CRJ200 Airline Pilot

The personal experiences, thoughts of an CRJ captain


Chicago O’Hare Is Fun

Posted by Jeffrey on May 18, 2008

It had been a couple days since I had flown.  It’s always nice to get back into the airplane but then it’s always nice to get home too. 

Yesterday I started a 3-day trip. 

It’s a good paying trip for a 3-day paying about 18 hours over the three days.  The days are full though.  Four legs the first and second days and then two legs on the third day.  The first day took us from COS to DEN to BHM to ORD to SDF.  Today we start in SDF go to ORD to COS to ORD and back to SDF.  I like the longer legs.

One of the things I like about flying for SkyWest is the chance to fly into and out of some of the busiest airports in the word. Flying into and out of ORD is always interesting and surprisingly easy unless weather or winds interrupt the flow of traffic. If you follow flying statistics, ATL and ORD are two of the busiest airports in the world. I think ATL edged out ORD this year though, both on arrivals and capacity. Anyway, ORD air traffic controllers (ATC) are some of the best.  It may take awhile to get airborne to ORD, you may be vectored and slowed down once you do get airborne, and occasionally you may hold, but they know how to do it and never get freaked out, that I’ve seen.  And the ground controllers are just a good.  Both controllers keep the flow of traffic moving. 

One of the things that I find amazing is the ability of the ground controllers to identify who you are on the ground even if they have taken their eyes off you and worked one of the many other aircraft on the ground.  ORD has two ground control frequencies.  One for those who have landed and one for those who are going to depart.  These two controllers work well together controlling the flow of traffic.  I don’t remember when they started this but aircraft must now have their transponders ON while taxing, which means that besides just being good at knowing where airplanes are, ground control have identifying radar images they can refer to to help coordinate traffic.

It’s fun and it’s part of the reason I enjoy flying so much. Still, as with any job, you have to find a way to make money outside of your chosen career.  It’s too easy for it all to go bye-bye, and with what is happening still with the price of fuel, who knows what is going to happen in aviation in the near future.

Till next time…

P.S. If you are going to fly, get a good traveling suitcase. Make sure it has wheels and a good handle and if you know you are going to be flying on a regional jet, which has smaller overhead bins, make sure that the height of the suitcase is small enough to fit in the overhead bin. eBags can recommend some outstanding bags for traveling with really useful accessories.  One final note:  when you pack, after you pack, go back and start removing stuff, because you have probably overpacked.  Trust me you will make your life easier.

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