Join Matthias Hanel on this flight report as he flies the DC-9 Classic from Stavanger in southern Norway all the way up to the far north for a landing in snowy Tromsø.
Good evening guys (and girls)!
I also posted this report in the IVAO forums, so forgive me if I explain things you, fellow classic lovers, already know ;)
It's been quite a long time since my last greater flight report, so this time it will get even bigger than usual. I hope I won't bore you too much ;)
I've started to fly the DC9 again, which has been waiting in my hangar for quite some time. And I have to ask myself: Why? So join me on this new trip report - let's fly from Stavanger in southern Norway to the far north: Tromsø is waiting!
Aircraft: Douglas DC9-30, SAS
Routing: ENZV OKLAN P603 FLS Z107 KVB P615 BERET/N0423F370 Z202 STO M609 SJA ENTC
Cruising altitude: FL350
Estimated flight time: 2:05
Meeting our Viking, which is sitting at the gate at Stavanger Sola airport.
After we have stowed our bags, we're heading out for the walkaround, starting at the nosewheel: Doors look good, water deflector in place, tires are ok, lights are good..
..Pitots look or, door is flush, nose is undamaged..
...flaps and slats are looking good, wingtip is fine with undamaged lights, no fluids dripping out of the wing..
..brakes are good, tires also- landing gear shows no leaks, as for the pipes in the gear bay..
..inlet has no dents, stators are undamaged, fan is looking good, no visible leaks, engine inspection light is fine..
..tail seems good, rear stairs are flush..
..outflow valve is open, left engine and gear are inspected..
..and finally the static ports are looking clean and unobstructed. Let's get in and power this lady up!
Coming into the flightdeck the charme of steam gauges and minimal automation welcomes us. The ground engineers already plugged the GPU in.
After bringing the systems to life, the first thing we'd like to do is to power up the INS system and align the gyros, as this takes up some time. Therefore we enter our current position into both CDUs and let them start with the alignment, before we continue with the other preflight tasks.
Checking out our loadsheed: 82 pax are with us today, taking 1800lbs of luggage with them.. together with 18500lb of t/o fuel this makes our TOW 96732lbs, with 6.4 units of stab trim.
Pulling out the originating and receiving checklist, we begin to setup the systems for the upcoming flight: As you see, there are quite some tasks to accomplish..
Before boarding begins, we're starting the APU to get some nice, comfortable air into the cabin.
Once everything else is done, we're starting to put our first 9 legs into the INS CDUs. Why 9? Because it can only store 9 waypoints, therefore the data has to be continuously updated during the flight. At least you can crossfill both units, so the whole thing has to be inserted into just one unit. After that the data then is re-checked, as one small typo can mix up the whole waypoint.
The stations for DME position updates are also completely inserted- more on this later.
For the thrust settings Douglas provided the pilots with a nice and simple tool: The diamond will tell you the max EPR setting- the left one for takeoff, the right one for climb. So today, as it is getting colder, we have an EPR setting of around 1,97, and the according bug is set up in the EPR gauges.
Stabilizer trim is set, and the radios are tuned for our departure. Douglas really showed some skill putting as many functions into the throttle quadrant as possible: From left to right we have stabilizer trim, autothrottle (only for final approach), rudder hydraulic control, thrust levers, alternate trim, crossfeed, cabin altitude control (manual and automatic) and the flaps/slats..
Looking at our t/o data chart for the current weight, we are able to setup the correct speedbugs according to the desired flap setting- which today is 5.
Meanwhile the pax are on board and the luggage has been loaded. The INS system is correctly aligned and in NAV mode.. so time to pull out the before start checklist and prepare for push.
Ground crew is also busy to get us off the gate.
During push we're cleared for engine start, first we fire up number 2.. closely monitoring the parameters. No FADEC is here to help us in the event of a hot or hung start..
Engines are running, the after start checklist is done, and we are cleared to the holding point of runway 18.
On our way to the runway we're working the before t/o checklist and make sure once again that everything is setup correctly.
The only hydraulic powered control surfaces are the rudder, the flaps/slats and the speedbrakes, by the way- the elevator and ailerons are manually moved by the pilot. Pure 'handflying' guaranteed ;)
Our departure takes us to Varhaug NDB, then right on heading 318°, to intercept the 173 radial inbound Karmøy.
Lining up on runway 18- last checks, then spool up the engines to 1.5 EPR.. stabilize.. and off we go!
Positive rate, gear up- bye bye Stavanger!
Passing acceleration altitude, the flaps are retracted on schedule and the engines go to the computed MCL EPR setting.
After passing Karhaug NDB, we're joining the 173 radial inbound to Karmøy VOR, which in turn is the first waypoint programmed into the INS.
As soon as we are established on the correct inbound course to Karmøy, we're switching to INS navigation. This procedure guarantees a smooth transition from radio to area navigation.
Established in the climb we're now following the coastline alle the way up.. climb speed is 250kts up to FL100, thereafter 300kts, and finally M.70 up to cruise level.
Leaving Bergen behind we get a first impression of the beauty of Norway..
On cruise altitude our old lady accelerates to around M.78.
Great view towards Ålesund.
Towards Kristiansund we're still passing an amazing landscape..
While traveling from wapoint '2' to waypoint '3', the first CDU shows us the distance (55NM) and time (7.7 minutes) to the next waypoint. The second unit is currently displaying the wind- 312 with 59 knots. Could be better.. but also could be worse.
The green lights indicate that both units are updating their inertial positions using DME data. The coordinates of the stations had been inserted before the flight, now with the predetermined stations tuned in, the units use the DME signal to compute and correct their internal drift error, thus keeping up the accuracy. If you would not use this method, the units' accuracy degrades over the time, leading to errors of more than just one or 2 miles..
Somewhere near Sandnessjøen..
Pax not only have something to look for- they have also 'music' to listen to ;)
Short presentation of the arrival into Tromsø: Via after Senja NDB we're flying with QDR 013° until intercepting the 13NM DME-Arc of Tromsø VOR, leading us to Kvalsund NDB, which in turn is the FAF for the ILS19 approach.
With Bodø behind and Narvik coming up abeam, we're starting our descend and pull out the preliminary landing checklist. The hydraulic system has 3 standard states: Unpowered, low pressure and high pressure. During cruise the low power mode is used, as there is little demand. For takeoff and landing the high power mode is used, as gear, slats, spoilers and brakes have to be actuated.
Already below FL100, the clouds together with the sun are breathtaking..
..but also mean possible icing conditions. Engine anti ice is selected, and in order to make it work, the engines have to be spooled up a bit to produce sufficient bleed air. On new jets this is all automatic, here it is the pilots' job.
Meanwhile we're following the 13DME arc onto the localizer of runway 19.
Final turn to capture the loc.
On final to Tromsø- what a panorama! 8)
Copilot calls out the radio altimeter, only under 50ft the synthetic voice will sound.. at decision altitude everything looks fine, so we continue.
Touchdown in Tromsø.
Reversers are selected, and with very little braking effort..
..we are able to vacate via Alfa.
Time for another checklist ;) Something rather unusual is the selection of flaps 15 after landing.
Turning into the gate.
Parking with the marshaller.
The engines are just shutdown, and immediatley the groundcrew starts to unload the baggage..
..while on the other side the airstair is setup for our passengers.
And there we are- after 732NM and 2:11 hours of flight time- 6 minutes late. Damn. ;)
As always - I hope you enjoyed reading :)
DC-9 Classic flight report by Matthias Hanel.
Higher resolution images from the flight report in the gallery below: