Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving.

I've spent many Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday's aloft in a variety of airplanes over the years, but thanks to seniority I get to spend them at home with my family now. That's about to change however with my latest aircraft bid, but what the heck. 

Both NWA and DAL have been very good about supplying turkey dinners to working crews.

And so have layover hotels who feel the plight of junior crews away during holidays. Thank-you, it's much appreciated.

So to all my friends out flying and to those who take the time to read my blog, thanks very much and Happy Thanksgiving. 


Monday, November 22, 2010

The (fabricated) news that's fit to print according to the LA Times.

It's been a while since I've written a post and I'll get a new one up shortly, but I'm compelled to address this news account by the Los Angeles Times. Here's the headline.


Somewhere over America in a pilotless jet airplane!


I don't know how you read this, but I had visions (see above) of a pilot at 35,000 feet, sweat poring from his brow, feverishly beating on the cockpit door trying to regain entry as his B-767 sped through the atmosphere at mach 80, mothers with young children crying and praying for help. How could this have happened I wondered? Well, rest assured... it didn't.

OK, I really didn't think that, but I'm certain that many, unaccustomed to air travel, had  visions of a drone commercial jet floating through their mind. And it's exactly what the writer intended when he wrote it and the editor hoped for when he approved this misleading caption. But after you read the article you eventually learn... Oh, they were on the ground, at the gate at LAX and the flight was delayed. Here, you can read it for yourself.

I don't mean to minimize the situation; an unspecified number of paying passengers, people whom I depend upon for my livelihood were regrettably inconvenienced, as well as others downline whose transportation was linked with this aircraft or crew. From my viewpoint though, the reader has been mislead purposefully in an attempt to sell newspapers. This is journalistic sensationalism at its best and the news media wonders why readership is down and trust in their product is low. 

Headlines that once only appeared in the ENQUIRER are surfacing in mainline publications like the LA Times these days. I'd hardly consider them a news source after reading drivel like this. 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Returning to Asia

Let me address a point made earlier by Mark Lawrence.
Mark asked about the farmers home located smack dab in the middle of Narita Airport.

Here it is.

Mark, here's the photo to which you referred. This is the farmers home who absolutely, unequivocally, with out hesitation, refused to move as eminent domain forced others out. The story goes that the emperor gave either him or his family this land and he wasn't leaving and that's that! So they constructed NRT around him and cordoned him off. His home is located between taxiway Charlie and the JAL maintenance hangar. The main terminals are located to my back in this picture. To the left you can see the guard tower, manned 24 hours per day to keep an eye on this fellow. But here's the interesting or clever aspect of this situation. Do you see the little tower that rises from the roof of the building? It's a clock tower that faces directly at the guard tower. The guard is forced to observe a clock all day long and time drags when you constantly check the time. I'd like to meet this clever farmer, although I've never seen any activity around this property.

Here's a different angle that better depicts the guard and the clock tower as a JAL 747 taxi's past in the background.

And finally, here's an aerial view of the compound that really shows the position of the farmers home with regard to aircraft activity. He's situated between two major taxiways with the main terminals and the JAL maintenance hangars nearby. Mark... you and your son would never have to leave home again to take an aircraft shot if you lived here!

Before I get into my new post, let me send my congratulations to Justin Schlechter, who just had his first story, HOMECOMING, published in the December 2010 issue of AIRWAYS MAGAZINE. Justin is a 747-400 copilot; to learn more about him and his world-wide adventures, visit his blog at POSITIVE RATE. Congratulations Justin, you'll enjoy a wonderful relationship with the Weggs and everyone at AIRWAYS.

OK, after a fantastic Paris layover with Dave and Thad it's back to Asia again with layovers in Beijing, Narita and Guam before returning to SEA and commuting home. 

Bill, to the right, and I had flown into SFO the afternoon before in a 757 and enjoyed a downtown layover where I indulged in another fine Italian dinner at my favorite San Francisco Italian restaurant on Polk Street. As good as it is though, no one beats my wife's Italian cooking. Bill and I met John here at the International terminal at SFO the next day to plot our course to Narita. We flew the Pacific on a random track south of Anchorage as Bill reads the coordinates and John plots them on our Pacific Orientation Chart. I'd flown the Quiet Bridge arrival the day before, so this would be Bill's leg uploading the route, leaving me to check and confirm the waypoints.

