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Unfounded pessimism…

November 22nd, 2007 · 5 Comments

My commute through Burbank to Phoenix today was not nearly as bad as I had guess it would be while writing my previous post.

The airport itself was busy, of course. The usual backup of cars in front of the terminal on days like this, really. There did seem to be more “myopic” drivers unloading their passengers in the middle of the crosswalk or driving into the “Commercial Vehicles Only” lane and clogging up the area where airport parking shuttles drop off. Thankfully, the airport police were out in force. And they weren’t just issuing warnings, either!

(I hear the cost of a ticket for taking a private vehicle into the commercial vehicle lane and unloading passengers is $150!!)

The security-screening checkpoint was remarkably empty, and I made it through very quickly.

The flight was jam-packed full, with me in the cockpit jumpseat, 137 passengers in the back, plus a BUR operations agent in the fourth flight-attendant jumpseat. We got to Phoenix in record time, too. The savvy first officer of my flight was able to talk Los Angeles Center out of routing from Palmdale VOR direct to Blythe VOR and then via the GEELA1 arrival into Phoenix. This saves approximately 10 minutes of flying time (and therefore saves fuel) over the regular filed routing (VNY7.PMD.J6.HEC.MAIER2.PHX) from Palmdale VOR, then via jet-route 6 to Hector VOR and then via the MAIER2 arrival. Since the shorter routing literally flies us in the face of arriving traffic into LAX, we can pretty much count on our regular routing when LAX arrival rates are high.

So here I sit in my Phoenix hotel room for the evening. I’m listening via the internet to my L.A. Kings, who are losing (so far) to the Phoenix Coyote. You’d figure I’d be able to watch the game on the hotel room television, but it appears the TV gets every channel on the planet except the one that is broadcasting the hockey game.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gina // Nov 24, 2007 at 1:58 am

    Happy (late) Thanksgiving! Thanks for working so friends and families could be together (including some of mine).
    I hope you were able to celebrate with your family before hitting the road.

  • 2 gcalvin // Nov 24, 2007 at 2:29 am

    Thanks! We’re doing a little Thanksgiving thing at our house on Sunday after I get back home.

  • 3 moe // Nov 27, 2007 at 7:36 am

    Ah it can’t be all that bad; you just happen to work for the one carrier nearly everyone in aviation would be dying to work for! I’m glad your PHX commute wasn’t too bad.

    I watched a SW bird 800-1200ft above us descend over the puny Duchess I was flying the other day, on its descent to SJC. It was quite a sight! Tower told us to “maintain visual seperation.” By the time I acknowledged, it was already ten miles ahead and about to touch down.

  • 4 moe // Nov 27, 2007 at 7:49 am

    And by Tower I mean Oakland Center, oops :)

    By the way, I noticed you have an interest in photography. If you’re not already familiar, you may want to check out my favorite photographer and his blog, chromasia. Be sure to check out his photoblog as well (link at the top). He also has great tutorials for post-processing.

    I used to have a photoblog as well (desperocity, but had to sell my Canon 30D for flight time).

  • 5 gcalvin // Nov 28, 2007 at 7:03 pm


    Thanks for the links! Great photography! Hopefully, you’ll be able to get back into it soon!

    As far as “it can’t be all that bad” goes, it isn’t. But remember, there will still be certain things that are very “un-fun” no matter where you work.

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