Greetings from the Flight Deck—Welcome Aboard!

…Join me on an adventure. A journey. A celebration of flight, regaling tales of world travel, and musings on the “ups n downs” of the rarely lucrative but always rich airline pilot career!

Follow the Adventure

Follow the Adventure...

Join this Site!

Followers

LIKE ME ON FACEBOOK!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Cap'n & the Controller—Part I


#blog #avgeek #aviation #ATC
blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel
ATC Controller Brian jumpseats with Cap'n Aux!
Recently, blog buddy Brian Bond contacted me via my Cap'n Aux Facebook page (facebook.com/CapnAux). To my surprise, it turns out that Brian is not only an FAA Air Traffic Controller, but one based in my home town of Phoenix. He works at the PHX TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control Facility—see Wiki, below.)

Never one to pass up a golden opportunity, I immediately suggested we trade tours of each other's jobs. Brian readily agreed.

Our planned adventure was twofold:
First, Brian applied to the FAA for special authorization to take a "familiarization" ride on my cockpit jumpseat during a live flight.

Second, I would tour his ATC facility, located at the heart of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Bonus: also co-located with his TRACON facility happens to be the Tower itself, which I also hoped to tour.

But more about that next week . . .

blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel

It took about a month for the "special authorization" to wind its way through the labyrinth of FAA red tape, but it finally came back approved!

We picked a flight from KPHX to KSEA (Seattle-Tacoma Airport, also known as "Sea-Tac"). Conveniently, it was a "turn"—that is, I was scheduled to fly up to SEA, turn right around and fly back. That way, Brian could jumpseat back home with us as well.

blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel


Before our flight, Brian met me for a quick tour of our pilot lounge in Phoenix. Then we headed off to the plane.
Meanwhile, over on my Cap'n Aux Facebook page, things started  buzzing.

blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel

Determined to tag along with us, the blog peeps held a flight tracking party. We even had several cyber-celebrities chime in, including Dave in the UK and Julie T.—"Miss TWA", at misstwa.blogspot.comAnd, boy, did they cyber-party!


 

While perhaps nowhere near the epic proportions of the 787 Dreamliner's maiden flight on September 17— the "Flight Tracked 'Round the World"—our flight trackers really made our trip special.

Way to go, guys and gals, YOU ROCK!!

blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel
Dave from the UK shows off his tracking prowess...and his feet!
(Note: I do NOT represent any airline on this blog; hence the airline names are deleted from all photos. But you're a smart cookie. If you want, you can figure out what airline owns the call sign Cactus, with the flight designators AWE 75 & 18!)

During our turn, several blog followers posted flight track screen shots, updates and comments. Bill K. in LAS was my designated "Voice of Cap'n Aux," and posted "PA's" on my behalf of our flight's progress!
blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel

And speaking of voice, several trackers listened in to our radio calls on liveatc.net!

— — — — — — —

 — — — — — — —

blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel
Heads-up! Here comes our plane, inbound to PHX!

We arrived at our gate a tad early; our plane hadn't arrived yet from DCA. To my surprise, our A321 flight to Seattle and back would be used to train several brand spankin' new flight attendants. So, instead of the usual four, we had a total of eight! With this many aboard, ol' Cap'n Aux was feeling like an A380 Cap'n!

blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel
It's a gaggle of groupies lined up to get Cap'n Aux's autograph!
Oh, wait, it's just our flight attendants!
During our wait, I got to schmooze with some of our fine passengers—one of my favorite parts of the job!
I gave my new buddy Tyler a pair of wings.
One set of plastic wings: 25¢. Memory: Priceless!

Oh, and his reply? "Thanks for not crashing the plane!"

The flight pulled in on time, and deplaned. Now it was our turn.
blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel
FO Scott was an excellent tour guide for our guest!

I took care of the paperwork while FO Scott escorted Brian on his "walk-around," inspecting the exterior for safety issues, as we do on every flight.

