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BA 1603 LGW-TPA in the 200ER- one Beta's nostalgia

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    BA 1603 LGW-TPA in the 200ER- one Beta's nostalgia

    There are few modern aeroplanes that evoke a visceral interest and emotion from me. Any 744, especially the 747-436 and more especially G-CIVX fall into that category. Another such modern aircraft is G-VIIR. She is the aeroplane that took my Beloved and I to Gatwick on our Honeymoon. She is also the aeroplane that brought us back. I have fond memories of her, and this flight is very real in my memory. Come along, won’t you…

    The return journey started at the Gatwick Hilton, it was early. Typical London Fog was still heavy on the windows and as I peered out, I could just make out a Singapore 777 clawing for the sky. We made a cuppa, I jumped in the shower, and then whilst the Trolly Dolly spent the better part of an hour, fluffing and glazing, I stayed glued to the window. Gatwick Delivery must have been busy that morning.

    Then it was down to the concourse and on the Gatwick Train towards the North Terminal and one last proper English Breakfast, before setting sail for the Colonies. Eggs, and Rashers, Beans and Toast and a Kipper to boot, and we were properly fortified for the journey. We made our way to Pier 5 and IIR was just pulling on stand. After Cleaning and Catering had a crack at her, we boarded. Here’s where THIS story takes a twist… you see IRL I was sat in the back, but today I made the left from 2L and walked to the pointy end. That’s where this story really begins.

    I have gotten used to a set of flows that I have plagiarized from BA, and loosely adapted to my needs, so initially I start up GFO and check out an airplane. Obviously, today I picked up IIR which happened to sit at Stand 562 (what a happy coincidence). I cannot delve deeply into the GFO process, as that bit is still firmly in Beta. Anyway, I started up P3D (I’m still on v4.5) and while that was loading up, I started up PFPX. A few moments later, I was ready to load the GFO flight in P3D and export the flight-plan from the PFPX software. Then it was time type. I started up ASP3D for the Wx and logged on to Vatsim for ATC.

    I loaded the flight in Navigraph and took a good look at both ends whilst creating my Chart Clip. I ran through the PREFLIGHT Checklist before contacting Delivery. I verified the departure and while doing that I initialized the AIRDU and entered the present GPS POS. After this, I loaded my fuel and ZFW and initialized weights, fuel, CI, FL and other PERF sundries. About then, it was time to log on to ACARS and go into the EFB to calculate performance. Today we could take a 59 degree Assumed Temperature Derate. Once the numbers were all in the box it was time for the PRE START and to call Ground for the Push. I SELF DROVE as GSX will need a few days for the update (Umberto, are you reading this?) and then it was the After Starts and a taxy from QA, L, Q, all the way down Juliet to J1. We had plenty of time for the secondary self-brief, load the winds and while reviewing the SID, I nostalgically remembered sitting in the back, prattling on about how exciting it was to see in person, something that was so already familiar… and I remembered the bemused look on my Trolly Dolly’s face (BTW, I still see that often).

    It was a lovely taxi out, with a left on L allowing for a cliched LGW photo op.

    We lined up on 08R, took one final look around the VC as we straightened out the turn, and then it was throttles to 55%, stable and TOGA.

    For all those accustomed to the current iteration of the 777, forget what you know. She looks, SOUNDS and FLIES completely differently. The visuals, sounds and especially FBW have gotten a bit of a scrape and white wash, and she is a totally upgraded aeroplane. For those getting the free upgrade- this is unheralded in the annals of Flight Simulation and is something that could easily have been a purchase. For those who will be getting the 200ER expansion, you won’t regret it. It adds the EFB and SO MUCH MORE to the 777, and brings you 3 engine variants which you can spend the better part of 2021 fully exploring! In the climb for instance, there is a secondary thrum of large high bypass fan blades that asserts itself over the sharper whine of the hot section. Goose bump inducing!

    Last edited by cavaricooper; 23Feb2021, 12:37.
    Best- Carl Avari-Cooper

    The GE 90’s do a quick job of propelling the 200ER into the sky, and here we sit, clawing for altitude, with Gatwick fast dwindling into the background below.

    The flight was 10 hours today (almost 11 the last time IRL) and I am always impressed by the crossing duration differential between Eastbound and Westbound flights! A long series of waypoint fuel checks, wind comparisons, fuel used vs. FOB and we were looking at land once more. We slipped past the Eastern Seaboard, and in past Amelia Island and then the landscape started getting acutely familiar. We flew the final stages of the arrival and were slipping on to 1L at Tampa International. This time, the view out of the window was infinitely better.

