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Here Are Some Flying Stories For You

Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:03 pm

Today I am home alone on my day off and after a 5 day long fliying day I am really tired to go out.I feel like staying in all day.So I thought best thing to do is share some flying related stories with friends and have some fun.

Here is one that comes into my mind.

One night we were approaching to the airport as number 3.Number 1 was a European airline and they reported that they are watching a traffic on TCAS on the localiser course where they are being vectored.ATC replied he is not seeing anything and he had no reported traffic on that sector.

The second airplane was one of Turkish charters.They also reported the same and explained what they see in Turkish language with more details.But the ATC still said he has no reported traffic on the sector.

And we were vectored to establish on the localiser we picked up the same target(shown yellow on TCAS screen) below us but directly on our route as we started our descent through the glide slope.

Until now I wasnt thinking that it would be serious but as we descend toward the target and things started looking serious.I tried to visually identify the other plane(or whatever it is) in the pitch black night while my captain start talking to ATC about what was on our route then....

BAAANG. I heard the loudest hitting sound.I mean I have been hit by birds many many times and this was louder then any of it.

For one second(which felt like a whole minute) I though that we collided with the thing on TCAS .After few seconds I realised that were are still flying I looked at the engine instruments.They seemed to work fine too. We completed our landing normally but I have to say I was scared.

After landing the technician come up to the cockpit and said "you have to see this." As we went down to the nose of the airplane I saw this incredible scene.A huge bird stroke directly to the center of the nose cone and penetrated in it.

The funny thing on this is what are the chances that you can encounter a TCAS equipped bird in the middle of the night  Smile

Later we found that it was a helicopter on a rooftop that we picked up on TCAS and the big bird was just at wrong place at wrong time.
follow me on my facebook page" captain wing's journey log"
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RE: Here Are Some Flying Stories For You

Mon Mar 23, 2009 1:31 pm

Birds fitted with TCAS... hilarious! But must have been scary!
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RE: Here Are Some Flying Stories For You

Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:35 pm

Really Hilarious!!  Smile Laughed very hard when I read this!
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RE: Here Are Some Flying Stories For You

Sun Apr 05, 2009 7:02 am

After I told this story to my father who was an airline Captain(recently retired) he said well if you like the stories with "loud Bangs" here is another one for you.

The were flying for the Cyprus Turkish Airline with MD90.The airplane was joined new to the fleet.Both the copilot and him were new transitioned from B727( I have to say it was the king of all airplanes) which is a very classic airplane and it was hard for the pilots who flew the classic airplanes for nearly 30 years to adjust FMS airplanes.

Anyways the flight was from London to Antalya.Eveybody disembarked including the flight attendants.The 2 pilots ferry the airplane accross the sea to Ercan airport in Cyprus,it is a short hop of almost 20-25 minutes of flight time.

The FA's (whom were also new to the airplane type) told that they have secured all the galleys and everything before they leave and without any delay they departed for Ercan.Normaly certain routes are followed by civillian aircraft since there are disputes between the two sides of the Cyprus so you plan your descent accordingly.But that they for some reason ATC cleared a direct route,making the route shorter therefore leaving you sorter distance to descent and the airplane ended almost 10000 feet above the flight path it should be.

Normally this is not a big deal,you can use your speed brakes,or even you can lower the landing gear which causes a very big drag.That day they didnt have any passengers or crew to worry about the comfort and safety so they started descent with the speed brakes and increased the speed to cause the AP lower the nose to match up the speed.

At that time there was a strange sound started from the passenger cabin almost like a train coming towards you,sounded strange but they didnt understand what it was all instruments seeming very normal and yes LOUD BAANG.

A service trolley in the middle was not secured properly departed from its place traveled all the way from the rear galley like a bowling ball in the alley when the airplane was descending and with no one in the airplane to stop it, it hits to the cockpit door(which was not reinforced in the good old times) breaks it open and hits the center pedestal.

Luckily the door significantly killed the impact force but still there were used service trays and cups were allover the place.If you think about cockpit small size of the MD series the impact was next to your shoulders and must have been scary.

