Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Forgot how much walking was involved

Day 2 started early.

Six AM van ride.

Four leg day. I used to do 4 legs all the time. It's been a while though.

Captain's leg. Blocked out 2 minutes early at 7:03AM. Since it was still somewhat early we didn't have to deal with any flow restrictions.

Smooth ride. An hour later he greased it onto the runway. My after landing flow was much better, didn't forget anything as I ran the check list.

We were fortunate to keep the same plane all day. Blocked in 3 minutes early. Forty minutes later we were being pushed back for the next flight.

My leg. Severe turbulence was reported above FL240 so we were filed for FL230. Not too bad of a ride.

I'd been to the outstation on my previous aircraft. The airport is bordered by mountains/high terrain on two sides including the departure end of the runway I was to land on. The missed approach procedure is a climbing 180 degree turn for a downwind. It's easy to see why once you're there....planes and mountains don't mix.

Descending a jet aircraft is similar to a prop. Tip the nose over and reduce power. It takes some mental math to figure out how fast to descend including airspeed and descent rate. It takes experience to know where you should be. I'm pretty good at it.

Coming in from the west it was a fairly straight in approach to runway 8. We were number two behind Southwest who was on a base leg.

We saw them 3500 feet below. We were kept high for separation.

For some reason the 737 blew right through center line. Big time. Way out. They then came on the radio reporting the localizer wasn't working. Tower came back with, "Yes sir it is NOTAM'd to be out of service." Ooops. I was hand flying and thus had not tuned in the localizer. Of COURSE I read that NOTAM about the localizer as well....cough , cough.

The 737 corrected and we were told to follow him. Being very high I had to dirty up the plane in order to descend and land in the touchdown zone. The 737 was 5 miles ahead and 3000 feet below. Steep descent.

All the flaps were extended as was the gear. I made another greaser landing in the touchdown zone.

I'm really liking this new plane. It floats much less, easier to hand fly and much easier to grease it on without eating up a ton of runway. My last plane was a handful on landing. It was very hard to get a great landing without floating a while.

Quick turn. I did have time to buy a snack. It'd been 5 hours since I left the hotel. Hungry.

The severe turbulence was supposed to have dissipated and we were filed for FL240 for the return leg.

The ride sucked. Constant moderate chop. The ride above FL280 was supposed to be good. We climbed up to FL320 and it was like glass. Nice.

Back in base 20 minutes early.We then had an hour till the next flight. Grabbed lunch and relaxed.

My leg to the overnight. Starting to get a little tired. Short flight. Made a firmish but not hard landing. Off to the overnight.

This overnight was interesting. The hotel was across the street so we all walked. The rest of the crew had been there before and talked bad about the overnight all day. I saw why. No elevator and no food around.

Our contract states we can not stay on the first floor (security concerns). Thus we all had to lug our bags up the stairs. Annoying. My kit bag alone weighs 26 pounds. eh.

I opened up Google Maps to find food. Nothing close. A 15 minute walk later I was at a fast food place. I could have eaten in the hotel, but eh I needed to walk.

Today is day 3. Another early start. Departure was at 5:55AM. I walked over to the airport at 5AM. Grabbed coffee and a bagel and headed to the gate.

I saw the plane parked off to the side but didn't think much of it until the gate agent brought me through the boarding door....and to a flight of stairs. What's up with no elevators!?!?!?

Small out station. Only one gate for the airline and it was being used for mainline. Down the stairs I went again. Two trips to get all 3 of my bags (suitcase, kitbag, computer bag) since I had coffee.

The Captain was already on board. He let me know he did my pre-flight. Nice.

Full flight. Mainline jumpseater in the cockpit jumpseat. Short flight. My leg.

Slight delay for flow. Off we went.

An hour flight. During the arrival we were assigned one runway and I briefed for it. Just prior to getting vectors we were assigned a different runway which was closer to our gate.

Since I've been around for a bit it was a non-event. The Captain set up the plane and then I quickly briefed the differences. Greased it on and done.

After we parked the Captain said he was happy I'd been around a while. He stated with most of the new hires a runway change is a huge ordeal and he ends up having to deny the runway change or take the plane.

I understood. When I was new it took all of my brain cells to fly the approach I briefed. Changes?!?!!? Well crap. Again it all comes with time.

Plane swap. My leg again as I need X number of landings to finish IOE. Just one leg to the overnight.

My Captain is a great guy but very behind the times for technology. He doesn't own a cell phone, no IPAD, no netbook. Nada. Much the opposite of me.

He was annoyed that the company didn't have print outs available of something he wanted to review during the 19 hour overnight. I told him to use the hotel business center and print it out. He said it was too complicated. Hmm.

The outstation was busy with construction and military traffic. The runway was shortened by 1000 feet with construction being done on the arrival end. Kinda odd flying over people on short final. Once again no localizer/glideslope.

Beautiful day. I turned off the flight director and simply looked outside and flew the plane.

Nice landing. Done.

Staying at a DoubleTree for the night. After check in I went with my Captain to the business center and showed him how to print out the documents he wanted.

Nineteen hours long. Nice hotel but again food is a bit of a walk.

Tomorrow I have 3 legs, a 3 hour sit and then 1 leg to the overnight. The normal line is just 3 legs. My Captain picked up over time and the training department simply stuck it on to my schedule. Eh. More flying.

I'm not worried about being signed off from IOE......I'm certain my Captain knows how to send the message to the training department that I'm done.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you are a spammer....your post will never show up. Move along.