OTBD Doha (Qatar) to OMDB Dubai (Dubai)

Leg: 15
Take-off: Doha International Airport (Qatar) – ICAO: OTBD
METAR OTBD 290900Z 34007KT 300V020 9999 FEW030 28/16 Q1017 NOSIG (decode)
Landing: Dubai International Airport (Dubai) – ICAO: OMBD
METAR OMDB 290900Z 27006KT 250V360 9999 SCT040 28/15 Q1016 NOSIG
 (decode)
Distance: 237,3nm

Live tracking from flight plan data (http://maps.fsxworldtour.com)

Dubai!

When planning my world tour, one of the landings spots on my shortlist, was Dubai. Great scenery with sea, big skyscrapers, fancy island shapes, in short: a perfect place to pay a visit! And even more, to get the full Dubai experience, we purchased the Fly Tampa Dubai Rebooted scenery.  After a lot of hesitation, reading customer reviews and watching some Youtube videos, I decided it was worth the money, because this would be a perfect airport for later practice with bigger birds. 🙂

With the weekend, it was an ideal moment for a flight with a virtual time setting which was equal to the real time. I prepared my flight plan a few days ago, so all I had to do was a check of METAR (Meteorological Aerodrome Report) and NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) and I was ready to go at Saturday around 11:00 AM.

When checking the weather reports, I recalled a recent Youtube video from Mo Vlogs, a great vlogger from Dubai, who said that the weather of these last days was really really bad and awkward. It had actually rained in Dubai, which was very unusual, but in our world tour we experienced some of that exceptional bad weather over the Middle East in our last flights and it’s fun to see the resemblance and accurate translation of real-world weather by Active Sky Next into our flight simulator.

But today, we had better weather for this flight, so we took our sunglasses and departed on runway 34 in Qatar. First, we fly south over the Persian Gulf to a waypoint over Abu Dhabi. From Abu Dhabi, we fly to Dubai, close to the coastline.

CRASH!

Due to the winds, we couldn’t do the approach coming over the coastline, but we approached the airport from inland. No worries, we’ll probably do some special sightseeing of the Fly Tampa Dubai scenery in our next flight with a short local VFR tour.

So, after 1 hour and 15 minutes of flight time, we got on final… I prepared FRAPS again to record video of the landing, but in our final feet elevation we got surprised by… well, just take a look (watch HD for better experience):

Yep, we got crashed into from behind by another plane. I knew the AI traffic of FSX wasn’t perfect and I already had some close encounters during this world tour. I had also unchecked the option “allow collisions with other aircraft” in the realism settings, after some good advice from a experienced flightsim pilot. Unfortunately, this didn’t help in this situation. My plane, which was locked onto the glidescope in this ILS approach completely lost the signal and dived into the ground. I was too surprised to react and I don’t think that I could have saved it, but that was a very unexpected end. I don’t know the exact reason of the dive, but either FSX decided that the bigger airplane blocked the ILS signal, or FSX took into account the thrust of the other plane, or it’s a built-in flight model functionality from Alabeo… it’s just some wild guesses.

EDIT: /u/OfficialShip2000 on the subreddit /r/flightsim explained that it was probably caused by the wake turbulence option in the Active Sky Next add-on.

Airplane_vortex_editWake turbulence is turbulence that forms behind an aircraft as it passes through the air. Wake turbulence is especially hazardous in the region behind an aircraft in the takeoff or landing phases of flight. During take-off and landing, aircraft operate at high angle of attack. This flight attitude maximizes the formation of strong vortices. In the vicinity of an airport there can be multiple aircraft, all operating at low speed and low height, and this provides extra risk of wake turbulence with reduced height from which to recover from any upset. (Wikipedia)

Active Sky Next can simulate this effect and while we had aircraft collisions disabled, this still influenced the aerodynamics of our plane.

Anyway, it seems like approaching busier airports is no fun with this weird AI traffic behavior in Flight Simulator X. Since I don’t count this as a personal fault, we’re going to forget about this and pretend it never happened… 😀

I already did some research to find a solution for this problem and I got two options right now: a free add-on FSX AI Smooth, which tries to separate the traffic a bit more, or a payware add-on Ultimate Traffic 2, which offers some great AI traffic features, but also comes at a cost. For now, we settle with the freeware solution, so we’ll see how that works out in next flights.

Second attempt

Fortunately, we had saved about 20 nm from the airport, so we could pick up before the final approach vectors and have another go. The traffic was a lot less and second attempt went a lot better. We touched down at the beautiful airport of Dubai after an unfortunate event with mixed feelings and hope to forget about it during our next session with a local VFR trip around Dubai.

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