Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Pressure Is On

Three legs today....Ft Lauderdale to DFW, up to Kansas City, and then back to DFW. Hopefully, we'd be done by 1 PM.

The 6 AM takeoff meant having to get up at 4:15 east coast time. Our cabin crew was based in Miami and was originating at FLL this morning so it would be just the two of us leaving from the hotel.

The plane was full including all the jump-seats. The cockpit jump-seat on the MD-80 is pretty uncomfortable for anything longer than about five minutes. Our jump-seater today was an American Eagle pilot going to work at DFW.

The FO flew the first leg. It was still dark as we rolled on runway 27R. Liftoff came at 150 knots, 320 knots in the climb above 10,000 and then level at 34,000 in about 15 minutes. Again today we were equipped with an over-water plane so we could take the shortcut over the Gulf of Mexico. (Over-water equipped means that you have life rafts on board and a few other survival items as standard equipment....not all the MD-80's are so equipped.)

The arrival routing to DFW from the southeast provided a nice sunrise view of the city of Dallas.

For the last couple of days there has been a huge high pressure area located over the midwest US. I've noticed that the barometric pressures have been extra high. But today was the absolute highest I had ever seen. I even kept a copy of the DFW ATIS (Automatic Terminal Information Service). It was being reported at 30.96 inches. I later saw on the local news that it topped out at 30.97. The MD-80 altimeters only go up to 31.00....We wondered what they'd do if the pressure had gone up even higher? Ground the fleet?.....with pay??? Not likely.

This DHL Boeing 767 landed behind us.

It kind of made us hungry for McDonalds!!!

Put a couple of golden arches on top of the fuselage and you'd have a restaurant.

A change of cabin crews and off to Kansas City we went. It was clear and very cold there....5 degrees above zero when we landed. The taxi-ways and ramp areas were pretty iced over but the runways were in good shape for my second best landing of the year.

A quick turn around and then back to DFW. I got this shot of MCI airport as we headed south after takeoff.

Now for a few days off....No more pressure.

For a look at some more of my photos, please aviate over to Plane & Simple


ProPilots said...

Len, I was flying back from SJC on that day. Had the 30.97 set in the window on the way into TKI. Crazy wasn't it! Our standby altimeter in the GV is like yours. Only good to 31.00. On our primary flight display I would have been able to dial in a higher setting. I didn't test that to see what it goes up to.

Enjoy your days off.

Was in your neck of the woods this morning at the Dinosaur exhibit at the Herd Museum. The 3 year old and Mom and Dad loved it. I nearly lost a finger when I got too close.

Otto said...

Wow..crazy altimeter setting! Interesting weather we are having lately. Its supposed to get into the 60s up here in the NE..crazy!

Looks pretty cold in the central part of the country though.

Len (Barfbag) said...


Good thing we're not on the west coast these past few days.

Tom said...

just discovered your blog from another pilot blog and just wanted to say I'm really enjoying reading it so far and I hope you keep posting regularly. I'm currently finishing my PPL at a small FBO in the NE and it's really interesting to read about career commercial pilots.

Len (Barfbag) said...

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the kind words. I'll try to keep posting some relevant stuff and not stray too far from actual flying issues. Good luck with your flying endeavors!