If you follow me on twitter, then you know I was recently on a business trip to the Cleveland area. Most of my trips are pretty uneventful, which is good. This one was a bit different though all ended well.
The trip started fine, except for the 6:00 am departure on Thursday. No problems with the layover/transfer in Chicago either before heading to Cleveland. Even got to Cleveland just fine. However, having dinner in the hotel (near the airport) about 5:30 things got interesting. Some sever weather descended on the area. It had been a nice calm day but the winds starting whipping and ominous clouds rolled in. I guess you would call it a severe thunderstorm. The hotel has a couple of patios with tables, chairs and umbrellas on them. Well, they did before the storm anyways! The storm tossed them about pretty good.
During the course of the next 30 minutes, the power went on and off in the hotel about 8 times. The airport lost power for almost an hour they said the next day as I was leaving. The worst part about the storm was that the power cycling fried their internet service. So, I was stuck in the hotel room all night without access to the net. Oh my!
The next day was fine, I conducted my business in the AM and went to the airport for my flight home. That’s where some more fun occurred. Our equipment arrived at the gate and they were preparing to board us when the co-pilot came in after inspecting the plane. It was kind of odd, but he was looking for the previous pilot (who he knew). Clearly he had found something with the plane but seemed odd that he wanted the previous pilot.
After finding him, they went back out and inspected the plan. Then they announced a delay for a maintenance issue. Of course, they didn’t tell us what it was but it was a bit odd a few minutes later to see the maintenance guys arrive 15 minutes later and climb atop the jet (a regional jet). One guy climbed onto the engine cowling and even crawled inside and was inspecting the fans and equipment. After 10 minutes he got up and with a towel wiped off the engine cowling. He did a quick inspection of the other engine and then disappeared. 10 minutes later they boarded us and we left.
Now, I still don’t know what they did or were looking for but I was wondering if the previous flight had ingested a bird or something. Wiping down the cowling seemed a bit odd as if there was something on it which is why they inspected the inside of the engine. Some folks weren’t too happy with seeing the engine inspected and then us going on our merry way without any words.
Me? Just glad to see the cockpit crew doing their pre-flights, noticing something odd and having it checked out. The delay put us about an hour behind schedule, but was no worries for me since I had a 3 hour layover in Chicago. I even got upgraded to first class for the final leg to Tucson. We were ready to leave on time for that flight too, but ended up having to wait 20 minutes at the gate for some International luggage to make its way through Customs to our plane.
So a bit more ‘exciting’ trip than normal, but all ended up well.