737-200, learning the ways of the JT-8D

British Airways hired me to fly a charter from Port Au Price to Kingston. Being one that is never to turn down a job on the ol’ trust -200 I obviously said yes. A short planning session later and we’ve determined to climb up to FL180, the upper limit for the Victor Airways.
This is rather limiting, but so is the aircraft, not being equipped with a INS, and thus limited in altitude. Not a big problem though, the total route is just a tad over 250NM, so it comes down to departure, climb turn and hope to be at altitude before reaching the south-east end of Haiti!

We can’t take too much with us otherwise we’ll never reach altitude and burn a lot more fuel trying to do so! Fortunately these early morning charters are surprisingly enough not very popular on the old noisy jets… I wonder why?

Time barely passes before we are presented with the backlights unsurprisingly backliteing the panels, which is their existential purpose I suppose. The battery coerced the APU, who then told the generators to generate, and thus life has come full circle(I don’t know, do I look like a philosopher?!).

In my grace and kindness I find myself flicking the position lights to ON, coupled with the rotating beacon. Why? it might provide a apt warning for the few lost souls on the apron that still do not expect my plane to screech to life. Fortunately I am equipped with the engines to wake up an entire town.

And that is exactly what I will do.

Engine 1 goes first. Engine 2 second. It’s nice to see that the oil system is modelled in such a way that it warms up after a while(and also cools down, I’ve noticed). I think the engine performance modelling on this plane is spot on!

The plebeians entering my humble ferrocious avian apparatus apparently don’t like my “climb the Everest from your seat!” experience program, so in my glory I opt to setup the cabin altitude pressurisation equipment.

She’s a beauty on the inside too!

I toss some coins down on the apron and sure enough they get the hint and push back starts gently. I am kind enough to turn on the taxi-lights so that they too may bathe in the glory that I so joyfully spread around!

Operation SCREECH ALARM CLOCK is go, time to hit the pedal to the metal!

Starting the slow climb out to FL180, in retrospect I might have step-climbed it, it took about 15 minutes to get up there!

The sun is catching up as we are about to say goodbye to Haiti for now. It really is a gorgeous country from up here! I can see why the French had such a hard time defeating the rebellion that hid in the mountains.

Checking the instruments… Yep. Still flying!

After an uneventful cruise it’s time to start descending. I rolled the engines back and you can instantly see the oil-coolers effectiveness increasing!

4000 feet and I make landfall with Jamaica, turned a little to the south to follow the coast line and avoid getting too close to the mountains.

Now that the first alcoholics in the back have woken up and have started drinking again, I figured it might be worth a shot giving them some relief, the engines are throttling back so I opt to start up the APU and throw some extra fresh air in that cabin area. I really am a gift upon the existence of these mortals in the back!

The approach charts, I pretty much plan on flying to the DME line, follow it up north until the ILS kicks in and gentle talks me down to the runway.

I’ve been reading the excellent http://www.b737.org.uk website, that has a few useful pilot tips for the 100/200 models. One of them was to role the engine back to 55% N1 when starting to apply flaps and start the approach. This was pretty spot on and kept the aircraft comfortably seated in the flap deployment regime.

I gently start flying the approach, all is good and fine on this sunny sunny day!

Huh… What is tha… OH CRAP. Guess once what happens? I put in the engine power a little too late, causing a sturdy decent rate exceeding 1000fpm. Not a big deal, but when you ask for more power you can easily induce an engine stall which is exactly what happened. I lost the hydraulic power too, I raised the flaps a notch but I have no idea if that actually ever did occur.

Anyway, I ended up landing in a grass field that destroyed the landing gear and pretty much had me take down a couple of trees. Not sure how the damage is modelled but it would have been survivable for most of the occupants so the landing gets a big Thumbs Up! from me.

Think of what you’ll save on the taxi fare!


Lol very good

Thanks! Even from our failures we can learn!

Airline fare + nature tour. I call that value added!

Interesting about the compressor stalls…I didn’t know it modeled that.

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I am not 100% sure if it was a compressor stall or not, but it seems rather plausible to me given the 60’ engine nature and behaviour under the reported circumstances, low N1, low forward airspeed and a FPM exceeding 1000(close to 1500). If you can command extra power output it might stall due to the turbulent air entering the inlet section.

Wouldn’t surprise me - those earlier pure turbojets are pretty finicky about airflow…

nice report and a nice plane!

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Cool to see that it gets sometimes rusty :slight_smile: fun writeup

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