Tag Archives: reserve

Down Into The Fog

The dense, gray fog is passing by the window, briefly illuminated by the blue tinted landing lights, before it passes back over the wing and disappears into the darkness. This is a slightly different than normal view for me as due to a scheduling mess up I’m tucked back in the window seat at row 6 instead of up front. In the last few minutes the chatter coming from the half filled passenger cabin has tapered off to almost silence as we’ve descend into the fog and those who for the whole flight had ignored the outside world now have their noses pressed up against the glass watching the swirling nothingness roll by.

I realize I shouldn’t even be here right now and if the day had gone as planned I’d be blasting through the same fog but 100 miles to the east and doing it sitting in my normal seat up front. Scheduling called me out earlier in the day to deadhead down to Charlotte to pick up an airplane to fly to Clarksburg, WV where we have heavy maintenance done. Once in Clarksburg we were to pick up another plane that had just come out maintenance and bring it back to Dayton. Sometime after my FO and I got on our deadhead to Charlotte somebody actually thought to call Clarksburg to check if the plane there was ready to go and discovered (regrettably to nobody’s surprise) it wasn’t.

Hence the reason for my phone ringing in the middle of a quick dinner in Charlotte to inform me that instead of heading to Clarksburg we would be getting back on a plane to Dayton. My FO joked that it was awfully nice of the company to fly us to Charlotte for dinner but he’d just as soon stayed at home on his couch. Unfortunately, those of us on reserve don’t really get that option. When the company says go, we go and often times have to pick up the pieces later on.

I manage to snag an empty row on the flight home and spend the time dozing until I heard the engines spooling down and feel the nose pitch over at the beginning of our descent into Dayton. I’ve flown this route more than a few times and as I look out the window, the patches of ground lighting that should be there aren’t. The sweep of the Ohio River isn’t off the right. The bright lights of Cincinnati aren’t ahead. Instead, a solid blanket of fog covers the ground. Barely visible through the fog are patches of white and gold light, shining through from the obscured surface.

The Captain makes a quick PA informing us that we are starting our descent into Dayton and that for now anyway, we have the visibility to land. If the visibility drops much more we will be forced to hold for a bit and then probably head down to Cincinnati, which, while fogged in as well, has better visibility. In the darkness I roll my eyes. The same thing happened to me the night before as I was commuting in to start my work week. We needed 1800 feet of visibility to land and Dayton was bouncing back and forth between 800 and 1200. After holding for 30 minutes we headed south and landed in Cincy, where they promptly canceled the flight and sent the crew to a hotel, leaving 50 passengers and one unhappy jumpseater (me) to try to get up to Dayton some other way. I ended up renting a car and driving home, arriving at 1 in the morning. Tonight I’m in better shape as I am actually on Company time meaning they’ll have to give me a room or figure out how to get me home if we do divert and cancel.

We continue our descent towards the ground as the lighted tops of radio antennas pass by, sticking up out of the fog like buoys in the sea. There is a gentle whirring noise and I watch as the slats roll off the front edge of the wing. Seconds later there is a slight pitch change as the flaps slide out the back of the wing. And then we drop into the clouds and the cabin goes quiet.

In the silence I glance around at the people sitting near me. The tension of putting their lives into the hands of two unknown people and a complex airframe is clearly visible on many faces. I remind myself that flying is not a normal thing for the vast majority of people. Even the million milers are out of their element and have to trust that everything will go alright. I have no safety concerns. I know both the Captain who I flew with as a First Officer and the First Officer whom I’ve flown with as a Captain. Both are skilled and smart pilots. They are Professionals. I know our maintenance is top notch and that the aircraft is designed for tough conditions. I know that the probability of anything going wrong is so small that it’s not even worth worry about, and further more I know that if something does go wrong there is nothing I can do about it so worrying is a waste of time. I smile to myself as I realize my biggest concern is that if we divert somewhere else I won’t get home tonight to eat the cookies I baked earlier in the day.

A glow starts to materialize out of the gloom around us. Because I can’t look forward from my passenger seat, I can’t see anything but I know that the guys up front are seeing the wonderful, welcoming sight of the runway approach lights forming out of the fog ahead and solidifying into the line of lead in lights and the runway end lighting. There is a pulsing quality to the light as we pass over the “rabbit”, the string of strobe lights that start at the end of the runway and stretch back into the darkness, bringing ships like ours in from the land of the lost. Suddenly the engine noise decreases and the nose comes up into the final flare attitude as the runway edge lighting coming into view out the side window.

