On approach to runway 27 San Diego. The runway is straight ahead, do you see it?
ATC was asking us to report the runway visual so they could be relieved of their duties. But after a five hour flight consisting of dodging thunderstorms, with the sun in our eyes and with both of us never landing here before made for reluctant compliance.
I remember asking a fellow pilot if he was a tad apprehensive of flying into an airport he's never been to before. His answer. "It's just another runway at the end of an ILS (Instrument Landing System)" I try to be as nonchalant when I add another airport to my list. I think I'm up to over 110.
The only glitch, San Diego, California has only a LOC (localizer) only approach to runway 27. For such a large city and a runway orientated into the prevailing wind it makes one wonder why only a LOC approach. I guess it's on the same line of thinking why Canada's national capital has a backcourse on runway 25 where the prevailing westerlies prevail. Oops I'm digressing.
With most non precision approaches it requires a level off, configuring the airplane a little earlier and dragging it in. Translation...the work load is higher. Now throw in the fact you have a quarterly tail wind and you've never been to the airport before. Of course, I let the F/O fly this leg. That way I could maintain a situation awareness plus I could take some pictures. (Captain Doug has a new digital camera so stay tuned for more pics).
Air Canada has a handful of airports which require a "special" check out. San Francisco, Kelowna, B.C and San Diego are a few. What does this special requirement entail? Me briefing myself on the airport. Funny, I think I would do that for any new airport I've been to.
Again, the F/O did a great job and put it on nicely. It's a shame the layover has been knocked down from a 30 hour layover to a minimum crew rest pairing.
Parked at gate five in BDA. Note the Bermuda shorts near the peak of the roof.
I did a quck tour of the terminal with the crew. Some asked if I've been to Bermuda before. My answer. "I was married here twenty years ago."
This four day pairing also included two legs from Halifax to Bermuda and back again.I've been to TXKF (BDA) before, but from Toronto. This flight took on a due south heading requiring HF (High frequency) radio work over the Atlantic ocean. Captain Doug has done oodles of HF work and took all this for granted. Not only was this the first time in Bermuda for the F/O, but Captain Doug had to show him the ropes with this archaic means of communication. Funny they can see how many tiles are missing off the space shuttle, but we must make position reports like they did after World War II. Oops, I'm digressing. The HF work proved a little challenging especially when we were staring at thunderstorms at twelve o'clock topped at 42, 000 with us at 36,000 feet. The pucker factor increased trying to get a reroute especially with the F/O working the radios. It all worked out. Although thoughts of Air France started to creep in the back of my mind as they....(I better not say anything more).
On day four (today) while flying out of Halifax enroute to Toronto we received a datalink saying our Montreal turn was subbed to an Embraer. Sweet, we get to go home with pay.
On a side note, many a pilot in the past made it known to always call ahead to home when their schedule changed. I could post many stories where surprises were met while walking through the door. Oops, I am digressing. :)