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mjt57

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New York would be great but we’ll have to settle domestically for now until the Pacific bubble opens up.

Yeah, wishful thinking, I know.

I’ll be done by Christmas for sure which will be a great Christmas present.

The next roster starts on the 28th Dec so I’ll be good to go on a 75% roster at this stage in Jan, hopefully up to 100% by Easter.

Definitely a massive feat to try and get everything back up and running.

Indeed. Getting your ops department going, setting up schedules, rosters and the like. Much like organising Christmas shopping, I'd imagine...
:)
 

torks

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Well it’s amazing how quickly things can change. Looks like demand has increased over the next couple of months (and now we’re officially out of administration), they’re bringing me back early! 😁

The goal is to have me done before Christmas so I’m ready for a January ramp up. To give you an idea, we were flying 18,000 block hours per month pre Covid. During administration it was around 3,000 and December will be around 8,500hrs, with January looking around 13,000.

To say I’m ecstatic is an understatement. I have really missed flying and will be great to get back into the seat after almost 6 months off. I didn’t take for granted the time I had off, as it was spent with family, knowing I probably won’t have this much time off again.

We just need borders to stay open and demand to be there heading into the new year. Now it’s back to the books.

When you say block hours what exactly is that? Is that hours per pilot or hours per plane or something else?
 

jb747

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When you say block hours what exactly is that? Is that hours per pilot or hours per plane or something else?
18,000 hours per pilot in a month. Rostering would love you!

It’s total hours flown by the airline in a month. If you had 100 aircraft, and 10 hours utilisation per day, you‘d be looking at around 30,000 hours.
 

RooFlyer

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Story on the radio today in Hobart about the problems the COVID stoppage of flights caused for the use of nuclear medicine in Tas. For certain scans, radioactive isotopes are required, which are produced (in the story) near Sydney. One they discussed had a half-life of 2 hours, so to get a good quantity into Hobart required precise, co-ordinated timing of the flight to HBA and then collection, and use. The disruption and changing of schedules during COVID wreaked havoc with this, and many patients were much delayed and disrupted in their scans. The longer the time after production in the cyclotron, the fewer patients can be scanned by the same dose of isotope. In the end, they contracted a local airline to do a boutique delivery service and in fact the timing was improved.

But there was a comment by the Doc that, if there were animals on board, some commercial pilots would offload the radio-active isotope cargo (talking B737s, A320s and maybe B717s service into Tas mainly). I would have thought the animals would be put off rather than the isotope (knowing how critical the delivery was), but there you go.

Do any of our pilots have experience in having radio active isotopes in their cargo holds and stories to tell, esp in maybe conflict between the isotope and other cargo?
 

AviatorInsight

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Well, fortunately no stories to tell. We only get notified of any cargo when the final load sheet comes to the aircraft just minutes before the final door closes.

If there is any dangerous goods carried (radioactive material certainly fits that), then it will tell us where it is located in the cargo compartment.

If radioactive material is carried then depending on the type it is allocated a transport index number. This number is used to determine, what spacing requirements are needed between other objects. For example, from passengers in the cabin and also any live animals carried in the cargo compartment. It defines the amount of packages allowed together on board the aircraft, and it will also determine whether it can even be carried on board passenger aircraft or must be carried on a cargo only aircraft.

There are limits to the transport index number to ensure safety, and also minimum distances, both horizontally and vertically.

We don’t really get a say what goes and what doesn’t, unless it’s a safety issue with weight and balance.
 

Ansett

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I recently few in and out of Darwin and was surprised at the width of the runway. Why is it that the runway seems to be so much wider in Darwin?
 

RooFlyer

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We don’t really get a say what goes and what doesn’t, unless it’s a safety issue with weight and balance.

Thanks for the info. So in respect to RA material, I think what you are saying is that the spacing of other objects in the cargo area will be by regulation, "safe" and so the pilots would have no case to object and offload either the isotope or animals. The story by the Doc on the radio was perhaps apocryphal.

Besides weight and balance, I guess at the end of the day, the pilots could demand offloading of something that may have slipped through, such as something like "ammunition" with something else like "flammable"? Perhaps such can never be taken, but say there was something the crew just didn't like the sound of?
 

AviatorInsight

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Thanks for the info. So in respect to RA material, I think what you are saying is that the spacing of other objects in the cargo area will be by regulation, "safe" and so the pilots would have no case to object and offload either the isotope or animals. The story by the Doc on the radio was perhaps apocryphal.

Besides weight and balance, I guess at the end of the day, the pilots could demand offloading of something that may have slipped through, such as something like "ammunition" with something else like "flammable"? Perhaps such can never be taken, but say there was something the crew just didn't like the sound of?
Yes, at the end of the day the Captain has the final say with everything that goes on or in the aircraft. They can choose to remove anything that they are not comfortable with (people included).

For context though, we have no idea how the cargo is loaded other than what is shown to us on the loadsheet. We take the word from the leading hand that the cargo is loaded correctly and within regulations.

In your example of ammunition, if we wanted to check though, we would go to the dangerous goods manual and check the restrictions. So for ammunition, it can be checked in and not carried on board and must not weigh more than 5kg.

