I arrived in the crewroom at 5:45AM...early. The computers were down in the entire terminal. I was going to head to the sleep room when I decided to just call crew scheduling and check in. Glad I did.
Scheduling :"Good Morning First Officer, my you're early."
Me: "Yeah, just wanted to call and be the first to let you know the computers are down."
Scheduling: "We now, you're second, did you get my email about your trip at 7:20AM?"
Me: "No, the computers are down."
Scheduling: "Oh yeah, well I have you on a 4 day trip covering all your reserve days."
Me: "Is that legal per contract?"
See I'm a "line holder" in that I have standby all month. They can't take me off standby unless:
1) There is no one else available
2) The trip is prebuilt and has legs that are out of base
I fell into #2. No First Officers available until 10AM. None available for the entire trip. Days 2 and 3 are thru another domicile. I was the only pilot available.
I haven't had a 4 day trip in a long time. My overnight bag for airport standby is packed for 2 days...sometimes 3. Quick to the geek car!
Thankfully I live close. On the way home I called my wife...who wasn't happy as she was still sleeping. I needed her to drive me back to the airport. I made it home, tossed some additional clothes in my bag, swapped computers (I had initially taken my Netbook, wanted my Macbook Pro for a 4 day) and headed back to the airport.
My wife dropped me off at 6:35AM. With only 4 passengers for the first leg we blocked out 10 minutes early. My leg.
During climb out we got a Rudder Limit Fault status message. The rudder was still working fine, but something was wrong. Nothing major as the out station had contract mechanics.
Halfway to the outstation the weather dropped below mins fast. Not forecasted. We slowed down and stayed high. Eighty miles out still at FL290 we realized we couldn't land. If we diverted to an alternate we would be stuck as the alternates we had don't have contract mechanics. The Rudder Limit Fault is a no dispatch item. We had plenty of fuel to simply return to base. That's what we did.
After getting back, the mechanics cleared the fault and out we went again.....3 hours late. My leg again. I managed a surprisingly smooth landing (light weight plus gusty wind no less!).
The outstation only had one gate...which was occupied. Thirty minutes after landing we pulled into the gate. My flight to the overnight was supposed to leave at 11:35AM. We blocked into the out station at 11:42AM.
We arrived back in base at 1:17PM and were now scheduled to dead head to the overnight at 2PM. I hate deadheading. At least on my own airline I can board with the crew and get settled...which is what I did.
Instead of a scheduled 15 hours I have 12. Not horrible.
Tomorrow starts with a 5:40AM van. Here's the rest of my 4 day trip
Depart City A at 620AM arrive City B 640 AM (different time zone)
Depart City B at 720AM arrive City C 840AM
Depart City C at 910AM arrive City B at 1025AM
Depart City B at 1110AM arrive City D at 225PM
Depart City D 0600AM arrive City B 725AM
Depart City B at 840AM arrive City E 1105AM
Depart City E 1135AM arrive City B 1215PM
Depart City B 105PM arrive City F 2:45PM
Depart City F 800AM arrive in MY domicile 9:15AM
At least this trip has decently long overnights. Monday night I have 14 1/2 hours while Tuesday night I have 16 hours.
Originally this trip had 19 hours of flying, due to the deadhead it's down to just over 16. As of right now I have 1135 hours at my airline and 1690 hours total time. Not a lot...especially considering I started flying almost 4 years ago. My anniversary is May 5....I started ATP May 5 2006.
Now for sleep.