Thursday, October 18, 2007

All pix by Kitsch, all praise to him. Click on the pix to make them big.

We were the first aircraft to depart Pearson this morning, punching a hole in the thick fog. How foggy? RVR 1400, which is somewhere around 1/4 mile visibility. I have done zillions of takeoffs in 1/2 mile visibility, that's nothing special. And I have done lots of RVR 1400 takeoffs before. In the simulator. But after 20 years of flying, this was the first one I had ever done in real life.

First we had to follow the taxiways to find the runway. It's a lot harder than it sounds, even though we are both familiar with the airport. There was no visual reference besides the green lights embedded in the taxiway, and we were worried about overshooting our intended intersecting taxiways.

Once we got on the runway, this is what it looked like. Each set of lights is 200 feet down the runway.

The airplane behaved, and our carefully briefed and discussed plan on what to do in case we lost an engine on takeoff wasn't needed. We punched through the cloud layer and welcomed the morning sun on our faces.

It was nice to see the sun come up, but I'm pretty sure I was smiling because we were heading to our destination empty, and I didn't have to wear a tie, like an animal. That, and drinking Red Bull before 8am always makes me giggly.

Watching the clouds drift by below us, as our engines turn money into forward thrust.

After a few hours, we arrived at our destination. I was stressed because the airport we were landing at was so small that it didn't have any weather published, and all the airports around it were completely fogged in. But when we got there, we got lucky and our airport was nice and clear. And pretty.

Once we arrived, it was time to change into our shirts and ties, like animals. And wait for our passengers. We were a bit early, and I passed the time by making gang signs. I think I look like Tupac. Or like I have palsy, whatever. Heh, Lisa just saw this pic as I was posting it and said "Oh honey, are you okay?" Not entirely the desired effect, but I'll take it.

Kitsch tried desperately to ignore my thuggin', choosing to fixate on his Blackberry.

Then our pax showed up, and we the did same thing in reverse, winding up back at home in time for me to have a delicious supper with the lovely Lisa, and to blog this.

Fly safe!


Anonymous said...

Great to have you back. No offsense, but it was getting pretty depressing to keep dropping by and seeing nothing but the youtube link to the dude getting whacked with his helicopter rotor.

Anyway, out of curiosity and for those non-aviators among us, what was the well briefed plan in the event you lost an engine on takeoff?

Anonymous said...

In the U.S. it's legal for a part 91 (or whatever) flight to do a 0-0 takeoff. I did it once in a light single (with vis about 50-100 ft), and it wasn't that bad with a slow takeoff speed. I don't think I'll do it again tho.

Pedro said...

oh the good life! I spent 11h in fron of the PC programming.... wanna switch? hehe (I know your job can get hard too sometimes)