Saturday, September 27, 2008

Newark - Atlanta / Boeing 737-800 / IFR

This is my final practice flight before the MITRE event this evening for which I've signed up on VATSIM. It's a sort of dress rehearsal, I guess.

As I've previously mentioned, the purpose of the MITRE experiment is to evaluate Continuous Descent Arrivals (CDAs). My flight, Delta Flight 847, mirrors a real-world flight from Newark to Atlanta, except that it will arrive via a CDA (a standard FLCON3 arrived specially modified to match a CDA profile). The routing is simple: MOL.CLEAN.ATL (CLEAN is the specially modified CDA arrival). Cruise is at FL340 at 455 KTAS.

I flew my 737-800 (the PMDG model) over this route with relatively few problems. The VNAV of the FMC was very well behaved, keeping me pretty much on the mark for the various altitude and speed constraints on the arrival. The weather was very misty and cloudy, which reduced frame rates (heavy weather always imposes a hit on frame rates), but things still went well. I did not have to intervene in the descent to keep things on path.

Based on this, I don't expect any problems for the real deal this evening.