Saturday, January 5, 2013

In and out

Easy two day trip. The trip was just a small piece of a 4 day trip. The orignal First Officer dropped most of the trip and it was split amongst reserves and myself.

I only had one leg out and one leg in.

Early in the morning I noticed the original crew was delayed at an out station due to a mechanical. I would be flying with reserves. No biggie.

Met the crew at the gate. Captain has the same name as me just spelled differently.

They were all flying up and dead heading back. The original crew would be dead heading up later in the day. This was done to keep the flight on time. The orignal crew was running 2 hours late.

We deiced and then up and away we went. I opted to fly if up.

Mostly smooth flight.

The out station was reporting snow and 1000 foot ceilings. Calculated required landing distance on a dry runway was 4900 feet (with no thrust reverse or headwind credit). There were no braking action reports. I planned on a wet runway which increased the landing distance to 5900 feet, again with no thrust reverse credit. The runway was 7500 feet long. No biggie.

Light icing conditions during the descent. Broke out to see, what appeared to be, a perfectly dry runway.

Decent landing. My eyes were correct, totally dry runway.

In and done.

When I went outside to hop onto the hotel van....there was no van. I called and they thought I was coming in later. It seems crew tracking forgot about me.

Fifteen minutes later the van arrived.

Cold and snowy. Walked to a local cafe for one big meal that would serve as lunch and dinner.

I was in bed by 9PM for a 4:45AM wake up time.

At 5:25AM I headed to the lobby. There I met the rest of my crew. Quick cup of coffee and we were off to the airport.

The Captain was 3 years younger than me. He got started in aviation right out of college. I waited 6 years to start flying. Seniority is everything.

He had 5 legs that day so I once again offered my flying skills.

The plane was covered in a thick layer of frost again.

Planes are deiced with a heated fluid called Glycol. The plane is bathed in the stuff. During deicing we have the packs (think air conditioners) turned off. The only air in the cabin is simply recirculated air. This is why it gets stuffy during deicing operations.

After deicing is complete we wait 4 minutes before turning the packs on again as to avoid ingesting glycol into the cabin. It's not dangerous, but it can make people noxious as its a burning smell.

It's very hit or miss wether or not we will ingest glycol. On this morning we did.

As soon as I turned on the packs I could smell burned up glycol. Yuck.

Even with deicing we were estimated to arrive early. Sure enough we blocked in 20 minutes early. Great for me as I had a meeting with our home builder to pick colors, upgrades and options for our new house.

I checked on my original sequence involving the international overnight. If I had kept it I would have been 90 minutes late to  the meeting as the flight was heavily delayed. Glad I traded!

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