On Monday, June 13, it was finally time to return to New Orleans and Curaçao. Every passenger had a great time during the week with the highlight being of course the F1-Race on the Nurburg-Ring. Many of the passengers did get to know each other better and new friendships were build and so it was a relaxed trip back home. It was like a big party going on in the cabin...
Ok, unfortunately we, the flight crew, couldn't attend the party as we had to fly the aircraft. We arrived at around 05:30 UTC at the airport and received our briefing. The weather looked good so far, but we could expect some turbulence once we are over the Atlantic. We had a ZFW of about 351900 lbs and we ordered 149600 lbs of fuel as we still had 55400 lbs in the tanks. this would give us a fuel load of 205000 lbs and we would burn about 161900 lbs if everything goes right. In an event of a diversion, or holding, or unexpected bad weather, or whatsoever, we would have enough fuel to be prepared. Luckily we found our MD-11 again at the same gate where we left it after our arrival, although it was parked on the apron the whole week. We received the route for our flight along with the flightplan including validation by the CFMU and our loadsheet.
After we had checked the aircraft we had to enter the flightplan into the FMC starting with the departure route. We would depart from RWY 23L and use the SONE1L SID to SONEB intersection. From there via 3 different airways to our entry point for NAT-B, PIKIL. We will leave our North Atlantic Track at REDBY and follow NAR N204B to TAFFY and then via different airways to Meridian (MEI) VOR, from where we will start our approach to whatever runway might be in use.
As every passenger was on board we were ready to push back at 08:35 (times are always UTC) some ten minutes later as scheduled. After engine start we taxied to runway 23L and had the following calculations for departure: V1 160, Vr 166 and V2 174 knots. For some reason the FMC gave us different values than TOPCAT. We used Flaps 25 and a FLEX temperature of 30°C resulting in 102.8 N1. Having all this ready and acknowledged we were ready to taxi.
If you want to follow our route in Google Earth you can download the file here.
Click on the pictures to enlarge them
Air Berlin flight 6024 taxies in.
Today there is more traffic as at the time of our arrival nearly one week ago...
We are holding short of RWY 23L with an Aeroflot A319 behind us.
Another Air Berlin Airbus is on short final and directly behind it Polot 541 - a real heavy aircraft. Wait and see...
Unfortunately this big AN 124-100 had to go around...
After the Air Berlin A321 had vacated the runway we could line up and we did it of course as we were even more late on our schedule.
And here we go!
After takeoff and passing 500 feet we turned left and followed the SID. In the background you can see the city of Düsseldorf and of course the Rhine. In the lower right corner you can see the bridge of the A44. The pylons of the bridge had to be smaller due to the nearby airport and so they constructed the pylons like on top standing triangles.
Next picture shows the cities of Krefeld, to the left, and Duisburg in front of us.
En-route to ERKUL passing Wesel. Unfortunately I was not able to take a picture of my hometown, as it was covered by clouds and lays west of the Rhine.
Next we are passing Amsterdam again, but this time to the North on UL602 inbound to Spijkerboor (SPY) VOR, which we passed at 09:10.
Now we are finally on FL320 and heading for Ottringham (OTR), which we passed at 09:38.
Next turn over NATEB with Newcastle below us at 09:51.
Then we were passing Glasgow. 10:04
Over Glasgow we entered airway UN563 to PIKIL still at FL320. After we had passed PIKIL at 10:49 we climbed to FL330 for the Atlantic crossing. We used the time over the Atlantic to serve lunch and it was pretty much appreciated by the passengers - and us as well. The Atlantic crossing took about 2:30 until we were able to see land again.
After REDBY we climbed to FL340 inbound to TAFFY. So we crossed Bangor at 15:26 at FL340.
After SQUAM we climbed to FL360, our final flight level, at 15:44. Still about 3 hours ahead of us until we would arrive at New Orleans. Some time later we were overhead at Albany at 16:01.
Well, some more clouds en-route.
Then everything went quite quickly for the rest of the flight and we couldn't get look fast enough to realize that we were already into the descend and approach for RWY 28 at KMSY. The weather wasn't that bad although on first impression it looked that way... But take a closer look once we are out of the haze.
Right turn to our final approach fix HELMT and we are almost at our destination.
There is the airport, still a little bit to the right.
Next we are already on short final with flaps 50 and autobrakes set to MED. We will deploy spoilers manually to prevent a possible pitch up, but this is more likely during approaches with gusts.
As we taxied to the gate we took some shots of the rare traffic. First a TCA A320 in old livery and a DC-8 from UPS.
And there is our gate again. We had a flying time of 9:53 and a block to block time of 10:13. We went on blocks at 18:48 and so we were within the schedule. And also again compare the flying time with the time in the flightplan. See the ACARS summary of flight TR2109-09 here.
I hope you had as much fun as I had making this flight. If you are now iterested in making these charter flights, you are welcome. There will be some more F1 charters coming up one after the other. The very next flight is already posted and I would be more than happy if not only 1 or 2 pilots make these flights.
Anyhow I wish all of you always good landings.