Saturday, October 13, 2012

Familiar voice

Nice four day. I didn't care for day 4 being a 5 leg day.

Day 3 was in a small town.

The night before I Googled things to do in this city. Number 1 was DRIVE to the bordering state to gamble. Wow.

Long drive to the hotel. On the way the van driver gave a nice speel on places to eat nearby. He then said, "And you will find another key in your packet with the number 310 on it, in that room is free beer, wine, tortilla chips and salsa for you guys."

Free beer?

The free beer ended up being Natural Light. Still free. Never actually had one before. was as expected.

Day 4 started with a 5:30AM van.

Arrived at the airport at 5:50AM. Plane at 6:00AM.

After getting clearance I heard  someone say good morning and used my name....over the clearance frequency. I replied, "Who is this?".

"It's Andrew." former student. He was flying the United Express RJ parked right infront of me. Small world.

The first two legs were mine.

First leg to base was easy.

The next...not so much.

Headed to a larger...small airport. Three runways. The longest runway is 8000 feet long, next is 5001 feet long....the shortest is 4999 feet long.

Guess which runway was the ONLY one open?

The 4999 feet long one!

There are no charted approaches to the open runway. None.

I briefed a visual approach backed up by with the PAPI.

Nope...PAPI was noted out of service on the ATIS.

Ok I briefed a visual approach like this.

"This will be a visual approach to runway 4. I will back up my glide path using the 3 to 1 rule using the on site VOR. The runway is 4999 feet long and the performance manual states I need 2700 feet to stop using no thrust reverse credit. I plan on using thrust reverse just in case. Touchdown elevation is 80 feet. In the event of a missed approach or go around plan on 1500 feet and right traffic back to runway 4. I plan on a right exit at the end of the runway. Any questions?"

Cleared to 2100 feet. Hazy. Saw the airport 8 miles out.

Using the 3 to 1 rule I wanted to be at 2400 feet 8 miles out. I was lower...fine.

I started calling for flaps, then gear, then final flaps.

At 3 miles out I was 1100 AGL. A little high.

At 1 mile I was at 400 feet. This was fine as the VOR wasn't at the end of the runway.

I made a somewhat shallow approach and made a minimal flare landing. Touched down about 900 feet down the runway.

Quick on the brakes and I initiated thrust reverse. With 2000 feet left the plane was slowed to 80 knots and I transferred control to my Captain. Done.

Fairly early. Due to the short runway only regional jets were able to land and depart.

Another airline was very weight restricted and transferred 9 passengers to my airline.

We had the performance but had to do a static takeoff.

A static takeoff means we hold the brakes, add full power, then release the brakes.

Up and out.

Plane swap.

Last turn was interesting.

The dispatcher planned the flight at FL270. There was moderate chop. We climbed to FL370...smoother ride and we saved fuel. Thankfully we were light enough that the 800 pounds of fuel saved didn't put us overweight for landing.

In and out quick. My leg back. Once again filed at FL280....we flew at FL360 and saved fuel and time. Blocked in 20 minutes early.

Off for 3 days....then I do the same trip again.

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