Saturday, December 15, 2007

Texas Hold 'Em

Back over to the airport again this morning by myself. Our plane was to be the same one we had brought in the night before but it was not yet pulled up to a gate so I had time to stop at the duty free shop for a bottle of tequila. The varieties of tequila at the duty free stores are endless. The tequila industry must be doing quite well in Mexico.

When I arrived to the airplane one of our mechanics advised me that there was an avionics problem. The GPWS (Ground Proximity Warning System) had failed. This system alerts the pilots whenever they get too close to mountains or obstacles as well as alerting them whenever they get too close to the ground and the airplane isn't configured for landing.

Off we went back to DFW. Everything was fine until we reached San Antonio. Then ATC advised us that DFW was not accepting arrivals due to thunderstorms in the vicinity. We knew that there might be weather issues today and extra fuel was on board just in case. So into a holding pattern we went. The photo shows a depiction of our pattern while we were in it.

After nearly an hour of this, we were close to having to divert to San Antonio. But then DFW opened up for business again and it was time to plan for the arrival. The thunderstorms were still in the area and we could see on the radar that they might be a problem. The descent into the DFW area was pretty bumpy and the flight attendants had to be seated earlier than usual. Final approach took us right through a band of heavy showers but the airport itself was doing OK. The photo shows the radar picture along with our approach path.

We made it in OK but had to wait 30 minutes for our gate to open up. The ramp area had been closed earlier due to lightning and all the subsequent flights were being delayed. Soon we were clearing Customs and walking back to the plane for the next two legs. DFW to Salt Lake City and back to DFW.

Takeoff was behind this Korean Airlines Boeing 747 freighter bound for Seoul. Two minutes after takeoff we were in the clear and sunny skies prevailed all the way to Salt Lake City. The arrival into SLC took us over Grand Junction, Provo, and then north up the valley. There had been a recent huge snowfall. Pretty scenic.

The leg back to DFW was smooth. No adverse weather remained in the area so a quick approach and landing, employee bus to the parking lot, 45 minute drive home, and now four days off await.

For a look at some more of my photos, please visit Plane & Simple


My Left Nut said...

Great blog. Enjoy "flying" right seat with you.

The cockpit shots are appreciated for us GA types.

I was flying from MZT to SEA as "baggage" aboard a Mexicana flight. The FO was flying his last flight before retirement and opened the cockpit (this is pre-9/11) and let the passengers up front for a view. His english was poquito mal and when he found out that I was a pilot, let me stay up front and give the $20 tour to all the passengers.

We were right around the US/MEX border and it was a CAVU day. It took me a month to get the drool stains out of my shirt.

For us who think flying in the low teens is high, it's great to see the photos from up where the big iron flies.

elay said...

hi len! (or barfbag - funny name..=)

reading your blog gives me the impression that it must be truly fun flying airlines..

great photos too. about your question on putting the site name on the photos, i do it in photoshop then just add text to the image. also you can do it in power point, just copy-paste your picture then adjust to the size and put a textbox then type in your site name. but instead of saving it as slide show, you have to save it as a jpeg file.
good luck on that..and on your next flights!