CRJ200 Airline Pilot

The personal experiences, thoughts of an CRJ captain

Posts Tagged ‘Aviation’

Emergencies While Flying Airplanes

Posted by Jeffrey on April 24, 2011

Emergencies happen. How you handle them is up to you. But I will bet that the more prepared you are the more likely you are going to have a favorable outcome. You also have to believe that everything is going to work out great.

Check out this article on Airplane Inflight Emergencies and what happens when they really do happen.

Flight training and execution are everything!

click me

Posted in Captain Insights, Flying the Line | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

A Cool Aviation Watch – Torgoen T6 E6B and Zulu Time Watch

Posted by Jeffrey on October 22, 2008

It is every pilot’s dream watch besides a Breitling, of course.

The Very Cool Torgoen T6 E6B and Zulu Watch

The Very Cool Torgoen T6 E6B and Zulu Watch

The Torgoen T6 E6B/Zulu Time Watch Is The Watch To Have!

When I first saw the Torgoen T6 E6B/Zulu Time Watch, I thought this is one cool watch! It is affordable, and it looks great too! I love the Orange Face, which, by the way, if you were concerned IS non-radioactive. (Yeah, I was concerned too.) It really jumps out of the norm without be being obnoxious.

And I guess, as microchips get smaller, it was only a matter of time when the endearing E6B was finally made smaller, too.

Now, if you are looking for a very cool and useful online E6B, check out the E6B Emulator. http://www.csgnetwork.com/e6bcalc.html

If you are a beginner or even seasoned flying veteran, you will want to get this watch. It has EVERYTHING!

  • Zulu time by a single red hand (my favorite feature)
  • 24 hour clock (my second favorite feature)
  • Calculate time, distance, and speed (my third favorite feature)
  • Ounces to grams
  • Kilograms to pounds
  • Miles to kilometers
  • Currency conversion
  • Multiplication and division
  • And much more!

It’s durable, has a three-year warranty, and makes a great gift!

If the orange face is too much for you though, it comes with a steel bracelet and black face or
black leather and black face as well.

So do something nice for yourself. You know you’ve always wanted this watch, so get it!

Till next time…

P.S. If you are looking for tradition E6B computers, here are two that I recommend, the second one being my favorite and the one I used when I was a flight instructor.



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Expect Departure Clearance Times (EDCT) to ORD

Posted by Jeffrey on October 9, 2008

Bad Weather Ahead

Bad Weather Ahead

Expect Departure Clearance Times” is a tool used to meter the amount of traffic coming into a particularly high volume airport such as ORD during inclement weather.

Check ORD’s current weather forecast here.

If you have ever flown into ORD, it is an amazing experience. To me the controllers are the best. They have such apparent control over the their domain, so even though a lot of pilots like to second guess the system, it is probably one of the best implemented systems in the United States.

Two great books that address ATC and aviation weather, and should be included in your aviation library are: ATC & Weather: Mastering the Systems and The Air Traffic System: A Commonsense Guide. Both are unique and invaluable introductions to the air traffic control system.

On with my story…

Consider this…on a VFR day and all runways available for takeoff and landing, ORD lands somewhere between 90 to 100 airplanes…an hour! THAT is a lot of airplanes. Figure in too that these airplanes come from every direction and vary from a Cessna Citation to a Boeing 747. In addition, on multiple occasions, when I turn base to final, I am almost exactly 2.5 miles behind the aircraft in front of me and our speeds are matched. Pretty much, they taxi off and I land and the process starts over.

If you are a departing aircraft, you are usually cleared for takeoff before the preceding aircraft has even lifted off. Granted the airplane in front is most likely going to turn one direction and you are going to turn another and you have the aircraft in front of you in sight. Safety is almost NEVER an issue if EVERYONE is doing THEIR job!

100 aircraft an hour only happens though if the weather and winds are cooperating.

What happens if the weather deteriorates enough that they can squeeze everyone in 2.5 miles behind the other aircraft? Well, you guessed it…slow down!

