Monday, January 02, 2012

In a hurry Captain?

I was on a Sydney to Canberra QantasLink flight the other day on a Q400 (the latest Dash 8 model). During the taxi in Sydney the Captain noted that we had left early and thanked us for our cooperation. Of course we then sat on the tarmac waiting for an opening for us to depart. Anyway, the flight was uneventful and we approached Canberra from the South for a landing on Runway 35. There was a lot of turbulence on the approach, but of course when the ground effect took over it was a smooth and normal landing.

That's when it started being not normal. I've been in aircraft when they slammed the brakes on to make an intersection to return quickly to the terminal, but that's not what happened. After the smooth landing we "chucked a U-ey" on the active runway (rwy 35), something I have never experienced before (Sure, at other airports it's necessary, but never at CBR). Also as an ex-pilot who in the past has landed at CBR many times it's not something I would ever have contemplated requesting. We then taxied really quickly until we were on the apron. I need to point out that I'm not just making this up for a better story after the event - I commented to my wife that we were going much faster than normal.

We then arrived at our parking point and while at least one engine was still running the "Fasten Seat Belts" sign was switched off.

In all my numerous flying days I have never known the sign to be switched off before all engines have been shut down.

I can only surmise that the Captain was in a real hurry to get somewhere. The flight was on time, so it wasn't to ensure a quick turnaround. I'm guessing it was his last flight of the day and he was totally over it. I have to say there was nothing on the flight that wasn't totally safe, but it was certainly a humourous departure from normal procedures.

Apropos of nothing, on the previous day's CBR - SYD Virgin Australia flight we had two Captains. One of them must have been being checked out. It happens all the time, but it's the first time I have ever noticed it on a flight I have been on.


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