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Back In The Left


After a bit of a hiatus in my Captain Upgrade training I got to hop back in the left seat yesterday. Did a line flight back to our base and then a training flight after lunch. I was pleasantly surprised that it didn’t feel too foreign switching seats after a decent break.

The line flight went very smoothly and it was a good way to get back into the swing of things. The training flight called for manouvers and circuits at maximum all up weight (MAUW) which meant filling up with extra fuel and getting other pilots and ground staff to come along.

It was a particularly hot day as it seems to be most days now we’re in dry season, so everyone was pretty keen to get in and get the AC running in the aircraft. After start and going through the checklist the Training Captain looked at the fuel gauges and said oh no we don’t have enough. I had done the order earlier and checked it in the pre-flight thinking it was all good. Unfortunately I have 1200 lbs on the brain as that is a standard fuel loading for us and in this instance we needed 1600 lbs. Being 400 lbs below our MAUW wasn’t really an option for this flight, so I had to suffer the embarrassment of shutting down so we could get the fuel truck to come and top us up.

We eventually got on the way and accomplished everything that was required, including dumb co-pilot scenarios where the Training Captain plays up and I have to take control without causing a complete CRM breakdown. As often happens on these flights one of the ground staff was sick but I didn’t put anyone of flying so thats always positive.

As you can probably tell from the photo at the top having a brain fart like this does have its consequences. In this instance a case of Bintang was called for, also as a thank you for the guys having to suffer through the flight. The Indonesia national beer does not come cheap in Papua. A case is Rp480,000 (NZ$72.50), not particularly cheap but then there is little else to spend money on in Papua so it won’t break the bank.

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