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Southern winds

Only pilots themselves truly understand how it is possible to be so passionate about their profession.


October 1, 2007
By Steve Leslie

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As I wrote in my previous column, since May I have been having an
exciting time flying on an Air Atlanta Icelandic contract for Southern
Winds of Argentina. The very day after my arrival in Buenos Aires, I
was rostered to operate a flight to Miami with a brand new First
Officer and a dead heading former Canada 3000 colleague. As this was my
first flight flying the Boeing 767-300, I had prepared myself as much
as possible beforehand, reviewing the differences between the -200 and
-300, the flight routing and the local area procedures. I also received
a rather terse briefing on the emergency depressurization escape routes
along the Andes – the route of flight from Buenos Aires to Miami passes
over mountainous areas where the minimum sector altitudes (MSA)
approach 26,200 feet. Despite my 21 years experience, I still felt a
little anxious flying a new route and being tasked to look after a new
First Officer.

The
two Air Atlanta 767-300s wet-leased to Southern Winds, TF-ARA and
TF-ARB, look exactly the same from the outside, but on the flight deck,
there are noticeable differences. TF-ARB is configured for use in
pounds. Consequently, all weight and balance, fuel computations and
performance calculations are based on the old imperial measures.
Additionally, -ARB comes equipped with an EGPWS (enhanced ground
proximity warning system). The EGPWS is an excellent tool that provides
the pilot with an overview of the surrounding terrain along the route
of flight. On the other hand, TF-ARA lacks EGPWS and uses the metric
system. It also comes equipped with a metric altimeter.

Unfortunately,
there are no plans to upgrade the Air Atlanta 767 fleet to a common
standard. Whether you are assigned to fly TFARA or TF-ARB, the
differences keep you on your toes. This is something an Air Atlanta
pilot must get used to. Fortunately for me, my first flight to Miami on
the -300 was with -ARB and the enhanced GPWS.