Hi Capt Lim,
I read that you responded to Richard Farr that 7800ft would be the minimum runway length to land a Boeing 777 at the Wellington Airport in New Zealand. Being an experienced MS 2002 simulator pilot, I find (not to brag) that I can easily land a Boeing 777 at a light weight and about 125kts VREF on a 5000 to 6000 feet runway using wheel brakes only at below 60 knots. Just for fun, I have landed the Boeing 777 at the 3800 feet Meigs Field. Not that easy, but doable! Anyway, would you need a runway that long for extra safety or has the simulator miscalculated?
Second and a more serious question, in your many years of flying, have you ever actually experienced an engine failure in an airliner and if so, during which phase of the flight? In your career as an airline pilot, what has been the most serious actual emergency, if any?
I love MS 2002! I have practiced a lot of V1 cuts (engine failures) at gross weight in the Boeing 777. I have both aborted at V1 successfully as well as continued the take off and held the heading within 10 degrees! I can do a pretty good single engine approach in VFR (visual flight rules) but can't yet fly a single engine ILS (Instrument Landing system) to 200ft!
I am sure you can tell I am a huge aviation enthusiast and greatly appreciate your time to respond to all my questions.
When any Airlines wish to operate into a particular airport, they have to evaluate not only the landing distance but also the take off distance as well. They have to work on the maximum landing weight together with the take off weight in order to assess whether it would be economically viable to operate into that specific airport.
Yes, you are right. A Boeing 777 can easily land on a 6000 feet runway but it cannot take off with any useful load. I remember many years back, a Boeing 747 landed at the Wellington Airport due to some weather or technical reasons but had to offload all its passengers and removed some of its accessories before it could safely take off again!
With maximum braking and a light weight, a Boeing 777 can indeed land quite short but the brake pads would be extremely hot. So this is not the type of conditions for a Boeing 777 to commercially operate into at all. Perhaps on a MS 2002 simulator, but definitely not on a real Boeing 777!
I see you are a great simulator pilot. I had a go at it after a visitor told me about this fantastic simulator. I did not have much time to experiment or evaluate it except that, I found it flew well on auto pilot when coupled with the Flight Management Computer but it was difficult to hand fly. It tended to crash for unknown reasons and I didn't have the time to find out why. Perhaps you can tell me : -) !
In my many years of flying (20,000 hours), I have yet to experience an actual engine failure nor a serious emergency (touch wood!) except that, every six months, I am tested on this emergency after take off, at least 3 to 4 times in two sessions! So you see, most pilots are very thoroughly trained to expect the unexpected! The worst encounter I had were two diversions made as a result of bad weather. I have written quite a bit on the safety of airplanes in the beginning of this Website and I hope you have gone through some of them.
Happy simulator flying!
Hi Capt Lim,
I do find the Boeing 777 simulator very easy to operate when the auto-pilot is coupled to the GPS or NAV mode. In the NAV mode however when you are tracking a radial to, or are near the VOR, the auto-pilot "goes crazy" trying to overcorrect near the cone of confusion zone. In the APR mode it is slow to track the GS (glide slope) when you normally intercept it from below near the marker. The auto-throttles tend to over correct when flying slower than about 200-250 KIAS, especially on the back side of the power curve. From my experience the auto pilot does a good job of holding VS (vertical speed) and altitude within 10-20 feet. As you probably expect though, if you have altitude pre-selected and are coming up on a certain altitude at 5000 fpm (feet per minute) it will clearly go through that altitude by as much as a few hundred feet due to the inertia. Also, I have noticed that in cruise I get a better TAS when the trim is set near the nose up limit (all other things being equal.)
Since I do not have a yoke, I use the keypads. I use my pinky and thumb for rudder, my ring and index finger for aileron and my middle finger for nose up and down. Don't ask me how I got used to that but since grade school I have used that technique! When you refer to it "crashing" I am assuming you mean the computer itself and not the airplane. If it is the computer, you might want to check that you have enough RAM and room on your hard drive. Make sure that you install it properly too.
The Boeing 777 seems very pitch sensitive but I have to use a good amount of aileron to roll it. I can't definitively say one way, if it is hard or easy to hand fly. Maybe if I got to use a full motion level D that you professionals use, I would know better! Crabbing down on finals in a cross-wind can be tricky. A ten degree crab for instance, feels a lot more on this simulator than in the plane and the standard 3 degree approach slope seems a lot steeper on the simulator than in an actual plane.