    Anyone else LOVING that new wing?
    Best- Carl Avari-Cooper



      Take a look at these next photos. You cannot imagine the MANY times I have looked out a car window on just this road, and seen exactly these views. There have been SO MANY times I have been boarding a flight somewhere Stateside, and for just one lingering moment seen G-VIIR on stand at F90, and wished I was boarding her instead.

      Well, now I can, anytime I want, and SOON (don’t kill the messenger, we all KNOW the word soon at PMDG is a trifle euphemistic) you can too!

      Hope you could taste the baked beans this morning- C

      Best- Carl Avari-Cooper


        Lovely pictures and lovely storytelling.
        Mattias Nordgren


          Can't wait to finally fly some of the flights I've flown in the 200ER. Haven't flown much in the 777 but gonna fly SEA-ICN-SGN and back. Also LAX-MIA and DFW-MIA.
          Yoshi Elder


            Great story Carl, enjoyed reading it and enjoyed the pictures to go along with it even more , thanks for sharing .
            Lucas Jackson
            Proud Precision Manuals Development Group User


              Hi Carl
              Back to your old ways of highly immersive and poetical stories of your flights. I had quite forgotten how acutely perceptive you can be.
              Many thanks for your posts. I shall be creating such experiences for myself in the next few days.
              Happy testing
              Cheers, Richard McDonald Woods
              i7-7700K @ 4.20 GHz, Win10, P3Dv5


                I sure hope //42 is working on an updated immersion package to go along with this great update.
                Dan Moore



                  Thanks! You were someone I was thinking of quite a lot during the 200ER testing. I hope we can soon learn some more about BA ETOPS operations from you, this time in the proper girl!

                  For the others who commented, thanks! I’m glad you are enjoying the article... she’s a grand girl.

                  I hope some of you noticed the working PVD... it works beautifully and despite no need, I initialized it for the photos. It’s the new LCD type... which I’m sure is much more reliable. I however, miss the clack of the shutter from VX .

                  There are many more than I involved, so stay tuned for more!

                  Best- Carl Avari-Cooper


                    Hi Carl. Happy to see another Tampa resident here on the forums. I spent over 20 years working the ramp at KTPA and the early part of that career was with ASIG, so I am intimately familiar with F90. My time was before BAW started operating the flight you posted about here but did include the regular Martin Air MD-11 to Amsterdam, Condor's 767 service, and whatever else popped in. First plane I ever pushed back was a 747 off of F90 and its always a long pushback as we had to push anything back far enough to make the right turn onto Juliet. Okay, enough reminiscing. Lol

                    Have you, or anyone else ever been able to find a file for Fly Tampa's KTPA that allows F90 to function as it should with GSX? This has been my main gripe with this scenery since its release and it never seems to have been corrected. I ask because this exact same flight is my planned first flight in the ER.

                    Kind regards,
                    Matt Bernard
                    Matt Bernard KTPA


                      Great story, Carl!

                      And I'm very surprised by the PVD. I honestly thought Boeing stopped offering it after the 747-400s.
                      Craig Norman


                        [email protected] commented
                        Editing a comment
                        He may be here to console us for not having a rainmaker

                      Fantastic post/story (as usual!). After completing a years flight training in Florida, G-VIIO took me home from TPA-LGW. I had a a great seat over looking the right engine/wing. Ahhh the memories I’ve been on XP11 for the last few years, may have to come back if I can scrape some pennies together to get the trip7 and the ER add on
                      Alaister Kay


                        They need to get you involved in marketing. I didn't think it was possible but I'm even more excited for the 772. Lovely post!

                        Aidan Rogers


                          Thanks for all the kind words.

                          Be sure to turn your speakers or headphones UP for your first flight! Armen has done some of his very best work in this release (I’m still waiting for the first radials in MSFS). The light up and climb power audio will validate every penny you spent on your computer sound system.

                          For the Gent asking for United’s livery there are some beautiful shots at

                          Best- Carl Avari-Cooper


                            Originally posted by cavaricooper View Post
                            Be sure to turn your speakers or headphones UP for your first flight! Armen has done some of his very best work in this release (I’m still waiting for the first radials in MSFS). The light up and climb power audio will validate every penny you spent on your computer sound system.
                            Now you have me wondering. Does any beta tester happen to have any video of the different engine variants.
                            Captain Kevin

                            Kevin Yang



                              Another beautiful story of a flight. As we are used to. Easy to forget that it was in a simulator.

                              You made me really yen for the B777 (forcing me to look at the calendar to count the days to the 25th-27th, something I truly avoid to limit anxiety attacks)

                              It also made me very hungry!

                              The latter was easy to fix with a slice of marble cake and a cappuccino!

                              Keep the stories, and photos, coming!

                              And take good care!

