Monday, July 30, 2012

Making money for sitting at home

For the second time this month..heck two trips in a row...I'm getting paid for sitting at home.

Decent 4 day trip. Day two was supposed to end with a ride in a limo to a super fancy hotel that has a casino. Seriously.

Day 1 was fine. Another quiet flight deck. Very quiet guy.

Contrary to my last post about quality of life over the paycheck,  he commutes even though he doesn't have too.

He lives 20 miles from the most senior base in the company. One would think he would be based there. Nope. He can only hold reserve Captain in that base. In my base (the second most senior) he can hold a line....thus he is a commuter.

I took the first leg out. Short flight. Crazy long 13,500 foot runway. The terminal was at the departure end of the runway.

Cleared for a visual while on downwind and 4000 AGL. I called for flaps and gear and made a fairly short approach.

Since we had to go to the end of the runway regardless I was in no hurry to set it down on the ground. Extended flare and I eased it onto the runway at the edge of the touchdown zone. So soft I could barely feel the wheels touch the ground.

No thrust reversers or braking at first. We literally rolled 8000 feet before I used the brakes.

Quick turn. Tower closed.

Called for our clearance while holding short. Cleared as filed.

I gave the standard location and intention announcements over CTAF.

During climb out I called departure. He advised there was an inbound Cessna at 12 o'clock and 7500 feet MSL headed to the airport we just departed. We were cleared to 13000 feet...thankfully turning away from the airport. We still passed a little more than a mile from the Cessna. Close enough to get a yellow "Traffic!" caution from the TCAS.

Landed on time. Plane swap. Delayed.

Not good.

The overnight was scheduled for just 9 hours. I was supposed to arrive at 7:25 PM and depart at 5:25AM. That meant a 4:35AM van. Short night.

We were flying to a maintenance base. Instead of a 6:40PM departure we pushed out at 8:12PM. We'd have just 8 hours of "rest".

Enroute I heard another company flight being handed off to approach...the same approach I'd be talking to. This made me uneasy as I was sure they were headed to the overnight as well. If they didn't wait for us we would be waiting 20 minutes for the hotel van to return from dropping them off.

We landed at 8:48PM. The sole gate was occupied with the preceding flight. Short delay as we blocked in at 8:55PM. Post flight, shutdown and out to the curb. Thankfully the crew waited for us. We were in the hotel van by 9:05PM.

I slept horribly, which is a shame because the beds in this hotel are awesome!

My alarms (I use 3...all set to the exact same time...I like backups!) went off at 4:25AM. Quick shower and out to the van at 4:50AM. The van time was pushed back as we had a 5:05AM "show time" to give us exactly 8 hours "rest". My duty ended 15 minutes after arrival and starts again 20 minutes before departure, everything in between is "rest".

I don't shave if I am on reduced rest. The 4 minutes it takes to shave are best spent sleeping.  I shaved at 1PM the day prior so I had no stubble yet.

Departed on time. The initial adrenaline from being up early wore off quickly.

Being so early the radios were fairly quiet. Cleared to land on the inboard runway which is normally for departures. Arrived early. We were the first flight to arrive from my airline. Then it happened. Minor issue with the plane. Anti-ice system was offline. Not an issue as it's summer right? Well there was a small line of weather we had to deal with. To make matters worse the issue came up AFTER we boarded up. Plane swap.

Delayed again.

Instead of a 6:50AM departure we departed at 7:25AM. Not horrible. We had a 50 minute sit when we got back so it should have all worked out.

My leg again. Flew a little fast. Getting a little tired. Coffee and sugar helped a little.

Another visual approach. Told to "keep a tight pattern" as traffic was on an opposite downwind. No problem.

I love visual approaches. I kept a very tight pattern with barely a 1.5 mile turn to final. Another great landing.

Arrived 41 minutes late. Hoping for a quick turn. Didn't happen. The gate agent had a problem with the passenger count. Instead of our scheduled 9:15AM departure we blocked out at 10:04AM. Not looking good for the overnight.

In our favor was we had a scheduled 16 hour overnight. Not in our was a really good overnight.

Sure enough we got a print out on the crew connections. Scheduling pulled our overnight.

Blocked in at 11:54AM instead of the scheduled 11:20AM. Our overnight flight, which had a scheduled departure time of 12:10PM, had been staffed by reserves.

My Captain was upset. As a commuter he now has to pay for a hotel. I was indifferent. I really wanted that overnight as the hotel is super fancy....and it's a casino!

I still get paid for the flight, but not the per diem of course. The flight ended up blocking out 4 minutes late. One minute late is just as bad as an hour late in the eyes of the Department of Transportation, meaning we could have done the flight and been late. Bleh.

Tomorrow I go back and connect with my sequence with a 8:35AM departure.

I think I'm up to 9 hours of paid flight time this month for flights I won't/haven't flown.

Time to go watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with my daughter...Meeska, Mooska...Mickey Mouse! Only those with kids will understand.


  1. Yes...I totally understand! (MMClubhouse) ;)

  2. I have to confess to no understanding of Mickey Mouse but enjoy the updates nonetheless! Isn't about time you stuck some piccies in here and there??

    All the best!

    Dave from the UK

  3. I'll try to take my photos. Can't really take photos of the flight deck as it's against company policy...and there are only so many photos of clouds I can post. I'll try to get creative....I do have a degree in photojournalism I can dust off.


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