Tag Archives: snow

Deice at the Speed of Light

The snow is now coming down in heavy curtains of white, just as it has been for the last few hours, and quite probably the last few days, weeks and months. This is Buffalo after all. I’ve spent the morning sitting in my hotel room catching up on some paperwork and watching the flakes drift by my window with the backdrop of parking lots and shopping malls behind them. I guess I should be happy that at least the heater in my room worked.

The van ride over slick, mostly plowed roads behind us, we’ve now readied the plane and loaded aboard 49 passengers for the long flight down to Charlotte. The paperwork is calling for 200 mile per hour of headwinds the whole way as well as moderate turbulence. The crew that brought the airplane in departed up the jetway with a sarcastic “have fun” as a goodbye. Lucky them. As the main cabin door closes and I settle into my seat I look out at the wintery landscape reflected in the terminal windows and realize it’s going to be a long afternoon.

The gate here is one where we start up and taxi out instead of the usual push back with a tug. It’s probably just as well as judging from the condition of the ramp I doubt a tug could get enough traction to move us. I get the ok signal from the ramper to spin the right engine and reach up to engage the starter. The FO dutifully hacks the clock to note the time. 80 feet behind us several bleed valves open and close to direct air from the APU into the air turbine starter. The core slowly starts to rotate, followed shortly thereafter by the outer fan.

With everything looking good I glance up at the overhead panel to double check the ignition is armed and then move the right thrust lever from shutoff to idle, introducing fuel into the spinning engine. In theory the fuel should be ignited by the starter, combust and exit out the back of the engine, spinning a turbine along the way which in turn powers the fan on the front of the engine which sucks in more air for a self sustaining process. Except there is no light off. Instead raw fuel is being vented out the back of our engine into the cold air behind the plane.

After several seconds of wondering what is going on I pull the thrust lever back to shutoff and turn off the ignition. I let the starter spin the engine for another 30 seconds to ensure all the fuel is vented out and then shut that off as well. I then look over at the FO and shrug. He shrugs back. Thankfully there is a checklist for this sort of thing because otherwise we probably would just sit here shrugging at each other for a while.

The checklist run, we try again using the other ignition system. This time the engine lights off with no problems. The second engine follows shortly thereafter and we are ready to taxi. Deice operations are done by a third party contract company so after getting a clearance from ground we taxi over to where the deice trucks are parked and give them a call. We are their only customer at the time so we are quickly swarmed by all three trucks.

As soon as we tell them we are configured they start spraying, one on each wing and one on the tail. Deice and anti ice normally takes between 15 and 25 minutes depending on the amount of contamination on the airframe and the skill of the deice crew. Today it take 4 minutes for them to spray Type 1 deice fluid and then coat the airplane in slimy Type 4 anti ice fluid. Neither the FO nor I can quite believe they are already done, but looking back I can clearly see a greenish tinge on the left wing. The FO reports the same on his side.

It takes use a few minutes to reconfigure the aircraft and then we start the long taxi to the end of the departure runway. The snow is still falling but visibility is good. The taxiways are not cleared and we rock back and forth through the ruts left by previous aircraft. It’s bumpy, but looking up at the leaden, snow filled sky I realize that it may be smoother bumping along down here than it’s going to be when we get up there in just a few minutes.

Winter Slush

The Washington National ramp is a mess. A midwinter storm dumped an inch or so of snow overnight and now it’s turned to slush and chunks of ice in the morning sun. Even with both engines running it takes a bit more thrust than normal to get the plane moving and once rolling it tends to slip back and forth as we plow through the mire. The marshaler gives us a sloppy salute and turns to splash away through the slop before I can even acknowledge it, something that has become all too typical as of late.

Ground control clears us to taxi out and I start navigating to the runway mostly by muscle memory and landmarks as the majority of the taxiway signs and pavement markings are covered with snow. Along the edge of the Mainline gates several salt trucks and giant vacuum style ice scrapers are driving around trying to clean up some of the mess. Unlike the gate area, the taxiways are the responsibility of the City and while they’ve done a nice job clearing and treating the runways, they haven’t gotten to the taxiways yet.

Another plane pulls out in front of us and I tap the brakes to give us a bit more space. The plane slides slightly to the left before the wheels catch on a bit of clear pavement and we slow. Continuing on I glance at the snowbanks built up at the edge of the taxiway from where the city plowed off the snow of previous storms. I don’t see any that are higher than a foot which means our wings will clear no problem, but I make a mental note to keep an eye out for them as they grow over the course of the rest of the winter.

