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Around The World 2006 - Part 1









Part 1: Introduction & Visiting Europe (North)


I'm pleased to welcome you on a new virtual trip that will take us over the World and travel through some of the interesting features of what nowadays scenery, landscape and aircraft modeling can provide for PC flight simulation.

At the dusk of the (long) Flight Simulator 2004 era (as the next FSX version is now released), we'll give a glance at several - payware or freeware - high quality scenery add-ons developed for FS2004 (including detailed airports, landclass, high resolution terrain mesh and photographic sceneries) but we'll also sometimes give the word to FS2004 standard scenery to see how Microsoft has done the job.


We'll visit the five continents and the review will be split into eight parts, the first being the one you're reading now :


  • Part 1 : Introduction & visiting Europe (North)
  • Part 2 : Visiting Europe (South)
  • Part 3 : Visiting Middle East & Asia
  • Part 4 : Visiting Australia & Pacific
  • Part 5 : Visiting North America
  • Part 6 : Visiting Central America & The Caribbean
  • Part 7 : Visiting South America
  • Part 8 : Visiting Africa, Indian Ocean & return


As you may see, we'll follow an easternly direction across the globe and naturally visit very different and even extreme locations that'll be revealed as soon as the trip progresses, but you can already have a rough idea of the whole stuff with the following map :






Map source: Wikipedia free encyclopedia


Some of you will perhaps notice that we'll visit countries where commercial operations are still possible in real life (at the time these lines are written) but that may be, in real life again, in conflict with other neighbouring or distant nations (which can also be visited in this journey). No political, religious or military matters will appear here as we will only care about interesting places, landscapes and the universal aspects of civil aviation.


This journey is supposed to take place within the summer 2006 season but will probably last several months depending on my availability and unforeseen events. Passengers are prepared for a looong trip but they are virtual anyway and the advantage of virtual passengers is that they never complain in case of delay or any other trouble.


The tour will have Brussels, Belgium as origin seeing that this is my home airport. The airline is purely fictional, and some of you may already know it since preceeding reviews.


The whole trip will be made on a widebody Airbus A330-200 aircraft. As a counterpart to the high realism level of the sceneries, many efforts will be made to give as much realism as possible concerning the flight. In that way, we'll have, all over the review, the occasion to focus on some theorical aspects such as : aircraft systems, aircraft instruments, flight planning, Flight Management System, IFR procedures, TCAS, ETOPS, ... Many of that topics will be illustrated. Real life (looking like) approach charts will illustrate some of the procedures that'll be flown, and in particular dangerous approaches in mountainous areas. Besides, many screenshots will be given with embellishment purposes only, including my favourite passenger views.


The theory that'll be set out in this series of articles is without any pretension and'll probably often look like elementary A, B, C for real airline pilots and even keen flightsimmers, but could nevertheless be less obvious for newcomers in the flight simulation community. For the most demanding among you, the whole "theory" should not be expected in the first articles, as they will probably be the most "pictorial" ones. We will have and take the time to share the technical stuff among the eight stories. In this one, we will however tackle Airbus general philosophy, (quickly) focus on some instruments and show some specific and official IFR procedures.


Please note that because of off-line flying, I can only use MSFS standard ATC which diverges from official procedures in most of cases and doesn't handle oceanic clearances and holdings (at busy airports) either. No realistic ATC communications should then be expected here. For the same reason, the real weather function cannot be used and weather will each time be manually set by me using the "Customize weather" menus (clouds & precipitation, visibility, surface wind). Various weather situations will be generated along the flight, but fully realistic settings (eg. the realistic pressure according to the other weather settings) could lack in most of cases.


On the other hand, I'll later provide you with realistic checklists. Horizon Dreams' A330 checklists sheet has been worked out considering real data coming from both Airtours International and SN Brussels Airlines (cockpit DVD's) checklists for the same aircraft type. An interesting and strange thing to point out here is that checklists procedures may vary from one airline to another for the very same aircraft type. This sheet, whom different stages will be detailed later, can then be seen as a "merging" of the two airlines checklists, considering the most appropriate and convenient sequences that can be applied in the simulation.






