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

PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, 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. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Time To Bounce

Another three months has passed without a landing or a takeoff. Do you ever wonder why they are called bounces?  I don't.

Today I'm headed to Minneapolis to visit the simulator to get my three takeoffs and landings. This may be my last time at NATCO, Northwest Airlines Training Center, because in a few months all simulators will be moved South.

Before I head East.... a gentle reminder of something important on the A330. This is one of those things we tend to forget after being out of the simulator for too long....

Manual Gear Extension:

To extend the gear by manual extension, you not only must lift the yellow and black striped cover above, but you must move the red levers out of the way before you can lower the bar, to manually move the gear to down.

Simple yes. But in the heat of urgency something I've heard is often forgotten.

Remember the old 727 and that big crank that we put in the floor. We had to turn it one direction for a certain number of turns,, and then the other direction to lock it down. Does anyone know how many cranks it took to get the gear down manually on the 727?

Enjoy the Journey!
XOX Karlene


  1. My guess is more than 50 as with the Barons and Bonanzas. So my guess is 100!


    1. Good Guess Ramiel. But... you must try, try again. :)

  2. So easy to forget things in an emergency if you're not trained by habit to use them! This looks like an important reminder.

    1. Thanks Linda. It's amazing what we learn in initial training, then hit the line and many years later when we actually need it, it's not there anymore. Reminders are a good thing.

  3. Had to use the manual gear extension twice while flying the 737 at F9. Remember it very, very well.

    Agree with Linda - I believe it's called the Law of Exercise in the Aviation Instructor's Handbook. Hoping I remembered that correctly. :)

    Denise :)

    1. That's amazing that you had to use it many times. Supposed to be "never." Never say never. Yes, the law of exercise! Definitely. Thanks for your comment Denise.

  4. Karlene, just a quick question. I remember you were on a 10-day (or so) trip a little over a month ago, to Rome, Athens and Barcelona. Did those trips not count in your 3 take offs 3 landings? Something like SIC t/o and landings perhaps?

    Simulators are great for practicing real life emergencies. And the stress level can get pretty high there too! Important to train for those emergency procedures so that when they do happen, we know exactly how to handle them.

    1. Hi Cecilie, good question. I was on that trip but when initial operating experience is being conducted, or more senior pilots want the takeoffs and landings, we may never get any. First was the case in my scenario. So... such is life. That's when I'm support during the takeoff, and then landing. And then babysit the plane during the middle of the night. Thank goodness I am a really good babysitter. Lots of practice. :)
      Yes, simulators are the best to practice the emergencies. But for the normals...there is no place like the flight deck with you hand on the stick.

    2. Thank you for the answer! I guess it must be a bit frustrating for you to have to wait to log your take offs and landings.

      I love how you say "babysit" the airplane during cruise. Because that's what it is. Monitoring, making sure everything runs smoothly.

    3. Yes... but we do what we do. There's a lot of frustrations built in... but, it all works. Until it doesn't work.

      Yes, it is babysitting. That's what I told my kids I was doing when I was a second officer, too. It's a great analogy.

  5. Karlene, great post and I will venture with Ramiel and say 100. It's amazing how far aircraft have come in such a short period of time.

    Enjoy NATCO. There is always one beautiful thing about PC Flight Simulators: The memories of great carriers such as Northwest never disappear. We simulate to carry the memories on. And to that, I shall start my writing partially on that subject tonight.

    1. Nope...not 100. Might take some research. Yes, the memories. I'm going to take lots of photos tonight. One day... in a few months... it will all be gone. Thanks for your comment.

  6. This is way too tempting not to answer. A good friend, and brilliant man said to remember it this way:

    Lift the dress
    spread the legs
    go down

    For some reason it sticks. And I don't even fly that plane!

    Cranks on the 727? Some one direction... Some the other...forget the numbers.

    1. OKay... normally I have to keep this blog clean, but that is quite cute. And, how it works... so you get posting. Because, I know I will never forget how to get that gear down now.

  7. Coming late to the party...Linda is right about training, forgetting, looking stuff up in times of stress. That is why the process for manual extension of the gear is on the decal under the little doors over the sockets....bummer part on the 727 you extend one gear at a time.
    (270 KIAS max, gear selector to 'off')
    Nose gear uplocked release 2-3 turns clockwise-hold 5 seconds. Hope for freefall and amber/red light.
    After thunk crank C-CW as far as possible (5 turns or so) to pop the drag brace in.
    L main gear cw 2.5 turns to pop gear door-hold five seconds..then CW to the stops 3/4 turns approx to unlock the gear uplock and let it fall. then C-CW 6 turns to lock in the side strut...repeat for Right gear....gear lever dwn (anti-skid - nosewheel steering armed) Rip up carpet in coach while looking cool to PAX..pray the stripes align..then A pumps up if possible.
    The fun part is doing the G-loading manuvers to aid in dangling the Dunlaps (left seat gotta do something right?)
    Thought you skipped the 3-holer K?
    Tim @ 8DME W ORD

  8. Oh... such a great explanation. And I'm so glad you answered. Because I was thinking more in align with "two cranks."

    The red one hanging on the back wall, and the one sitting in the left seat to command the SO to do it. Oh... wait. I mean those others... not you! :)

    Yes... Linda is so right!

  9. First time I have seen a blog come with check-ride questions...what did I win? (I already have two copies of your book)

    "Crank in the left seat...." Hmmm Lowly FO, I Remember the days when the FO's were only allowed to say two things....?

    "Clear Right" and "I'll have the chicken please..."

    Actually when NWO merged with Republic we got to keep our 727 manuals since they issued new 'orange' covered books(the 727 being the 1st NWA a/c to operate with merged crews). Still have the manual from way-back.
    "Crank in the left seat..." aka Tim 8DME_W_ORD

    1. Hahha. Yes... Lowly FO. So... 727 guy. I'm thinking I should have a day of oral questions for the pilots. :) I have two more 727 for you, but they must wait.

      What did you win? A premier seat when it comes out in the movies.

  10. Wait till your "Fly the Wing" book arrives...

    Actually of all the seats I have had, right seat in the 727 was the best. All of the fun but none of the responsibility (and all the chicken you can eat). Last of the non-button-pushing-rides (unless you count the DC-9s).

    Why the interest in 727 all of a sudden...try to be old?

    Tim 8DMW_W_ORD

    1. Oh that's funny. Yes! the chicken=the perfect trip for the first officer. But now as the King...

      727... just thinking about the good old days.


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