Thursday, May 9, 2019

I was looking forward to a new country!

Currently sitting in a hotel near LAX. I am supposed to be in a hotel in ORD.

This morning I signed in at 5 o'clock for an easy 4 day trip worth 21 hours. I was a 2-2-0-1 trip. Day one was DFW-LAX-ORD. Day two was ORD-MIA and a deadhead to Nicaragua. I had a 33 hour overnight and did a red-eye home arriving in DFW at 5 AM. Easy trip!

The early morning sign in hurt a bit. I prepare for these by having my suitcase and kit bag fully packed except for my Ipads.

I arrived to the plane before the Captain. After reading the logbook I did the exterior preflight, flight deck preflight and first flight of the day test. It was low visibility and raining so I would not be able to perform the first leg (there's restrictions on me for the first 100 hours...I'm at 64).

Captain arrived with a United jump seater. Both nice guys. We left on time and arrived on time. Two hour sit....scheduled.

Headed to the crew room for coffee and to relax. My next departure was 9:35 AM. The aircraft had arrived the day before. At 8:45 AM there was no plane at the gate. By 9:20 AM...still no plane. The Captain stated it was still in the hangar. Departure pushed to 10:50 AM....then 10:20 AM. Well by 10:00 AM..still no plane. I began to worry about my duty day.

With a 5:00 AM sign in I had to be done by 5 PM or agree to an extension. Extending a duty day is dangerous. The FAA published all kinds of data about how accidents and incidents increase with long duty days...especially with early starts.

Finally had a plane at 10:10 AM. Departure set for 10:50 AM. Arriving in Chicago at 4:58 PM. Two minutes shy of my 5 PM max. I didn't see this ending well.

Boarding started promptly. During my pre-flight I noticed the fueler connected but not pumping fuel. Didn't think much of it.

The Captain and I began getting the aircraft ready. FMS programmed and all checks done...we just needed fuel.

10:40 AM fueling started. We needed 39,000 pounds. That takes a while.

I sent a message to scheduling advising them that I would likely not be off the gate before 11 AM.

At 10:53 AM we got a print out from the on board printer stating we would exceed our duty day unless we agreed to extend. Not an option.

If anything goes wrong the FAA will ask why we agreed to extended and why we didn't go into rest. We were taken off the flight.

Scheduling initially had us doing a red-eye deadhead to MIA, 3 hour sit and deadhead to Nicaragua. Not desirable....but fine.

They then pulled us off and had us laying over in LAX and deadheading back to DFW tomorrow. We will then be subject to being reassigned Saturday and Sunday. Not ideal as I could work late into the day Sunday when I planned on having the majority of the day off. Also....I really wanted to go to a new country!

Beyond that I'm adapting to the Airbus quickly. More later. Now rest. 

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