Just short of the runway I have the FO put out the flaps. Normally we’d accomplish this earlier in the taxi, but with all the slush being kicked up by our wheels I’ve kept the flaps up to prevent damage or contamination. As the flaps are rolling off the back of the wing, Tower clears us for takeoff so we hurry through the rest of the taxi and before takeoff checklists. The FO finishes the last checklist as we roll onto the runway.

The wind is gusting out of the west and as we start to accelerate down the runway the plane starts to weathervane slightly into the wind. My feet are resting on the rudder pedals and I feel the left one drop slightly as the FO corrects. At 139 knots I call “rotate” and after a moment’s hesitation we head skyward. The snowy landscape recedes as we climb and turn to the northwest to follow the Potomac River.

As the left wing dips into the turn I have a good view of the Pentagon with Arlington National Cemetery stretching out behind it beneath its blanket of snow. On the Primary Flight Display the course line centers up and the wings roll level. As we accelerate I bring the flaps up and check in with the Departure Controller. Behind us, slowly melting in the sun, the slush covered taxiways and ramps fade into the distance.

Snow In The Lights

We get off the gate early, which is somewhat unusual for the last flight of the night. Of course, this isn’t a go home leg, so for me, the amazement level isn’t as high as it could be. We are number four in line and after following the hulking 767 in front of us like a lost puppy we make it to the end of the runway. I’m only flying 2 legs with this First Officer and because tomorrow I will be doing everything I can (including flying fast) to make the stars align in order to catch a commute home, he offers to take this evening’s leg and leave the fate of my commute in my hands tomorrow.

We rotate into the dark sky and head northward. It’s cold and clear and the airplane wastes no time in climbing to 28,000 feet. At 5 miles above the Earth it’s smooth and I flip off the seatbelt sign and then push my seat all the way back, press my face to the warm glass of the side cockpit window and stare at the mass of stars overhead. The FO, a downgraded captain, is a vocal Libertarian, and while talking politics in the cockpit is normally taboo, I tend to make an exception when flying with him as I am interested about his views on governance and policy. While the stars swirl overhead I attempt to come up with interesting questions to ask, but a combination of hunger and tiredness clouds my mind and I end up with nothing.

The ride starts to get bumpy as we pass over western West Virginia. I flip the seatbelt sign back on and see if I can pick up the latest weather in Akron, still 140 miles away. The radio frequency is a jumble of static and voices as the receiver picks up three of four different broadcasts. Due to the altitude and the clear conditions radio waves are traveling a long ways this evening and broadcast stations that wouldn’t normally conflict are overlapping with each other. I finally match a voice to the Akron report and filter the rest out.

Despite the large bands of Lake Effect snow that are currently burying northern Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York State, Akron had been forecasted to stay clear. Of course it’s not and the latest weather is reporting winds from the south and 3 miles of visibility due to snow. We don’t have any extra fuel on board and I momentarily kick myself for not considering the fact that unforecasted snow bands may have roamed farther southward than planned. As things stand the weather is plenty good enough to sneak in, but I’d rather not even have to worry about it. Cleveland Center clears us down to 11,000 feet and I start entering data for the approach.

Dropping through 6000 feet with the city lighting clearly in sight below us the first of the snowflakes start to pass by. Illuminated by our some large number of millions of candlepower landing lights, they look like glittery threads blowing by the cockpit windows and disappearing in the darkness. Approach Control puts us on a downwind to join the instrument approach on the other side of the field and descends us to 4000 feet. Looking straight down out the side window I can see the ground lighting still visible through the blur of the passing snow. Forward visibility has dropped to zero and we join the approach in a swirling cloud of white.

The runway emerges out of the grayness as we pass through 2000 feet and the gear drops out. It’s still snowing, but not hard enough to be an issue. Tower clears us to land and advises us the runway is clear with patches of snow and ice. At 50 feet above the ground, as the FO pulls out the last of the power, I lean forward and stare into the darkness which our landing lights are doing their best to penetrate. The black runway pavement is scarred with white patches of snow. I advise the FO to be light on the brakes and to expect some sliding. He mumbles something and then goes back to fighting a surprisingly gusty crosswind that has materialized. We thump down on the runway and he wastes no time in getting the thrust reversers out and gently easing on the brakes. As we slow to a stop with minimal skidding I see that the patches of white are actually just blowing snow and not ice on the runway. We turn off the runway downfield and I take over driving duties. Even if the runway was in good shape, that’s no guarantee that the taxi way will be as well. Winter is here and that’s just how things tend to go.

