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Old 02-22-2018, 02:34 PM   #7976
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Originally Posted by W0X0F View Post
It's official. I've been given a training schedule for Captain of the 737. I'll be in Atlanta March 4-31. (Of course, it could all be derailed if my CT scan on March 1st shows any recurrence of liposarcoma.)

I ended up choosing the 737 over the Airbus for two reasons: higher pay rate and better trips (including the Caribbean and trans-cons). I think the 737 is still the only fleet we have that's equipped with HUD, which will be new for me.

I'll post some updates during training to share the experience with you.
Awesome news WOXOF!!!
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:28 PM   #7977
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Hooray! I hope that CT scan shows nothing.
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Old 02-22-2018, 05:52 PM   #7978
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Congratulations, here's for a clear scan. Also not so much of a delay due to others training as you initially thought, great news there.

Best of luck!
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Old 02-22-2018, 06:23 PM   #7979
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Fantastic! Congrats.
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Old 02-23-2018, 12:10 AM   #7980
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Congratulations, here's for a clear scan. Also not so much of a delay due to others training as you initially thought, great news there.

Best of luck!
Yeah, I was surprised that they were so quick to get me scheduled. Looks like they've called my bluff. My early retirement is over. Can't wait to go slip the surly bonds again.
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Old 02-23-2018, 02:43 AM   #7981
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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.
I could also elect to go back to the right seat of any international category, such as the Airbus 330 or Boeing 777. I kind of miss the international flying, but the left seat is just so much more comfortable.
Memory foam in the seat cushion?
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Old 02-23-2018, 08:15 AM   #7982
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

First off, excellent news on getting back in the air. Continued good vibes for another clear scan.

I'm sure I speak for everyone that has been following this thread when I say that any posts detailing your month at the DAL mothership getting prepped to captain the 737 would be fascinating. Even though to you it'll probably be a miserable month of grade school.

Question dovetailing on the Denver turbulence situation - would you or other pilots ever pass on a route like that because it is less pleasant to deal with frequently turbulent flights, or is it just ho hum irrelevant to y'all?
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Old 02-23-2018, 08:52 AM   #7983
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Originally Posted by W0X0F View Post
It's official. I've been given a training schedule for Captain of the 737. I'll be in Atlanta March 4-31. (Of course, it could all be derailed if my CT scan on March 1st shows any recurrence of liposarcoma.)

I ended up choosing the 737 over the Airbus for two reasons: higher pay rate and better trips (including the Caribbean and trans-cons). I think the 737 is still the only fleet we have that's equipped with HUD, which will be new for me.

I'll post some updates during training to share the experience with you.
Great news!
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Old 02-23-2018, 11:44 PM   #7984
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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First off, excellent news on getting back in the air. Continued good vibes for another clear scan.

I'm sure I speak for everyone that has been following this thread when I say that any posts detailing your month at the DAL mothership getting prepped to captain the 737 would be fascinating. Even though to you it'll probably be a miserable month of grade school.
I'm so happy to be getting back to this job that I'm actually looking forward to the month at the Schoolhouse. I'll try to post daily updates of the experience.

Quote:
Question dovetailing on the Denver turbulence situation - would you or other pilots ever pass on a route like that because it is less pleasant to deal with frequently turbulent flights, or is it just ho hum irrelevant to y'all?
I've never heard of anyone purposely avoiding these destinations. I'd have to say it actually is pretty irrelevant.
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Old 02-24-2018, 02:21 PM   #7985
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Congrats W0X0F, great news!
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Old 02-24-2018, 03:21 PM   #7986
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Awesome update, really looking forward to the journey back to the air.
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Old 03-01-2018, 07:10 PM   #7987
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Congrats on the good news W0X0F.

Career question for you: Have you heard of Rotor Transition Programs (RTP)? That's a very hot topic in the RW community right now. Basically the idea is major airlines have been poaching so many regional pilots that the regional carriers are now paying for a huge share of the cost to transition RW pilots into FW ATP's. Lots of promises of a quick pass through to major carriers and 6 figure salaries within a few years. On the one hand they're being advertised with the intensity you usually only see in MLM marketing and other scams, but on the other hand everyone I know is taking it seriously and jumping on it like a once in a lifetime opportunity. Any thoughts? Like do you see an environment where those promises seem realistic, would you recommend jumping into a regional airline seat starting at like 40 years old, etc?
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Old 03-01-2018, 08:32 PM   #7988
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

I think I would. Retirements at legacy carriers will be record numbers for the next decade, so advancement at all levels of the industry will be rapid.
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Old 03-02-2018, 02:20 AM   #7989
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

d10,

How is the rotary career path these days? Has the oil price drop left a glut of heli pilots? I keep hearing about heli pilot shortages as well. The good employers here in NZ want 1000 hours plus turbine etc, and I'm not keen on starting at the bottom again just to fly helis, but the temptation will always be there.
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Old 03-02-2018, 03:27 AM   #7990
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Not necessarily oil prices but the move from offshore drilling to fracking has cut back one of the major uses for helicopters. Those pilots are still employable elsewhere because the market for experienced pilots is still good. There are always a ton of EMS positions open plus occasional openings in all the other typical industries.

