Express Jet Open House — Operations Tour & CRJ200 Sim Flight
Last weekend my son and I attended an open house hosted by Express Jet Airlines.
When we arrived we were immediately greeted by a current Express Jet captain who checked us in, got our name tags and ushered my son and I to a
shuttle van Toyota Prius to take us across the street to Flight Safety where their simulators are located.
Our reservation time slot was for the CRJ200 regional jet. As a former airline pilot and now corporate pilot I usually pucker up when I get in one of these bad boys so it was a relief to know I wasn’t being evaluated with every control input. My 8 year old son could barely contain himself as he strapped in on the Captain’s side. I sat on the FO side. We were positioned at ATL at the end of 8L and ready for takeoff. We set the throttles, rumbled down the runway and rotated at 130 knots. We leveled at 3000 feet to do some maneuvers including a roll shown in the video below! After a few maneuvers we were then positioned back on a 5 mile final approach to 8L. The approach was uneventful until the landing flare – WHAM the simulator shakes and we received the red screen of death. We dragged a wing tip and it was game over. So much fun!
After our simulator flight we were shuttled back over to Express Jet for our tour of the operations center. While waiting for the tour to start, we visited a station setup promoting the Express Jet AP3 program. The AP3 program is a structured pilot program offered at select universities and flight schools that offers a guaranteed interview if all requirements are completed.
The first stop on the tour was to the Operations Center located on the 3rd floor. This area houses all the dispatchers for the Delta Connection side of operations. I was impressed to learn that they have 2,200 flights per day and nearly a quarter (24%) of all the regional flights are flown by Express Jet.
Next we were shown the Time Since The Last Controllable Cancellation count up clock. As you can see its been almost 2.5 days since their last cancellation.
I am envisioning a similar “clock” over at United!
Next, we met with First Officer Albert who is helping to get the Jeppesen (same person named after the terminal in DEN) Electronic Flight Bag certified and online. Once certified this will eliminate the need for their pilots to lug around a bunch of paper charts and plates. This will also save a lot of money on fuel as each pilot was carrying around 35 lbs of paper on each flight. Times that by how many flights a year and the savings is significant. We also learned that they decided to go with the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet over the iPad. The reason was the iPad was overheating and the MS Surface Pro is able to have two windows open at once.
The tour concluded with a CRJ200 walk around & through (phone died so no pics) and an Express Jet swag goodie bag including passes to the Delta Flight Museum!
Adam S. is a contributor to Point Me to the Plane, former airline pilot and now corporate pilot. He is also a huge astronomy geek.