2:00am, early Sunday morning: I was operating the HP
flight in from LAS
and we got the $#!T kicked out of us as we flew through moderate to severe turbulence over the west hills on approach. I haven't felt that kind of turbulence since I was flying small planes in Alaska.
Noon, Sunday: In the hotel and noticed a little snow falling sideways in the 30mph wind. Interesting.
2pm Sunday: Tried going outside for lunch near the hotel, nearly got perforated by the horizontal sleet. Ouch!
4pm Sunday: Waiting for the hotel van. It left at 3pm and was still on I-205 on the way TO
the airport. Our departure was a deadhead leg to PHX
at 5:15. Not looking good!
5pm Sunday: Van still going TO
airport. We're probably out of luck getting to our flight
5:05pm Sunday: Someone arrives in a cab. The Captain and I commandeer it and (along with another airport bound passenger) brave the streets of Portland. The cabbie takes back roads, side roads, dirt roads, and maybe not-even-roads to get us to the airport around all the cars slewed over the icy streets.
5:45pm Sunday: We arrive at the airport alive! Crew Scheduling has changed our trip. Instead of the deadhead to PHX
(after which we were supposed to fly an evening PHX
) they will deadhead us to LAS
on a 7:55pm flight. Since we are based in LAS
they will not give us a hotel for the night. We are supposed to pick up the last day of our 4-day trip Monday afternoon in LAS
. I live in Seattle, the Captain lives in Sacramento. We both decide to try and go home for the night and get to LAS
on our own the next day.
6:00pm Sunday: I'm standing at the crowded Horizon gate area. Picture Macy's in New York on the Day-after-Christmas sale. Now picture every one of those people carrying baggage and an attitude.
Horizon has stopped all departures, but hopes to start up soon. I ask for the jumpseat to Seattle and sign the paperwork. I'm listed on what was the 4:00pm departure, now expected to go at 6:30pm. They finally open up the ramp, but I find out that there are over a dozen Horizon & Alaska pilots also trying to jumpseat, and they have priority over me. The planes have also been weight restricted so my chances of getting out are just next to zero.
6:45pm Sunday: The 4pm Horizon goes out without me, and without any other jumpseaters either. I head over to the United gates where there is one more United Express flight to Seattle that night, scheduled for 7:15. However they're still waiting for the plane to arrive, and they aren't sure when that will be. Also, they're worried about the ice storm reaching Seattle and canceling the flight. I called the hotel we had left that afternoon, and they are all sold out for the night so I have no place to stay in Portland. I have to get out.
7:55pm Sunday: I'm on the America West flight to LAS
as the company had originally planned. I'll get a hotel room there and fly the last two legs (LAS
) of the trip Monday afternoon, with a late night flight back to Seattle when I'm done. Ahhh... the wonderful life of an airline pilot.
[Edited 2005-12-21 08:39:41]
[Edited 2005-12-21 08:41:18]
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.