Sunday, March 27, 2011

Will be gone for a while...

Photo: Bruce Magnason

I'm here with Evan Elliott, Aircraft Collections Technician at the Seattle Museum of Flight Air Park across the street from the main Museum complex. Evan and his friends kindly rolled up a set of stairs to their 747, the City of Everett, and gave me an interior tour. I'd arranged for this a few weeks ahead of time when I first knew that I'd have this long SEA layover. So once again, thanks very much to Evan and his colleagues at the Museum for arranging this tour, as well as to John Wegg at AIRWAYS MAGAZINE.

This is the number one 747 that first flew on 9 February 1969 as we're joined in the cockpit by Bruce Magnason. This is far more than just a visual delight. The aroma in here speaks to "Old" airplanes and transports you back to an era of round dials, flight engineer panels and early jet engines. It's a fixed point in time, an undisturbed shrine to Bill Allen, Joe Sutter and others who accomplished the phenomenal feat of the Boeing 747.    

If you've not visited the Museum of Flight yet, you need to put it on your list of things to do, it's fabulous. The red building is referred to as the Red Barn, the original Boeing factory built in 1909. Everywhere you look here it's full of history, our history, aviation history. 

More on all this later, but I'll be away from my keyboard for five weeks... yes five weeks. So, as usual, thanks for following along and I'll see you in a month or so. To learn more about the museum, click on the link above or click over to Chris Sloan's site, go to the Museums tab and enjoy his photography. 


If you're enjoying a long downtown SEA layover it's easy to get here. Take the 124 bus with $2.25 exact change (each way) and 25 minutes later you'll arrive at the Museum on Marginal Way. The entrance fee is $16.00 but if you have a Triple-A card it's $14.00. I failed to, but take a moment and visit the Boeing Store nearby too.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Saipan roundtrip and an email from a new B-767-300ER captain.

I'd planned to introduce you to FO James Reeman in this posting but that will have to wait awhile as I've had a few problems attaching his photography to my blog. You're going to really enjoy it so stand by a while until I iron out a few problems.

In the meanwhile, join Greg and me as we flight plan, meet our crew and fly to Saipan and back to Narita.

We'd arrived in Asia a few days earlier via Delta 183, Seattle to Osaka in this B-767-300ER. Of course we had a relief pilot for this flight as it covered 4,617 nautical miles in ten hours 54 minutes. We carried a moderate load of 200 passengers with 7,200 pounds of freight and 143,500 pounds of fuel for a takeoff weight of just a little over 400,000 pounds.  After takeoff from SEA we travelled north to Anchorage. I love flying through this area along the Aleutian Island Chain past Cold Bay and Dutch Harbor. Northwest Airlines pioneered this region during WWII in DC-3's and DC-4's and created an impressive history under extremely harsh conditions. In other words, other airline pilots paved the way for me today.

From here we made a slight westerly turn to join the North Pacific tracks, go feet wet and traverse Russian and Chinese airspace. Ten and a half hours later and more than ready to land, we started our descent after passing Sendai, Tokyo and Nagoya. The Japanese eastern coastal region is spectacularly beautiful and my thoughts go out to the many Japanese friends that I've made over the years as I write this. They've endured massive destruction in the form of earthquakes and tsunami's with their usual uncomplaining attitude. I've traveled the world, met thousands of people and have never met kinder or gentler people. Let me give you a few examples below of just some of my friends. Please notice, they always have a smile on their faces.

A crew from Osaka to Narita

Meeting a JAL crew while standing in the customs line at Saipan.

One of our gate agents at Nagoya.

"Ah, Pecksohn, konnichi wa."

Here are four of the six ladies who run the Radisson laundry service for our pilots and flight attendants. Every time I show up they act as if I'm the most important person in the world and they couldn't wait to see me. It's a nice greeting when you're 4,000 miles from home!

Well, Greg's still a little worn out from our long flight from SEA to Osaka and curled up in one of the Lazy-Boy recliners in the crew lounge. Kids!

But the slave driver that I am, gets him up to draw our oceanic chart down to Saipan.

And finally out to the gate to meet our flight attendant crew as we await the arrival of our 757. Yup, more smiling people. It's nice to fly with someone who has a sweet tooth as he passes out chocolate macadamia nuts.