Winter Arrives

The wind is kicking up huge whitecaps on the Delaware River, visible just for a moment as we rotate skyward off the end of the runway. Within seconds we enter the clouds and the ground disappears in a fadeout of milky whitet. Heavy rain drums on the cockpit glass and on the roof overhead. When the tower controller tells us to contact Departure the radios buzz from the static that has built up on the airframe. The radar is showing splotches of green and yellow all around us, but thankfully very little red. And despite all of that, the ride is smooth. I relax my left hand on the yoke slightly and let out a small sigh.

Winter has come on December 1st in the form of a massive storm system that is moving up the east coast. Departing Nashville, just before sunrise, the air was mostly still but the clouds overhead were slipping quickly by. Heading east towards Washington, DC we were pushed along by almost 150 miles per hour of wind. With the ground hidden beneath a solid layer of clouds we watched our progress as it was depicted on the moving map display. Passing over Beckley, West Virginia a wall of clouds began to form on the eastern Horizon, blotting out the now risen Sun. Even with power pulled back and the engines just barely pushing us along, the clouds still moved closer at a rapid rate so that by the time that we’d begun our decent towards Washington, we’d run into the back side of the weather.

DC was reporting rain winds out of the south, gusting to 20 miles per hour when we started the approach. To land to the south at Washington National, when the weather is down, is one of the busier instrument approaches we fly, involving a number of quick (just 2 miles apart) step down fixes that come up very fast. Throw in the bumpy ride and the heavy rain and the fact that when you do get the bottom of the approach you still have to maneuver visually to find the runway (about a mile away and off to the left somewhere), it can be a somewhat stressful time. As advertised at 600 feet above the ground the clouds parted slightly and there ahead of us, around a curve in the Potomac River, was the runway.

I touched down on the wet pavement and using max reverse thrust and heavy braking got the airplane stopped in a hurry. Normally I don’t like throwing the passengers forward in their seats, but DC was trying to pump out a departure before the next arrival chasing us down the river landed. Once clear of the runway and parked at the gate our passengers got off and boarded a bus to the terminal. While we waited for out outbound passengers to arrive we watched aircraft break out of the clouds, come down the river and touchdown. To the northwest, where the planes were breaking out, the clouds started to get darker and darker while the wind and rain started to increase. Within about a minute the winds went from being out of the south to out of the north, causing a plane to go around due to the sudden tailwind.

With no passengers in sight, I had the flight attendant shut the main cabin door as the rain started to come down in sheets. Our door was facing north and if we didn’t get it shut, the plane would soon become a swimming pool. With the door shut, sealed off from the outside world, we watched the rain come down, blown almost horizontally by the wind. In the middle of this our bus of passengers showed up, but we elected to let the rain ease up a bit before boarding. After 10 minutes it let up slightly and a ramper arrived to load bags. We then popped the door and one at a time our passengers (all 15 of them) ran from the cover of the bus, up the aircraft stairs and into the plane.

15 minutes later we were taxiing out in the driving rain. After waiting for several arrivals we blasted off into the clouds for a very bumpy trip up to Philly. It was the FO’s leg and coming down the approach we got bounced around pretty good but broke out with plenty of time to find the runway and land were we swapped out 15 passengers for 20 new passengers waiting to head out to Dayton. With the wind reported to be topping 40 miles per hour out of the south, on taxi out we requested the north-south runway, which is not the normal departure runway. After warning us that it “may be a while” before we’d be able to take off from that runway they cleared us to taxi to it. A while turned into 30 minutes of watching airplanes break out of the clouds, lurch and bounce over the fence and slam into the runway amidst a driving rain. At one point a Southwest flight behind us asked tower how much longer until they’d be able to take off. Before tower could respond a voice from another plane (I’m assuming it was another Southwest flight that had just landed) said “I wouldn’t be in any rush to get back up there”.

Tower finally told us to get our engines started up again as we’d be released in a few minutes. While we spun them up and ran the appropriate checklists the wind started to shift from the south to the west and increase in speed. Two planes coming down final went around. By the time we were ready to go the wind was now straight out of the west at 45 miles per hour, well exceeding our crosswind limitation for the north south runway we were set to launch off of. Laughing at the irony of it all my FO told tower we’d be unable to depart and would have to taxi over to the other runway; the one we’d refused to use 30 minutes ago. Tower wasted no time in clearing us to taxi over there and somehow, when we got there we were number one to go.

