Sunday, October 28, 2012

Would have been great to have a camera

Fairly normal 4 day....until the last day which was 5 legs long.

First two legs were mine. Departed a few minutes early from the overnight. Nice flight.

Snapped a few photos of the sunrise and weather below us.

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I really like flying with this Captain. Learned quite a bit and I have found I'm a much more precise pilot when I fly with him.

He has gotten me into a "fuel game". The flight release is a very long form with a lot of information. Rarely...actually never...have I seen anyone read all of it. Most of the release is filled with NOTAMs about every unlit tower within a few miles of the airports on the release.

I'm all for safety, but I don't need to know about an unlit tower, two miles east of the airport at 200 feet. If I am flying that low that far from the airport I have more things on my mind than an unlit tower.

Anyways in the main body is performance data.

Data such as fuel burn per segment, estimated time to reach cruise and so on.

This Captain is meticulous about tracking how long it takes to reach cruise, how much fuel was used at each way point and so on.

I love a challenge and started trying to beat the numbers. It's not easy as ATC controls altitude assignments. A few times we pulled into the gate early and ahead on fuel....a double win!

The first leg on day 4 was this way. We pulled into the gate 15 minutes early and 400 pounds OVER our projected arrival fuel.

The next leg was to the airport with only the shortest runway open. There was no approach to the south and two approaches to the north.

Weather was forecast to be 600 OVC and 1 SM visibility at our ETA. The inbound plane was late. I brought up the low visibility to the Captain to make sure we could shoot an approach and had an alternate.

I pulled out my charts. With a GPS approach we could descend to 500 AGL....good enough. The release showed both a takeoff alternate and a destination alternate.

Delayed a bit.

Normal takeoff.

The ATIS reported 800 OVC and 2 SM visibility. Better.

Arriving from the north. Vectored past the airport to shoot the approach to runway 32.

Gusty winds above the cloud deck. The approach controller gave a heading of 350 to join. I could tell that wouldn't work to join prior to the FAF. I asked the Captain to request a heading of worked. Busy approach slowing down and configuring.

We heard another flight being cleared for takeoff and that a "regional jet was on a 2 mile final". That was us.

Broke out at 800 feet AGL as see a the other flight SLOWLY turning the corner to line up for takeoff.

I was just 3 to 4 knots faster than approach speed so I couldn't slow down much more. Things would get ugly quick if he was past V1 and we had to go around.

"If we have to go around request an immediate turn to the east instead of straight ahead," I told my Captain.

"Acey I need you on the roll, traffic is an RJ on a mile and a half final." said the tower to the departing flight.

He was on the roll and took off as we passed through 400 feet. A little close for me in IFR conditions. Would have been great to have a camera to record the video of us landing as he was taking off.

I've had this situation before at really busy airports like LGA, ORD and DCA....but always in VFR conditions.

Minimal flare for landing with such a short runway (4999 feet). In and done.

"Way to whoa is up there, turn left at the end and contact ground 121.9" said the tower.

"Yeah that was exciting. Left at the end, ground point 9." I responded.

Next two legs we his. Moderate chop and turbulence on leg 4 of the day.

As pilots its easy to forget that some of the passengers on board might not be used to turbulence. My Captain asked that I make a PA. NO biggie.

I explained where we were, that the turbulence shouldn't last much longer and that we would be on time.

Sure enough we were early. Twenty minutes early and ahead on fuel.

My leg back. Same moderate turbulence. Arrived 30 minutes early and ahead on fuel. Right now it's easy for both as the schedules are built for deicing and thus if we don't deice we will be early.

Arrived to have my wife and daughter waiting outside.

Off till Tuesday.


1 comment:

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