• A First Officer's Tale

So we took off from KTUL yesterday afternoon after airlining back to pick up the airplane that morning.

My leg to fly as we were empty. Captain calls thrust set . . .airspeed alive . . .80 knots and crosscheck . . .V1 . . . Rotate.

I pull her off initially 15 degrees nose up . . . he calls positive rate . . . I says gear up . . . he says gear's traveling . . and then says Oooop's we got a red light on the gear!

I says we got big vibration on the nose.

We did a low fly-by the tower (really cool, remember I'm flying) who said, it appears your nose gear doors are closed, but the gear is wedged up against them.

Mmmmmm, we are 1500lb's over max landing weight so we can either dump or burn it off. No place to dump so round and round we go.

Call maintenance on the sat phone who tell us to try dropping the gear to see if it'll come down (we had thought of that as well, but wanted to get some reassurance before pulling that lever again).

Thanks be to Darwin! Three greens! Albeit with some dodgy grinding of metal sounds.

Another (even lower fly-by) hey I'm getting used to this bird now, and the tower say "well it looks good but . . . hey do you guys want services out ? Duh, . . .yes please (You'll remember I'm not backwards when coming forwards with these things).

Airplane is down to max landing, adrenalin is a little increased Capt calls 1000 feet, on slope, ref plus 10 . . . .500feet, on slope sinking 600, ref plus 10, three greens. . .200 feet on slope, sink 500 . . . on ref . . . three greens.

I hold some power all the way to contact with the runway, and bags of back stick settling the nose down really slowly on the 10,000ft runway (not one of those short 6000ft ones), no reverse thrust just the open buckets and we roll off with no problem and back to where we had come from. Yes, that would be maintenance!

So here we sit and will stay until tomorrow now while men in blue coveralls stand around and scratch at parts of their bodies and say things like, Mmm, what the fuck?


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