Eric Lavorel

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About Eric Lavorel

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    Flight Student - Groundwork
  1. Mon, Dec. 11th : OK, we catch up !! After a good week-end in Chicago, a 1h 35m flight brought us at last in New York, where we will spend about a week before our final Atlantic crossing to London. Finally, we decided to spend more time in the Big Apple and fly directly to London-Heathrow. After all, the A350 is a long haul liner, as we mentioned previously, and as this will be our last leg of this wonderful journey, we look forward to fully enjoy it !! Some pictures, not very dramatic, I must admit, but, hey, it's Winter there also, with many clouds and rather low temperatures. Fortunately, there are many places in New York where you can escape the harsh conditions... if you have enough money, of course ! Welcome to the kingdom of Wall Street and the triumph of capitalism...!! Before departure, at gate in Chicago O'Hare (KORD) Now, we taxi and line up to runway 23R. Leaving Chicago... As this is a rather short flight (642 NM), we cruise at FL350 above the NorthEast country. Beginning our descent to Newark Liberty (KEWR) Of course, through the clouds. Final approach at 7000 ft, as per our arrival schedule (Williamsport 3) And then descent to 3000 ft to intercept the ILS of runway 22R. Yes, it should have been 22L but there was no trafic in KEWR at this time so why not take the shortcuts ? Runway 22R vacated... And here we are at gate at Newark Liberty !
  2. Late, late, late, we are late !! Too much good time in San Francisco and there we are, running after time !! So, direct flight to Chicago, no time to stop at Omaha as we scheduled before. Of course, you all know Robert Johnson and his "Sweet Home Chicago", but, if you listen carefully to his lyrics, he sings : "Goin' to California, sweet home, Chicago !". Sorry to disappoint you, dear Robert, but Chicago is 4 hours flight away from California with a modern airliner !!! A few days in Chicago and we'll be just in time for arriving in New-York !! Our plane at gate at San Francisco (KSFO) Taxiing out... And take-off before dawn. But there will be enough time for a good nap before breakfast ! "Fly me to the moon..." Sunrise over the Rockies Above the Great Salt Lake. And then the vast Midwest... Some trafic on arrival at Chicago, no ATC so we had to arrange our landings by ourselves, via UNICOM. So, no time for pictures before safely landed in KORD.
  3. Hi Bruno and Bon Courage to cross the Pacific !! I know that your Katana is a nice and reliable plane but, as you said, the weather in North Pacific may be quite adverse at this time of the year. That's why we were very happy to leave Anchorage so soon and head South for better weather conditions !! Many thanks for your kind comment and hope I see you soon !! Eric
  4. Wednesday, Nov. 29th, our last leg from Vancouver (CYVR) to San Francisco (KSFO). After a wonderful stay in Vancouver, we now look forward to an equally nice stay in San Francisco, where we expect to stay for a week ! Today will be an early morning flight of 1h 50m, at FL410 as usual. The occasion to see a nice sun rise over California ! Let me show you : Early morning boarding in Vancouver : Taxi to runway 08R : And here we go again ! Lining up on the runway before take-off. Good bye Vancouver and thanks for such a pleasant stay !! Always a nice picture with the landing lights on in the clouds !! A350 at the gates of dawn... Sun rise over California (or maybe Washington State, I'm not so sure...) Just enough time to serve breakfast (with "croissants", of course !) and we begin our descent. We fly over San Francisco and do a U turn to intercept our ILS of runway 28R. We leave the airport to the left and descend 4000 ft. Final approach in the haze, not uncommon in San Francisco... After landing, we will cross the parallel runway... And, finally, reach our gate ! "If you're going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair..." Maybe some of you remember the name of Scott McKenzie, I guess this was his only hit in the charts, that must be in 1967 !! Anyway, here's his song, dedicated to all the nice and gentle people doing the 80 days RTW !!
