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JeremiahWeed last won the day on March 19

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About JeremiahWeed

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    Flight Lead
  • Birthday 07/04/1965

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  1. On the MD-11, it got some pretty consistent attention. It has a 13K fuel tank in the stab. Once airborne, with the fuel system in auto, it will pump 13K back there if there's room and CG allows which will move the CG aft. It'll put it right at the aft limit for most of the flight if it can. Makes a big difference in fuel consumption. But if someone porks away the load, it's not difficult to negate that capability. Most operators don't plan for tail fuel management and tend to use pessimistic burns just for CYA. Certain issues can deny TFM and if the fuel load is counting on it and it fails, you will land short on some of the longer flights. Another factor is an emergency and rapid descent to landing early in the flight. If the descent is fast and slats come out early, a large portion of that 13K may be trapped back there. Can make the landing kind of sporty if the guys flying haven't experienced a significant aft CG.
  2. What may be the issue is the forward belly freight. When the load team doesn't communicate well, they may end up with freight on the main deck aft of the CG. The guys unloading the forward belly (forward of CG) do that too quickly and eventually gravity wins. I've seen this happen a few times. I was working at another cargo carrier (before FedEx) on a layover in Anchorage. My Captain called me and said "turn on Fox News". So, I do and there's the aircraft we're supposed to take to Taipei in 18 hours at LAX looking just like that 747. "Ah..yeah, I guess our ANC layover just got a bit longer." 6000 lb pallet of stuff that was half-way to the door rolled back during the tilt and almost killed a guy who dove out of the way plus did big time damage to the aft bulkhead and a/c structure. Most cargo outfits have a tailstand, a weight cart attached to the nose gear or a strap running through the nose gear anchored to eye-bolts in the concrete during loading/unloading to avoid this. The 777F has the main deck door aft of the wing, so all the main deck freight is loaded and unloaded from front to back. Pretty much impossible to put one on the tail doing it that way (but you'll still never see one of ours without a strap or weight cart).
  3. Putting a brand new driver fresh out of FTU at K Falls doesn’t sound like a good plan. Experience in an ops unit followed by IP upgrade there is the best option before someone goes back to Klamath to learn to instruct B-course students. While it may be counter intuitive, instructing ops pilots in MQT, FLUG, IPUG, etc is easier and a very different animal than taking a zero hour pilot through FTU. When I was at Tyndall, checking out a one tour Eagle driver who had never been an IP was usually more work than one with ops instructor time. Not impossible or unavoidable at times, but at least he has ops experience. I can’t imagine have the equivalent of an “Eagle FAIP” is considered a good way to do things. Short changes the IP in his effort to be the most effective and credible in his role and ultimately short changes his students too.
  4. I've always thought worldwide media is hilarious when they discuss civilian aviation events. This brings it to a whole new level. Some of my favorite quotes: penetrated Indian airspace in a “swarm merge attack formation.” - Wow. I wonder which they decide to do first? Kinda sounds like a mid-air waiting to happen. The opposing forces met at 10:01am. ..... while the last US-made fighter stayed on its path. It flew nearly 3km deep into Indian airspace, - Again - Wow. 3 whole km? So, I guess that occurred around 10:01 and .....say...... 10 seconds? The lone Pakistani jet was trailed by a MiG-21 Bison, piloted by Varthaman, and a Sukhoi plane. The Indian fighters performed a dogfight maneuver known as a ‘defensive split,’ effectively sandwiching the F-16, with the MiG flying ahead and the Sukhoi behind the PAF plane. - Uhhh.... so the Indians started with both their aircraft offensive, decided to fly a defensive maneuver and things finished up with the MiG-21 out front. The outlet noted that the Indian pilot could have turned around at that point and flown back home, but he decided to attack the escaping F-16 anyway. At 10:08am, Varthaman shot down the Pakistani fighter with an R-73 short-range missile. - So... once he was defensive, that would be the best time to "turn around...and fly back home"? Yet, somehow he decided to stick around and engage the F-16...that was behind him? Or I suppose the F-16 pulled his own defensive maneuver from the offensive position and got himself back out front. 🙄 I'm kind of picturing the SU-30 crew hawking the fight laughing - like watching a couple of drunks in a street fight for the sheer entertainment value. Or more likely, the media has no idea WTF they're reporting on. Either way - very funny.
