Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Delayed Part 1

Currently sitting at the gate waiting for weather to lift. I figure I could hammer out some words.

Day one started bad.

I was supposed to do 3 legs. A turn and return to the same city for the overnight.


I met my crew at the gate. First time meeting them all.

First leg was mine. Long line of weather north to south over most of the United States...and headed for the out station.

The dispatcher stated if we left on time we could beat the weather. That was great for the outbound flight.....but what about the return?

Sure enough we left on time. Short hour flight. RADARs on. Didn't look good.

Another flight from our airline was on frequency stating they were diverting due to weather. There was a tornado on the ground 7 miles south of the airport we both were headed to. That was enough for us.

There was another airport we serve just 15 miles in front of us. My Captain advised ATC we were diverting and asked for lower. We were cleared from FL290 down to 6000 feet.

Out went the flight spoilers and down went the nose. Clearing FL200 I put out some flaps for more drag.

My Captain was busy advising the dispatcher and the out station of our plans. The out station wasn't expecting a flight for 4 more hours.

Ironically the airport we were diverting to was the first airport I ever diverted to at my airline more than 5 years ago.

Just 12 minutes from the time we started the diversion I was on final. Easy landing.

With a diversions people want answers quickly.

We parked and as soon as the door opened the gate agent asked if we were deplaning.

Quick call to our operations and yep...deplane.

Weather headed for us now. Storm changed direction slightly.  We sat in the terminal with the passengers watching the television. Then the tornado sirens went off. We all headed to the tornado shelter....also known as the bathrooms.

Winds kicked up over 60 MPH. Thankfully no tornado.

We then had to wait out the lightening and rain.

Four hours after we pulled in we were headed out. The remaining two flights had been cancelled. We were just going to the overnight.

The airport was 56 miles away as the crow flies.....should be easy right?

The weather was gone. True VFR.

Tower was closed so I would have to get my clearance from Center. Normally easy.

Holding short of the runway there was no response on center frequency. I tried approach. Nothing. Ugh.

My Captain called our dispatcher who gave us the phone number of the Center. He called and the controller stated we had nothing on file. I'm glad we didn't take off VFR and get our clearance in the air!

He put in a basic flight plan and away we went. As soon as we turned north bound I saw the airport...yep even 50 miles away.

I entered the downwind and made a nice landing. Our 14 hour overnight was down to just 11 hours.

Slept like crap.

More later....waiting on an EDCT....and believe it or not the trip got worse.

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