But when you're on reserve, anything can happen and so I managed to get one of these trips. I don't mind too much since I'm more of a night person anyway. But they really can kick your butt.
We departed on Thursday night at 5 p.m. and arrived in LA 5 1/2 hours later. The Captain (Emmitt) was someone I had flown with 10 years earlier on the MD-80, and I hadn't seen much of him since. So it was nice to catch up. We had a bit of that low level fog that seems to be plaguing us in Boston lately. The RVR (runway visual range or the measured visibility) was 1000 feet, so that was well above our 600 foot minimums for this runway. I took this picture to give you an idea of the visibility while we were holding in position to wait for enough spacing behind a previously departed USAirways flight. Each runway light on the side of the runway is 200 feet apart. The centerline lights are 50 feet apart. So you can see how much visibility we had just before going. We were in the clouds completely at 100 feet.
After an uneventful takeoff, we chased the sunset across the country. We noticed a big cell up ahead that looked like a cruise ship. I snapped a few pictures and some HD video that I hope to put up at some point of the sunset and the lightning that we saw in the distance. We enjoyed the light show and easily worked our way north of this build up.
After we arrived in LAX at around 9 p.m., Emmitt went to stay with his brother and I went to the hotel. I was looking forward to getting some things done all day the next day in LA.
The highlight of the layover for me was catching a great movie. I have been out of the loop as to what was playing lately and so I went to the Quicktime Movie Trailer Page and checked out what was playing. I decided to see the matinee of Across the Universe. Wow. What a movie. They took about 20 Beatles songs and built a great story around them set in the '60's. If you have the chance, go see it. The songs are sung by the cast in ways that really bring some freshness to the usual Beatles songs everyone already know. I've told my wife that she has to see this movie immediately. That was 3 days ago. She still hasn't been able to get out of the house to see it.
There were no good photo opportunities on the way home since we left at 11 at night LA time and arrived at 7:30 in the morning in Boston. I was wide awake for the trip since I slept pretty well at the hotel, but by the time I got home I was walking around in a fog - even after a nap. I'm more used to being exhausted in Europe but feeling great after I get home, so this is one of the differences I noted between flying west versus east.
I just got back from a surprise retirement party today for our Boston Chief Pilot Bill Bronson. Bill has already gone down as the best chief we've ever had and everyone in Boston will really miss him. Massport, which runs the Logan airport presented Bill with a taxiway light which I think was the coolest gift a pilot could ever get. Bill was overwhelmed with the outpouring of thanks from everyone who was there. Thanks for the past 10 years, Bill!
Picture taken with the iPhone. Bill has seen the light! Have a great retirement CA Bronson.