Thursday, October 18, 2012

It works better when it's warm

Nice overnight. Rained. Being a First Officer I carry an umbrella. Very few Captains they don't have to do preflights.

I've been to this hotel at least 10 times. My first time here the van driver mentioned a pizza place with cheap pizza and beer. The first time I was there I walked down the street, turned right and saw the sign for the pizza place. The sign sticks far out from the building.

I walked to the first door I saw under the sign, went in and was surprised at how dark it was. I then saw a sign stating "cash only" and left as I didn't have much cash beyond van driver tips.

Fast forward to last week. I went to the same door, sat at the bar and was more than surprised to NOT see pizza on the menu. Odd. I ate a really good burger.

Rewind to last night. I went to the same sign...then looked about 5 feet to the left....there was another door...with the name of the pizza place ON THE DOOR. I went in...awesome pizza and beer. It was 2 fo1 slices and 1/2 off beer! Great meal and drinks for $10.50. Yeah I went to the WRONG place the first two times. I went to a regular bar....there was a reason there was no pizza on the menu! Hello Captain errr....First Officer Obvious!

Slept great. My series of alarms (I'm a little paranoid and set 3 alarms 1 minute apart....I've never needed more than one...bleh) began to go off at 5:20AM. Van time was 6:10AM. No breakfast of any kind at this hotel.

Arrived at the airport at 6:25M. Departure was set at 7AM.

This airport is a little backwards.

I can go out to the ramp without a code, key or ID. However once on the ramp I can't get back in without an ID  to swipe and associated code. Thus the gate agent has to wait for me.

Preflight done. Cold soaked plane. Outside temp was 40 degrees. No heater was attached (even though it was supposed to be attached per company policy!).

I was stowing my bags as my Captain powered up the plane. The screens, lights and sounds started to come alive.  I took my seat and noticed my MFD was black. I tried adjusting the rheostat....nothing.

I mentioned it to my Captain but he was engrossed in his Iphone.

No circuit breakers were popped. Hmm.

Basic troubleshooting was to power the plane off and back on. I tried that. Nothing.

"Hey Darrell, do you want us to write this up and  call out contract maintenance or give it a few minutes?" I asked.

No response.

The agent asked if we were ready to board. I stated no that we had a mechanical issue and to please plug in the pre-conditioned air to warm up the plane.

I turned on the dome light....and then pointed at my screen and asked again.

That got his attention. He tried powering off the plane again. Nada.

He tried using the APU for power vs ground power. Nada.


We both thought it was simply cold. It's a CRT monitor...old school. They work better when warm. Not knowing for sure was the problem.

Mechanic called. Plane powered off. Away we went for breakfast.

As we passed the boarding area my Captain explained to the line of passengers the situation and that we would go as soon as the screen was operating.

We returned to the cockpit and ate breakfast. The air in the plane decently warm but still mostly cold soaked.  We tried powering up the plane again. Still dead. Powered back down.

Mechanic arrived at 7:35AM. We powered up the plane and showed him the dead MFD. We then stepped out and finished breakfast while sitting in cabin seats.

I was sitting in 5C when the mechanic, who had been up there 3 minutes, said "hey it's working again."

I leaned into the aisle and was shocked to see the MFD working!

Sure enough the plane had warmed up enough that the connectors and contacts touched and all was well.

I took my seat in the cockpit and turned the brightness up and down a few times. Fine. We then powered the plane down and back up. Fine. All this because the ground crew didn't connect the pre conditioned air!!!!

Blocked out an hour late. Originally we had a 35 minute turn then off to the overnight. The overnight has just 3 flights a day.

The first was ours at 9:55AM, the second is 3:55PM and the last is 8:55PM.

Scheduling pulled us from our 9:55AM flight and put us as dead heads on the 3:55PM flight. That meant a 6+ hour sit time!

My wife works a few miles from the airport. I texted her to see if she wanted to meet for lunch. Done.

Blocked out 8:05AM. Estimated to arrive at 10:10AM. They could have delayed the 9:55AM

My leg. Flew a little fast. Landed at 9:52AM. In the gate at 10AM.

I walked straight out to the employee bus.

My phone was scheduling. They left a voicemail stating they "had more flying for me". They mentioned flying a turn during my sit.

Contractually I am not obligated to carry a phone....or do any other flying in this situation. It was of little benefit for me to do the flying.

The flight I was pulled from was worth 1 hour 50 minutes. I was pay protected for it.

The turn they wanted to add on during my 6+ hours sit was worth 2 hours 5 minutes.

If I did the turn the net result would be 15 minutes extra pay as I get the greater of the two. No thanks.

Nice lunch with my wife.

Now sitting at home. I will head back up to the airport around 2:40PM.

I truly hate despise deadheading. Just not my thing.

My original 18 hour overnight is now just 12 hours. Still 5 legs tomorrow.

Time to watch some!

1 comment:

  1. Skippers always do the walk around where i work haha


If you are a spammer....your post will never show up. Move along.