Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Lost my faith today.....in George

Day 2 of a 3 day.

Day 1 was pretty easy. Three legs. Captain took the first and I took the next two.

Captain is nice. He'd been off for 3 weeks on vacation. During the first leg he started coughing.

The first leg was to an uncontrolled airport surrounded by mountains. Several airlines fly in and out. Even though it was VFR we had to fly a specific route into the airport. In and done.

For the departure we also had to fly a specific route out. Not a big deal, but when it's VFR.....eh....better safe than sorry.

His cough got worse on the second leg. Just a dry cough...but it was there.

Third leg...figured  he would have called in sick. Eh.

Nine hour overnight. Had time to work out a bit.

Today started early. First two legs were his. ILS approach into base.

Not a big deal. In 10 minutes early. Had 40 minutes instead of 30 minutes for the plane swap.

I picked up a bite to eat on the way to the next gate. Departed right on time.

While being vectored in for an ILS we listened to the approach controller help a Cessna 172 shooting the ILS. The Cessna was having problems.

"Cessna 12TA are you glideslope equipped? Currently 1/2 mile west of the localizer and 300 feet low" stated the controller.

The Cessna was on a different frequency so we could only hear half the conversation.

"Cessna 12TA you are now 1/2 mile east of the localizer and 400 feet low, I suggest you level off until the glideslope comes in." approach continued.

"No problem sir, this is why we are here, to help. You're doing fine. The glideslope should be coming in now."

He helped the Cessna all the way down. The approach lighting system was NOTAM'd out of service, but apparently it was working as the Cessna called it in sight.

With it NOTAM'd out of service we needed 3/4 mile visibility....and that's exactly what was reported.

When it was our turn I'm glad the Approach Lighting System was working as we got to 200 feet and I saw only the ALS and not the runway until we were at 100 feet.

Raining. Quick turn and back out.

During my approach back at our base George let me down...big time.

Twelve miles out we had a 30 degree intercept for the localizer. Stiff wind blowing 30 knots at 90 degrees.

The autopilot was on...but I can't sat it was flying an approach.

The Flight Director pitched hard left.....then hard right.....then hard left.....then hard right. The airplane banked sharply each direction.  Enough.

"I'm turning the autopilot off." I stated. Too late.

"Confirm you are established on the localizer." The final monitor stated.

While I was turning off the autopilot we went 1 1/2 dots deflected.

"We are established." Responded my Captain.

I tried to fly the needle and glideslope and ignore the flight director commands. It was hard to ignore the command bars bouncing left and right.

Right when I was ready to go around my Captain called the runway in sight.

I looked up and was happy to see the runway lights through the rain.

My Captain reported the ILS issues to the tower. Once parked he wrote up the problems in the matanence log. The plane was out of service.

Problem was we were to take the plane to the overnight. Another swap.

Blocked out 50 minutes late. We were number 15 for takeoff.

Easy flight. In and done and hour and eight minutes late.

Very small town for the overnight. Very nice hotel that has a crew car. Off to find food. More later.

1 comment:

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