Thursday, November 8, 2007

Another Early Day

Sign-in Wednesday Nov 7th was at 5:45 AM. So that meant getting up at just before 4:00 AM for the long drive to work. At least there's not much traffic at that hour.

The day's flying was from DFW to ORD (Chicago) and then on to PDX (Portland, Oregon). The flight was full of mostly business people to Chicago. Very smooth flying conditions, good weather, and no delays made for an early arrival at ORD. When the skies are turbulent, we sometimes have to slow down to make the ride more bearable. In many cases we have to change altitudes in the search for a smoother ride.

We kept the same plane for the PDX leg. It was full also. The weather in Portland was calling for fog at our arrival time so we had to carry extra fuel just in case we would have to divert to another city with better weather. So we were extra heavy departing Chicago. So heavy in fact that we had to request the longest runway for takeoff. Chicago rarely uses their longest runway so we had to accept a lengthy delay in order to use that runway. Chicago is one of the world's busiest airports and we had to wait our turn and be sequenced in among all the other departures that were using the other runways. On the way out to that runway we passed by the international terminal and could see a Japan Airlines Boeing 747 and a Korean Airlines Boeing 777 at their gates.

35 minutes after pushing back from the gate we took off for PDX. A China Airlines 747 took off right behind us bound for Anchorage, Alaska.

Enroute to Portland we passed over the Grand Tetons in Wyoming and the town of Jackson Hole.

The weather in Portland was slowly improving and by the time we started our descent four hours after takeoff, the fog had lifted and we were able to plan for a visual approach and landing. The arrival routing took us right by Mt. Hood just East of Portland. After passing Mt. Hood we descended along the Columbia River and then made a 180 degree turn and landed to the East on runway 10R(Right).

My co-pilot and I spent the rest of the afternoon walking around downtown and enjoying the nice day in the city. An early dinner and back to the hotel to rest up for the next day.

Thanks for reading

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