Flight plans will be precisely given for each leg. Though the routes will be displayed here looking like the computed ones that are faxed to the flight deck in real life operations, they'll all be made manually using Jeppesen (High altitude) enroute charts.


People among you who would like to fly the same legs themselves later will easily be able to load them in any Flight Management Computer given the standard format used.


A good way to immerse in realistic flightsimming is to use a high-quality aircraft add-on. For a reasonable price, we can nowadays experience high-level PC simulation for almost every modern aircraft on the market, and even for older types no longer in service.


With such products, developed by very high skilled people, we can enjoy photorealistic panels where between 80 and 90% of the real functions and switches are modeled. Of course, further studying is requested once we want to fly a new aircraft.


For our trip, we'll then fly the Airbus A330-200 type, powered by General Electric CF6 engines and (fictionally) registered as OO-HZH (Oscar Oscar - Hotel Zulu Hotel), the "Oscar Oscar" code being the country identifier for every Belgian registered aircraft.


The entire flight will be coded as HZD2006, callsign will be "Horizon two zero zero six heavy".


For this occasion, a special "Around the World 2006" logo was painted on the left side of the fuselage.


Panel & avionics will be provided by Phoenix Simulation Software A330/A340 Professional (payware), while the aircraft model is coming from the Project Open Sky aircraft designers (freeware). For this plane, I've preferred to use the POSKY aircraft model in place of the one provided by PSS because of flight dynamics and general display purposes. A few minor changes were made in the original Aircraft.cfg of the POSKY aircraft for full compatibility with the PSS panel.


Having been flying with the Boeing 737-700 type only (modeled by PMDG software) on short and medium routes for several months, the A330-200 was chosen and added to my single aircraft "fleet" in May 2005 to start high capacity charters and long range services.


Being common with Boeing environment, the transition to the Airbus philosophy can be quite disconcerting for the student pilot, but quickly shows that it also has its advantages. It's a matter of taste. In this review, I'll sometimes compare Boeing and Airbus when the situation allows it, showing the differences and analogies.


A few historical and technical background about Airbus commercial airplanes...


The European aircraft manufacturer whose head office is located at Toulouse - Blagnac airport in France is a now a consortium of Aerospatiale (France), Deutsche Aerospace (Germany), British Aerospace (UK), CASA (Spain) and Belairbus (Belgium).


Airbus' first model, the A300-B1, was launched in the early seventies. This was the first widebody twinjet to appear on the market.


The following A310, which began flying in the early eighties, featured a reduced capacity, longer range derivative of the A300 and updated systems.


The A320 narrowbody type which took the air in 1987 introduced one of the Airbus warhorses: the fly-by-wire technology. Airbus aircraft are no longer flown with yokes but with computer game looking-like joysticks (named sidesticks). They send electrical signals to the flight computers which drive the hydraulics to control the surfaces. In the "former" system, which is however still used worldwide (and in particular by Boeing), pilots send mechanical signals by classic cables, those signals being amplified by the hydraulics that drives the surfaces.


The A320 family (which now comprises, from the shorter to the longer variant : the A318, A319, A320 and A321) also introduced the glass cockpit revolution : this technology now concerns the whole airliner market (as well as the high level General aviation and, in the future, even light aircraft). On a glass cockpit aircraft, analogical gauges are replaced by an EFIS (Electronic Flight Instrument System) which commonly provides six CRT of LCD screens displaying flight information in most convenient form, each screen integrating several instruments. The Captain and the First Officer have both a PFD (Primary Flight Display) and a ND (Navigation Display), the engines and aircraft systems displays being located at the center of the panel. Airbus talks about ECAM (for Electronic Centralized Aircraft Monitoring) while Boeing says EICAS (for Engine Indicating and Crew Alert System) but this is the same thing. On Airbus aircraft, the upper ECAM screen displays engine, flaps setting, fuel quantity and alert information and is named the E/WD (Engine/Warning Display) ; the lower ECAM displays the various systems parameters and is known as the SD (System Display). Classic mechanical backup instruments are still provided (anemometer, artificial horizon and altimeter).