The ride is still mostly smooth as we climb out. At 10,000 feet the grayness of the clouds begins to lighten and by 12,000 we are on top. There is nothing but blue sky ahead. I gently push the nose over and pick up airspeed. We’ve got almost 100 miles per hour of wind in our face and I’m going to use every bit of speed I can coax out of the plane to get us home. Several minutes later I rethink that slightly as the latest weather report from Dayton comes across the ACARS: 2 miles and blowing snow. I lean back in my seat letting the warmth of the sun wash across my face. We might as well get it over with I think and push the thrust levers forward some more.

Snow Day

Below us the James River is winding its way eastward between snow covered banks as it gently rolls downhill towards the Chesapeake Bay and eventually the Atlantic. Under its blanket of snow the Virginia landscape probably looks about the same as it did 400 years ago, just after the founding of Jamestown, near the mouth of the river. Despite the massive winter storm that has dumped almost three feet of snow on the Mid Atlantic countryside the river isn’t frozen over and its dark gray surface reflects the blue sky and clouds above as it twists and turns across the land.

We picked up the River at the southern edge of Virginia’s George Washington National Forest, just south of another former President’s home. Perched on the edge of a bluff, overlooking Charlottesville, Monticello, former home of Thomas Jefferson, commands an impressive view of the river valley. Passing over at 16,000 feet the main house is visible as a red smudge against the white hillside.

Heading east with the sun shining brightly across the white landscape we are descended to 10,000 feet. The river flattens and widens. Surface roads become visible with cars, like ants, moving along them. Most of the main roads look clear but many smaller roads still are covered in white. A cleared railroad line moves away in a straight line to the north. Later a Gate Agent will tell us that Richmond is the end of the line for both Amtrak and Greyhound heading north. The roads and tracks through the Capital and northward are still impassible. But down here the world is slowly shaking itself awake after the storm.

Potomac Approach clears us down to 3,000 feet and after asking us if we have the field in sight, clears us for a visual approach. It’s my leg so I pull back on the thrust levers and start to reach up to the autopilot control panel. It’s such a nice day that I decide to hand fly and instead disconnect the autopilot and remove the flight director from my screen. The airport is at our 11 o’clock, a bright white field of snow amongst the trees and buildings of urban Richmond. I visualize a curving path that straightens about two miles from the end of the runway. Once I have that in my mind I visualize a downward sloping path that follows my arc that gets us down to the ground at the end of the runway. I then throw speed into the mix and visualize how much power it will take to get there are at the speed I want, taking into account the addition of flaps and gear. It all comes together rather nicely and I allow myself to watch the scenery go by as the plane turns, descends and slows all at once.

The runway, thankfully clear of snow and ice, comes into view as we roll out on final. The wind is light and the ground, blanketed in snow is staying cool enough to limit any thermals. My FO reminds me that we are light (just the two of us and the Flight Attendant who is strapped into the cockpit jumpseat enjoying a view she normally doesn’t get) and I grunt in acknowledgment. Despite his reminder just seconds ago I somehow manage to over rotate the nose upward during the flare and it take a quick bit of jockeying with the thrust and the controls to settle the plane gently to the ground.

The plane decelerates quickly and before I even have time to pop the thrust reversers we are slowing through 100 knots. As we clear the runway tower advises us that the braking action on the ramp has been reported as “poor”. That would have been useful to know a few seconds earlier as we skid slightly as I turn on to the untreated ramp surface. I get the plane back under control and slowly, very slowly, start moving towards the gate.

Up The River

2500 feet finds us tunneling through a solid mass of fog and rain. We are lit up like a Christmas tree and due to the temperature the precipitation captured in the beams of the landing lights is a mix of rain and ice. The FO turned on the engine and wing anti ice system several minutes ago and I am comforted by the green flow lines depicted on the multi function display, showing hot air being carried to the leading edge of the wing and engine cowls. Somewhere below us the sluggish waters of the Potomac River are sliding by, hidden by the clouds and darkness.

Despite the weather the ride has been mostly smooth unlike earlier in the day when we bounced through the clouds on our way into Charlotte. And into Greenville, SC. And back into Charlotte. And down to Columbia, SC. I shake my head slightly and realize that out of 5 legs flown today, at no time have we seen the ground above 1000 feet, something all too typical of late Fall/early Winter in the North East.

