Saturday, October 30, 2010

Odd noise

I have roughly 1400 hours at my airline. All in the same plane. I know it fairly well. Over time I know what noises are normal and which ones aren't.

Since I had a line this month, almost every flight was the same. Depart at 6:10AM and a scheduled return at 12:20PM.

Last Tuesday was a little different.

High winds, rain and light snow were over the outstation. Winds were blowing 250@17G28 while the autopilot lined up with runway 30. The winds aloft were much higher showing 60knots + at 3500 feet AGL.

Like normal I began slowing from 250 knots to prepare for landing. After calling for the third flap setting I called for gear down. The plane was at 160 knots. Maximum gear extension speed is over 200 knots.

I heard the gear extend, but then stop, a metallic scraping noise, extend, another odd clunk, and that was it.

I paused and looked over, three green lights, but then there was a proximity sensor status message. Something wasn't right.

Still in the clouds, in icing conditions, the Captain and I discussed the situation while I monitored the autopilot flying the approach. We agreed that we indeed had three green lights and that the proximity status message is a "no action required" item during flight. I decided I would make a soft as possible landing and be very gentle on the nose. The runway was 8500 feet long and our charts showed we needed 3900 feet to stop on a wet runway.

I eased the mains onto the runway. Slowly I let the nose down....normal. I used maximum reverse and minimal braking to keep weight off the nose.

Everything seemed fine until the Captain turned off the runway.....another horrible scraping sound.

My eyes were fixated on the ramp personnel guiding us into the gate. If there was an issue it would show in his face. Sure enough he tilted his head as we came to a stop.

After the passengers were off, I stepped off the plane to inspect the damage. Once on the jetbridge I looked down and saw the problem, a gear door was severely damaged. It had wrapped itself behind the nose gear.

Further inspection showed we were fairly lucky the nose gear came down and locked into place. The hydraulic system on the plane is very strong which likely what helped push the gear into place despite the door being bent/damaged.

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A mechanic came out. Not much he could do right away. The return flight was cancelled and we were all placed on the next flight (3 hours later!) back to our domicile as deadheads. As luck would have it we all got first class seats.

I still get paid for my cancelled flight plus I get paid for deadheading. I had a nice first class meal on the way back. It was a little annoying getting back 3 hours late.

I flew my last trip of the year last night.  I have a few more post lined up before this blog begins to get stale for a bit.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Eyes wide open

Choosing to fly for a living is a bigger decision than say....choosing to work in a call center for a living. A larger personal and financial investment is required to fly for a living.

Before jumping into becoming an airline pilot, a lot of prep work is my opinion.

My wife and I knew that the first year or two would be rough. We saved and prepared our budgets to live on mostly just her income. We then started (and continue to) live UNDER our means. Anything extra is just that...extra.

When I started at my airline we had money saved to supplement the first year pay.

It helped that I had been "in the real" world for a few years and thus had money saved away. I truly can't imagine going from high school....or even college straight to an airline.

I came across a website ( that does a pretty good job comparing just about every United States regional airline pay for the first 3 years.

I was surprised where my airline landed.

The graphs show minimum pay excluding per diem. Before jumping to a regional, pay should be examined and a reality check performed. Can you truly make it on first year pay ? Saving up a a few thousand dollars as a "just in case fund" would be a really smart idea in my opinion.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A lot of time in jumpseats

Looking forward to November 1st and doing as little as possible.

I have about 20 hours left to fly between now and then. Fifteen from my line and 5 overtime. The good thing is the 5 hours is out of my domicile, not my TDY domicile.

Four of my friends planned a trip to Vegas over the weekend. My wife and I planned to go. It would be our first trip alone since having my daughter.

We wanted to leave Friday morning and return Sunday night. Well the National Rodeo Finals were in town over weekend. Flights out Sunday were overbooked in all directions.

Instead we planned to go out Thursday night and return Saturday night. My mother in law flew in to watch my daughter.

Thursday night flights began to fill out of nowhere. It wasn't looking good. My wife was really looking forward to going to Vegas as we used to go a lot....and were married there.

We gave ourselves two flights to get out. We both packed our clothes in my suitcase...this decision would later come to bite us.

Ten minutes to departure and the first flight was full, but a few passengers were not yet on board. The agent began calling names. They finally called my name. Just one seat open in the cabin....and the flight deck jumpseat. Done.