                              Many regards,
                              Roberto Stopnicki
                              Toronto, Canada


                                Originally posted by Captain Kevin View Post
                                Now you have me wondering. Does any beta tester happen to have any video of the different engine variants.
                                I do not think an video can capture in 100%
                                Chris Makris (Olympic260)
                                PMDG Technical Support


                                  Lovely photos. There isn’t by any chance the keypad variant transponder panel in the BA 777 models is there?
                                  Flight Sim Guides YouTube Channel


                                    Wow. Thanks
                                    Jeannette Benoit



                                      The Marble Cake sounds yummy! Hopefully, one day we can have a Cappuccino together my friend.

                                      Best- Carl Avari-Cooper


                                      • stopnicki
                                        stopnicki commented
                                        Editing a comment
                                        A big Amen to that!!!

                                      Hi Carl,

                                      Fantastic pictures!

                                      How was your TOW only 138t?
                                      Leo Cal



                                        You can pick-

                                        1) The photos were taken from a series of testing flights and sewn together with some artistic license for the story.

                                        2) Due to the current world crisis, we were unusually light.

                                        I hope that’s not the only thing you got out of the article?

                                        Best- Carl Avari-Cooper


                                          Carl, as always your story telling is unrivaled, thanks for sharing!
                                          Zsolt Szivak


                                            Very nice pics.Can't wait to fly this aircraft.
                                            Philippe DE MEL


                                              I love the story Carl.... now you are going to have me banning myself from the forums to avoid checking and checking.

                                              These are stunning shots... I, too, hardly fly the LR version with the other skins because I am more of a realistic I am on the -300 if I fly the T7.

                                              oooo - goosebumps all over!!!


                                                I was doing some more Beta validation this evening and reading Emi's post about his experience with the 200ER which reminded me that indeed, Boeing had everything proportional in the 200ER- she just looks right! Her wings speak of the immense capability of this aeroplane. Both Dan and I often chuckle at how far the 777 will take you without a drop of fuel in the Center Tanks (actually Centre Tanks today).

                                                As for the shot by the main gear bogey- it's one of the few times you really get a sense of scale- she's not small.

                                                Anyway, I was doing my usual walk-around (for heaven's sake don't whisper a word about that to the Trolly Dolly, she already thinks I'm daft) and the lines of the aircraft, and especially those wings, were absolutely stunning... and so I thought I'd take you along for the walk (definitely not spoiled).

                                                This last one continues to take my breath away... I'm instantly transported to that wonderful day my wife and I chose to officially start our lives together and head off to Europe for our Honeymoon. I long for the day where travel is again commonplace, and the fear that has been gripping us collectively, finally subsides.

                                                I can see the last rays of the sun on curved metal, and I remember that evening when those magnificent wings bore us ever upwards, above the cloud deck, towards HEVVN (let's see how many get that). She isn't vacuous or frivolous in this photo- she's a working girl, just getting busy about the job. She's surrounded by ground vehicles and anchored firmly to the ground... but we both know, in a few moments she'll be off, streaking Eastbound across the Atlantic and towards home, leaving nostalgia and wonder in her wake. There's a fence betwixt us, and we are separate- but oh so connected.

                                                I shall soon be back to my toaster hauling, but for the moment, I'm enjoying the starry eyed crush! She's lovely in her Chatham Dockside Livery!

                                                Last edited by cavaricooper; 24Feb2021, 01:27.
                                                Best- Carl Avari-Cooper


                                                  Originally posted by cmakris View Post
                                                  I do not think an video can capture in 100%
                                                  Probably not. I guess I'm just more curious as to how the Pratt & Whitney variant spools up in the simulator, or rather what it sounds like.
                                                  Captain Kevin

                                                  Kevin Yang


                                                  • DDowns
                                                    DDowns commented
                                                    Editing a comment
                                                    It is the best sounding one of the group in my opinion.

                                                  • Captain Kevin
                                                    Captain Kevin commented
                                                    Editing a comment
                                                    I would agree. A unique one, too.

                                                  Originally posted by cavaricooper View Post
                                                  towards HEVVN (let's see how many get that)
                                                  Recognized it instantly - one of the transition waypoints into TPA where you're parked - I've flown into TPA a couple of times recently, via the FOOXX5 arrival, HEVVN transition
                                                  Anton Vind
                                                  CPU: i9-9900K, GPU: RTX 2080 SUPER, RAM: 32 GB DDR4 3600 MHz, Drives: 2 TB SSD


                                                    Really cannot wait to jump into a BA triple . My first 777 flight was in G-YMML back in 2012 from Heathrow - Chicago and it left me with an everlasting great impression of the 777 airframe. Cannot wait to finally jump into the -200ER .
                                                    Stephen Champion


                                                      Originally posted by cavaricooper View Post

                                                      Why is the beacon almost white? Compared to the ngxu it looks not really realistic.
                                                      Regards from Cologne,
                                                      Tobias Kroll