The bigger impact has been to the lower hour pilots. Offshore used to be the #1 stepping stone for pilots at about 1000-1500 hours to make a good wage and quickly build hours. Now I have no idea, I assume everyone just works for pennies until they hit 2500+. That probably trickles down to less students finding open instructor positions at their schools also.

The military has a severe shortage of junior pilots right now so they're taking anyone qualified, but the outlook for building enough hours to move into a civilian career after isn't as good as it used to be. The RTP programs I mentioned earlier are taking a lot of them though and I would expect that to drive up the market for those who stay in helicopters.

Thanks for the outlook W0X0F, sounds more legit than I expected.
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Old 03-02-2018, 05:10 PM   #7991
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

So much turbulence on a United flight today the crew almost blew chunks. https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/w...661103.html?dr
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Old 03-06-2018, 08:17 PM   #7992
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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So much turbulence on a United flight today the crew almost blew chunks. https://www.nbcwashington.com/news/w...661103.html?dr
I don't think I've ever been close to throwing up as a pilot, and I only did it once as a passenger. But that was due to over indulgence in wine that the flight attendants just kept giving me because I had been nice enough to give up my seat so a coupe could sit together. It was a flight from LAX to HNL and every time they walked past my seat, they placed a small bottle of wine on my tray table. It seemed rude not to drink it and I got very sick during final approach and landing, to the point where a guy across the aisle handed me his sick sack when he saw I was reaching the limits of mine.

Good times.

I did have a flight on the 19 seat J32 where almost everyone puked due to turbulence. Several people threw up in the aisle and it was literally awash in vomit when we parked at the gate. The plane was out of service for a while as they cleaned it. The emergency exits were removed to assist in airing out the plane.

Last edited by W0X0F; 03-06-2018 at 08:20 PM. Reason: Added J32 story
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Old 03-06-2018, 09:11 PM   #7993
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Your wine story reminds me of flying on Air New Zealand or Qantas, can't remember which. Heading that direction, anyway.

When they came around with the pre-meal drink service, I said I'd like a beer. The attendant said something like, "should I just give you two so I don't have to come back in 15 minutes?"

We got along fine...

Anyway, on to the actual question. When exiting the plane, often the crew is in/near the cabin door. Is there anything we should say when they get us through a rough spot?

On the one hand, I imagine they appreciate the recognition; on the other, I could see them thinking, "well, sure, we know what we're doing. It's what we do."
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:28 AM   #7994
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

UPDATE ON 737 CAPTAIN TRAINING

Because I will be spending the entire month of March in Atlanta (with some days off scattered throughout), I elected to drive from D.C. to have a car down here. Since most of my training days are "A" periods (begin at 0500; finish by 1100), I threw the golf clubs in the trunk in case I get the urge.

On Sunday, I checked into the Renaissance Concourse hotel, which is adjacent to the cargo side (North side) of the airport. I was offered city view or airport and took the airport view since it's been a long time. Looking at planes refreshes my soul. Delta parks some planes here that are on maintenance.


The View from my 3rd floor room


Training is broken into four distinct parts, designated as the 100, 200, 300 and 400 series of events. The 100 series is Systems review and test, which is the first two days on the schedule. This portion of training used to be two full weeks of classroom training, delving deeply into each system. In those days, we practically learned how to build the plane. When I started here as a 727 Flight Engineer (FE), we started each day by diagramming the entire electrical system. It was almost essential to have this level of understanding back then, as the FE did all the monitoring and switching that is now much more automated in modern planes.

In this modern era, students are sent study materials and have access to all aircraft manuals on their tablet (which, for us, replaced paper charts and manuals about five years ago). There is a self study, computer-based, course and test which is supplied to us on a USB thumb drive. We have to complete that before reporting for training. The idea now is to know all the things we need to access the systems, interpret the indications (both normal and abnormal), and know how to deal with situations that arise on a flight. Though we don't need to know everything that's going on "behind the curtain", we still have the aircraft manuals on our tablet, which provide the systems detail we used to have to know completely. Most pilots still want to know exactly how systems work, so those manuals provide some good leisure reading.

