Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Her look was priceless

Yesterday was a long day.

Up at 4:55AM. Out the door at 5:15AM. On the bus at 5:35AM. Sign in at 5:55AM. Morning airport standby.

Thought it would be a boring day. Nah. Called at 9:30AM for a 9:40AM deadhead to a maintenance base to ferry a plane back. Told the scheduler I would be there as quickly as a I can. I'm through rushing for scheduling. No thanks. They should have planned better. Improper planning on their part does not constitute an emergency on my part. Made it fine along with the standby Captain.

After walking from the terminal to the hangar we were not surprised to learn the plane wasn't quite ready. Short delay we were ready to leave. With just us on board we had to close the main cabin door ourselves. Something we don't normally do. The door markers indicated closed as did our cockpit door monitoring system. After starting up the second engine we got red flashing warning lights accompanied by "Door! Door!" being announced over the speakers.

I hopped up and made sure all the door closed marks were lined up. They were. I tried cycling the door a few times. No joy. Not fixed. After a visit by the lead mechanic it seemed it was an anomaly. Couldn't reproduce it. Away we went.

I took the leg back to base. There was 10,000 pounds of fuel on board. Takeoff weight was a scant 56,000 pounds.

A 2009 Chevrolet Z06 does o-100 in about 11 seconds. I didn't time it, but we went 0-130 (150 MPH) knots in under 3000 feet..had to be less than 12 seconds. Being so light I had to be careful not to over rotate. The second segment climb at 200 knots equated to 4500 feet per minute sustained. Our clearance was to 5000 feet. Prior to takeoff I requested higher and was given 12000 feet. This was better than a roller coaster as I was in control. Awesome.

Of course the landing was little tricky. Even on speed it floated. Not bad.

Once back in base we were assigned to sit for 2 hours then ferry another plane back to the maintenance base and dead head back.

This time there was only 7000 pounds on fuel on board. Captains leg. We both had goofy smiles on our faces.

The departure had a 6000 foot minimum crossing altitude restriction. Normally we cross the fix at 7000-8000 feet. On this trip we were at 13000 feet. Awesome.

After parking the plane we at 3:05PM we sat around until 5:30PM for a deadhead home. Long day. I ended my duty day at 7PM. Thirteen hour work day. On the employee bus I saw a flight attendant I've worked with a few times. She was happy as she finally got a hard line. When I told her about my day and that I had to be back at 6AM she looked at her watch and said, "wait, really?" Priceless.

Home by 7:30PM. Tired. Bed at 10PM. Up at 4:55AM. Back again today at 6AM. Glad I don't commute. Could be very expensive as morning airport reserve crews don't normally get overnights.

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