Friday, September 13, 2013

Everybody off.....

Currently sitting in an airport terminal in the mid-west on a 3 hour scheduled sit. One leg left of my 20 hour 3 day trip.

Here's the view out the window.

photo (4)

Day one was pretty easy. The Captain I'm flying with used to be in the training center. Nice guy, but doesn't seem to really enjoy flying.

The first overnight as mentioned in another post was in Sioux Falls. Day 2 was 4 legs long worth 6 hours and 20 minutes of pay.

The first 2 legs were mine. Fairly standard except a really bowed runway got  the best of me and I planted it on the runway.

For the hotel leg things got odd. Crazy weather all along the east coast caused delays. We thought we were fine as we were headed to a tiny airport vs a large hub.

Boarding started. I pulled up our clearance on the ACARs and the letters EDCT caught my eye. EDCT stands for Expect Departure Clearance Time. Our scheduled departure time was 1:30PM. Our EDCT was for 3:12PM. The reason was flow. Even though we were going to a small airport, the airway we would be using was clogged with aircraft headed to larger airports.


I told the Captain and he asked for me to call operations. They stated to halt boarding and have everyone deplane. Before the Passenger Bill of Rights we would have boarded up and sat in a holding pad hoping for an earlier EDCT. That's potentially too costly now.

Once they were all off I decided to stretch my legs. When I walked into the boarding area I was "greeted" with a bunch of angry eyed passengers. The didn't understand an ATC weather delay as the weather outside was beautiful. Severe VFR.

The gate agent motioned me over and asked if the "new" 1:55PM departure time would work. Apparently no one told her about our EDCT. I told her at best we would board at 2:40PM. She then asked if we would cancel just loud enough so passengers nearby could hear. "Mam I only fly the planes, I have no authority on if it cancels. I want to go just as bad as the passengers." I replied.

As I predicted we boarded up at 2:40PM. No further delays. Getting into the airport was interesting. The small airport is located near a few fairly tall hills. They were high enough to cause a 3 degree offset localizer for the ILS. The terrain, nearby thunderstorm and haze required the use of the ILS to start the approach. About 4 miles out we picked up the runway.

Being so late the overnight was 12 hours instead of 14. Enough, but I was fairly beat.

I had what qualified as food in the hotel cafe and hit the bed. Alarm set for 5:20AM. I woke up at 4:40AM as my body is paranoid about oversleeping even though I've never overslept.

Fairly standard day. There was a little excitement during leg 3. While on a visual approach the tower advised us of two large flocks of large birds flying over the runway. We were already on short final. One flock was coming at us high and the other was crossing the runway.

The Captain saw both and simply said, "don't go around."

Enough for me. Light airplane plus light winds meant the plane really didn't want to settle. One main....then the other....then the nose. I get paid the same for greasers and plants.

Once I'm done today I have 3 days off before starting another 3 day. After that my family is taking a 4 day weekend to visit my sister in law who's expecting a baby. I think it will be my daughters 56th flight.


1 comment:

  1. Yay! a pic!

    I don't think I have managed 56 flights yet in 40+ years!!!

    Thanks for the post

    Dave W


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