Sunday, February 14, 2010

No Einstein

Another long day.

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Woke up at 5:00AM. Left the house at 5:20AM. Signed in for airport standby/reserve at 5:56AM. Went to sleep until 7:35AM. Sat in the crew room with the Captain on airport standby from then till around 9:45AM. At that point I was on the phone with my wife when I heard the home phone ringing in the background. My wife quickly learned to not answer calls from "Unknown". She didn't answer.

Sure enough it was Crew Scheduling calling and left a voicemail advising that a 1:10PM departure had been placed in my schedule. Not just any Crew Scheduler....the same person who called me on my overnight wondering why I wasn't signed in for airport standby in base. No Einstein.

I called the scheduler back. Very possible...I questioned why they called me 5 times the day prior asking why I wasn't signed in for standby when a quick check would have shown I was on an overnight and why did they call my HOME phone number when they knew I was on airport standby. They had no answer for the first question. As for the second they stated they simply called the first number listed and asked if I would like to update my phone numbers. Frustrated I stated my phone numbers were listed correctly as Home and Cell. My cell number hasn't changed since I started at my airline. answer. No scheduler in the last 2 1/2 years has called me at home when I was on airport standby. Not a single one.

Normally the ready reserve is used for last minute flights due to a crew arriving late, calling in sick, or equipment changes. Anything over 2 hours away is normally covered by reserves at home. Problem reserves at home.

Fine. I did report the problems I had with this individual from scheduling. Some additional training  appears to be required.

The flight was an upgrade from smaller equipment. Another airline cancelled the 3/4 full morning flight on a 50 seater. The next flight at 1:10PM was half full. In order to get everyone to the destination they needed a larger plane...hence my plane.

For whatever reason they didn't call the standby Captain until 12:40PM. When questioned why the big discrepancy between notification times, they stated they were hoping another Captain would become available (like out of thin air?!?!).

The destination was somewhere I had never been prior.

After eating lunch I headed to the plane. The flight was blocked 2 1/2 hours out and 3 hours back, arriving at 7:05PM. At best it would be a little over 13 hours on duty and being awake for 14 hours.

By 1:25PM there were 65 bodies in the back. Slight delay for a flight attendant who's inbound flight was running late. A jump seater from Delta, came up to the cockpit to ask for a ride. The Captain inspected his documents and welcomed him aboard. There was room in the back which is fine as the jumpseat isn't comfy. We were then held for late connecting passengers.

Then more delays as the passenger count was off. One too few seats intially. No problem, the jump seater quickly came up front. New problem, the gate agent said he wasn't flight deck authorized and he would not be on the flight. That lit a fire in my normally calm Captain. Out he went and told the gate agent to fix the problem as the jump seater IS flight deck authorized. The problem could have come from the Northwest to Delta switch.

Yadda, yadda, yadda he ended up getting a seat in the back and we left out 2:18PM.

The Captain took the outbound. We cruised at max cruise speed which worked out to Mach .81. That shaved 22 minutes off the block time.

Arriving at the outstation I went in to find warm food. None too be found. Everything closed 30 minutes prior to our arrival. If we had been on time I could have had my choice.  I grabbed some snacks from my suitcase and a coke from the galley....that would be dinner.

Flying back seemed to take forever. The lack of food and the long day began taking it's toll on my body. As we began the final descent to base I had been on duty for 13 1/2 hours.....awake for 14 1/2 hours. Tired.

Pulling into the gate I was happy to see a crew ready to fly it out. I was at that point I was fatigued. At 8:05PM I went off duty. The Captain and I were both assigned to be back at the airport for 6AM standby. Thankfully my wife was waiting outside to pick me up. As soon as I got home I went to bed.

This morning started at 4:50AM. Out the door at 5:20AM and signing in at 5:55AM. Another long day. Hoping to not go anywhere. I'm "only" legal for 15 hours of duty since I had less than 10 hours of "rest" (9 hours and 55 minutes to be exact).

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