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Another Day In A Life Of An Airline Pilot!  
User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 8996 posts, RR: 76
Posted (9 years 10 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7230 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

Hi everybody.

here another trip report out of the view of the cockpit!

Have fun reading it!


It should all started like a usual day flying from Hannover (HAJ) to Catania (CTA) in south italy.

I was sleeping in my hotel room and I had to get up at about 1:30 am to get ready for my flight departing at 3 am. At about 1:10 am my cell phone was ringing and the company: good morning, sorry to wake you up, but the flight will be delayed for an hour, so you can sleep an hour more! I just said thank you, and fell back to sleep! So I got up at 2:30 am and the flight should depart now on 4 am!
I got dressed and walked over to meet the captain and the Cabin Crew. All pretty tired but in a really good mood and it seemed to be a lot of fun today.
I was pilot flying on the way down to CTA and we talked about how much fuel we need. I decided to take about 600kgs extra fuel down there to fly faster to catch up the delay or maybe due to the traffic down there!
So we were brought out to the aircraft and we prepared everything to get ready. The passengers arrived and we wanted to leave, but there was no Push back truck. So we waited another 15 minutes until it was there and we left Hannover at around 4:15 am….
The flight itself was pretty uneventful. When we got the weather of CTA it just said: Severy thunderstorm, heavy rain really bad winds. So, no chance to land there… We entered a holding pattern near the airport where we could see that huge thunderstorm cloud right over the airport! The captain looked at me and asked me what I plan to do now! He said: “You are pilot flying, you tell me what we gonna do!” I just said: “Okay!”
So I thought about how much fuel we have to stay in the holding pattern and how much fuel we need if we have to divert to Malta or to Palermo. I calculated a moment and then told the captain that we can stay in that holding for about 15 minutes and then we have to make a decision. He just said, okay, that’s what I was thinking of, too. So we talked to the cabin crew and made an announcement to the passengers.
On the frequency there were 2 other aircrafts who wanted to go to CTA, too. They were in a holding pattern, too, but some miles away from us.
The 15 minutes passed and we got an actual weather report of CTA and it was not really better now. So I said: “Let’s go to Palermo!” The captain said: “Yes!” and I turned into the direction of Palermo and entered that all into the FMS while the captain was talking to ATC to tell them that we have to divert to Palermo! Then we made a normal approach (ILS RWY25) and landed there. On the apron the captain called the company, because we need a new flight plan and fuel figures for the flight to CTA. The captain was outside talking to the ground staff and the refuller and I was on the phone with the company, getting the data for the flight to CTA. We got in a pretty hurry, because now we got a slot we had to accept otherwise we had to wait for 2 hours in Palermo! So, we refuelled and I was preparing the cockpit again. Then the captain was back and we received a new loadsheet. We now had 7 tons of fuel on board and we started the engines. This fuel is enough to go to CTA, hold there for a long time and just in case come back AGAIN to Palermo.
So, we took off and the huge Thunderstorm cloud was not anymore over CTA so we made a normal approach to CTA and landed there. After 60 minutes of turn around time there on the Ground, we flew back to Stuttgart (STR) and the Captain was Pilot flying now. This flight also was uneventful and finally we landed in STR with a delay of 4 hours and 3 minutes  Wink/being sarcastic pretty good, huh?
Then I just relaxed on my Lufthansa flight (as passenger( back home to Frankfurt (FRA) where I live. I came back home and just went to bed to take a nap  Wink/being sarcastic

It was an interesting day and pretty exciting…

I hope you enjoy reading it…

WILCO737



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKiwiNanday From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (9 years 10 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7146 times:

Great trip report!

Tells us what its like up front when the pilot has to divert

Cheers,
Kiwi


User currently offlinePilot kaz From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (9 years 10 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 7081 times:

Lol, look at you, pilot in command, bless  Big grin

oh yes, very good report, always interesting to read from a pilots point of view  Big thumbs up

kazzie x


User currently offlineReguPilot From Puerto Rico, joined Jan 2004, 493 posts, RR: 24
Reply 3, posted (9 years 10 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 7070 times:

I wanna thanks Wilco for his very humble explanations and extra comments on his trip over TeamSpeak.

