Friday, November 27, 2009
Crazy Day--November 27, 2009
Woke up at 7:00 this morning...30 minutes earlier than normal! Grabbed some breakfast, then headed over to the airport by myself. I was to fly back over to Parker County today to do some reflies...
I left the hotel around 7:45. Another perfect day at the airport...the skies had some clouds, but they were way high. The winds were pretty light, and the air was nice. I loaded up the flight plans, then headed off. I had originally requested 4500 feet, but once I got up there, I stopped at 2500 feet. I wanted to be able to see the earth, and the air was just so smooth that the low altitude was fine! 2500 feet it was.
I threw on my auto-pilot which I rarely use, but man, it sure is nice. Set a heading, set an altitude, and just sit back! I grabbed the USA Today I had brought with me! I was doing 96 knots over the ground, and I had 200 miles to go, so I was looking at a little over 2 hours.
Little known fact: Northeast Texas has NOTHING. I heard the other guys from another project on frequency this morning...they left Dallas EARLY in order to get to Fayetteville, AR, by window open. Ambitious suckers. I talked to them for quite awhile. I joked that Texas had this 200-mile of forests in order to guard themselves from Arkansas...I think it's a valid argument.
About 20 miles outside of the DFW Class B airspace, I was asked to stay clear...but I maintained my heading. About 10 miles out, I was cleared DIRECT DFW at 3500 feet!!! What?! Seriously?! I didn't hesitate!!! This is a rarity, and I was more than happy to have it! Woo hoo!
And sure enough, I flew right over the top of DFW. Traffic was taking off and coming in...and I was just enjoying watching it! Too fun! Of course, I was taking pictures left and right, too. Oh, and this was the day after Thanksgiving, so traffic was CRAZY!!! Wal-Marts were packed. Malls were even more packed. And here I was, literally oblivious to it all...almost laughing inwardly at the silliness of it. People were frantically shopping...and I was just smiling at my view. I really really really really love this part about the job. I get paid to fly. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I flew all the way across the Class B airspace at 3500 feet and then requested direct to my projects. I had several lines to do there, and it took me a little over an hour, but all was smooth. From there, I went direct to Cleburne...for the umpteenth time!!!
I was supposed to pick up transponders that were mailed there. Well, I landed, and the FBO was closed. Crap. This was not good! For two reasons. One, I needed to pee. And two, I didn't have the transponders. Well, being who I am, I wasn't ok with that...so I peed on the side of the FBO...and then searched around. Well, across the airport, I saw our courtesy car that we had been given for the past three weeks!!! Still in the same position where Jeff had left it outside of the maintenance hangar. So I walked over. Sure enough, the keys were hidden where we had left them!
Perfect! I started it up and drove into town. I headed for the UPS store and inquired about a package. She said it wasn't possible without a tracking number. Well, I made several phone calls that came up short...but she was able to track down her driver. He was at the airport! But he was moving on. I was to meet him at the back of the hospital. ha!
So I drove to the hospital and waited about 15 minutes. Sure enough, we came, and I grabbed the package. From there, I went out to Wendy's to eat. I didn't have a chance of making it back to Texarkana to help out with the project there, so this was now going to be MY day!!! I ate, then went to Tractor Home Supply. I just looked around but bought nothing. But I did want a winter coat, so I headed over to the Walls factory store...and sure enough, I bought a couple of coats...and overalls!!!! Why not, right?!
I headed back to the airport, then headed back for Texarkana. It was another smooth flight. This time I was doing 130 knots across the ground...it was going to be about an hour and 20 minutes. Smooth air, just a couple of aircraft calls, but very smooth. I landed and waited for my shuttle. I talked with a guy that landed behind me in a Tri-Pacer. He told me to keep my job..."ride that horse until it dies." I seem to get that advice more and more. I have a pretty sweet job. Man, I'm thankful for it. I went to FedEx to drop off some packages, then headed for the hotel.
We went out to eat at Hooter's, then I came back and played some ping-pong, then went for a run. Rested in the hotel at night. Tomorrow is another flying day...before we get rain.
Went to bed at 11:00.