Monday, May 3, 2010

Hard too sleep with Tornado sirens going off

Thought I was pretty safe from "having" too fly Friday. Sitting in the bowels of the airport, I began to plan my evening at home. Then the phone call came. Off to an overnight.

The Captain I flew with and I have always got along. I am a very easy going guy. That being said, I've heard a few First Officers complain about this Captain. Hmmm...don't know why.

One leg to the overnight. After 14 hours I was supposed to fly back.  Supposed to.

A line of weather was delaying flights across the country....including mine.

The weather was moving into the area. Gusty winds, rain and low clouds. The runway in use has an offset localizer ILS. Once the runway was in sight (about 11oo feet AGL) I clicked off the autopilot and visually lined up with the runway. It was kind of an odd sight seeing the localizer needles off center while landing.

We only arrived 90 minutes late. Off to the hotel. Once there I realized my Macbook Pro was deadish. No display....just a chime. I used my Nexus One (I love this phone!) more than I ever have. I researched the problem and tracked it down to a known issue with the Nvidia Chipset and that Apple would fix the problem for free if within 2 years of purchase. My computer was 2 years 1 month old. Thankfully they fixed it free anyway.

With no laptop I was bored. Not for long as a wicked thunderstorm came in. I grew up in the south so I am used to Tornadoes, Hurricanes and Thunderstorms.

I watched the local weathermen discuss the storm. Problem was they were mentioning counties...I had no idea what county I was in! Back to my Nexus One.

After opening an app called "Rainy Days" I was able to load up slightly delayed RADAR that was around my GPS pinpointed position. I appeared to be in the clear. Between 7PM and 10PM tornado sirens were on and off. I kept an eye on my RADAR on my phone. All was okay.

What wasn't okay were flights. Every flight for every airline cancelled that night. That meant there was no plane for me to fly back Saturday morning. My Captain called me shortly after 10PM and let me know we were now leaving at 2:30PM instead of 5:40AM. Nice.

After a long boring morning we all loaded up in the hotel van. My flight attendant was also on reserve. She was upset about having a 2 hour sit when we get back then another turn. She spent the entire van ride complaining to us and crew scheduling. I had no sympathy for her. I sit all the time. I am the bottom guy. She has much better relative seniority than me.

I was released when I got back. May should be interesting. I'm on regular reserve. I could have reserve at home, morning airport reserve, afternoon airport reserve, deadheaded to another base or.....regular flying.

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