Monday, February 20, 2012

To Serve

To Serve…

My job is to serve you, the traveling public. My job description is to get you from point A to point B safely, and as on time as possible.

At times pilots find ourselves extremely worn out when we are at work. A long day of flying, with weather, mechanical delays, de-icing, and a bunch of other issues that we deal with on any given day can wear any man, or woman, out.

I often catch myself walking from one gate to the other, completely blocking out all the passengers I walk by.

However, I always make a point when I get to the gate of the flight I’m operating to take a quick look around for any service men or woman. If there are any there, I always go and shake their hands and say thank you and spend a few minutes talking with them.

One thing that we should rally around as a country, republican, democrat, Christian, atheist, etc is our troops. You may not support the war, but you should always support our troops! It wasn’t their decision to go to war, but it was their decision to possibly give their lives to protect yours.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Simple day...not so fast

Time: 5:10 PM

“We have added a trip to your schedule for tonight. You will be operating a flight to St. Louis departing at 8:00, then ferry it back to Detroit”.

Sounds good! Not much you can do about these calls when you are on reserve. You simply wait around for a call like this; throw on your uniform and head to the airport. That’s not the interesting thing about this story.

I arrived at the airport at 7, one hour to departure as required by our company policies. In the crew room I checked in(yes, we have to check in), took a glance at the weather, grabbed my charts, said hello to a couple pilots and flight attendants and headed to the gate to get the plane ready for the flight.

Time: 7:52 PM

All passengers are on board, we have all the required paperwork and it’s time to shut the door(turn off your cell phones). Just enough time for a few checklists and then a call to ground to get our pushback clearance.

Time: 8:10 PM

“Set thrust” the captain says as I push the thrust levers up to the required spot for takeoff. We will be in St. Louis in an hour and a half.

Time: 9:40 PM

“Spoilers green…..80 Knots” I say as we touch down and start to slow to exit the runway. Coming into St. Louis we had to descend through a thick, wet layer of clouds and picked up a fair amount of ice. It isn’t warm enough on the ground for it all to melt off prior to our departure back to Detroit. We are going to have to get De-Iced. Pulling into the gate, we tell our operations that we are going to need to be De-Iced prior to departure. Their response “Uhh, we don’t have anyone here that can do that”

WHAT!!!! How can a major airport hub, like St. Louis, not have de-ice crews available? Turns out that they had sent them home for the evening, without taking a look outside and noting that the temperature was below freezing and incoming aircraft would pick up ice.

So what happens? Well, we can’t depart with ice so they had to call a De-Ice crew to come in from home. This took approximately 45 minutes to get them to the airport and then another 30 to get them into the truck and out to our plane to spray us down. So now our 10-minute turn in St. Louis just turned into a 1 hour 15 minute wait.

We won’t get home until almost midnight now. This is just an example of how a very simple day in the airline industry can turn into something completely different.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ok...I'm Back...Again last return to blogging wasn't very successful. I could come up with thousands of excuses, new job, commuting, work, looking for homes, etc, etc, etc.

But this time I swear I'm going to get after it and start trying to post, weekly if possible.

So with my return the the blogosphere, here's a quick update. I've been at a regional airline for about 7 months now and am finally starting to figure out this life as an airline pilot thing. How to manage your schedule, commute, eat when you can eat and sleep when you can sleep.

It has been an absolute blast learning to fly a swept wing, 50 seat, regional jet aircraft. It's amazing how after only a few hours you begin to start to feel comfortable in a new aircraft. Going from a Piper Seminole with a final approach speed of 88 KIAS to a jet with a final approach speed of anywhere from 120-145 KIAS is quite the learning experience.

So tonight I'm doing what's called a "continuous duty overnight". With these, we operate the last flight out to an out-station, usually leaving around 9pm and operate the first flight back to a major hub, around 6AM the next morning. We do get to go to a hotel, but by the time you get in the van, to the hotel, and in your bed you really only have about 4 hours to catch some shut eye. The key with these is to get some rest during the day prior and after these CDO's.

Hopefully I still have some followers!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Finally Hired!

As mentioned in my last post the airlines are starting to hire again. It was time for me to take the next step and move on to a First Officer position at a regional airline.

I'm excited about this opportunity as it allows me to continue my development as a pilot and learn a new aircraft, CRJ-200. I'm also excited as this will allow me more time to get back to blogging about the aviation industry and what we can all learn as pilots.

Excited to get back into it. Follow me on Twitter, I will be putting up a lot, more frequent posts there than here for the next month as I go through training.

Looking forward to the future!

Friday, April 16, 2010

New Job

The aviation industry is beginning to move again. Instructors are finally starting to get jobs either flying as freight dogs or for airlines.

Today I accepted a position as a Lead Flight Instructor. I'm very excited about this position as it will allow me to work on some management skills along with my flying skills. This position requires me to oversee a group of instructors and help with any problems they are having, help build their schedules, and provide opportunities for them to grow as flight instructors as well as helping our company continue to be the best aviation training company in the U.S.A.

Wish me luck as I take the next step in my career!