Here's our route from Narita to Saipan: RJAA, MANGO, OTR20, ADKAK, A337, TEGOD, G205, GUYES, DCT PGSN. A337 is the yellow line to the far right. This is a relatively quick flight of just three hours eight minutes to cover 1,342 nautical miles. We'll be out of VHF range so will communicate via HF with Tokyo and San Francisco Radios. This will be a long day though because this is a SPN turn. We'll have an hour and a half on the ground and then it's crank it up and fly back to NRT. About a 12 hour duty day with nearly eight hours of flying. The southern flight will be uneventful, but the return trip will be spent dodging thunderstorms that build along this route as the day passes. They won't be imbedded so navigating past them is fairly easy, except for the HF radio work to coordinate it all though.

Here's what it looks like on a more conventional National Geographic map. We're the black line to the right. From Narita we'll fly pretty much directly to Iwo Jima and follow the Bonin Trench which becomes the Mariana Trench to the Northern Mariana Islands. This area encompasses the deepest point of the worlds largest Ocean, which according to National Geographic is 36,200 feet.  

Approximately 200 miles north of Saipan, we've contacted Guam approach on VHF and received a clearance to descend, pilots discretion to 10,000 feet. In an attempt to stay high as long as possible and save fuel, we've built an intersection in our FMC to cross a point 30 miles north of Saipan at 10,000 feet and 250 knots. This will give us an economical, power off descent of 29,000 feet. We've added the 250 knots by habit, because if more than 12 miles offshore it's not necessary to slow to this restricted speed. But 30 miles at 250 will pass quickly enough so we'll keep it in and plan as usual. Besides, we're a little early so it's not necessary to come screaming in and then have to use the boards.

In the distance you can see the runway at Saipan, but do you see those parallel strips just over our nose? They're what remains of old "North Field" from where Enola Gay launched on 6 August 1945 with its nuclear load code named "Little Boy" en route to Hiroshima. Three days later Bockscar launched with her load "Fatman" for Nagasaki. The next day, 10 August 1945, Japan capitulated and WWII unofficially came to an end. Saipan and Tinian here are just two of the 14 islands that make up the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands that stretch some 300 miles.

Saipan, straight ahead. But what's that over in the far corner just beyond the airline ramp?

Greg and I have about 1:45 minutes on our hands so after completing our shutdown checklist, wolfing down lunch and preparing for our return trip to Narita, we abandon the cockpit in search of other aircraft.

And this is what we found. Andy, our station manager piled into his truck and drove us to the other side of the field where we found this. It's a Volga-Dnepr IL76TA, just one of a varied fleet designed for heavy lifting. 

This is a Russian based company, that I've seen all over the world that specializes in moving large, bulky, heavy objects. This aircraft normally has a crew of seven with a MTOW of 346,000 pounds and a range of 3,650 miles. I think that this is the smallest aircraft in their fleet. A rather ungainly looking flying machine, but it gets the job done I suppose.

Four tires per main truck for 16 tires on the main landing gear. Look forward and you'll see the nose wheel assembly with four tires. I'd love to see all these wheels retract!

Andy and Greg beneath the tail. Look closely... you'll see them.

Anyway, this is why the IL 76TA is here today in Saipan. This Shanghai Airlines B-767 blew the right engine shortly after takeoff and returned to land. A few days later a new engine was shipped in and maintenance was working on it when we arrived.

OK, we have to run and head back to our 757 to launch for Narita, but before we do, Andy gives us a quick tour including this WWII Japanese bunker. After the Marines secured the island on 7 July 1944, this airfield became known as Isley Field, home to the 73rd Bomb Wing, 21st Bomber Command of the 20th Air Force. Picture if you can 180 B-29's on this site. 

Thanks for following along on this quick Saipan turn, but before I shove off, let me leave you with an email I received regarding recent events in Japan. This is a first person account from a brand new 767 captain on his first Asian trip. He and his crew did a fantastic job... my hat's off to them.   

