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Guest fsxmissionguy

Monsoon Approach: Dealing with wind shear

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Monsoon Approach is one of my favorite missions in FSX ... and that's saying something because I usually don't like to fly IFR and I usually don't prefer the heavies.But this mission is such a challenge that it's sickly compelling. I've finally figured out what I think is the best approach for solving this mission, but I'm still not pleased with my landings. Typically, I will deactivate the autopilot at about 2 or 3 times my decision height so that I can hand fly the landing. I use the autopilot up to that point, and even let the AP handle the approach down to about 2x or 3x DH.At that point, I tend to want to fly the aircraft to get the experience of flying in this type of condition in case I have to one day (you know, in case the real pilot has a heart attack and I'm in Singapore, and we're landing in a monsoon! Hey, I want to know I can do it should the need arise!)I think the part I'm having the most trouble with is dealing with the tremendous wind shear that accompanies the monsoon as you near the threshhold of the runway.I'd be curious to hear from real world pilots how I should be attacking the problem of wind shear of this strength. Thanks for any help.Cheers,

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Ozzie,Well ... that's what I've been doing. Basically, when I get the GPWS alert "Don't Sink," that clues me in that something is suddenly pushing me downward faster than I should be descending.This is my audio clue that the shear has begun affecting my approach. At that point, I increase power and add a couple of notches of trim to bring the nose up just a tad to slow my rate of descent. This tends to push me down the runway much further than I'd' rather go before I can manage to get the wheels on the ground.Which, that sort of raises another question. At what point in this process do I decide that I've gone too far down the runway and should abandon the approach in favor of a go-round?Just curious what real-life pilots do here.Cheers,

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That "don't sink" on approach makes me think of the Delta crash at DFW in '85 (caught in a microburst)... that and Denver.There's a decent AC on the subject you might be interested in (the link for the .pdf is there): http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory_and_G...0B?OpenDocumentIt recommends setting some "visual clues" like +/- such and such airspeed, vertical speed, pitch...And I was serious about the "pray" part. I flew one nite with an approaching cold front where winds where 35kts gusting to 50kts at the surface... 60kts at about 6000ft. Thunderstorms were about 25nm north of KIND but severe clear enroute to the destination (we were landing at Eagle Creek, just a few miles to the north) The ride at altitude wasn't anything to write home about (except our GS was 180kts).My thinking was no way I would attempt such approach if there was a crosswind component, but the winds were straight down the runway. So it couldn't be that bad right? No Thunderstorms in the immediate area... so no problemo. But near the surface it was kin to chaos. Heavies at Indy are reporting 15kt loss of airspeed on final. Dang what a mess. I was in a Piper Arrow and flew 90kts and 2 notches of flaps (I think the Arrow is like the Warrior on flap settings 10/25/40). So Increased Airspeed, Less Flaps, and yes I did pray... promising this was a "Never Again" type of flight.In my situation, stopping distance wasn't an issue with 30+ kts on the nose and 4000 feet of runway. I remember we were at taxi speed very quickly after touchdown.As far as the Point of Intended Landing... the rule of thumb is the first third of the runway. I would always pick a spot where I intended to land, and for short paved strips or grass runways... a point where if the wheels weren't on the ground, I would go around.One of the very few things that sort of bothers me in FSX is (besides the fact I can't log carrier landings | | | )... It seems to portray the idea that flying in Thunderstorms is "ok". Like the Aleutian Cargo Run. I actually turned around and headed back to base the first time I flew that mission (upon seeing lightning and there didn't appear to be an "easy" way around the line of storms). Of course, you know to succeed, one has to, hmmm... let me change the expression, "dance" into the tiger's mouth. Even on the Monsoon Approach... I have a difficulty accepting a 747 driver would approach an airport with lightning on the field. Can pilots make it? Sure, e.g. there were several aircraft that preceded the Delta flight... but... But if some Heavy Driver here would say, "Yeah, we do stuff like that all the time" I would be so :-OThe flip side... it is fun to have the lightning going (it sure adds to the drama) especially at nite. And in this context I like it's inclusion.Rob

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Rob,Thanks for that expanded answer. I appreciate all the advice.In Microsoft's defense, I think they intentionally created missions with severe weather like this not because they think it's "OK" to fly into thunderstorms and monsoons, but rather to acknowledge the plain fact that there simply is going to come a day when you are screwed by Mother Nature and you better be mentally prepared for the bounty ye are about to receive.I've never flown a real aircraft (except for about 20 minutes at the helm of a 727 ... which is a long story) but I know that if I did, I'd feel a lot more confident in my abilities to make good decisions if I ever found myself just screwed over with no options by the weather through no fault of my own.And let me tell you something ... I've flown a LOT as a passenger. I was never really concerned except for one flight ... into Almaty, Khazakstan where we circled above the weather for 3 hours waiting for a break in the weather until we ran short of fuel (I am betting) and the pilot just had to either try to land the aircraft or run out of fuel. For whatever reason, diverting wasn't an option that day (I assume because the diversion had worse weather.)So, I know there comes a time when you just must land in conditions that you would never choose, but that are thrust upon you and there's just no way out.I guess that's why this mission intrigues me, and why I want to learn how to fly it as correctly as possible. I'll probably never, ever be in the position where I have to do this in real life ... but then again, you just never know. And if I do find myself by some bizzare circumstance in that spot, I'll be confident that I can do it (even if that confidence is somewhat misplaced it certainly can't hurt!)Cheers,

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