The Final Product

And this is how our orientation chart looks after completion. It's a little hard to see, but we leave SFO and fly north up the coast towards Seattle before turning out to sea over the North Pacific. We'll pass well south of Anchorage and turn more westerly near the end of the Aleutian Island Chain. You can see the fixed tracks above ours at this point.  We'll fly south Sea of Okhotsk and skirt the Russian coast before entering Japanese airspace. 

This route, chosen by our dispatcher, will keep us away from the strongest winds aloft and avoid several areas of scattered thunderstorms and turbulence. Our total flight time is predicted to be 10:52, ten hours fifty-two minutes to cover 4,573 nautical miles.  Today's fuel load equals 144,700 pounds or roughly 21,600 gallons of gas... Jet-A to be specific.

As I'd mentioned earlier, this is Bill's leg so I'll go out and do the walk around inspection. This is a Boeing 767-332ER that since the merger hasn't seen the paint shop yet. I've always liked Delta's old red/blue widget tail; it was distinctive and easily recognizable in the marketplace and I could never figure out why they went to this wavy colored tail design. I suspect that it was change for the sake of change and didn't serve the corporation well. 

On the other hand, Northwest created it's image (not necessarily always good) in 1948 with the "Red Tail" and maintained it until the merger with DAL on 2009. I've heard stories from  business travelers arriving at Asian airports after being away from home for months, seeing the NWA red tail and feeling like they were home. It may sound corny but it's true and this is an excellent example of a marketing department creating a recognizable image.

Frankly, I'd like to see DAL return to its roots and resurrect the original widget and it's previous red/blue pilot wings; distinctive, marketable and recognizable images. At NWA we enjoyed the industry's most unusual pilots wings in the form of our "US Airmail" wings designed in 1929. I've written about them many times so won't bother to go into it again except to say that they set us apart. 

Here's a little more information about our airplane that we'll fly today.

I've returned to the cockpit where Bill and John have finished most of their preflight assignments. In Bill's case, he activated the flight computers, fixed the aircrafts current position at the gate via the GPS and uploaded our flight plan, winds aloft and descent winds. John checked the aircraft logbook, checked the potable water level, waste tanks and is available to do anything else that crops up. After I get into my seat I'll preflight several panels, discuss the logbook with John and review the route uploaded into the computer and call for the Preflight checklist as passengers board and flight attendants make them comfortable. 

I've also met with our Purser to discuss our route, weather, ETA and aircraft cabin systems. I always finish my brief with, "If it's important to you, it's important to me," which is my way of letting the purser know that I value their input. Let's face it, I'm very much removed from what goes on back here and will make decisions based on the flight attendants judgement.  

We've pushed back from gate 10 at the International Terminal at SFO, have completed the before start checklist and have been cleared to start the engines. That's the first officers job now as I communicate with the tug driver, set the brakes and monitor the start. 

Bill's completed both starts, we've been waved off, completed a before taxi checklist and I asked Bill to obtain a taxi clearance. This also signals him to extend the flaps to the five degree position. We've just been cleared to taxi to spot seven behind this Virgin America A-320. Believe it or not, but this is my first time leaving from the International Terminal at SFO as my previous Honolulu experience departed from the domestic terminal.

We're north of SEA and Vancouver headed towards Anchorage when United passed us by.

Nearly eleven hours later we broke out of a high overcast to land on runway 34R at Narita

Now we're at that hold point called "the north hold point" if I remember correctly as a DAL A-330 lands on 34R. As we taxied to the gate we saw five.... yes five company aircraft land so we need to scoot right along so we don't get stuck in the back of the customs line. 

We're looking for gate 14 just around the corner past this 747. The great part about arriving at NRT is that the hotel will have several busses waiting in the pickup area for us. No waiting! This is only a nine day trip so Bill and I will spend six days in Asia flying to Guam and Beijing before flying flight 174 to SEA. That flight will cover 4,822 nautical miles in ten hours 52 minutes. 

Once again, thanks for reading.


Friday, October 8, 2010

Photos from Chris Sloan

I'm working on posting pictures from my latest Asian trip. In the meanwhile here are a couple of galleries from Chris Sloan that I'm sure you'll enjoy.

This is a gallery of shots that Chris took from a recent visit to SEA and the Boeing Museum of Flight.

