Flight Journal: Improving technique in the A320 from Vancouver to Calgary

It’s time for another flight journal update and this time I’m back in the pilot seat of the Microsoft Flight Simulator Airbus A320neo. This time I decided to do a flight over the Rockey Mountains on a route from Vancouver to Calgary. Along the way I had to deal with heavy rain, icing, and got some stunning vistas as I came in to Calgary. Let’s fly!

Vancouver in the rain

With over 7296 mm or 23 feet worth of rainfall in a year, Vancouver is one of the soggier cities in the world. Located in British Columbia on the western coast of Canada, Vancouver is not a city I’ve had a chance to visit yet but one that I hope to some day. I resumed my A320 journey here and faced low visibility and heavy rain – I like a good challenge from the weather so let’s bring it on.

I’m getting better with the A320’s systems so putting the aircraft into autopilot on climb mode and auto throttle made the departure relatively easy. I did have to double check, however, that all of th de-icing equipment was turned on because not too long after takeoff we hit negative outside temperatures and heavy icing. Fortunately the A320 can take on icing with no problem.

After a short period holding at 6,000 feet, we were cleared to climb to 16,000 and then 25,000 feet.

One of the best parts of the flight was when we emerged from the thick cloud and up into the blue skies above. There was a brief glimpse and then moments later… bright clouds and sun. Beautiful!

Cruising along

The time spent cruising between destinations didn’t require much in the way of management of the aircraft so I spent quite a bit of time getting to know the A320neo’s cockpit and a few more of its systems.

I’m still not experienced with this aircraft and still barely know half of its systems (and this is still a lighter representation than the A32NX mod or some of the payware modules for the jet). Still, for those of you finding even the basic A320neo a tough aircraft to approach, spend a little time and get to know the autopilot and auto throttle systems. You’ll be flying in no time and its not as intimidating as it looks.

Along the route, another human pilot driven A320 passed us several thousand feet above and I managed to grab this quick shot before the jet had passed.

Change of weather and scenery

Most of the time spent over the Rockies was spent with thick heavy clouds that obscured much of the scenery that I had hoped to see. But that’s what happens when you fly with live weather on. You never know what you’re going to see!

As we approached the other side of the Rockies on the north western side of Calgary, there was a definitive change in weather systems as the thick clouds below gradually thinned out and then dissipated. Above was a moderate layer of overcast but in between were some beautiful snow-capped mountains.

Calgary is located in the Canadian province of Alberta and is a major hub for air travel in North America. CYYC, Calgary International Airport, has four runways and the flight plan brought me in on 35L. While on approach I was able to appreciate scenic vistas of the Rockies to the west, and downtown Calgary to the east of us which I passed again as we made the final turn on to 35L.

I’ve done some work on configuring the jet to pick up the ILS localizer, however, I did something wrong as it did not pick it up. Nevermind. I’m a bit of a stick and rudder virtual pilot anyways and managed to stick the landing with none of the drama that I experienced in my last journal.

After landing I pulled up to an open gate and shut down the aircraft. I still have much to learn here but I’m having fun and that’s what this hobby should be all about. I’m now fully onboard with shorter airliner flights – we’ll see what a long haul feels like at some point.

A second successful flight in the A320! I’m growing to like this aircraft! Look for more flight journals in the A320 and I’ve got some liveries downloaded too so a bunch of airline liveries will be appearing in future installments. Thanks for reading!


Enjoy these screenshots from my latest flight in the A320.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. busdriver says:

    After clearing the runway, check your spoilers/speedbrakes are retracted, make sure your flaps are up. Some operators teach you to hack the chrono and after two minutes (the idea being for thermal stabilization) shut down the right engine. You do this so the cargo doors can be opened even if you’re waiting on somebody to get the jetway to the forward entry door. Approaching the parking spot, start the APU so you can shut down the left engine once parked. After the ground crew plugs in the external power (and you see on the ECAM that external it is “available”) you can shut down the APU.

    Liked by 1 person

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