A regular evening shift at work this week, with only a couple of notable occurrences. On Monday, I did the post maintenance ground run on a CFM56-5B equipped A320. There is a notable difference in power between the 5A and 5B, about 20% at max thrust, if I recall correctly - which I probably don't. Because we do the runs fairly late at night, we often taxi the airplane to a remote point on the airport. I'm not taxi qualified, but fortunately, one of the guys on the crew is. We have reached the point where he allows me to make the complete taxi out and back - though he is amusingly quick on the brakes if he thinks I'm going too fast.
We got out to the assigned spot, did the run, and headed back. The run is quite simple. We start the engines, other members of the crew carry out any required leak checks (oil filters, hydraulic lines, etc), close the fan cowls, and then taxi. Out in the boonies, we point into the wind, and bring both engines to 60% N1 (fan speed). We then take one engine to about 87% N1, watching the vibration indication on the ECAM (electronic centralised aircraft monitor, I think? - we just call it an ECAM). The limit is 4 units, and it's rare that we see it above 1.5. We bring the engine back to 60%, and do the same on the second engine. Then we're done. We taxi back to the hangar and do paperwork.
The A320 is a beautiful airplane to taxi. It's basically a big Cessna 172, and other than having to use the tiller instead of the pedals to steer, the process is about the same. The airplane can be brought into remarkably tight spots. I have about 25 minutes worth of A320 full motion flight sim time, and it flies like a Cessna 172, too, very nice.
On Friday, I did three tow jobs, two of them Embraers, and the other an A320. We had an Embraer at the terminal getting fuel, when the competitor's ground crew decided to try to slip a 737 past the Embraer's nose. Well, they might have made it, if the tractor hadn't already been hooked up, but they were taking much too long. So we got them to go the other way, and we towed the Embraer out first, which made more sense anyway.
On Saturday, I got to fly in the flying club's Maule MXT7. We had a CASARA exercise in which I wasn't supposed to fly, but one of the other guys got sick, so I stepped in. The club has a limit of -20C for flying, as apparently the engine seals (or prop seals, maybe) fail if it's too cold. Fortunately, it was only -17C, and the front of the hangar had been plowed. I made two flights, with a navigator and two spotters on the first trip, and a navigator and one spotter on the second. The trips were pretty basic, with an unfortunate lack of a real training objective, but one spotter did manage to find a bison herd. There were also a few snowmobiles, hikers, and ice fishermen about. We also chased down a very easy training ELT on the second flight. After three hours in the air, the heater wasn't having much effect any more, so we were pretty happy to finish up.
Back to day shift this week.
1 week ago