 PIREP Airline flight on approach to Tokyo during earthquake

Subject: Report from an airline pilot on approach to Tokyo during earthquake
 I'm currently still in one piece, writing from my room in the Narita crew hotel.
It's 8am. This is my inaugural trans-pacific trip as a brand new, recently
checked out, international 767 Captain and it has been interesting, to say the
least, so far. I've crossed the Atlantic three times so far so the ocean
crossing procedures were familiar.

By the way, stunning scenery flying over the Aleutian Islands . Everything was
going fine until 100 miles out from Tokyo and in the descent for arrival. The
first indication of any trouble was that Japan air traffic control started
putting everyone into holding patterns. At first we thought it was usual
congestion on arrival. Then we got a company data link message advising about
the earthquake, followed by another stating Narita airport was temporarily
closed for inspection and expected to open shortly (the company is always so

From our perspective things were obviously looking a little different. The
Japanese controller's anxiety level seemed quite high and he said expect
"indefinite" holding time. No one would commit to a time frame on that so I got
my copilot and relief pilot busy looking at divert stations and our fuel
situation, which, after an ocean crossing is typically low.

It wasn't long, maybe ten minutes, before the first pilots started requesting
diversions to other airports. Air Canada , American, United, etc. all reporting
minimal fuel situations. I still had enough fuel for 1.5 to 2.0 hours of
holding. Needless to say, the diverts started complicating the situation.

Japan air traffic control then announced Narita was closed indefinitely due to
damage. Planes immediately started requesting arrivals into Haneada, near Tokyo ,
a half dozen JAL and western planes got clearance in that direction but then ATC
announced Haenada had just closed. Uh oh! Now instead of just holding, we all
had to start looking at more distant alternatives like Osaka , or Nagoya .

One bad thing about a large airliner is that you can't just be-pop into any
little airport. We generally need lots of runway. With more planes piling in
from both east and west, all needing a place to land and several now fuel
critical ATC was getting over-whelmed. In the scramble, and without waiting for
my fuel to get critical, I got my flight a clearance to head for Nagoya , fuel
situation still okay. So far so good. A few minutes into heading that way, I was
"ordered" by ATC to reverse course. Nagoya was saturated with traffic and unable
to handle more planes (read- airport full). Ditto for Osaka .

With that statement, my situation went instantly from fuel okay, to fuel minimal
considering we might have to divert a much farther distance. Multiply my
situation by a dozen other aircraft all in the same boat, all making demands
requests and threats to ATC for clearances somewhere. Air Canada and then
someone else went to "emergency" fuel situation. Planes started to heading for
air force bases. The nearest to Tokyo was Yokoda AFB. I threw my hat in the ring
for that initially. The answer - Yokoda closed! no more space.

By now it was a three ring circus in the cockpit, my copilot on the radios, me
flying and making decisions and the relief copilot buried in the air charts
trying to figure out where to go that was within range while data link messages
were flying back and forth between us and company dispatch. I picked
Misawa AFB at the north end of Honshu island. We could get there with minimal
fuel remaining. ATC was happy to get rid of us so we cleared out of the
maelstrom of the Tokyo region. We heard ATC try to send planes toward Sendai , a
small regional airport on the coast which was later the one I think that got
flooded by a tsunami.

Dispatch then sent us a message asking if we could continue to Chitose
airport on the Island of Hokkaido , north of Honshu . Other company planes were
heading that way. More scrambling in the cockpit - check weather, check charts,
check fuel, okay. We could still make it and not be going into a fuel critical
situation ... if we had no other fuel delays. As we approached Misawa we got
clearance to continue to Chitose. Critical decision thought process. Let's see -
trying to help company - plane overflies perfectly good divert airport for one
farther away...wonder how that will look in the safety report, if anything goes

Suddenly ATC comes up and gives us a vector to a fix well short of Chitose and
tells us to standby for holding instructions. Nightmare realized. Situation
rapidly deteriorating. After initially holding near Tokyo , starting a divert to
Nagoya , reversing course back to Tokyo then to re-diverting north toward Misawa,
all that happy fuel reserve that I had was vaporizing fast. My subsequent
conversation, paraphrased of course...., went something like this:

"Sapparo Control - Airline XX requesting immediate clearance direct to Chitose,
minimum fuel, unable hold."

