Friday, July 11, 2014

Even hotter

Currently on day 2 of a 4 day. Good old La Quinta overnight.

It's a 5-2-4-3 trip. I don't care for 5 leg days but the trip is worth 22 hours (4 hours more than average) I kept the trip versus trading it away.

The first day was long. Two turns to the same outstation then a long flight to the overnight.

My report time was 11:40AM. Since I live very close to the airport I left home at 11:00AM and walked down the jetbridge at 11:35AM.

The first aircraft had a MEL'd (not working) left pack. The left pack supplies conditioned air to the flight deck. Outside temperature was 94 degrees.

The preconditioned air was attached and actually cool. With window shades on the front windows the flight deck was bearable. The flight was blocked for just 50 minutes.

Boarding started. I fired up the APU and turned on the right pack for the cabin. There is an interconnect that allows some cool air from the cabin to enter the pipes for the flight deck. It helped a bit.

Everything was setup 25 minutes prior to departure. The Captain arrived 15 minutes to departure. I hope to never be that kind of Captain.

I picked the first leg. As soon as we pushed out the flight deck started warming up. All the avionics and the big windows meant lots of hot air.  It started to get uncomfortable and a little distracting being hot. Of course a few years ago I worked and taught in hot aircraft all the time without an issue.

Climbing out the flight deck was at 36 degrees Celsius....97 degrees Fahrenheit.  The air out of the vents was cool, but no match for the warm air from the avionics fans and heat coming through the windows.

Quick flight and done. Once parked the window shades went back up and the PCA was attached. It felt great to do my post flight as it was only 91 degrees outside.

Warm flight back. The equipment coordinator sent a message to the FMS asking if we wanted to keep the same aircraft for the next turn (scheduled for a 40 minute turn). Most of the time I love keeping the same aircraft. Not yesterday. I replied with;"Noooooooooooooo. Flight deck is 97 degrees."

On landing another hot issue, inboard brake indicator spiked to the top of the caution range. It didn't set off a hot brake master caution, but it was abnormal. We called a mechanic.

We swapped. That aircraft was put out of service to be repaired.

The next aircraft had no MEL's. Same flight plan to and from.

Once back we had a two hour sit.

I enjoyed a dinner of fresh veggies I brought from home.

Long flight to the overnight. Fairly late at night. The approach controller was doing triple duty as approach controller, tower and ground. Once we picked up the airport he cleared us to land and taxi in.

On short final I heard and felt a whack...bird strike. Pretty good one as my left window was covered in blood.

Post flight found no feathers or blood elsewhere. Poor guy.

Long overnight as I don't leave the hotel until 5:30PM. Just two legs today.


1 comment:

  1. Despite the 'minor' issue, nice to hear that you had an airplane swap available. An overly warm FD due to a MEL'd pack (on your specific airplane) may not be the end of the world, but safe pilots don't need those distractions. Even with one pack (left, of course), does the FD become comfortable once you reach FL100 or 150? While discussion of some MEL'd 'Environmental Comfort' items might be considered a bit too much whining, you've got my sincere empathy when prosecuting a Critical Phase on a flight deck that measures 95F+. I think I'd rather my pilots be 'cool,' as well as calm and collected. Sometimes it really should be, "Pilots First." I sure hope your airline gets their airplanes (especially the 'Packs') fixed ad the hot season in your region has just begun... Best wishes and may cooler heads prevail. -C.


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