The Flight Management System (FMS) integrates the several calculators which provide lateral (or surface) and vertical navigation as well as aircraft systems (including engines) management. The interface between the pilot and the FMS is the MCDU (for Multifunction Control Display Unit in Airbus terms ; Boeing says FMC) which is programmed before the flight and can be reprogrammed at any time during the flight. The Flight Control Unit (FCU ; Mode Control Panel or MCP with Boeing) integrates the Autopilot (AP) and Flight Director switches and communicates with the MCDU. With AP properly engaged, a whole flight can be run following the programmed MCDU information. In this case, we say that the FMS is flying the aircraft in managed mode. We'll later be talking about managed speed, managed vertical guidance and managed lateral guidance. The autopilot can anyway still be used following the "classic" way, giving the hand to the pilot who selects the desired IAS/Mach, heading, altitude or vertical speed. This aircraft is then flown in the selected mode.


We will go deeply into those topics in the following articles.






Airbus A330 flight deck. We see that the CPT and F/O have both  their own PFD, ND and EFIS control panel working independantly.


Two MCDU interfaces are also provided, though they are of course driving a single system.


Note: this is the PSS A330 aircraft model virtual cockpit


The A330(-300) and A340(-300) models where launched coincidentally with the minimum structural changes for two or four engines. Airlines can choose between the twin-engine A330 for the lowest cost on medium to extended range routes, and the four-engined A340 for the best operating flexibility on long and very long range networks. A330 and A340 flightdecks are very similar and nearly identical, introducing the famous Airbus' Cross crew qualification which dramatically reduces the type rating duration (and costs) from one type to another. In that way, it takes 8 working days to switch between a A320 family aircraft and the A330/A340, and from 1 to 3 days only to switch between the A330 and A340 qualification.


The two latest additions to the A330/A340 family were the A340-500 and A340-600. The latter features an ultra-streched fuselage giving a capacity comparable to the Boeing 747. With its 16700 kilometers range, the A340-500 is currently the longest range aircraft on the market, also flying the longest 18-hours scheduled flight between Singapore and New York.


The 555-seats, double-deck A380 made its first flight in April 2005, unveiling the world's largest passenger aircraft.


The A350 program is intended to compete with Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, that will set new standards in operating speed, efficiency and passenger comfort on the long range market. The A350 is due to make its maiden flight in 2012.


... and the A330-200.


The A330-200, launched in 1995, is the newest member of Airbus' widebody twinjets and is a longer range, shortened development of the A330-300. It shares near identical systems, airframe, flightdeck and wings, the only major difference for the observer being the fuselage length, which is 4,70 m shorter. Tail and empennage, however, have been enlarged to compensate for the loss of moment arm with the shorter fuselage and another important change is the addition of a center fuel tank.






The aircraft that will fly us throughout the entire trip


But that's enough talk. It's now time to board the ship, start the adventure and fly the first leg.


We are in the first two weeks of July and northern Europe has now been enjoying warm and sunny weather for several days. A very good opportunity to start this round the world trip in clear skies.


Leg 1: Brussels, Belgium - London, United Kingdom

The first around the world flight review that was proposed by your servant more than 3 years ago flew directly to the United States in the first leg. This time, we will first take some time to discover some of Europe's beautiful landmarks, mainly reproduced here as high quality sceneries.






London - Heathrow, one of Europe's busiest airports, was chosen as the first destination. This short flight will lead us above the North of Brussels, Belgian coast, the Channel and the approach into Heathrow will provide us good views of the Thames and the city.






Brussels - National Departures terminal a few hours before HZD2006 gets airborne.


The first passengers for Around the World 2006 arrive at Horizon Dreams' check-in desks.