The flight crew was nice.  I wasn't looking forward to the jumpseat...especially on a narrow body.

I squeezed in and sat down. We arrived and were happy to have made it.

The flights back Saturday night were really open...about 60 seats between the last two flights.

Saturday afternoon around 2PM I checked the flights....something bad happened.

Turns out there were several cancellations. Suddenly everything was overbooked. We said goodbye to our friends and headed to the airport.

The standby list were incredibly long. Several revenue passengers in addition to non-revs. List was 50 deep and every flight was full. Time for a back up plan.

My wife and I have discussed this situation in the past. One where I could go (flight deck jumpseat) but she would have to stay behind. In 3 years on non-reving we have never had to execute such a plan.

She began looking at ways out of Vegas on Southwest. I looked at ways out via places Southwest flew. Finally found a way.

She called Southwest to list as a non-rev. I called my airline and arranged a ZED (Zonal Employee Discount) pass. Just about every airline participates in the ZED program. It's a set fee based on certain lengths. Staying in one zone and pay the one zone  fare. Going further, you pay the next zone length fare. Her flight for a one zone flight was a reasonable $40.

I heard my name called for the jumpseat. I saw a Southwest pilot trying to jumpseat as well. I knew the next flight 30 minutes later had no jumpseaters and gave the Southwest pilot the seat so I could sqaure away details for my wife.

She was a bit frazzled as this situation developed very quickly. We both knew if she didn't get out of Vegas Saturday night, there was no chance of getting out Sunday.

My name was called again and I had to leave. Problem....all her clothes were in my suitcase. I needed the suitcase so I could wash my clothes and commute to my TDY on Sunday. I quickly transferred clothes to my Ipad bag and gave her the bag sans my Ipad.

Even though it's my mainline carrier operating the flight, I still follow proper jumpseat procedure by asking the Captain for a ride. Done. I took my jumpseat (in a wide body....much more room!) and watched my wife through the window.

She had to quickly pay for her ZED pass and then make it over to the Southwest gates. She thankfully got a seat (Southwest is VERY nice to non-revs from other airlines).

Once I landed I got a text she sent previously asking if I could arrange for a hotel. I quickly made a reservation at a hotel using a discount code from a previous employer (La Quinta has great rates and nice rooms!).

I arrived at home at 10:30PM. My wife arrived at her hotel at 9:30PM. She would be leaving the next day at 6AM. I later told her that's how many of my overnights are. I arrive in the dark and leave in the dark, never seeing much beyond what's between the airport and the hotel.

This morning I woke up and began planning my commute. The morning flights were open, but I was beat, and wanted to spend time with my daughter. I realized I would likely end up in another jumpseat.

I picked my wife up from the airport at 10:15AM. She brought me back to the airport at 12:30PM.

Once again the flight was full. I was given the flight deck jumpseat again....on a narrow body.

Long flight. Great crew who even gave me one of their crew meals.

I work the next three days at my TDY domicile before finally heading home Wednesday evening or Thursday morning....depending on how tired I am....and the flight loads. I don't care to sit on a jumpseat if I can avoid it.

Oh...I was up quite a bit on Thursday night in Vegas.....downhill from there...made a good size donation to the local economy.

The standby list for flights out of Vegas on my mainline carrier is over 100 deep. Majority are non-rev's who will NOT be getting out tonight.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Home for a bit

Finished my turn yesterday. We were 30 minutes early thanks to clear skies and a strong tailwind.

During the approach the controller told everyone "180 knot to till 5 mile final". No big deal, just a little more work on the descent.

Well, unbeknownst to me, the plane ahead was a turboprop. Once on with tower we were advised to slow to final approach speed as we were overtaking the aircraft ahead by 70 knots. Nice.

The turboprop cleared the runway while we descended through 1000 feet. Non issue.

Parked the plane at 12:15PM. At 1:10PM I was sitting in the back of a mainline flight for my commute home. Very tired.

Next month my day trip line is gone. The turn is now part of a multiday trip. Once back from the turn the line has the crew flying 2 hours to an overnight. Seven and a half hours of flying that starts with a 5:30AM report time. Seeing as my Captain was getting up at 3:30AM to leave the house by 4AM to make the 90 minute journey to work....that's a long day! I get up at 4:30AM and am dead tired by the time we are back. That's with me going to bed at 9PM the night prior. Early starts are rough.