On the FB page, things started heating up. "Cap'n Bill" posted his first PA:



Back at the ship, boarding started. Everything was looking like a GO. Then we "mechanicaled!"

Yep, our anticipated on-time push was delayed due to a . . . 

Toilet seat!

blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel
What can ya do?!
All parts of an airliner must be accounted for, even toilet seats. Some non-safety related items can be MEL'd (Minimum Equipment List—deferred for repair at a later date.) But that would mean closing off the First Class lav.

I made the command decision: "No way, Jose!"


Mechanics quickly replaced the errant seat, and we shoved off none the worse for wear, a few minutes tardy. But it was enough to start wisecracks a crackin' over at FB!



Ya, ya, everyone's a critic! 

"Is Cap'n Daddy ever gonna launch, Arwen?"
"I dunno, Tarzan. He's such a perfectionist!"

Here's one of the coolest parts of our story:

Justin L., who lives smack dab underneath our departure track (SILO 3 departure), stepped out to his back yard . . . and took our photo as we passed overhead—HOW COOL IS THAT!

blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel

Thank you, Justin! I'm gonna have to get that pic framed!

blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel
Above L: I got to meet Justin earlier this year! R: See, we just flew over him—great job, Justin!


Let's let those FB wiseacres help me tell the rest of our story:

blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel


blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel

blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel


blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel
Passing Mt. Rainier on the arrival.
blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel
One last shot of Rainier.


blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel
On the left downwind leg to KSEA, landing Rwy 16R.



Have you ever heard of the "$100 hamburger?" That's what GA pilots like to do: fly somewhere, and have a burger! Factoring in the cost of the flight, said burger cost much, much more...but you get the point!

blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel

Well, between flights, we treated ourselves to a "$100 seafood chowder" at Ivar's, Seattle Airport food court! If you ever pass through Sea-Tac, don't miss it! (actual price: $5-7!)

—  —  —  —  —  —  —
—  —  —  —  —  —  —

Our return flight, Cactus 18, in photos:


blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel 
 Weather's movin' in, taking the scenic route!
blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel

blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel
 Made it!
blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel

What a trip!

blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novelblog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel

Congrats , Brian, on your jumpseat adventure! Of course, your prize is a copy of my 2nd novel!

blog, airline, aviation, avgeek, cockpit, airbus, a320, flight deck, cap'n, capn, aux, novel
And Congrats to our newest Flight Attendants!
Eh...but get outta my SEAT!

Brian, Scott, the Facebook wiseacres and I all had a fantastic time!

But for FO Scott and I, our SEA turn was only the kickoff to a 4-day flight sequence. From there, we flew out to DFW. Coincidentally, on Day 2 of this trip, I got to meet an aviation hero of mine,  fellow pilot-blogger JD Campbell.

I posted this earlier, but here's my vlog about it again!



Speaking of which, just last week I got to meet one of our flight trackers, David McD & his family!:


PS—
Check out Miss TWA's "Sister" Post at:

SEE YOU ALL NEXT WEEK FOR PART TWO OF OUR ADVENTURE!

Related Cap'n Aux Posts

Related Links
—  —  —  —  —  —  —


       POST FLIGHT CHECKLIST
  1.  JOIN THIS SITE......................VERIFY.............................JOINED
  2.  COMMENT.............................VERIFY.............................MADE
  3.  FACEBOOK............................VERIFY.............................LIKED
  4.  TWITTER...............................VERIFY.............................TWEETED
  5.  EMAIL....................................VERIFY.............................MAILED
  6.  OTHER NETWORKS..............VERIFY.............................SHARED

       POST FLIGHT CHECKLIST — COMPLETE!
    — — — — — — —
    LINED UP & WAITING
    Departing Wednesday, September 25 @ 11:00 PHX
    The Cap'n & the Controller—Part II

