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.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Day to Day

I wanted to post this so family members and friends could have an idea of what things are like on a daily basis for a regional airline pilot. Obviously, day to day happenings vary based on location, company, and equipment flown. For the SAAB 340B the days are fun and full. There is only a handful of things that I would like to do, but none more so than to fly. The honeymoon phase of the new job has worn off, and I continue to find myself just living up every moment. At first, having a lot of passengers in the back was new and cool. Now, it is more a realization that those people in the back are counting on my captain and I to be just as skillful as a surgeon. No one gets on an airplane with the impression that the pilots are going to be anything less than at the top of their game. Mistakes happen, yet the goal of any professional pilot should be to never make a mistake. That is what separates professionals from amatures, because amateurs strive to get it right where as professionals strive to never be wrong. There are professional pilots who fly for a hobby and there are amateur airline pilots. Fortunately, the armature airline pilots get weeded out pretty fast.

A day starts out a month in advance when we bid on what schedule we want. Getting a particular schedule may or may not work in your favor. The idea is to go through and pick as many schedules as you would like to possibly fly. If you don't select very many options then you may find yourself getting leftovers as your choices are evaluated and finally selected for you based on your seniority with the company.

A day for us always starts one hour before our scheduled departure time. We must be at the crew room in full regalia ready to step on the aircraft and go. Once we get to the crew room we use one of the company computers to log onto the company website and "check-in" for our day. This notifies the company of our arrival time, and really serves to protect us from schedule issues. Once the entire crew has arrived the Captain gives the flight crew a briefing on the day and upcoming flight. Then we head to the plane, where I, as a First Officer, do the pre-flight walk around. This is the same thing that pilots do from the first day of flight training. It is my responsibility to make sure that the airplane is in airworthy shape and to ensure the accuracy of that last statement... After All, the Captain is final responsibility for the safety of flight and this includes delegating the pre-flight walk-around to me. Some Captains choose to do this themselves later in the day as they may want to stretch their legs some. Once that is finished, I go inside and gather the ATIS (current weather broadcast from a weather data station on the field), and then I get our IFR clearance. Once those two things are done I begin the weight and balance computations along with figuring takeoff and landing performance. The Captain uses the information I provide (or they determine if I'm not up to the point they are) and calculate our center of gravity. Once that is finished we work as a team to record the forward and aft limits (CG stations)along with the required trim settings for our weight. From there we begin out checklists and procedures... Which vary widely between companies, and this includes large variances on the same equipment (aircraft).

After the flight, we do a post-flight walk around and start the cycle of events again. I absolutely love it! There are always two groups of airline pilots... The love it and the hate it groups. The one thing I have quickly learned about those who fall into the "hate it" group is that they have all to quickly and easily forgotten about the most perfect part of the job.... The love of flying. The hate it group tends to have nit-picky things to say about the company, their schedule, the union, the way they are treated.... basically, they talk about everything except flying. For me, at least, it is easy to see those who fall in the "hate it" group have already forgotten about the fundamental part of the job.... FLYING. I think if most of those pilots would take a minute to look out the window their attitude would change. If their attitude doesn't change then that is a sure-fire sign that they are in the wrong profession. You find those people in any profession you ever are a part of... even millionaires can be very unhappy people because they forget about the fundamental parts of their job/company and family.

Some people feel it is their gift to others to be a pilot... I feel it is god's gift to me to allow me to see the things I see, be witness to his majestic work, and the privilege of getting to share my passion with the flying public. I'm not a pilot because I wanted a challenge... I'm a pilot because the lord blessed me with the privilege to dream about what it would be like to one day see the world from 20,000 feet. One day I will have to retire from flying, and I say this with the same conviction my grandfather said "I can't stop working or I will die" (My grandfather died one month after he stopped working), but the day I stop flying is the day my life will effectively end. I may still be on this earth for a while after I stop flying, but I can promise I will spend all of that time wishing I was in heaven flying again!

A few pictures to finish:

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