Saturday, August 22, 2009

But my belt never goes off!

I've had the same belt for over a year. I have worn it through TSA checkpoints without "going off" hundreds of times. This morning it went off!

Both the Captain and I both beeped. Initially I thought it was my hotel pen in my pocket. The TSA screener advised it could be my belt. I explained it had not gone off the last time I walked thru this exact checkpoint last week. He shook his head. Belt came off. I walked through. No beep. I made a comment that the sensitivity was turned up too high. The Captain agreed.

The flight back was my leg. Takeoff weight was 64,000lbs. The Captain decided to not use Flex Thrust for takeoff. I didn't question why.

I set takeoff thrust and we began rolling down runway 4. The plane reached rotation speed of 124 knots in a little more than 3400 feet. At 400 feet I asked for heading mode and began a turn to heading 320. Being so light the climb rate was just over 3000 feet a minute. Fun.

One the arrival there was a bit of confusion over a crossing restriction. We were told to cross 40 miles north of the ABC VOR at FL240. When I tried to input the restriction into the FMS I got an error because there were 3 fixes prior to the ABC VOR. I only had one cup of coffee and just decided to use the FIX option and made a fix 40 miles north on the radial we were flying in on. Once set I used to "Range to Alt" bar (better known as the banana bar) to make sure I would make the restriction.

I'm very easy going for the most part. The guy I was flying with gets under my skin. Thankfully it was just the overnight and the legs were short. Some guys make this job harder than it has to be.

I recently had the following question presented to me.

This is a question related a bit to the smooth landings – is it normal for the plane to feel like the wings are rocking from side to side just right before the wheels hit the runway?
Sort of felt as if someone was jiggling it? Could that have been from crosswinds?
Weird question, I know – I have just been wondering about it for a while because it was pretty noticeable on at least two flights!
I have only noticed it on the type of plane you fly..

I have a longer post to the answer which I will post separately tonight or tomorrow. I am including this here because this situation happened to me this morning.

I was landing runway 8. The winds on the ground were reported 320/05. The winds on approach were 070/20. Big difference. I watched the winds come around passing through 200 feet. This is when I had to correct the heading and compensate for the changing winds which went from a headwind to a quartering tailwind. I worked the yoke all the way down to the ground. The wings were slightly rocking left and right. Nothing major, but visible.

Due to the tailwind and light landing weight (61,000 lbs) I floated more than I liked. I touched down 500 feet shy of the end of the touchdown zone.

As soon as we finished the parking checklist I called Crew Scheduling. I was released right away. Nice.

The lack of photos lately is directly tied to me forgetting my camera. Will be sure to pack it tomorrow.


  1. You deserve comments - I don't have one but be assured I am reading anyway - Ghesundheit !

  2. That's interesting about your belt; it would explain (to me at least, being uneducated about such things) why sometimes under wire bra's set the machines off... and other times women can walk through without the need to disrobe to prove it is their undergarments! :D

  3. It has to do with what Geek mentioned, TSA can control the intensity of the detectors. They can turn them up or down when need be, such as when threat levels go up, they might turn them up.


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