Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 22

A Little Drama Before Landing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    2,942

    A Little Drama Before Landing

    I was reading some of my entries that I wrote into one of my many journals during my flying career and I came upon an interesting flight that I had experienced and thought perhaps there were at least a few people that may be interested in drama, so I decided that I would share it. Most of you may not understand the technological aspects of what I have written, but you will get the idea.



    On a flight from San Diego to Denver, which is a hub for United, I was Captain and had the controls on a B-757 with 288 passengers and crew. Counting all passengers, crew, baggage and fuel, we were at MTOW (Maximum Take Off Weight). Most of the passengers were going to Denver to make a connection to another airport, so we did have a responsibility to get them to their destination on time. Connections sometimes are as little as 20 minutes between landing and takeoffs. In some cases, it is up to the Captain of a flight that is waiting on passengers, if he wants to wait a few extra minutes for his passengers to arrive from their previous location before taking off. You have to understand that Airports and ATC's (Air Traffic Controllers) in particular do not like to have their schedule disrupted, if the plane is ready to roll, but decides to wait. This type of situation can really mess up an airport's schedule. Daily, each plane is given a window of time to takeoff. If they miss it, they have to wait until all of the other planes that are still in their window of time period to be served first. If you, as a Captain decide to wait, you can really mess up that plane's schedule for that particular day.

    Anyway, as we were nearing Denver, we went through a pre arrival checklist. Everything went well and so we advised the ATC in charge of our arrival in Denver that we were preparing to land and that we would be using their ILS (Instrument Landing System) to guide us to the runway and that we were requesting Runway 16R, which is my favorite because it's the longest runway here in the U.S. By using the ILS, it actually sets the airplane right down on the center line of the runway. In most cases, if the flight has gone well, the pilots have turned on the AP (Auto Pilot) as soon as they have taken off and then have not touched the controls again until just before touchdown at their arrival airport. Just after my F/O (First Officer) advised the ATC with that information, I requested that the F/O lower the landing gear. Unfortunately, nothing happened. For a moment or two, time kind of stood still and it's like, "What just happened or should I say didn't happen?"

    I told the F/O to try it again. Still nothing. I then told the F/O that we were going to get out the manual and do a troubleshoot of the system. The third item that was listed for us to check was the circuit breakers. We took out the old circuit breaker and put in a new one and just like magic, it was fixed. What a great feeling and again, I thanked Mr. Boeing.

    Hope that you enjoyed the story.
    "SEMPER FI"

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    NYS and Florida winters
    Posts
    10,540
    I enjoy your flying stories, oldman.
    A cow with a sense of humor might be called...laughing stock.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    So. California
    Posts
    7,786
    I had a similar experience in advanced flight training in Altus, OK in an AT-17 (Cessna UC-78)

    Gear wouldn't lower. However, knowing that the lower parts of the wheels extended several inches below the engine nacells, I kept clicking

    the prop feathering switches until the props were horizontal and landed. I had already established a very long approach so I could do a dead-stick
    landing. All turned out well; nary a scratch on that old "Bamboo Bomber"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Northern New Jersey
    Posts
    2,270
    Great stories.The hubby and I just finished watching Sully the movie about the captain that landed his plane in the Hudson river.what is your take on the movie.did he make wise decisions in your mind?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Houston, Tx.
    Posts
    1,052
    I am not a pilot but admire Sully and all pilots who have to make those decisions! Thankful for their good judgment and expertise in flying. Thankful its not me. Before flying I bless the pilots and personnel and put everybody in God's hands and then I can relax and know that all is well.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    2,942
    Quote Originally Posted by Falcon View Post
    I had a similar experience in advanced flight training in Altus, OK in an AT-17 (Cessna UC-78)

    Gear wouldn't lower. However, knowing that the lower parts of the wheels extended several inches below the engine nacells, I kept clicking

    the prop feathering switches until the props were horizontal and landed. I had already established a very long approach so I could do a dead-stick
    landing. All turned out well; nary a scratch on that old "Bamboo Bomber"

    I really enjoy listening to the stories told by pilots that flew some of these old crates during the wars. Doing a dead-stick landing and walking away from it is a true art, in my book. It is sort of like a glider landing without any power available. I have heard from other pilots that have performed this maneuver. I once did something very similar in a simulator, but as most pilots will tell anyone that will listen, doing a maneuver in a simulator and doing one in real time is not quite the same. The stress level rises in real time when no mistake is acceptable, otherwise, the pilot may hit the ground and not in a good way. My landing in the simulator was using just the APU, which is better than no power at all.
    "SEMPER FI"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    2,942
    Quote Originally Posted by Ruth n Jersey View Post
    Great stories.The hubby and I just finished watching Sully the movie about the captain that landed his plane in the Hudson river.what is your take on the movie.did he make wise decisions in your mind?
    Absolutely!!

    Sully is definitely a hero. I also watched this movie and it sort of irritated me when the folks at the NTSB did not believe him when he was trying to convince them that he had no engine power. The dog-gone ACARS report almost cost him his career, but the data on the FDR showed that he was being truthful. Like most people will tell you, the truth will always prevail. (Well, almost always.) He actually wrote a piece for the pilot's union magazine, ALPA, which spoke about making water landings long before he had to perform one.

