Tuesday, November 29, 2011

We had some interesting weather all around Sydney and the sound east coast. There was one day where i think every flight from Port Macquarie did not get in! On that day i flew to Tamworth, which was pretty bad also, requiring an RNAV to the minima on runway 12. Not really a lot to say, its been fun flying and the past week has involved 2 ferry flights to Newcastle/Williamtown Airport.

It's military controlled, so it's just like being back in Darwin, although there is a lot more fast jet activity. I think both times i have been there, i have seen squadrons of Hawks and FA18's doing circuit work. Always good to watch. Kinda feel a little slow in a dash-8 next to them!

Anyway, from Sydney, its only 76nm with a flight time of around 25 minutes each way. The flight required us to sit on the ground for a few hours due to available slots into Sydney, so sitting around in an office with not a whole lot to do, was again, just like being back in Darwin. Anyway, wasn't a bad duty off a reserve period.

Williamtown on a pretty average day!

Pretending to be a passenger! We had the APU running as a Brisbane based crew was taking this aeroplane, so we had to stay with the plane until they took it off us.

Till next time!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

787 in Sydney

I was lucky enough to have an ASIC that gets me around the jetbase at Sydney. I was also lucky enough to be on reserve with no callout, and even luckier that another friend who was called out to fly gave me his 787 open day invitation. It was fantastic to see up close, and i also got to see the new Qantas Boeing 737 sky interior planes. Overall a good day! Here are some photos -

Business seats, above and below on the 737 -

AVOD on domestic flights is definately good.

737 cockpit above and 787 below!

First glimpse of the 787 in the jetbase

Engine shot. Not small.

Wing and engine -

And more. Notice the raked wingtips


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's been really good flying recently. CAVOK days, and suprisingly little delays into Sydney, which is very unusual. Although, i did encounted not only my first go-around in the Dash-8, but also my first diversion.

In terms of not getting to a destination, i can't recall of anytime that i haven't been able to get in to where i was going. Once i had to divert to Yuendumu, going into Alice Springs in a 210, but just waited 30 minutes on the ground till the storm line had passed through the field. Another time out of Darwin i go so far overwater in Single engine over crocodile infested water that as i started to backtrack managed to find another way through the weather and get to my destination.

We were doing the routine overnight, had finished our crew meals, and after recieving the AWIS broadcast, knew it was going to be challenging. I think it was from memory, visibility 200m, cloud overcast at 200ft. We were going to do an instrument (RNAV) approach, which the minimums is around 600ft above ground level. At this particular aerodrome, it's about 4100 on the altimeter. We also briefed our minimum fuel for diversion to our alternate, and briefed the actions to take in a missed approach and what we would do.

We requested direct tracking to the initial approach fix, configured early for the approach. Upon passing the final approach fix, 130kts, flaps 15, gear down, checklists complete, we entered so fairly think fog/low cloud. as we approached the minimum descent altitude (MDA). Standard calls meant i called the pilot flying at 100ft above MDA, and the missed approach point he called decide. I replied no contact, and with that we iniated the go around procedure. The trick is to not rush and treat it as though it's a take-off. In the dash-8-300 we have no FADEC on our fuel control system, so its very easy to over torque the engines and cause damage if you panic and throw the throttles foward.

Set power, flaps 10, gear up, after take off checklist. I was very busy as the pilot monitoring. The pilot flying did just that, flew the aeroplane, i reconfigured it, called centre, called company frequency, reloaded the approach. There was a lot to do. So much head down stuff infact that i was a little disoriented when i did finally get breathing space to realise we had already completed the missed approach procedure and climbed to the 25nm minimum safe altitude. We decided to give the approach one more go, although it was fairly obvious we wouldn't get it.

In the end we divereted about 40nm to the south-west. Our passengers were bussed to the original destination, and possibly the best part about it, was that the weather was forecast to remain bad, so operations bussed our passengers to us in the morning, meaning we got an extra hour and a half sleep in on a minimum rest overnight, and our morning departure out of Sydney was allocated to a different crew as we wouldn't get into Sydney till after the departure time. 

Unrelated photos to the events described, but just some i have taken on my phone recently.