"Negative Ghost-Rider, the Pattern is full" <<< top gun quote <<<

"Sapparo Control - make that - Airline XX declaring emergency, low fuel,
proceeding direct Chitose"

"Roger XX, understood, you are cleared direct to Chitose, contact Chitose

Enough was enough, I had decided to preempt actually running critically low on
fuel while in another indefinite holding pattern, especially after bypassing
Misawa, and played my last ace...declaring an emergency. The problem with that
is now I have a bit of company paperwork to do but what the heck.

As it was - landed Chitose, safe, with at least 30 minutes of fuel remaining
before reaching a "true" fuel emergency situation. That's always a good feeling,
being safe. They taxied us off to some remote parking area where we shut down
and watched a half dozen or more other airplanes come streaming in. In the end,
Delta had two 747s, had two 767's and a 777 all on the ramp at Chitose.
We saw two American airlines planes, a United and two Air Canada as well. Not to
mention several extra Al Nippon and Japan Air Lines planes.

Post-script - 9 hours later, Japan air lines finally got around to getting a
boarding ladder to the plane where we were able to get off and clear customs. -
that however, is another interesting story.

By the way - while writing this - I have felt four additional tremors that shook
the hotel slightly - all in 45 minutes.

*    *    *    *

And for those who think that we just push buttons once in a while, maybe you'll think of "ghost-rider" (I love that reference) and his crew should that misguided thought ever pass through your brain again.  

Thanks for following along.... until later, Rand

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Just a few more of my fellow crewmembers.

- NEWS -
as of 03/11/11 @ 1330 EST

According to our Delta employee news, all flights inbound to Narita and Haneda have diverted safely. All 1,200 Japan based employees are safe and have been accounted for as well as all flight crews. Both Narita and Haneda have re opened for departures only. There was no mention of when company departures may start though. Thanks to those who have emailed to ask of my whereabouts. I'm safely home in New Hampshire, but leave for Frankfurt tomorrow. To learn more about what's going on with regard to the Japanese earthquake and Asian flight Operations, click on Terry Maxon's aviation blog.

Want to see a great video? It has nothing to do with flying... but everything to do with living.

I think that I've accurately explained why I enjoy airline flying, but click here to see why a younger airline pilot enjoys his job as well as I do. He see's it from a more youthful perspective.

But a quick note first if I could. CONGRATULATIONS  to Ricardo Carvalho from Brazil, a regular blog reader, who just obtained his private pilots license and plans to move forward to earn his commercial pilots license. Congratulations Ricardo.  

If you remember the old TV show The Naked City about NYC from the late sixties, you'll recall the opening scene when a narrator would say, "There are eight million story's here in the naked city, here's one of them," as the camera zoomed in and focused on a particular NY City resident. 

As you know, one of the reasons that I enjoy my job so much, is due to my fellow crew members. There are millions of airline employees out here... here are just two of them. 

Dean, whom you met in the previous posting, and I have flown frequently  with one another over the years. He's an expert, even though he cringes when I say that, but he is. Actually, more accurately I should refer to him as a scholar.  

We left our hotel, located near the Eiffel Tower and with the help of Dean's Metro Map, went in search of the nearest station. We all have our shortcomings and mine, without a doubt is trying to figure out how to purchase metro/train tickets. In France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and even the States, I'm flummoxed when I stand before an auto ticket dispenser. Fortunately, we've both visited Paris many times and had a good idea of where we were going.

We resurfaced at Saint Michel Square, in the Latin Quarter half way between the Louvre and Notre Dame on the Left Bank (Rive Gauche). Dean was in search of a French bookstore that he frequents to purchase specific books for friends of his. But before we hit the book store we need to eat.

We found a french bakery on a side street and indulged to our hearts desire. Did I need to  preface it as a french bakery? I suppose all bakeries in Paris are French. I should have taken a picture of their display counter though, as their food presentation skills are second to none. You may remember my bakery pictures from Dusseldorf and Frankfurt; I'm addicted to these places.

Dean chose this apricot "fat pill" while I chose a more reasonable french croissant (that I'm sure had no more than two sticks of butter) with strawberry jam. But wait... Deans not only ordering in French, he's holding a conversation in French with the baker! The two of them are bantering back and forth and having a grand old time. It turns out that Dean spent several years in Algiers working construction to earn money for his "flying habit" as he puts it and speaks the language fluently. 

