Just one pilot's attempt at taking an interesting picture every trip, often with a story to go with it. Come along for the ride.

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Sunday, December 30, 2007

SDQ 767 Turn

Unlike any other Boeing airliner, the 767 type rating allows you to fly two surprisingly different airplanes, the 757 and the 767. I would guess that I've flown the 767 in Boston about 10% of the time, mostly on the Paris trips.

This winter we've had more than our usual share of 767 flying with an SDQ turn, a London trip and occasionally on the Barbados trip as well. It's almost a treat to see one on your schedule. Sure enough, when I looked closer at a Santo Domingo turn that had been on my schedule for the past few weeks, I was happy to see that it would be flown with a 767.

767 Cockpit at the SDQ gate

The flight attendants for this trip, including Bunny, hadn't seen a 767 in nearly 10 years. Bunny's son Alex is learning to fly and occasionally drops in on this site. It was amusing to see Bunny jump right in and adapt to the different galley and layout so quickly.

This was also the first time for some of the flight attendants to see the new "Lie Flat" seats that we now have in the business class section of the 767's and 777's. Everyone had to try out the seats in SDQ and the general consensus was that while the seats themselves were flat, your feet were still lower than your head. The entertainment system on these airplanes is pretty slick, though.

I took a few pictures of the cabin with the new seats in business class. I even modeled a pilot on a crew rest break for you:

Lie flat business class seats

Lie flat business class seats

Once again we needed a pair of air carts or "huffers" to start the airplane in Boston and SDQ. These machines are incredibly noisy. Here's what they look like:

External air "Huffer" start carts

Shot this neat picture of an Airbus A300 reflection in the terminal window while I was doing the walk around inspection.

Airbus A300 reflection in SDQ

While taxiing out, I snapped a picture from quite a distance of these classic airliners. From left to right, C-46, DC-6, Convair 440, Lockheed Constellation, DC-3.

Lot's of interesting old airplanes in SDQ

Since we had an FB on this turn, we had the usual 1 hour break on each leg. I'm currently typing this post while on my break on the SDQ leg back to Boston. It's pretty bumpy right now--I'd call it occasional moderate turbulence with some smooth periods in between. It's nice to be in the back while Captain Brad R. and FB Brad L. get us through these bumps.

Brad the FB is currently the number one guy on the FO 767 seniority list. (In comparison, I'm number 34 out of 40). Brad is probably going to be able to hold Captain on the MD-80 or "Super 80" as we like to call it at this airline in a few months. This means the rest of us move up a number. It's always the nice guys who move on, it seems, and he sure fits that catagory. I hope to be in his shoes in 3 or 4 years. Things move excruciatingly slow here compared to other airlines, but it will be worth the wait. The new age 65 may add some time to that number as well, but I suspect we're still going to see a number of pilots retire at 60.

I showed Captain Brad a few tricks to getting the sunset cockpit shots with the Canon SD800is. Almost all of the pictures this year have been with this little camera and I'm still loving it. It's been nice to have a small camera that I can feel safe taking out on layovers with me. But the big feature for cockpit shots is the wider angle lens that it has compared to the other Canon Digital Elphs. Here's an example:

Captain Brad R. from SDQ to Boston

The bumps seem to have stopped and my break is up. Watch out next year for my post on what should be a really fun, and new to me, layover for New Years eve. Thanks again for coming along!


chris said...

At first I was a bit alarmed by your "flat out lying" headline. But I figured it out eventually. :-)

Alex said...

Nice Report Kent. Hope you had a happy holiday and have a wonderful year of upcoming flying in 2008!!! Keep up the excellent reports!!

Kent Wien said...

Thanks Alex! Good luck to you as well.

Neil said...

Great report Kent! The picture of the lie flat seats got me thinking: on your rest break do you go into the cabin as you are in the pic, or do you put a jacket or something on so as not to freak out some of the more nervous flyers?

Greg said...

Pretty cool!! I am looking forward to your New Years eve report. BTW, I was just wondering do you have any plans for another video anytime soon?

HP said...

Nice Blog.

Ethan said...

nice tie :)
and i cant wait for this job :)

Otto said...

Great report. Curious what your tricks are for getting sunset shots with your canon? I got a new SD1000 for christmas and want to take some great cockpit shots as well. Thanks!

Kent Wien said...

Hi Otto,

I force the flash to fire and then aim the camera outside to get the exposure to set for the brighter sunset. To do that you just need to push halfway down on the shutter. Then bring the camera in and take the picture. The SD1000 should do that as well.


Joseph S said...

Always a pleasure reading your blog, Kent. Nice catch with that Connie.

Dave said...


I've just read this on my new iPhone - they're fantastic aren't they! A great blog entry there, really enjoyed reading it. All the best in the new year.


Jamie D said...

If you need air carts to start the engines on the ground, what would happen if you had a mid-air engine failure?

Kent Wien said...

Since the engine would likely be up to windmilling speed in flight, starting can be done without any APU if it were inop. Good question though.

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Exeter, New Hampshire, United States
Grew up in Alaska, went to high school and college in Washington State. Commercial pilot since 1990.

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