It is very interesting to hear the story from the front office. We flew from Orlando to Islip on Sunday night, April 15th, right into the heart of the Nor'easter that was grinding away over Long Island. Earlier in the day our flight, #1715, was cancelled but was then reinstated. Being a private pilot, I have a keen interest in the weather and how it affects flight. Before boarding I called weather and also a friend who flies a corporate jet out of Islip to get a sense of what we were in for. Storm tops were only around 22,000' so we would be over the weather for most of the flight. I prepped my wife by telling her the last 20 minute of the flight would be bumpy in decent and the landing would be 'firm' since we would be greated by gusty crosswinds. Sure enough, about 20 minutes out of Islip the Captain had the FA's in their seats and we had quite a washing machine ride on the way down. Having flown in to Islip many times, I knew what I should see out of the right side as we broke out.....wrong! Our crab angle was much greater than I expected due to much stronger winds. I checked ATIS after landing, we came in on runway 6, winds were steady in the high 20's gusting to 48 from 110 which gave us a 50 degree crosswind component. Not something I can do in my plane!!!! Anyway, as we broke out it was as if we went underwater, the rain was incredible. Touchdown was with authority. Because of the heavy rain there was standing water on the runway, and that combined with the very strong crosswind caused us to hydroplane. We made a few ocsillations back and forth, but the Captain did his dance and got it under control. The folks at Boeing get a big THANKS too, I don't know what the side loads on the main gear were, but they didn't fold up so that says something for that bird. As we left the plane the cockpit door remained closed, so I waited an the gate for a bit so I could shake the flight crew's hand, but my wife was getting impatient so we left. So if the crew of 1715 on April 15 is reading this, GREAT JOB!! I will look forward to Ray's 3rd installment.
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