Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Blame Canada

This four day trip is only commutable on the back end. The trip started with a 6:05AM Monday morning.

I finish at 12:30PM Thursday. When I commute home it will be the first time for me to commute home when my wife and daughter are still awake.

Commuted up fine Sunday night.

Same hotel. When I got to my room I noticed a "Do Not Disturb" sign on the door...and I heard voices inside. Hmmm.

Back down to the front desk. They called the room, no one answered. I was given a new room.

Sleep at 10:20PM. Alarm went off at 4:15AM and I was on the 4:30AM bus.

I cleared security at 5:05AM and had 15 minutes to spare to sign in for my trip.

The Captain was new too the plane. He has been a Captain for a few years, but on a different aircraft.

During my preflight I noticed the nose strut was low, but within limits.

Boarding done. Ready to push....then everything came to a stop. The nose strut was too low for the ground crew to attach the strap to pick up the nose and push us back. Due to the weight of the passengers and cargo, now the nose was below limits. Mechanics called. They arrived and agreed. Everyone off the plane.

Thankfully it was early and there was a spare plane at the next gate. I walked over and did everything all over again. Blocked out 55 minutes late.

I've done very little international flying. How little? Well I've only used my passport once in 3 1/2 years.

This was just a turn, but I will be back on day 3 for an overnight.

My leg. On final I noticed the Candaian runway markings are very different than the US markings. The runway number was very small, no side markings and the center markings were different.

Quartering tailwind landing. The Candains use different phraseology than the United States. The "ramp" is an "apron" and so forth.

As long as we stayed on the plane (or in my case with the post flight in the footprint of the plane) there was no need to clear customs. Thrity minutes later we were taxiing out.

Told to "line up and wait" on runway 6. Very quiet on the radio. Final was clear.

After about a minute we were cleared for takeoff. I finished the before takeoff checklist and tower came back, "Flight 939 are you rolling?" I replied, "Yes Flight 939 rolling now."

I looked down at the TCAS and saw a target at 600 feet right behind us. Apparently a plane was on final for runway 6. They must have been on a different frequency as we never heard them.

Before we reached V1 we heard tower to tell them to "pick them up and go around." Again we didn't hear the other plane. This confirmed that he was indeed on another frequency (many airports have multiple tower frequencies).

They went around, we proceeded normally.

Once back at the hub we had a 45 minute turn....and another plane swap. Thankfully it was again one gate over.

Same cabin crew but a new Captain. A really new Captain....like 30 hours in the airplane new.

His leg. Long flight....almost 3 hours followed by a 17 hour overnight.

My leg back today. Arrived 30 minutes early. Didn't matter as I have a scheduled 4 1/2 hour sit before my next flight. This is part of my line.

Today my duty day is scheduled for 13 hours 40 minutes. Total flying is 7 hours 15 minutes. Tonight I have just 9 hours and 15 minutes of "rest". Tomorrow is just two legs with my ending back up in Canada.

One thing odd about Canada....few hotels have Wifi in the rooms. Mostly just wired. Me being me I packed an old wireless router.I'll be able to keep in contact with my wife via QIK video which uses Wifi. One thing I hate about international flying is being out of touch. Flying a 777 across the pond is not something I would envy right now....too much time cut off from the world.

This sequence I'm on is part of my bid line. I traded away 3 of the 4 trips as I don't care for the long sit or Canadian overnight. My other sequences are all in the United States and have no more than a 2 hour sit. Sitting around makes me tired. Stil got another 2 hours before I leave.

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