posted on Dec, 30 2014 @ 05:08 PM
Just a short story about being unable to approve a course change or altitude change.
Coming out of N.Y.
I think it was spring time and there was a huge line of rapidly building thunderstorms that extended from Mississippi to just about the North Pole
(sarcasm) ... In the first 45 minutes of the flight this line of storms continued to build so that when we got to their location the tops of the
storms were in excess of 39,000 feet. We were heavy and the max I could climb to at that stage of the flight was 33,000.
I told ATC that we needed to deviate left of course which they approved on at least two occasions. After awhile a different voice came over the radio
and said something like, " O.K. we need you to turn right now and proceed to someplace that would have placed us trying to penetrate the line of
storms.... which was located about 5 or 10 miles off our right wing..
The ATC controller with his attitude and voice pissed me off.. So in a polite way I told him that I thought "he" had a problem for we were not going
right. There had been allot of chatter on the radio up to that point but when I said that the frequency went silent for a moment or two. A different
controller came over the radio (probably a supervisor) and asked our intentions. He was nicer... I told him we can proceed direct to someplace USA and
can descend to a different altitude if necessary but we were already at our max altitude for our weight and were unable to turn right.
We continued on a parallel course until we found a break big enough to allow us to get through the line and upon notification of ATC of our intentions
we proceed to our destination.. In the back of my mind I figured I would get a call to speak with some ATC dude when I landed but no call, nothing,
which is the way it is supposed to be. ATC cannot endanger your aircraft; turn right and fly through a brick wall...screw U bubba... The Captain is
responsible for the flight and everything that happens from the initial push back until block in at the gate. Safety is not a politically correct
endeavor sometimes even though we all try to work together..
Another poster said something about the crew blaming weather for a mechanical problem at the gate.. I call B.S. on whoever said that. When an Minimum
equipment list item is cleared at the gate by maintenance it may only take a few minutes to fix the item.. The aircraft log book has to be signed off
that the item was fixed along with all the other paperwork for the new part which usually takes longer than the actual fix.
Eastern Airlines had a Fed on the jump seat.. Flight attendant told the Captain that one of the power lights for the galley was not working. The first
or second officer (?) went back to see if he could fix the light.. The spare bulb compartment did not have the bulb that was needed.. The flight was
enroute to someplace the Fed wanted to go with one stop over. The intermediate stop also did not have the 50 cent bulb (probably $25 since we are
talking aircraft stuff) so the Captain continued on to their final destination instead of shutting the flight down 1/2 way to their final
destination.. Result was Eastern was fined some ungodly amount for flying with an open cabin log book write up. The fine was 2X the normal amount
because there was a landing with no fix.,. The feds are pretty darn chick sh*t about their rules and regulations and as most things governmental
common sense does not apply or is totally lacking.. At my company no one wrote anything in a log book without speaking to the Captain first..
I might be wrong but I believe the Eastern Captain was fined and or got 90 days off (no work no pay) ...
Two log books on a commercial aircraft, one for the cabin and the actual aircraft log book that stays in the cockpit. The Eastern flight attendant had
written in the cabin log book the power light for the oven was inop thinking the first destination would have a light bulb..
The aviation industry is and can be one of the safest means of travel there is.. It truly is a team effort... but the buck stops in the Captain's
Just some stories with no video, believe what you may. Thunderstorms are not something to play with. I punched through a line ( single pilot, twin
engine turbo prop) in S.E. Asia (no place to land and not enough fuel to fly around the world) ... I entered at 8000 ft and got spit out of the side
at 14,800 feet with the engines at idle and the nose pointed down trying to maintain best turbulence penetration speed.. It was a real "E" ticket
ride with noise and everything !
The power of some storms is truly awesome..