At 2000 feet off the ground there still isn’t anything to see forward except a hypnotizing pattern of rain and snow that is blasting by the window. A mile back tower advised us to slow down as much as we could as we were getting too close to the airplane in front of us to allow a departure between their arrival and ours. We’ve slowed down but with 25 knots of wind pushing us along towards the runway there may still not be enough room. Behind us, the next airplane in line (a Mesaba CRJ 900) is throwing out their anchor in an effort to slow down as well.

Out of the corner of my eye I see a blur of lights and look straight downward out the left side window. A string of white headlights emerges out of the fog, stretching off into the distance before it drifts out of sight behind the wing. I take a second to get my bearings and realize I’m watching Beltway traffic cross the Potomac on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. By now the lights are a faint memory and all that’s left is the momentary blur of raindrops, briefly illuminated by our flashing strobe light and beacon.

The gray darkness ahead starts to lighten and then lift as the ground lights come into sight. The runway approach lights are turned off but visibility is reported as 10 miles below the overcast so just the runway edge lights are more than enough. On the far side of the airport, on the other side of the bend in the Potomac and across the Mall, the headlights on 14th St stretch northward. Going from seeing nothing to the entirety of The District laid out in front of us in just seconds is a bit of a shock but fortunately the runway rushing towards us at 175mph forces us to focus on the task at hand.

The pavement starts just after the river ends and despite the steady rain and not so steady crosswind the FO manages a soft touchdown. We slow and turn off the runway. Behind us an American 737 starts accelerating down the runway we just vacated, it’s landing lights flickering behind the spray of water its engines are kicking up. Behind them, rapidly approaching down the river are the lights of the CRJ that was behind us. DC runs things tight, but as the lights quickly settle towards the ground, and the still accelerating 737 I realize they set this one up too tight. Sure enough ATC tells the arriving Mesaba jet to go around and their lights rotate upwards and within seconds they disappear back into the clouds.

The drama over I switch to “driving” mode in my mind and start looking for the line that will lead us to our rain swept parking space.

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.

Days Off

I’m in the middle of two days off right now. I had a 3 day trip leading into my days off which I got back from at around noon so it is really 2 and 1/2 days off. I like it. The trip was split between two crew. Both were good so it helped the trip go by quickly as the weather certainly didn’t. We had our first real snow storm up here and flying from CLT to Akron for an overnight was pretty interesting. Thankfully it was the captain’s leg as we were coming down to the runway through clouds of blowing snow. Oh yeah… the runway was covered in snow and ice too. Ah yes, living the dream. By the time we got to the hotel it was 9:00 and we had a 5am show. Got to love reduced rest. I barley slept all night and was really tired for the who of the next day (CAK-CLT-ROC-CLT-CVG). Got into Cincy (well, KY really) around 5 and just had enough energy to get dinner and then go to sleep for another 4am wakeup. Why do I love this job so much? Well, the early winter morning sunrise from FL250 made it worth it I guess. After we got back to Charlotte we did a quick Jacksonville, NC turn. It was the first time I have gone into an uncontrolled field in the jet. It was sort of strange making position report. After that I deadheaded back to Dayton to dig my car out of 5 inches of snow and go home.

Today was pretty laid back. My roomate got stuck as a replacement hot reserve but when he got back we went over to the mall so he could get a gift for a friend who is graduating college. God I hate malls. Especially around this time of year. After that we played a couple rounds of Mario Kart on the gamecube. Great way to spend a day off. I’m trying to get down to Miami next weekend and see a friend. Not sure how that will work.

Following pictures are from the last few trips I’ve been on.

Climbing out of BUF heading down to PIT. That’s Lake Erie in the background.

The lineup for 9R in PHL. It’s CRJs as far as the eye can see. Mostly AWAC.

Jacksonville, NC. Middle of nowhere.

Off The Radar

Hmm… Where did I go? Don’t really know. I sort of disappeared for a while. Anyhow, not that it really matters. No one was reading this anyways. Yes folks, that is right. The whole time I have been writing I have been keeping these files on my computer in the hopes that at some time I would be able to upload them to a server that supports PHP. Grrr… So, it doesn’t really matter that I don’t write for a few weeks. So there. Actually I was trying to put this up on my Dad’s Site but I don’t have FTP access for some strange reason (even though I designed and wrote the site!) Also, the other site I designed, I no longer remember the password for the FTP. What a sorry state of affairs. Oh well.

So the snow we got is starting to melt, and the rains are due in tonight. But, on the up side (for me anyways) more snow is expected over the weekend. We had two days of class canceled this week, which led to some great sledding among other things.

And here it is Friday already. I really like this three day week thing.