Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Matt's Shenanigans

So as many of you know, I've been in training for SkyWest Airlines for the past 3 months which has been the most intense 3 months of my life. You all should travel much easier knowing the level of training that the airlines put their pilots through. You should also know that these airplanes are beyond amazing in what they can do, and the redundancy of the systems for safety sake. There's at least two back-up systems for everything on this airplane. Those who designed this airplane thought of everything, and came up with any possible scenario of what could happen wrong so they could address it. My personal favorite safety feature is that there are two emergency oxygen masks that drop from the ceiling of the lavatory. They really did think of everything *wink wink*.

After five grueling weeks of ground school, two weeks of FTD, (Flight Training Device), and two weeks of Simulator, they finally let us in the actual airplane! SkyWest is the only airline that has their new pilots fly in the actual airplane without any passengers before cutting them loose. So here we are in a 50 seater CRJ 200, flying to and from Grand Junction Co.

There were three pilots that took turns flying, so Julie and I had some time to relax on what seemed like our own personal flight.

This is Paul Clark, the captain who made sure that SkyWest's $28,000,000 investment was taken care of while we flew. By the way, the guy sitting in the right seat is not the investment I'm talking about. He costs way more that a mere 28 mill.

So this is my garb. The shirt is so starched, it gave me a little rash on my neck the first day. It felt like I was wearing a cardboard shirt. And the jacket is going to be coming out of my paycheck for the next 5 years or so. But I must say that it does keep me warm. The other day I was in Idaho Falls where the temperature was a balmy 3 degrees F, and I felt fine. At least the parts of me that the jacket covered. I can't say the same about the lower half. Yikes!

My "Window Office"

The view from my office :)

Right now, I'm at the tail end of training going through what they call Initial Operating Experience. What that means is that I am now taking actual scheduled flights with passengers and everything! At first I was a bit freaked out at the thought of carrying up to 50 living, breathing people. But once you get going, it's just like you're in the simulator. That is until you land. Landing hard in the sim is a bit more forgiving than in the actual airplane. But don't worry, I haven't put that big of divots in any of the runways yet. And I replace all my divots thank you.

This is SkyWest's 35th anniversary CRJ. We call it the "Mullet Jet" because it's business up front, and party in the back. This jet holds about 76 or so passengers depending if it has first class or not. I've been assigned to be based in Chicago for now, so I'll be flying the bigger CRJ's mostly. I've put in to be transferred back to Salt Lake as soon as possible, but it usually takes a few months for an opening to come up. So I'll be commuting to Chicago. That could possibly be longer than the average work commute.

So that's what I've been up to these past few months. I've got to say that this has got to be one of the coolest jobs out there. It seems like it took forever getting here, but it was worth it. Thank you to all of you who has made this a reality for me. I hope to see any one of you on one of my flights. I usually land softer if I know somebody on the airplane. Otherwise who knows?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Brooklyn's First "Fishy " Trip

Brooklyn absolutely loved the aquarium. She couldn't get enough of all the "fishies" and ocean life.

She was so mesmerized by the beautiful "jellies".

Petting the stingray's.

Swimming with the turtles.

Climbing through the coral reef.
It was a fun day!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Snow Day!!!

Once there was a Snowman, Snowman, a Snowman...
Complete with a sweet gardening hat and a sprinkler stake nose, of course.

This was actually the first snowman for Brooklyn & I. ( I have only lived in Utah for what, 10 years now? It was about time.)

and on to the next adventure...

A Sledding We Will Go...

We figured at this point, she was done.