ALK-VA | 'Monara' E-Zine


  News Magazine of SriLankan Virtual Airlines

 

Recreating ‘Flight of the Double Sunrise

 

As we announced in year 2012, ALK-VA has operated 70th Anniversary flight of 'Flight of the Double Sunrise' on 29th June 2013.

2013

70th Anniversary Flight

 

ALK-VA pilots completed Catalina route proving flights along the west coast of Australia.

Flight details are highlighted below.

This test flight was carried out in Sri Lanka after SLAF fully refurbished & handed over the Catalina to ALK-VA. Water landing carried out at Koggala Air Base. All airframe modifications were accomplished before the last year's flight. Initial aircraft performances calibration & engine fine adjustments were practiced. On completion of testing aircraft was shipped to Perth. Flight duration 02:40hrs.

Bunbury Airport (IATA: BUY, ICAO: YBUN) is an airport servicing the Western Australian city of Bunbury. Bunbury Airport is located 8 km (5.0 mi) south-west of the city centre and is the only airport serving the city. The airport is used largely as a facility for general and recreational flight training. First test flight in Australia. Practiced navigation using only the compass and manual drift calculations. Challenging weather conditions for VFR flight with fog patches. Flight duration 01:00hr.

perth1

Fog & low clouds... ideal for VFR flying!

 

Albany Airport (IATA: ALH, ICAO: YABA) is an airport serving in Albany, Western Australia. It is located 6 nautical miles (11 km; 6.9 mi) northwest of Albany just off Albany Highway and operated by the City of Albany. Also known as Harry Riggs Albany Regional Airport, it is the largest airport in the Great Southern Region. Flight completed with isolated airfield landings at Busselton [YBLN] and Manjimup [YMJN]. Most challenging aspect was fine tuning of engine parameters under low temperature conditions. Flight duration 01:42hrs.

Rottnest Island Airport (IATA: RTS, ICAO: YRTI) is a small airport for light aircraft, situated about 800 m (2,600 ft) from the main settlement at Thomson Bay, Rottnest Island and 10 nautical miles (19 km; 12 mi) northwest of Fremantle. Catalina's Long cross-country flight ended with an island landing. Flight duration 02:42hrs.

lazy eight

Lazy eight over picture perfect land

Runway... where?

Day off at YRTI

 

Geraldton Airport (IATA: GET, ICAO: YGEL) is an airport located 6 nautical miles (11 km; 6.9 mi) east of Geraldton, Western Australia, along the Geraldton – Mount Magnet Road. Taken a long over water route. Encountered rain and low clouds. Flight duration 02:16hrs.

Rain & low clouds challenged VFR flying conditions

Rain continues at YGEL

 

Carnarvon Airport (IATA: CVQ, ICAO: YCAR) is an airport at Carnarvon, Western Australia. Encountered rain and low clouds along the route. Flight duration 02:24hrs.

En-route to YCAR

Runway 04, crosswind landing at YCAR

 

Dress rehearsal for the next week's real thing. Flight was planned for extended over water navigation using map, ruler, compass & clock. Approached VRTI via Perth VOR in total darkness. Nearly full moon helped with some ground feature identification. VHF Omni Receiver readings found unreliable. Further testing will be carried out in the coming days. Fuel usage found within estimated values. Flight duration 06:38hrs.

 

YCAR line up runway 04

After takeoff, speck in the sky over Indian ocean

Practice Swan river approach at night, en-route to Rottnest Island

 

VHF Omni Receiver calibration completed. Carried out two runway landings at YRTI & two water landings at Swan river. Port engine overheated due to repeated full power takeoffs. Allowed engine to cool while idling on Swan river. Final fuel usage estimate shows 92-94% of fuel load requirement for the next week flight. Flight duration 0:42hrs.

June full moon over Rottnest Island

Slow climb over Swan river & Perth Skyline


 

29th June 2013, Historical flight is all set to go.

vatsim flight plan

Vatsim Flight plan filed

 

Catalina 4R-SLAF Flight Log Book

29 JUL 2013 FRIDAY


0200z All systems checked and activated. Final fuel calculation came as 92% of total capacity. Vatsim flight plan filed.
0221z All systems active & satis. Take off from runway 03.
0225z Joined left hand downwind to Swan River.
0227z Landed at Swan river south-easterly direction. Checked all systems.
0230z Farewell to Swan River. Fuel 91%, 8dme, 1500ft, HDG 340, 99k.
0330z Fuel 89%, 1500ft, HDG 332, 100k.
0430z Fuel 86%, 1500ft, HDG 330, 104k. Over GEL.
0530z Fuel 84%, 1500ft, HDG 315, 107k.
0630z Fuel 82%, 1500ft, HDG 340, 101k, Wind 199 14.
0730z Fuel 79%, 1500ft, HDG 330, 100k, Wind 126 07, Overcast. 60dme to LM.
0830z Fuel 77%, 1500ft, HDG 300, 100k, Wind 120 09, Overcast.
0930z Fuel 75%, 1500ft, HDG 296, 101k, Wind 160 10, Overcast.
1030z Fuel 72%, 1500ft, HDG 286, 102k, Wind 164 08, Sunset.
1130z Fuel 70%, 1500ft, HDG 286, 101k, Wind 164 07, climbing to 2000ft.
1230z Fuel 68%, 2000ft, HDG 286, 100k, Wind 148 10, hourly magnetic heading correction.
1330z Fuel 65%, 2000ft, HDG 287, 100k, Wind 138 11, kept carburetor heat @ 40c using engine cowls.
1430z Fuel 63%, 2000ft, HDG 310, 100k, Wind 134 11, kept cylinder head @ 210c using engine cowls.
1530z Fuel 61%, 2000ft, HDG 319, 102k, Wind 129 11.
1630z Fuel 58%, 2000ft, HDG 315, 102k, Wind 124 14.
1730z Fuel 56%, 2000ft, HDG 313, 102k, Wind 131 18.
1830z Fuel 54%, 2000ft, HDG 315, 102k, Wind 122 16. Abeam Cocos Island. 92nm northeast.
1930z Fuel 52%, 2000ft, HDG 315, 103k, Wind 122 15.

