Tuesday, September 22, 2009

So I saw some of the ball game

We blocked out a 6:49PM instead of the scheduled 3:50PM. Yeah we were late.

The 5:00PM flight was also late...they left at 6:30PM. The 6:45PM flight went out on time. The outstation only has 2 gates.

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Our original return flight was supposed to leave at 5:35PM and have just 26 people on board. By the time we made it to the outstation all the passengers were on board another flight headed back to base. Thus we went back empty. For CG issues we had ballast in the front cargo hold and had both flight attendants sit in the front row. My leg. Tired. We pushed out just 15 minutes after blocking in.

Lined up on the runway I advanced the thrust levers one click...and I thought another click...and said "set thrust". At this point the Captain verifies that the engines are spooling up together and that I indeed have takeoff power set. Once he states, "power set" I remove my hand from the thrust levers and he places his hand on them.

Being empty I set an assumed takeoff temperature of 44 degrees. The takeoff weight was just 51,000 pounds. He moved the thrust levers another click and then said "thrust set". Apparently I had only advanced the levers one click. This all happened in less than 5 seconds and before 50 knots.

Even with the reduced power takeoff I lifted the nose off the runway in less than 3500 feet.

After retracting the flaps, I held about 3700 feet per minute while traveling at 250 knots until 10,000 feet. From that point I clicked on the autopilot and climbed at 320 knots.

Being so light we held 2000 feet per minute while traveling at 320 knots all the way to FL300.

Light weight landings are always a little tricky. I jokingly apologized to the Captain for my rough landing that was sure to come. Somehow it didn't happen. Average. That's fine with me.

At 9:20PM we pulled into the gate. No rampers...no APU....no bueno. Finally we had rampers. Once they saw there were no bags to remove, they disappeared....without hooking up external power or air. We had no choice but to completely shut the plane down. Of course once we did the rampers were back. Seems the plane was going back out. As I walked out of the plane one was yelling up at me that they needed lights (in the cargo area). I replied, "We waited for you too hook up the power then we shut the plane down." He came back with, "Yeah man, the power at this gate isn't working." Hmm, "Sorry, we have no APU." I replied. He then proceeded to hook up and turn on the external power! Grrrrr.

My wife picked me up and brought me home in time to see the second half of the game (she paused it for me!).

Still loving my job. I have a good feeling at least one regional might be hiring next spring. I hope it happens.

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