  5. I feel a bit remiss not adding some perspective to my last "trip of justice" post for those guys who may be considering FedEx. As far as the 777 goes, that was an above average trip - primarily for two reasons. 1) the front-end deadhead to Paris and 2) the one leg per duty period. But, if you take off the deadhead and have the trip start in Memphis, that's a very average and attainable trip for anyone with just a few years of seniority.. That is primarily because it's a flying trip (FO trip versus an RFO trip) and it's longer than some care to fly. FO trips are not as popular as RFO trips because every leg of an RFO trip is over 8 hours and typically generates more pay per duty period, potentially averaging as high at 8-10 hours of pay per day. I like flying to maintain some proficiency every now and then (as opposed to RFOing every month), I like deadheading from home to work in first class, so I don't mind the minor hit in pay per day to do a trip like that. The nice thing about the 777 flying at FedEx is the trips are not hugely different. A much more junior trip than the one I had might have one or two duty periods with two legs intra-Asia or intra-Europe but other than that be very similar even including the deadhead to Paris. We have one somewhat notorious trip that has three short legs in one day from Cologne to Paris to Munich to Frankfurt which is the only time any of us see more than two legs in one day. The good thing is that it's all day flying (Europe day) but it obviously opens up the door to delays and weather challenges with more legs. The bottom line for now on the 777 flying at FedEx is that it's attainable relatively quickly for new hires and it's relatively good considering the other options. Those other options are what I really wanted to throw out. The domestic, night flying that FedEx is famous for is really like being at a completely different airline. It really doesn't matter what aircraft you're talking about - MD-11/MD-10, A300, 767 or 757 all do the same kind of stuff. You commute in Monday night late, arrive Memphis around midnight or if you're local you show up for work at about 0200 and fly to city X, arriving around 0500-0700. The best case scenario is you stop there, go to the hotel and sleep as long as you can during the day. You leave 12-16 hours later, fly back to Memphis and do it all again the next morning and so on all week. The variables that make a particular schedule far better or far worse are length of flights, number of legs, direction of flights, etc. If you fly west, you land in the dark. Fly to the east coast and you're staring at the rising sun at top of descent which starts your body's wake-up cycle and makes it harder to sleep when you get to the hotel. Senior pilots are flying one leg from MEM to say, Birmingham (:45 block), arriving at 0500, laying over for 16 hours and flying one leg back to MEM that night, arriving just before midnight. They do the same thing three hours later - rinse and repeat all week. Or, they deadhead to Atlanta on Monday morning and leave that night at midnight to fly up to Newark and return to ATL by 0530 that morning. 17 hours later, they do the same evolution again. Repeat all week until arrival Friday morning from Newark. 10-12 hours later that Friday night, they deadhead home. Not bad duty if you live in Atlanta or can deadhead there easily, but I wouldn't say it's the easiest flying for those who may not adapt that well to back side of the clock work. There are far worse nights that consist of working between 2300 and 0600 flying three legs (Detroit-Newark-Syracuse-Buffalo) 14 hours off and then do the reverse routing the next night, similar layover and then start again in the original direction. They stick a Sunday night deadhead to Detroit and a Friday night deadhead home and it's doable, but you're working for you money - no doubt. The 757 pilots based in Cologne have some of the toughest flying we have. Similar night flying patterns to what I already described. Three legs a night on many trips in busy Euro airspace combined with typical winter weather challenges there make for some long, difficult duty periods. There are pilots who choose this kind of flying because they may live in a particular city that allows them to be home every night (day) for their layovers or be in place already and forgo the deadhead to city X and get paid to be at home for most of day one and day last. Some like the daytime options which follow a similar pattern, leaving Memphis in the afternoon, short layover in city X, returning the following morning very early and repeating that afternoon for the week. Other guys just don't care for the long-haul options and are willing to accept the downside of the domestic pattern. Whatever the reason, we're fortunate that the wide variety of flying attracts all types and lots of pilots find their niche. I just wanted to try to give some balance to the international snap shot I gave in the last post. Lots and lots of variety, but some is vastly different and considerably more work (in my opinion) depending on a/c, base and mission.
