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[IVAO Trip Report] LSGG to ESSA on the PMDG 777

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Yesterday I flew online on IVAO after a long time since my last flight and I couldn't have enjoyed it more! Full ATC throughout except for a couple of minutes which I used to record a short video which I'm linking to below.


This was also the first time I tried the automated turnaround feature of the PMDG 777, really neat! If you leave the DOORs synoptic on you'll see the various doors opening and closing. You'll also see the fuel loading into the tanks. It definitely adds to the immersion.


So today we are Aerologic's BOX104 (callsign: German Cargo) parked in stand 18 (click for airport chart) just moments before pushback at around 17:50z (which is 19:50 local).


Click on the pictures to see them at full resolution.




Cockpit is prepared for engine start. Note the mountainous terrain on the ND. (Disregard the altimeter setting, I shot this picture after the actual flight for this report)




Departure from runway 05 is quite straightforward as opposed to runway 23 which requests a 180º turn to avoid terrain. In this flight we took the MOLUS 3N (click for SID chart) departure.




I took the opportunity to hand-fly the ship up to FL350. That's something I recommend everyone should do! This aircraft is a pleasure to hand-fly, really noble, provided you trim it properly. You can tell the FBW reduces pilot's workload considerably. We only need to trim for speed changes, once your "FBW blue bug" is on the target speed you want to fly, just follow the Flight Director and don't touch those trim switches! More info on the FBW of the 777 here.




The Geneva Tower handed us over to Swiss Radar, who did an excellent job! He also talked to me about the new EasyJet VA, check it out! There was a lot of EZY traffic around LSGG for some reason.


Somewhere overhead Zurich LSZH:




Along the route I was handed over to Langen Radar (southern Germany) and then to Bremen Radar (northern Germany).

Regarding cockpit lightning, I like to have all domes off during cruise and just panel back lights on. For the descent/approach preparation I will turn the dome on and then once I start the descent I'll turn it off again to have a dark cockpit and be able to watch out for traffic out the window.






Installing the approach into the FMC. It's going to be the NILUG 1M which will drop us at TEB (IAF). From there it's going to be radar vectors to the ILS 01L (click links for charts). See the open ROUTE DISCONTINUITY and the published holding pattern I manually entered overhead the TEB VOR just in case.


The approach chart also asks as to keep the speed up at 160 to the 4th DME of the ILS. I entered a waypoint "SSA01" which is 4nm out and also a 4nm arc around SSA in the FIX page.


Check out the quick video I recorded in-between Bremen and Sweden Control and abeam Copenhagen explaining these issues.




Sweden Control gave us a nice direct to NILUG and told us to expect crossing it at FL150. Also we should expect 01L as predicted. Some 80nm prior to NILUG we request descent and somewhere along it are transferred to Stockholm Approach.


Approach made us turn "RIGHT" (a 270º turn) to heading 270 some 15nm out of TEB while also descending to 4000 feet. Then we were given a heading of 300 to intercept the LOC. On this "base" leg we selected flaps 5 and rolled the speed down to the 5 maneuvering speed.




Cleared for the ILS, we were asked to keep the speed at 180 until 5 miles out (!!!) for traffic reasons. Never having done it on the 777, I "complained" about the high speed so close in but decided to comply anyway.


We were handed over to Arlanda Tower who cleared us to land.


In the end the approach turned out to be unstabilized and my workload was through the roof. Here I'm 3 nm out still configuring the ship and trying to bring the speed down with engines at idle. Text-book definition of an unstabilized approach. The ship carries a lot of inertia and slowing it down takes its time without speedbrakes, which are not recommended with flaps out anyway.


Note how the angle of attack (on the PFD) is too low and outside the green band which marks the advisable range for approach and landing.




I called the Tower and said "Going Around, German Cargo 104". Hit TO/GA once, select flaps 20, rotate smoothly to approximately 15º nose up and once a positive rate is observed, select the gear up. Otherwise it's just like a normal take-off (except for the faster heart-beat) I had been practicing Go-Arounds not so long ago and that came in very handy this time.


The Missed Approach (see chart) basically consists in climbing to 1500 feet on runway heading and turning to 329º once past the 1.7 DME awaiting radar vectors. We are handed back to Stockholm Approach who redirects us to a downwind base climbing to 3000 feet.


Here I have to say I wasn't too happy with the Approach controller. He chose to make us climb to 3000 instead of keeping us lower at 1500 for a "circuit" around the runway. Made us intercept the LOC at the mile 4 while descending to intercept the glide/slope from above. Once he realized his "mistake" cleared us for a visual into 01L. It was a perfect recipe for a second unstabilized approach, but in the end we got her in safely.




I disconnected the A/P and flew her in by hand. No time to disengage the F/D at this point.


Safely landed on the runway:





Handed over to Arlanda Ground. He realized we were a Freighter and directed us to stand R4 following the Y and U taxiways. The chart tells us that Y is supposed to be an opposite direction taxiway though. The Ground Controller must have had his reasons for that.





Chocks on at around 20:10z with a flight time of some 02:00h


The ground crew is already working unloading the ship while we leave the cockpit for the day!





This is the approach segment tracked on the IVAO Web Eye, you can see the 270º turn and the Missed Approach and second approach in. The information on the left regarding speed, altitude and so on must have been out-dated.




Hope you liked this report!



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Anybody could help me?


I need to get these pictures again but I can't seem to be able to either download them, or get to the Imgur link where I uploaded them. I also can't "edit" to have access to the links nor inspect the code of the site... What's with all this?

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