Saturday, December 24, 2011

My last reduced rest overnight? Maybe.....

My 3 day trip went well. Ended kinda funny.

The first overnight was at a very small outstation. How small? The tower opens at 9AM and closes at 9PM. We arrived 10 minutes early at 9:25PM and were scheduled to leave at 7:20AM. We are the only airline that serves the airport.

The original overnight was scheduled for 8 hours and 50 minutes. Let's take a close look at that.

We were scheduled to block in at 9:35PM so let's assume we were on time.

After blocking in our pay clock stops. We run the parking checklist as the passengers get off the plane. That normally takes 5-10 minutes depending on the load.

I then have to do a post flight inspection. That takes between 3-5 minutes.

My rest "started" 15 minutes after blocking in. So normally when I finish the post flight I am "resting".

We then ran the terminating checklist. Normally the Captain does this while I am doing my post flight.

After the plane was shut down we walked out to the curb. Thankfully the van was waiting.

The keys for our rooms were in the van. Saves time. Van time already scheduled for 6:25AM.

I walked into my room at 10:25PM.

Quick wind down and I'm in bed by 10:50PM.

Fell asleep around 11:20PM.

Alarm went off at 5:45AM.

Downstairs by 6:20AM.

In the van at 6:25AM.

Stepped into the airport at 6:35AM...which is the time my "rest" stopped.

In that 8 hours 50 minutes of rest I had about 6 hours of sleep...which is pretty good considering I normally don't sleep well on short overnights.

We blocked out right on time at 7:20AM. Ten hours and twenty minutes later (including 6 hours of flying) I was once again on "rest" for a decent 13 hour overnight.

Day 3 was originally just one leg into base. I added on four (that's a 4!) more legs of overtime. My duty day was scheduled for 13 hours and 15 minutes. Total flying was scheduled for 7 hours 50 minutes. Three plane swaps. Three different crews. Long day.

The flying went fine. A somewhat humourous last leg.

I had an hour break between the 3rd and 4th legs. I grabbed lunch and sat down near the gate. I saw a pilot in a First Officers jacket near the gate and assumed he was a commuter/jump seater.

After finishing my lunch I checked in with the gate agent to let her know I was heading down to the plane. The pilot in the First Officers jacket was still there with a flight attendant. The pilot introduced himself and stated he was the Captain, but left his Captain jacket in this crashpad. He lived locally but was based elsewhere. He was a very recent upgrade....and for the first time in my career....he was younger than me.

I can only imagine what it looked like for two "First Officers" to walk down the jetbridge. I'm sure most passengers have no idea what 3 or 4 bars mean.

The flight went fine. I had my first stiff crosswind on landing.

A crosswind landing in a Cessna 172 is flown much the same as in a regional jet. The biggest difference is that you don't "slip" a jet. You crab into the wind until the last 50 feet or so and begin to kick it over. It's a tricky maneuver in both a 172 and a regional jet.

In gusty winds I personally give up any attempts at greasing it on and just plant the mains onto the ground....which is what I did.

I'm off until next Friday. I picked up a 7 hour day trip on overtime. I then come back on Saturday (yup New Years Eve!) for a 4 day trip.

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