My wife and daughter picked me up. I had been away for 6 days. A few hours later my mother in law flew in as she is going to watch my daughter while my wife and I escape down to Vegas for a few days. I commute back on Sunday, home for good on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. My last flight of the year will be on Friday evening.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Couldn't ask for better timing

Finished my overtime trip yesterday. Scheduled to land at 11:40 AM. My wife and daughter were scheduled to land at 11:30AM.

Overnight was at an airport I've been to just a handful of times. Large airport and a bit confusing.

I remembered there was something I was supposed to do prior to push back....but couldn't remember what it was. All checklist were done correctly. Hmmm....

We pushed back and I called to taxi. Ramp gave a spot number and away we went. When I called ground I was told ramp "pushed us the wrong way" and that we need to exit at the other end of the ramp. Ding! I was supposed to call metering who gives the runway. I then am supposed to tell ramp which runway. This isn't documented anywhere I know of....just one of those things you have to know.

No big deal.

Once at cruise ATC asked again for max forward as my flight was leading the pack. Smooth air... Mach .83 it was.

Nearing the airport I heard the call sign and flight number carrying my wife and daughter. The flight sounded like it was right behind me.

Beautiful day. Cleared for a visual while on the downwind. As I turned final I again heard the flight number my wife was on.

Touched down at 11:20AM. As the Captain taxi'd the plane to the gate, the plane carrying my wife and daughter touched down.

I walked out of the gate to see them both waiting for me. I couldn't have asked for better timing.

Today I flew my regular day trip. The winter winds are here a little early. Above FL300 headed west, winds were 80-100 knots on the nose.

Normally when my morning flight leaves on time we arrive 20-40 minutes early. Today we were right on time due the high head winds. Of course on the return flight we were 35 minutes early thanks to the tailwind.

Today is day 4 of 6. Wednesday I head home. My mother in law is flying in Wednesday night to watch my daughter while my wife and I head to Vegas for the weekend.

Even though I have 17 days off this month and could spent a lot of time at home, my wife is enjoying her last month off before returning to work by traveling. A lot. I think I have slept in my own bed 2 nights this month. The rest have been in hotels.

November 1st though....I become Mr. Mom.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lost the overnight

I should be in Canada right now.

Last night my 3 day overtime trip started. Was supposed to be a simple turn then a Canada overnight.

Due to the Nor'easter the winds were gusting to 40 MPH+ which shutdown 1/2 the runways. On a good day there is normally only a 10-20 minute delay. Take away 1/2 the runways...well.

My 3:40PM departure was pushed to 5PM. We pushed out at 5:15PM. The Captain was new to the plane and decided to take the outbound flight to "let" me handle the gusty wind approach back. I didn't mind, and it made sense since I have 1300 hours + in the plane.

Inching down the taxiway we were number 15 for departure. With staggered arrivals and departures it would be at least 30 minutes.

Once we rotated I heard a howling sound. A sound I haven't heard in over a year.

One the front on most commercial jets there are various hatches and panels. They allow ground power to be connected as well as an interphone to be connected so the ground crew can communicate with the flight deck.

One of those hatches was left open.

For whatever reason the aircraft designers didn't design the panel to allow it to close if left open and the aircraft is in flight.

Even my noise cancelling headset was no match for the howling noise. I stuffed ear plugs under my headset. Better.

By the time we arrived at the outstation we were 2 hours late. I gave a call to maintenance to inspect the hatch. Turns out it wasn't the communication hatch, which is most common, was the ground power hatch.

While on the ground I checked my schedule. Due to our being so delayed, the Canada overnight was given to a ready reserve crew.

The mechanic inspected the hatch. No contact was made with the skin of the aircraft. He signed it off as fine.

Pushed out in 40 minutes, not bad considering the slight mechanical delay.

After pushing back, more bad news came....30 minute wait for our wheels off time.

My leg. On climb out we were restricted to 250 knots till advised. Then came word for maximum forward airspeed as we were leading the pack.....330 knots it is.

Descending back into the NY area was really bumpy. Very high winds and light rain. While being vectored for the approach we were at 4000 feet...the bases of the clouds. Very rough ride.

Assigned a localizer approach. First one in a while. Due to the winds the plane was lined up with the localizer, but the nose was pointed 20 degrees to the left.

An unfamiliar airport for me....especially at night.