  6. Fellas, this isn't rocket surgery. Give an availability date that reflects the first day you can show up for day one at airline X and at least complete initial training. The guy with the flexible FTU dates is kind of an anomaly. Whatever airline hires you is expecting you to allow for whatever known absences you have coming in the future. If you get hired and have to drop mil leave half-way through new hire training, most likely airline X is going to ask if you knew about that mil duty when you took the job. Tap dancing around the answer to that question isn't going to bode well for your future with that particular airline, in my opinion. If it's FedEx, I guarantee you that they'll show you the door if it comes to light that you were playing fast and loose with the definition of "available". To the guy with 8-10 months of pending FTU (what aircraft is that anyway? That's a long-ass FTU). If your CC can push your FTU dates as required with 100% certainty, then I'd give an availability date based on sep and terminal leave. As a minimum, get through indoc and your initial training. In a perfect world, you finish your first year and get off probation but that's not an absolute. If you have to drop mil leave before that to go to FTU, then you do. There's a big difference between that and taking a start date knowing you have a hard conflict that won't even allow you to get to the line.
  7. Maybe I'm overly conservative, but this doesn't strike me as the best strategy for something like this. When the FBI showed up at my high school bud's house after I gave him as a reference for my security clearance back in the day, his mother about had a heart attack (in hindsight, he probably wasn't the best option considering his recent coke possession conviction - my bad). Fortunately, it all worked out for me. 🙄
  8. Another perspective from the dark world of cargo (777 aircraft): My March trip leaves 19 Mar for 13 days including my commute home. So, I leave on a Tuesday morning and I'll be back home Sunday midday just shy of two weeks later. I get it - not everyone would want that. There are plenty of shorter trips available if someone wanted say, two 6-day trips with a week off in between or even more trips (four 3-day trips). I prefer to minimize my commutes. As a result, I'm off 15 days in a row before the trip from 3 Mar-18 Mar. If I had worked the first two weeks of Feb, I could have had 4 weeks off in a row without using vacation. I'm working as an FO (as opposed to bidding a Relief FO trip), so I will fly a mix of long and short flights. I usually try to bid for an international deadhead to start the trip (and maybe one at the end of the trip if I get lucky) and one revenue flight each day I fly during the trip. If I wanted all long-haul flights on the trip, I would need to bid an RFO trip. Those trips typically have a deadhead (always on pax carriers, never our own aircraft) every other leg. The RFO works as part of a 3 or 4 pilot crew, has a layover and then deadheads to another city to meet up with another crew in need of additional pilots and so on. An added bonus of bidding the FO trips (if you know who the LCAs are i.e. Instructors) is you can also get bumped if they need that trip for training new pilots. You purposely bid a trip with them knowing they're going to get a student. So, your two-week trip gets "bought" and you get paid to stay home for the month. If you still want to work that month, you can pick up an extra trip or trips (maybe over the same days you planned to work originally) and double dip (even more, if your extra trip is being paid as draft - 150%). Day One I deadhead on AA in business class to Paris - I leave from my home airport to fly to France without having to commute to my domicile to start the trip and have some extra money left over for a private car to take me to the airport. Arrive Paris, 24 hours off 4-pilot crew Paris to Guangzhou, China (12:01 block hours)- 29 hours off 2-pilot to Osaka, Japan (3:17 block) - 50 hours off 2-pilot to Seoul, Korea (1:51 block) 33 hours off 2-pilot to Guangzhou (4:03 block) 27 hours off 4-pilot to Cologne, Germany (12:54 block) 62 hours off 3-pilot to Memphis (10:15 block) I get in to MEM around 0500, so I'll grab a nap in one of our hub sleep rooms (private, single bed, private showers available) and then use more extra travel money to fly home on AA with a real ticket (they'll upgrade me to first class) and another private car to take me home. Should walk through the door at home around 1400. We do our rest periods on the 3-pilot crew the same as TreeA10. 