Saturday, January 29, 2011

Quote of the day!

In case of Real Emergency YOU have controls, communications and checklist and I will jump with my parachute...

Pilot... At last!

Yes it's true now I can say I'm a Pilot, and a very proud one. Yesterday was my examination flight witch included 3 different evaluations, one for the commercial pilot license, CPL, another for the Multi-Engine Qualification and a third one, the IR, instrument rating. In order to really finish I still have to be evaluated for the Single-Engine Qualification and finish the simulator sessions for the MCC, Multi Crew Co-operation but this huge step in my life as a pilot can't pass without a reference to it. No doubt that the 28th. January 2011 will be a day to remember.

And by the way if someone with a camera, a spotter or so, was at Lisbon airport yesterday at about 5:30pm and has a picture of CS-DBR performing a low pass please contact me.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

12 minutes which make a difference: Southwest Airlines pilot holds plane for murder victim’s family

It’s easy to be an airline industry critic in an era of “no waivers, no favors” and fees on top of fees. It’s easy to paint airlines as heartless corporations that treat us like self-loading cargo.
But every now and then, you hear a story that turns you into an adoring fan. Like Nancy’s story.
Before I continue, I should mention a few things: Nancy is a faithful reader of this site, and I agreed to use only her first name because of the brutal nature of the crime and the age of the victim. Second, I’m not an emotional, John Boehner-type, but I can’t read her story without getting a little teary.
So you’ve been warned: Grab a tissue.
Last night, my husband and I got the tragic news that our three-year-old grandson in Denver had been murdered by our daughter’s live-in boyfriend.
He is being taken off life support tonight at 9 o’clock and his parents have opted for organ donation, which will take place immediately. Over 25 people will receive his gift tonight and many lives will be saved.
This morning, after only a couple hours sleep, my husband and I began to make all arrangements to get him to Denver to be with our daughter. He is currently on business in LA and is flying Southwest.
While his employer, Northrop Grumman, made arrangements to get his ticket changed so he could get to Tucson today (which he had to do in order to not spend any extra money) I called Southwest to arrange his flight from Tucson to Denver so he would be stepping off one plane and getting on another.
He has several free flights with them so I couldn’t really do it on the website. The ticketing agent was holding back tears throughout the call. I’m actually her step-mother and it’s much more important for my husband to be there than for me to be there.
In LAX, the lines to both check a bag and get through security were exceptional. He got to the airport two hours early and was still late getting to his plane.
Every step of the way, he’s on the verge of tears and trying to get assistance from both TSA and Southwest employees to get to his plane on time.
According to him, everyone he talked to couldn’t have cared less. When he was done with security, he grabbed his computer bag, shoes and belt and ran to his terminal in his stocking feet.
When he got there, the pilot of his plane and the ticketing agent both said, “Are you Mark? We held the plane for you and we’re so sorry about the loss of your grandson.”
The pilot held the plane that was supposed to take off at 11:50 until 12:02 when my husband got there.
As my husband walked down the Jetway with the pilot, he said, “I can’t thank you enough for this.”
The pilot responded with, “They can’t go anywhere without me and I wasn’t going anywhere without you. Now relax. We’ll get you there. And again, I’m so sorry.”
My husband was able to take his first deep breath of the day.
I don’t know any other airline that would have done this.
I’m speechless. Twelve minutes many not sound like a lot to you or me, but every second counts when you’re an airline. Southwest can turn an entire plane around in about 20 minutes, so 12 minutes is half an eternity.
I shared Nancy’s story with Southwest, and a representative said the airline was “proud” of the way the pilot had held the flight. Again, most airlines would punish an employee who holds up the line for any reason.
My Monday post is normally called, “Can this trip be saved?” But today I’m sharing a trip that was saved amid tragic circumstances by a compassionate pilot and an airline that supported his decision to hold a flight.
Good work, Southwest!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Two wounded in an emergency landing!

When I arrived to Cascais aerodrome there was a abnormal movement in the ARO, something about a helicopter based in this aerodrome but the problem seemed to be outside of it. After leaving the ARO and walking to the hangar of the flight school another student told that  a helicopter had an emergency landing in Seixal.

According with Take Off jornal:

The Emergency landing in a small field in Seixal resulted in two wounded people with minor injuries. Before touching the ground the tail section and the tail rotor touched with a small wall witch resulted in a capsize of the structure and the separation of the tail section.

Fotos: Agência Lusa

Another day watching the birds

LPPT 101430Z 23012KT 200V260 9999 SCT006 BKN015 15/14 Q1022 NOSIG=

Another canceled flight because of the weather. :(

Sunday, January 9, 2011

After 2 flights, experiences and thoughts!

Today was scheduled  my second flight in the flight school's twin engine, a 1968 Piper PA-23 Aztec. The first flight took place four days ago and it was a very pleasant flight mainly to understand the airplane and systems ans to Fly the airplane. After this first flight I had the feeling that it wasn't an easy plane to fly but not so hard has it seemed on the first place but on this second flight things became harder this time wasn't only to make climbs and descents in front or while turning with 30º or 45º degrees of banking for this flight the flight Instructor demonstrated some stalls fully landing configuration and in a clean configuration also demonstrated a simulated engine failure and then told Me to do the same as demonstrated. There is no doubts that this can get really complicated if you don't have the skills to recover and that's why we train so hard. After some training we requested the controller to return to the aerodrome in oder to perform some touch and goes and after that the FI said to me: "I'm dead now do what you have to do" - Dead? Wait, What?So there I was preparing to the the approach with less than 2 hours experience with a "dead Instructor" on my side so I've prepared the checklist and started to configure to land and at the entry point  there I was with the "dead man" by my side saying "watch your speed, watch you altitude, etc" - I think this was the first talking dead man I've ever seen in my life. - Now landing... nop - "Runway incursion, Go around NOW!" said the "talking dead" and here we go again of course there was no incursion on the runway it was only to simulate and make the Go Around. After one touch and go with full flaps the final landing was with no flaps and about 10 more miles on the approach speed to compensate the lack of lift. At the end of the day I can say that this faze of the ATPL is really hard and requires extra caution to details.

See you in the next flight!
... witch will be tomorrow.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Christmas Gifts!

No this is not a suggestion post of what you should give to someone in Christmas.
When I write here about Christmas presents I mean "Aviation Christmas Presents", do I have your attention now! Hehe I thought so! This year I was presented with one of my favorite things, Comic Books and most important isn't the money value of this gift but the sentimental value.
So what I'm here talking about is a collection of 3 comic books, first 3 books of the Chicken Wings collection of... 3 ;) Yes I have them all. He he. But wait this isn't the best part of this story, the best part is that they have all a dedicatory to me by the authors, Michael and Steffan Strasser witch I have to say here Thank You Very Much!

Well, enough of cheap talk, let's see this new acquisitions.

Happy New Year!!!

Yes I know that I'm 6 days delayed with this post, what I don't know is why am I posting this. I pass to explain, as you all know I live in Lisbon, Portugal and as you know, at least does of you witch live in Europe know is that 2011 will be a tough year to this small country. Things as higher prices in essential goods as bread, water and electricity not to mention the VAT Tax rising from 21% to 23%, will be our company for the next months, so with all that I really don't know if I want to enter in 2011...

Not all things are bad for this upcoming year, my student flight license is almost ending and the final multi engine, single engine and instrument rating exams are almost there, let's hope for good weather and light winds to help me to complete this final stage.

To all of You all I can say is that I hope the best to you all this year and that your wishes come true in a near time. To those who fly may 2011 be a year with the same number of take offs and landings.

Happy 2011!

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