I picked up the runway 4 miles out. Slow descent. Tower advised +/- 10 knots all the way to the runway. I added 10 knots to my airspeed and advised the Captain that I would keep that until short final.

Autopilot clicked off at 1200 feel AGL. It was rough. The airspeed did indeed fluctuate all the way down to the runway.

The sink rate increased sharply at 200 feet. A little more thrust and pushing the nose down slightly corrected it.

I idled the thrust levers at 20 feet and began the flare. The sink rate quickly increased. I thought for sure I was going to have a firm landing. The gusty wind and a little luck allowed for a surprisingly smooth landing.

I had not worked so hard to land a plane in a while. Night + gusty winds + unfamiliar airport = break time.

My crew is all based here and commutes. The flight attendant is a line holder, no crash pad. He began calling family looking for a place to stay. My Captain has a crash pad but hates it. He called another Captain here on TDY (who was assigned our Canada overnight) while we were at the outstation. My Captain took the other Captains hotel room.

For my line holder flight attendant, if he didn't have family to stay with he would have to spend at least $200 for a hotel room. Quite the hit in the pocket book.

I lost out on my Canada overnight, but I still get paid for it. I have the entire day off until 4:50PM when I head to another overnight. It's 12 hours long. Get back tomorrow morning. Tomorrow afternoon my wife and daughter are non-reving up for a few days.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Made the right choice

I had to be back in my temporary base by 2:55PM today.

I began looking at my options yesterday. Flights yesterday were all very full. Flights today were even worse.

Due to weather in the north east yesterday,  flights were delayed. Which tends to help non-revs.

The 5:20PM flight was delayed until 6:15PM. The 6:25PM flight was delayed until 7:20PM. The 7:20PM flight was on time. There were a handful of open seats on the 7:20PM flight....the last flight of the night. Before I left home I was number 28 on the standby list....but the only pilot which meant I could get the jump seat.

My wife dropped me off at 6:20PM. I breezed through security and was at the gate at 6:40PM. I took out my IPad to see where I was on the standby list. Things got a little worse, I was number 30. Only 15 open seats, but again I was the only pilot.

Within a minute I heard my name called. Surely I was getting the jump seat. To my surprise the agent said she had a window seat and that I was the first person to come up as she had been calling standby names for a while. I was shocked.

The seat was in the last row, but it was a seat. Sure enough there were a lot of no shows. I think this was due to many passengers were at the delayed 6:25PM flight.

I was on the hotel shuttle at 11:45PM. There was a flight attendant who got on with me. No other crew. She said her crew left without her because there wasn't enough room. Ouch.

This morning I took a look at the direct flights here. First flight went out full with a mainline jump seater meaning I would likely have not had a seat. The second flight cancelled. My back up option of making a 2 hop connection wouldn't have worked as the second leg cancelled. I would have been in a serious jam.

By coming up last night I am more rested anyway. Today I do a turn and then a Canada overnight. I'm going to have to read up on Canada operations as I know they do things a little differently up there.

Thursday, October 14, 2010


Sitting on MY own couch right now. Finished my trip at 12:20PM yesterday, had lunch and hopped on a 2PM flight home.

Including the commute flight home I was in the air almost 9 hours yesterday. Takes a toll on you.

I have to be back in my temporary domicile by 2:55PM tomorrow. Flights are full today and tomorrow mid-morning. I am going to have to take the 6AM flight out tomorrow. I will get in just after 10AM. Should have time to go back to my hotel for lunch and a nap before starting my trip.

Tomorrow is all overtime. I do 3 legs tomorrow, 2 Saturday and 1 Sunday.

Sunday afternoon my wife and daughter are going to non-rev up to my temporary domicile. Her brother just bought a house up there. Should be fun.

Finally took some photos during my early morning turn. I will say it's nice to watch the sunrise while sipping coffee at 40,000 feet. Never gets old.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Squawk 7700

I'm 70% done with my current book, Squak 7700, and I am not sure if I will finish it.

The book describes the journey from guy on the street to a commercial pilot. The author details his journey of getting his private license, flying night frieght, being hired by a regional airline, quitting the day he finishes IOE and going back to frieght.

The author implies it's foolish for anyone to work for a Regional Airline. That really struck a nerve with me.

I was able to relate to many of his experiences as I went through some of  them on my journey from my cubicle to the cockpit.

It should be known that regional airlines don't attempt to hold your hand on the journey to the flight deck. It's a business with thousands of employees.

