Sorry for the lack of pictures, but I figured I'd write up the trip anyway.
Last week I was assigned a cargo flight out of DOV
. My itinerary was as follows;
717-200 (Didn't get the reg. I've been all of FL
: Business 100 % Coach 90%
I woke up Wednesday morning at about 0530 and got ready to go to the airport. I had packed the night before (because I am OCD like that) but I double checked to ensure that I had everything. I opened my weight and balance can to ensure that I had current configuration bulletin's for the aircraft that I'd be working, as well as pens, markers, my thumb drive, load plans and load instruction reports. Once I had inspected that I had everything I loaded the car and headed for the Double Tree Hotel. The company would have paid for my parking, but I was going to be gone for five days, and didn't see the sense in making them pay for it, when I could park at the hotel for free.
I was running a bit behind, but checked in 40 minutes before my flight left. The woman at the kiosk assigned me 22C, an exit row window, and I was on my way to the crew line. Security was a huge line, but ATL
has a great crew line, so I was through in less than two minutes. I re-packed my laptop, and was on my way to C-20 to board the flight. While I was on the train to the concourse the other Loadmaster who was coming with me called to make sure that I was enroute. I always come at the last minute, I can't stand airport appreciation time.
When I arrived at C-20 boarding was well underway. I boarded the plane, said hello to the crew, and made my way back to 22C. The flight was filled with a group of teenagers going to Washington D.C. for a school trip, needless to say they were quite vocal. I lucked out and didn't have anyone next to me for the flight, which is always a bonus. Door closed a few minutes early, and we out three minutes early. We had a lengthy taxi, approximately #14 to take off. When it was our turn we quickly made our way out of ATL
and rocketed out to PHL
The flight was a standard morning FL
flight. Biscoff cookies and your choice of pop, Vitamin water and liquors. We hit minor turbulence about 20 minutes into cruise, but soon we made our way through it. Nothing spectacular about the flight other than the shipyards in PHL
and seeing the John F. Kennedy in harbor. We got into the gate immediately, and our bags came up 15 minutes later. Overall a really good experience with AirTran.
After getting the bags we headed off to get the rental car and drive to Dover Air Force Base. I have to say that the drive on I95 from PHL
sucks, what crappy scenery. We made it to DOV
in an hour and a half, and went to the hotel, relaxed for a bit, then headed off the base. We met with Base Ops, ATOC and the Load Planning office. Once we had all of the info that we needed we went back to the hotel, had dinner and discussed the loading options for the flight the next morning.
The military sent us the weights of all the pallets at about 2330 that evening. We decided to load plan it at 0420 the next morning. I didn't sleep really well and 0400 cam really early. I did my load plan, striving for the best CG point as possible, military cargo is really easy to work with. The pallets are 88X108 and you don't get a lot of overhangs, indents etc. Once we were done load planning we grabbed the free breakfast and headed out to Base Ops. I called dispatch with the payload for the flight to LEJ
, and waited for the paperwork to arrive. Our bird landed at 0755 and we had 4 hours to load it, which was more than enough time. When we walked onto the main deck we found that it needed to be converted from civilian to military configuration. Three of us worked on it, and got it taken care of in about an hour or so. Once the conversion was done we began to load the cargo. I am not going to share what was loaded, but it was about 131,000 lbs worth of stuff. Loading was soon over, I called Ops Control and got permission to leave 20 minutes early. My job was done. Now it was back to PHL
to wait for my flight to CLE
and then connect to FNT.
I had about 5 hours to sit in PHL
. I wanted to standby for an earlier flight, but it was oversold and there was no hope for it. I killed the time by writing my trip report for the flight, and watching Transformers on my cell phone. Soon it was time for the next flight.
: Business 100 % Coach 95%
This flight was thankfully quick. I had a young Jewish man next to me who wouldn't shut the hell up, and who didn't think cell phone rules applied to him. As we were turning on the active runway he was still on his phone. I gave him a look and he finally turned it off. I cannot stand people like that, he also clicked his pen the whole time ( I was watching the Shooter) and could tell the woman next to him was annoyed. The flight to CLE
was very quick and smooth. I was still in uniform and the F/A asked me where I was off to. I told her I was positioning home for days off. Flight time was a whopping 1:09 with a pretty straight in approach. When we pulled into the everyone as usual crammed the aisles, and the guy next to me stood up, which caused his arse to be in the woman's face next to him. She finally had enough of him and yelled at him. I laughed out loud when he sat back down looking like a scolded child. My connecting flight was over in the D gates, so I grabbed my stuff and headed over there.
Dash 8 Q200
-FNT was another smooth trip. We were out early, number one for departure and cruised at 10,000ft. The flight attendant was a pleasant looking young woman who enjoyed her job. The drink service was very quick, and she came through twice. It was a great night for flying which afforded great views of Detroit, Windsor and the Flint area. Being that it was such a short flight there really isn't too much to say about it. We arrived into FNT 12 minutes early, I got my carry on bag, and left for the rental cars. An hour and a half later is was pulling into the driveway in Grand Rapids. It's always good to get home.