3 equal periods. With the 4-pilot crews, we do 4 breaks (two each) as he said, but the two breaks may not always be equal. Some guys like one short break and one longer (short, long, long, short). So, a typical 13-hour flight would start with the two RFOs taking a 2 hour break while the flying crew works. Then the flying crews rests for 4-hours, RFOs rest for 4-hours and the flying crew gets another short 2-hours right before top of descent. Longer flights closer to 14-15 hours usually just mean the shorter breaks get longer. Not too many pilots I work with have much luck sleeping longer than 4-hours at one time during the flights. That trip pays 86:21 in credit hours. Actual blocked flight hours 44:21. So, it works out to just over 6.6 pay hours per day on the trip, which at my pay rate is $1513 per day. Really efficient RFO trips can average up 8-9 pay hours per day and as a result tend to go very senior. One other thing - We're allowed to check in to our hotel up to two days early with a deadhead on the front of a trip if we wanted. So, I could take my wife, get her a business class ticket with my frequent flyer miles on my Paris deadhead flight. Leave two days early and we get to Paris two days before my scheduled layover starts (so, really 3-days before I have to work). The day I go to work from Paris, she starts making her way home on another FF mile ticket. Since I have extra travel money (cheaper ticket from my home airport than the one FedEx planned to buy from Memphis), I can also expense the two extra days of hotel against my travel bank. End result is a 3-day mini-Paris vacation that only cost me some frequent flyer miles and the expense of ground transport to get her back to DeGaulle and to my house after her flight home.
  9. Isn’t that point of view kind of a relative assessment? With one civilian job data point, how do you know? Compared to those of us at other airlines, you may be working your ass off and not even know it. 🤣 😜
  10. " due to alleged conduct unbecoming an officer." If the alleged charge is serious enough, it must be true. Why bother with an investigation? Ready - fire - aim!
  11. At least two more USAF pilots that have lost command's "confidence in their ability to lead and command". Strongly worded letter and non-judicial punishment to follow........... the only problem is they're probably both out making a quarter-mil a year flying for an airline. Fuck off fun police.....just fuck off.
  12. "Pictures are bad." I learned that one on about day two of fighter pilot school. If the wrong flag officer gets spun up over this fiasco, I think it's entirely possible Maestro could be back in the frag pattern over that video. This is a great opportunity to give your kids or anyone from the "I'll share anything with the world on the internet" generation a prime example of why you keep your shit private.
  13. Face palm. Maybe that seemed funnier after spending most of a 365 unaccompanied on the rock. WTF?
  14. There's one thing even they have historically had a difficult time talking their way out of: Fucking the help. Just sayin'.
  15. I think this is a really tough question to answer primarily because of the unknown future of health care in the U.S. IF (big IF) that remained status quo until the guy considering this question flew west, then I think pursuing a G/R retirement would be worth it, hands down. The Tricare option as you near and surpass retirement age is worth far more than hoping to grab some extra bucks on trip when you can. Maybe using the extra cash to fund some kind of long term health care policy might make it a wash, but I'm not sure such a policy exists. Unfortunately, what the mil retirement medical care might look like along with the changing landscape of US healthcare makes any assumption well down the road tough to make. That said, I think anyone considering pulling the handles on AD needs to strongly consider a G/R job at least for the first few transition years. Things are all unicorns and ice cream cones right now in the airline biz, but that can change quickly. Yes, I understand it's not 2001 again, but there have been many other periods of prosperity and "we all hit the lottery" attitudes immediately preceding a large downturn in the industry with large furloughs, pay-cuts and bankruptcy contracts. Don't get caught up in the euphoria that comes with massive hiring and record industry profits. It will stop again, it always does. You can always decide to cut the cord later, but it's much harder to get back in that door after you've let it shut behind you. If the party continues a few years from now and you really think you're out of furlough range, the Tricare isn't going to be worth it, the spreadsheet shows losses that outweigh the intangibles and mil leave options, then make the call then. But early on as you transition, it's more than just a math problem and still goes way beyond simple dollars and cents, in my opinion. Consider the source of those dollars and the potential volatility of them. I'll always remember my furlough and the relief I had knowing I could fall back on my guard unit or maybe return to AD with relative ease. Think hard before you make that choice.
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