There is a stressful side of flying for a regional airline. Long days, very short overnights, mechanical delays, weather delays, long stints away from homes, low pay, and more. Not to leave out the variety of backgrounds and personalities that make up the flight crews.

It took me a while to get used to having 9 hours between blocking in and reporting for duty the next day...lucky to get 5 hours of sleep.

Being away from home also took getting used to. The lowish pay (First year pay is horrible at even Major airlines) was a little hard, but now I am on 3rd year pay it's very liveable. It's all about preparation.

My wife and I saved and prepped our budgets well ahead of me applying to a regional. It helps that we had both lived in "the real world" for a few years.

Is it all worth it? Apparently it wasn't for the author.

To be fair, his airline based him in Puerto Rico, far from another country. When I was hired my wife and I both planned for the worst, that I too would be based far from home. Lucky for us it didn't happen.

I love my job. I love being able to fly my family around the country for practically free. I love seeing my extended family several times a year even though they are scattered around the United States. I love transporting military off on leave home to their families. I love flying.

Do I wish I were paid more? Sometimes. The pay disparity between Captain and First Officer is a bit larger than I think it should be. Do I wish overnights were longer? Yeah, but that's coming with the new Flight Time/Duty Time regulations. Beyond that...I'm happy.

My airline keeps the aircraft very well maintained. The training department is top notch. Ninety-nine percent of the flight crews I work with love their jobs. How many other jobs allow an employee to move work days around at whim to get time off for Doctor visits, vacations or a family function. Most "real" jobs have 8 days off a month...just the weekends. I've never had less than 10 days off....many months I have 12-14 days off.

There are certainly worse places to be.

Regionals aren't for everyone.

Just had to vent.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Criss Crossing the Country

Busy last couple of days.

Wednesday I blocked in from my turn at 12:10PM. I listed to fly home on a 1:35PM flight.

My plan was to rush back to my hotel room, drop off my kit bag and pick up a few things and dash back to the airport.

I called the hotel at 12:17PM. The shuttles TO the airport run every 15 minutes on top of the hour. I figured the shuttle would just be leaving the hotel. I was told the van was on the way.

I waited. And waited. My "bingo" time was 12:35PM. After that I would not have time to head back to the airport and catch my flight.

That time came and went. Ugh.

I headed to the crew room to drop off my kit bag, grabbed lunch and headed to the gate. Boarding had started before I arrived. I got a decent bulkhead seat. Because I was in a bulkhead I had to stash all of my lunch was in my bag.

After cruise I ate my cold lunch. Eh.

Landed at 4:05PM. Gate at 4:15PM. My wife picked me up at 4:20PM. Off to my allergy doctor.

I get allergy shots once a week. Hard to do as I am based away from home.

Thankfully I had just enough time to take off my uniform pieces (wearing my uniform out and about is against policy) and get my shot.

That night I spent time with my daughter and packed for Disneyland.

Thursday morning we headed to Los Angeles. Open flight, row to ourselves. My daughter even had her own seat.

Disneyland was great. Met up with my sister in laws and my niece. Even though my daughter is just two months, she was able to go on a few rides. I enjoyed spending time with her and see her develop. She spent a lot of time looking around and taking everything in.

After two long days at Disneyland it was time to go home. Flights back were fullish.

We listed on the first flight out. There were no two seats together. My wife got an aisle and I got a middle. Hmm.

I politely asked the man in the asile next to my middle if he would swap with my wife's aisle seat. He begrudeonly agreed. I wasn't in uniform, I was just a guy with a baby.

I "had" to hold my daughter for the flight. No biggie. I enjoyed it. Last week I bought a Kindle....came in handy as I could hold her and the Kindle.

Landed at 1:15PM. Home at 1:55PM. I had enough time to repack my suitcase, eat lunch and reload my Zune before having my wife drive me back to the airport to catch a 3:30PM flight back to my temporary base.

I walked into my hotel room at 8:50PM. Long...but great weekend.

This week I work Monday-Wednesday. I picked up a 3 day trip on overtime on Friday with a report time of 2:30PM. I plan on heading home again at 1:30PM Wednesday and commuting back on an early flight Friday morning. My wife and daughter might come up on Sunday afternoon which works out nicely as I finish my 3 day Sunday morning.

Monday, October 4, 2010

I just walked out of the airport....

