field after getting confused between Van Nuys and Bob Hope airports, and I had to make some rather … aggressive maneuvers to line up for 15. The landing was quite wild, although I and my passengers survived. The aircraft will be in the hangar for a while, with damage to the gear and a few other problems. I was able to taxi to the gate, however.

Once again, I discover how much practice I need with hand-flying large aircraft. One tends not to do it online, since messing up can interfere with other traffic. I guess I'll have to try it more often offline.