    One important thing to keep in mind is that he was fortunate to be able to perform his water landing on a river and not on the ocean where waves and rough seas can make a 180 degrees difference. However, nonetheless, I really applauded Sully for pulling it off and if you noticed his calmness, most people will say that, "I bet he was crapping in his pants." I would have to disagree. A pilot cannot lose control of his emotions and still perform his duties in any situation, especially an emergency situation where one little mistake could have caused the plane to tumble or flip and all would have been lost. Congratulations, Captain Sullenberger.
    "SEMPER FI"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    2,942
    Quote Originally Posted by Pappy View Post
    I enjoy your flying stories, oldman.
    Pappy: I still remember your post to my post regarding pilots at United were directed to wear their cap and coat while in the terminal and I think that I was complaining about having to do it, if I was just wanting to run inside and get a Starbucks, you had said that you thought it made us look more professional (than the pilots who did not).

    I had read my wife your post and she agreed. I asked her why she never mentioned that before and she said that the subject just never came up. Maybe someday I will post my picture. I am a little shy about posting any pictures of myself on any website for personal reasons, but maybe someday I will ignore my rule and just do it.

    Anyway, just like Falcon, I have a lot of really good stories, at least for anyone that likes to read about what goes on during flights, both in the cockpit and in the coach. I flew a lot of non stops from Washington, D.C., Miami and New York to LA and San Francisco, so I was fortunate enough to have met a lot of famous celebs, athletes and politicians. Not that I am starry-eyed, but those people live completely different lives than most of us "average Joes." They have some really great stories to tell and if I had the time or opportunity to meet with them, they would sometime share a few.

    Hope to see you on-board soon.
    "SEMPER FI"

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    30,269
    Glad you thought to troubleshoot Oldman, and the circuit breaker did the trick, you must have been in many precarious situations. I don't like flying but I have to say if all pilots were like you, it would be more comforting.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    2,942
    Quote Originally Posted by SeaBreeze View Post
    Glad you thought to troubleshoot Oldman, and the circuit breaker did the trick, you must have been in many precarious situations. I don't like flying but I have to say if all pilots were like you, it would be more comforting.
    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.
    "SEMPER FI"

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    2,942
    As I read through my journal, I am finding some interesting little items that happened while we were in the air and I had forgotten about. Like this one: On a flight from Miami to New York, we were experiencing some heavy turbulence coming up the coast and so, the seat belt sign was on for the passengers to remain seated and we had also seated the F/A's. I had the controls when the Purser rang the cockpit bell. The F/O answered it and I heard him tell her that he had to check with the Captain.

    He said that a pregnant women in seat 15A needed to use the lavatory really bad. I remembered back when my wife was pregnant and when she needed to go, she needed to go. I told him to tell the Purser, OK, but put one F/A in front of her and one in back and tell her to grab the seat back as she came up the aisle and the same going back and also to please take it slow.

    We did OK and got through it and she was very appreciative. I am sure the passengers sitting in her row were also.
    "SEMPER FI"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    578
    I like to fly, oldman, but I really don't care for having any drama at 35,000 feet. I watched some of those films on TV about airplane crashes and I really felt sorry for the passengers that knew they were about to crash and also for the families that lost their loved ones. It has to be a terrible way to go.
    "Nothing good happens after 2:00 a.m."

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico USA
    Posts
    7,931
    Oldman, I really enjoy your stories -- please post more of them!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    2,942
    Quote Originally Posted by Butterfly View Post
    Oldman, I really enjoy your stories -- please post more of them!
    Thank you for your interest. At first I was hesitant about posting any stories that had to do with flying thinking that people may not care. But, I have had some really nice comments from some of you and I appreciate your interest and also for the few people that have asked me questions about flying. Two of the local high schools in my area invite me each year to their career day workshops. They like for me to tell the students why they should consider a career in flying. Kids today are very intelligent and ask some really good questions. I have also learned over the years that there are a lot of pilot wannabes in schools that have computer simulators on their computers. I have always thought that when we (pilots) tell a story that we should try to keep the technical terms out of the story. Being a pilot is like any other job in that we have a lot of insider jargon that is Greek to a lot of people. For example, if I would ask you what is a localizer, would you be able to answer it?
    "SEMPER FI"

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    NYS and Florida winters
    Posts
    10,540
    Probably something I would need to take orally before I fly again, oldman.
    A cow with a sense of humor might be called...laughing stock.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Please reply to this thread with any new information or opinions.

Similar Threads

  1. Workplace Drama and Intrigue
    By imp in forum Days Gone By
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 09-14-2015, 06:42 AM
  2. The Practice (legal drama)
    By applecruncher in forum Entertainment
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-13-2015, 07:49 PM
  3. Landing in the Hudson River.
    By Ken N Tx in forum Travel
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-07-2014, 09:44 AM
  4. Drama in the News
    By SeaBreeze in forum General Discussions
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 03-10-2013, 01:30 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Family & Health Forums: Mom Forum - Health Forum - Low Carb Forum - Pet Forums