The 100 phase of training comprises two days (101 and 102) which ended yesterday, culminating in a computer based systems test. We had ten pilots in the class (five FOs; five CAs) and I'm sure we all passed that test. The company just started allowing us to do the test "open book", i.e. with access to the systems manuals which we will have available to us at all times during flight. We are only the second class allowed to do this so, obviously, there would be little excuse for not getting the minimum 80% to pass the test.

The biggest challenge on the test is making sure you've read the question properly. It's mostly multiple choice, with some fill-in-the-blank, but some questions have a single answer and some are "pick all correct answers." There are 150 questions and we had four hours to complete it. If you go to the reference material for each question, you probably couldn't complete it. I think I checked about 10 answers to be sure, and I finished in about 1:15.

At this point in my career, this is maybe the 9th time I've been through a full course training event for either a different airplane or a different seat on an airplane. Every single one of those courses covers the same basic systems, common to every airplane flying. Of course, each manufacturer (and each airplane), has its own version of these systems. Here's the list of systems:

Airplane General (dimensions, Emergency equipment, doors, windows)
Air Systems
Anti-Ice, Rain
Automatic Flight
Communications
Electrical
Engines, APU
Fire Protection
Flight Controls
Flight Instruments/Displays
Flight Management/Navigation
Fuel
Hydraulics
Landing Gear
Warning Systems

At this point in training, we break off into crews for the remainder of our time. So I will be joined at the hip with my First Officer, a new hire named Alexei. He comes from a regional airline background, flying the Embraer 175, which is a very modern twin-jet that carries about 70 passengers. He told me that he was the oldest in his new hire class, at age 45. He also has a PhD in physics, so I'm going to assume he's pretty sharp.

We start the 200 series of events today, which consists of six days of training (201-206) and then another progress check (241). Today is our only "B" period, starting at 0915, finishing at 1445. After today, the rest of our training, with the exception of our 300 and 400 series check rides, are "A" periods (0500-1030).

The 200 series is conducted in a Flight Training Device (FTD), which a classroom static trainer. The controls and switches all work and the "airplane" can be programmed for different airports, performance parameters and abnormal situations. This is where we nail down our cockpit checks and normal procedures, including the crew interaction which is key to getting through this. The FTD is much cheaper than the full motion simulator.


Flight Training Device (FTD)


In the picture above, you can see part of the instructor's station in the left of the picture. That's where he can set up all the aircraft parameters (fuel on board, total weight, ground power connected, etc), weather, and aircraft position (in flight or on the ground at a specific airport).




That's it for now. More later, as we proceed through the phases of training. I'll try to post a short daily synopsis of what we cover, though I fear that might be a little tedious and boring for you. With that in mind, I'll try to keep it brief and throw in some pics.

The training center is operating at full capacity with hundreds of new hire flight attendants all over the place going through their training. The FAs all come to training in their new uniforms while the pilots just show up in "business casual", so it's pretty obvious who's who.

At this point, I'll say it's great to be back! I can't wait to be out flying the line again.

Last edited by W0X0F; 03-07-2018 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 03-07-2018, 10:21 AM   #7995
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Neither boring nor tedious. Insert whatever the opposite of those words are here.

Grats on the milestone!
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:19 PM   #7996
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Yes, this is fantastic, thanks for posting!
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Old 03-08-2018, 07:16 AM   #7997
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Originally Posted by Professionalpoker View Post
This have any merit?

Fanciful conjecture dreamed up by someone not familiar with aeronautics/engineering.

Besides the fact that a fuselage designed to be quickly detached introduce it's own safety/engineering problems, if the aircraft is flying stable enough with time to detach the fuselage cleanly, you may as well attempt a landing.

Also, this only works in rare scenario in which the fuselage (2/3 of the aircraft) isn't damaged but somehow flight integrity is. And landing something as heavy as a fuselage also carries major risk (if just one parachute/line fouls survival is probably nil).
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Old 03-12-2018, 09:07 PM   #7998
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Originally Posted by W0X0F View Post
It's official. I've been given a training schedule for Captain of the 737. I'll be in Atlanta March 4-31. (Of course, it could all be derailed if my CT scan on March 1st shows any recurrence of liposarcoma.)

I ended up choosing the 737 over the Airbus for two reasons: higher pay rate and better trips (including the Caribbean and trans-cons). I think the 737 is still the only fleet we have that's equipped with HUD, which will be new for me.

I'll post some updates during training to share the experience with you.
That is AWESOME!!! I have been waiting for this update and for the thread to be revived. Please share your flight schedule with us, when you get added in.

