Shots taken in flight order - 1 departure and 10 arrival.
Heading out again on the expert server again today as Thai Airways flight 637 flies out of Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taipei, Taiwan (TPE: RCTP) bound for Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, Thailand (BKK: VTBS) with 171 passengers on board this 12 year old Boeing 777-2D7ER and its marvellous Rolls Royce Trent 895 engines. Our scheduled departure time of 07:50 was met quite well at 08:03 as all of the passengers were eagerly waiting at the gate for their trip. Who wouldn’t be looking forward to stepping on a 777?
Cruising at 38,000 feet, our 3 hour flight ran the border of China nearing Xiamen and Shantou, Hong Kong and directly over Hainan Island, through the edge of Vietnam and finally across Thailand and down into Bangkok and along the way we burned XXXKG of fuel, helped along with a nice tailwind and excellent live ATC at Taoyuan.
A very busy airspace all the way today, keeping a constant check on surroundings and certainly making our own plans for the departure and keeping out of trouble before clearing the inbound and outbound aircraft. It’s all too easy to just hit NAV at 1,500 feet but observing the route it would have taken us showed a direct line into incoming traffic, so the my favourite classic 3/4 rectangle “straight out, left for a bit and left again” to head in the right direction was put into place, keeping and eye on altitude and aircraft in the area. One or two renegades out there today and evasive action was taken shortly after departure and one aircraft overtook us and turned into our path at the wrong time.
Overall, a happy cabin full of passengers are now somewhere out there in Bangkok, some nationals returning home and some holiday makers including a large group of gap year travellers backpacking around Cambodia and Vietnam after their stay in Bangkok, before heading on to Australia for 1 month and then New Zealand before the start of their studies.
Best of all though, and flight realism aside for a moment, no cats jumped onto me and the device today causing chaos, enabling and disabling various autopilot functions as a result and so we didn’t have to abort the flight to avoid the dreaded violation whilst spiralling out of control shortly after lift off, as happened last night whilst preparing for an ultra long hauler.