Alaska Pilot Q&A Thread

Old Apr 10, 2009, 3:02 pm
  #61  
 
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Originally Posted by AlaskaCoho
Yeah and us unedjamacated pilots just say the shortest distance beteen two points is curved. LOL
Ask a sailor what he thinks of that... HA! Probably wouldn't understand the question.
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Old Apr 10, 2009, 5:08 pm
  #62  
 
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Originally Posted by AlaskaCoho
FAs come from all bases as I understand it.
A FA I talked to last night told me that only SEA and ANC FAs do the HI trips, but FAs based in other places could bid for HI trips but they would have to get to SEA or ANC on their own time (which he didn't want to do).
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Old Apr 10, 2009, 9:11 pm
  #63  
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who usually talks into the public address system? The Captain or the first officer? AND Why is it most always inaudible?



And Ive experienced a tour of Mount McKinley where the pilot went to 23K feet and circled so both sides of the A/C could get a view. Whats AS position on this? Is it pilot discretion or does AS have to approve this? Does this deviate the flight plan and does the Anchorage center have to be informed so the FAA doesnt get freaked out?
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Old Apr 10, 2009, 9:17 pm
  #64  
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Originally Posted by AlaskaCoho
ETOPS as you probably know stands for Engines Turn or Passengers Swim.


Thanks once again for your invaluable insight and perspective.

As airline junkies, we find your comments exceptionally interesting.
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Old Apr 10, 2009, 9:33 pm
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Originally Posted by AlaskaCoho
Yeah and us unedjamacated pilots just say the shortest distance beteen two points is curved. LOL

Actually the shortest distance is always a straight line. Problem is that requires drilling through the earth in most cases


If you're restricted to 0-40,000 ft above sea level, yes, curves work better
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Old Apr 11, 2009, 2:18 am
  #66  
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What is the most challenging or most dangerous runway you fly into on AS?

What is the most challenging departure runway you fly out of for AS ?
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Old Apr 11, 2009, 3:44 am
  #67  
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Originally Posted by ANC
What is the most challenging or most dangerous runway you fly into on AS?

What is the most challenging departure runway you fly out of for AS ?
My uneducated guess... used to be DUT!

Seen cool footage of a 732 spooling up and launching off the island... Alas, AS retired its Mud Hens, and subsequently DUT... Sad I never made it there on AS
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Old Apr 11, 2009, 1:49 pm
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Originally Posted by ANC
who usually talks into the public address system? The Captain or the first officer? AND Why is it most always inaudible?



And Ive experienced a tour of Mount McKinley where the pilot went to 23K feet and circled so both sides of the A/C could get a view. Whats AS position on this? Is it pilot discretion or does AS have to approve this? Does this deviate the flight plan and does the Anchorage center have to be informed so the FAA doesnt get freaked out?
Wow two questions in one post is that legal?

The pilots trade off flying each leg of the trip so that we all keep our skills up. The deal is that if it isnt your leg to fly then you have PA duty. The non-flying pilot (aviation term alert) also has the duty to talk on the radio. So if you are lucky enough to fly two legs with the same crew you will have two different guys(or gal) giving the PAs. You know your phase two of the first question regarding the PA sounding like crap, well I dont know. You would think that with a jet costing around $42 million we could each get two cup holders and the PA would sound like a stereo system.. They dont and we used to write them up day in and day out. MX went nuts trying to fix the darn things and I think, dont quote me on this, we just gave up. If it works for emergency communication unfortunately thats about as good as they get.

Question two. At Alaska you just get more! Remember that? When I was a young buck we used to do beach tours in Mexico, Glacier tours in JNU, and yes even up to a few years ago we used to do McKinley Tours. There was a fix created by ANC ARTCC (Center) right between Four-Acre and McKinley for just such an IFR (Instrument Flight Rules or I Follow Roads) clearance. We could request the McKinley tour IFR clearance out of ANC or FAI. It was understood that we only did this in clear weather and when the upper level winds were NOT blowing. I dont know the story, but as with all things in aviation someone goofed up. Alaska policy now is we DO NOT do any more tours at any time. So much for judgment and good deals.
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Old Apr 11, 2009, 1:52 pm
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Originally Posted by Cholula


Thanks once again for your invaluable insight and perspective.

As airline junkies, we find your comments exceptionally interesting.
Thats funny, not even my kids or spouse think I'm interesting....but that is a different mater I guess.
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Old Apr 11, 2009, 2:21 pm
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Originally Posted by ANC
What is the most challenging or most dangerous runway you fly into on AS?

What is the most challenging departure runway you fly out of for AS ?
Originally Posted by beckoa
My uneducated guess... used to be DUT!

(
Humm, Most definitely correct DUT used to be the most challenging runway anywhere including Hong Cong! and those weird ones about 7,000 MSL in Chile and ahh whats that crazy little place over north of India...anyway DUT was the most, but it is gone now. I can neither confirm nor deny that I once flew that Mud jet or to those exotic destinations, but Im sorry I just dont miss the jet. The old piece lkjdfoiajffoij MX eating ;lksdoifjl, smelly lskjfposidjfsk. But I digress. It did fly swellsometimes, when it flew.

OK OK back to the question. I think the best answer would be to break this up into two categories operationally difficult and emotionally difficult. Operational takes into consideration winds, weather, runway slope, pot holes, permafrost heaving, approach and departure path. My personal opinion is that Kodiak is probably the most difficult going in and Adak as close second, with honorable mention to most all the runways in SE Alaska except YAK (Easy in and out). JNU used to be hands down the most difficult in the Departure area. But RNP has really tamed that beast. KTN for it weather, primarily the wind has to have an honorable mention in this category as well.