The plane settles to the runway with a whisper and we begin to decelerate. Slowed to a safe taxi speed I watch as a runway exit emerges out of the fog and the plane turns to the right and into a world light by the blue glow of taxiway lighting.

Flipping The Clock

Today I had hot reserve starting at 5am. I managed to actually sleep for the first 4 hours of it in our “quiet room” (a quick note: it’s neither quiet or a room, but rather a large closet directly off of the Mechanic’s break room which means you hear EVERYTHING that goes on in there), which for me is pretty good. I spent the rest of the day until 3pm catching up on some Union stuff and talking to some people. By 3:05 I was in my car headed home and calling scheduling to be released. They released me but told me to call them later for a reserve time for the next day. Normally we call between 7pm and 9pm, but coming off of hot reserve we are typically given the time right away.

I called back at 8pm this evening and was told I have a 1pm reserve time for tomorrow.

Yeah, that’s right. 1pm until midnight, although I’d be legal to fly to 4am.

So let’s think about this. On day 1 I get up at 4am to get to the airport by 5am to be available to work between 5am and 7pm. Then, on day two I get flipped around to be available to work from 1pm until 4am. Does anybody see anything wrong with this?
And yet this is legal and has been going on in the industry for years despite the NTSB’s listing fatigue as one of their “most wanted” items for the FAA to fix since the 1960s.

I’m guessing the strange show time is for one of two reasons. Either there is a late night maintenance repo that needs to go to Clarksburg, WV for a heavy check, or because the weather is supposed to be bad in Charlotte tomorrow they want to keep crews available later in the day. My money is on the flight to West Virginia as it is very unusual for this company to think ahead a few hours let alone a full day.

I’ll know tomorrow I guess.

On The Sidelines

Outside my living room window the sun has managed to break through a ragged layer of clouds. The bright light and glare is taking some getting used to as this is the first direct sunlight I’ve seen on the ground over the last 14 days. Southwest Ohio has been gray and cloudy for at least two weeks now, and once again, like in years past, I am reminded of how much I don’t like living here. Over the summer it is easy to forget as the weather is normally pretty nice. But from October until early May it can be tough.

I’m actually very lucky to be seeing sunlight at all right now. Much of the country is currently under the grip of a nasty storm system that at one point stretched from the Great Plains States always the way to coastal New England. We had a bit of freezing rain last night but by the time I woke up this morning the freezing line had moved well north of here and now, most of the weather has rolled out to the east.

Many of my friends at both this company and others are stuck in random places around the country as their airlines frantically preemptively cancel flights in order to avoid the disasters of the past. Whole day’s worth of flying has been dropped for some, turning 10 hour overnights into 35 hour ordeals. Fortunately for me I’m at home sitting reserve, watching this little drama unfold. I could in theory get called in, but for now, I’m nothing more than a bench warmer.

Winter operations aren’t actually that bad, most of the time, but do require some patience. Since I upgraded in the Spring I haven’t really had to deal with much in the way of snow and ice from the left seat, but I feel like my experiences from the right seat should transfer over decently well. The name of the game is simple. Be conservative. I’ve already taken a step in that direction when, last week while doing a Columbus turn we picked up a trace amount of ice on the wings and tail during the descent to land. The book, for us, is very clear. The “critical” surfaces (anything that provides lift for the airframe to fly) MUST be clear of contaminants (read: ice) before you can take off. For me, that meant it was a no brainer. We had to deice. The deice crew was slightly annoyed at having to come out and spray us down when there was barely anything there, but that’s how the game is played. Sorry guys.

Now, sitting at my desk at home and looking at weather reports from around the system (and seeing lots of heavy snow and wind predicted for New England later today) I am reminded of my first foray into winter weather when I was an FO. I’d been on the line for maybe 2 months when I was assigned a trip starting with a deadhead down to Charlotte. I met up with the crew down there for the one leg up to Akron for the overnight. I don’t remember who the Flight Attendant was, but the captain was one of the old school guys who’d been here forever. A very competent guy, he was pretty rough with the airplane and had a mouth like a sailor. Needless to say, as a new hire FO I was very intimidated. Fortunately it was his leg up there so I didn’t have to worry about much other than him judging my radio skills.