Flight Plan

From Brussels-National (EBBR/BRU) to London-Heathrow (EGLL/LHR) Alternate EGKK London-Gatwick




We'll take off from runway 25R, follow the DENUT One Charlie SID (for Standard Instrument Departure), make a few right turns to join Nicky VOR/DME in a view to avoid a prohibited area located in the North of Brussels and comply with noise abatment procedures ; DENUT intersection will follow and then we'll fly straight ahead to Lambourne VOR/DME via the UL610 airway. At Lambourne, which shall be crossed at 7,000 feet as specified in the Lambourne Three Alfa STAR (for Standard Arrival) we'll begin the approach into Heathrow.


Quick reminder: SIDs and STARs are compulsory tracks which connect the airports with the airways. At busy international airports, SIDs and STARs will relieve ATC from aircraft guidance along those predeterminated tracks, which help to divide up the traffic flow and, in some cases, respect noise abatment procedures. SIDs and STARs may also be in force in mountainous areas to keep aircraft clear of terrain during the departure and approach phases. SIDs and STARs do not systematically exist for each airport and, even if available, STARs may sometimes be replaced or completed by radar vectoring at busy airports. In this case, ATC will handle each aircraft to make it follow its own approach path once it penetrates the radar vectoring area, often defined as a circle of about 30 nm radius centered on the airport.


> Brussels Clearance Delivery, Horizon 2006 heavy ready to copy IFR, clearance to Heathrow...


>> Horizon 2006 heavy, cleared to Heathrow as filed. Fly runway heading, climb and maintain six thousand. Departure frequency is 122.5, squawk 0561.


Contact ground on 121.8 when ready to taxi.


> Brussels Ground, Horizon 2006 heavy, ready to taxi


>> Horizon 2006 heavy, taxi to and hold short runway 25 right via taxiways India 9, Echo 4, Foxtrot 4, Whisky 3 and Whisky 4. Contact Tower on 120.770 when ready


Brussels airport is now slightly recovering a good health, recording more aircraft movements and passengers each year, figures that were dramatically lowered after September 11 and Sabena's demise in 2001.


In FS2004, however, in the heart of the summer season and with AI traffic set to 100% we're still number one for takeoff, so let's go fast and relate this first flight without waiting any more.






Ready to go?








Note the early rotation due to the very low fuel load needed for the flight to London






Right turn on the DENUT1C SID






Bruges historical city seen from 20,000 ft and Zeebrugge port, an important centre of economic in Belgium


The Scheldt estuary in the distance






Leaving the Belgian coast (Ostend city & airport). The Nav Display a few seconds before passing the Top of Descent point, abeam of Dover






Descending over English countryside






Passing Lambourne VOR/DME. Approach begins. Some of you will perhaps recognize their golf course !






Reproduced with permission of Jeppesen Sanderson, Inc.




© Jeppesen Sanderson, Inc. 2006


Reduced for illustrative purposes only


The ILS approach procedure into Heathrow Rwy 27R.


From Lambourne VOR in our case, we follow the 234° track descending to


2,500 ft to localizer interception, that should be executed just above the Thames






Flying over the Docklands on track 234°






London here we come!






Passengers can enjoy, from left to right : Kensington Gardens - Hyde Park,


The Green Park and Buckingham Palace






Localizer capture. Bottom-right: the disused Battersea Power Station, which provided


London with electrical power until the eighties






Short final, cleared to land. Despite excellent weather, we're il full automatic Approach mode for this first landing.


Leg 2: London, United Kingdom - Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Those who expect long range flights will be rather disappointed again with this second leg and will have to wait a little more for the longer routes that are scheduled.


With its 236 nautical miles (436 km) distance, this new leg across the sea will take us a bit more than 60 minutes from pushback to shutdown, just a period of time to serve a cold drink to the passengers once airborne.


