High temps, a little too long off the GPU and we started the flight with a dead APU. Fortunately I had a single engine running, although it was a little difficult to start the rest with bleed air. With a quick bump of the throttle to get the necessary flow the second engine was started, while I waited for #2 to fire up I quickly reviewed the CIVA INS and verified all the necessary waypoints were in as well as total alignment. Click The ignition switch popped back into place and it was time to fire the final engine up. A short taxi out of ramp, back taxi down the runway and off we were into a steep climb up to the flight levels.
Backing up the CIVA with VOR’s, Radials and airways we were on our way to RPMR. The weather climbing out was slightly uneventful, it turned out to be 000/000. Hmmm. Odd. (Turns out ASXP would fix this next day)
There’s something glorious about FlyjSim’s 727 panel, it just looks phenomenal. Short turns into RPMR and we were down with no issues, minus the silly APU. Nothing flight safety breaking. Although this seemed to start a trend.
The weather hadn’t shifted much from the day before, still some low hanging clouds. Nothing really to be worried about fortunately.
Performing an NADP1 Takeoff, it was a turn to the right over the city, so necessary to keep the JT8D’s a little quiet. Clearing 3000 I dialed up a higher airspeed and slowly brought up the flaps as per schedule. The JT8D’s rocketed the 727 up at 3000FPM barely breaking a sweat.
Descending into Jayapura Sentani, the clouds had lingered on from before. Prior to takeoff I noted a Thunderstorm Sigmet north of my route. The winds would cooperate and continue to blow it North, Northwest away from my route. There is possibly foreshadowing in this picture below, I thought nothing of it at the time. Turns out I should have.
The overcast got thick, the METAR had mentioned something along the lines of OVC025. I knew there were mountains around but I hadn’t realized just how close I was going to be. Going from a plane with a GPWS to a plane without any glass gauges at all really teaches you to plan ahead for things like terrain. It was a bit unnerving going down into the clouds and the mountain lingering off to the left. I planned to be overhead the airport at 3000 feet.
Well, out of the soup at 3000 I was, which conveniently is when the field came into sight. Thankfully I was right on top of the field, however I was a little too close for comfort to those mountains.
A sort of broken teardrop approach thing occuring here
Now unfortunately I didn’t take too many photos this next flight. Jayapura to Honiara. Prior to departure the CIVA had failed. Ok fine, there were enough landmarks that I could do this visually. No airways, 1 VOR on the way and the destination airports VOR. Off I went. No issues. My alternate airport was AYPY. This is important because it’s 500nm-ish away from my departure and nearly 800 from my arrival. The flight up to about mid way point was perfectly ok. No issues following landmarks I had planned for. Roughly 450NM away from my destination the #1 fire handle lit up. Well this makes things interesting. At this point I have to continue to the destination, each minute it takes me to sort this fire out I’m moving 8NM per minute further away from the alternate. Pull the fire handle, nothing. Immediately cut fuel to that engine and it’s just windmilling. Still on fire, I try to get the extinguisher to work. Nothing. I hit the switch to transfer bottles and use up #2’s extinguisher to kill the flames on 1. In the short few minutes it’s taken me to deal with this I’ve not noticed my airspeeds decreased, the nose is rising. I noticed somethings off when looking at the engineer station, look back. 180kts and decreasing, full power and pitch nose down slightly to regain airspeed. Down to 26,000 feet.
I have extra fuel, which allows me to keep the remaining JT8D’s running close to max to keep the 727 aloft. The ground speed bleeds off, to a very reasonable 380kts. A tense hour and a bit roll by as I meticulously watch my engine instruments for any signs of abnormality. At this moment if another engine goes out that’s it. There’s nothing left but to ditch it in the ocean. I end up making it all the way to the airport thankfully. However because I’ve got a middle and a right engine, the opposite rudder needed to fight the asymmetric thrust is insane. If there’s one thing I’ve discovered, if you lose an engine, do not at all try to land with flaps 30. I could not for the life of me keep speed up. It bothered my brains normal function to pitch down on approach and increase power to reduce the descent rate as well as increase airspeed. Flaps 25 was the sweet spot and I could keep the plane flying. A mildly uneventful landing, which I could’ve made easier had I opted for a slight tail wind giving me some extra force against the asymmetric thrust.
Fire crews were on “standby”
Waiting for several days, a new engine was finally flown in for the plane. JT8D’s aren’t easy to come by. Behind schedule it was time to get into the air. Departing at 3am has it’s perks, the plane looks good with only the ramp lights.
Off to Fiji we go, in the dead of night. A fixed CIVA also meant we could properly navigate to the next airport. Punching in the waypoints for B452 airway, verifying the fuel levels and weights it was off we go.
On a side note, XP has killer lighting. It just looks so good. Now all we need is volumetric clouds and we’re set.
I’ve seemed to have ran my luck of clear skies dry. Nothing but ceilings here. Nothing requiring an ILS but enough to keep me paying attention to exactly where I am based on DME’s.
The old girl is pretty slippery in the descent still too, it cruises at ridiculously high speeds as well. Comfortably too, I might add.
NFFN has 2 runways, so I picked a minor cross wind ([email protected]) and took runway 02 which would lead me right to the terminal on the right hand side. Nothing had gone wrong this flight luckily. Company higher ups told me however they were going to have a new plane out here for me shortly. Although I’m not sure what it is quite yet, it sounds like I’ll be going back to a prop plane. Let’s just hope it’s as capable as the TBM if it isn’t the TBM.