Best of luck with all the training.
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Old 03-12-2018, 09:46 PM   #7999
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

Update #2 on 737 Training

Before I proceed, I should point out that I mislabelled one pic in my first update. The training device I showed is the Computer Aided Procedures Trainer (CAPT) which is used during the first few days of the 200 series for familiarization with checklists, preflight checks and to establish basic crew coordination for routine phases of flight. I called it a Flight Training Device (FTD) in that post, but the FTD is the much more realistic version, essentially a simulator without the visuals and motion that we will use later during the 300 and 400 series of training events.

Here's a few pics of the actual FTD...

As you enter the room...



737 "Front Office"


Throttle Quadrant
(APU and Engine Fire handles in foreground)


Overhead Panel



Mode Control Panel (MCP)


Forward Panels


Center Console (radios)


So, when I last posted here, I had just finished the first two days of training (the 100 series) and taken the Systems test. After that, I had three days of the 200 series and then had the weekend off. (I went back to DC for the weekend. While in training, I get positive space seats for any travel on days off, which is very nice.) I had the 204 module today. Tomorrow is a random day off, and then I will have 205 and 206 on Wednesday and Thursday, followed by the progress check (call 241 for some reason that must make sense to the training department guys). Then a three day weekend, which I plan to spend in Texas with some cousins who I love visiting.

The 200 series takes the crew through just about every flight condition (e.g. winter ops, including de-icing; low visibility takeoffs and approaches) and every kind of approach we have (ILS CAT 1,2, and 3; autoland; LOC; RNAV; VOR) with random abnormal events sprinkled in to get us in the habit of using the QRH and dividing crew duties.

We're also expected to give briefings (crew brief to include how to handle emergencies on takeoff; flight attendant briefing; briefs for preflight, departure, and approach) but because we do so many takeoffs and approaches we usually only do one real comprehensive briefing of each type per sim session.

Here's an example of what's included in the crew briefing for a departure. We use the WARTS mnemonic, which stands for:

W - Winds/Weather considerations
- Takeoff minimums/alternate requirements
- Windshear/gusty wind considerations
- Cold WX procedures
- Low Vis taxi/takeoff procedures

A - Abnormals
Captain briefs abnormal situations and aborts, to include:
- transfer of aircraft control
- rejected takeoff plan, including abort criteria and division of crew duties
- passenger medical event plan
- review of any deferred aircraft systems

R - Runway Considerations
- runway length and surface conditions
- likely runway to use in case of a return to the field

T - Taxi/Terrain
- expected taxi route
- hot spots (areas requiring extra attention)
- hold short points
- airport NOTAMs, or construction
- anticipated runway crossings
- engine start plan (e.g. single engine taxi; use of crossbleed start)
- terrain considerations, if applicable

S - SID (Standard Instrument Departure) and company special pages
- climb and/or speed restrictions on departure
- noise abatement
- MCP configuration
- setup of radios and navaids
- planned level and use of automation
- Company pages (including any special engine out procedures)

I'm not going to give you the excruciating detail of what is in every module. I've probably already bored you enough. This Wednesday (module 205) is an interesting day. We will be operating in and out of KSNA, John Wayne-Orange County airport in Santa Ana, CA. The runway there is only 5700' long and there is a special noise abatement departure. The approach is also somewhat demanding in that it's very easy to end up high and fast if you don't stay well ahead of the airplane.

Since we have a random day off tomorrow, I'm meeting my training partner at 0930 and we're going to look for an empty procedures trainer to practice our standard procedures and call outs. At least I don't have to get up at 0415 tomorrow, like I do the rest of the week.

I will say that I'm feeling good about our progress and the pace of training. It's really well designed to hammer the routine stuff into you and give you the tools necessary to address the unusual situations. We do several missed approaches in training, something that might only occur a couple of times a year on the line, and the cadence and crew coordination becomes second nature.

I brought my golf clubs down with me, but it's been too cold to even think about getting out. I'm hoping that next week, I find a day or two to sneak in nine holes some afternoon.
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Old 03-12-2018, 09:57 PM   #8000
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Re: Ask me about being an airline pilot or flying in general

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Originally Posted by JFKGuy View Post
That is AWESOME!!! I have been waiting for this update and for the thread to be revived. Please share your flight schedule with us, when you get added in.

Best of luck with all the training.
I'll do that. My final check ride is on April 1 and I hope the examiner doesn't use that as an excuse to prank me with an April Fool's joke. Assuming a satisfactory check ride (I've never busted a ride yet ), I'll probably get at least two days off before starting IOE. When they give me a schedule, I'll post it here. If I ever get someone from 2+2 on board, I'll take their picture in the captain's seat.
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