The 787 (Dreamliner) recently visited Ft. Lauderdale and Chris ventured over with his camera to create this  Gallery

Want to learn more about Chris Sloan? Visit his fantastic site at AIRCHIVE.COM

Just in case you're unfamiliar with Boeing Field and the Museum of Flight, here's an aerial shot taken while landing at SEA, just at the top of the photo. You pass directly over Boeing Field when landing to the south at SEA. The museum (glass enclosure) is located on the right side, near the departure end of runway 13R

Monday, September 27, 2010

The City of Light

This is a fairly long post but if you have the time, buckle up and join Dave and me as we fly a five day trip with layovers in Philadelphia, Paris and Salt Lake City before returning to Detroit to commute home. The first day was fairly long as we departed DTW for ATL before arriving late at night at PHL in a B-757. I hadn't been to either ATL or PHL since my 727 days and looked forward to a Philly Cheese Steak near Independence Hall.

The next morning Dave and I met in the lobby and walked over to visit the Liberty Bell with Independence Hall in the background. The Liberty Bell, probably the second most iconic symbol of American freedom behind New York's Statue of Liberty, was cast in London in 1752, migrating to Philadelphia shortly thereafter. It weighs 2,080 pounds and first hung in the Philadelphia Statehouse, now called Independence Hall behind us here. It rang loudly on 8 July 1776 as the newly drafted Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, was read for the first time to the citizens of Philadelphia where we stand. The bell has tolled commemorating the deaths of Washington, Franklin, Madison, Adams, Jefferson and other notable founders of our Republic. When the British occupied Philadelphia in 1777, citizens removed her from the bell tower and hid the bell so British troops wouldn't melt it down for shot and cannon. Removed from her perch in 1852, the Liberty Bell spent the next 63 years traveling the U.S. visiting Boston, New York, Atlanta, San Francisco and other cities to mark significant events.

Independence Hall, behind us, was built over a period of time spanning from 1732 until 1756 and was home to the Second Continental Congress. Congress at that time enjoyed a favorable rating of greater than today's 111th. congress of 19%. George Washington received his appointment as Commander in Chief here in 1775, the Declaration of Independence was adopted from this building in 1776 and our Constitution (a document many of our present day politicians seem to know little about) was drafted here in 1787. Our framework was developed here, our constitutional history begins here and men of integrity toiled here to form our great Republic.

Later in the afternoon Dave and I arrived at PHL, met Scott (in the right seat) pushed back and we were underway to Paris in a 757. Our takeoff weight is 231,000 pounds with 61,600 pounds of fuel and two arrival alternates; Paris Orly and Brussels, Belgium.


We'd depart on 27L on the far side of the field. Ground Control made it easy for us, "follow the USAirways Airbus." We can do that.


Air France Concorde F-BVFF on permanent display at CDG north of the terminal buildings. A few facts: First flight, 12/26/78. Last flight 6/14/00. Total hours, 12,421. She's displayed in a takeoff configuration pointed towards JFK.

After takeoff we flew over JFK, Long Island and Boston before reaching KOBEV our oceanic entry point northwest of Halifax and joining the X-Ray track. So far we'd flown very close to the route followed by Charles Lindbergh in 1927. After an uneventful six and a half hour flight that covered 3,289 miles across the North Atlantic, we've landed at Charles DeGaulle (CDG) and during our taxi in see this Concorde landing on... oh, it's not landing it's on stanchions. It's on static display as we contact south ground on 121.8. Not knowing of this display, I was pleasantly surprised as I approached it from the north... reaching for my camera.

From the north runways, it's a very long taxi to terminal two and the signage here at CDG is minimal. All three of us had our taxi charts out and followed along as we navigated our way to the hardstand. One nice feature though about the hardstand, the bus picks us up at the airplane and takes us directly to the hotel avoiding the terminal buildings. The ride downtown takes approximately 50 minutes, but we're in France and the sightseeing is great.

The crew followed its usual pattern of behavior as we dispersed for our customary four hour nap before reuniting downstairs for a day in Paris. Many don't understand the four hour nap, let me explain. By the time we arrive at a European city between 0900 to 1100 we've been up nearly 24 hours and are fairly tired. If we slept a full eight hours we'd lose the day and then be unable to sleep that night and be rested for the return trip. After fours hours of sleep, you DRAG yourself out of bed and force yourself to enjoy the local flavor. It's hard, but the alternative of tossing and turning all night during normal sleeping hours is worse. Besides, you're in Paris, or Rome, or London, or Frankfurt and there's too much to miss. Anyway, Dave and I are off for a day of exploration in one of the worlds most beautiful cities.