We'll take off frow runway 27R and follow the Brookmans Park 6 Foxtrot Standard Departure, which makes an U-turn and flies back over the northern suburbs of London. We leave the English coast above Clacton VOR/DME beacon, then proceed to REDFA waypoint, somewhere in the North sea. From REDFA, we'll fly the REDFA Standard Arrival for Schiphol which leads to SUGOL, Initial Approach Fix (IAF) still located offshore. From SUGOL, we may expect radar vectors for runway 18C approach.


A further notice about Radar vectoring : such procedures are more and more used by ATC on busy international airports. At Schiphol, for example, pilots shall expect radar vectors between IAFs and interception of final approach for each landing runway. The official standard routes, which of course still appear on approach charts, are now intended to be used in case of communications failure only.


FS2004 standard ATC (in the approach phases) could be interpreted as radar vectoring but I'd say NO since it will always make you fly the basic right-angled shape of Downwind, Base and Final segments, often with too long and unrealistic distances, never taking the airfield situation, surrounding topography and nearby traffic in mind. This is why, when radar vectoring is in force in real life, I'll take some freedom to choose my own path or fly visual approaches when weather permits.


In fine, and in a way to make a link with a previous subject, we may say that radar vectoring is a very suitable situation for the autopilot selected mode use.


Flight Plan

From London-Heathrow (EGLL/LHR) to Amsterdam-Schiphol(EHAM/AMS) Alternate EBBR Brussels-National








Holding point Rwy 27R. A BA 747-400 is nicely greeting us


With such a short flight, and considering the 12,800 ft or 3900 meters available on the takeoff runway, we obviously perform a derated thrust takeoff, known as "FLEX" takeoff in Airbus terms. Once again, we'll go deeply into this feature in the following articles.


Anticyclonic weather is still topical all along the way so we are likely to enjoy the landscape below from takeoff to landing.






We're airborne for the second time, with a second immediate right turn to observe the SID track






The PFD and ND shown during the BPK6F Standard Departure.


On the PFD, the speed tape shows an Indicated airspeed (IAS) of 253 kts, and increasing as shown by the yellow acceleration vector. We're slightly above the current managed target airspeed of 250 kts as shown by the magenta triangle. Altitude tape shows 7330 feet with Standard reference (STD) - we are already above the transition altitude and climbing to the selected Flight level 130, at the current vertical speed of 4300 ft/min. A higher level clearance should be soon given by ATC. On the top of the PFD is the Flight mode annunciator (FMA), showing current autothrust and autopilot modes. We're currently in the Open Climb selected vertical guidance mode, in which we climb directly to the selected altitude using autothrust THR CLB mode to maintain climb thrust. With this mode, no flightplan (and, in our present case, SID) speed and altitude constraints are obeyed. This is why we're slightly above the 250 kts speed limit normally in force below 10,000 ft, as honored by the FMS. We're also in the NAV managed lateral guidance mode, which makes us follow the flight plan route entered on the MCDU.


The ND is in ROSE NAV mode, which displays aircraft position with reference to the active flight plan route, moving map with selected type of datbase  objects (airports, navaids or waypoints) and other useful information such as Ground speed, True airspeed, wind direction & speed and information about active flightplan waypoint, including distance and Estimated time of arrival (ETA). TCAS is also working, showing 3 other aircraft in the 10 nm radius vicinity, though no one of them is currently representing a collision hazard.






Nice scenery below... Remember the FS4 era?






We're about to complete the SID's initial turn. Already at 10,000 feet (3000 m)






Passing Clacton... so long England! Now at cruising altitude of 21,000 ft (FL210)


After a few minutes above the North sea we switched between London and Amsterdam air traffic control center and could already start a managed descent leading to SUGOL IAF. From there, once reaching the coast, a full visual approach with a rather short final leg was performed for runway 18C. Initially flying with AP selected lateral and vertical guidance, the last turns and final approach were flown manually, though remaining with autothrust engaged and managed speed.






We're in radar vectoring area, base leg for Rwy 18C visual approach. The aircraft is now manually flown to capture runway axis.


North of Haarlem. This industrial zone's smoke stacks look pretty close! Typical Dutch crops below.


