Thursday, February 3, 2011

Crazy weather

Crazy weather is covering most of the United States this week.

Sunday I was assigned afternoon airport standby. As soon as I signed in I was given a trip. Deadhead to an outstation, fly back then off to an overnight.

Very senior crew. Flew with the flight attendant and Captain before. The Captain was #6 in seniority....number six. Super nice guy, 32,000 flying hours.

Most flying is done leg by leg with each pilot taking every other leg. This can mean one pilot always lands in base and one pilot always lands at an outstation. Kinda boring.

This Captain changed it up. He would take the flying on day one. I would do flying on day two and he would take the final leg in on day 3.

The first overnight was cold. We got in late. Straight to bed.

I packed enough food for three days. Lucky charms (dry) and coffee for breakfast.

Day 2 was simply two legs. One into base and one to the overnight.

The overnight was in the midwest. A huge storm was going to arrive on Tuesday. Even on Monday during my approach it was snowy, windy and low visibility.

Only one runway was open, 7R. This was being used for arrivals and departures. Approach vectored us around to get us in line. We were following a 737. The 737 slowed to approach speed very early causing Approach to vector us off the localizer then back on to it.

Runway came into view about 3/4 mile out. This was my first landing on snow for the season. It was my best landing since I had been back.

Taxiing in was rough as snow covered most of the taxiway lines.

After getting to the hotel I joined my crew for dinner at a local resturant. I forgot how much fun it is to go out as a crew. Walking through 4 inches of snow wasn't fun though....I hate snow.

The next morning we were to depart at 6AM. After clearing security I looked at a departure board and saw we were delayed by an hour. Many other flights were cancelled all together.

We went down to the plane (which was powered with ground power and heated with ground air....I love this out station!) and went through our morning duties. Then another hour delay was slapped on us. Time for breakfast.

We were delayed mostly due to the Passenger Bill of Rights. My airline will NOT risk a flight being delayed after pushing back. If there is even the slightest chance of being delayed after push back....the delay the flight. Too mush risk ? It cancels. To the flying're welcome.

Every passenger watched as we left the jet bridge and walked together to a cafe and sat down. No hurry as we weren't going anywhere.

After a nice breakfast we went back to the plane. I put my phone into hotspot mode (I love my Android phone) and then plugged it in an outlet on the jetbridge to charge. I then sat in the plane and used my Ipad to connect to my phone's hotspot. I am a geek after all.

Finally 4 hours late we blocked out. After deicing we slowly made our way to the runway.

We were west bound. Headwinds were over 100 knots. We climbed high and then just cruised. The closer we got to the hub the more vectors and speed reductions were given. The snow and wind caused the airport to have just one open runway versus the normal 4+. The Captain landed and we slowly taxied in. We were both tired having been up since 4AM. We blocked in at 1:35PM.

This is where this post will end as the next part deserves a post all it's own.

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