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NGXfanatic

Delta Airlines 777-200LR KMSP to RJAA PART 2 (Warning: Big Pictures!)

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Welcome back to part 2 of my trip log on this flight from KMSP to RJAA. 

 

A few hours into the cruise, things are peaceful and calm with just a slight crosswind pushing me from the north.

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Getting close to the point of descent, I marvel at the slowly receding sun as late afternoon approaches.

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Heading directly west on this point on the Daisy STAR, watching the Japanese coastline settle into view. 

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Now flying south on the intercept leg to the ILS localizer capture, I follow ATC commands to slow to 220kts and descend to 4000ft.

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Having intercepted the localizer signal, I finally cross the beautiful coastline.  Interesting fact:  Published charts mandate the early extension of landing gear right at this point to prevent ice chunks from falling from the gear bays onto the populated areas in the approach flight path.  I remember this rule from my 2011 "trip", and it must have something to do with long haul flights arriving from trips over the frigid Bering Sea east of Russia.   RJAA has a set of parallel runways, so ATC has assigned a Japan Airlines 777 to arrive simultaneously!

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This is the small town of Yokoshibahikari.

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Gear down and keeping a steady speed of 160kts, in compliance with rules stating that all aircraft maintain that speed between 10nm and 4.8nm from the runway threshold. 

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The region just before runway 34 is full of low hills.  Very pretty.

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Since I'm now past the 4.0DME mark, I am allowed to extend final flaps 30 and slow to VAPP speed of 142kts as I attempt to stabilize the approach a minute before landing.  Yes, I'm almost 5 kts below VREF, which is the no go limit for approach speeds in the 777.   Reason: rapidly oscillating wind direction by the weather engine and using the autothrottle to control the speed, which is 777 SOP.  This was totally unexpected, and a fault of the weather engine.  Yep, good ole FSX limitations.... Next time I see "variable winds" in the briefing, I'm going to turn off the A/T to allow for better control.  

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Shortly before touchdown, this is the southeast apron which is used for overflow parking.

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Tires smoking as the mains settle down, the time is 5:13pm local time. 

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Spoilers extended and idle reverse thrust helping with the deceleration, we see the south end of Terminal 1, home to Japan's largest airline, All Nippon Airways.  Also sharing this space are some codeshare partners, such as Etihad (seen here) and United Airlines.

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More of Terminal 1, with a glimpse at the north end of Terminal 1, which provides gates for the extensive Delta hub here in Tokyo, a base for the airline's Asian operations.

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Dusk is upon us, and the passengers on the left hand side are greeted by large welcome signage.

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I taxi on taxiway A for a quick jaunt to my waiting gate at Terminal 1.

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Delta is very popular I see!

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With the engines shutdown and cargo doors opened, the seat belt signs are turned off and I snap this quick picture of the nearby cargo apron, which is the busiest air freight hub in the country.

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"You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here." 

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Here are the plots of my two flights from the U.S. to Tokyo, the 2011 flight as United Flight 881 as the topmost route, and this flight below.   I use a payware Google Earth tracking module, FSEarth, to record my flight progress for analysis and to keep track of where I am anywhere in the virtual world.

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It's nice to be in the land of the rising sun, or really the setting sun with my late afternoon arrival.  Real route was 11 hours 36 minutes, I managed 11 hours 44 minutes. Fuel burn was a lot more than I expected,  PFPX planned for 27,885lbs, actual amount remaining was 19,500lbs. There are two possible reasons for this:  headwinds were a little stronger later in the flight and I also changed the cost index from 60 to 120 an hour into cruise to make up for the late departure.  I still need more experience with PFPX, but I do hope that once some time passes we will benefit from some advanced fuel planning tutorials and a better PFPX aircraft profile.   Fuel planning is a complex subject of study in itself, as is flight dispatching, but I'm learning more everyday.  

 

I want to thank NickN for pointing out an excellent freeware landclass file for Japan on his Simforums forum: http://www.simforums.com/forums/japan-freeware-landclass-gex-asa-users_topic44729.html

It has made a noticeable improvement to an otherwise poor representation of the area in FSX. 

 

Well, I have now completed my 3rd long haul in the PMDG 777-200LR, and I'm starting to get accustomed to the ins and outs of the big bird.   Even without FS2crew to assist in the workload, I feel pretty comfortable flying this thing by myself.  

 

Thanks for sticking with me though this rather lengthy report.   It's time to rest for about 2 days, and I'll return to the cockpit to continue with the rest of this flight.  Yes, Flight 621 is not really complete because the final destination is Singapore Changi Airport, a 6 hour flight!   I'm looking forward to a continuation of my tour of Asia, and it's nice to break free from my routine of FSX flights in the U.S. and Europe.   If there is a take away from the availability of high quality study sims of long haul transports like the PMDG 777, the user should take the opportunity to visit more far away places never seen before.   I intend to do just that.

 

Thanks for the views!

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Sweet pics and a nice In-depth narrative A.J.  Reminds me of my first ever overseas flight on this very same route shortly before Northwest started flying 747-400's on it.  I still have my ticket holder stashed away somewhere at the house with the words NORTHWEST ORIENT emblazoned on it.

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