Archive for CLT

Breaking Down Barriers…or Doors – Part Deux

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on 6 December, 2009 by Thomas

6:30pm – Currently I’m in GNV sitting on a broken airplane. We got down here with no problems, but now things seemed to have spiraled out of control.

As soon as we open the door to deplane the gate agent asks when I’ll be ready to board again because apparently they want to get these people out of here. We only have 19 passengers so I asked for five minutes.

Everyone gets on and gets settled, but we’re still not even fueled, and the fueler is busy with another plane, so we wait. ATC has given us a window of 10-12 minutes past the hour to get off the ground before we have to wait on another slot; the flight deck clock says nine minutes past and we’ve not even been fueled.  I’m not too sure we’ll make that window.

After a few minutes we have our 6,500 pounds of Jet A fuel and the captain tells me I’m clear to close the door. I press the door assist button, and wouldn’t you know the thing doesn’t work. I’ve been in this spot before, but it doesn’t make it any more pleasant, not at all. In addition to a main cabin door that won’t close, the galley service door is showing as open. That problem is identified as a circuit breaker that keeps popping out.

The captain gets on the horn with maintenance, and they end up sending a contract maintenance guy out. He takes 45 minutes to arrive. Right now, I’m just drinking hot chocolate hoping we cancel, because a pilot that I met earlier today will be down here to overnight, and she’s got great freckles and pretty eyes.

I’ll update as news breaks.

7:20pm – Update: The guy came, and it was a quick fix. Something about a wire in the cargo hold that “popped” and deactivated all the door sensors causing them to go inop.  At least we didn’t have some aircraft safety guru trying to tell me we failed our safety inspection this time.

We were supposed to overnight in CHA, but now we spend the night in CLT when we get back. That’s fine with me. I don’t get to see the cute pilot, but I do get to drink cheap beer and get paid for a flight I’ll never work. Rum all ’round!

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Breaking Down Barriers…or Doors

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 20 November, 2009 by Thomas

Because of a delayed inbound flight, you get a new post. Huzzah!

A few nights ago I was boarding a plane to TLH. It appeared to me that we had a good group of passengers on board. We weren’t full, we were on time, and 75% of the crew was pretty rockin’. As I’m closing the main cabin door a ramper comes scampering up waving his hand to get me to stop. The door is roughly halfway closed, but I release the Door Assist button, dropping the 200 pound door back to the ground. As soon as I release the button, though, I see that the aforementioned ramper is standing under the door . . . kind of like an idiot would do. Not wanting to hit him in the head I quickly press the Door Assist button so he can move himself out of harm’s way before letting the door drop again. He tells me that the captain needs to add three more checked bags into the fancy computer. We do that, the captain tells me we are once again clear to close the door, and I hit the button for the third time.

Only this time nothing happens. The door just sits there on the ground like a jerk. After a few minutes maintenance comes out to the plane and diagnoses the problem as a faulty motor. We are given the option to swap aircraft or have them repair it. Thankfully, our large-nostriled captain wants to just repair the motor and that’s what happens. It would have been a royal pain in the butt to find a plane, deplane everyone, transfer bags, cater the plane, do our checks, and board them up again. Plus, when passengers have to get off a plane before it even leaves its originating point they seem to get a lot crankier. Crisis averted. Thanks, Cap!

While we’re waiting for the maintenance guys to finish some brainiac in the back asks the other flight attendant if our planes have safety inspections. Obviously she tells him they do, and he proceeds to tell her that this particular plane has failed, like he knows anything about aircraft maintenance or safety. No way. No way! I wonder what he says and how he feels when he has to fill his gas tank or change a tire on his ’94 Ford Escort. What a jabroney!

We get the thing fixed and make it to TLH only about 30 minutes late because, yeah, we’re that good. Most of the passengers were fine and didn’t mind the slight delay.

And as it turns out I had to do a line check on someone down to TLH a few days later, and one of the same guys was on the plane going back to CLT. Thankfully, it wasn’t Mr. Aircraft-Door-Safety-Man. Getting to the point – this whole thing could have been avoided if the ramper had thought to himself that it might not be such a bright idea to stand under a rather large aircraft door as it falls open, or maybe even just tell the flight crew over the radio to add more checked bags. But at least he wasn’t hurt and I didn’t get in trouble for “breaking” the motor.

New Service

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 10 November, 2009 by Thomas

Hip, hip, hooray!  We’re picking up new service to two new destinations early next year.  Yesterday the Check Flight Attendant group (of which I am a part because I’m a big deal) received an email that on 11 January we’ll start back service to FPO.  My airline has performed this service in the past but discontinued it before I started.  We were told a few weeks ago that “we may have an opportunity to perform  international operations beginning first quarter 2010,” and obviously there was speculation as to where we’d go.  We all figured it was either Canada or the Bahamas.  Personally, I was hoping for Canada because we would overnight there while Bahamas would just be a turn, and we all know I’m here for the stamps in my passport, not to end up in XNA.  Either way, I’m pretty pumped about the once daily service, even if CLT crews get to work the flights.  Anyway, at least we’ll be doing the turn on the 700 (CRJ-700) so if I do get to do it I won’t be stuck all by my lonesome.  Perhaps in the coming months we will start back service to Canada.  A boy can hope, right?

Also, while waiting out a flow control program into CLT I got on my fancy iPhone and saw that we’ll also be starting service to Florida’s Space Coast on 11 February, going to MLB after a 12-year hiatus.  This we’ll be doing three times a day, seven days a week on the 700 as well.  This is an overnight so maybe I can score this one and hit up the Space Center; I’ve always wanted to be an astronaut.  In fact, should NASA contact me today about going to the moon I’d leave my job and be there most Rikki-Tik.

So we’re getting new service, but here’s the rub: just because we serve new destinations doesn’t mean we’re growing.  It doesn’t mean we’re not, though.  A lot of times when one carrier starts service to a new city, they also lose service to an existing destination to another affiliate carrier.  My hope is that, at the very least, a non-wholly owned carrier doesn’t pick up some service that we gave up; we are a small airline after all and I’d rather grow than shrink to some jabroneys with an SA5P boarding priority.  I guess we’ll see what happens in the coming months.