A quick X-Plane flight from Chicago to San Diego on American Airlines

I can’t believe it’s been over 10 months since my last flight in X-Plane (or any other flight simulator for that matter). Real life has been very busy, and I just haven’t had as much time as I would have liked to load up a flight plan and do some flying. Unfortunately, that’s just the way things go sometimes! But I’m still here, and as a matter of fact I’ve been staying up to date on all the latest X-Plane news – including the new 10.30 release that I’m itching to try. I still haven’t downloaded it yet because I don’t feel like redoing all my settings, but I think I’m going to give it a go real soon. I’m very curious to test it out.

Anyway, like I said: it was 10 months ago I ended up in Chicago at the end of my round-the-world journey, and I’ve been virtually stuck there ever since. I’ve mentioned before that I like to keep my flying as real as possible – meaning that I must fly out of the same airport I last flew into, so in this case, that meant ORD.

The real purpose of this flight was to try out the new 757-200 from FlightFactor that I had purchased late last year. I’m ashamed to admit that I haven’t even flown it once since buying it, so I thought a long shake-down run out to San Diego (SAN) might be a good way to become more familiar with it. On a side note, I will say that being away from flight simulators for this long does nothing for the skill and knowledge I’ve learned about flying airliners over the past few years. It’s almost like starting all over again, but thankfully I have my quick and easy FMS tutorial to speed along the process.

Ready to go? Let’s do this!

American Airlines
Chicago O’Hare (ORD) – San Diego, CA (SAN)
Aircraft: Boeing 757-200

position and hold

Love the 757 from this angle, especially in the American Airlines livery

blasting out of ORD on an AA 757-200

Woo-hoo! The 757 is a rocket, that’s for sure

heading west out of ORD

No surprises during climb out – this is a very stable aircraft

37,000ft above the northern plains

Clouds began to build about an hour west of Chicago

approaching the eastern range of the Rockies

After what seemed like hours of cornfields, we approach the eastern range of the Rocky Mountains

Boeing 757-200

Did I mention that I really like the lines of the 757?

socal haze

The haze began to build as we entered southern California

low visibility

Visibility started getting downright low about 30 minutes east of San Diego

ugly approach

Oops! My approach was way too high, but luckily the skies had cleared

HUD approach into SAN

This is the problem with not flying for so long – I forgot everything I learned about making smooth landings! Getting nervous here…

arrival into SAN

Luckily I made it on the ground at SAN without too much damage to the aircraft. I may have lost my pilot’s license though.

All in all, it was a shockingly uneventful flight considering that it was a new aircraft that I have never flown before – as well as being my first flight in almost a year. The 757 is a fun airplane to fly – well worth the purchase IMHO, and I’m looking forward to the next flight soon.