Monday, April 18, 2011

The pairing from hell returns...with avengance.

So thanks to crew scheduling, we actually have a pairing that looks like this, one I'm "lucky" enough to fly 3 times this month:

ACY-PBI-DTW-RSW <- day 1, 7:50 minutes of block
RSW-DTW-LGA-MYR-ACY <- day 2, 7:44 minutes of block.

The first time I flew this pairing I ended up with 16:41 block over the two's possible to fly more than 8 hours/day as long as it's something outside company's control - in this case our flights flew over block because of strong headwinds and weather deviations.

Last week our first day went pretty decently, we only arrived an hour late, in just after midnight instead of at 1:40 A.M. the last time around.

By the way, RSW tower closes from 0000-0600 local. So we're 0 for 2 landing with a controller in RSW this pairing. The horror! How did we manage? It's called a CTAF and position reports. It's not a big deal. I'm looking at you, CNN/Fox News/ABC News/media at large. (steps off soapbox)

Unfortunately last week we had a mechanical issue as we were trying to leave RSW. The A320 seems to be susceptible to mechanical issues that aren't even "mechanical." In our case we had some computers (that manage the PA system as well as our lavatory/cargo smoke detection) that refused to stay online. We thought it had something to do with the airplane not wanting to accept the ground power, however we couldn't test this theory as our APU (aux power unit, an on-board generator) was deferred.

After about 6 hours of troubleshooting company decided to ferry an A319 over from FLL, which we then took to DTW. We didn't depart until 8 hours after we were supposed to. Luckily 90% of our passengers were nice about it. The other 10%...karma will get back at them eventually.

Since we arrived in DTW so late they had already found another crew/airplane to take our last three legs. Instead we had to deadhead home the next morning (our day off, boo!). And since we don't have any direct flights from DTW-ACY during this part of the year, we had to deadhead through PBI. Ouch.

On the bright side: I got an extra 6 hours of pay out of the ordeal. Which makes up for the 6 hours or so that the captain and I spent helping maintenance, which of course we were not getting paid for. C'est la vie.

I head to ACY tonight as I have an early show tomorrow. Tomorrow and Wednesday I have a nice, easy pairing and a long FLL overnight (yay I can go to the gym!). However, Thursday and Friday I have to fly the pairing from hell again.

Wish me luck.

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