About 80 miles out from the airport I was able to get the latest weather. It was reported as ¾ miles visibility, gusty winds and blowing snow. The runway conditions were reported as “fair” meaning our brakes probably wouldn’t be doing too much. 30 miles from the airport had us descending through 10,000 feet with the approach set up and briefed. Behind the cockpit door I could hear our FA stowing bins and locking down her galley in anticipation of the rough ride to come. As we headed into the clouds of snow and ice I threw a few switches and back in the tail cone of the airplane valves opened to allow hot engine air to be directed to the leading edges of the wing and engine cowls to prevent ice from forming.

We were given vectors to join the localizer at which point this captain informed me that he didn’t trust the autopilot or flight director in a situation like this and was going to fly the approach “raw data”, meaning by hand and without the guidance of the flight director. In theory it’s not that crazy but as a brand new guy my eyes got really big.

Now down at 2000 feet the captain was calling for flaps and gear and starting down the invisible path in the sky defined by the glideslope. To say the ride was rough was a bit of an understatement. The winds at 2000 feet were still blowing at around 80 miles an hour and in order to keep centered on the approach course the plane was nosed about 45 degrees to the left. At 1000 feet I started looking forward to try to find the runway and saw nothing by the hypnotic swirl of snowflakes briefly illuminated in our landing lights. At 500 feet there was still nothing but 100 feet above our minimums a hazy glow started to form off to our right. Right at 200 feet above the ground the lights turned into a runway and the captain called out that he was landing.

That may have been the hardest landing I’ve ever experiences in the jet. It was, as the Navy guys say, an arrival end engagement. I barely had time to wonder if the plane was still in once piece before we started skidding. The reversers slid back and our speed slowly started rolling back but every time the captain hit the brakes we would start to skid to the left or right despite the anti skid computer (like anti lock brakes) furiously modulating brake pressure. The 3000 feet of runway remaining sign blew by the window, a yellow glow, almost completely covered with drifted snow. I called 80 knots of airspeed as the 2000 feet remaining sign went by. With the thrust reversers still at max and our speed slowed air from the engines was being blown forward faster than we were moving and our world was further reduced as clouds of blow snow surrounded us. At 40 knots the brakes finally started to take hold and as the reversers were stowed we could just make out the end of the runway about 500 feet ahead of us.

The captain came to a complete stop before even attempting to turn off the runway and on to the taxi way. Even then, with hardly any speed we still skidded around the corner and slid down the taxiway. Fortunately it was a short taxi to the ramp, and for whatever reason the ramp was clear of ice. Two minutes later we were chocked at the gate and the engines were shut down and I finally had time to wonder exactly I’d gotten myself into.

So as I sit here at home with nothing to do but wrap some holiday gifts I’m glad to be on the sidelines today.

Wash, Rinse, Repeat

I ended up doing 3 more OCFs today on the same plane as yesterday. Same problem as before. Same outcome. This time we took two mechanics with us on each trip and despite what ever fixes they tried on the ground, nothing seemed to solve the problem. At one point there were 5 line mechanics, a lead mechanic and a Maintenance Controller all on board trying to solve the problem. We I left at 10pm due to running out of duty time they had the airplane pretty well torn apart in the hopes that replacing a specific pressure line would solve the problem. I’m not holding my breath.

Working Hard

Today was day one of three of a reserve block for me. I lucked out with a late reserve time (10am-midnight) and when I checked my schedule on line at about 1:20pm there was nothing there. 10 minutes later may phone was ringing and scheduling was telling me to be at the airport at 3:20 for an OCF. An Operational Check Flight is when something is broken on the airplane and Maintenance is either trying to get more information about the problem or they think they have fixed it but they can’t verify it on the ground and require the airplane to fly to see if they got it. Most OCFs are pretty mundane but sometimes an oddball once pops up that requires repetitive take offs and landings or repeatedly swinging the gear.

There are obvious safety concerns about some OCFs and it generally falls to the Captain’s judgment if it can be done safely. The only hard rule is that we can’t shut a required system down in flight (think, turning off a generator or hydraulic system or an engine). Those flights require a pilot (generally a training department guy) who is “specially” trained to do that stuff. But that’s a whole different story.

