Sunday, April 29, 2007

Montreal sunrise

This is morning number 2 with minimum rest so I am a bit tired and this is also my second day off too :) But what better way to begin the day then taking off and through 3000 feet getting visited by the sun. It was an 0600 departure so we were up around 0400 but morning flights are my favourite. The air is smooth as silk, Rog the controller guy is working ATC for our departure.

We don't really know the controllers name but at the end of each read back to a pilot he always says...eerrrrogggg. It would become annoying if he wasn't awesome at his job but I have come into Montreal when the winds were blowing so hard only one runway was open and when they opened up the 24's he was packing the planes in tight and without delay we got in as scheduled. There is something to be said for someone that does a wicked job and keeps their composure under all that stress and he is one of the best. He has worked Vancouver, Toronto and is now back in Montreal where by the sound of his accent he is now home ;)

Mount Royal as we climb through about 3000 feet. We had to climb like a mofo and turn because a Global Express was waiting to take off and he wasn't gonna get the take off clearance until we were turned and getting out of the way. We had a 40 knot headwind on departure so we were only grounding 100 kts initially so it was quicker for us to turn out of the way then climb straight out to create the needed separation.

It was the coolest layer of cloud on this morning. From the altitude we were at we could at first see right under it and see the whole city but as we climbed I was snapping pictures to see if I could get any of the sights we were seeing. Not as good as I had hoped but there will be other opportunities :)

Starting to lose the City under the layer of cloud but now the sun is starting to come out in full force. Considering the upper level winds this low it was remarkably smooth. They were upwards of 50 knots at 3000 feet.

As you can see from this shot the clouds have a wispy streaked look to the them. The low pressure which I was talking about in a previous post is still present today which is nice because we have a 40 knot tailwind heading westbound for Pittsburgh, PA.

Steel City International, also known as Pittsburgh, PA. We are on approach for 28L (there is 28C and 28R). In previous posts I have talked about fly to a VOR....well that little white thing in the bottom right hand of the frame is the Montour (MMJ) VOR which we used as a reference on the Grace 2 arrival that takes you in from the east. Since it was early we got to proceed basically to the VOR from about 130 miles away and on approach frequency we were his only airplane to be worked so it was nice and peaceful all the way to the ground.

Once on the ground the ground controllers were very friendly and upbeat as they helped us find the customs gate. Most US airports that we fly to have customs meet you at the FBO. But so far as I have experienced, Pittsburgh, Boston, and Milwaukee make you go to the main terminal. They used to meet you at the FBO but somebody in management decided it would be better to taxi for 2 miles after clearing customs to make things more efficient ! We had a great customs officer and the international wing we went into was completely void of people and it seemed out of a movie like Langoliers that everyone had vanished and we were the only ones left :)

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