Friday, June 22, 2012

Shimmy, Shimmy co-co...cancel

Day 2 of a 3 day.

I took the first leg.  Twenty knot quartering headwind.....greased it on. My Co-pilot took the next two...jammed them on. He tried to grease...didn't work.

On Day 2 I took the first two legs.

Calm winds on the first landing. Followed a MD80. I forgot about calm winds and wake turbulence. At 20 feet I hit the wake of the 80 that landed. Tossed around a bit...blown quite a bit right of center line. A quick addition of thrust and a little work and I greased it on again.

Plane swap.

On the next takeoff roll the nose wheel shimmied quite a bit from 60 knots to 80 knots. On climb out the nose wheel vibrated quite a bit as it settled in to the nose.

Second leg was into a really small airport. Coming in from the south and we were cleared direct to the Final Approach Fix of runway 27. On a 040 heading direct to the FAF we were cleared for the visual. I squared off my base turn and then turned final. Somehow greased it on again. Lucky streak.

Next two legs were my co-pilots. Same nose wheel shimmy. Got worse on the fourth leg.

While on final he was a high and a little fast. Big wide runway threw him off a bit. On short final the tower called, "Confirm you have the runway in sight?". Yep...go around.

During the go around he had a shallow climb since it was a straight ahead missed approach procedure and he started at 500 feet AGL. The GPWS (Ground Proximity Warning System) went nuts.

Initially "Too low gear! Too low gear!" was blaring. He leveled off initially at 1000 AGL, "Landing Gear! Landing Gear!" started going off.

I first thought we had a landing gear issue. Finally went away as he climbed to 1500 AGL. Back around for landing. Again around 80 knots the nose wheel vibrated badly.

After parking we advised the next crew about the vibration. Again it was only around 80 knots. The next crew called it in...flight was cancelled. Ouch.

On the way to the hotel my wife texted me. My family was travelling to NY (on real tickets, not nonrev...not that it matters much) and their flight was cancelled. They were rebooked for tomorrow with another connecting flight. If they were nonrev they would be really hosed as all flights as overbooked majorly.

New York had a double whammy today. First was bad weather...then a fire at a huge Air Traffic Control facility in New Jersey. Massive cancellations resulted.

Lucky for my part of family they cancelled while making a connection where my house is.

My brother in law is travelling with his two daughters. They are staying at my house. His stepson was travelling separately and is currently awaiting a possible 10PM departure.

Because the issue is beyond the control of airlines (fire and weather), no compensation is being given to passengers for's in the fine print when you buy a ticket. It might not seem fair...but think about how much money the airline would be out paying for ATC issues?

It's stressful enough travelling with kids. Since he checked all his bags he has no supplies (one is in diapers). It must be a nightmare for passengers.

Thankfully for him my wife picked him up and will bring him back to the airport tomorrow.

Tomorrow I have three long legs. Should be done by 2PM, then off till next Thursday when I do the same trip again.


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