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A Little Drama Before Landing

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pappy View Post
    Probably something I would need to take orally before I fly again, oldman.
    That's funny, but you're not even close.
    "SEMPER FI"

  2. #17
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    A "localizer" is part of the ILS or Instrument Landing System, which, along with the "glide slope" is used to direct the plane to the center of the runway. In bad weather when the pilot has trouble seeing the runway, the ILS and AP (auto pilot) are almost always used. The other type of landing is VFR or Visual Flight Rules. Either may be used at the pilot's discretion.

    When I would fly into Chicago, Denver or any other snowy airport in the winter, the ILS combined with the AP was a Godsend. Just think; you're the pilot and you just came through the clouds during your final approach into O'Hare in Chicago and it's snowing like crazy. You can barely see the airport and the lights for the runway are hardly noticeable. The ATC has informed you that visibility is 50 ft. and winds are out of the NE at 25-40 mph. (Actually, you would get a heading for the winds and not a direction.) It's your job to put the plane down at the start of the runway to ensure that you have enough blacktop under you to stop the plane, so you don't run off the end of the runway and end up in a field or worse, but you can't see the runway and you are traveling at 130 kts. +/- 20 kts. and weighing about 390,000 lbs. on touchdown. Would you rather have a system that all but puts the plane down for you at the exact location it needs to be or go it on your own? For me, I would prefer using the ILS.

    I know this all sounds Greek to the laymen, but if you're really interested, here is a sample of what I am talking about.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwoTjCfgDGU
    "SEMPER FI"

  3. #18
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    Oldman, I understand most of that -- I got on a kick a while ago where I was fascinated by that TV series "Mayday: Air Crash Investigations" and they explained a lot of that in those programs. I still think it is sort of miraculous that a plane the size of a big jet can fly and come down in one piece, and I can't imagine having to keep track of all that information on all those instruments so that the plane can land safely. I can't imagine what it takes to do that everyday and not be a nervous wreck, knowing you have all those lives literally in your hands.

    I also find it amazing that air traffic controllers keep track of all that traffic and manage to keep planes (almost all the time) from running into each other, landing on top of each other or on the wrong runway or whatever. I sure would not want that job, either. That series I mentioned above had a couple of stories about what can happen when controllers make an error, too, and the catastrophic results. I made my share of errors when I was working, but at least mine were fixable and didn't cost lives.

  4. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    Oldman, I understand most of that -- I got on a kick a while ago where I was fascinated by that TV series "Mayday: Air Crash Investigations" and they explained a lot of that in those programs. I still think it is sort of miraculous that a plane the size of a big jet can fly and come down in one piece, and I can't imagine having to keep track of all that information on all those instruments so that the plane can land safely. I can't imagine what it takes to do that everyday and not be a nervous wreck, knowing you have all those lives literally in your hands.

    I also find it amazing that air traffic controllers keep track of all that traffic and manage to keep planes (almost all the time) from running into each other, landing on top of each other or on the wrong runway or whatever. I sure would not want that job, either. That series I mentioned above had a couple of stories about what can happen when controllers make an error, too, and the catastrophic results. I made my share of errors when I was working, but at least mine were fixable and didn't cost lives.
    I watch a program on the Smithsonian Channel named "Air Disasters." There is also a program on the Weather Channel named "When Planes Crash." Both programs are very realistic. As for watching all of the instruments, this is one of the reasons why there are two pilots in the cockpit. One pilot flies the plane while the other pilot plays the part of a Flight Engineer and it's his/her job to watch all of the instruments and make any changes at the discretion of the pilot flying the plane or the Captain. If I am flying the plane, I may tell the F/O to set the flaps at "Flaps 3," or, I may tell him/her "Gear Down," which means to lower the landing gear. Also, I may tell him/her to make an announcement to the passengers and so forth. The non flying pilot does everything, except fly the plane.

    ATC's have a huge amount of responsibility. They are the pilot's eyes by keeping them informed of what's going on up in the air and also what's going on while the plane is on the ground. Planes have crashed into one another while on the ground and they have either been on taxiways or runways. ATC's go though a magnitude of training after they are accepted by the FAA and have met their requirements. I also believe that they must be hired before their 31st birthday and then they must retire by their 56th birthday.
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  5. #20
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    On 9/11/2001, I was not scheduled to fly. Tuesday was normally a fly day for me, but my wife was having some minor surgery, so I took the day off. As I was sitting in the hospital's surgical waiting room watching TV, I believe that "Imus In the Morning" was on Fox at that time, the station quickly broke away to report that one of the twin towers in New York had been hit by a jet airliner. I immediately had my doubts that it was an accident. That just couldn't happen, unless it was on purpose. Then a short while later, my feelings were confirmed as the second tower had been struck. America was under attack.

    I had three pilot friends that were flying that day and I called each one. One was still on the ground, but two were in the air. I left messages for them to call me ASAP. One pilot did not reply back. His name was Jason Dahl. He was the Captain on Flight 93, which went nose down in western PA. (I had a really bad feeling come over me when they had announced on TV that a United plane had gone down in western PA.) Jason was instrumental in my training on the B-757 and 767 and also helping me to make Captain. I can't even begin to imagine what he went through on that day with being stabbed and removed from the cockpit. I know that he didn't go down without a struggle. He would have never voluntarily given up the cockpit.

    I think about my friend often.

    flight-93-memorial-chapel.jpg
    "SEMPER FI"

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldman View Post
    Thanks, SeaBreeze. We have a checklist to follow whenever an issue pops up. It's pretty much a "How To" guide. We have checklists for everything that you can and can't imagine.
    JIM

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