Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sometimes it all just works

Day 2 of my four day is just 3 legs for a total of 6.5 hours. Easy day.

I flew both legs on day 1. The Captain took the leg out. All normal until on final when a departing aircraft reported a 25 knot gain due to wind shear. Long runway. His landing was uneventful. We were 35 minutes early. Looooong sit.

Not hungry. Just sat in the flight deck and read my new book.

Boarding started early. Too early as the rear flight attendant wasn't on board. Boarding halted. She came back. The gate agent "forgot" she wasn't on board.

Blocked out 20 minutes early. My leg. I ate dinner (crew meal) at FL380 while watching the sunset. Busy airspace. Lined up for a 40 mile final. We were assigned 180 or better till the final approach fix. No problem...I did 210. Crossing the FAF I slowed down. Tower advised we were cleared to land but we were 70 knots FASTER than the 737 we were following. Uh.

Clicked off the autopilot and leveled off. I called for the final flap setting and quickly slowed to approach speed. The 737 cleared the runway as we were at 500 feet. Non issue.

Once blocked in we were supposed to do a plane swap. We shut everything down and then walked into the terminal at 8:45PM. My flight attendant noticed the plane we brought in wasn't going out until 11:45PM. Our flight was supposed to leave at 9:50PM but was delayed till 10:30PM due to a late arriving plane. This made no sense.

My Captain called the equipment coordinator and asked if we could keep the same plane we brought in "so we can have an on time departure and get our customers home on time". The coordinator agreed. It helped that my Captain lives in the city we were overnighting in. He REALLY just wanted to get home.

Late. Neither one of us really wanted to fly. With the use of Crew Resource Management we decided I would fly. Not really. We played rock, paper, scissors and I lost.

Only 20 passengers. The departure procedure requires crossing fixes UNDER a certain altitude. Due to the light weight I put in the maximum assumed temperature as to have the lowest takeoff thrust. Even then we hit VR in 2500 feet. After I cleared the altitude restrictions I pitched up and climbed at 3900 feet per minute from 5000 feet up to 19000 feet. Eventually leveled off at FL270.

The arrival has several crossing fixes that involve crossing below on some fixes and above and below on other fixes. Also speed restrictions. Being late approach cancelled all the speeds. Three hundred twenty knots it was.

Finally slowed to 250 knots crossing 10,000 feet. Approach cleared us to 4,000 and advised we could do a short approach. I dirtied up the plane and we dropped like a rock. Decent landing and off to the hotel.

Today is a 4 leg day followed by one leg in tomorrow.

Once done I am off for a week! My wife wants to go somewhere. I'm not sure. Kinda miss being at home.

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