North Atlantic crossing

10 day live feed – “An American journey” – Day 2

Here is what happened on Day 2 of my “An American journey” 10 day live feed

This morning I got up at 4 am, showered quickly, put on my uniform and left the hotel at 04.45 to walk over to the Lufthansa Cargo base, which was only 20 minutes by foot from where I stayed. The first aircraft approaching Frankfurt to land at 5 am sharp passed over me, the sun rose on the horizon and like always I was really excited to go flying again!

Map Frankfurt-Atlanta

Today’s route: Frankfurt-Atlanta

It was pretty quited in the briefing room (you could say deserted – who would want to get up this early for work on a sunday?). Anyway, there was work to be done! Update all the apps on my iPad (that is the replacement for our old-school laptop EFBs), update my old-school laptop (that I still have because the iPad is not yet fully certified for all tasks), print the briefing package, read the briefing package, talk about everything with the captain and then decide on how much fuel to take. We agreed that I was to be pilot flying on the first flight to Atlanta and that we wanted to take a couple of minutes of extra fuel. Winds can easily change on a 9-hour flight over the Atlantic from what was forecasted and there is usually a lot traffic at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.

Getting ready

Crew bus, security control, crew bus again, aircraft preparation, FMS programming – we got all of that done quickly. But just as we were ready to go, one of the cargo doors would not close! Luckily we have a number of mechanics at hand all the time and they quickly figured out that one of the door locks needed some lubricant. Problem fixed and ready to go:

Pilot Felix Gottwald

Here is a little video of our take-off from Frankfurt on this wonderful sunny Sunday morning. Getting up early was worth it!

North Atlantic

It’s always the same with clouds! If there is good weather over Continental Europe, you can be sure that there will be clouds once you cross the channel. And yes, it happened again and we didn’t see much of the ground for hours. This was the view we got:

Pilot's View

The North Atlantic is a very special airspace. Aircraft usually follow a predefined system of routes that is being optimized each day according to the current winds. Given the fact that you fly over the ocean for hours there are certain requirements for navigation accuracy and you also need a dedicated clearance before you enter it. Luckily we can do that via ACARS now and here is what it looks like:

North Atlantic clearance

That is simple, right? A couple of waypoints and coordinates – we just have to cross-check that with our flightplan and make sure that everything is correct. Once over the North Atlantic it gets a bit more quiet and less hectic, so why not have some breakfast-lunch? I chose to have something healthy today and it was really good!

Airline food Airline food

Five hours after breakfast-lunch we were to land in Atlanta, but as I am off tomorrow, I will tell you more about it once I have slept and ate some yummy burger!

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10 Responses to 10 day live feed – “An American journey” – Day 2

  1. JeffinMass June 28, 2015 at 9:27 pm #

    Felix….Are you also certified for the B777f aircraft, or any other LH fleet?

    • Felix Gottwald June 28, 2015 at 11:31 pm #

      I was on the Airbus A320 before, but my rating expired long ago. Being certified for more than one type usually doesn’t pay off, as there is too much hazzle with simulator and check flights. We have enough pilots for both fleets so that there wouldn’t be an advantage for the company.

  2. Johannes June 28, 2015 at 9:44 pm #

    It’s really awesome to be able to have an insight into your workday/week/10days 🙂 But how do you manage to get the content ready on time? For example, are you allowed to write your posts and edit your videos while flying?

    • Felix Gottwald June 28, 2015 at 11:32 pm #

      I do not edit anything inflight – I have to do it afterwards, but some good pre-planning helps of course 😉

      • Johannes June 29, 2015 at 8:22 pm #

        Okay, well, I look forward to reading and seeing more 😀

  3. Alessandro June 28, 2015 at 10:33 pm #

    Nice report Felix!!Enjoy your stay in USA…and waiting for more reports

    • Felix Gottwald June 28, 2015 at 11:32 pm #

      I will try my best!

  4. Martin June 28, 2015 at 11:04 pm #

    Sorry for the long Customs delay after arrival in ATL….. They are not used to arrivals during the day!!!!

    • Felix Gottwald June 28, 2015 at 11:33 pm #

      No worries! Hopefully it will work better next time 🙂

  5. karin christen June 29, 2015 at 8:46 pm #

    so ein spannendes bericht über deine arbeit und das fliegen mit den md-11 als gute-nacht-geschichte bringt mich fliegende träume…!!

    genial, freue mich immer sehr auf deine neue berichte!!
    bitte nimm für dich zeit, für deine freizeit und stadtbesichtigungen!!

    wünsche dir eine ganz tolle zeit, geniesse es, wieder mal in den USA zu sein!
    (seit swissair nicht mehr gibt, bin ich wirklich so wenig dorthin geflogen).

    machs gut und liebe grüsse.
    karin aus der schweiz

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