It's a short walk from our hotel to the Eiffel Tower. What a sight! Ready for a few facts?

Designed by Gustave Eiffel and built for the 1889 Worlds Fair, marking the centennial celebration of the French Revolution, this is the tallest structure in Paris at 1,063 feet and the worlds most visited "paid" monument. Criticised in its day by citizens and artists as an ugly metal eye-sore, today it's Paris' most iconic structure. 

An eye-sore, what were they thinking? 

It was built however with a 20 year permit, with the understanding that it would be dismantled eventually. It's still here and I suspect not going anywhere soon. As Allied Armies approached Paris in 1944, Hitler ordered the destruction of the tower and a general burning of the city. Fortunately his orders were disregarded as German forces fled Paris, retreating behind the Rhine River.

From the Eiffel Tower, Dave and I walked towards the Champs Elysees crossing the Seine River at Pont de Invalides. The river traffic with tour boats is heavy and on one of these trips I plan to indulge and see the city from this perspective. Here we're standing at Place Charles DeGaulle in front of the Arc de Triomphe where the Champ Elysees and the Avenue of the Grand Armee meet. For a fee you can purchase tickets and visit the military museum inside the arc and step outside onto the roof for a spectacular vista of the city. It's well worth the cost and is a great way to orient yourself with all the city's landmarks.

Just a note, I took a million pictures but have limited myself here for brevity.

We're standing beneath the arch now looking down the Champs Elysees. Let me tell you a little about this monument. Built in 1833, but commissioned in 1806 by Emperor Napoleon to celebrate his victory at Austerlitz, it as well commemorates soldiers who'd fought in the Napoleonic wars. It stands 162 feet high and shelters the tomb of the unknown soldier from WWI. In this picture you're looking at the eternal flame for that grave. It's a magnificent structure and has seen many victorious armies march through it. On 29 August 1944 the US Army's 28th Infantry and 2nd Armored Divisions led the parade by the Arch down the Champs Elysees celebrating Paris' liberation from German control as WWII entered its final days. And as a point of interest to pilots, Charles Godefroy flew his biplane THROUGH the arch in 1919, a feat that was captured on newsreel. Some 25 million tourists visit the arch annually.

We've left the arch and have started our trek down the Champs Elysees towards Place de la Concorde and the Louvre. Avenue de Champs-Elysees, also known as La plus belle avenue de monde (the most beautiful avenue in the world) is 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) long and commands some of the highest rents in the world. Lined with chestnut trees, gardens, parks, historical monuments, restaurants and outdoor cafes, this is the ultimate "strolling and watching the world go by" promenades that I've yet visited.

I knew when we sat down that this would cost me dearly, but I wanted Dave to experience a refreshment at an outdoor cafe along the Champs Elysees and its associated ambiance. No ones in a rush here as citizens and tourists enjoy conversation as the "floor show" parades past. I used to think that you haven't lived until you've been upside down in an open cockpit biplane. As I age however, I realize that you haven't lived until you've spent a summer afternoon on the Champs Elysees watching the world go by. The history that's unfolded on this broad boulevard and surrounding environs is impressive. So was the bill for two beers.... 35 euro! 

We're still on the Boulevard with the Grand Palais to our back. Built in 1897 for the Universal Exposition of 1900, this glass enclosed national museum is spectacularly beautiful. The Petit Palace directly across the street and Pont Alexander that crosses the Seine nearby were all constructed at the same time. Talk about urban planning! The statue of General  de Gaulle, erected here in 2000, is called The Lonely Walk, referring to a walk the General took through the city on 22 August 1944, unarmed to prove to the citizens that WWII was over. 

de Gaulle, 1890-1970, much like his WWII counterparts Roosevelt and Churchill was a fascinating man, an ardent nationalist who was in the right place at the right time. Interestingly, when he retired as French president he accepted only the pension of an army colonel and refused that of a general and president that he was due, even though he was nearly broke. Would any modern-day politician ever think of such a thing?

