Seattle, Tuesday 8-8-95 1130 local (Z-7)
The return trip, SFO-JFK that I was concerned about with the cowboy captain turned out to be no problem. It turned out that he's quite willing to let his f.o. do things the f.o.'s way within certain parameters. When we got into the airplane, he said it would be my leg and that I could fly it the way I wanted with 3 conditions: (1) he would do all the taxiing since, according to him, he has an FAA taxi violation pending against him and he's doing all taxiing until that unpleasantry is finished, (2) cruise at least at mach .84 (84% of the speed of sound), and (3) climb and descend at least at 320 knots. He also said that I may have noticed that he liked to keep things moving. I said , "No problem," and chose .86 and 340 knots to keep him happy.
He pretty much kept his word about leaving me alone until the descent into Kennedy. I was keeping it at 340 which was about 20 knots below red line (the red line varies with temperature and altitude). He couldn't resist and called for moving it up to redline. No problem, I can fly fast, although I question the desirability of doing so with passengers on board. We, of course, wound up high, which he then suggested I handle with an emergency descent profile. I didn't think much of that idea with passengers on board, so I asked him if he really wanted the gear down at 270 knots and then a speedup to 320 knots once it was down and locked (the emergency descent profile). He backed off and said, "Well, maybe gear down and 240 knots." That's considerably less then "emergency descent" but still brings the airplane out of the sky rather quickly. It also creates a lot of noise and vibration for the passengers. Anyway, it all went well. I used to specialize in fast approaches at Evergreen with only cargo on board, so I really wasn't doing anything I hadn't done before, but it had been a while.
Got into crew scheduling around 0600 to find out I was to go back on my line, which meant a deadhead to Amsterdam on the 10th. Thought about that for a moment and took the terminal shuttle over to American Airlines and was able to get on a flight direct to Seattle. So, here I am, now hoping to get on my old employer, Horizon, and jumpseat down to Eugene.
Horizon has changed their jumpseat policy. They used to have an open jumpseat arrangement - they'd take all comers. That's changed, now your airline has to be on their list and Tower isn't. I knew this and have been bugging the Tower chief pilot about concluding a reciprocal agreement with them. The paperwork is apparently in process. Anyway, I got the gate agent here to call the Horizon chief pilot, and he approved the jumpseat for me over the phone as a one time exception, saying the paperwork would soon be completed. I hope so. I won't always be able to get them on the phone, and it's a time-consuming hassle.
I'm really getting comfortable again in the 747. It's once again beginning to fit, things are becoming automatic. On this trip with the cowboy captain things were more automatic than they have been to date with Tower. Soon I hope to be actually enjoying it rather than worrying about it.