Well... That was quite a flight! And quite a test for decision making... Way to go, pal!!! Also... Nice ending of the story. Pretty quick!

I just wish I had this call everyday... "Daurys, you have one hour more to sleep to day" !!! Sooo cool!

Thanks for that Wilco! And remember, you report every trip you make (everyday) since its something new for us anyways!

Cheers
-Daurys


User currently offlineCrazyboi From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (9 years 10 months 6 days ago) and read 6908 times:

Thanks for the report.

Just as a suggestion... your username alludes to the type of aircraft that you fly, but it would be great if you could also include the type info in your report.

Cheers.



This is the time. And this is the record of the time.
User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 8996 posts, RR: 76
Reply 5, posted (9 years 10 months 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6835 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

hi Craziboy,

yeah, sorry, forgot to write that... I flew a 737-800 and that was the last trip report of that type. From now on all reports will be out of a 737-300/500.

WILCO737



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineMerC From Sweden, joined Dec 2003, 590 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (9 years 10 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 6600 times:

Hi Wilco,

Another great report! I really enjoy reading reports like this, you get the idea of how things work out in cockpit. Interesting to read about the diversion too.



It's Scandinavian
User currently offlineLeviticus From New Zealand, joined Oct 2007, 0 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (9 years 10 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6530 times:

Hello Wilco !
Thank you for giving us this great report, it is very appreciated. Always interesting to read a trip report from a different point of view. Could you perhaps elaborate some more about how a diversion decision is made, in this case why did you chose Palermo instead of Malta ? As far as I know there is not a big difference in distance between those airports and Catania, maybe 50 km, so maybe you (Lufthansa that is)have better relations with the Palermo airport ?

Thanks !  Laugh out loud


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21564 posts, RR: 55
Reply 8, posted (9 years 10 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6453 times:

Very nice report Wilco! Thunderstorms must really look cool from the air.

Cheers,

Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineGLAGAZ From UK - Scotland, joined Feb 2004, 1983 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (9 years 10 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6395 times:

Very nice Phil. But wheres the pics of the thunderstorm!!?? lol

Maybe I'll let my mum read it as she was in CTA at the same time  Smile



Neutrality means that u don't really care cos the struggle goes on even when ur not there, blind and unaware
User currently offlineVaporlock From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (9 years 10 months 19 hours ago) and read 6059 times:

Wilco.........another great report!!!!!!!!! Keep them coming!!  Big thumbs up

Phyllis  Wink/being sarcastic


User currently offlineLHR27C From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2004, 1279 posts, RR: 16
Reply 11, posted (9 years 10 months 12 hours ago) and read 5951 times:

Hi Wilco,

Another excellent report from the cockpit - and exciting, too by the sound of it  Big thumbs up.

So your alternates were LICJ and LMML? Presumably in these cases you select the nearest alternate that has satisfactory weather?

Cheers,

Oliver



Once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned forever skyward
User currently offlineWILCO737 From Greenland, joined Jun 2004, 8996 posts, RR: 76
Reply 12, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 5787 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
HEAD MODERATOR

hi LHR27C,

we decided to go to Palermo, because it was closer to our present position and Malta was on the other site of the huge thunderstorm! And we really didnt want to fly through it...  Wink/being sarcastic


Usually you have one alternate, but you have 3 other alternates listed on your flight plan with the informations you need: time to go there, fuel you need to get there, elevation...

The fuel is calculated after a missed approach at the destination and then to the alternate... So, most of the time you have enough fuel if you divert before you do the missed approach, that saved about 200-400 kgs (B737) and then you have more chance to hold longer in a holding...

So, there are a lof of factors you have to consider before you decide...

WILCO737



It it's not Boeing, I am not going.
User currently offlineTupolevTu154 From Germany, joined Aug 2004, 2181 posts, RR: 28
Reply 13, posted (9 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5774 times:

Great report wilco, like everyone else has said, its great to hear from the pilots point of view.
Keep the reports coming  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

Tom



Atheists - Winning since 33 A.D.
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