Monday, December 10, 2007

Philadelphia Flyer

Today's mission was another turnaround. This time DFW to Philadelphia and back to DFW.
Once again the east coast was getting their share of lousy weather with low ceilings, rain, snow, and some fog. So extra fuel was in order for the eastbound leg.

The photo shows our plane being fueled. At DFW there are underground fuel tanks. The way big jets are fueled is called "single point refueling". A hose is connected from the fuel tank in the ground to a pumping truck and then from the truck another hose is secured to the bottom of the wing. On the bottom of the wing there is a fueling panel with a large fitting for the hose. The fuel is then pumped in to the airplane's fuel tanks this way. In lieu of underground fuel tanks, a fuel truck is used and the fuel is pumped into the airplane directly from the truck via the same fueling panel. The fueler controls how much fuel is delivered to the plane from the fueling controls on the truck. The photo below is a 757 being fueled at the gate next to ours.

We climbed right on up to 33,000 ft and enjoyed a smooth ride almost the entire leg. Air Traffic Control started us down about 150 miles out of PHL. We were told to expect holding due to high volume at PHL and low ceilings. So we slowed down and prepared for holding. Then came a frequency change and the next controller asked why we were going so slow! So we sped up for him back to normal speed. Then another frequency change and guess what? "Holding instructions.....advise when ready to copy." Okay, back to holding speed and we held for about 10 minutes and then came our clearance to proceed direct to PHL. A good landing, a short taxi but another 10 minute hold for outbound traffic awaited before we could get to our gate. That's pretty much standard procedure at Philadelphia. It's a busy place.

So a quick servicing of the plane and a respectable load of passengers and off to Texas we went. Smooth skies at 34,000 ft. Pasta for dinner this time. Our #1 flight attendant was extra nice this day and she offered us ice cream sundaes! We both gladly accepted.

Not a bad trip today.

No comments: