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"We are the protagonists of our stories called life, and there is no limit to how high we can fly."


Type rated on A330, B747-400, B747, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy 4th of July

What do holidays mean to junior reserve pilots? An assurance that someone "will" call in sick, and we will get to fly.

Fly I did... Wind shear advisories in effect out of Seattle. TOGA power takeoff. Winds gusting to 25 knots. The Airbus really does handle the wind nicely.

As it goes... we're flying across the Pacific, and just about to pass over the international date line. What does that mean? I'm about to experience 4th of July before my family does at home. There wasn't fireworks, or a picnic, but there was a warning...

Terrain! Terrain! Terrain!



39,000 feet, I'm fairly certain we didn't need to do an escape maneuver. But who should be flying below us? American Airlines. 900 feet below, they'd been tailing us and decided to pass. I actually didn't know we'd get a terrain warning, verses a traffic warning. You learn something every day. 

Now.. I'm learning that I've been awake for 22 hours and it's time to sleep. 100 emails are waiting, and I will get to them when I awaken. Until then... enjoy your day. For all my international friends, you too can celebrate your independence. 

 

Happy 4th of July from Tokyo Japan. 

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene

18 comments:

  1. Glad you made it safely and you're able to rest some. One thing I've discovered during my international travels is how much more proud and thankful I am as an American when I am abroad. You're family and us will have you in mind during those fireworks and picnic. Have a meaningful fourth and have a safe and speedy return back to the Us on the AirbU.S.

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    1. Thank you Jeremy! Traveling abroad always makes me appreciate and proud I am to be an American. I don't really need fireworks... Just an appreciation for our freedom. Thanks for the comment and Happy 4th!

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  2. Happy 4th K...don't be throwing any 'unauthorized' dinner for the Holiday...

    GPWS is awake and when it gets a return it will wake-up and decide a hunk of aluminum is a 'mountain'. Did TCAS have the AAL flight at all (oh man, I hope their transponder was working)?

    "Living the Dream" eh? More like "Paying for the Dream" when one ponders Holidays, opportunities and such things while sitting in a hotel watching CNN do a Holiday Story or chatting with the friends back at the hometown. Just remember the times when we didn't have such a communication infrastructure and being gone on a trip meant being 'gone'.

    So we aren't as 'alone' as we once were.
    Off to make the Potato Salad....

    Tim 8DME_W_ORD

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    1. Hi Tim, I was thinking... what a better way to get the International Fireworks flying than a little unauthorized dinner.

      Yes, I hadn't thought about their transponder not working. It was the prettiest metal mountain I've seen across the ocean.

      This is a good point. The internet brings us close to home, and connects with our friends. We're not alone out here...like we once were.

      Happy 4th!! And... enjoy that potato salad!

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  3. Happy 4th of July! I'm so sorry you didn't get to celebrate it at home. :(

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    1. Thank you Heather! I will celebrate it next year. But for now, the celebration will know that everyone is having a good time at home. Enjoy the day!

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  4. And happy independance Day to you as well. I hate to add to your 100+ email load, but congratulations on snagging a flying assignment for the holiday. Even when you'd rather be home with the grand kids, it has to be better than treking to MSP to rind in the stimulator for a few hours. A terrain warning at FL390 is so cool and especially somewhere over the Pacific. I sure hope that the crew from AA flashed their lights and used their turn signals. Regards,
    -Craig

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    1. Thank you Craig! I too am glad to have snagged a flying job for the holiday! Life is good. And I can celebrate another time. Until then... I'll be watching for those 39,000 foot terrain warnings. No lights or blinkers...they just sped off into the night. Happy 4th!

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  5. Happy Independence Day!!! \o/ Karlene, so why you received a GPW nor than a TCA? That's funny. Does it means that the AA TCAS was off and didn't get detected by your TCAS? Does that explain your GPWS warning because they were BELOW the A330?

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    1. I'm not sure Alex. That is a very good question. And, one that I will investigate. That could be the reason...they didn't have their transponder on. Even below, I would have suspected a traffic advisory.

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  6. Happy 4th of July,Karlene san!!!
    I leaned that westbound,we fly at an even thousand.I believe the rule above FL180 are different from below FL180,but is it possible to have only 900feet difference?
    I like the photo at terminal!!Thank you so much for sharing.
    Warm regards,
    Jun

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    1. HI June, We're supposed to have 1000 foot separation. But, depending upon the accuracy of the systems, that 100 feet can be reality. I hope you're enjoying our American Holiday. Happy 4th of July!

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    2. Karlene,

      I'm a tad curious where you were in order to have only 1000 foot separation. Shouldn't both of you been at even flight levels flying westbound which would have given you 2000 foot separation?

      YYC Dispatcher

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    3. We were flying over the Pacific. With RVSM we now fly with 1000 feet of separation.

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  7. Happy independence day, and pull UP!

    Must be fascinating to do those transoceanic flights. Interesting how the ATC system handles all of that empty space and water.

    Following winds and fair skies to you!

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    1. Happy Independence day to you too Ben! It is interesting. But the most exciting thing across the ocean is during the hours of ... relaxation... when a warning occurs. This is why we need to have healthy hearts. Startle factor. Fair skies!

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  8. Hey there K!! You are so right..l we do not need fireworks to celebrate being an American... Rather should keep the sipirit in our hearts everyday...l you are a great ambassador for American everywhere you go! Be safe. See you soon, hopefully.
    L

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    1. Thank you L! Keeping my spirit alive. Thank you for the nice comment! And yes...I hope to see you soon too! Going to OSH?

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