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Jess-b

Leg 22 - Yelizovo (UHPP) to Unalaska (PADU)

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This was the trip from hell. It's not a great way to start a Pirep, I know, But this was a prime example of a lack of planning and sheer bad luck. Whist I knew what to expect at Yelizovo, having flown there last leg, Unalaska was a mystery to me. Despite this, I decided to be a bit carefree and just fly the route. Rising to a challenge from fellow around the world pilot Andrew, I took my pick of some heavy metal for the trip. I came down to a choice between a very classic Boeing 707 or the technically advanced MD-11. I choose the MD-11 due to the lack of VOR's for the 707 to follow. It was a bad idea though. Half way across the ocean, I looked up the chart for PADU to discover it was Dutch Harbour Now this airport I knew from the Discovery show, Deadliest catch. The MD-11 couldn't land there. It also explained why I couldn't find it in the FMC. I'd also screwed up my timings and took off early morning from Yelizovo only to run foul of the international dateline. by the time I reached Dutch harbour, it was pitch black. There was now no way to even attempt a landing. So I returned to Yelizovo and got into my own 737, Lenore. Knowledge is power and this time, knowing what to expect, I expected the flight to go well.

After the debacle the day before, I found myself prepping Lenore and just after 0300 local time. In the dark Yelizovo was empty. Not even the Learjet I'd seen earlier in the day was there anymore. In the dark I called for clearance and taxied out to runway 32L. I'd done plenty to lighten the load, no passengers or cargo and just enough fuel to get there plus a small diversion.

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Not much around at this time of the morning.

I'd checked the weather and it looked good, with the Bearing sea being kind to me. So as I left Yelizovo, I felt I could relax and enjoy the flight.

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Bye Bye.

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For the next hour sit looking out at the stars because there's little to look at. but as the sun comes up, the view changes to something a little more pleasant.

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The sun is coming up.

As the daylight fills the sky, I get to see my first sight of land for a while. its bleak. There's nothing but white mountains. Its beautiful in its bleakness.

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Morning has broken.

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and Land ho.

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Dutch harbour in sight.

I'd love to show you more, but Fraps stopped saving pictures after the above shot, which is very annoying, just adding to this horrible journey. However, my problems didn't stop there. ATC cleared me to a visual approach to 30. I know what ATC is like and there's a bloody great big mountain in front of 30 so I opted instead for a visual to 12. As I vectored closer to runway 12, FSX still insists on making me pass over a few mountains before I get onto final. I get Lenore's flaps down to 40, and my approach speed to just 140kts. it's not fun. Lenore get's wallowy at these speeds and it takes big inputs into the yoke to make minor corrections. I get over the threshold and annoyingly, Lenore floats a little down the runway. It leaves me a bit long but with not enough speed to get out. the wheels touch down and I slam the reversers to full and stamp on the brakes. Cursing like mad the end of the runway approaches and it looks for all the world as if I'm heading into the drink. Fortunately, Lenore comes to a stop right on the edge of the threshold and I breathe a sigh of relief. I taxi to a hangar and look to get a cold drink preferably with alcohol included. I hand over to Kasper, and wishing him more luck getting out of Dutch harbour than I had getting in.

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Psst! I'll tweak Lenore for you, 20,000lbs lighter, less fuel, 15% more power out the old engines? It'll fly from Gatwick to Honolulu non-stop if you get it to FL530... just give me the baton, $50,000, and a Canadian passport, no questions asked.

Also, that was a wonderful dawn, and had I spent a day longer on my brand-new REX I could've told you exactly what sunrise that was :P As for your landing, I'd say that was about my normal - float it halfway, stomp, and if I'm lucky I stay on the runway..!

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Well that explains where you have been hiding for the last day or two, Jess.

There was a reason why I categorised it as "Hard" on the difficulty level, but then gave a hint on the MTOW of 10,000 lbs. Anyway, glad the flight went well in the end even though it provided a bit of stress and tension on the landing. :heat:

An even bigger cahllenge would be to get 'Lenore' out of that 3,894' rwy. :wacko2:

Cheers

Andrew

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As always: an entertaining read with beautiful screenshots.

Thanks for the Baton and the good advice. As a regular to Unalaska I will try to get the Baton to Cold Bay in a Six. That should be entertaining too, although I hope not as much as your flight.

gruft036.gif

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Well done Jess, I sure would have opted for something smaller than Lenore for that flight...

But I guess I'm just to cautious ;)

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Thanks for the Pirep, Jess,

That was a long 2 days. The beautiful sunrise was a reward. Appreciated by all.

Have maintenance take a close look at Lenore's brakes and tires ('tyres) before your next flight.

Cheers,

March

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That just goes to show we don't get always get it easy.

Well done Jess for getting out of that scrape :thum:

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