Alaska 15 - Flying the pencil

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Hello / Moi / Hej,

I am new to this forum and would like to introduce myself.
My name is Max P. Adolph, I am 15 years old, and live in Berlin, Germany. Since I can think, aviation was always part of my life; may it be in the form of spotting, flying online at IVAO, or in real life (as a passenger... for now...) 
I'm sure that I'll have a great time here 
Enough of that, enjoy reading !

I chose two destinations within the US: Boston at the east coast and Seattle at the west coast. Both airports have been modelled very accurately by George Grimshaw and the FlyTampa Team. As the plane, I have chosen the Boeing 737-900 in Alaska Airlines livery, since this airline flies that route in real life.
This time I flew offline - which I usually never do - so that the airports look a bit more alive
But enough of that - enjoy reading !


It is 5:30 AM; the sun has started to rise in the state of Massachusetts, while I, Jason McFaddin, and my co-pilot Philipp Miller were walking to our airplane. Today we're supposed to fly ASA15 back to Seattle Tacoma. After having a small discussion with my crew about some important things, I go through our flight data with Philipp:

General Data:

Flight-no: Alaska Airlines #15
From: Boston Logan (BOS / KBOS)
To: Seattle Tacoma (SEA / KSEA)
Estimated duration: 5:20h
Distance: 2290nm
Runway for dep.: 33L
Runway for arr.: 17L
SID: LOGAN2 (vectored)


Type: Boeing 737-990
Registration: N350AS
Selcal: None


KBOS 131030Z 28010KT 10SM FEW160 M08/M16 A2979 RMK AO2 SLP087 T10781156

Boston recorded on the 13th of the month at 10:30z. Wind from 280 with 10 knots. Visibility is ten miles; a few clouds at 16000 feet. Temperature is -8°C, dew point -16°C. Altimeter 29.79 inches mercury. Automated station with precipitation discriminator. Sea level pressure is 908.7 inches.

KSEA 131030Z 17004KT 1SM -RA BR OVC003 07/06 A3047 RMK AO2 SFC VIS 4 SLP327 P0005 T00670061 $

Seattle recorded on the 13th of the month at 10:30z. Wind from 170 with 4 knots. Light rain. Visibility is 1 mile. Overcast at 300 feet. Temperature is 7°C, dew point 6°C. Altimeter 3047 inches mercury. Automated station with precipitation discriminator. Surface visibility is 4 miles. Sea level pressure is 932.7 inches. Amount of precipitation in the past hour are 0.003 inches. Hourly temperature: 6.7°C - dew point 6.1°C


Passengers: 143 (=25740lbs)
Cargo: 15205lbs
ZFW: 135525lbs



Our today’s route leads us nearly directly to the west. We're going to depart Boston from runway 33L to north-west, then we're going to fly directly to Manchester VOR and from that point we'll follow our route. In Seattle we'll proceed on the GLASR6 STAR after GEG VOR. Expected runway is 16R.

The flight:

After we've gone through all data, it is already 05:40AM. The first passengers are expected at 06:00 AM; time of departure is 06:30AM.

While Philipp prepares the flight deck, I'm heading outside for a rather cold walk around:

At 05:50 the walk around is completed; back in the flight deck I feed the FMC with the last data we have received from our ramp agent.

At 06:00 the first passengers board the plane – time to get our IFR-Clearance:

P: "Boston Clearance Delivery, good mornin', Alaska 15 at gate B21 is ready for start-up and clearance. Information India received"
L: "Alaska 15, morning, you are cleared to Seattle Tacoma as filed via the vectored LOGAN2 departure. That means climb on runway heading to 10'000 feet, expect FL340 ten minutes after departure. Departure frequency is 124.50 and your squawk is 7052"
P: "Roger, we're cleared to Tacoma via a vectored LOGAN2. After departure we'll climb on runway heading to 10'000 feet, FL340 is ten minutes after departure. Departure frequency is 124.50 and 7052 in the box, Alaska 15"
L: "Alaska 15, readback is correct; you're cleared for start-up and pushback. Give Ground a call when ready for taxi, bye-bye"
P: "Start and push approved and we'll give ground a call, thanks !"

15 minutes later, chief flight attendant Stacy announces: "Boarding is complete" - we're ready to be push backed. While Philipp checks out the taxi charts, I start up the engines: Packs off, the engine start knob to GND, wait until N1 reaches 25% - then lift the engine cut-off switch. The same procedure follows with the other engine.