If the weather gets bad enough they won’t be able to get the 2.5 mile separation and it goes up to 5 miles between aircraft hence you start getting flow times or “expect departure clearance times.”

If they go from six runways to four runways, you have severly limited the number of aircraft that can arrive.

Just with these two examples, you can see that the amount of aircraft arriving in an allotted amount of time is seriously degraded.

So what happens?

Well, you get “Expect Departure Clearance Times” or EDCTs or flow times.

Yesterday we were in MKE to going to ORD. They were down to two landing runways and two takeoff runways due to weather. 700 feet overcast and 2.5 miles visibility. We were issued an EDCT time two hours later than our original departure time.

So here is how it went the other day. We showed up at MKE at our scheduled show time. MKE Ops told us we had an EDCTtwo hours from our scheduled departure time. After talking to MKE Clearance and my regional controller, both of whom confirmed our EDCT, we settled down and waited.

Another SkyWest crew, that arrived while we were waiting, decided to fuel up and head to the Z Ramp and wait out their EDCT…without any passengers! Not a team player, if you ask me. Yeah, the crew will get two hours pay for sitting out there, and even though I’m all for making money, they are basically just taking money from the company and burning expensive jet fuel. Why? Don’t know. Everyone has their reasons.

One reason though I think they sit out there is because they think that if they are waiting out there, ATC will get them going sooner, whereas the reality is that the company you are flying for AND ATC are making the EDCT. Granted, there are times that it is beneficial to sit out there because if the weather improves and the flow times are lifted, so you can go. It’s a judgement call. Personally, if I have no passengers it doesn’t benefit anyone to just SIT and waste company money. Second, I make an educated guess as to when I should head out to the runway to wait out my EDCT. There have been times when I’ve boarded up, went out to the runway and my EDCT was extended. Just can’t do anything about that. There have also been times when I boarded up, my EDCT was extended, then extended again. At this point you have to decide on a plan of action: 1) wait it out or 2) head back to the gate. I usually talk it over with my First Officer, Flight Attendants, my Regional Controller, and the station operations. At that point, I can make a decisions whether to head back to the gate or not.

One thing that I consider heavily is what would benefit the passengers. On some occasions, it’s just better to head back to the gate, let the passengers get off the airplane and make other arrangements. On other occasions, it’s better to head back to the gate so the passengers aren’t just sitting on the airplane. It’s a flight-by-flight thing.

Either way, EDCT and dealing with them are part of the job. Hopefully, this will help you understand the process a little better. For the FAA Official word on EDCT, click here.

Till next time…

Posted in Flying the Line | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Sennheiser HMEC 25-KA Headset: What Is So Great About Them?

Posted by Jeffrey on September 18, 2008

Sennheiser HMEC-25-KA ANR HeadsetSennheiser HMEC-25-KA Headset for Regional Jets

If you fly the CRJ 200, or any jet for that matter, and you are looking for a new headset, consider the Sennheiser HMEC-25-KA ANR Headset.

No doubt, the deep technical specifications are important but for me the technical specs go way over my head but the quality, comfort, and price of this headset puts it way above the rest.

Now there are a lot of different types of aviation headsets by Sennheiser.

I’ve broken it down in a chart for you to make it easier which one is right for you.

 

Price

NoiseGard Supply

Connector

HMEC 25-CA

$633

2 x AA Battery Power Pack

XLR-5

HMEC 25-CAP

$689

24 V DC, XLR-3 Connector

XLR-5

HMEC-25-KA

$633

2 x AA Battery Power Pack

Stereo Jack / PJ-068

HMEC-25-KAS
(Stereo)

$726

2 x AA Battery Power Pack

Stereo Jack / PJ-068

HMEC-25-KAP-2

$726

24 V DC, XLR-3 Connector

Stereo Jack / PJ-068

HMEC 25-KAP-2

$726

12-35 V DC, XLR-3 Connector

Stereo Jack / PJ-068

HMEC 25-KAP-2R

$569

12-35 V DC, XLR-3 Connector

Stereo Jack / PJ-068

HMEC 25-KAX

$726

12-35 V DC, XLR-3 Connector

Stereo Jack / PJ-068

HME 25-KA-2

$406

Not applicable

Stereo Jack / PJ-068

HME 25-KA-2R

$295

Not applicable

Stereo Jack / PJ-068

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…but which one is the right ONE for you?