We parked ourselves a short distance away on Saint Michels Square, on a beautiful day and watched the world go by. Saint Michels is the bohemian section, the site of many anti-war protests, the anti de Gaulle rally's of 1968 that nearly toppled his government and is filled with students who fancy themselves intellectuals. The Sorbonne is nearby too and the Seine River is but a few steps away. After visiting the major attractions that Paris has to offer, the narrow, winding streets surrounding Saint Michel are full of fascinating shops, history, architecture, restaurants and people that will drive your curiosity. 

Behind Dean is Notre Dame, (Our Lady of Paris) completed in 1345, but note the green vendor boxes too. On warm days, vendors hawk from these structures selling books, magazines, pamphlets postcards and an interesting variety of other items too. It's difficult to walk past some of the more interesting displays but we must, we're on a mission and time is growing short as we walk the Left Bank north, towards the Petite Palace.

Another museum, difficult to walk past is Musee d'orsay, The Temple of Impressionism, but I've visited here before with my family on vacation and during other layovers, so we press on. 

We've now reached our objective, L' Hotel des Invalides where construction started under Louis XIV, the Sun King in 1670.

Built as a hospital and rest home for France's war veterans, today it houses the nations military history museum (Musee de L'Armee) as well as Emperor Napoleon's Tomb (1769 - 1821). Many other notables are interned here as well such as Marshal Ferdinand Foch, Supreme Allied Commander during WWI. Others, such as General Jean Baptiste Kleber who served Napoleon during the Egyptian campaign, is buried in Strasbourg, but his heart lies here in a vault beneath the chapel. Apparently Jean Baptiste never visited San Francisco!

Dean, a 1975 VMI (Virginia Military Institute) graduate, inspects the artillery in the Cour d'Honneur, just one of 15 majestic courtyards in this sprawling complex. I went to Norwich and am more than casually interested in our surroundings as well. There are 60, bronze artillery pieces here that span 200 years of technology.

As we gaze up upon the Emperor, let me tell you a little about Dean. He's a WWII scholar and I don't use the term lightly. Like many I've read and been moved by Steven Ambrose's Band of Brothers, D-Day and Citizen Soldiers, but he's traveled well beyond that. His WWII library, that houses books written by combat veterans is awe inspiring. He's sought these men out, interviewed many and had them autograph their books. He's met and interviewed original members of Easy Company, 506th PIR, (Parachute Infantry Regiment,) 101st Airborne Division. I'm sure you know of Major Winters and Easy Company.

He's acquired and studied original "After Action Reports" concerning battles in the European, Pacific and North African theaters of operation, journeyed to these sites and walked the battlefields. In fact he's so learned that he conducts tours along the Beaches of Normandy, through the hedge rows and into St. Mere Eglise. This summer he'll conduct tours for the first time on Iwo Jima and around Mt. Suribachi. 

Operation Detachment, Battle of Iwo Jima, 2/19/45 - 3/26/45

I'm sure that you're familiar with Joe Rosenthal's 1945 Pulitzer prize winning photo of five Marines and one Navy Corpsman raising the US flag on Mt Suribachi during the battle of Iwo Jima. I've read Flyboys and Flags of our Fathers by James Bradley and have flown over the site en route from Saipan and Guam to Nagoya and Tokyo... but Dean has been there and walked on hallowed ground. 

Five hour flights from Honolulu to San Francisco and nine hour flights from Paris to Cincinnati pass in a flash as I'm enthralled and educated by Dean on the finer points of WWII history, Operations Overlord, Market Garden, Torch and Sea lion. He'll be embarrassed when he reads this, he's very modest, but the depth of his knowledge, his passion for history and those who lived it, fought through it and died during it is unparalleled. 

Do you know the term Band of Brothers? Dean asked me if  I knew from where it sprang and I was thrilled that I could answer him. It derived from William Shakespeare's St. Crispin's Day speech in Henry V.  

Here it is.

And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap while any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.

We're standing on the main esplanade of Invalides looking below to Napoleons Tomb. Constructed of red porphyry (slate) from Russia, Napoleon was laid to rest here in 1861.

