Wednesday, May 02, 2007

France French and Quebecois

I don't know if this is a crater caused by something from outer space but Quebec seems to have it's fair share of scares from our violent past 250 million years ago :) It is about 120 miles east of Montreal I think, pretty cool looking though.

Getting closer to Montreal, this beautiful town along the river here is absolutely gorgeous. This area is flatter then a pancake but is dotted with little hills which make it interesting from the air to look at. At this point we are in a very slow decent trying to keep ahead of the Jazz Dash 8-100 who is keeping about 6 miles in trail, he/she is also in a slow decent and it is a stalemate. Finally when switched over to arrival he gets speed restricted and we win :)

You could see the whole race begin about 150 miles out of Montreal on TCAS. They were coming in from Quebec City and us from Halifax, both headed for the same arrival corridor (OMBRE). The weird part is that he/she was within 5 miles of us 1000 feet below and we got descent our discretion to 8000. But if we left 12 we would have less then 1000 feet seperation and 5 miles so I double checked with center and he said descent at YOUR discretion...I wanted to say thanks for the tone buddy but I am covering my ass if you get a separation issue ! Maybe there is a rule about same direction traffic at the same speed, I dunno I just fly the damn thing ! :)

This picture comes from the "What are the ahhhhhds (odds)" file. What you are looking at is an Airbus 340 belonging to Air France headed east towards Massena, NY VOR (MSS) as were we. That is not a contrail behind it but is the cigarette smoke vented overboard from all the passengers (kidding to all the French readers !!) :)

Our call signs both start with Air and we had the exact same flight number and where right beside each other heading to the same VOR so every time ATC would issue an instruction to us the Air France guy would start to answer ! Usually ATC tells you when there is someone else on the frequency with the same call sign so you listen more carefully.

One time I was with Washington Center and there were 3 sets of the same call signs ! 6 airliners in the same airspace, same time with the same numbers.

Twice in the past month I have completed trips across the eastern part of the continent in good weather conditions to come home on the last leg to a 200 foot ceiling and 1 mile visibility. When we tuned in the ATIS (a pre-recorded weather report with what approaches are in use so ATC doesn't have to report everything to every airplane) and the the ceiling was 200 feet and 1 mile in mist. We both looked at each other and were like right on, we had just spent the past two days commuting 4 hours a day to fly going home was a welcome ending to those 2 days. We had the gas and the time and we would keep trying till we got in :) But it had been a few dreary days of rain and low cloud but on top it was a layered mass of clouds. You would enter cloud thinking you wouldn't see anything till 200 feet and then all of a sudden you would enter into a lair like the one above.

Minus the thunderstorms I love summer type cloud formations for their level of complexity. Winter is so boring for clouds and they are just cumiliform and have no uniqueness to them. There was a slight opening in the one cloud which caused the spot of sunshine on the dark clouds below, wicked stuff, and this is when we stop to think we actually get paid to do this !

Can't say much about this but it was some of the coolest clouds I have had the pleasure of flying through. If you want to see what it looked like below go watch the ILS07 video posted earlier this week.

1 comment:

Jason said...

That last pic just became my desktop background. Cool!