12.02.2007

The weather outside is frightful

and working with it is a nightmare.

The "weather event" that the Midwest went through yesterday caused a lot of problems for a number of states, and two airplanes slid off of a runway and a taxiway. Thank goodness no one was hurt in those mishaps.

From an operational standpoint, trying to keep an airline functioning in that type of weather environment is next to impossible. For example, we were trying to get a couple of airplanes out of Chicago O'Hare (ORD) for hours. We were completely at Mother Nature's mercy and she wasn't inclined to be merciful. (Maybe she was hormonal?) At any rate, for a long time ORD was reporting moderate freezing rain at the airport. We can't take off in moderate freezing rain. If it's reported light, then yes, we can take off. But that's only if we meet our "holdover" times for the anti-ice protection that the airplanes are doused in before they leave the gate. If we can't get in the air before the time limit on that protection expires we have to go back to the gate to get squirted down again. And then wait in line to take off again. Notice the never ending cycle? A day like yesterday cripples an airline and the only way to recover from it is to stay away from the cities that are causing problems and this equates to cancellations. We canceled a total of 28 flights yesterday. Had it been a weekday we would have canceled far more (we have a reduced schedule on Saturdays).

I have to go back in to work again today.
More icy fun is on the horizon.
Please send warm thoughts.

2 comments:

Patty O said...

I got a snow day today because of the storm! You know you've got a great job when you get snow days off.

Catty Ax Lady said...

But...but...but...I LOVE snow! How am I supposed to deal with these mixed emotions...my want for snow, but your (and Pat's) need for it to just not happen? Pat has to work today, but tomorrow and Friday he's off. You're off today and tomorrow, but work on Friday. So you're telling me I get one day? One day a week to wish for the worst weather possible, and then it all has to be gone by Friday? Sheesh!