Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The 757...very nice!

One of the benefits of being rated on the 767 is that the rating also qualifies the pilot for the 757 as well.

It is a common type rating...meaning that the airplanes have enough similar flight characteristics so that a single rating is all that is required. The engines are different as are a few of the systems and some of the limitations are different as well, but the airplanes essentially fly the same and the transition between the two is very easy.

The 757 is an absolute joy to fly. Even though the pay scales are slightly lower than the 767, I don't know any of our pilots that don't enjoy flying it. It handles like a sports car as opposed to the 767 which handles like a big luxury car.

At AA, our domestic and international divisions include 767 and 757 flying co-mingled.

AA purchased their 757's with Rolls Royce engines. They produce almost 43,000 pounds of thrust apiece. Maximum takeoff weight is 250,000 pounds and max landing weight is 198,000 pounds. Maximum operating altitude is 42,000 feet.

When AA purchased TWA in 2001, their 757 fleet was integrated into ours, but they have since gone away. They all had Pratt & Whitney engines and were slightly incompatible with the AA fleet. Many of them are now being operated by Delta Air Lines.

So with all that being said, the day's trip would be from Ft Lauderdale over to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, back to FLL and then on to DFW. Our 757 was lightly loaded with passengers but heavy on fuel. We were carrying enough fuel for the return leg as well. Apparently since Hurricane Ike hit Haiti, fuel has been in short supply so the airlines are tankering in their fuel.

Also since the hurricane, radar coverage is non-existent. We would be making mandatory position reports and flying a full DME-ARC approach to the airport even though weather conditions were fine.We checked in with Port-au-Prince Control and started our descent over the northwest part of the island. There was no traffic inbound but they still cleared us for the full approach even though we had the field in sight about twenty miles out.The DME-ARC led us to a straight in landing over the Gulf of Gonave and a taxi in to our parking spot. No jet bridge today. The few jet bridges there were not working.

During our short stay we saw several UN helicopters delivering humanitarian supplies throughout the island.

Sixty minutes later we were on our way back to Florida.

Port-au-Prince cleared us directly up to flight level 400. It took just over 20 minutes. No time to climb record today like Darren but still respectable for an airliner.

The Bahamian island chain passed below and soon we were over the island of Bimini and descending for FLL.As nicely as the 757 flies, the landings are just as easy. Or at least that's what all the First Officers that I have been flying with have shown me. The FO today greased it on 9L at FLL. I have yet to plant a 757 on the runway but I'm sure the day is coming. I have already done so in a 767 so that square is filled.

My leg back to DFW and still no hard landing! What a nice airplane!

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


kostas said...

Interesting blog.
Regards from an old Olympic Airways member,not an air crew but in marketing and sales area.
Have a good flight.

Len (Barfbag) said...


Thanks for stopping by.


Dav DiDi said...

I use to see the ocean too from top of the plane .. when i book a ticket, I surely would ask them to give me a place next to the window.. :)