A good handful of runs today, with some high traffic in between.
At first though, my Planner and I, scheduled for a Langen Arrival run, are sent back to bed because the system at our position is not working properly. I use that time to try and teach my computer to make me coffee, but for some strange reason, it doesn’t work.
[chester@Lucifer]:~$ make coffee
make: *** No rule to make target `coffee’. Stop.
Obviously, it doesn’t know the recipe. Oh well, can’t have everything.
After that, we start a two hour Donau Low run. My Planner and I are hovering on the verge of falling behind for the first five minutes or so, which are already full of complex traffic – compared to the usual “start slow and build from there” scheme former runs followed. With a good team effort though, we manage to get back ahead of the situation and the rest of the two hours pass by smoothly.
After the lunch break, two one-hour runs on Wuerzburg-Low, one as Planner and one as Executive. We have delegated the north-western corner of our airspace to a new sector which is busy keeping our Langen inbounds in a hold.
I get to an excellent start as Executive in the second run, for about 40 minutes everything seems to work perfectly – and then I get bored.
The end result is that for the next fifteen minutes, nothing seems to work. I miraculously manage to keep the traffic apart from each other, meaning it is (somewhat) safe, but it is certainly not nice. For some reason, the picture simply eludes me, pre-planning is pretty much down the drain and adjacent sectors start to wonder why they are not getting airplanes sent to their frequency in time.
However, probably due to the perfect first forty minutes, I still get a good to excellent rating on this run from the coach.
Lesson learned today – it is never ever boring (it probably was during a few runs at earlier stages of training, but those are long gone). If you think there is nothing to do, check again – you probably missed something. And even if not – the time spent during slow periods to look at all future traffic, analyse its conflicts and plan ahead to resolve them, is going to be invaluable during the next rush (and it will come).
P.S.: The laugh of the day is mine on Donau Low when I instruct a military jet (easily capable of that) to descend at 8000 feet per minute. After that, I descend an airliner (where you can be happy if it can do 3000-4000 fpm) right above the military jet. Of course, we have to keep that legal (vertical separation needs to be maintained), and I instruct the airliner to descend at 8000 feet per minute or less. A puzzled pilot and two laughing trainees respectively coaches are the result. :)