2030z Fuel 50%, 2000ft, HDG 314, 102k, Wind 115 08.
2130z Fuel 48%, 2000ft, HDG 315, 102k, Wind 109 04.
2230z Fuel 44%, 2000ft, HDG 315, 102k, Wind 105 03. Port engine over heat due carburetor heating error.
2330z Fuel 42%, 2000ft, HDG 315, 102k, Wind 100 03.

30 JUL 2013 SATURDAY

0030z Fuel 40%, 2000ft, HDG 310, 102k, Wind 095 03. Abeam position DOGAR.
0130z Fuel 38%, 2000ft, HDG 310, 102k, Wind 088 01.
0230z Fuel 36%, 2000ft, HDG 310, 102k, Wind 088 03.
0330z Fuel 34%, 2000ft, HDG 310, 103k, Wind 267 03.
0430z Fuel 31%, 2000ft, HDG 310, 103k, Wind 262 04.
0434z Network disconnected for 15 seconds.
0530z Fuel 29%, 2000ft, HDG 310, 103k, Wind 267 04.
0630z Fuel 27%, 2000ft, HDG 316, 103k, Wind 262 04. Mattala VOR received at 94dme.
0720z Koggala coast is visible, at 42dme MTL.
0730z Fuel 24%, 2000ft, HDG 298, 107k, Wind 257 06. Descending to 1000ft.
0735z Fuel 22%, Landing at Koggala, south-westerly direction, Wind 243 07.

TOTAL TIME: Swan river to Koggala 28:35 hours.

0742z Take off from Koggala.
0826z Landing at Ratmalana VCCC, runway 22. Wind 223 08. Fuel remaining 20%.

 

Waiting for departure time slot at Perth International - YPPH

End of the mission!

 

 

 

An year has gone so fast since our last flight, east bound from Koggala to Swan river. Due to the encouragement and comments we received then, we planned to do the return west bound flight also. It is even more special this time, because the 70th anniversary of the original flight.

Flight preparations were on schedule, but as usual fine tuning of Catalina controls was essential and time consuming. Using last year fuel consumption calculations and as per the prevailing wind conditions we decided to reduce fuel load. Results were better than expected. This was mainly due good tail wind conditions encountered most of the time.

As you can see in the Flight Log Book entries given above, flight experienced its own set of events, exhilarating as well as near disasters. We witnessed some of the most beautiful sky views that we have ever encountered. Fortunately we had all the time in the world to enjoy those unforgettable scenery. When Koggala coast appeared on the horizon we could imagine how those airmen who flew these flights under real world conditions must have felt. Feeling was such a huge relief, very much different than when we saw Australian coast last year, as we had to fly many more hours then, along the coast.

Longest non-stop flight that we have experienced in real life is just over 16 hours. Comparing the comforts available for both pilots and passengers now, it is nearly incomprehensible to understand the conditions of those historical flights. Catalina's deep engine noise along with non stop cabin vibrations alone can make the flight unbearable within few hours. Withstanding it for 30 hours... that is ultimate airmanship. We at ALK-VA salute once again all those flyers.

Another record breaking flight... someday in the future. But that will not be between Koggala & Swan river.

 

 

 

 

Read the full report of 2012 flight from Koggala to Swan river.

It includes all about the Catalina aircraft, Home cockpit, Custom scenery created for FSX, etc.

2012

 

Monara CONTENTS

12-12-12  First Flight to Hambantota International [VCHI]

Notam: Photo real Sri Lankan airport runways

Recreating 'Flight of the Double Sunrise'

Round the World On Equator

Frequent flyer? Travel by air for vacations? Pilot, or wannabe?

Understand What is True Professionalism

ROCKET SCIENCE

Actual Airplane Maintenance Log Book Entries

You might be a freight dog if...

MODIFIED LANDING CHECKLIST

 

“Because civil aircraft are designed to fly safely for unlimited time provided defects are detected and repaired, safety becomes a matter of detection and repair rather than one of aircraft structure failure. In an ideal system, all defects which could affect flight safety will have been predicted in advance, located positively before they become dangerous, and eliminated by effective repair. In one sense, we have changed the safety system from one of physical defects in aircraft into one of errors in complex human-centered systems.”

 

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