Well first let me begin by thanking Mike (aka Midnight Mike) for once again showing me a fantastic time down at Alteon’s Training center in Long Beach. Mike is a wonderful spokesman for Boeing and truly goes out of his way to give enthusiasts like me a wonderful aviation experience.
I won’t go into the Alteon center as my last thread in November goes into their amazing facilities in detail. This was my second trip to Alteon to have some fun in the Boeing sims. This time I booked a two hour session in the 717, yeah I know they have the MD-11 and the 737 but the 717 is a favorite of mine.
I was honored and I truly mean honored to have a wonderful inspirational flight instructor in the right seat with me, Eldon served in the U.S Airforce for many years and has flow everything from the KC135 to the elite and top secret B2 Stealth bomber. Being I already did basic flight the last time I was there Eldon decided to throw the kitchen sink at me.
Before putting me through the ringer I wanted to do some NYC approaches we all know well. First we did the Carnarsie approach at JFK; we began by taking off from 31L making the bank over Howard Beach and then circled around over the ocean and setup our approach. The detail of these sims really amazes me and they did a very good job with NYC. I’ll tell you that the Carnarsie approach is certainly an interesting approach from the front of the aircraft and was certainly a thrill. Eldon for the most part instructed me when to set flaps put our gear down and the other required checks before landing. Naturally I greased the bird down on 13L.
(Mario that's taken with the wide angle, sorry for the grain I was using 800 ISO)
From there I wanted to do the Expressway visual at LGA, holly **** that was hard as hell when you throw some wind in and with LGA’s short runways you really don’t have much room for error. I came in a bit high but did managed to smoothly set her down within the limits but had to roll out to the end of 31 to slow her down without to much jarring, and yes if you hit the breaks on the sim you get throw forward pretty good. Oh one thing about LGA in the sim, they used all TWA birds for the LGA traffic, talk about a wonderful surprise for me!!!
Now the highlight of the sim session! As I said Eldon decided to throw the kitchen sink at me so we did an engine fire and failure on take-off past the abort point. We lined up on 31L and about at 100 knots the right engine blew out. All of the sudden you feel this unbelievable pull to the right as the left engine thrust is turning you towards the right. Along with this sensation you have alarms going off “engine fire, engine fire.” In order to compensate for the right turn and so we didn’t flip over on rotation Eldon instructed me to give the plane a hard left to the rudder. So I firmly pressed the left pedal all the way down and she came around and we rotated out.
Naturally the climb was very slow up to 700 feet when at that point we engaged more thrust to take us up to 3000 feet and began our turn around to JFK. All along you are flying by instrument paying close attention to the plane’s vertical and horizontal position. The min you let up on the left peddle she’d try to go over on her back. This was a totally different kind of flying experience with only one engine; you really had to keep up with trim and rudder position of the aircraft. When it came time to land things just multiplied with every movement of the yoke and rudder then when you have both engines in use. We managed to land safely but I came down real hard bounced right back up, came back down hard again on one side and by simply reaction slammed the nose down real hard. Holy hell I thought the sim broke. We rolled out all along bouncing left to right because we only had one engine but did manage to stop before the end of the runway. Now I’ll say I thought Eldon set something in the sim that we wouldn’t crash but he told me everything that happened was what would happen in real life and that the landing we experienced while hard wouldn’t have caused any damage to the aircraft and would have allowed the plane to taxi in if we choose to.
I can say that the two hours spent in the sim were just fantastic and again I’d like to thank Eldon for his instruction and the time I spent with him. In our hobby being able to spend time with pilots like Eldon and have him share a tiny bit of his years of flying are truly an honor and privilege. Once again if you are in the LA or Long beach area buy some time in the sim and visit this place and share some history and expirence with one of Alteon’s instructors, I firmly believe they are the best in the industry and were some of the best pilots ever to grace the skies.
The spotting pics will be posted Friday night late, overall I took 1658 pics and given I took about three or four per plane I shot about 415 different aircraft and airlines, so its going to take me a while boys and girls.