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VIR 19 KSFO 7/12/06

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I had an interesting experience today. I know many of you are very familiar with the fine DVD production on the EGLL KSFO Virgin 19 flight.Well I live in the SF Bay area. Today I decided to take a long hike up one of the many high hilltops we have in the area. I decided to bring along my scanner as I sometimes do, to see what I can pickup.Well not long after I had started my way down from the top of my climb. I came accross a call from todays VIR 19 flight descending out of 24000, If I recall the altitude correctly. Being familar with the air frequencies in the area, and following both the First Officers calls and controllers as well, I was able to clearly follow the flight down through 5 frequencies and the ground controller through to the gate. It was quite interesting to hear, They followed the same approach as is seen on the DVD.NOw the most interesting thing was the fact that to me atleast it sounded like it was the same first officer on the comm as is seen on the DVD. I could be wrong but I heard him many times clearly and his voice is distinct. It was quite reminiscant of the DVD.Anyway thats something I thought I would pass on to anyone who might find it interesting.ThanksMike

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Jon B could confirm this but Allan Rattigan is still an F/O for Virgin so it's possible. I flew a Virgin service early last year and he was one of the crew. I had hoped to introduce myself but by the time I got off at the other end it slipped my mind.


Mark Adeane - NZWN
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Oh I wanted to add for you bay area types or others, the frequencies125.85133.95135.65120.5121.8

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Sounds like deja' vu all over again...


Dan Downs KCRP

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As opposed to Deja vu for the very first time? :-)


Mark Adeane - NZWN
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Mike,Ha thats incredible !I`ve just checked that master roster for July and can confirm it was indeed Alan Rattigan flying on the VS 19 on the 12th !! Well spotted!If he was on the radio on the way out it means the captain was flying, so on the way back the other first officer will be flying and Alan will be putting his feet up as the relief pilot.cheers Jon

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Well chalk one up for the small things in life LOL

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Impressive listening Mike. That would be so exciting to hear.


Mike Roth

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Sidebar here:How does the PF / PNF thing work when you have three crew members and only 2 sectors? Why is it in this situation that Alan R would not get a chance to be PF, is it a seniority thing or just a rotation? So the next time Alan is on a flight he will get a sector?Cowpatz could confirm this but I *understand* that ANZ has a second officer as a relief pilot and they are only involved in the handling of the aircraft in the cruise. I might have this wrong though.


Mark Adeane - NZWN
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The crew composition varies and is of course dependant on flight time and the nature of the tour of duty as there are other restrictions beside sector flight time. For example on AKL/LAX/AKL flights we carry 3 pilots but can be 4 if the rest in LA is only 1 night. The composition is usually 1 Capt 1 F/O and 1 or 2 S/O's. Senior ranks can fill in for junior ranks if required. For example the last London trip I did we had 2 Capts plus myself. Bit of a shortage of S/O's at the moment. S/O's can only occupy a front seat when above transition altitude. On a 2 sector flight the Capt will fly one leg and the F/O the other. If there is an odd number of legs (and greater than 2)on the tour of duty the Capt may do an autoland in addition to a manual landing. Generally he will ask if any member of the crew wants to fly a specific leg. In our airline we do true command practice which means the F/O leads the flight planning and makes all the decisions the captain makes. Of course the Captain can always overide the F/O at any time.This system works very well and does make the job much more satisfying as well as turning out "almost trained" Captains when the promotion arrives.CheersSteve


Cheers

Steve Hall

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Guest neeraj.pendse

I fly in the bay area a lot, and it is always nice to hear heavies from other countries coming in. I listen for their accents ... somewhat entertaining to me. Singapore 1/2, Cathay 872/873 and Lufthansa are my favorite. That 120.5 (San Francisco Tower) can be funny sometimes. Once I wanted a Class-B transition, and he just would not let me in! Normally they say they are busy but this time they just did not answer my call, period. I really do not know what was up with that. Most other times though I have found no trouble. Keeping up with Norcal Approach on a busy day is totally another story though ... can drain you in just an hour!Enjoy bay area flying! And yeah, nice catch!Later,- Neeraj.

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Interesting Steve, thanks.So are you saying that the F/O's at your company are essentially 'mentored' by the Captain in terms of overall handling of the flight planning and operational considerations. Or is that over-simplifying it? It seems (to my layman ears!) that such a culture would lead to the captains getting a bit bored for want of responsibility! It just seems that - on paper at least - the F/O's get 'all the fun', but I say that out of ignorance!


Mark Adeane - NZWN
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