Aeronautical Randomness
Year in review: 2013
December 26, 2013
14

The first three weeks of December were a challenge.  I intentionally stacked my schedule heavy at the beginning of the month so I wouldn’t have to fly over the holidays.  Three weeks in a row, I worked the same high time four day trip that finished late on the last day.  After a redeye commute, I was home two and a half days between trips.  While I’m thankful my seniority allowed me to bid the schedule, flying it took an enormous toll on my body.  In the future, I will spread my trips more evenly throughout the month.

With the third trip complete, I’m enjoying Christmas and New Year’s Eve with my family in Tennessee.

My work for 2013 is complete.

Sun setting in Philadelphia

Sun setting in Philadelphia

It was a busy year for flying and the blog.  Actually, my flying schedule was pretty typical, but the blog readership grew substantially.

Here are some blog and flying “stats” for the year:

Top blog posts by views:

  1. What’s the loud barking noise on the A320?
    • Written in 2012, this continues to be the most viewed post on the blog.  Close to 100% of the views are referred from Google and other search engines.  Thousands of readers have entered  keywords similar to the title and ended up at my post.  I hope they learned something! (I can picture passengers standing in the aisle after a flight Googling “What’s the loud barking noise on the A320?” on their phones.)
  2. The San Francisco Accident and the media
    • Instead of wasting time screaming at the television, I decided to explain some of the inaccuracies broadcast in the hours following the crash of the Asiana flight in San Francisco.  In the months that followed, we’ve learned a lot about the accident.  Although I wouldn’t publicly speculate at the time, it turns out my initial theory was very close to what actually happened.
  3. Why pilots hate to de-ice
    • De-icing is critical to operating safely in winter weather.  However, that doesn’t mean we have to enjoy the process.

Top blog posts by Facebook “Likes”:

  1. A special kind of celebrity
    • This was my story of flying World War II Veterans across the country.  The experience hit close to home since my own grandfather was a WWII pilot.  I’m glad so many of you liked this post… it was one of my favorite to write.
  2. The San Francisco Accident and the media
    • Instead of wasting time screaming at the television, I decided to explain some of the inaccuracies broadcast in the hours following the crash of the Asiana flight in San Francisco.  In the months that followed, we’ve learned a lot about the accident.  Although I wouldn’t publicly speculate at the time, it turns out my initial theory was very close to what actually happened.
  3. Newark
    • After several years away, I made my return flight to Newark.

Addition to the pilot logbook:

  • I flew 779 hours as a pilot in 2013.
  • I flew 223 flights as a pilot in 2013.

Other flights:

That’s only part of the time I spent on airplanes in 2013.  For the first three months of the year, I commuted from Nashville (BNA) to San Francisco (SFO).  Each commute was two flights.

In April, I started flying out of Los Angeles (LAX).  (See “A Change in Scenery (Part I)”) Being able to commute non-stop from Nashville helped restore some of my sanity.

  • Two leg commutes from BNA to SFO : 8 (16 flights)
  • Two leg commutes from SFO to BNA : 6 (12 Flights)
  • Two leg commute from BOS to BNA  : 1 (2 Flights)
  • One leg commute from LGA to BNA : 1 Flight
  • One leg commute from BNA to LAX : 25 Flights
  • One leg commute from LAX to BNA : 25 Flights
  • Other deadhead : 7 Flights

Combined pilot, commute and deadhead “ups and downs”:  311 Flights

In addition to flying, I completed my annual simulator check, RNP simulator training, recurrent ground school and a two day “Refresh” at company headquarters.

See you in 2014:

People in aviation often wish for a crystal ball to predict the future.  While I have a pretty good idea where things may be heading in 2014, I’ve learned to take this industry one day at a time.  Instead of predicting the future, I’ll continue to tell stories about the past.

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday season.  Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and thanks for reading!

The controller tower at LAX with the moon... taken from the parking garage between terminals.

The control tower at LAX with the moon… taken from the parking garage between terminals.

Readers wanted!

I appreciate each and every one of you who read this on a regular basis.

Could you please do me a favor?  If you like what you read here, please take a moment to use one of the social media buttons below.  If people keep reading this blog, I’ll keep writing.

Nothing inspires bloggers more than growth in readership.

Are you following on Twitter?  If not, please follow @RenewedPilot.  I tweet out blog updates and mostly random nonsense on a regular basis.

Thanks!

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About author

Renewed Pilot

I've endured a roller coaster career in the U.S. Aviation Industry. Currently flying the 737 on my third try with the same legacy carrier, I have also flown for a regional, fractional and start-up carrier. My piloting experience includes the 737, A320, 727, Citation Excel, Citation Bravo, Saab 340 and many light singles and twin engine aircraft. I reside in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee.

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There are 14 comments

  • Courtney Cates says:

    B-
    Love reading your blog! Look forward to continuing in 2014! Thanks for sharing a pilots life. 🙂

  • Paul Davis says:

    love to hear all you have to say My experience was military. Not the same.

  • Dave W says:

    I have followed you for quite some time and enjoy your variety – personnally I am a sim geek and particularly like the detailed posts!

    Keep it up in 2014

    All the best!

    Dave from the UK

  • Nancy says:

    It’s a crazy lifestyle! Thanks for sharing. As a passenger, I love the behind-the-scenes look at flying.

  • SYVJEFF says:

    Thank you for your hard work in sharing your passion and travels over the years. Looking forward in reading more from you in 2014! Have a great holiday season with your family, because they are what matter.

  • Bruce Miller says:

    Happy 2014 – your blog is one I check regularly. I wish you many more safe hours in the New Year!

  • Eric Auxier says:

    Happy new year!

    Smart of you to front load your line. Haven’t tried that. I flew a fairly regular schedule and got home Christmas morning. I’m pretty happy with that. Since the kids are grown up and in college, it’s not such a biggie any more 😉

    Nice to see your lineup of “Most popular.” (Mine’s coming out next month.)

    Funny that the “barking noise” is the most popular. I’ll start referring pax to it–it’s certainly the most common Q I get on the plane, lol!

    My most popular post remains, “Zen and the Art of Aircraft Maintenance,” written 2 years ago now…probably due to the similarity with the book title, lol!

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