Today’s OCF was pretty boring. The aircraft has three separate altimeters that keep track of the aircraft’s altitude using ambient static pressure. The two main altimeters are built into the captain and FO’s primary flight display in the form of an altitude tape that scrolls up and down the right hand side. The third altimeter sits in the center of the panel between the two EICAS screens. It’s considered the standby instrument and gets data from an entirely separate static system. On this specific aircraft it had been written up for showing over 300 feet higher than the two main altimeters when in cruise flight. Because it showed the same on the ground but not in flight they needed us to take the plane up to 31,000 feet and see if they had fixed the problem. To monitor the system we took a mechanic with us in the jumpseat.

Because we weren’t actually going anywhere they filed us in a square route around the state of Ohio. No reason to go too far as we would just have to turn around and come right back as soon as we were done. After briefing what we needed to do with the mechanic and getting stuff loaded in to the computer I started up both engines and we taxied out to runway 6L in Dayton. Once at the end we waited for another departure and then blasted off. The plane weighed only 37,000 pounds (which is between 8000 and 15,000 pounds less then it normally weighs and it pretty much jumped off the ground when I started to rotate.

With the lack of weight we had climbed up to 23,000 feet by the time we were over Columbus. Indianapolis Center asked us if we had to stay on our route or could they just vector us around. We agreed to the vector as they could climb us up to our final altitude much quicker that way. As we passed through 27,000 feet the the standby altimeter started to show a 100 foot split which had widened to 200 feet by the time we leveled off at 31,000 feet. As I accelerated to 310 knots the split grew to almost 500 feet difference. All three of us (me, the FO and the mechanic) were satisfied that they hadn’t solved the problem and informed ATC we were ready to head back.

They gave us a turn back to the west and started descending us back down. 20 minutes later I was passing abeam the airport and cleared for the visual. The exceedingly light aircraft weight (we had burned off another 3000 pounds of gas) was allowing the plane to bounce around in the turbulence below the cloud layer but once i got the flaps out and the plane slowed down the bumps stopped. A 3 mile final put me on speed and glide path at 1000 feet above the ground and a minute later I was planting the mains on the runway. A short taxi and we were parked back in front of the hanger, in the same spot we’d been in 1 hour before.

After shutting down we headed inside where I tracked down the lead mechanic who was on the speaker phone with a very French sounding guy in Montreal on Bombardier’s headquarters. They were just as stumped as our guys were and as I walked out the door the French guy (much to the enjoyment of the mechanics in the room) was going on about how “weez don’t knowa whys use are having theeze problemes”.

15 minutes after that, with no clear solution in site scheduling released us for the day.

Duty time: 1 1/2 hours

Flight time: 1 hour

Driving time: 1 hour

My sort of day.

Here’s our rather phallic flight path

Empty Seats

I was given a four day trip starting on Wednesday. It was good to get out and fly, but I actually had planned on doing some stuff at home over those days. Such is life I guess. The worst part about it was that I had just gone grocery shopping and the nice salad I made on Tuesday night will most certainly have gone bad by the time I get back. I have slightly higher hopes for the raspberry pie. As is the line holder called back in for tomorrow so it’s become a three day trip for me with a single leg to fly tomorrow and then a deadhead home.

The yesterday our first round trip out of Charlotte (to Huntsville) was full both ways. We then took 25 people up to Tri Cities and were slightly surprised when we got there to find there were no returning passengers. It was the first time I’d flown a revenue flight with nobody on board. The only thing on the load form (see the picture below) was 38 pounds of ballast in the form of sandbags. After we got back to Charlotte (about an half an hour early due to being able to leave TRI early) we grabbed dinner and then headed east to Newport News for the night.

Today was a quick flight back to Charlotte and then up to Lexington, just ahead of the weather that has been moving up the Mississippi River Valley and into the Ohio River Valley. Despite some gusty winds I managed a nice landing before we turned the airplane around and after a 30 minute sit waiting out an ATC delay we headed back to Charlotte. The flight over to Fayetteville that followed was a quick 20 minutes.

It’s nice flying more than just a day at a time for a change.

Late Call

Fortunately for me, I’ve been back on a late reserve schedule this week. The good part of that is that I don’t have to get up really early ever. The bad part is that I am still on the hook to get called to work later in the day. Yesterday I started my reserve block at 10am and when, at 5:30pm they still hadn’t called I headed over to Yellow Springs to play Ultimate Frisbee. It was raining on the way over but it was warm enough I figured we’d still get people to show up. By the time I got there we almost had enough for 7 on 7 and shortly there after we got a game going.

