Monday, February 2, 2015

Shooooo Bird

I've been quiet lately. It annoys me. Going to try to work on it. I think part of the reason for the lack of post is due to me having mostly day trips in January.

When on a multi-day trip I have a lot of downtime in hotels. With day trips I have downtime at home. At home I have lots of stuff to keep me busy.

Right now I'm on a two day trip.

I was originally headed south of the border. I was fine with it until earlier this week when the Captain changed. The Captain that picked up the trip is known around the airline as hard to work with. I've never flown with him, but I have no desire to entertain working with someone who most pilots don't like.

Instead I traded into another trip that has 2 more legs for the same amount of time. The Captain is a guy I flew with several years ago. Old fashioned and likeable guy.

It's a dreadful 3 and 5 trip worth just 9 hours 15 minutes. He took the first leg this morning. I had the next two.

During my first takeoff roll around 80 knots I saw several birds flying at and angle towards the airplane. Not worth aborting for. I simply said "shoooo birds".....and they moved.

Mostly normal flight. In just the first 15 minutes we were assigned three different arrivals. The final arrival meant a reversal of the airport arrival and departure pattern. The approach controller stated we could slow waaaaay down or expect holding. I slowed down to 250 knots at FL300.

We inched our way in and done.

Quick turn and off to the overnight in the odd state of Louisiana.

Still a vegetarian...still have problems finding places that have vegetarian options.

Google Maps is my friend. I found a greek place that worked for lunch.

Early van. Left early on leg one and arrived early. Leg 2 was back to the airport we just left. Sure enough birds swarmed during the flare. Saw no bird parts or blood on the post flight.

Leg 3 was on time. Once in we had a break for lunch.

For leg 4 I arrived to a wet aircraft. I dropped off my bags and headed out for the preflight. Upon inspecting the nose gear I saw a problem. It looked like blood all around the main gear.....but I wasn't sure.

I headed back up to the flight deck. The Captain was getting settled in. I picked up the logbook and looked for a bird or animal strike entry. Nothing. I did see an entry where a front tire was replaced a week ago.

I told the Captain what I saw and he felt it was best to have a mechanic inspect it.

Boarding started and we waited. Fifteen minutes before departure a mechanic walked up...looked around....then looked up at me with the "What damage" look. I went outside.

As it turns out what I thought was blood...was grease. A lot of grease. The mechanic said when the tire was replaced there was too much grease inserted into the axle. Once everything was finished the extra grease shot out of the side.



Learning lesson for me. Better safe than sorry.

My leg out. Rain and low clouds at the out station. Only a localizer approach.

I have never had so many bird encounters on a trip. The largest swarm of birds yet came into view at around 100 feet. We both thought for sure we'd hit a few. We didn't hear anything but, again to be safe we advised the tower who had airport operations inspect the runway. I did a very detailed post-flight.

Airport operations found nothing. I found nothing as well. Lucky indeed.

Last leg back was totally normal.

Happy to be done.

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