Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sint Maarten - San Juan / Boeing 767-300ER (N715ML) / IFR

The time had come to make myself current on my 767 flying skills, so I undertook a brief flight from Princess Juliana airport to San Juan, Puerto Rico, which is about half an hour. As usual, I had become very rusty on the aircraft, which I haven't flown in months, and the flight was a long string of mistakes as I tried to remember what I had forgotten.

The biggest problem was the FMC. On the 767, the biggest problem is always the FMC (at least for me). I finally got some sort of route forced into the FMS and made my departure from TNCM (which was mostly empty, fortunately). I hand-flew the departure and noticed how easy it is to hand-fly the 767. I waited quite a while before I finally engaged VNAV and LNAV.

Encouraged by this, I spent even more time hand-flying on the way into San Juan. I turned off the automation as I came over land and flew the rest of the approach by hand, watching the needles mostly. The landing was very smooth and I scarcely moved from the flight director's indicated path.