Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Well that could have been embarassing

Same 4 day as last week. Different cabin crew...same Captain.

Nothing exciting...which is good.

I took the first leg out. The "really long" 88 NM flight. Beautiful VFR weather.

Picked the airport up 20 miles out. Cleared for the visual to runway 4. I had the GPS approach loaded up as a backup. On base I realized I was 4 miles out and still 2000 AGL. Hmmm...

The runway was almost directly out the left window.

"You gonna make it?" asked my Captain.

I was already slowed with the gear and half flaps extended.

"Yeah, should be all right." I replied and arrested my descent and began a turn.

"Flaps 45, before landing checklist" I said.

Engines idled. I was 15 knots above approach speed when I began my turn.

As the flaps extended I pitched for my airspeed. Over shot the runway just slightly. Decent landing.

It's nice to be very comfortable with my aircraft. I know what it will do, can do and most important...won't do. I likely would not have attempted it this time last year when I had barely 100 hours in the plane.

Captain took the leg back to base. Plane swap.

There was a paperwork issue with the next plane. Nothing major, just a wrong date.

When a Captain accepts an aircraft he is stating the flight release and logbook are in proper order. If he flies the plane and the next day someone else finds a paperwork issue, he (and because I'm also on the release) and I are on the hook.

Took a while to get it fixed by maintenance. Blocked out a few minutes late. Flew fast, arrived on time.

Day 2 was also standard fare....until the last leg.

After a plane swap between the 3rd and 4th leg, we were sitting on the flight deck and were happy to have a plane with no issues.

Light load. He started the APU and I turned on the packs. Everything seemed normal. The ground crew disconnected the ground power. All was well.

Ten minutes to departure.

"Hey something is wrong with my coffee maker, it won't turn on." said the cabin crew.

There is a knob that, under particular electrical configurations, disables some electrical loads including the coffee maker.

We quickly checked the electrical synopsis page....the APU wasn't putting out any voltage...we were running the entire plane on batteries.

I quickly sprang from my seat and had the ground crew re-connect the ground power.

We then had to write up the APU for not providing voltage. It was busy as my Captain talked to company while I finished up the pre-flight task of loading up the FMS, verifying performance, fuel and passenger counts.

Between the two of us we dotted the I's and crossed the T's and blocked out just 4 minutes late. Not too shabby at all.

With the APU not providing voltage we had to do an external power start, not a big deal.

Short overnight at 9 hours. One perk of short overnights at small cities, we bring in the same aircraft we are taking out inthe morning. Helps to know the plane.

Today, day 3, was 4 legs. First two were mine.

On leg 2 we were brought in a little high. I misjudged how close I was and fully configured the plane....6 miles out. Yep...flaps 45....6 miles VFR conditions. I felt a little

During the approach to leg 4 the Captain was flying. We were about 10 miles out when he chuckled and said, "Hey you think I should go to flaps 45, I mean we are only 10 miles out."

I laughed.

Tomorrow is day 4....just 3 legs. Same trip next week.


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