Monday, May 19, 2014

Perks to small towns

Day 2 of a modified 4 day.

Taking my family to Hawaii for a week starting on Wednesday. I was supposed to finish my trip on Wednesday afternoon. I requested to drop the Tuesday overnight and all the Wednesday flying...surprisingly it was approved.

Same trip as last week. No weather to contend with which is nice. Same crew as well. Nice flying with the same people each week as we know how we all work and can have more fun.

Currently on an overnight in the middle of nowhere. Small town.

I've been here a few times. I know the Minneapolis  controller "owns" the airspace from 4000 to FL 410. Much larger than normal...but it's not a very busy area. While at FL360 I planned for an engine idled descent all the way down the traffic pattern altitude.

At busier airports this isn't possible as they step us down. Sure enough we were cleared down to 5000. When the VNAV read 3500 feet per minute to reach traffic pattern altitude abeam the airport I idled the engines and nosed the plane over. Smooth descent all the way to around 13,000 feet. I did have to deploy the speed brakes to comply with 250 under 10,000.  It worked perfectly.

We picked up the airport 10 miles out and were cleared for a visual and handed off to tower.

There are perks to small towns. The tower isn't very busy (only open day time). As we approached from the south he simply worked us into the traffic pattern with general aviation aircraft.

I entered the left downwind and had a smooth descending pattern....somehow managed to grease it on to boot.

The runway was 7000 feet long. One of my pet peeves is pilots who jam on the brakes to make an exit. I see it as unprofessional as it scares the crap out of some passengers. I get jamming on the brakes to avoid leaving the runway surface....but not to make an exit.

I simply lowered the nose and applied even braking pressure. We slowed to 60 knots with 2000 feet to spare. The Captain took over and we exited at the end. A few passengers even stopped by for the smooth flight and landing.

Another perk of this overnight...crew cars! The hotel allows us to use their hotel vehicle (old but decent Chevy HHR). It's nice to have options for food and entertainment.

Tomorrow is just 3 legs. Once I'm done I should have my schedule for June as bids close tomorrow.

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