On July 06 we arrived at around 13:30 UTC at the airport to prepare for our flight from Curaçao to New Orleans.
We were briefed on the route and the weather en-route, collected our flight plan, weather reports for en-route, destination and alternate airports, the STOPS documents, which lists the airports we could reach quickly if something unforeseen happens en-route along with a plotted map of the route. After all this we headed out to the aircraft to prepare it for the first leg for today. Aircraft on our flight will be the new MD-11 PJ-LAB 'Rainer Labie'. On this flight we will have a passenger count of 201, of which some will only go to New Orleans and the rest will continue on to Germany for the Formula One race on the Nurburg-Ring.
Our MD-11 should have a ZFW according to the Loadsheet of 344194 lbs. Along with 90000 lbs of fuel we should have a TOW of about 432594 lbs assuming we would use 1600l lbs of fuel for taxi. This means we would dial flaps 15 and select a FLEX temperature of 70°C. This is all based on the Takeoff report by TOPCAT.
The MD-11 was waiting on the ramp and it was already loaded with the few cargo/luggage that we would carry on this flight.
Click on the pictures to enlarge them
After the walk around it was time to feed the FMC with the flight and performance data and soon after that we were ready to close the doors. It was near push back time as a Martinair B767-300 headed for the parking spot left next to us and so we had to wait with the push back a few minutes longer.
At 15:26 UTC we finally were ready to push back and start the engines, taxi to RWY 11 and as we arrived there we could line up immediately, followed by takeoff clearance.
After takeoff we followed the PJG 111 radial to 11 DME and turned to a Heading of 325 to intercept the PJG radial 344 inbound to ONDAS intersection.
After about 45 minutes into the flight at FL380 we could see the Dominican Republic to our right and Haiti in front of us, which, of course, we later crossed.
The next picture shows Fort Myers airport (KRSW), over which we flew a light turn of about 20° to the left for Sarasota VOR.
Then over the Gulf of Mexico inbound to Leeville VOR (LEV) we had a big welcome committee apparently as high cumulonimbi clouds. WE expected a rough ride through the weather to New Orleans, but it was not as bad as we thought with only light turbulences.
A short look along the routing to New Orleans for the ILS 28 appraoch.
It was raining all the way down to the ground. Not a nice weather to fly through.
About 4.6 miles out: the runway is still not visible, but were are fully established on the ILS.
But then the runway appeared in front of us and everything looks good so far. We selected Vapp +5 in case of some unexpected turbulences, but the entire final approach was nice and smooth. Here you can access the Landing Report.
After touch down at 19:25 UTC and roll out we left the runway via taxiway ALPHA and taxied to Gate 8.
Now we are awaiting the other passengers and their luggage and we will take the time to prepare the MD-11 for the flight to Düsseldorf. We have almost 2.5 hours before we have to leave, as we arrived earlier due to some more favourable winds en-route. You can see a summary of the flight by FS ACARS here.
Ok, I got to go. I have to check the aircraft again...
Everything seems to be OK, so we can leave for Düsseldorf soon.