Amsterdam - Schiphol is a very big airport. It has 6 runways, among which 5 can accomodate airliners. The latest 18R/36L "Polderbaan" runway was added recently.






Spotter's impression of our second landing






Welcome to Amsterdam... seeing the aircraft in the background, we've obviously landed on the good airport.


Leg 3: Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Sion, Switzerland - Geneva, Switzerland

This very special leg will introduce an original flight procedure that would flirt with prohibited operations in real life, because of security reasons.


We will then take all the advantages of flight simulation here, so ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seatbelts and get prepared for a thrilling flight !


Two destinations appear in the title. People among you who know Sion airfield may think that your virtual pilot is crazy because Sion could not even accomodate the A320 type. In real life, this little airport located in the Rhone valley and the Bernese Alps has only General aviation traffic, mainly linked to the nearby famous ski ressorts, as well as gliding activity.


The fact is that we'll simulate an approach to the airport, but once on short final we'll perform a go around, leave the valley observing a high performance departure SID and then proceed to Geneva, some 90 km to the West where we'll land normally this time.


The main purpose of this leg is to focus on what is, up to my mind, one of the very best scenery ever developed for Flight Simulator, both including high resolution terrain mesh and photorealistic textures, making Switzerland look incredibly real.


This sounds nice, but how could we actually program the MCDU for such a flight ?


Without going deeply into details, let's say that a possible way to do so is to load as main flight plan the Amsterdam - Sion route, and then specify Geneva as alternate airport. On a real MCDU, or more advanced but (very) expensive software available for flightsimming, a secondary flight plan connecting the destination airport with the alternate can (must) be loaded also. Unfortunately, PSS software doesn't provide this feature. If 80% of the real functions are modeled, we're in the 20 remaining ones !... We can only specify the alternate ICAO four-letter code, the secondary or alternate flight plan simply being the Destination (1) - Alternate (or Destination 2) leg. This is why, if we want to have also a managed flight from Sion to Geneva, following a specific route that will not fly us straight into a mountain, we'll have to save the corresponding flightplan in the MCDU database, and then call it using the CO RTE function of the MCDU once needed. This "flightsimming" solution will work rather fine here but will therefore diverge from real practices.


This third leg is then splitted between two distinct flight plans:


From Amsterdam-Schiphol(EHAM/AMS) to Sion (LSGS/SIO)




From Sion (LSGS/SIO) to Geneva (LSGG/GVA)








The MCDU INIT page #1 once the first flight plan is loaded.


ALTN RTE entry is unfortunately not modeled and will remain dashed.


The first route is not a straight line and will make us cross Belgium for a last goodbye.


We'll take off from runway 36C "Zwanenburgbaan" and fly a LEKKO Standard Departure from Schiphol, turning back to the South.


Trasadingen VOR/DME, located near Zurich will be our first Swiss waypoint. We'll then proceed to Fribourg VOR/DME on a Low altitude airway (G5), then head southwards to Sion and fly the IGS Runway 25 approach that will be displayed below.






Approaching the holding point for Rwy 36C. The 747-300 will fly before us.






Rather high pitch for this third departure






The Meuse valley in Belgium. In the river loop is the city of Huy, the Tihange Liège city, at the confluence of the Meuse and Ourthe rivers


Nuclear power plant cooling towers appear on the left, near the aircraft nose






This is already Switzerland. Below is the Reuss valley. Top-left: Zurich - Kloten airport.


The Swiss Alps in the distance. Approaching Fribourg. Thun Lake over there


The IFR approach into Sion is the IGS Rwy 25. IGS (Instrument Guidance System) is similar to ILS (Instrument Landing System) but, while the ILS is intended to lead the aircraft to the runway treshold, the IGS signal, which is like the ILS including both localizer (surface nav.) and glideslope (vertical nav.) will lead to a distant point from which the approach should be carried on as a visual procedure. If the ILS signal always coincide with runway axis, the IGS will often have an offset and then diverge from it. The world's most famous (and dangerous) IGS approach was Hong Kong - Kai Tak (now closed) IGS Rwy 13 with a 47° offset, making aircraft negociate a very tight turn on short final and over a very dense urban area. In our case, the danger is not really coming from the only 6° offset but from the surrounding very high terrain well - we're in the heart of the Alps!