  5. Definitely too cold in Anchorage : -17°C, mind you !!! And we are not in Winter yet !!! So, today, Nov. 23rd, bye bye (icy) Alaska, hello (rainy) British Columbia !! Let's have a look at its gorgeous landscapes and the famous city of Vancouver !! High altitude flight (FL410) as usual, and a bit less than 3 hours from Anchorage (PANC) to Vancouver (CYVR). Mostly above the clouds again and above the sea for the most part of the flight. Heavy rain on arrival, first time I use the wipers on this plane !! Now, we have plenty time to reach San Francisco, the temperature is around +10°C, how about spending some days in this beautiful place ? Ted Steven Anchorage Intl Airport (PANC) Finishing push-back, then we will taxi to runway 07L. Good bye, Alaska ! At FL410, above a sea of clouds... Sometimes, a hole, so we can see the Pacific Ocean And again the sea of clouds ! Eventually, we begin our descent, reaching Canadian coastline. British Columbia typical landscape near the ocean : mountains climbing from the sea ! Don't descent too fast !! Last turn over the sea valley leading to Vancouver. Now we can descent to 3000ft safely to intercept the ILS of runway 08L. Can't see a thing with this rain !! What about using the wipers ? And welcome to Vancouver !!
  6. Hello Heinz, and hello everyone ! This is it ! Today, nov. 22th, 1700Z, we landed in Anchorage (PANC) after a 3h 30m flight, coming from Petropavlovsk (UHPP). That was a rather long one, mainly over the sea as one can expect... This is the leg where we gain one day !! Weather rather cloudy, but very strong turbulences at arrival !! However, we managed to land smoothly, with a nice round of applause from the passengers, who were not so reassured a few minutes ago... Quite understandable, I must say, because it was no easy final approach and the Go Around was very close !! Okay, we'll stay there a few days and next step will be Vancouver ! All set ! Ready for taxi ! We'll wait first for a landing plane. And then, here we go ! A last view of Kamchatka and we say good bye to Russia, caviar and vodka on ice... Time to rest with a nice meal and good entertaining program, while the A 350 flies at FL400 over the sea. And then, we get our first glimpse of Alaska ! Descent over the mountains... And a left turn to reach Anchorage in a beautiful sunset light. En route to intercept ILS of runway 07R at 3000 ft. A Ground Controller was on line at PANC. I guess he was not very interested in us, as we were just instructed to park right ahead of us. Too bad for the smaller aircrafts on each side !! Of course, these are part of my scenery and the ATC could not see them obviously !!! But I couldn't resist to park here !
  7. Heinz Flichtbeil

    Hello Heinz ! Just missed you in UHPP for just some hours !! I just landed here one hour ago !! Next step for me will be a direct flight to Anchorage, maybe on Wednesday, we'll see ! Safe flight and all the best to you !! Eric
  8. Today, Nov. 20th, next leg of our Pacific crossing : Khomutovo (UHSS) to Petropavlovsk (UHPP) in Kamchatka. 1h45m flight over the sea at FL 400 (a taste of what will come next !), very nice weather, even if it becomes colder and colder !! We had to wait some days before taking off because, as some of you may know, Petropavlovsk is also a military airbase for Russian Air Force and they had scheduled some training and maneuvers during the week-end. So, even if Russians love the "Fransouskis", they were not too happy to have a big airliner in the middle of this. We too were not eager to find ourselves near what would be a hornets' nest so an agreement was rapidly found and we enjoyed Russian hospitality instead with great pleasure ! So, here we are, loading the plane at UHSS. A view of Khomutovo, while our plane is taxiing to rwy 01. Airborne !... ... and climbing through the clouds to our cruise flight level. At FL400 over the sea... Then, we begin our descent in sight of Kamchatka's coastline Approach over the mountains. Before landing... On final rwy 34 at UHPP. No ILS available, but, fortunately, the weather was very nice ! Landed ! Flaps up and ground spoilers disarmed. And, finally, taxi to terminal at UHPP. Let's hurry a bit so we don't keep the other plane waiting !