Normally when I am playing Ultimate and still on reserve I check my phone between every point which is something of a hassle, but it’s the cost of business. When I check around 6:55 the green missed event light was flashing and there was a note that I’d missed a call from “PSA SCHEDULING”. Uh oh!

I called them back and found out that the good news was I had only missed the call by 8 minutes, so I was well within my 15 minutes of call back time. The bad news was they gave me an 8:20pm show time which was exactly 1 hour and 30 minutes (the minimum allowable time) from when they first called. That meant I had 90 minutes to pack up my ultimate stuff, drive home (about 25 minutes), shower, pack (because I was stupid and didn’t have a bag already packed), drive to the airport (35 minutes) and get to the plane. The one thing working in my favor was it was a reposition flight so there weren’t going to be any passengers and and I didn’t have to go into the airport to get to the plane.

That’s pretty much how it worked out. I rolled up to the Maintenance Hangar at 8:18pm and after talking to Dispatch and getting my paperwork headed out to the plane to get things set up. My FO wasn’t there yet so I took my time. Also Charlotte was ground stopped anyways due to all kinds of weather moving through so we weren’t going anywhere any time soon anyways. Additionally, the reason the plane was there to begin with was because it had been hit by lighting earlier in the day and had been flown in to be inspected. Other than some charring of paint and few burn through spots it was ok, and apparently the burn marks were within tolerances.

Eventually my FO arrived and after a quick fix for an additional maintenance problem we started up and taxied out. By then the ground stop had been canceled and after waiting for one plane to land (see picture at the end) I lined us up and handed the controls over to the FO who put up the power and rotated us skyward. After getting handed off to departure and headed south we set up for the hour long flight down to Charlotte. The weather was mostly good, although there was a pretty constant light show to the south east as we crossed over western West Virginia. Fortunately for us it was all east and south of Charlotte, and other than some good static discharges on the windshield (a first for my FO) we broke out of the clouds and joined the final for Runway 18R

After landing I took the plane back and taxied to the gate. Despite the late hour (10:30) there were still a lot of planes around, all delayed due to the earlier weather. By the time I had the plane shut down and the door open (which I had to do myself because there was no FA with us) the crew taking the plane out to Fayettville, NC was already waiting outside. We got off and they got on and that was that.

Today I manged to sleep in a bit and then head to the airport at noon to deadhead back to Dayton. That worked out mostly as planned (other than the exceedingly large guy sitting next to me) and now I’m looking forward to 4 days off. Highly exciting.

No Sleep ‘Till Dayton

So, I’ve been listening to the Beastie Boys. (hence the title).

Anyhow, yesterday was a rough day. I called in the night before for my reserve time (after being woken up at 5am to go to the airport at 6:30am to sit hot reserve until 3pm) and was given a 5am regular reserve. Excellent. Works for me. Maybe I’ll even get to sleep in. Then, at 9:30 my phone rings it’s wonderful scheduling ringer and for some stupid reason I answer it. Now, understand that once I had my reserve time the next morning I don’t have to talk to scheduling any more until my reserve time starts the next morning. But of course I wasn’t really thinking clearly and I picked up the stupid phone. They reassigned me (illegally of course) at 4:39am show for a day trip down to Charlotte. So, instead of sleeping in (haha) until at least 5am, I now had to get up at 3:15 in order to make it to the airport by 4:39am. Lovely.

I managed to get in bed by 10:30 but didn’t fall asleep until I turned on the air conditioning at 11:30. Then, for what ever reason I woke up at 2am and couldn’t go back to sleep so I just got up at 3am. Yep, that gave me a massive 2 hours and 30 minutes of sleep, after being up since 5am the morning before. Anyhow, I somehow managed to drag myself to the airport and once there I started to wake up pretty quickly. I was on the plane by 4:45 and we were loaded up and ready to go by 5:20.

The flight down to Charlotte was my FO’s leg and I actually was feeling pretty good. About halfway down the sun started rising and it was looking like it was going to be a nice day. Of course at that point ATC told us the planes were going missed in Charlotte because of the fog down there and to expect holding shortly. A quick look at our fuel showed that that wouldn’t work out too well for us, so I started playing the what if game.

