Thursday, August 5, 2010

Flying tired

Summer heat + long work days = tired.

Each day this week I've worked 10-12 hour work days. I get up at 4:40AM, leave the house at 5:15AM to sign in at 6AM. I sit airport reserve from 6AM until 2PM. It's been the norm to get off around 5PM (today was "Early" at 3PM) as I have been assigned flights each day that finish well after 2PM. Getting home at 6PM. Spending a few hours with my wife, and in bed by do the same thing the next day.

Slept really well last night. Still tired. So tired I tried to sleep in the ready reserve room at the airport. Didn't work. Restless.

Back to the crew room. Called at 7:10AM for a 9:05AM departure. So much for making the final Dr appointment prior to my wife heading to the hospital.

I checked my schedule. Inbound plane was set to arrive at 9AM. Nice. Back to the ready room to rest. There were zero First Officers available for the morning. Staffing is such an issue a First Officer was deadheaded 3 hours from another base to cover a simple turn. Another flight cancelled due to having no First Officers.

Unable to sleep again. Walked out of the ready reserve room at 8:30 AM. The plane we were to take was swapped. New plane already at the gate. Made it to the plane at 8:40AM. The Flight Attendant commented how she thought the plane wasn't coming in till 9AM. I wasn't the only one surprised. The Captain came up from the ramp, he had done the preflight. Less work for me.

The plane had a few MEL's. The left pack was warmish cockpit till air from the right pack (which cools the cabin primarily) makes it's way to the cockpit. One pack also meant max altitude of FL310.

Weather en route. Couldn't top it at FL310...went thru. Bumpy. Still tired...not fatigued...just tired. Thumped it on runway 25L.

The Captain brought up just how much money he was making on this 4 day trip. He picked it up on overtime. Due to staffing issues my airline is paying 150% for any open trips flown on days off. The Captain is currently out on vacation. He will make more on this 4 day than I make in a month. Nice eh?

Bumpy flight back at FL280. Pulled in a few minutes early. Done for the day at 3PM. Back tomorrow at 6AM. Tomorrow is my day 6. Off Saturday then back on for 5 more days. Of course I will be off for one or two of those days as I get the new title of "dad'.

Sure I will be prepared for being a new father as I am used to functioning on little sleep ;-)

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