Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Bose QC15 + UFlyMike headset....needs a little adjustment

Had a nice two day trip. Aside from missing a meeting with my wife, it all went well. The Captain was very shall I say.....quirky.

Over the last two years I have flown with almost every Captain at my base. I have a mental Rolodex on how each one operates. Captain Richmond likes to single engine taxi and use the highest flex thrust temp possible. Captain Holcomb however wants the APU running until the second engine is started, he could care less about saving the company money. Captain Wallwin is just here for the paycheck....he could care less about anything other than getting his paycheck. I could go on...but the point is I know how they operate and to fit into their world.

The Captain for my overnight was all over the place. Could never get a "fix" on how he operates. He isn't based at my base, he commuted in for an overtime trip.

The front flight attendant was very interesting. She started at my airline when I was still in junior high (I'm not incredibly old or young....32 years old). Before she came here she was at Eastern Airlines. We talked about Eastern Airlines, Frank Lorenzo and such. She told me before Eastern airlines went under she was making $37 an hour and an easy $50K a year due to work rules and such. Mind you Eastern Airlines went under in 1991. She said she just now got up to $33 an hour at my airline. I was shocked. I thought for sure Flight Attendants earned more than that. They deserve more as their job is often much harder than mine. She is happy though. She is perfect for the job. Quick witted, humorous, always thinking one step ahead and truly cares about the passengers safety and comfort. This was my first time flying with her and I look forward to flying with her again. Knowing I have a great flight attendant back there helps make the flight more enjoyable for me and the passengers.

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The overnight was short. On the way to the airport I saw our plane sitting in a hangar. This outstation has contract maintenance that does a lot of tire changes, oil changes and small work. Since it was likely in the hangar all night, as long as it didn't start snowing, we could get by without deicing.

Because that would have been ideal, it didn't happen. As the mechanics pulled the plane into the gate, it started snowing. The outstation has a really good de-icing system. They line up one truck on each side of the plane and go at it. The trucks are very high tech as the driver controls the steering  as he sits inside of a cab attached to an arm that's up in the air deicing the plane.

Once back in base I had a Captain swap. The next Captain and I were supposed to fly together twice over the last 3 days. The first time was Christmas Eve when the flight cancelled. The second time was the previous night when I was assigned a different trip at the last minute. When he came up I said, "Well Dave, I guess I can't avoid flying with you anymore." He laughed. I have flown with him only twice before. He is an incredibly intelligent guy. He graduated at the top of his class in Aeronautical Engineering. First time I flew with him he was incredibly quiet. Since then we have the normal chit chat.

The turn was just an hour out and back.

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So with this trip I have used my new Bose Quiet Comfort 15 headphones an UFlyMike setup quite a bit. The verdict? Pretty good. The QC15 + UFlyMike setup is quieter than my previous Telex 500 ANR headset. My biggest annoyance is the microphone. It isn't very clear. I know it's a tuning issue on my part. It sounds quiet muffled and tinny. Eventually I will get around to adjusting the bias on it. Is it worth the money? Well the QC15's are $299 and the UFlyMike with the TSO required ear phones are over $300. That's a good $600....ouch. Of course as a lowly regional First Officer I can't afford that. My wife who has a Master's in Forensics (she's a DNA Analyst) bought it for me.

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