Monday, November 5, 2007

No More Daylight Savings Time

I was up early on Sunday morning Nov 4th for a two day trip. DFW to RIC (Richmond Virginia) to DFW and then on to Tulsa, Oklahoma. The sun was coming up extra early due to everyone's clocks being moved back one hour. As the sun was rising , I spotted this Lufthansa Cargo MD-11 taxiing out for takeoff on runway 17R at DFW as I arrived at the employee parking lot. They were headed for Mexico City.

The flight to RIC was fairly light....only about 90 passengers. The catering people apparently goofed up the first class meals and catered about 30 cheese omelettes for the 7 first class passengers. So the entire crew had cheese omelettes for breakfast. An MD-80 crew usually consists of two pilots and three flight attendants. And as is the case nowadays, the coach passengers get no food at all....just sodas, juice, etc.

A full flight back to DFW and then a two hour break for us pilots. The flight attendants went on to another city and we would get a new cabin crew on the next leg. The two hour break was spent in our flight operations in front of the tv watching the Sunday football games. Then a train ride to a new gate and soon it was off to Tulsa with another full airplane. We landed at 6:00 PM and it was already dark.

A short night at the hotel and an extremely early departure from Tulsa bound for DFW was the plan for today Nov 5th. The departure from TUL was delayed about 20 minutes for an Auxiliary Gyro INOP warning light. The MD-80 has numerous gyros that are used for flying while on instruments. They power the instruments that look like small horizons directly in front of the pilots on the instrument panel. This is how the pilots fly in the clouds when they can't see outside. The gyros tell us when we are descending or climbing, banking, or just plain straight and level. They must work or we don't go. The mechanics resolved the problem and off we went.

Taxiing out from DFW we watched this unmarked Boeing 747 freighter taking off. It took off very quickly with only a minimal takeoff roll so it must have been lightly loaded. Denver was nice and sunny and the agents were very helpful in getting us back on schedule. We followed a Southwest Boeing 737 in their old colors out to runway 08 and launched for DFW.

Back on schedule and home to DFW by 12:30 PM. One day off and I'll be back at it this coming Wednesday.

Thanks for reading.

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