Dave is resting here in one of the most beautiful spots in Paris, the Tuileries Garden, located between Place de la Concorde and the Louvre. Catherine de Medicis commissioned its construction in 1564 when she moved from her palace near the Bastille to this location along the Seine River. Of Italian Renaissance design, it was 500 meters by 300 meters and is considerably larger today. Filled with fountains, pools, statues, trees, shrubs and flowers, Catherine's garden became public after the French Revolution in 1799 and is where Parisians go to enjoy the outdoors. It's delightful, but I've got to get Dave going because we're loosing light and there's more to see.

The Louvre... what more is there to say?
I'm sure I'll think of something!

"Musee de Louvre" housed in the Louvre Palace and opened in 1793 is the most visited art museum in the world. It's most famous exhibition of course is Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. The building, constructed late in the 12th century, as you can see here is grand and started life as a fortress. Later when Louis XIV moved to Versailles in 1682 it housed artists and became a public museum at the end of the French Revolution when Louis XVI was executed. He fell from favor and heads rolled! More than 380,00 objects are on display here in eight curatorial departments. Our time was limited, we saw fewer than five of them!

The Louvre Pyramid

Opened in 1989, the pyramid solved problems concerning huge crowds entering the facility and leads to an underground lobby or reception area. Designed by noted architect I.M. Pei who created The John Hancock Tower in Boston, The Baltimore World Trade Center and Bank of America Tower in Miami among many of his projects, was not without controversy. Detractors condemned its futuristic facade as ugly and incongruent with the Palace but it has survived to become a Paris icon... rather like the Eiffel Tower I suspect.

Another, more pertinent controversy of epic proportions raged in 2009 though.

 Sacre Blue... MacDonald's opened! 

Louvre aficionados were prepared for a new French Revolution when Starbucks opened, I can only imagine their ire when McCafe debuted. 

Here's a view of the pyramid from down in the lobby area looking up. It's spectacular! How many panes of glass are there?

We've reemerged from the Louvre and are heading to the Seine River to find Notre Dame Cathedral. But before we leave the museum grounds this picture will do much to describe our walk from the Arc de Triomphe.

Our back is to the Louvre and we're looking through the Petit Arc de Triomphe, over the Tulleries Garden, past the Obelisk at the Place de la Concorde up the Champs Elysees and finally the Arc de Triomphe de lEtoile. 

Do you see the Obelisk through the arch? That's Place de la Concorde and the obelisk is called Cleopatra's Needle. Weighing in at 230 tons, this granite structure, covered with hieroglyphics was a gift from Egypt and installed here in 1836. In 1792 another monument stood here, The Guillotine! The area was known then as Place de la Revolution during the French Revolution and some 1,100 heads were lopped off, including those of King Louis XIV, Marie-Antionette of "let them eat cake" fame and Robespierre. 

We've finally reached Notre Dame... you know, where Quasimodo lived and rescued Esmerelda from the executioner, right here on this very square. 

Construction started here in 1163 and was completed in 1345 and the cathedral has seen several restorations since. Notre Dame is located on Ile de la Citi (an island) in the Seine River that separates the famous left and right banks. This picture barely scratches the surface of the visual delight that this edifice offers. We were loosing light, but a walk down the Seine to see her flanks reveals huge flying buttresses, gargoyles and magnificent stained glass windows.

Quasimodo and Esmerelda, depriving the executioner of another head.
From Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

Dave and I are entering the Latin Quarter to seek out a restaurant that he enjoyed on a previous layover. Dinner here in Paris is a thing to enjoy, slowly, with conversation and wine. 

After dinner I splurged and for 10 euros we took a taxi back to our hotel near the Eiffel Tower. In fact here it is at 11:00 pm (2300) as the flickering lights go on. On the hour from 2100 to 0100, for five minutes, these flashing or flickering lights illuminate the tower. It's quite a sight. Watch this You Tube video to see what I mean. 

The next morning we met our new crew in the hotel lobby and shoved off for the airport to fly DAL 171 from CDG to SLC. (Salt Lake City). We're holding short of runway 27L behind Qatar Airways, but before we go a few words about Paris. My photography doesn't even begin to do it justice and for the sake of brevity displayed only a few. This is a beautiful, historically significant city that one could spend years exploring. 