 

I’ll tell you right now, the Sennheiser HMEC-25-KA ANR Headset is the one that I own and the one I think you would be most happy with.

 

For the are MOST part they are essentially all the same:

  • light weight (7 oz. or 170 g)
  • extremely comfortable
  • outstanding Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)
  • compact
  • adjustable headset
  • adjustable microphone

The differences are either the NoiseGard™ power supply for the headset or the microphone/headset connectors.

 

So let’s get started.

 

The Microphone

 

The –CA series use one cable, the XLR-5, connector for both microphone and headset, whereas the –KA series uses two connectors (normal configuration for most jets), one for the microphone and one for the headset.

 

Both the – CA and  –KA microphones get their power by using either 24V DC or the 12-35 V DC from the airplane internal power supply and provide crystal clear communications.

 

The Headsets

 

The –CA and –KA both use a power pack that require 2 x AA batteries to power the noise canceling feature of the headsets BUT it is not required if you don’t want to use it.

In order to use the NoiseGard™ on the –CA and –KA versions you have to turn on the battery pack, which has a two-color LED (Power On (Green)/Low Battery (Yellow) indicator); however I very rarely use it in the CRJ200. The quality is so good, that even without the NoiseGard™ on, the interference is substantially reduced and the headset provides extremely clear communications.

Often, I find that when I get in the CRJ, I have to turn down the intercom volume from the previous captain because their headset didn’t filter out the ambient noise. There are times though when I do turn the NoiseGard™ on because either the airplane ambient noise requires it or there is too much static over the airwaves or I am going into a terminal area where I don’t want to miss a single communication.

By turning NoiseGard™ on, the clarity of radio communications improves 10-fold.

Fun Facts of Know and Tell

Did you know that when people use headphones, they tend to choose a higher volume than they would with loudspeakers. As we all know, listening with high volume levels for a longer time can lead to permanent hearing damage. As pilots, permanent hearing damage could seriously reduce the number of years you could fly. Because the NoiseGard™ circuitry reduces the ambient noise, the headphones can be set at a correspondingly lower level leading to more comfortable hearing conditions and thus protect your hearing.

How does the NoiseGard system work?

The headphone is a Sennheiser NoiseGard™ system. It is a dynamic headphone system which, in addition to reproducing the original audio signal, electronically cancels the low frequencies of ambient noises. This active noise compensation operates on the principle that sound and ”anti-sound“ (in phase opposition) cancel each other out. Like matter and anti-matter. The NoiseGard™ compensation circuitry in the headphone requires an extra power supply, hence the battery compartment has been integrated into the headset cable (see illustration on the right), but like I said above I hardly every use.

Clearly intelligible communication is ensured, and the pilot no longer has to turn the volume up to overcome ambient noise.

Conclusion

The Sennheiser HMEC-25-KA ANR Headset is a great headset! The Sennheiser HMEC-25-KAS is the stereo version. It is more expensive and all you get is the ability to control the volume on the headset which no one ever uses, so why pay for it? All the other headsets in Sennheiser series are a bit too expensive for me or don’t have the proper configuration for the CRJ200.

 

The Sennheiser HMEC-25-KA is light weight, affordable, and extremely comfortable. I’ve had mine for over five years and have never had a problem with it and it fits easily into my flight bag as well. This headset absolutely pays for itself over time.



Posted in Crew Gear, Flying the Line | Tagged: , , , , , | 4 Comments »