Around the Pattern

Ramblings about flying for fun and profit.

Tag: commuting

Commuting Weather Worries

I mentioned previously that my OE trip was to start soon, implying that I was going to be commuting to my assigned base to start the trip. Clearing snow from the driveway.Since I was still officially in training the commute was for ‘company business’ and allowed me to book confirmed seats.  That meant I didn’t have to worry about getting a jumpseat or hoping that there was an empty seat left somewhere in the back of the plane. It also meant that to take advantage of the reserved seats I was going to have to do a 3-flight commute to get from my home to my base.

My plan was to leave  Reno at 6:30 on a Sunday morning and arrive at my base in the eastern U.S. that night in plenty of time for the start of my trip on Monday afternoon. Earlier in the week a winter storm passed through the area and dropped about 8” of snow at our house. It took a couple of tries, using both the blade on the front of our lawn tractor and a motorized snow thrower, but we got it all cleaned off the driveway. The city finally made a pass down our street about Wednesday and made the street passable, but it took 4-wheel drive to climb up the hill  leading out of the neighborhood.

I kept an eye on the weather and as luck would have it, another big storm was due to hit Friday night and continue through Sunday. Unfortunately this time the weatherperson was right. A heavy, wet snow started falling late Friday night. Saturday morning we cleaned  6-8 inches of new snow off the driveway and it was still accumulating.  That afternoon I plowed another 2-3 inches and hoped for the best.

At about 7 pm I called the local cab company to set up a 5 am pick-up for a ride to the airport. They said that because of the snow, they weren’t taking reservations or making any promises. That wasn’t good. Time for plan B.

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The Commuting Pilot Flying International Routes

OK, I think I’m back close to the right time zone. The last day of a trip for a commuting pilot can seem to last forever….. mainly because it does. Example:

4:30 am Japan time, wake up, just because. Couldn’t sleep.

9:30 am Japan time, receive crew call and leave for the airport an hour later.

1 pm Japan time, take off for U.S.  (total time 8:30 since waking up, so far)

11:45 am EDT(same day) land in U.S.  Flight time 11:45. Don’t you just love that dateline? Now, I did get a 5 and a half hour break(last half of the flight) and probably slept 4 hours of it, so I’m not totally out of it yet. Naps are your friend. (total time now 20:15)

Drop off flight bag and get a decent dinner, or whatever you body is calling the meal.

3:30 pm EDT take off on first leg of commute, land at 5 pm PDT. I think I managed a 1 hr nap on that flight.

7 pm PDT take off on second commute leg and land at 8:30 pm

Arrive home 9 pm (I think that adds up to a total time of 32:30)

That’s why the house rule is: No power tools, No flying and No financial decisions for 3 days after one of these trips. And don’t even consider a serious conversation.

That’s why you won’t see a post for about 3 days after a trip. I wouldn’t be able to put together a coherent sentence.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like international flying, but it is definitely hard on your body.

Now I’m home for a week. I completed most of my home ‘to do’ list today. I hope to make it out to the local airport tomorrow so I can start the annual on my plane. But that’s another story.

Fly safe.

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