Saturday, January 3, 2009

Drinking with Mickey

One week from now I will be sharing a brew with Mickey Mouse.

Two days from now I will be waking up in New Orleans, Louisiana

Three days from now I will be landing the CRJ700 for what could be the last time....for a while.

Four hours from now I will be strapped into a metal tube getting ready to blast off to Little Rock, Arkansas for the night.

Air travel is down....which will help us get to Orlando just fine. Right now there are 138 out of 160 seats filled in coach. There are only 5 of 17 seats filled in first class. Kelli and I are the only ones non-reving on our flight so far. Looks good.

I have vacation the 10th thru the 16th. As of right now I am supposed to be on reserve the 17th and 18th...which sucks because the rest of the family will still be in Disney on the 17th. I will know by 4PM on the 16th what I will be doing on the 17th. I hope to get afternoon airport standby which will allow me to come home with Kelli on the 17th. Oh the problems of being an airline pilot.

Last night I had one of those moments that makes my job exciting. Little Rock, Arkansas was under heavy fog and clouds. The first time we tried to land the visibility dropped way too low causing us to go around and wait for it to clear up. On the second approach the airport was reporting 1/16 of a mile visibility, vertical visibility of just 100 feet and calm winds. The runway visual range (how far you can see down the runway) was just 1800 feet. As we made our way in I saw nothing until 200 feet where I could see the pulsing strobes of the approach lighting system. The captain kept descending. Right at 100 feet I could make out the runway lights. We landed in a cloud and could see just slightly down the runway. After parking at the gate (and taxing very slowly due to very low visibility) we heard several other planes go around. The rules are strict on when you can land. In our cockpit we could see the runway. In a 737 or bigger plane, where the cockpit is higher, those extra few feet made all the difference.

When I took off it was a little more clear but still very foggy. I love this stuff.

Below is a photo as seen from the cockpit. We were stopped and waiting for a plane to try to land. The green lights lead out to the runway. The fog can be seen on the red lights ahead.


No comments:

Post a Comment