Thursday, January 10, 2013

Thanks for the germs

Day 3 was a turbulent, low visibility and germy day.

Decent 14 hour overnight. I used the crew car and got a decent dinner. Back at the hotel I got back into my P90X routine and slept great.

Van time was 6AM. I got up at 5AM and was down at breakfast by 5:40AM. My cabin crew joined me at 5:50AM.

The Captain came down right at 6AM and headed to the van.

Once again he was coughing and complaining how horribly he slept. Nice.


The station had deiced the plane before we arrived. It was just covered in frost. I don't like to pre-flight my aircraft when it's covered in Glycol. Just messy.

My Captain stayed in the terminal to get breakfast while the rest of us headed out to the plane.

Walking up, the fueler approached me, "Sir we have a problem. While fueling up I heard liquid dripping and looked over to see fuel coming out of the left wing." he said.

He showed me where the fuel was coming from one of the vents in the fuel tank vent system.

We only had 5600 out the 9000 pounds of fuel needed. I told the fueler I would alert the Captain and I completed my preflight.

When the Captain arrived I let him know, he called our operations center. After all was said and done the single point refueling port was put out of service. Fuel only leaked when the single point was used. The remaining fuel would be added over wing.

Departed 15 minutes late. An ILS approach later and we arrived 10 minutes late.

Light turbulence and moderate chop enroute.

Plane swap.

The next plane also had a fueling issue.

The left fuel gauge was reported as having issues. Every now and then it would read dashes instead of the actual value. The MEL required us to verify the total on the outside fueling panel OR with the magnetic sticks in the tanks.

Sticking the tanks takes time. There are several magnetic sticks at various points on the wing and tanks. The sticks are locked in place normally. When needed they can be manually unlocked and will fall toward the ground. To read the amount of fuel I push them back into the tank and guide them slowly down. When they stop (due to a float magnet) I read the number at the top of the stick. It's easier than I described.

Once I get all the numbers I use a table to figure out how much fuel we have.

Thankfully I could use the outside panel. Once I got the number we simply monitored fuel flow and amount of fuel showing on the gauge to make sure it made sense.

First turn was quick as the outstation was just 121 miles away. Yep 121 miles......close enough for people to drive versus fly. Whatever.

Two ILS approaches later we were back in base. One turn left.

It was my leg out. Weather at the outstation was reporting:

36026G31KT 3SM -RA BR OVC007 05/04 A3000 RMK AO2 PK WND 36033/2033

The ONLY ILS was to runway 10. Max demonstrated crosswind in my plane is 30 knots. The runway was wet. Even though it's only a 60 degree difference between runway heading and the wind it was right at 30 knots.

There is a GPS approach to runway 34. Runway 34 is also the longest runway.

"Ask approach the GPS 34 approach." I told my Captain.

"Really, the ILS is easier." he stated.

"Yeah, but I don't want to play with that crosswind." I replied.

"OK, but now you're being complicated." he said.

A GPS approach is a little more complicated. The company operations manual  requires to make sure we have RAIM during the approach, terminal scaling within 30 miles and GPS approach scaling within 2 miles of the final approach fix. Noting major in my opinion.

I briefed the approach and we were vectored in.

At 600 feet we were under the clouds...but couldn't see the runway due to the rain. Wipers on.

My Captain called the runway.

Decent landing and in.

While parked my Captain let me know he would have picked the ILS even with the crosswind. Whatever.

Blocked out on time. Took off on runway...............34....into the wind.....imagine that!

Moderate turbulence for most of the ride back. Quite uncomfortable being rocked and rolled. We would be jolted up 150 feet then down 200 feet. Lots of left and right jolts as well.

Happy to have blocked in 10 minutes early.

My Captain coughed every leg. He apologized for it....but I wished he would have called in sick. I had my flu shot and washed my hands and wiped of my flight controls before each leg. I hope I don't get sick because he was too selfish to call in.

Off for 4 days. I have three 4 day trips left with the same Captain.

Time to go eat breakfast and drink coffee my daughter made me in her play kitchen.

1 comment:

  1. I just flew back and forth from Toronto (as a passenger - wish I were a Pilot !), and the guy behind me sounded like he had final stages of TB. I'm flying every week for the next 4, and I hate this time of year. Purell is my friend !


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