And those stories you've heard about French rudeness... I've never experienced it. I do however make an attempt to learn how to say "please," "thank-you," "hello" and "good-bye" in the language of the country I'm visiting. I'm not unique in this, most crew members seem to do the same and it goes a long way towards a pleasant experience. I've been here many times, hope to layover many more and have enjoyed each visit.

OK Dave, tell them were ready for takeoff!

Dave got a 747 FO position on the last entitlement bid.

We're airborne and Dave enjoys lunch as we've passed our oceanic entry point of CYMON on the Charlie track west bound for North America. Would you like a few facts about flight 171? No... sorry, you'll get them anyway!

We're flying a B-767-300ER, ship 1605, N1605 with 221 passenger seats built in May 1999. Our takeoff weight today is 382,710 pounds with 139,000 pounds of fuel. We'll cruise at 32,000 feet for 11 hours and 16 minutes over a distance of 4,722 nautical miles. Our actual flight time, due to stronger winds aloft than forecast and the long Paris taxi turned out to be 11:46. Rain showers were forecast for our arrival so Hill AFB is our destination alternate.  

I'd planned to get out and visit Temple Square while in SLC. I'd been here once before, years ago while on a 727 layover and the architecture is quite spectacular, but the nearly 12 hour flight the day before restricted my energy level to dinner in the hotel with Dave and Thad and then off to bed. ZZZZ......

Anyway, the next day, this is what a mechanical problem looks like at ramp level. You'll notice that not only are the cowls open, but the leading edges are extended too. We had a hydraulic leak that line maintenance was unable to solve, but everyone reacted quickly, found us another 757 and though we departed a little late, we arrived in DTW right on time.

Taxiing out past the Delta hanger towards runway 16L at SLC.

We're off and this is what the Great Salt Lake looks like as we depart on the LEETZ TWO (RNAV) departure and climb to altitude.

After a short 3:10 flight, that felt like a hop, skip and a jump after yesterday, we've arrived back in DTW and taxi past a pair of 747-400's as we make our way to the gate. 

And finally back on J9 as we make our way to A8. This is how it appears these day's, not one red tail in sight any longer. As usual,thanks very much for following along, I hope that you enjoyed the quick Paris tour. It's off to the other side of the world in a few days with layovers in San Francisco, Narita, Guam and Beijing. 

Once again, thanks for your comments and sharing your enthusiasm with my latest bid award, hopefully I'll be able to document the training.


Friday, September 24, 2010

A new advanced entitlement bid just closed.

An advance entitlement bid closed a few days ago and the results were posted just a few hours ago....

and this is what I got.

Needless to say, I'm thrilled and can't wait to start school.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Off to Paris tomorrow with Dave...


Sorry that it's taking so long to get my Paris pics up but I've got this little building project that's taking up some of my time. Hopefully by Monday or Tuesday they'll be posted.  Thanks!

Dave and I enjoyed a great late summer day in Paris the day before yesterday as we walked the city with thousands of others enjoying the parks, museums and wide, historic boulevards. After an 11 hour 46 minute flight to Salt Lake City yesterday, we leave for Detroit today and finish this five day trip. Another great trip with outstanding crews, great restaurants and an historic city to explore. I'll post Paris pictures soon as we scoured the city in search of Jean Valjean and Cosette. 

I leave on a five day Paris trip tomorrow with Dave, shown here in a 767 on a recent FRA trip. I'll pass through ATL for the first time as a Delta pilot; I haven't been to there since my 727 days, I suppose I should bring my hat! As soon as I get home I'll work on a new post, until then, thanks very much for reading.

It's Dave's leg back to DTW. When it's the FO's leg I always go out and do the walk around. They think I'm being a nice guy... I have an ulterior motive though, it gives me an opportunity to take pictures!

Airborne approaching PIKIL our oceanic entry point. We'll be there at 1150Z with 83,400 pounds of fuel. We're exactly on fuel burn but running one minute early according to our flight plan. If we gain another minute, we'll need to notify ATC of a possible early arrival. There's much west bound, North American traffic that needs to be coordinated over this and other entry points. We gave them our PIKIL estimate 45 minutes ago, they're planning on that so may slow us down to keep us on estimate. 

Our paperwork for our westbound crossing.

I needed a good "through the windscreen" shot for this post but didn't have one, so borrowed one from another trip. Any ideas as to where we might be?

Part of our crew in FRA.

Thanks for reading