The past two weeks have been amazingly great. I did so much within that period that would probably have spanned the entire internship. I have a new respect for the airline industry and for those who work there. It is a dynamic environment with many people who all work arduously together to ensure a flight is out on-time in the most safest and expeditious manner. Be it baggage services, passenger services, flight service, maintenance, the flight crew or the administrative group, their main aim is towards the common goal of managing an effective airlines and American Airlines has accomplished that.
The week started out with me flying to Dallas for 3 days to partake in a Luncheon and then Simulator Training. I spent four hours in a 737-800 Level D simulator which was divided up into 2 hours in the Captain’s position and the other 2 hours in the First Officer’s position. We had an hour briefing before and after the session. The ‘Sim’ session consisted of normal take-offs and landings, Precision & Non-Precision Approaches, Single-Engine Approaches and Landings, Aborted Take-Offs prior to and at V1, Failures, Fires and In-flight Emergencies, Single-Engine Operations, CAT I, II, III Approaches, RNP Approaches, Drift Down, FMC Operations, Unusual Attitudes, Wind shear Recovery, Missed Approaches, Low Visibility Operations and much more. It was so much fun and I learned a lot about flying large transport category aircraft. Flight Technique Analysis class at ERAU did indeed pay off. CRM is very important also and the FMS Class made me a pro at working the ‘box’.
I came back on Wednesday and spent the remainder of the day at LGA. Helped out around the office and caught up with some friends since I haven been spending all my time over at JFK. Later that week I spent half of a day up at the JFK FAA Tower. That was fun, as they gave me a headset to listen in on their communications. So many accents! I got to see a missed approach, a go-around and Emirates A380 land. The air traffic controllers were very much passionate about their jobs and have a lot of fun in the tower. I was able to understand most of their strip markings, procedures and phraseology. Riddle’s Air Traffic Program has been so beneficial and now I can see things not only from a pilot’s perspective but also the controller’s side. The picture to the right is a view from the tower.
The following week proved to be busier that I expected. Monday I met up with a 767 crew who invited me to preflight with them, program the FMC and hang with them in the cockpit before they were ready to push back. Later that afternoon I spent a few hours with the Flight Service Department. I learned about their operations and then gate hopping with the MOD to ensure the flight attendants were okay, the cabin was ready for departure and the cabin crew was all set for their flight. There is a lot of work that goes into ensuring the plane is well prepared for flight, from cleaning, catering to maintenance. Once again I reiterate the importance that all the employees place on ensuring the planes go out and come in safely, with the best of services.
The next day proved to be so worthwhile. I spent the day traveling to ORD and back just for fun. I hopped on a ferry flight and repositioned it over to ORD. Spent 10 minutes at ORD and then hopped on the next flight to LGA. It was a long day, but one of the best days of the summer. The next day I got up-close and personal with all the airliners that fly into JFK. I spent the day with the General Manager of the Airport. I got a tour of their facilities and then I jumped in their car and drove around the entire field. It was so much fun and I learned a lot from the managing side of things. I went from cargo facilities, to every terminal, runways and taxiways.
Even got to see an airport sign get blown out by jet blast. I was also fortunate to get a tour of the land side of the airport and not only the air side. I was all over the airplanes though, especially the 777-300ER’s, 747-400, A340-600, A380-800. The picture to the right was taken from the approach end of the runway as BA 747 was landing, one of my favorite airplanes of all times. I was even at the end of the departure runway as the planes took off and got jet blasted a few times…. FUN! The pictures below are from the A380 rounds and some jet blast from AA 757:
This week has already been an amazing one but there was still more to come. Thursday I hopped on a ferry flight from JFK to LGA on a 757. Basically I just repositioned myself too, which was closer to home. This was just an amazing week to culminate into my birthday festivities with my friends on Saturday. On the last day of the week, I had a surprise party at work for the Chief Pilot, and myself as we both celebrated our birthday on July 30th. It was really fun! Later that afternoon, I was fortunate enough to get a tour of the JAL Facilities and Operation. Their 777-300ER is amazing. The crew bunks are above the first class cabin. I got to preflight the aircraft with the FO and partake in the cabin briefing, which was indeed quite different from the American Carriers. The picture to the right is from the First Class Cabin with 2 flight attendants on JAL 777-300ER.
It was an amazing two weeks and I saw, learned and experienced a lot. Now I’m heading into my final two week on the internship then onto Proctor & Gamble for the Student Development Program. Stay tuned for the next entry and fly safe! Keep the blue side up…