Sunday, January 12, 2014

Week Forty: Maintenance and Weather Cancels

Hey everyone,

This weeks has been a pretty bad one as far as actually flying time goes. The number of cancelled flights due to weather and maintenance issues was insanely high, and barely anyone flew. It wasn't a total bust week, though; still managed to get up for two flights and a sim, and got back into the swing of things after a long break.

Monday was my first day back on the flying schedule and I was scheduled to double-turn so I could get to my Transition check ride this week. Due to the extremely cold temperatures and the fact that the jets hadn't been operated in two weeks, it was a real maintainer's nightmare. The first plane I stepped to had a fuel leak, so we had barely walked up to the crew chief before he told us to head to a spare. Then, as we started the right engine in that spare, the RPM wouldn't even reach normal limits, nor would engine temperature. Add that to the nozzles not opening at all, and you get a no-go, so we shut down and went inside. Out of the 14 lines scheduled first go, 10 jets broke. It was ridiculous, even for our 50+ year-old T-38s. The rest of that day was affected too, as only four planes were good to fly. So we all got MX cancelled.

I was scheduled for two more flights on Wednesday and actually flew both of them. The weather was perfect for my first Transition ride in about two and a half weeks. I did pretty well for having a break in training, and was looking forward to flying the second sortie. The weather was rolling in pretty quickly though, so we quickly started up, taxied out, and took off. As I went around the container for my simulated single-engine straight-in landing, ready for departure to the MOA, the supervisor called over the radio to everyone that we were in a weather recall and that all jets were stop-launched. So what this meant for anyone flying was that you either had to return to base or stay in the pattern. So, yeah, surprise pattern-only flight. Basically this gave me a good chance to work on my pattern ops and landings. I ended up getting 10 landings, so by the end I was feeling good about them again.

Thursday and Friday were all weather cancels, all the time. We barely flew, and I briefed three times for flights that would never happen. But I did get my last instrument sim (at least until we're opted for more of them), which went really well despite my not flying instruments for over a month.

We also had the "you're going on cross country in two weeks" bomb dropped on us, so we had to start thinking about that in addition to studying for the Trans check ride. We will most likely be flying west, so that would be pretty awesome. Initial plans are Vance to Albuquerque to Phoenix, then the next day from there ending up in Colorado, then home the next day.

That was about it, interesting week for sure. Good football today too!

Go 'Niners.

~ Dakota

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