Basically we need to be landing with 3000 pounds of fuel in the CRJ700. (We work in pounds, not gallons, and it works out to about 6 pounds per gallon so you do the math). That gives us 45 minutes before the engines suck the fuel tanks dry. 45 minutes may sound like a long time, but in reality, it’s not much when you are up in the air and at the 45 minute mark you no longer will be. When the put us in holding we had 5000 pounds of fuel on board. I did some quick math, backed up by the flight management computer and decided that Greer, South Carolina, about 50 miles to our south looked like the best place to go if we got low on fuel. It was about 50 miles away and at our current fuel burn it would take about 300 pounds of fuel to get there. I doubled it for my spider plant at home (most people use their wife/kids/goldfish, but I have none of those so my plant has to do) and then added another 100 just because. That meant at 3700 pounds of fuel remaining we would have to head over to Greer. It worked out that it would take 3800 pounds to get to Charlotte, so at 3800 we would head over to Greer anyways. That meant we had 1200 pounds of “play fuel” or at our current burn rate about 30 minutes to spin circles in the sky.

I called back to the FAs to let them know what was going on and they told me most everybody in the back was awake so I made a PA. If the majority had been sleeping I wouldn’t have bothered seeing as how ignorance is bliss and all. It ended up working out pretty well. By the time we had done one turn in the hold the weather was up enough that they were letting planes back into Charlotte. We turned back inbound and were cleared to continue on our route after holding for only 5 minutes. The rest of the approach was straight forward and we broke out of the fog at about 900 feet. After landing it was a quick taxi in to the gate where they actually plug in ground power and air making me feel like I worked at a “real” airline.

45 minutes later we were loaded up and pushing back to had over to Wilmington. Despite my lack of sleep I was still doing pretty well and managed to make one of my nicest 700 landings there. It’s on tape so I may upload it later. We had 45 minutes in ILM so I ran in and got a cranberry muffin for breakfast. It wasn’t as good as the last time, but when it comes to sugar filled baked goods I’m not picky. We then loaded up 40 more passengers and blasted off west bound to Charlotte. Despite some haze we made it in no problem (see picture below) and headed to the gate to start our 3 hour and 59 minute break.

Yeah, you read that right. Almost 4 hours of sitting and doing nothing. Fortunately a guy from my new hire and upgrade class was sitting hot reserve so we hung out for a while and then got lunch at Chili’s. That killed almost 3 hours so by then I was able to head down to the gate and get on the plane. Despite being 10 minutes late off the gate because our ramp crew took a mini vacation we got right out to the runway with no waiting and headed northwest towards Dayton and home. As we leveled off at 28,000 my exhaustion started catching up with me. A couple hits of O2 woke me back up enough to managed an ok crosswind landing in Dayton and then taxi in to the gate.

The drive home was mostly a blur, and then I was done and able to finally go to sleep. Of course I didn’t though. I was home by 5:30pm but I forced myself to stay awake until 9:30 so I wouldn’t wake up at 4am and not be able to go back to sleep. As was I got up this morning at 9am feeling mostly much better. Today is my last day of reserve and as of now it looks like they won’t be using me so I think I’ve survived the week.

Mental Alarm

I woke up when it was still dark this morning, and once my sleep bleary eyes focused on my clock, I saw it was 4:58am. There was absolutely no reason to be up at that hour so I figured my phone was probably going to ring in a few minutes calling me out for a trip as I was on 5am regular reserve. Sure enough about 3 minutes later my phone sounded off and I answered it to find I had been given hot reserve (yet again) starting at 6:30am because the 5am hot reserve had gotten used right away. Lucky me.

This time was just about as boring as the last time. Fortunately the extra few hours of sleep I had gotten, coupled with the hour and thirty minutes less I had to sit around made it bearable.

The Waiting

Today is day 2 of six on reserve. So far days one and two have consisted of sitting around doing nothing. Oh, I did go grocery shopping and made an 8X10 print of one of the pictures from Alaska. The problem with reserve is that I have about a 30 minute leash attached between me and my apartment, meaning it takes me 30 minutes to get completely packed (I keep my bag almost ready to go) dressed and out the door and then 30 minutes to get to the airport. That hour of leaves me only 30 minutes of my 1:30 left to play with. Even going grocery shopping can be a trick as it can easily take 20 minutes to get to the front and check out. It’s sort of like (to a much lesser extent) how when I was growing up my dad carried a pager radio when he was an on call fire fighter.

The good news is there is something on my schedule for tomorrow, so maybe I’ll get to fly some.