A visit to Aeromag in CYUL
"It's not over until it's over." I wanted to use Yogi Berra's other quote, "it's not over until the fat lady sings," but I couldn't tie deicing and a chubby lady together. Sunday morning's snow in Montreal was not a total surprise when I looked out the hotel window. After all, the weather man proved to be right. Hooray for the weatherman! The deice checklist is never far away. (No wonder Airbus consults Air Canada on deice procedures) Procedures dictate the captain will make a deice announcement prior to pushback. To downplay the fact we needed to be deiced, I mentioned to a nearly full A321, our destination weather Las Vegas, was forecast to be sunny and 28C.
After dodging thunderstorms the night before in the Toronto area, some of these boomers topped at 44,000 feet, yesterday's trip from CYUL to KLAS proved semi-normal. The only major weather contender were the stiff crosswinds, about 200 degrees at 25 gusting to 37 knots, landing on 25 left. The bumps started at 10,000 feet. The winds were blowing off the many hills plus the temperature was 28C with a dew point of minus 6. The spread is conducive to unstable air. Calgary, Alberta also encounters this same phenomena. The only glitch is there's no moisture to lift, hence no clouds. I call it the "dry heaves." (I should patent that meteorological term).
Captain Doug was at the controls and a couple of times he had full deflection on the joystick but set it on nicely with autobrake set to low and max reverse. We were running late so I couldn't "cook" the brakes. Procedures prefer full use of the carbon brakes and little to no reverse. It's better to wear out the brakes (we rent them) than imposing wear and tear on the engines. Vegas, because of the elevation and warm temperatures, we tend to ride the brakes because the thin air causes the engines to spin a little faster.
The take off also proved to be interesting, but the F/O did a great job. I'll be off to the "Rock" and back tomorrow so I should have some more weather stories. Then it's over to YOW for a super long layover. If you see me wondering the streets in the nation's capital don't think I'm a politician and try to run me over. :)