Thursday, November 26, 2009
Busy, Busy, Busy...--November 25, 2009
Woke up at 7:30. Another day of blue skies.
Ate breakfast, grabbed some donuts at the donut shop to show our thanks for last night's dinner, then headed to the airport. Took some pictures with Miss Sarah and Gayla, said our good-byes (they are closed for Thanksgiving) and then we were off.
The visibility was perfect again. So nice. Flew over to my flight plans and started the routine again. I flew a few hours, then landed at Corsicana again for fuel. I again found myself mesmerized with the storied history of the airport...it produced the 2nd highest ace in World War II...as well as the creator of "Star Trek"??? Or at least that's what I interpreted it as. It's a pretty neat and authentic collection. I was impressed with an actual 1929 advertisement for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company that featured Charles Lindbergh...since I am reading his biography right now. I remember him promoting that company...essentially the first "airline" to go across the country. Pretty neat to see an actual poster for it. I'm not sure they know what they have!!!
I had a problem, though. The fuel truck was JUST pumping fuel into the tanks...and it would take another 20 minutes after that to let the fuel settle. I had to wait nearly 40 minutes. I ate some lunch, sat for a bit, then decided I couldn't do it. I had an hour and a half flight plan to finish before 3:00...and it was 1:15. So I told them I would have to get fuel later...I headed back up.
I started the plan and realized that I probably wasn't going to have enough fuel to finish it. Grr. My left fuel tank light came on. All right, that means I have less than 5 gallons on that side. So I put the tank on the left side only. I would fly 30 minutes on that side, then flip it over to the right side. Once the light came on, I would have another 30 minutes roughly...and I was pretty close to the airport. Well, after mulling it over on the lines, I decided I didn't want to risk it. It just wasn't worth it. So I flew 10 of the 19 lines and had Matt come over to finish the rest...
I landed for fuel with 30 minutes still left in our window. I hate doing that. But I needed petrol!!!
Matt ended up not being able to finish before the window was over, but that happens. We figured out we only have six hours left to do on this project. Which only means one thing. WE ARE RELOCATING ON THANKSGIVING. Grr!!! I had already found a family that was willing to adopt us for Thanksgiving...and so how is it that we have to move on that day?! Crazy. Oh well. That's life. But it is a bit disappointing. But I've learned to roll with the punches here. You plan for the best, expect the worst, live with the middle.
Landed back at Cleburne and paid our 3-week tab. The airport only charged us $3.28/night for hangars. To put that in comparison, our other pilots at another field are paying $80/night. No lie. With two airplanes at three weeks, that is $4800 saved by us for our company. Or lost by Cleburne for the airport. However you look at it. But that is just crazy. Here we have the nicest airport with the nicest staff. Coffee brought out to us, hangars given to us free and sometimes cheap, a free courtesy car, the manager taking us out to eat...and they want nothing in return. It's unheard of these days. But I'm madly in love with generosity...it's one of the neatest traits to observe...and frankly receive. It's really admirable. I have nothing but GREAT things to say about this airport. It's a little bittersweet to leave. We'll sure miss it here. They treated us like kings. We even had the privilege of seeing Roland and Stu before we left...and they both just praised us for our company. It's heartfelt and just good to hear. I'll miss them.
Danny cleaned up his shop, then we went out to eat at Golden Corral with the new crew...Danny, Matt, Jimbo, Stephan, and myself. We had a hilarious time eating...talking about our experiences last year...and just what we do. We so laugh at ourselves...we are literally a training grounds for Part 135. We have long days, we fly crazy lines and jobs, we get told what to do when to do it, and we fly a wide gamut of airplanes with various ailments from time to time. We're simply destined for 135 ops...there's no way around it.
Went to the hotel, Danny packed, and then back to the airport. We closed up the maintenance hangar for good...three airplanes had 100-hour inspections, and a couple others were worked on for other issues. Danny, Jimbo, and Stephan flew back up to Dallas Love. Matt, Jeff (just arrived), and I were off to the hotel.
We actually ended up doin' laundry. MUCH-needed laundry. I have been wearing Adidas shorts as my boxers for the past two days...I ran out. I caught up with a good friend while my clothes spun...it was really good to hear that he is doing good. I wish the best for him...he's in the music industry, and he just keeps plodding away at his dream. I tell you, that is the best way of obtaining your goals. Day-in-and-day-out drudgery. "Just keep on keepin' on." I really believe that with enough time and determination, you can achieve what you strive for. Never ever give up.
Words of wisdom for a song writer. A performer. A pilot. Anyone.
Came back to the hotel and started shopping for our next hotel in Texarkana. I hate this part of the job! It's so hard gauging a hotel on the internet...so hard. But we're lined up for the HoJo tomorrow night. So we'll see how that goes.
As it stands now, I'm fixin' to help Matt start the last six hours of the project here...then fly down towards Houston to finish up a refly project there...then fly up to Texarkana and meet Matt who should have finished this project here. ha! We'll see if it all goes as planned. That's the plan anyway.
And if it goes as planned, I should have around 8 hours or so in an airplane tomorrow. On Thanksgiving. Not exactly what I was hopin' for, but hey, like I said, you roll with the punches.
We'll certainly make the most of it.
Went to bed at a late 12:30 A.M.