However, dry ice must not be stowed in the same compartment as live animals. So we would need to be on the lookout for things like that.
 

kookaburra75

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I recently few in and out of Darwin and was surprised at the width of the runway. Why is it that the runway seems to be so much wider in Darwin?
Darwin is a military base, where they allow civilian aircraft as well - the same as Newcastle, Learmonth and Katherine - much to the RAAF's annoyance sometimes. Darwin has to be wide enough to take B52s, and they get a few through when they're running the Pitch Black exercises.
 
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AviatorInsight

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I recently few in and out of Darwin and was surprised at the width of the runway. Why is it that the runway seems to be so much wider in Darwin?
Because it is the widest runway you can have at 60m.

By comparison, BNE’s runway 01L is also 60m, whereas the old 01R is 45m wide. Even the new runway at MCY is now 45m which means I can land it there with no restrictions anymore.

Places like BNK and AYQ are still only 30m wide runways.
 

jb747

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Thanks for the info. So in respect to RA material, I think what you are saying is that the spacing of other objects in the cargo area will be by regulation, "safe" and so the pilots would have no case to object and offload either the isotope or animals. The story by the Doc on the radio was perhaps apocryphal.

Besides weight and balance, I guess at the end of the day, the pilots could demand offloading of something that may have slipped through, such as something like "ammunition" with something else like "flammable"? Perhaps such can never be taken, but say there was something the crew just didn't like the sound of?

There were lots of rules with regard to the carriage of animals, and you have to be careful about just how/where you decide to offload them. Unless you were specifically advised otherwise, if there was a conflict I’d keep the animals and offload whatever was causing the issue.

Whilst the loading was presented to you as a fait accompli, the acceptance or otherwise of the load sheet was totally up to the Captain. You’d occasionally find errors in how things were loaded, especially with regard to dry ice. Aircraft MELs could also change what was acceptable, and that information was rarely available to the loading people. Over the years, I didn’t remove or move much cargo, but it did happen.

Ammunition isn’t an issue. As long as it’s packed properly, and within peoples’ luggage, you could legally be carrying hundreds of kilos of it. The 5 kg limit is per passenger.
Darwin is a military base, where they allow civilian aircraft as well - the same as Newcastle, Learmonth and Katherine - much to the RAAF's annoyance sometimes. Darwin has to be wide enough to take B52s, and they get a few through when they're running the Pitch Black exercises.

I very much doubt that B52s featured in the design stage of Darwin’s runway. There may have been consideration of ’pairs’ operation of RAAF jets. Runway width comes into large aircraft operation, not just covering the track of the aircraft, but allowing for the large lateral movement that can occur following and engine failure.
 

Quickstatus

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If radioactive material is carried then depending on the type it is allocated a transport index number.
Trivia:
A time critical radiopharmaceutical is 99mTC (tecnhetium99m). T0.5 = 6 hours.
99mTc is the decay material from 99Mo (molybdenum99).
It travels in a GENTECH Generator which weighs about 23kg and is lead lined and is sent to the destination in a protective transport box


Its called a generator because 99mTC is being generated from 99Mo as it is being transported to the destination.
And at the destination, sterile saline vials are used to extract the 99TC from inside the lead lined container.
There is no chance of radioactivity exposure unless lead lining is broken so no chance of your family pet getting irradiated if it sits next to the Gentech in the cargo section of an aircraft.
Passengers upstairs also dont get told either because it is not necessary.
Flying transcontinental SYD-PER will give an exposure similar to a mammogram and about a third of a chest xray
No radiation from a GENTECH

Se because 99mTC is being generated during transport, some delays are OK. 99Mo has a T0.5 = 60 hours

99Mo is produced by the OPAL (open pool australian lightwater nuclear reactor) at Lucas Heights.
The Cherenkov glow of the water is reminiscent of the opal colours as well.

Gentech see here:

Now back to normal programming.....

(Mods please feel free to move to general medical thread if its better there)
 
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harvyk

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At the front of the 747 flight deck, there seems to be what looks like a hand hold and a few other black "buttons".
What are they for? (See area highlighted in red?)

1607930099193.png
 

jb747

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At the front of the 747 flight deck, there seems to be what looks like a hand hold and a few other black "buttons".
What are they for? (See area highlighted in red?)

They aren’t buttons. They’re covers over some sort of electrical connection, presumably for window heating.
 

Saab34

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AV how is your stand down going are you back up yet? Is your company ceasing the majority of Sydney ops for the next month?
 

AviatorInsight

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AV how is your stand down going are you back up yet? Is your company ceasing the majority of Sydney ops for the next month?
So....I have been cleared to fly the line again (yay!), having passed all my sims and the required line flight. My first flight was scheduled to be next week starting with a MEL overnight and then on day 2 heading up to SYD for a HTI return.

Now that the border closures are back in place, it’s no surprise that they will be cancelling a lot of flights. In fact around 1200 sectors and 2500 block hours have been removed for the next roster period (Jan) already.

I was only rostered to be to stood up to a 75% roster anyway. No doubt my first trip will get cancelled (edit: trip is now cancelled and I’m placed on standby). The pilot group is being flexible during this time and depending on how bad this goes on for, we may get stood back down, even mid roster if it comes to it, but let’s hope it doesn’t.

So close yet so far...
 
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747sp

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Not sure if this is a pilot or passenger question. On the Qantas 747ERs from the back the third last window upstairs on the port side is plugged. I don't think it is the same on the 400s or the starboard side. Do you know why it was plugged?
 

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