Finally done. Five leg day.
My crew had a 5 AM hotel van. I left in my rental car at 4:45 AM. On the way out I told the front desk I would not be riding in the van with my crew.
I decided to get my crew breakfast. There was a McDonald's next to the hotel. The lights were on so I pulled into the drive thru, only to be greeted with a recorded message stating they were closed. Really? Small towns.
Turns out nothing was open.
I arrived at my airlines' ticket counter at 5AM. The normal van ride is 10 minutes. My crew finally arrived at 5:20AM. My Captain said ,"We didn't know if you were taking the hotel shuttle. We called your room and waited. We ended up having to take a taxi as the hotel shuttle wasn't running."
"I told you yesterday that I was renting a car and would be driving to the airport myself. I also told the front desk clerk that I was driving myself. Sorry you misunderstood." I replied. Blank stare back at me.
Blocked out 5 minutes early.
Gusty winds at the hub. My leg. Winds 340@25G30. Landing runway 33L. Base VREF was a 129 knots. We add half the steady state wind plus the full gas factor to get a V-Approach speed of 146 knots. Fast.
ILS approach. Very bumpy. Broke out around 1800 AGL. Worked it all the way down. Flew it to the ground. Done.
Quick turn. Gusty takeoff. I did a very slow rotation. Once the wheels left the ground we rocked a bit.
Hour flight. Winds were 36005KT 10SM BKN006 OVC038. Landing runway 4R. The ILS was out. The GPS approach mins were 500 feet AGL. A little tight. Gusty above the clouds. Calm below. Decent landing.
Nineteen minutes after blocking in we blocked out. Captains leg. Winds kicked up at the hub. Now 34028G34KT 10SM OVC020 09/03 A3026. Another high approach speed.
Passing over the threshold a flock of large white birds were crossing the runway. Not much to do but land.
We didn't hear any thumps or splats.
I advised tower of the birds and they passed it to the aircraft behind us.
Post flight inspection was fine. No bird guts, blood or feathers.
Plane swap. My Captain said he'd "see me later."
I assume that meant in about an hour at the next flight. Nope. He called in fatigued. Fine with me.
The next Captain was even more junior, but much more pleasant to work with.
He was much more personable from the get go. I talked more on the hour flight out than I did during the previous 17 hours of flying with the other Captain.
His leg out, my leg back. I had an all time high approach speed of 155 knots....almost 180 MPH. With a 40 knot headwind the ground speed was around 110 knots or 130 MPH.
Tower advised previous aircraft reported gains and losses of 10 knots at just 100 feet.
I worked it all the way down. Bumping up, down, left and right. Making quick power adjustments as the airspeed shot up and down. Somehow greased it right on. Done for a while.
Amazing what a difference a Captain makes.