Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Winter Operations

Transition from Type Rating to line operations wasn't quite smooth.
The weather we have at the moment is really winterly (if I can say), de-icing on most sectors, freezing conditions (and special checklists for those), CAT II and III approaches, Low vis take-off (LVPs), diversions, ...
However, this environment makes the learning experience very useful.

The worst we had so far was 50 meters reported visibility (and 150m RVR) on take-off, 50 meters VIS / 250 meters RVR on a CAT III approach, 50 kts crosswind on the final approach (but "only" 20 kts on the ground), ...
To give an idea, 50 meters visibility is the equivalent of standing in front of the aircraft and not being able to see the fin or the horizontal stabilizer.

Flying days are very interesting, that's for sure.
I cannot give specific details but I got to fly long sectors (5 hours), short ones (1 hour), I really like the diversity in the flying itself.

On the other hand, the flights can be quite stressful, there is a lot to do especially as I'm learning and very little time to actually enjoy the view or set back, even on longer trips.
Overall, the job is quite a bit different from what I expected, not to say it is not as good as I imagined it but you realise what it is like only when you're actually on the line.
The greatest surprise was the crew-environment, obviously very different from single-pilot flying. The atmosphere in the cockpit does depend a lot on the other pilot, someone you seat next to for 5 to 10 hours on a regular day.
Some flights go by very smoothly and as planned, some other flights don't. Last minute clearance change from ATC, delays, various passenger issues, diversions, anything that doesn't work as expected makes it a lot more stressful and difficult to deal with.
In the end, some days are extremely enjoyable while others seem very long and tiring.

Still, every time I look outside, the view is always outstanding and it's never disappointing.

Is there anything better than eating breakfast on top of the Alps at sunrise?


Jun said...

I really understand how hard training,working are although I've never experienced to work as an airline pilot.
,Thank you so much for sharing experiences,and wonderful photos.One day I also wanna eat breakfast at the top of Alps!!That must be one of the best moment.
Best wishes,

Jun said...

Thank you so much! Yes,I really like it!! My hometown is Osaka.But my house is located in Kobe.Beef?Yes!
Have a safe flight,and I am so looking forward to reading your blog.
Best regards,

Jun said...

Thank you so much for the message.This news is wow.Ikeda shi is close to Kobe.I am excited to hear that you have all good reasons to come to Japan someday!!
Currently only ANA has a cadet programme.In 2010,when I was junior,I applied for this programme.Unfortunately I failed.I felt like that feeling was one of saddest feeling in my life.26 students out of 10,000 passed,and I do proud of them.We used to have JAL cadet progaramme though because of economic recession,we don't have an opportunity to apply for JAL cadet programme.
So I could not enroll in the Air cadet programme.
I will just focus on everyday ,and try to learn as much as possible.
Warm regards,

louis380 said...

Hi there !!
Do you mean that with having more and more hours of flight and becoming more experienced, you'll be more confident in the cockpit and have more time to appreciate the breathtaking view ? That it is often very busy in the cockpit because you just began on the real line ?


You keep faith in all of us to make our dreams a reality !!!

Erwan said...

Any new videos??
I'm became addicted since the last one.
I've seen it maybe ten times!

Fly safe,