Shortly after setting the parking brakes, we receive the "thumbs-up"-signal from the marshaller - we're ready for taxi. We’ll taxi via A, K, K2 und C to holding point of runway 33L.

Just before reaching the holding point, the tower tells us to taxi into position and hold, since there is another aircraft just rotating on the same runway. A few seconds later we hear: "Tower, good morning, US Airways 337, 8 miles out on the ILS 33L". We prepare for an immediate departure, so that the inbound does not have to perform a go-around.

20 seconds later, tower gave us another call: "Alaska 15, surface wind is 337 with 15 knots, you are cleared for an immediate takeoff runway 33L" - we acknowledge and start our takeoff run...

80 Knots…

Rotate… !

At 158 knots I pull the yoke gently towards me – 70 tons of airplane lift off the ground and head for the still dark sky.

Shortly after leaving ground, the US Airways receives landing clearance and we may switch to Boston Departure. Here we receive a direct to Manchester VOR and the instruction to climb to 14'000 feet.

After Manchester VOR, we proceed as filed and climb to FL200 - thereafter FL320 and then to our final flight level 340.

44nm later we have reached our top of climb. The service can begin - our passengers receive drinks and a warm breakfast.

The flight continues, while we get instruction to call Cleveland - from there we have to contact Toronto, back to Cleveland, then to Minneapolis and Salt Lake and thereafter to Seattle Center.

Above HILIE the passengers receive their last drinks and we start to prepare our arrival. The active runway for landing is 16R, and we’ll receive vectors from the ATC for an ILS approach

Shortly after passing Spokane (GEG) VOR we got the instruction to descend to FL220. Although we have 50 knots headwind, we'll still arrive on time – only if traffic permits us. During the rush hour it makes sense to prepare for a go-around.

From now on we’ll receive vectors from Seattle Center –we’re supposed to turn right heading 255 and to descend to 12’000 feet.

Here you can see our course offset (red) together with the STAR (black). Firstly we had to turn left HDG 220, then 255, and thereafter heading 190 to intercept the ILS.

To reduce our speed we had to deploy the speedbrakes for a short amount of time. Seattle approach seems to be doing a good job on sorting the aircraft for landing – I guess a go around won’t be necessary.

We have 15 miles to go – the flaps have been set to 5° and now we can retract the speedbrakes. Our today’s Vapp speed is 151 + 5 knots – we’re going to land with Flaps 30°.

While Philipp checks out the ground charts, I manually land this long bird. Since the Boeing 737-900 is such a long plane, pilots shouldn’t flare during landing, since this may lead to a tail strike.

The landing from a kind of different perspective

We have vacated the runway via P, but we have to hold short runway 16L since there are a few outbound airplanes with delay that have priority.


The ATC apologizes for the delay and sends us via P and B to Gate C06

Us from the viewpoint of the marshaller, who is guiding us into the gate

After five hours and 20 minutes of being in the air, we have arrived in Seattle. While the flight attendants say goodbye to the passengers, we do the paperwork (debriefing). 15 minutes later we can head back home to our waiting families.

Used Add-ons:

- Boeing 737-800/-900 by PMDG (
- Boston Logan v2 by George Grimshaw (
- Seattle Tacoma by FlyTampa ([
- Flight Environment by Flight1 (
- AI Traffic by ProjectAI (
- Active Camera 2004 by Anticyclone (
- Walk&Follow by DBS (])
- FSNavigator by FSNavigator Team (
- FSScreen by Matthias Holzer (
- B737NG Fuel planner by Ross A. Carlson (
- SimCharts 3 by Jeppesen (
- Photoshop CS by Adobe (

Thanks for watching, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did making it

Wow!  Very nice picks 

Great and a bit diffrent shots than normal

Yes it was a very nice story and great pictures too. It is always great when someone writes a story from his flight and tells every single thing of his flight. You kind of get the feeling "hey, I was on that flight!"

However in my opinion story was hard to read, it looks like some texts were written above the picture and others below the picture. With lower resolution text below picture is always hard to read as you have to scroll down to see text and after that scroll up to see the picture. Try to write texts above pic in future and at least I'll be happy

Very nice pictures, they are one of the most beatifullest pictures I have ever seen! Very impressive! 


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