There I Wuz! Volume 2—Excerpt
In an A321 airliner traveling Mach .8, events come at you at ten miles a minute. As Captain, you must make sound decisions, using imperfect information and limited time. Nearly every decision is not black and white, but each is critical, has consequences.
Now, you are Captain. You get to call the shots, feel the urgency, the burden of command. And you must make the right decisions that result in a safe, successful outcome.
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is your Captain speaking,” you begin, briefing the passengers over the ships’ PA during the final stages of boarding. “Welcome aboard Flight 312. We’ll be cruising at an initial altitude of 32,000’ . . .”
You expect Flight 312 to be routine. Pack 184 passengers—3 shy of capacity—into your Airbus A321, and ship off from KCLT (Charlotte, NC) to KPHX (Phoenix, AZ). Three hours and forty-four minutes of smooth sailing.
On this leg, you act as both PIC (Pilot in Command—i.e., Captain) and PF (Pilot Flying); your FO (First Officer) is PM, or Pilot Monitoring.
In other words, as PF, your sole job is to fly the plane.
As PM, your FO manages the flight—that is, handles all radio calls and communication, updates the weather, and generally deals with whatever comes up.
Today, that task falls upon the broad and capable shoulders of First Officer “Big Yo” Yohan.
True to form, takeoff and climb out go without a hitch.
But, as an airline pilot, you’ve got to be ready for anything. And today, that “anything”—as is often the case—begins with the Ding! of the call button from the lead flight attendant.
“Dominos Pizza,” Big Yo answers in typical, smart-aleck FO-ese.
“Uh, put the pizza order on hold, boss,” your First Flight Attendant Curtis says. “We’ve got a passenger back here that’s losing consciousness.”
You perk up, and trade alarmed glances.
“Who’s the patient?” Big Yo asks.
“Elderly female. We’ve got her on oxygen and are asking for any medical personnel on board.”
Big Yo looks to you.
“Whatcha wanna do, Boss?” Yo asks.
Buy on Amazon ebook