Friday, December 21, 2012

I don't want to alarm you, but there is a piece of the plane missing

Crazy easy 3 day trip last week.

I flew with the Captain 5 years ago....I think. He looked familiar.

Weather was nice, easy flying on day one.

It was a 4 day for the rest of the crew. The original First Officer dropped the rest of the trip after the first day.

One leg to the overnight. Very small airport in a town where the main industry is cattle.

Walking off the airplane I immediately smelled manure. It was thick in the air. Nice.

Long overnight. The hotel is nice, but older. They give airline crews 2 free adult beverages plus all guest get free soup and salad bar. Yep free dinner!

The overnight was 15 hours long. Nice.

Day 2 was 4 legs long, 7 hours 20 minutes of flying. Nothing to exciting.

Day 3 started off interesting. During my preflight I noticed a landing gear door was missing. Gone. Hmmm.

When I reached the cockpit I told my Captain, "I don't want to alarm you, but there is a piece of the plane missing."

"Yeah I see that in the log book, I think we're restricted to 250 knots." he replied. The missing piece was noted before it arrived the night before. We have a manual on board that states the restrictions in place when a piece of the plane is missing, called a Configuration Deviation List. I read through the requirements, just gotta fly slow.

Thankfully we had just three legs.

Winter is here, but thankfully we didn't have to deice. The flight schedules are padded for deicing, which adds about 10-15 minutes to a flight. I'm glad we didn't have to deice as we'd be flying much slower than normal due to the missing gear door.

Still finished the day 20 minutes early.

My next trip starts on Sunday.....and finishes Tuesday. Yup I work Christmas day. It was either work Christmas day and get 3 day trips or have it off and get 4 day trips for the month. I picked the 3 day trips. We will just celebrate Christmas Sunday morning before I leave.

Next month I'm back to 4 day trips. I start late on Mondays and finish early on Thursdays.

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