Thursday, June 21, 2012

Our Third Leg…Home At Last


Saturday was a long day. We flew three flights in between Seattle and the Phoenix area, and those aren’t exactly short flights! After we dropped some folks off in Bremerton, it was time to turn around for our last flight of the day.

This time we were headed to the Embraer Service Center in Mesa.


Part of our preflight checks are to ensure all of the fire protection systems are working properly. These CAS (Crew Alerting System) messages on the PFD (Primary Flight Displays) let us know what warnings and cautions exist.

Warnings are always red and require immediate attention. Yellows are cautions and should be looked at sooner rather than later. White messages are simply advisories letting us know something about the airplane. The white messages rarely require any action, other than pushing off the flashing advisory button letting us know of a new message.

Don’t worry. These are all present today as part of our test in the cockpit. All tests passed successfully, and we were soon on our way.

Did you just fall asleep with that explanation?!


We were wheels-up at 7:00 PM. With a tailwind, this flight home will be just under 2.5 hours. Good thing, too. I’m tired and hungry and haven’t seen my Hubby for six days!

Evenings in the Pacific Northwest are breathtaking, in case you’re wondering.


As usual when departing the Seattle area, we had to climb through a cloud layer to finally reach clear skies above. We call these IMC (Instrument Meteorological Conditions) because we have to rely on the instruments inside the airplane to let us know our heading, turn bank, airspeed, and rate of climb.

To fly in IMC, the pilot has to have an Instrument Rating on his or her pilot license. Luckily, I done did got one when I was at the best school ever in Nort Dakota, eh.

Wow, you didn’t know that so many acronyms were going to be used today, huh? We use them all the time in the piloting world. They even make books listing out the thousands of acronyms used on a daily basis.

When in doubt, use an acronym. It makes you cooler in any situation.


This is the first time that I’ve flown on such a long flight with no passengers in Gladys. It’s kind of creepy being so quiet back there, but at least my passenger briefing before the flight was slightly shorter!

Isn’t this a beautiful interior on Gladys’ cabin? This is a custom job, and no other airplane in the world looks like her.


Thanks for confirming where we are, Jeppessen Flight Deck on the iPad. The location works about half the time on this machine, even though we bought a special GPS that should allow it to work all the time.

Have I mentioned that I’m not much of an iPad fan? And tomorrow, I’ll show you something way cooler to prove it!


This is an alarming sight. Where is the Captain?!

He took advantage of the long flight home to run in the back of the cabin for a few minutes to test our sound equipment for the passengers.

He may have also taken a nap while he was back there. I’m not sure.

This simply meant that it was just me and Gladys for a while. So fun! Girl Time!


It will be a few weeks before I’m back in these parts again, so I might as well enjoy the incredible sunset just off the wing. We flew at 39,000 feet all the way home and got to enjoy the sunset for a few hours.


Hello, Phoenix! I’m glad to see you…though this isn’t the first time today.

We turned left to skirt the outside of Phoenix Sky Harbor airspace to arrive at Mesa-Gateway Airport on the southeast corner of the Valley.

I personally think that Phoenix Approach Controllers are some of the best in the country. And I’m not even being biased there.


We made it! We touched down around 9:30 PM and taxied to the service center. One of the wonderful mechanics, Kevin, tracked our flight and was at the hangar to meet us when we arrived. Such a treat, since we weren’t scheduled to show up until the next day!

Kevin dropped us off at the rental car terminal to grab a car to drive to Scottsdale. My car was there, and the Captain’s dinner from the past four days in Bremerton was in the fridge there. So we drove about an hour north back to our hangar, where my car had been parked for almost an entire week.


Now is not the time to argue about a five-dollar difference on the rental car price. Sheesh! Please, let’s just go! This discussion took half an hour, folks. My legs were aching because I was so tired, but I got to stand there and be embarrassed and quiet the entire time. It was awesome.

We got back to Scottsdale around 11:00 PM. I loaded up Corolla with my luggage and began the half-hour drive back to my house.

My stomach made me stop for a bite to eat, since it had been a little too long since my last meal. Unfortunately, I discovered the deliciousness of Wing Stop. Bad move, Micah. Bad move.

It was a looooooooooong day, but I’m glad it’s over. Hubby was up and waiting for me when I got home. It’s always nice to be hugged by that man, but especially after a week of being gone!

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