Well, today we got up at 05:00 local time and strolled to the breakfast buffet to take on some good breakfast which was a wide variety of scrambled eggs with bacon and so on...
After this good breakfast it was time to get to the airport and get the B747-400F 'PJ-TGT', our 'Global Trader' ready for business. The charcoal was loaded during the last day and it looks like, that we have 95907 kg of charcoal loaded. We now have a ZFW of 256325 kg and for the trip we will need about 85 tons of fuel to get to TFFF and almost 9 tons to get to our alternate airport on Barbados. So we have a quite heavy fueled aircraft at the ramp standing right now with reserve fuel included we have 115.1 tons of fuel in the tanks.
We had a look at the weather as well and it looks fairly good during this flight. It looks like that we will have a total tailwind component of 12 knots. Calculated flying time is about 06:32, with us departing KMSO at 14:10 UTC (blocks off) and 14:25 take off.
Here are some links to the files for the flight:
We went off the blocks and were pushed back at 14:09 UTC and after we had started all four engines we taxied to RWY 11 behind a Gulfstream Jet.
We lined up on RWY 11 at 14:23 and set full take off power. Well the runway was just long enough. A few feet shorter and we would have hit the approach lights for RWY 29. This was one of the more thrilling take offs we did so far...
We first climbed to 11000 feet as by ATC followed by FL210, FL270 and finally FL290, which is our initial cruise altitude.
We reached our Top of Climb just 102 NM prior to BIL which was nearly exactly what the Flight Plan showed.Only the fuel was not exactly the same as pre calculated, but right now as we reach RAP we get little closer to the calculated amount.
Passing BIL at 14:54 and RAP at 15:23. Now heading to ONL which we should reach at 15:48.
Actually we crossed ONL at 15:54, but we are still good with the times.
...We are now some time in the flight already at 16:57 and we still miss this 1 tonne of fuel. I think we consumed it during taxiing at Missoula. We had to use high power to get this heavy rolling. But right now we have more than enough fuel left.
We have passed BNA at 17:01 with 74.8 tonnes fuel on board and heading now for Atlanta. As we are closing in to Atlanta we can see an increase of traffic.
At 17:50 we are passing Jacksonville in very good weather!
Now that we are heading for Ormond Beach it is time for our lunch break. As it looks like now we don't have the ground visible at the moment, so we are not able to take pictures :-( Quick weather change...
But after passing Ormond Beach we requested FL330 and were cleared to that flight level.
Whilst passing Vero Beach we saw LTU 908 from Dusseldorf to Fort Myers.
And right now we get closer to the pre calculated fuel with only half a tonne difference.
But anyhow. We are heading for Freeport right now and I have to balance the fuel a little bit, so I switched off the fuel pumps from MAIN 3 tank,
so I can equal the amount in MAIN 2 tank
There is obviously a thunderstorm over Nassau and this time the clouds are not reaching up so high to us to cause turbulences.
At 18:52 Stella Maris (ZLS) is straight ahead and we will cross it in two minutes...
At 18:57 it was time to take some action on the overhead panel, which means we had to configure the fuel panel for the final configuration: FUEL TANK/ENG, which means every MAIN fuel tank with its pumps now feeds its own engine.
Now we have our final fuel configuration and the fuel quantity is looking good as well: still about 0.2 -0.3 tons less fuel then we should have right now.
Wow, at 19:15 we had Company traffic. TC0201 was passing by at FL310.
9 minutes after we had this nice A319-100 passing by, we were passing Grand Turk, where TC0201 had it's origin - wow, he must have climbed like a rocket :-)
At 20:04, two minutes after we had passed Dorado VOR (DDP), we could see San Juan (TJSJ) on our port side.
At 20:12 we had St. Croix visible...
...and two minutes later we were turning over the VOR (COY).
At 20:33 we requested FL250, because we already know ATC ;-) We were cleared to our requested Flight Level...
...and at 20:38 we were cleared directly to FL110 for an ILS approach to RWY 09 and we got Martinique visible shortly thereafter.
As we passed FL110 we were cleared further down to 2000 feet and we continued descending.
We followed the FOF DME 15 ARC to KAREX which is the IAF for runway 09. And at 20:48 we picked up the ILS.
Then, at 2000 feet it was time to turn inbound to the runway...
During the turn to final we picked up the Localizer and soon we were established on it.
At DME 6 FOF we established fully on the ILS by capturing the Glide Slope at a speed of 180 knots at 2000 feet.
At DME 1.5 FOF we had reached the short final point and the mighty 'Global Trader' had established at a constant speed of 156 knots. VRef was 153 knots, but I always fly in 3 knots faster...
With autobrakes set at 3 and applying full reverse thrust we exited the runway at intersection B and taxied via L D RWY 27 M to the Military Apron, because the Cargo ramp was blocked by a building in its middle :-(((
But the cargo handlers were already waiting for us to arrive and as soon as we applied the parking brakes and shut down the engines, they begun to unload the charcoal, so we instantly thought, that there might be a big barbeque someplace tonight...
Now, that we finally had arrived at Fort De France after 06:57 travel time this Flight Report will receive no further updates. <G>
You can see the details of the flight in the Flight Report where I have edited all the times when we passed almost every waypoint except for the last waypoints, where I had to do other stuff, than note down fuel stats and the Actual Times Overhead a waypoint.
I hope you enjoyed this Flight Report. More will probably follow from time to time...