DAL - HOU
2016-02-15 DAL to HOU (Galveston)
HOU to Home
This was cool; going to Dallas not for a checkride, but to take
a week getting the "Enterprise" home via the Gulf of Mexico. February
here can be cold but we lucked out and got the upper 60's.
This is the cheapest I've seen Diesel in years. Even stranger was it
being the same as regular gas. $1.55/gal.
I've never seen the new Network Operations Center so this was pretty
The Training Center lobby of where I go for my checkrides houses this
The coolest part of this trip, bar none, was getting two hours in one
of our newest 737-800 simulators. At first I couldn't figure out how to get
the visual on but a call to the tech revealed it to be easy, just start
taxiing. Cool! Soon we
were in business.
The first thing was to let Tim see what a typical departure was like.
I loaded everything up like we were flying to LAX, taxied out and did
a normal takeoff, engaging the autopilot in LNAV and VNAV at the usual
points. Flying everything single pilot while explaining the procedure
was kinda fun and not terribly challenging. Mostly because it's not
that challenging when everything is working. Of course we also didn't
have any complicating radio chatter going on.
After about an hour of flying around in the dark, one of the Sim gurus
had a spare moment and came to give us the daylight visuals. How cool!!!
Wow, is this thing capable. In the 20+ years I've been at Southwest I
don't know that I've ever seen a full daylight visual. One thing that
was weird was that inside the cockpit
it was still dark but outside was like daylight.
We were in the one on the left. You can see a rubber chicken hanging
from the sim between us. More in the sidebar.
We've maxed out our training center. Every bay is full so we're building
a new building. Somewhere.
Next it was on to Dave Broyles place to see his version of scooter
There are dozens of ways to skin the cats of towing and teaching and I'm
just out there taking in as many as I can. David has been doing this for
a long time! Unfortunately the winds picked up and became nasty.
I took the wing out kiting to see how it was and had no interest in
flying in that air. Yuck. I wonder if 10 years ago it would have been
different. I'm definitely chicken now. I was getting periodically yanked
off my feet. Not lifted, yanked. Then half the wing would move over 10
feet and fold up. It was king.
We met Andy McAvin and one of his former students for some beach
play. Talk about perfect weather. This was the smoothest air I can
remember. Beach air is usually nice but at least has some texture. This
was super smooth. I practiced landing on little sand piles then landed
on the Enterprise. Trust me, that's not hard with a 13 mph wind. Bummed
we didn't get to spend more time with Andy, though. I did get to try out
one of MacPara's newest rides (The Blaze) and one from a couple years ago
(The Pitbull). The Blaze
21 was fast. I was only barely faster, no more than a half mph, on my
Viper 18. The Viper probably needs the D's stretched, to be fair. Nice
flying wings, easier kiting, too, with their lower aspect ratio.
Heeeeer's Andy! He's showing off a simple throttle holder on his
And this was Francesco Desantis' idea, a rope to keep the prop from
turning while starting the motor. Even if it were to go to full power
unexpectedly it couldn't do anything.
Flying the beach rocks. This is Galveston and I marvel that people are
building new houses here. The last time we came through was only a week
after Ike and this place looked like a war zone (2008
This place is new.