• Atlas Jet KKK4455 Manchester to Ercan via Istanbul

    Atlas Jet KKK4455 Manchester to Ercan via Istanbul

    By Oliver Heaton (13 November 2007)

    I would like to invite you on this virtual Atlas Jet flight to Ercan in Northern Cyprus. This flight as well as all other flights inbound or outbound flights to Ercan will go via a Turkish airport which today is Istanbul.

    If you don't know the history of Cyprus then I will try to explain it simply. Basically in 1974 the Turkish Army invaded into Famagusta and gave everybody an hour to leave. At the time Famagusta was a 5 star holiday resort but is now just a ghost town and is controlled mainly by the United Nations. The UN went so far as to issue Resolution 3212 (XXIX) expressing their concerns about the crisis in Cyprus. There is now a border between Northern Cyprus and Southern Cyprus. Northern Cyprus is not internationally recognised and so any flights have to touch down at a Turkish airport first because Turkey is the only country that recognises Northern Cyprus. History lesson over!

    After checking in at Terminal 2, I collect the necessary paperwork from the operations room and then make my way to Gate 212, which is where the aircraft is parked for today's flight. The aircraft that we are using today is the Boeing 757-200 (model by PSS). The flight plan today takes us southeast out of the UK, through The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Serbia and Bulgaria, The south of Bulgaria being our descent point into Istanbul. We will spend about one hour on the ground at Istanbul, so we can drop off some passengers, refuel and load some more passengers.

    The second leg of our flight will take directly south out of Istanbul towards Antalya, and then we will turn to the left to fly easterly down the southern Turkish coast before turning right towards Ercan. Today we will be using runway 23R at Manchester and it's a DESIG1R Departure.

       
    The aircraft taking me to Ercan

    Our flight plan out to Istanbul is: DESIG UL603 ZAG UP735 VBA UM19 ADORU UG80 EKI. So I programmed the route into the FMC, completed final checks before departure and also I made a quick PA announcement just before push back.

    "Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome aboard this Atlas Jet flight to Ercan via Istanbul. Flight time today including our stop over is about 5 hours and our route takes us southeast out of the UK, towards The Netherlands, then flying over Germany, Austria, Croatia and then southern Bulgaria being our descent point into Istanbul. I will speak to you later on as we get nearer to our destination".

    I contacted the tower and requested the clearance:

    "Manchester Tower, good morning Atlas Jet 4455 at gate 212 ready for clearance to Istanbul."

    "Atlas Jet 4455 cleared to Istanbul as filed initial climb to 5000 feet, DESIG1 Romeo departure."

    "Cleared to Istanbul, DESIG1 Romeo Departure, Atlas Jet 4455."

    "Atlas Jet 4455 read back correct call when ready for push and start."

    I programmed the SID into the FMC and the called for push and start:

    "Manchester Tower, Atlas Jet 4455 ready for push and start."

    "Atlas Jet 4455, Push and Start is approved QNH is 1012MB."

    I then called the ground engineer to request push back and then the familiar rumbling sounds began as we starting moving backwards.

    The push back was soon complete and then we were cleared to start the engines. I completed the start check list and then started engine 2, followed by engine 1.

       
    Pushback complete, engines started

    I then contacted ground for taxi:

    "Manchester ground, Atlas Jet 4455 ready for taxi."

    "Atlas Jet 4455 taxi to runway 23R via D, J and hold at J1."

    I opened up the throttles slightly and began to taxi forward away from Terminal 2.

       
    Taxiing out to runway 23R

    After a short taxi I arrived at runway 23R and I was number one for takeoff so I was able to taxi onto the runway for immediate departure.

    I contacted the tower and requested takeoff clearance:

    "Manchester Tower, good morning Atlas Jet 4455 holding at Juliet 1 ready for takeoff."

    "Atlas Jet 4455, cleared for takeoff runway 23R surface winds 310 at 8 knots."

    "Cleared for takeoff runway 23R, Atlas Jet 4455."

       
    Holding at Juliet 1, then taxiing onto runway 23R

    I turned onto the runway, lined up and applied full thrust and then I was off zooming down the runway like formula 1 car! At 120 knots I rotated the aircraft and I was airborne flying straight ahead initially towards Liverpool before turning towards the south east. I was initially cleared up to 6000 feet by ATC for the SID and then later cleared up to 35000 feet.

    After departure I climbed up to 6000 feet and accelerated up to 250 knots which is the limit below 10000 feet as most of you reading this will know.

    I soon reached the cruise at 35000 feet as I started crossing the English Channel towards The Netherlands.

           
    Into the cruise

    As the flight progressed I made a PA announcement:

    "Hello again from the flight deck, we are now cruising at 35000 feet and the flight is progressing very well at the moment, we have a nice tail wind at the moment and the weather forecast along our route is looking good for the tail wind to continue so we could be in a little bit earlier than planned. I will speak to you again just before we start the descent."

    My in-flight meal arrived shortly after making that announcement, really nice meal as well. Well it was in my eyes anyway! I received a carton of chips covered in cheese, really nice!

