I’ve been simming for years, gradually learning more as the complexity of the modelled aircraft increases. I’ve only recently started flying on Vatsim and it is still a little ‘stressful’ in the good sense.
I was flying the NGX out of EGCC - no online ATC. I happened to push at the same time as the aircraft next to me (due to the location it was like I’d perhaps tried to beat him to it) Suddenly ATC came on line. I was rushing through my start so as not to hold up the EZY behind me, also becoming concerned that I didn’t have my charts loaded for the taxi route (without ATC I was just going to make my own way...)
I got airborne and settled down. Popped to get a beer. I came back and an alarm was going off (takeoff config horn) I’d had some weird behaviour occasionally so just thought it was a bit of a bug. I couldn’t work out why my pressurisation dial just didn’t seem to ‘look’ right. Why was the VSI showing a gentle climb?
Yes - I’d forgotten to turn on the packs.... love that I can still get caught out.
Fast forward a couple of weeks - I’m in the newly downloaded 748. I am very familiar with the 400. I was surprised how much was actually different. I set up my FMC. Then I realised I was very lightly loaded so decided to up my zero fuel weight to max. Only a short flight so fuel was about 25 tonnes.
I did my figures in the EFB. Derated takeoff and assumed temp. Taxied out and lined up. TOGA.
Up to 80 knots everything was fine. Approaching V1 the acceleration started to stagnate. The approach of the end of the runway was such that it was going to be reached before Vr on the speed tape. I firewalled the throttles and got off the ground, red boxes now appearing around the N1 values. What happened there?
I’d seen some forum chat about derates and assumed temperatures in the 748 EFB so I figured that perhaps I’d either done something wrong or it (shock horror) hadn’t been modelled very well.
In the approach phase, I’m nearly ten degrees nose up with Flap 1. Bit turbulent and occasional stickshaker activation. In a turn, continuous stickshaker, auto-throttles ‘hunting’ and trying to maintain speed. It was so bad I eventually just flew manually which went better. This was my first flight so I wasn’t sure if this was just ‘how the aircraft has been modelled’ but I was a little concerned...
What I had actually done, without realising, was set up my FMC and performance calcs around a low weight AND THEN ACTUALLY LOADED TO MAX ZFW!!
I love that the complexity of these aircraft allow me to still get ‘caught out’ in the relatively sterile world of flight sim.