    Cap'n Aux visits PHX TRACON & Tower!
    — — — — — — — — — —
    HOLDING SHORT
    Departing Sunday, September  29
    Blogging in Formation Week!
    Posts all week beginning Monday
    October's Topic: My Best Instructional Moments!
    Cap'n Aux post: ,  Tues, Oct 1 @ 00:30 PHX
    Sun 29th: House of Rapp - Ron Rapp 
    Mon 30th: iFLYblog - Brent Owens 
    Tues Oct 1: Adventures of Cap’n Aux - Eric Auxier
    Wed Oct 2: Flight to Success - Karlene Petitt 
    Thu Oct 3: Smart Flight Training - Andrew Hartley
    Fri Oct 4: Airplanista - Dan Pimentel 
    — — — — — — —
    TAXIING FOR TAKEOFF
    Departing October 9
    These are a Few of my Fa-vorite (Aviation) Bloggers!
    — — — — — — —


    R U on FaceBook? Twitter?  Me too! 
    I post on FB (http://www.facebook.com/CapnAux) & Tweet (@capnaux) almost every day!

    DID YOU LIKE THIS POST? Me too!
    If so, I invite you to COMMENTSHARETWEETLIKE, EMAIL +1 etc., below!
    It looks like this: 

    See?  Right down below this line!

    13 comments:

    1. Again such a nice post, i think u remember me. one more thing your content in blogs is lovely and to read.

      ReplyDelete
    2. Oh Cappy we sure did have .........fun that day tracking.......you ............in fact.....I'm putting together a special 'Post' to go along.......with this one........and I'll have my many observations........on "Jumping" for Joy..........and I'll share them here on your......BRILLIANT post as well.....in the mean time..........please "Have a Nice Day:)........!!!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Ah! Can't wait, Miss TWA! I'll post the link on the blog! :-)

        Keep flyin' high darlin'!

        Delete
    3. Awesome post - looking forward to the return visit!!! I remember the day well :)

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Yes, Mark, a good time was had by all! :-D

        I think you'll equally love the next post as well!

        Delete
    4. Great fun!

      So many ppl around the world looking in....

      I really must be more careful when taking pics - glad it was only my feet that made the shot!!

      All the best!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Ah, glad the "infamous feet" chimed in! Yes, be careful what you photograph..it could end up on the internet!

        Delete
    5. Hey there Cap....I've posted my blog link here........if you would like to hear a woman gone mad.......take on........'Jumping for Joy'..........LOL


      http://misstwa.blogspot.com/

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Got 'er in there, baby! You know I'm your biggest fan! ;-)

        Delete
    6. Well this has to be one of my all-time favorite posts! I did a similar seat swap trip with my dad once. He was a 757/767 captain at Delta and I was an EMB-120 captain at ASA. Granted, his DFW to FLL turn was much more exciting than my DFW to TXK (Texarkana) turn, but it was still a lot of fun. I wish we had been able to document our trip as you did this one. What a great story!

      ReplyDelete
      Replies
      1. Thanks, Brad, at http://www.airlinepilotchatter.com !

        I have a sneaking suspicion your dad would say his jumpseat flight with his son the Captain would be more exciting than his own! What a cool experience to share!

        My father knew nothing of the aviation business (he was an old salty sailor), but LOVED to hang around listening to us pilots chat in av-speak. I'm sure your father was every bit as proud of you that day!

        You should dig up those wonderful memoriesin your brain of that experience and blog about it soon!

        Delete
    7. You can enjoy both watching basketball and playing it. To make sure you are getting all you can out of the game, become informed. The tips located above will help you become the best player you can be.
      mens-health-france.com |

      miamitechnocentral.com |

      muschihouse.com |

      nhhomeless.com |

      paradeeptravel.com |

      ReplyDelete

    Sorry, folks, due to more spamming, Word Verification is back on. If you have trouble posting, please email your comments to me and I will post it for you!

    capnaux@gmail.com