Reproduced with permission of Jeppesen Sanderson, Inc.




© Jeppesen Sanderson, Inc. 2006


Reduced for illustrative purposes only


IGS approach into Sion. From Fribourg VOR (FRI), we reach SANET fix that should be crossed at or above FL170. From there, we proceed on track 095° to Montana VOR/DME (MOT) and descend to FL170 or maintain altitude. We check that the ILS frequency is set to 108.35 MHz and course is set to 247°. We'll observe the CAT C aircraft approach category since this is the highest available. Aircraft approach categories are given following the approach speed range of each aircraft. CAT A will be for the slowest ones (light aircraft), CAT E for the fastest (heavy aircraft). Following the ICAO rules, CAT C applies for aircraft with an initial approach speed range of 160 - 240 knots and final approach speed range of 115 - 160 kts. With our aircraft in our current weight configuration (further details about aircraft weights and loading will be given later), we can meet the CAT C requirements, though we'll have to be careful with speed and flaps setting to remain in the category throughout the approach. From MOT, we remain on the 095° radial, descending to 16,000 ft until reading 21 nautical miles from the VOR. After that, we turn back to capture the localizer. At ALETO fix, glideslope should be captured on its turn, and we follow then the IGS signal, working like an ILS/DME. We can possibly engage AP Approach mode on the IGS, but once reading 7.5 nm on the DME (D7.5 ISI), we must leave the instrument approach and proceed with a visual procedure, as shown by the little arrows on the chart.






Approaching SANET. Serious things are beginning now.


We're a bit too fast and have to spread the speedbrakes.






SANET is behind us, proceeding to Montana. Here's the Rhone valley.






Now on track 095°, descending to 16,000 ft. Flaps already in CONFIG 2.


Lötschental valley and Wilerhorn peak (3307 m - 11,022 ft) below






Still heading 95°. Nice view of Grosser Aletschgletscher glacier originating  from Jungfrau mountain






We have now reached D21.0 from Montana VOR and begin the turn back for localizer interception






Left passenger view when we're about to capture the localizer






We are now on the IGS track, localizer & glideslope intercepted. This is looking like a common ILS approach.






Runway in sight! We're not aligned yet, because of the IGS offset






Visual procedure leg, autopilot off. This runway is too short indeed ! We're getting prepared for the go around.






A very unusual opportunity for Sion spotters I guess...


The go around is initiated by moving the thrust levers to the TOGA gate, which commands autothrust to provide fixed maximum takeoff / go around thrust. We'll then fly the Fribourg High Performance Departure SID that requires minimum climb gradient of 760 ft/min up to 7200 ft then 286 ft/min up to 10,400 ft. Though our aircraft can effectively be considered as a high performance machine, we'll have to be very careful again with climb rate, speed and flap/slat retraction. The first leg of the SID is actually similar to the missed approach procedure is this case.


We must first follow the 235° radial from Sion VOR/DME, proceeding on the valley axis until being at 20 miles from the VOR (D20 SIO), or reaching the safe altitude of 13,000 ft whichever is earlier. By then, we turn back to Sion VOR and continue climbing. Flying over Sion again, we head northwards to Fribourg VOR via SANET (with a minimum crossing altitude (MCA) of 17,000 ft), coming back on the outward path. At Fribourg we'll already get prepared for the ILS DME Rwy 23 approach in Geneva with a Fribourg 5 Alfa STAR that will make us cross Geneva Lake. As shown by the following map, this short flight is actually the longest way round!






Background: FS2004 built-in map






Go around, gear up, turning left on track 235° for the high performance SID






Climbing to 13,000 ft. Current IAS is 170 kts, climb rate at 1300 ft/min.


We're complying with the SID specifications.






