Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I can still land

My first flight was Monday night.

My report time was 8:40PM. I arrived early as security procedures at my airport had changed and I wanted to make sure I had time to review them.

The Captain I flew with was the same Captain I was with during my initial check ride. Laid back guy with a great sense of humor. Sometime before the flight I noticed a Check Airman was dead heading. It was a last minute addition.

At the gate the Check Airman stated we were getting a line check. Nice. He inspected my license and medical. It took me a little longer than normal to do my preflight as I had to get back into my groove.

Thankfully the Captain took the first leg. I could have done it, but appreciated him flying as I could get back into the swing of things.

Since I had been gone a new checklist had come out and a few procedures changed. That combined with me being gone for a bit slowed us down. Not terribly, but it wasn't totally smooth.

Normal flight for the most part. Check airman was in the jump seat observing.

During the approach phase things got a little busy as the FMS didn't display the identifier for the localizer. I had to whip out the approach chart and verify the morse code. This caused me to miss arming the thrust reversers when I normally arm them (after I lower the gear). This was caught by the check list....that's why we use them.

Being in a hotel again was a change. I had forgotten what it's like to have limited food choices. Over the last few months I had been eating at home. Healthy stuff. Eh.

We got in late...just prior to midnight. The next morning I slept in till 10AM. Having a 5 month old daughter means I never get to sleep in at home. I took full advantage of being away.

I trudged through the snow for lunch. Taco Bell. Eh. It was hot and passed for food.

The flight back was my leg. The checklist and flows went faster. One pet peeve I have is when at a fairly slow airport the tower controller should give any takeoff headings/instructions before being cleared for takeoff...especially when the guy is also the ground controller.

We never stopped from the time we left the gate until we got to the runway. Lined up for takeoff I was then told of a heading and altitude change. I read back, "turn left heading 080 and climb and maintain 7000, cleared for takeoff." Initially we had planned on flying runway heading to 10,000. Not a major deal, but it would have been easier to advise us before we were on the runway. Small pet peeve. Bleh.

Winter flight times are all blocked to include deice time. If no deicing is needed, flights are likely going to be early. Sure enough we did not need to be deiced and thus were way ahead of schedule.

During the arrival we were behind a mainline 737. For reasons not known to us they slowed down way early. There are speeds on the arrival chart that show when to slow down. Because they slowed down so rapidly we were given a 60 degree left turn off the arrival. Twice. The first time for about 5 minutes. We were then put back in line. Then once again the 737 slowed down early, left turn again.

Beautiful VFR arrival. My landing was absolutely average. Which is good considering I haven't landed in months and the sim lands nothing like the real plane (in my opinion anyway).

Blocked in 25 minutes early.

Today I am on a reserve call out. Short call. I dropped my daughter off at day care just in case I do get called out. I work thru Friday, off Saturday then work Sunday thru Tuesday.

It's great to be back at work.

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