I passed my first instrument progress check on Wednesday morning, just after 2 weeks into the program; overall it went well! I feel very comfortable with where I’m at at this point.
Shortly after I was told to go home and pack an overnight bag, and be ready to leave yesterday. It turns out, ahead of the impending landfall and impact of Hurricane Dorian, ATP ordered the evactuation of most of the aircraft in southern Florida. Several instructors and instructor/student teams because moving them yesterday northward.
Several of us left from KPIE yesterday, and moved the aircraft up to LZU, with a pit stop for fuel/food at either THL or DHN, before continuing onward
(there was a caravan of 4 planes in my group.) We arrived at LZU just in time before dark.
The handling by Atlanta TRACON could not have gone smoother, and the controllers gladly accepted the challenge. It was very intresteting to both hear so many other ATP aircraft on frequency at the same time, as well as listening to ATP give us priority. There were several other aircraft that asked for flight following and/or practice instrument approaches, and were told simply they cannot accomodate it due to all the planes being evactuated north. In fact, one controller advised someone they were working over 40 aircraft at that time, all heading north.
Arrival into LZU was smooth, and it was amazing to see so many ATP planes in one location. We were put up in hotels for the night, with some folks staying with the aircraft, and the rest of us were airline’d back to our training centers this morning.
Overall it was a great trip (although under less than ideal circumstances), but it was great to see everyone get the job done and I’m certainly looking for to the next adventure along the way!
That sounds like a pretty good time! So you all are going to weather the storm at your training center? Congrats on completing your instrument rating! Curious, how many hours did you arrive to the school with? Were you around the 78 Hr minimum, or did you have more experience. Good luck with crew cross country and CPL!
Thank you very much!
It honestly seems to be a mix; some are staying up in the ATL area with the planes, some that were airline’d back this morning were actually picking up a second round of planes and heading back north, and the others are back at the training centers. Some of those that are back are voluntarily leaving town for a few days, while others (such as myself) are going to ride out the storm here.
They did announce that our training center was closed as of noon today, until after the storm has passed and any (if any) damage assessment was done.
I started with credit for private and came in with about 88 hours TT, so not too much more than the minimum.
“Cleared direct WRGNZ, WRGNZ 1 arrival, descend and maintain four thousand…” ATL TRACON is something to experience that’s for sure. Congratulations on your progress check pass! You’ll be done in no time…
Almost feels like flying for an airline, doesn’t it?
Our entire team of students, instructors, training support, flight ops, and aircraft maintenance have done an amazing job at safely and professionally planning for Hurricane Dorian and executing repositioning flights out of Florida. Our objective is to keep everyone safe, and aircraft too.
In any event like this there is always a bit of chaos, and we always learn how to do better next time. Thank you for sharing your experience. While we are far from perfect, we are striving to do the best by everyone, weather the storm, and get back to work.
Sounds like quite the training experience for everyone included
Awesome. Well done, everyone! I’m starting at DAB in October and I’ve been curious all week about what they’re doing with the training fleet.
Dang I was just there simming today, and didn’t see a strange number of planes. They must be down at the CFI building
When I arrived on Thursday we were parking them over at the FBO ramp on the other side of the airport.
While the forum is on this topic…
Besides the normal flight cancellations, how do natural disasters impact the airlines? Are reserve pilots utilized more across the country, what precautions are taken to prevent damage to aircraft, do the airlines cancel several days in the future to allow pilots and their families an opportunity to evacuate (if necessary…thinking along the lines of a Katrina type event).
Thanks! Hope everyone has an awesome Labor Day weekend!
Obviously it varies by airline, location and of course the nature and intensity of the event. Reserves will most definitely be used. Pilot’s who have lines cannot be utilized till after Reserve. If the storm is heading directly for a particular airport they may of course evacuate the aircraft but it will not be several days before. The airlines provide the means for people to get in and out and are often last to leave. You may also find yourself far from home leaving your family to deal with the situation. Back during Hurricane Sandy my flight was one of the last to leave EWR before it hit and I couldn’t return till 5 days later. My family was without power. Not fun. On a positive note has cans were sold out throughout the area but not where we were stuck so I was able to bring back 6 when I finally returned.
When major storms hit, reserves will certainly be used, generally from all across the system. We do not cancel anything until the last minute though, I have flown in and out of airports as major hurricanes were getting very close. We operate as long as we can. Generally though reserves from bases further away from where the storm is impacting cover a lot of the flying while the local pilots do whatever they need for storm preparations. One thing is certain though, not a single airplane will be left in the storm’s path.
I haven’t experienced the kind of weather the east coast gets. The one time it snowed in SEA last year my first turn was cancelled as I pulled into the employee parking lot. I continued the rest of my trip 4 hours later. The weather arrived before it was forecast. SEA ran out of gate space and the deicing agents were understaffed. To thin the schedule to a more manageable workload the company began precanceling flights until we could catch back up.