My first flight into KATL as an airline pilot

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Ray
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My first flight into KATL as an airline pilot

Post by Ray » Sun Feb 12, 2012 4:27 pm

Dad met me for my first flight into Atlanta. He couldn't have been more proud. It was a momentous occasion.

Dad & I have been flying together in his SuperCub since I was 6. First flight with him was out of Fulton County, just northwest of the Atlanta airport.
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I try to get back to Atlanta (my real home) at least once a month for some Cub flying with him, I really cherish the times we've spent flying together over the years.

My grandad Shelly and uncle Paul flew the airmail in and out of Atlanta (then known as Candler field) in the 20s and 30s, and also flew for Eastern Airlines which had its headquarters in Atlanta. Shelly set a world altitude record (at the time) in a sailplane over Atlanta in '43 - it still stands as the record in Georgia. My uncle Jim solo'd at 16 years old at Atlanta airport and flew 34 years with Eastern Airlines. My mom has been an Atlanta based Delta flight attendant for 44 years.

It was a surreal experience. 9 years and 4 months ago I was flying over KATL on my way back from my private pilot checkride - looking down, wondering when I might be flying into there as an airline pilot. And somehow there I was! :lol:

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Grab
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Post by Grab » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:45 am

Very cool Ray, thanks for sharing!
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Ageis
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Post by Ageis » Mon Feb 13, 2012 5:18 pm

Sweet! :D
"It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."

Gen. George S Patton
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Gunner
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Post by Gunner » Mon Feb 13, 2012 7:18 pm

Congrats, Ray!! I bet dad was beaming!
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Lawndart
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Post by Lawndart » Mon Feb 13, 2012 11:12 pm

Others call him "The Natural", we just call him Ray. :lol:

Great recap of a significant day in your flying career! Family and flying coming full circle... Maybe in a handful of years you'll drive something a lot heavier and with more tires into Hartsfield - at night.

I will admit, when I first looked at the photo of your bird being pushed back I though it was a -135, Taco Rocket - Doh! And I flew the -145 for six years, yet somehow it looked smaller to me at first glance. I guess having 2 and 2 seating with first class gives you the illusion of a bigger cabin while slats and wingtips you don't have to duck under makes it seem bigger outside doing a walkaround, even if the -900 feels a lot smaller than it did at first, now.

Was it windy in ATL when you flew there?

The -900 is definitely "fun" to land in strong winds with that stretched fuselage and lack of trailing-link landing gear to cushion your touchdown (and even if you grease the upwind wheel on first, the ground lift dumping will engage as soon as that wheel has spun up and drop the other wing with a resounding thump). On that side note, it was blustery in our nation's capital the other day and we had a sporty 320/30G40 on 1R at IAD. Went ref +/-20 on short final with a windshear caution for extra measure. The trend vector shot a good amount above the 160 knots we momentarily were reading on the speedtape coming over the threshold. (I believe Vref was ~138 and Vapp 143 w/o gust factor). The -900 likes to dance around quite a bit in those conditions and always feels like a little more plane to handle than I remember the -145. As a special treat for our passengers the ride down final was excruciatingly long as well with a groundspeed of 107 knots noted (as the 1,000-foot winds were hauling at a good 59 knots if I recall). I'm sure they appreciated the "vomit comet" and our superior flying skills as the most underpaid professionals in the industry, LOL! It's been a windy week everywhere I've gone this past trip - west to east!

Again, great photos!
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Post by Ells » Tue Feb 14, 2012 9:18 am

Looks like an awesome day Ray, many congrats.
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Redeye
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Post by Redeye » Wed Feb 15, 2012 5:36 pm

Your dad is not the only one proud of you Ray, we all are :!:
Nice pictures. 8)
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Ray
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Post by Ray » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:50 pm

Thanks all! :D

@LD - yeah hopefully it'll be in a FedEx MD-11 one of these days!

It was windy that day, 320 @ 20kts I think it was, bit of a crosswind - had to work for the landing but it was a smooth one!

My first couple of crosswind landings I was getting the feel for just how much aileron input is needed to gently set down the other wheel - takes a decent bit depending on how the upwind one touches down. Interesting that the -900 is even trickier and the spoilers spoil what may have been smoother landings, :lol: 30 gust to 40 is pretty stout! We had a 157 quartering headwind @ altitude on the way to Atlanta from Cleveland.
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Lawndart
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Post by Lawndart » Thu Feb 16, 2012 1:20 am

It does take quite a bit of aileron sometimes, and you always get a good feel for how much taking off in a crosswind as the upwind wing wants to rise as you rotate. It's neat that the same stick and rudder skills you learn as a young student pilot still apply.

All in all, when you shave away all the airline BS (scheduling, union vs. management, subpar work rules etc.) and just look at the hands on flying, it's a great career. :D
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