Welcome to my Blog

I am starting this blog just as I am starting my airline career. Feel free to ask any questions, or if you are in need of any help related to seeking employment with an airline then just let me know. I really enjoy helping others in any way that I can.

This is my blog with a name that stems from a long standing joke. Damnit Bobby was a term thrown out during a fun family sports match. Damnit Bobby Airlines was destined to be a loving name given to any flight I conduct which has passengers on board

I was a flight instructor and a part 91 (private carriage) pilot prior to becoming employed with an airline. Please enjoy the blog, and feel free to comment about anything and everything.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This is long, but it is my update of all the stuff that happened on my first day... :D

Started off great. We flew out to State College, PA., and back without a hitch. The only catch was a fed decided to jumpseat with us... Great, so my first flight EVER and I have a fed breathing down my neck, LOL. My checkairmen made sure to inform the guy, but the Fed, being a Fed, kept telling me wrong things to do, LOL. I wasn't about to go talk to center before I turned on a bleed valve. It takes two seconds and is part of my climb flow to open one Low pressure bleed valve at a time. As quick as the cabin heated up, I think center/departure can wait for 2 seconds while I keep people in the back from having heat stroke.

Next out and back trip: There was a Captain doing IOE with another checkairmen, and the plane they were scheduled to use had a problem with the tiller. The SAAB does not have any interconnect unit for the rudder pedals and nosewheel steering. So the only way to move the nosewheel is with the tiller or using differential power. Because the Captain was doing IOE, the checkairmen requested a plane swap. So they took our plane... I went to preflight their plane and guess what? I discovered a leak coming from the PGB (Prop Gear Box). So, we got swapped for a broken plane, and a full load of passengers had to wait over 3
hours. What we did is take the first plane into a gate... Remember when I talked about wanting to try and do a REPO flight from IAH to ALB? That was the plane we ended up getting. So our 12:28 scheduled departure was really 4:00 ish. We did that out and back to a place called Charlestown,PA..

I was feeling good on that out and back. My Checkairmen was really pushing me to be quick, and I did it (yeah I was kinda surprised myself, LOL). We made up so much time that we got back in time to make the last out and back of the day on the scheduled time. That was quite a feat, because we had about 2 hours of block time for the trip, and we did it in just under an hour. That is where I learned about having 3/4 of the next leg's weight and balance form filled out. I also had experience getting a clearance through an RCO, so that made the inbound (to Dulles) leg go a bit quicker.

We got back, went inside for the release papers (yeah Internet was down too so we had to get it from the gate agent). As we went out the Captain told the gate agent we could only take 31 (my w&B figures, and he calculated the CG... that is how we normally do it - he uses a whiz wheel for the W&B). We got the paperwork ready and I looked back to tell the F/A we were ready to board (Capt.'s Blessing). She wasn't there, so I told the Capt. that she must have gone to smoke a cigarette. So the Captain got off the plane and told the gate agents that as soon as they see the flight attendant to start boarding behind her. That is when the flight attendant came back on board and the Captain found out she was gone calling S.O.C. with a fatigued call. Well, guess who was behind her? LOL, 31 people who had to be told to go back inside. The pax were very nice throughout everything. Fast Forward just a tad over an hour, and the reserve Flight Attendant gets there. She was very pretty, so my Captain had to remind me that we were there to fly and not talk, LOL. We got ready fast enough, but that is when they loaded up 34 people, 30 checked bags and 27 carry-ons. The Captain was ****ed... The gate agent didn't believe the Captain was right. So I took the prerogative to do the W&B form with our load.... Specifically to have a paper trail showing that we were not gonna be legal to depart... seeing as how we were almost 1,000lbs over max ramp weight. So, that paperwork and a very smart Captain made the gate agents start working on deplaning passengers. The problem was that everyone was apparently holding out for higher dollar amounts and more vouchers. They were up to $400 and a free round trip (and the pax tickets didn't cost that much either). No one budged. We had the right engine running because they had removed the A/C cart and we were planing on hauling *** out of there. So we sat for over 1/2 hour with the engine running and HP Bleed Air going through the A/C (it is a trick we can use to increase the amount of cool air entering the cabin). I asked the Captain a question about our 16 hour duty limit, and that ended with him calling in and talking with the dispatcher. Because no one budged, we ended up timing out.

.... And that was my "operational" experience for my first day. I was really excited about my landings though. They were all "greasers", and mostly on the centerline, LOL. I don't mind being hard on myself though. The SAAB is pitch sensitive and roll is like a 747. I over did the pitch and wanted to have the sight picture of a Cessna. We land at about 3* nose up pitch, so I ballooned on my second landing... The first one was great, but I think that was purely luck LOL. My visual approaches were not great by any means. You don't realize how far out you do have to start planing the descent. I tried to fly my first approach like a Cessna, and that won't cut it. You can't drop a SAAB out of the sky. Each of my first three landings were back at Dulles, and a little difference was that Dulles is a high speed place. They barked at us because we slowed to 190 during some massive turbulence on our way in. We had no speed restrictions, yet as soon as we hit 190 the controller asked what our speed was. Capt. told him. The Controller was definitely upset when he told us to let him know first next time. I had to shrug my shoulders... no speed restrictions right? The arrival we were on required 160kts or greater... 190 covers the "or greater" part, LOL. What made judging my visuals hard was that I had to slow down and go down. The SAAB is slippery when clean, and a drag bucket when configured. We can't get the gear down till 200KIAS. But, the good Captain help talk me back onto a nice approach. I wanted to beat myself up over my judgment errors on those approaches, but he kept telling me... Hey man, it's your first day of IOE you can't expect yourself to go from a Cessna to a SAAB and start off perfect. I just expect better of myself and approaches... but, I did at least joke with him that it doesn't take a good approach to make a good landing hehe.

Sorry that was so long, but my first day was a bit more memorable then some from what a lot of the guys told me, LOL.

1 comment:

  1. Great stuff, your blog's been great so far Bob!

    I'm just finally having a chance to read through all the posts and am really enjoying it.