  9. Wednesday, Nov. 15th : First leg of our journey to San Francisco ! A 1h 45m flight from Tokyo Haneda (RJTT) to Khomutovo Sakhalinsk (UHSS) in Russia. Many, many clouds during all the flight, not very much to see below, but nothing unusual when flying north in November, isn't it ? Minus 6°C on arrival, winter is not coming, it's already here !!! Some change of plans for the Pacific crossing : as there are no direct upper routes to reach our first scheduled airport in Alaska (that was Adak - PADK), we will change our journey as follows : RJTT - UHSS - UHPP (as scheduled) then we will continue with a direct flight to Anchorage (PANC), then Vancouver (CYVR) and San Francisco (KSFO). UHPP-PANC will be 1741 NM long, let's hope we have strong pushing winds like between Shanghai and Tokyo !! OK, now some pictures of yesterday's flight, starting with the plane at the gate in RJTT before departure. After push-back, here we are, ready for taxi to runway 34L. Heading north after take-off, we fly over Tokyo, climbing in the clouds. Yes, I know, we are not supposed to chat on the UNICOM but it was just wishing good flight to another guy, flying to Manila. Lucky you, man ! You will surely have better weather on arrival than us !!! Above the clouds, as on arrival in Tokyo, here is the Fuji-Yama ! A glimpse of Wakkanai, Japan's most northern city ! Goodbye, Land of the Rising Sun !! Sakhalin island is not far at all from Japan and shortly after that, we begin our descent through the clouds. Some turbulence during descent, even towering cumulus !! Calm wind in UHSS, so we could descent directly to intercept the ILS of runway 01 (Arrival PERUB 2A). And finally, welcome to Russia !!
  10. Hello Heinz, Hello Erich, and many thanks for your comments !! The journey to San Francisco started yesterday for me, but not as I planned. See the message below for the details and some pictures of the first leg ! To Erich, I use, as much as I can, SkyMaxxPro (v 4.6), associated with Real Weather Connector, all from X-Aviation as you surely know. It can be a real fps eater and I watch after this carefully. You can see them in the upper left corner in my pictures. In my opinion, fps drop when clouds get numerous and/or thicker, I even had to disable the plugin and use X-Plane standard clouds instead. But I think that fps drop also over mountainous area, especially when flying at high altitudes as I do. Moreover, it seems to me that, the higher the mountains, the higher the fps drop ! To stick back to your question, Erich, I don't remember a specific fps drop when reaching Haneda but checking on the pictures, I had 34fps during descent, 24fps when established on ILS and 29 fps on the ground, so yes, there was a slight drop but within usual fluctuations. I begin to worry when they come less than 20 and less than 15 makes me disable SkyMaxx. The A 350 is a wonderful plane to fly, FF did a really fine job on this model !! Of course, it can be improved (eg, including SIDs and STARs directly) but still, it is clearly my favorite in this class or airliners !! ... and I love those curved winglets !!! I wish nice flights to both of you, although we will come to winter ! See you very soon !! Eric
  11. Sunday, Nov. 12th : After spending a few days visiting the city, we took off for a 2 hours flight from Shanghai (ZSPD) to Tokyo Haneda (RJTT), the closest airport to Yokohama. Very nice weather and a strong westerly wind at FL 400, 130 kts, no less, during most of the flight. See the pictures below ! No ATC to guide us this time, except Incheon Center, but we crossed the very south of his airspace at CRZ level (FL400) for a very short time and there was no need for him to contact us. And again, we took 100 extra passengers, all very happy for this unexpected journey !! (including , of course !!). But not only, because we were lucky enough to fly over Japan with a rather clear sky (except on arrival) and enjoy a very nice view of Japan's southern islands and some famous cities : Nagasaki, Kobe and Osaka, Kyoto and Nara. At Shanghai, ready for push-back and start-up. Taxi to runway 17L. And here we go !! Good bye, Shanghai, it was a really pleasant stay !! At cruise level (FL400). Check the screen close to the center, on the left, and pay attention to the left upper corner : a 130 kts wind is pushing the plane !! TAS is around 480 kts, as usual, but Ground speed is over 600 kts !!! Soon, we can see the first western islands of Japan : Then, Nagasaki. The modern cities of Osaka and Kobe, with the well-known Kansai Intl Airport, built on an artificial island !! And right after, the ancient cities of Kyoto and Nara Japan can be also very mountainous in some parts... But now, it is time to begin our descent to Tokyo. With a glimpse of the mighty Fuji Yama, pointing its cone over the assembling clouds. Unfortunately, we won't be able to see more of it. Maybe on departure... The descent now continues through the clouds. Fully established on ILS runway 35R Taxiing to gate at Tokyo Haneda. Welcome to Japan !! We will stay here a few days before going north to Russia, then Alaska and Canada to reach San Francisco, but this will be the next stories...