Still on track 235°. Entremont Valley, 11 miles from Sion


These mountains are 2900 m (9,670 ft) at their highest point. We're above 10,000 ft and will likely reach 13,000' before D20 SIO






Turning back to Sion VOR/DME. We're now above 13,000 ft and safely clear of terrain.


Note that the slats are still extended.


Down there: Dent de Morcles (Morcles Tooth) mountain, 2970 m (9,900 ft)






We've left the high Alps. Now passing Fribourg, descending to 7,000 ft and heading to St Prex VOR/DME, located near Lausanne. Below: Lac de la Gruyère






Last minutes of the flight, Geneva approach: passing Lausanne, on the northern shore of Geneva lake.






Proceeding over the lake, we're already on final for runway 23






Genève - Cointrin, South apron. Captain may smile, this was quite a successful leg!


And this already concludes the first part of Around the World 2006. I hope you've enjoyed it and that you'll join me again on the following stories. In Part 2 we'll visit some further European destinations around the Mediterranean, focusing on other high quality sceneries.



The following flight simulation software was used to make this review:



  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 A Century of Flight (patched)


AI Traffic add-on

  • Ultimate Traffic by Flight1 Software


Aircraft add-on

  • A330/A340 Professional developed by Phoenix Simulation Software (PSS), distributed by Just Flight
  • Project Open Sky Airbus A330-200 version 2 for FS2002/2004


Payware scenery add-on

  • VFR Photographic Scenery East & South-East England developed by John Farrie (Visual Flight) and Getmapping PLC, distributed by Just Flight
  • Switzerland Professional by Mailsoft - Flylogic


Freeware scenery add-on

  • Belgium 7000 (Belg7000) VFR scenery version 2.3 by Fred. Bridoux
  • Belgium terrain mesh scenery by Jean-Gabriel Laurent
  • Antwerpport scenery version 2 (add-on for Belg7000 enhancing Antwerp port and the Belgian coast) by Johan Thiers
  • Brussels - National airport scenery version 3.2 (beta) by Robert Buysen
  • Brussels - National AFCAD2 file for Robert Buysen's scenery by Thierry Caestecker
  • Ostend airport scenery by Benoit Facon & Hans Vandale
  • The Netherlands 2000 scenery version 2.91 by The Netherlands 2000 Design Team
  • Genève - Cointrin airport scenery by Daniel Gauthier



  • FSUIPC version 3.48 by Pete Dowson
  • Active Camera 2004 version 2.0 by Guillaume Darier & Serge Baye
  • Replacement runway black texture by V. Nauta


Flight simulation, Real aviation, general information documents, websites and other references :


  • PSS A330/A340 Professional manual & tutorial
  • JEPPESEN SID, STAR, Approach charts, Airport diagrams, High & Low altitude Enroute charts
  • Approach charts reproduced here (SIMCharts by Jeppesen designed for use with FS2004), courtesy of Jeppesen
  • Jeppesen SIMCharts legend & glossary
  • Formation Pilote : Instruments de Bord (Th. du Puy de Goyne, A. Roumens & P. Lepourry), Cépaduès Editions, Toulouse, France
  • Airbus official website www.airbus.com
  • Airliners (W. Green & G. Swanborough), Bloomsbury Books, London, UK
  • www.airliners.net
  • Project Open Sky A330-200 aircraft repaint in Horizon Dreams livery and real photograph taken at Brussels - National by Cédric De Keyser
  • Digital editing and fictional elements added to the photo by Cédric De Keyser
  • Horizon Dreams fictional advert added on the photograph uses Microsoft Windows 2000/XP (FR) default background bitmaps "Dune" and "Tropiques"
  • Around the World 2006 logo uses a reduction of the Earth model provided by Orbiter 2006 Space Flight Simulator by M. Schweiger
  • Michelin road map of Switzerland (used for some geographical information in the third leg)


Any comments about this first part or suggestions concerning the following ones are welcome.


Cédric De Keyser
Brussels, Belgium

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