When they landed the ground staff who saw lots of trays and a half emtpy trolley in the cockpit must have been thinking that was a hell lot of eating for a short flight like this.
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RE: Here Are Some Flying Stories For You

Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:09 pm

Great story, thanks for sharing!!
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RE: Here Are Some Flying Stories For You

Mon Apr 06, 2009 1:16 am

Here is one of my more interesting days in my corporate aviation career.

We had scheduled our JetStar in for a major refurbishing, included new cabin seats, carpeting, partial interior replacement, overhauling all 4 engines, paint and other improvements. Before we flew the airplane out to the interior shop, we did a major 800 hour inspection at home, including the 5 year wing fuel tank inspection. With all the work being done, the JetStar was to be out of service for almost 3 months.

To do this wing tank inspection, known as a tank and plank, it involves removing the auxiliary wing fuel tanks and then removing the entire tops of the wing to be able to inspect for corrosion and clean out the tanks. There are 4 large wing planks, each the length of the wing, which are held in place by hundreds of screws. Only a few specialized aircraft fuel tanks companies are certified to do this work because if the airplane is not shored up just right, the wing can be permanently bent. This is normally a 2 week job and to say the least very expensive. The best time to do this job is before the airplane is painted because by removing the screws and wing planks, it tends to destroy a lot of the paint on the wing.

On our final trip before this work started we had a day trip scheduled from HPN to TUC, to drop our passengers there and ferry back to HPN. Because the Chief Pilot had to leave the airplane in TUC and go to LAX to ferry back the airplane we had leased for 3 months, normally I would have gone along as the third pilot and fly the airplane back home with our other captain. But the company had 10 passengers booked on this trip, since we only had 9 seats in the cabin, one of the passengers had to sit in the cockpit jump seat, so there was no room for me to go on this flight. Another problem was our other Captain was headed out to his 2 week naval reserve commitment at 6:00 am the next morning from his base in Willow Grove, PA, he was a pilot in the navy reserve so we had no choice but to ferry back the same day.

So now comes the fun part.

I had booked a 1:30pm flight to TUC on Braniff, Airlines, stopping at DFW and I would meet the JetStar in TUC and ferry back home getting back into HPN around 10:00 pm and the other pilot would then drive to Willow Grove. Since I also had to go into New York City at one time or another to pick up some personal items, I decided to do both on the same day, so here was my itinerary.

I drove to the White Plains Railroad station, parked my car there and took the commuter train into Grand Central Station, then got on the Lexington Avenue subway to Astor Place, picked up my items and took the subway back to Grand Central and changed to the Flushing Line to 74th Street in Queens and picked up the city bus to LGA. I then took the Brannif B-727 flight to TUC, called the FBO who sent a car over to pick me up, exiting the car was my Chief Pilot, who was booked on the final leg of my Braniff flight to LAX.

Dinners were placed on board and the fuel tanks on the JetStar were topped off, because it was about a little over 3 hour nonstop flight back to HPN. HPN weather was calling for IFR minimums, so we checked with flight service every so often on the trip back. Since the weather was going up and down and some airplanes were landing at HPN, we were allowed to do the approach, but at that time it fell below minimums so we had no choice but to do a missed approach and with our fuel starting to get low decided to divert to EWR. LGA was our planned alternate, but both LGA and JFK had arrival delays, but EWR was not experiencing any delays so that why were choose to divert to EWR. By the time we hit the outer maker, all 4 low fuel warning lights were on, so if we had to do a go around we could have been in trouble.

We parked the JetStar at the FBO in EWR, rented a car and drove back to the White Plains train station, where I had left my car that morning, then he drove the rental and I drove my car back to HPN, finally getting there around midnight, where the other pilot got into his car and drove to Willow Grove for his 6:00 am departure.

The next day I called another JetStar captain I knew, and we drove the rental car back to EWR and ferried the JetStar back home and the next day started on the major inspection.

Just another day in the life of a corporate pilot.


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