    The flight was progressing quite smoothly, the tailwinds were quite strong giving the aircraft the push it needed. So that was nice while it lasted!

    At 1220 GMT time we started our descent into Istanbul, I had preset the altitude selector to 15000 feet and the FMC automatically began the descent at that point. The arrival into Istanbul was the EKI1A Arrival for runway 36R. As I descended below 10000 feet the aircraft slowed to 250 knots and that's when the delays began! First of all the head winds began only light at first but they gradually got stronger. As the aircraft descended the descent rate decreased due to the head winds and eventually meant that the I had to perform a go around. Eventually after a long delay I started my final approach onto runway 36R just before 1300Z.

       

    The approach was a full ILS auto land approach which went very well indeed and by 1300Z I was parked at the stand.

           

    After parking at the stand I made a PA announcement:

    "Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to Istanbul Attaturk Airport. The local time now is 4:00 pm and the outside temperature is 34 degrees. If you are leaving us here, we hope that you have a good onward journey and we hope that you will fly Atlas Jet again. Overwise we will see you onboard again in about an hour, we will ask all passengers to leave the aircraft now so that we can clean it, refuel it and do general maintenance. Thank you."

    One hour later, the aircraft was reloaded with passengers, fuel, extra catering supplies and it was now clean as well. I programmed the FMC with our route down to Ercan which was:

    YAA UA16 AYT UW83 DOREN CF11 RWY11

    For the final leg I would climb up to 31000 feet and head down towards Antalya before turning left down the south coast of Turkey then a turn to the right towards Ercan and runway 11.

    At 0115 GMT time I requested the IFR clearance for ATC:

    "Istanbul Tower, Atlas Jet 4455 request clearance to Ercan."

    "Atlas Jet 4455 cleared to Ercan as filed, YAA2S Departure."

    "Cleared to Ercan, YAA2S Departure, Atlas Jet 4455."

    "Atlas Jet 4455 read back is correct, call when ready for push and start."

    "Istanbul Tower, Atlas Jet 4455 ready for push and start."

    "Atlas Jet 4455, push and start is approved."

    I requested push back from the ground engineer and then the familiar noises began, we were cleared to start number 2 as we began push back so I started number two followed by number 1 soon after. Push back and engine start was soon complete and I just made some final checks before taxiing to the runway.

    I started to open the throttles slowly for the taxi out to runway 18L.


    Taxiing past the maintenance hangar

    I soon reached the runway and requested the takeoff clearance:

    "Istanbul Tower, Atlas Jet 4455 ready for takeoff."

    "Atlas Jet 4455 cleared for takeoff runway 18L surface winds 240 at 6 knots."

    "Cleared for takeoff runway 18L, Atlas Jet 4455."

    I rolled out onto the runway, turned on the landing lights, and then applied full power. The engines roared into life and I soon reached the rotation speed, pulling up gently on the stick. Shortly after takeoff I engaged VNAV and LNAV and climbed to 31000 feet.

    I made a PA Announcement about the flight shortly after takeoff:

    "Ladies and Gentlemen, hello again welcome aboard the final leg to Ercan Airport in Northern Cyprus. We are currently climbing up to 31000 feet which is our cruising altitude today. Flight time today is just under an hour. I will speak to you again on the ground at Ercan."

    The time passed very quickly and soon I was flying over Antalya on the south coast. I the turned left to fly down the South Coast for a short while. I started the descent also down this coast and once again as I began the descent the head winds set in again! As the aircraft descended below 10000 feet I switched on the landing lights, briefed the cabin crew, and the FMC reset the speed to 250 Knots. As I approached Ercan I armed the approach on the autopilot and soon the approach mode was active making some sharp turns towards the runway and a fairly steep descent was also made.

       
    On final

    The approach again was a full ILS autoland approach, which helped as the runway is quite short. As I touched down I disengaged the autothrottle, engaged reverse thrust, made sure the speed brake was fully extended and disengaged the autopilot. I taxied out to the end of the runway and the turned round back up towards the terminal.

       
    Touchdown

    I then made a PA announcement:

    "Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to Ercan Airport here in Northern Cyprus, the local time is 6:30 pm and the outside temperature is 34 degrees. On behalf of all the crew at Atlas Jet today I would like to thank you for flying with us today. A very good evening to you ladies and gentlemen and have a safe onward journey, we look forward to seeing you soon."

    I taxied off the runway and turned off the landing lights, turned on the taxi lights and informed the cabin crew to unarm the doors. At 6:36 pm I parked at the terminal and shut down the engines.

       
    Parked at the terminal

    Well I hope you enjoyed this flight to Ercan. If you have any questions please e-mail me.

    Credits:

    Aircraft: PSS 757-200
    Scenery: Manchester (UK 2000 Scenery) (Payware)
    Istanbul Airport (Sanal Pilot) (Freeware)
    Ercan Airport (Sanal Pilot) (Freeware)

    Oliver Heaton
    [email protected]


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