Thursday, February 15, 2007

Flying the Line

I’ve had a long couple of days. We had the APU go tits up Monday morning. Sometimes it is better to be lucky than good and Monday was one of those times. We found a “huffer” cart that worked so we could start the GIV and we had one available at the other end. With minimum monkey motion and a short delay we were airborne and completed the planned trip on time. We had a day to fix the airplane before we were scheduled to depart for KJFK and then to London. The shop finally received all the needed parts around 21:30 and had the airplane ready to go by 22:30. We still had to fly it back home and get it ready for a two week trip before the 08:30 departure. With lots of help from the third pilot we made it.

Only one more problem New York WX sucked. They were having their first major snowstorm of the year and the forecast showed us arriving just in time to enjoy the full effects.

Our luck was holding, by the time we arrived in New York the worst of the storm was over. It was still cold and windy but the ceiling and visibility were pretty good. When we landed at KJFK the wind was over 20 knots almost directly across the only open runway and the whole airport was a sheet of ice, what a ride. Landing wasn't too bad other than sliding down the runway with the nose cocked about 30 degrees to the direction of travel several times while trying to stop but the taxi to our ramp was a bitch. It took almost 3 hours from the time we landed to taxi, put the airplane to bed (put on the covers, pick up the trash, and remove all the liquid stores), and get ground transportation to the hotel.

The hotel is another story; I need to do a photo series on the Five Towns Hotel. It is aviation flop house. Most of the locals think it is a "hot sheet" hotel and in a way they are right but it is just pilots using it, not hookers. There are no check-in checkout times. The maid service works 24 hours a day; your room gets cleaned before you check in and after you check out but not while you are there. Coffee and cake are always in the lobby and the airport shuttle runs every 30 minutes 24 hours a day. There are always crews in the lobby, eating cake and drinking coffee, waiting to check in, waiting for the shuttle, or just bored and wanting company. Check in, at least for our company, is just sign your name and give them your employee number they throw you a key card and that is it. God I love New Yorkers :-) When you check out they give you a slip showing the number of days you stayed. I will say this for the Five Towns, it is clean, the Internet works, the beds are good and it is in one of the few areas near KJFK where you can walk out of your hotel at night.

A couple of days to enjoy the Five Towns and then on to London.

No comments:

Post a Comment