Now emotionally going in and out of DCA and ORD are the most challenging in the system. ORD actually will put you into a holding pad called the penalty box if you screw up the clearance on the ground. Its challenging in good weather but add some snow and winds and that place emotionally can be as stressful as a fully loaded lemon creek departure with an engine failure in JNU. (We dont do the lemon creek and that reference probably dates me but it was the one we used prior to RNP where we took off on RWY 08 toward the MTNs turned left into the MTNS further just to get enough turning room to turn right, exiting the bowl around the airport and getting out of dodge; usually with howling winds. You get the idea.) Anyway in DCA at night flying the river visual approach to 19 with no room to error east (The Mall) that is pretty tricky as well. But departures arent that note worthy.
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Old Apr 11, 2009, 3:00 pm
  #71  
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Originally Posted by AlaskaCoho
Humm, Most definitely correct DUT used to be the most challenging runway anywhere including Hong Cong! and those weird ones about 7,000 MSL in Chile and ahh whats that crazy little place over north of India....
Ive seen videos of some place in Hondurus...that looked pretty freaky
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Old Apr 11, 2009, 3:37 pm
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I read malcolm gladwell's new book, "outliers" (he's the same guy who wrote "blink" and "the tipping point"). There is a section on aircraft safety and occurrence of major problems based on cultural backgrounds.. all pretty interesting. One of the points that came across that was independent of cultural background to some extent was that during avoidable major problems, the captain (senior person) was flying... and while the FO may have made an attempt to correct an error, their lack of seniority kept them from doing it forcibly-enough to be considered by the captain. He goes on to say that most airlines now train to avoid such things... what kind of training do you get in that respect? The solution of always having the FO fly and the captain watch keeps the captain from staying on top of his game.... and there aren't statistics out on who was flying since such training started for most airlines - ie this was noticed in the late 80s i think, and there haven't been enough crashes (not that anyone wants that) to get valid data from.

Thoughts/comments in general, as a pilot, and any specific to the training that you have done and continue to do?
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Old Apr 11, 2009, 4:20 pm
  #73  
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Cool

Originally Posted by ANC
Ive seen videos of some place in Hondurus...that looked pretty freaky
You might be referring to this one at TGU.
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Old Apr 11, 2009, 7:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Cholula
You might be referring to this one at TGU.
Yeap I've seen that before, pretty darn amazing isn't it. If I learn how to post it, I'll up load one of Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport (old airport). or you can do a Utube search.

Last edited by AlaskaCoho; Apr 11, 2009 at 7:20 pm
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Old Apr 11, 2009, 7:44 pm
  #75  
 
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Originally Posted by brarrr
I read malcolm gladwell's new book, "outliers" (he's the same guy who wrote "blink" and "the tipping point"). There is a section on aircraft safety and occurrence of major problems based on cultural backgrounds.. all pretty interesting. One of the points that came across that was independent of cultural background to some extent was that during avoidable major problems, the captain (senior person) was flying... and while the FO may have made an attempt to correct an error, their lack of seniority kept them from doing it forcibly-enough to be considered by the captain. He goes on to say that most airlines now train to avoid such things... what kind of training do you get in that respect? The solution of always having the FO fly and the captain watch keeps the captain from staying on top of his game.... and there aren't statistics out on who was flying since such training started for most airlines - ie this was noticed in the late 80s i think, and there haven't been enough crashes (not that anyone wants that) to get valid data from.

Thoughts/comments in general, as a pilot, and any specific to the training that you have done and continue to do?
One word...ICE. Stands for Integrated Crew Experience. At Alaska we moved on to ICE+. All the airlines in the US have been required to develop a program and have it approved by the FAA for developing a more communicative environment in the cockpit. When you get a couple of pilots together you'll hear terms like Sensitivity Training, and Touchy Feely School. It all begin in the early 90s and has been a fixture at Alaska for 15 years. We have a refresher each year during our two day ground school. Different names but the same ideas, increase the crews ability and desire to communicate to each other. We get training on what makes people tick and how we can recognize when someone is uncomfortable. As Captains we are supposed to encourage the FO to speak up and the FO is supposed to voice opinions. No action on the flight deck should break one of the pilot's comfort level. If the FO's comfort level is lower than the Capt will adjust ops to insure we are both comfortable with the operation.

Recently, about 5 or 6 years ago we have extended this training to include the FAs and all the other offices at Alaska like the dispatchers and supervisors.

All of this still doesn't relive the Captain of the responsibility after the door closes. The training emphasizes team and tool building so that decisions are not made in a vacuum. Each member of the crew and support person at Alaska is potentially a tool in the Captains belt for making important decisions if the time comes to do so. As part of the team they are encouraged to provide support.

Now there is a second part to this long winded explanation. I think what the books you refer too were saying was that during the course of investigating accidents over the past 30 or so years, it was remarkable that in most cases the accidents were happening on the first leg of a trip, with the Captain flying, and after the crew just came back form a period of days off. Some of the articles I've read recently are really keying in on this phenomena. Its really interesting to us pilots and we are still trying to assimilate the meaning to this research. Some guys are actually changing it up by having the FO fly the first leg of the trip and thereby changing the sequence of who flies. (Usually for no real reason the Captain goes first. Just the way Orville and Wilber decided it should be I guess.) But at this time its all voodoo and magic because we don't know what to make of the data.
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