Napoleons tomb with the Eglise Du Dome Chapel in the background. The architecture surrounding us is spectacularly ornate and involved. The chapel had been constructed years earlier so much excavation and thought needed to be applied to "fit" the Emperor in.

This museum is huge so we concentrated on Napoleon's Tomb and the WWII exhibition which took us many enjoyable hours to navigate. 

And just to let you know that I was there, here I am standing before Gustav Eiffel's masterpiece that stands 1,063 feet tall, built for the World Exposition of 1889. Interestingly, Eiffel designed the "internal frame" for our own Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France in 1886.

This was a very long but productive day as we spent more than eight hours on our feet  before returning to our hotel. A petit grocery store nearby supplied me with a ham and cheese baguette, an orange, a chocolate bar and a small bottle of red wine. It was a great day!

Holding short of runway 27R at CDG the following day behind an Air France A-330, as we prepare to journey back across the North Atlantic. Destination, North America.

We're operating today as Delta 43, back to CVG. Our flight time is 9:32 to cover 3,651 nautical miles. That strong tailwind that aided us eastbound yesterday is now a detriment westbound today.

We've just been cleared to "line up and wait behind this departing A-330" as I call for the final items. But before we take off, let me back up to when this crew boarded the airplane an hour and a half ago.

Robin came into the cockpit to say hello and per my usual operation, I had her pose in the FO's seat. Nice girl, enjoyed talking with her, she's Cincinnati based. But when I went back on my break a few hours later I had the chance to really get to know her and what I learned was extraordinary. She sends packages, cards, letters and those of others too to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

She also asks passengers via the PA if they'd like to add comments to her latest book that she passes around. Her overtures are very well received and passenger comments are wonderful. But I still didn't understand the depth of her commitment until she handed me the presentation below.

Open this up and read the inscription!

Now read the letter inserted on the left by Master Sergeant Marcus R. Dawson, USMC, First Marine Expeditionary Force.

I have to tell you and I wasn't embarrassed either, but it brought a tear to my eye. Her level of commitment to men that she doesn't know and will probably never meet was deeply moving. I've seen these "kids" in their desert camo at airports throughout the world, shipping out and returning home and I've experienced a few coffins loaded on board too. I won't even try to describe my emotions, but knowing that Robin is there to help is comforting. 

This is just one more example of how lucky I've been, to have been surrounded by fellow employees like Robin who have richly enhanced my last 30 years. Would you like to learn a little more about Robin? Click here to see just how committed she is. 

Thanks Robin, it was a pleasure to meet you!

And finally, on a little lighter note here are Dean and Erik, nine hours 32 minutes later back in CVG. (Erik is a former Navy C-130 pilot by the way) The reason that I've taken this photo is to show you our flight bags. This is the last day that we'll be carrying them, a throw back to pre-glass, round-dial cockpits, so you'll no longer see them in future photography.  Mine is in the middle. 

For years I carried a leather bag that saw service at Air New England, Orion, Republic and NWA until sadly, it just couldn't perform any longer. I switched then to my Dad's old leather bag that he'd used at Delta and Northeast Airlines before that, until the bottom fell out and it too was forced into retirement... a second time. This bag, of nylon construction, has performed satisfactorily, but I've never developed an emotional bond with it. My leather bags, scrapped and worn, battered and torn had personality and when brought home on rare occasions filled my office with the pleasant aroma of cockpits. You know, that odor of leather, oil, coffee and jet fuel. The same intoxicating scent I sensed in my Dad's office as a boy, dreaming of flying DC-6's and Vickers Viscounts along the Eastern Seaboard one day. I had no idea that the dream would carry me this far.

My original flight bag that went from ANE to NWA

Sarah, like those cartoons that ask, what's the difference between two "nearly" identical pictures... Can you see a subtle difference between Dean and Erik above? Give Sarah a couple of days and then anyone who see's it can feel free to jump in.

I have one more crewmember who I'd like to introduce, I know that you'll love his photography. But I'll save First Officer, aka LTC James Reeman until next time. As usual, thanks for following along.


Would you like to read about a more detailed Paris trip? Visit My Most Popular Posts just below the visitors locations map, drop down eight postings and join Dave and me in the City of Light for another day in Paris.