Continental Divide

Position: Six miles above KASE (Aspen)
Groundspeed: 450 mph (393 kts)
Magnetic heading: 270 degrees
Destination: KSFO
Passengers on board: 147

Day two of a four day...

It looks cold down there, even with the warm rays of the low winter sun illuminating the peaks of the Continental Divide. Below, in the shadow of those peaks, lies Aspen. It is a beautiful evening aloft as we proceed at, seemingly, a snail's pace toward the west coast. Our nose is in the wind...

Yesterday, our groundspeed was so high eastbound that our wrist watches started running backwards, or as my co-pilot said, "We almost landed before we took off." It was scary fast; we arrived 75 minutes ahead of schedule in Boston.

We are paying for it this evening, though. My dispatcher figured we would be better off staying low, trying to slip underneath some of the wind. The fuel flows are obnoxious, but the ground speed is almost 400 knots, which is acceptable against the wind. This route, with the weather requiring a landing alternate, is about the limit of Fi-Fi's fuel range. The co-pilot is flying this leg, so during the pre-departure briefing I impressed upon him the need to pay attention to the flight plan like a dog looking at a milk bone, or else we would be landing in KSLC (Salt Lake City) for more fuel, i.e., we can not go in a straight line at Warp 6, although I understand his need for speed... He is young, single, and in a hurry to meet a girlfriend at SFO.

We just passed over DBL (Red Table VOR) on time and on fuel burn. I need to call my dispatcher when we land and tell him he is a veritable genius.

Life on the line continues...