  12. But indeed, today, Nov. 8th, was flying day : we left Hong-Kong at 1500Z and arrived at Shanghai Pudong (ZSPD) 1h 40 m later. Quiet flight at FL 400, many clouds as usual and, of course, the Chinese smog was waiting for us at arrival. Don't laugh too loud at my pictures : it's only XP 11 default scenery. Sorry, no ORBX for the moment but I've heard they're planning an X-Plane version, which will be most welcome !!! Our plane at gate before departure. Taxi to holding point J2 of runway 07R. After take-off, we follow the SID BEKOL 3A and first, it's a right turn that will lead us over Hong-Kong cities. A quick good bye to Hong-Kong airport ! Now, we should have a magnificent view of Victoria and Kowloon but that's all we have. (Here, you can laugh, it's ridiculous even if the coastline is quite accurate as far as I remember). It's just for the remembrance of Kai Tak airport (on the left). A last turn, a last glimpse of Kai Tak, and we're heading North and climbing. Above Shenzhen. Chinese countryside below the clouds. The clouds will dissipate a little as far as we go NorthEast, but not as much as we would have liked... Hello, Korean 319 (below, at FL344) ! Safe flight to ZGGG (Guangdong), not very far from Hong-Kong, actually ! OK, now it's time to go down ! Fully established on ILS runway 35L. 145 kts, Full flaps, Landing config OK ! And, finally, taxi to gate in Shanghai Pudong. (Yes, I know, I forgot to disarm the ground spoilers...)
  13. Thanks so much, Bruno !! I really appreciate !! But don't worry, I'm not flying on a daily basis either so you won't miss much !!
  14. Sunday, Nov. the 5th : change of route ! Because we wanted more time to visit the big cities, we decided to skip the stopover in Vietnam and headed directly to Hong-Kong (VHHH). 1460 NM, 3h 45m flight, and again an extra complement of 100 passengers. For once, no haze on departure from Singapore and we had the help of a Ground ATC who guided us to runway 20C. Flight at FL400, above the sea... and a sea of clouds ! Very dense trafic on arrival, at least 40 planes connected on the network, most of them flying from Manila to Macau, then to Taipei. Hong-Kong approaches were fully staffed with ATCs, all very busy and very efficient too. Congratulations, gentlemen, you did a very good job !!! Sorry, guys, not many pictures this time : the A 350 climbs fast and we were very rapidly above the clouds. Anyway, nothing very spectacular when you are above the sea ! And, on arrival, I gave my full attention to the ATC's instructions, especially with the heavy trafic around !! Pushing back in Changi Intl Airport (WSSS). And climbing, following the SID MERSING 7B. Level up at FL 400, Mach 0.84 (ground speed about 475 kts). A glimpse of Hong-Kong approach : arrival BETTY 2A and ILS approach runway 07L, as per ATC's instructions. (See the final route on the screen in front... and the impressive list of ATCs on line, in the right upper corner !!)
  15. Wednesday, Nov. 1st : Good bye, Thailand ! Now it's time to continue to Singapore !! The one and only Singapore, one of the nicest and cleanest cities in the world with a continuous effort of the authorities to maintain this reputation. Of course, this comes with a price and the list of things you're not allowed to do in Singapore is impressive, very impressive !! They're even selling T-shirts with a selection of typical forbiddances and how much you will be fined if you're caught (and you can bet on that !!) !!! But, it's there, in Singapore, that, if you are brave enough, you can face one of the greatest challenges in the world : eat a Durian !! (Not in the subway, it's forbidden !!) Anyway, when you are told that you will stay at The Raffles, you don't hesitate and here we go for another 1h 40m flight from VTSP to WSSS, Changi International, passing above Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur. Quite nice weather, this time, with the exception of a dense fog just before landing. ILS is a great invention, I tell you !! Push-back at Phuket. And soon after, climbing up to FL350 with the guidance of Bankgok Center ATC. Malaysia is not far away. As we cross the border, we say goodbye and thanks to our ATC and continue the flight on our own. Above Kuala Lumpur... ... and its international airport Dense fog, just before landing... Can you see the runway ? Well, you should because there are only 3 NM before the threshold and you are still flying at 145 kts... Despite the fog, nice landing on runway 02C and, finally, taxi to the arrival gate in Changi Airport.