Atlanta to Barcelona on a Delta Airlines MD-11

Two days after flying to LAX on a UPS MD-11F, I packed my bags once again and started a long journey east to Barcelona via Atlanta on Delta Airlines. I flew a 737-700 to ATL on July 20th, but things were a bit busy after I landed (real life got in the way) and I wasn’t able to depart for BCN until the afternoon of the 24th. That was totally fine though, as I wanted to prepare for the trip as much as I could. There have been a few things about the PMDG MD-11 for FSX that I wasn’t quite comfortable with, so I was able to do a bit of research in my spare time to figure out some of the issues that were confusing me the most.

Anyway, it was a beautiful summer afternoon in Atlanta on my day of departure and thankfully the weather forecast looked good all the way across the Atlantic and into western Europe. Being new to flight simulation, I’m not totally comfortable flying through severe weather patterns just yet. Well, the take off and cruise portions of the flight aren’t a problem but it’s the landing that gets scary in heavy weather. That wouldn’t be so bad if I knew how to do fully automated ILS approaches and landings, but I’m forcing myself to learn how to land manually before I start getting into automation.

The majority of this flight was perfect. No problems with the aircraft, fuel burn was as expected, and…I didn’t even get lost! Just kidding – I may be new to flight sim but at least I know how to enter coordinates into the FMS and use the autopilot.

Landing this MD-11 in Barcelona wasn’t pretty, as evident by the scary final pic in this series (below). I managed to keep it together, but I’m not sure this particular airplane will ever fly again…

Delta Airlines
Atlanta, GA (ATL) – Barcelona (BCN)
Aircraft: MD-11

atlanta to barcelona route map

Map showing the route from Atlanta (ATL) to Barcelona (BCN)

Delta airlines MD-11 atlanta

Parked at concourse E (the international terminal) at ATL

delta md-11 taxiing at ATL

Taxiing out to runway 9L with concourse E in the background

position and hold ATL runway 9L

View from the cockpit as we position and hold on 9L

departing ATL


ATL airport delta airlines MD-11

Climbing out of ATL with a nice view of the airport in the distance

manhattan from a delta airlines md-11

Looking down on New York City

flying over new york delta airlines md-11

Another view of this beautiful Delta Airlines MD-11 crossing above New York

delta airlines md-11 over nova scotia

Skimming the coastline of Nova Scotia and the sun sets

sunset from the air delta md-11

The sun just about to disappear over the western horizon

delta md-11 at night

Dinner has been served and the cabin serviced, so now it’s time to grab a few hours of sleep before sunrise over western Europe

md-11 cockpit at night

There’s no time for sleep in the cockpit, however. All systems are looking good as we drone on over the northern Atlantic.

sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean

The first sight of sunrise as we approach western Europe

delta md-11 sunrise over atlantic ocean

Sunrise over the Atlantic Ocean!

spain coastline delta airlines md-11

Just about to intercept the northern coastline of Spain

descending into Barcelona

Starting our descent into Barcelona

md-11 cockpit

Getting situated in the cockpit, going through the landing checklists

delta airlines MD-11 over spain

Skimming the eastern coast of Spain as we line up for arrival into BCN

md-11 landing gear deployed

Landing gear deployed

07R landing barcelona airport

Over the numbers on 07R. Looking good so far…

crash landing Barcelona airport

Abort! Abort! Yeah, I pretty much botched this landing. But at least I kept the shiny side up!