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Alaska Airlines 737-800 KSEA to KPHL

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Hi friends, after a rather lengthy absence due to FSX burnout, I am starting to get back into my old routine of replicating real world NG flights, and sharing the details of the flight experience with you all via screenshots.


You may remember some earlier entries by me, with the United NG's.   I have now changed things up, going with Alaska Airlines operations for a change of scenery.   A little backstory here, I was working in my yard a few weeks back, and watched an Alaska 737-800 pass over my house in a tight turn to downwind on it's approach to my local airport, KPHL Philadelphia International Airport.   Alaska Airlines is a fairly new operator here, so it was quite the sight to see this beautiful bird pass overhead on a very picturesque, cloudless afternoon on May 5th, 2013.  I instantly thought, I have to imitate that flight in FSX!  


I looked up the flight in Flightaware, copied the details of the flight and loaded up FSX.  ASA32 was operated by a 737-800W, and departed KSEA at 8:25AM PDT, arriving at KPHL at 4:26 EST.   Also, I mostly had headwinds for the entire flight, even though it was a east bound route!  The winds weren't too strong, thank goodness.




This is the google map taken from Flightaware, with my flightpath in FSX superimposed over it.  Unfortunately, there is no separate color for my route vs the real route, but I will say you can see the real flight was flying a few NM left of my route in the middle of the flight as seen here.  I followed the route very closely to the real flight nonetheless.



Here I am at Gate N1 at the North Satellite Terminal at KSEA.  There is a little mix of United airlines traffic, and you can see the exclusive Alaska Airlines terminal up ahead.   Alaska Airlines has gates at just about all the terminals at KSEA, as that is a major hub for the airline. 



Pushback has commenced.   Love the support vehicles supplied by FSDT's GSX!



Taxing out of the terminal area, I witness a Delta 757 on takeoff, and the arrival of a Korean Air Cargo 747-400 BCF.  



TO/GA power applied!   



There are plenty of airports nearby KSEA in very close proximity, this one is KBFI Boeing Field-King County International Airport.   This is the vantage point I would have taken if I was a passenger on takeoff, as I'm always craning my neck to get a good look at the ground below!



I quickly switch seats and move to the left hand side, to take in the view of the Port of Seattle.   Excellent representation of the port by ORBX PNW.



I start the right hand turn on the SEA4 SID for vectors to the first waypoint on the long route to Philadelphia.



This view encapsulates the greater Seattle metro area.  Can you name the three airfields in this congested area?   They all play an important role in the manufacture and operations of the 737 family of aircraft.



Close to TOC, with a clear view of Mt. Rainier in the distance.  



This is the scenery I love seeing!   I expect to see more of this natural beauty on future adventures with the Alaska Airlines NGX.



Passing over Lake Michigan, having just flown over the City of Milwaukee.



At about 15000ft over Harrisburgh, PA, on the BOJID1 STAR approach into KPHL.   Oh yeah, that is Three Mile Island.



Having passed the SCOOL intersection, I follow ATC instructions to slow to 220 kts and descend to 6000ft.  KPHL and the City of Philadelphia are in view.



I start the right hand turn over the KYILL intersection, which leads to the downwind to ILS runway 9R.  Time to slow to 190kts and descend to 5000ft.   This also happens to be near my house, and this is the turn I saw the real ASA32 make while I was clearing fallen tree branches from my yard on 5/5/13.



On final approach for runway 09R.



Here is the Commodore Barry bridge connecting Delaware and Pennsylvania, and PPL park, a stadium for the Philadelphia Union, our city's Major League Soccer team.   As a season ticket holder, I get to enjoy watching exciting soccer games and passing traffic for KPHL!   This also happens to be a visual landmark near the outer marker for ILS runway 09R where the pilots drop the landing gear and slow down to a stable approach speed all the way to runway threshold.

Major kudos to Ian at Sunskyjets, one half of the freeware duo who offer this payware quality airport for free, who graciously added the soccer stadium to the KPHL scenery after I suggested it's inclusion for the FSX version.



Here is another important KPHL landmark, a Boeing factory where the Chinook helicopter is assembled.  It is another peripheral scenery object included in the Sunskyjet KPHL scenery that adds a personal touch not often seen in most payware airport sceneries.   I really think more addon airport scenery developers should include such landmarks.



Touchdown!   Please forgive the lack of flaps and spoilers shown here, as something went screwy with FSrecorder during the playback of the flight.  



Arrival to Terminal D.   Real flight was 5 hours 26 minutes from TO/GA power to main gear touchdown, I managed it in 5 hours 20 minutes.


Phew, that was quite the writeup eh?  Almost as long as the flight!   Anyhow, I am thinking of my next  Alaskan route, perhaps from PANC.   See you then!

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Epic .... great narrative .... topical .... a lot of work went into this post ... thanks

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Thanks for flight report, A.J., and the great screenshots. I've done this exact flight several times and it's always fun.


As a fellow "Phil'elphian" I enjoyed your pointing out some of the subtleties of the freeware SunSkyJet KPHL scenery (available for FSX and FS9) that make it so realistic. Shez and Ian did a terrific job capturing not only the visual experience of arriving at Philadelphia, but the sort of run-down, beaten-up ambiance of our regional international airport. While not pretty, PHL is still a major US Airways (soon to be American) hub, and as recently as 2010 was the 12th busiest in the world in aircraft movements.


It was fun riding the jump seat with you. :smile: .

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Thanks for the kind words everyone.   So many times in the past I have had some nice flights, but very few memories afterwards.  These diaries are kind of like Facebook for me, a way for me to look back and reminisce, and to share my aviation knowledge along with pointing out the interesting things I see along the way in the virtual skies.  The beauty of FSX is I'm able to see first hand what the passengers and crew on the numerous flights passing over my house see firsthand, something I have always thought about since way before I got into computers and flightsim!   

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Very nice. Are you with Fly Alaska Virtual?

Nope, I don't fly with any virtual airlines or VATSIM, not that there is anything wrong with that  :P

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Great screen shots. @ the OP, are the '09's' at KPHL the ones with the approach over the Delaware river? i flew into KPHL many years ago from KDEN, and recall an approach over or along the river.... I was amazed how big the river was1


Thanks, Bruce.

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Well, I made up my mind.  Next flight is going to be PANC to KLAX, ASA156, served by a 737-700.    Going to see tons of beautiful ORBX scenery on the way down, as evidenced by this map of the route by the actual flight.




Getting my PC ready, as I've been experiencing OOMs of late after long flights with complex scenery and the NGX, even with 64bit Windows 7.  But I have FSUIPC autosave to protect me if the unthinkable happens, and I may just break up the flight over 2 days anyways so the chance of an OOM may not be as great.   I got an OOM at the end of this KPHL flight, as it was one of the rare flights NGX long hauls where I flew the whole route continuously from start to finish, I normally save flights in the middle or before TOD because there is only so much cruise boredom I can take!

Great screen shots. @ the OP, are the '09's' at KPHL the ones with the approach over the Delaware river? i flew into KPHL many years ago from KDEN, and recall an approach over or along the river.... I was amazed how big the river was1

Thanks, Bruce.

Actually, both the 09 and the 27 approaches are over the Delaware river, but you spend a little more time overhead the water with the 09R.   Interesting fact about 09 is it's only used during poor weather or low visibility, or of course strong winds from the east, but that day on May 5th the weather was perfect.   It just turned out that winds were mostly from the east that day, even if they were less than 8 kts.  As mentioned in the writeup, I had encountered unusual headwinds for most of the flight, must have been wind patterns that day.

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