Yes, I’ve been remiss about updating this. I’ve been busy… doing nothing.
Yesterday I finished up a four day trip which served as an introduction back into winter operations. As was the trip turned out to be pretty easy, but with the weather system moving through it could have been a whole lot worse. All of our flying was confined to the southeast (with one quick trip up to DC and another to Lexington). While we did turns to mostly sunny North and South Carolina other crews fought through a early season Northeastern snow storm. At one point while sitting in the plane on the ramp in sunny Greenville, SC I got a phone call from a friend who was currently grounded in Scanton, PA due to 1/8th of an inch of slush on the runway and windblown snow.
Despite not having to deal with frozen precip (we didn’t even deice the whole trip) we did have pretty gusty winds near the surface and strong winds aloft for the majority of the trip. This manafest itself in bumpy rides down low and increased flight times as we fought against 150mph + headwinds. The worst was a flight from DCA down to Huntsville, AL that normally takes about 1:15 in the air. With the winds as they were it took us 1:54 from the time the wheels came up until my FO managed a nice landing on the 12,000 foot long alternate shuttle landing runway in Alabama.
This was also the first 4 day trip I’d flown in a while, and the shear length of it (I’m used to one and two day trips now) coupled with the early morning show times (6:15am, 4:50am, 6am and 6:15am) made for a long trip. Of course it didn’t help that I got home at 5pm on the last day and had to be back at the airport at 5am the next day to sit hot reserve.