Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Pressure Time! December 1, 2009
Under the gun! Matt and I woke up at 7:30. The other three guys were finished with their project here, so we let them sleep in. But we had quite a bit of work to do...five full flight plans as well as two partial plans. We needed EVERY minute of the window in order to finish. But with just me and him, we were off the ground around 8:45. Beautiful.
I actually started my first line at 9:01. And I flew, flew, flew. I was just east of the airport flying north and south. Not much out there. Not a lot at all, actually. Matt radioed over to me that he was having camera problems. Nooooooooooo!!!! Not good! We needed BOTH of us to work hard in order to finish! Not good! He told me he was going in to land, but I suggested he try one other trick. And he was finally able to get it going after 30 minutes...without landing which saved a lot of time. So we both just flew our lines. North, south, north, south. One hour went by. Then two hours. Three hours. High noon. We were knockin' out the projects fairly quickly, but it was still going to be close. Too close! It was kind of fun being under pressure! Certainly a different element than usual.
Around 12:30, Matt went in for fuel. I still thought we could make finish by closing time. If he got back up here and everything went smoothly, that is. I decided to stay up as long as I could just to knock out as much as possible. Matt came back up and continued...just as I was going in to land for fuel. It was now 1:30. I landed and was greeted by numerous aircraft on the ramp! Three military Beech jets, one King Air, and one Citation. The line guys were busy with the military jets, so I had to wait for fuel! AGH! I didn't have time to wait! After 10 minutes, they finally worked their way over to my airplane. I was topped off, and I headed right back up!
I had four lines to complete...Matt said he had five. We had 40 minutes!!! But the lines were 14 miles long! I got back on station and continued flying. It was going to be close. Matt and I raced to see who could finish first. He ended up on his last line while I had one and a half to go. I totally screwed up entering my last line, too, so I easily gave him the victory. Oh, well. Matt finished at 2:34. I finished at 2:46. But the project was COMPLETE!!! Woo hoo!
A great day!
I checked out the weather when we landed, and we were pretty much stranded for the time being. Our next project is north of Dallas, but a large rain storm stands between us and it. Not to mention the freezing levels are pretty low. Oh, and Matt doesn't have any charts...and we still have a hotel room that we had already paid for...and it looks like we won't fly tomorrow so there is no rush...and...and...Needless to say, we decided to stay for the time being.
We talked with the FBO chick for awhile, then went to the hotel. We did the paperwork, then headed straight for IHOP. We were sooo hungry! The meal hit the spot. Came back to the hotel, hung out in the bar with Stan for awhile, then headed upstairs. Talked with a friend from California for a long while.
Went back down to the bar at 9:15. Hung out with David, Stan, and Matt. I grabbed some more food...IHOP wasn't holding me over.
Afterwards, I ended up reading another chapter in the Lindbergh book...this man had so much influence on aviation (and society, in general) that it's ridiculous. I'm enjoyin' the book, though. I also gave my number out to a cute chick...we've made small talk the past few nights. She said she'd call. She didn't. No surprise there. I really don't take people at their word anymore. And we are the worse off for it.
I was pretty wound up, so I ended up going to bed at 12:30 A.M.
Tomorrow looks pretty nasty. Low overcast, rain, and low freezing levels. May or may not get to ferry over to the next project. We'll see.