First day of me flying an actual hard line in almost 3 years. I held a line one month right after I was hired...then never again.

Everyday I sign in at 5:30AM. The hotel vans run every 15 minutes on the hour. I could take a 5:15AM van...but that's cutting it too close. Instead I took a 5 AM van which worked out perfectly.

Since I am living in a hotel, most of my clothes are unpacked. I packed just a nights worth of clothes in my suitcase (loving my Strongbag!) and headed out.

Cleared security at 5:20AM and was at my gate minutes later.

Met the Captain I would be flying with for the month at the plane around 5:50AM. He is new to the plane. I have more than 10X the time in the plane than he does. Of course he has 10X my total time. Together we are good. Things were looking good...until we looked back in the cabin...we needed a flight attendant.

Time 6:05AM. Another Captain came down to our flight deck. He was to have left at 6AM. He also needed a flight attendant. Yadda, yadda, yadda, we pushed out at 6:40AM.

The Captain said yesterday they pushed on time and took off right away. With our late push we were number 9 for departure. High winds and rain. Not a great way to start a day.

I'd only flown out of this airport once before. I was a little slower than normal as I had to look up frequencies for Ramp, Ground, Tower and then interpret the instructions from each.

Thirty minutes after we pushed I lifted the nose into the air. The New York area airspace is tight. The departure procedure is a little more complicated than I am used to. Worked out fine.

The flight time was padded quite a bit. Even with a 20 minute late departure we blocked in to the out station 4 minutes late...which is "on time" according to the DOT.

The weather at the out station was VFR. Weather back at base was getting worse. Due to the weather we had 40 minutes added to our departure time in the form of an EDCT.

Captains leg back. The closer we get, the more we are slowed. Slowest was 180 knots while still 50 miles away. Lots of RADAR vectors. In the clouds the entire time.

As we started the ILS approach I realized it was my first "real" ILS in several months. I had briefed and flown ILS approaches weekly, but all were done in VFR conditions.

Once with tower we were advised of a gain/loss of 10 knots at 300 feet. Sure enough the speed was up and down between 500 feet and 300 feet.

We blocked in 15 minutes late. That's even with the 40 minute delay. Again padded times.

It was an odd feeling once I was done today. I just walked out of the airport. No need to call scheduling. Odd feeling indeed.

Tomorrow...the same...but hopefully with a flight attendant.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Last month of the year

Today is the start of my last month of flying for the year. Also the first day of a full month of TDY.

My line started today with a 6:15 AM departure. Since my contract states my company can only deadhead me to my TDY on a working day, I couldn't do my first turn.

Scheduling pulled me off of my turn this morning and deadheaded me to my TDY base (I even scored First Class). The contract states that any flying that I am pulled from for a contractual or legality basis, I be paid for. This is going to be a great month for me pay wise.

My line value is 76 hours. I picked up an additional 17 hours of overtime flying. So, as long as I show up I get paid for 95 hours minimum.

I'll start with the overtime.

I picked up a 6 hour trip last week on the 30th that finished on the 1st. The pay would be split between the two months. It was one leg to the overnight (1 hour). one leg to an outstation (3 hours) and a deadhead back to base (3 hours but paid at 75%). One hour for September, five for October.

On the 28th scheduling decided to use a different aircraft type for the first leg and put me on the flight as a deadhead. Then on the 29th they downgraded the second leg...and put me on as a deadhead. Suddenly the entire trip was a deadhead. Hmmm. The night of the 29th I got a voicemail stating they pulled me from the flight. I just got paid for 6 hours of flight that I didn't have too do.

My next 12 hours of OT comes up on the 15th. It's an easy 3 day trip including an international overnight.

I have 17 days off this month per my line. After all of my OT I still have 14 days off.

For the majority of my line I do the same trip. My flight departs at 6:10AM and returns at 12:25PM. Only on October 31st is there something different.

On the 31st I have a late evening turn that doesn't get back until 9PM. My TDY is thru Oct 31st meaning my airline has to give a good effort to get me home in October. This is especially true as I start FMLA on November 1st.

Becuase that last turn gets back AFTER the last flight back to my domicile, I was pulled from that turn....but will still be paid for it.

After all the math is done I am scheduled to fly 78 hours but will be paid for 95 hours. Not too shabby.

I did better in September kinda. I only fly 7 hours (second lowest of all time!) but was paid for 75 hours.