Real Answers from Real Pilots

December ‘21 QX Schedule and Day 1 at Alaska!


Photo taken after my last revenue flight at Horizon Air, Dec 30, 2021, Flight 2273, SAN-SFO.

4yrs and 8mos, 3,084hrs is how much time that I put in at Horizon Air. Today, Monday, January 3, 2022, my training for First Officer at Alaska Airlines begins!

But first, here’s my schedule for December.

I should have close to 75 credits for the month.

I did some Union work for the Hotel Committee. I flew down to San Jose to source a new hotel. My job was to meet with hotel management at each hotel and report my findings and recommendations back to our Union. I will not lose pay for the flying that I would have done otherwise.

Also, I actually got Christmas off! That was a nice surprise. My seniority went from 60% to 30% virtually overnight with the amount of attrition happening. I had flight credits on HAL so we decided to do Christmas in Kauai! I hadn’t been in over 20 yrs. My wife has never been. Our son loved it! Coming home to snowy Seattle at a balmy 21 degrees was a bit overwhelming lol :cold_face: but we were thankful just to be home considering the thousands of cancelled flights that occurred that weekend. For that I was grateful to not be working during the snowy weather.

Back to more exciting news! I start the new year off fresh with a new role, new airplane, and a new airline (for me at least)! I should know my domicile and aircraft tomorrow. Crossing my fingers for SEA B737. Bidding was supposed to be today but was disrupted by an absentee.

I am beyond excited to be advancing my career with Alaska Airlines. It’s been a goal of mine for quite some time and it feels great to finally turn my dream of flying for a major airline into reality.

Lastly, I am blessed that it only took 8 years since my first day of flight training at ATP. I have worked so hard to get here. I made great memories at QX and am thankful for the friends that I’ve made along the way.

Big “Thank you” to ATP for providing me with the platform to propel myself into this aviation career!

Tory

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Congrats Tory! You have arrived. Let me know when you’re in town I’ll give you a tour.

Have fun in training!

Adam

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Tory,

Congratulations!! This is awesome! Do let us know what your base and plane assignments are.

Ben

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Tory,

Congratulations! I will be curious to see which airplane you are assigned, both options are good ones.

Chris

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So happy to hear all of the good news, Tory! Can’t think of a more deserving guy. Looking forward to hearing more about your ASA adventures and hope that you’ll be joining the guppy team soon =)

Jordan

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Congrats Tory!! So well deserved! Can’t wait to hear about your experience through training :slight_smile:

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Fresh meat! Welcome, enjoy…

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I have never flown with a HUD. I am not sure if I would love it or hate it.

Chris

For those as unfamiliar with a HUD as I was approx. 5 minutes ago :yum:

Very interesting!

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Ben,

Nice find, never thought of looking up the HUD. Seems like all the usual information from the instrument pack given to the pilot at eye-level while conducting an instrument landing under given conditions.

Brady

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I had the opportunity to experience flying with the HUD in the sim during the ATP CTP course. It was cool but felt very odd. It felt like being inside a video game!

Congrats!!! I just sent my app into horizon today. By attrition do you mean there’s lots of pilot hiring or pilots are leaving because they don’t like it there??

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Nice! Good luck, Cameron!

A lot of pilots are leaving Horizon because they are getting hired by other airlines. I know pilots that have been picked up by Alaska, United, Delta, Spirit, Atlas, ATI, FedEx, and I’m sure there are others. I just don’t know them personally. It’s an exciting time for sure.

Tory

Went left seat Bus (no HUD) to left seat 737 (w/ HUD). Absolutely hated it at first. Right there in the face, too much info, overload. The main requirement is to use it for TO/Landing for tail strike awareness.

But now that I’m used to the HUD, it is awesome. The speed tape error (too fast, too slow) and the acceleration symbol > (controlled by your own thrust) are the best tools on approach. “Zero” them both out and you are dead on airspeed. Your entire approach is done looking outside through the HUD. It allows SA CAT I approaches (something we couldn’t do on the Bus because a HUD is required to DA). It even allows hand flown CAT III landings! The screen shows a runway image come up as you get closer and the flare cue comes from the bottom of the screen and floats up. You bring your airplane symbol into the flare cue and continue pulling back as it moves up and keep it centered. Go to idle power when it flashes ‘idle.’ Voila.

For approaches I tend to use VMC mode a lot. Least amount of info and all I’m really looking for is the -3 degree line (or whatever it is for that approach) and the airspeed accel/decel cues. If I’m actual IMC and will be, say, lower than a 2,000 ft ceiling, then I use IMC mode. Same thing, all it does additional is put the LOC/GS guidance up.

That would definitely take some getting used to. I already don’t like the idea of having something in my face during the flare.

If I understand one of Alaska’s limitations correctly, hand flown Cat III HGS approaches explains why the autopilot is required to be disengaged no lower than 500 ft AGL. I’ve been wondering why that was a limitation since at QX we flew full Cat III autolands with autopilot engaged until 5 seconds after touchdown on the ERJ.

Tory

FOs don’t have a HUD so you don’t have to worry.

The hardest thing to get used to (IMO) is the the fact we don’t have the auto 50… 40… 30… 20… 10… during landing. It’s absolute silence. Your flare is on pure visual judgement with no aural cues.

We can do Autolands. If the plate RVR is 300, the lowest we can do is RVR 400 for a Hybrid (that’s Autoland with HGS). Realistically speaking, the only time you’d do a hand flown HGS AIII landing is when the autoland is deferred. Otherwise, if the weather is CAT III, I’ll do a Hybrid approach.

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Our Ground Instructor mentioned that the other day. The entire class broke out in protest.

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Tory,

Any update on your base and plane assignment? :grin:

Ben

YES! Thank you for reminding me.

SEA B737! Exactly what I wanted!

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I have never seen the advantage of a hand flown CAT III approach. Without having any experience with it, I think I would prefer an autoland. As for having the autopilots deferred, I simply would not take an airplane in that state, especially into low IMC conditions.

I must be missing something here…

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