Woke up at 7:30 A.M. We had what appeared to be a good day to fly. I had an airline flight scheduled for this afternoon, but I had planned on going up with the new-hire so that he is comfortable actually flying our lines.
So we headed out to the airport to get on station by our 9:30 starting time. Well, it was another day of good intentions. We could already see the low clouds forming quickly...so much for the forecasted 4500 feet scattered. We took off behind the other guys, and we had clouds everywhere. I mean, everywhere. They started right around 1800 feet MSL. The weather guys were off again...no surprise there.
Well, we continued to fly south towards our flight plans, but I just knew it wasn't going to happen. There were clouds as far as we could see. One of the guys had left quite a bit earlier than us, and he radioed to let us know that there were in fact clouds in the flight plans. All right! Time to head back.
Actually, I opted to stay out a bit longer with the new-hire. I put him through the ropes in the Cessna. Because he was coming from a King Air AND because it was required for a check-out, I took advantage of the free time we now had. Of course, we danced around the clouds a bit (and we both professed our love for aviation), but after that was done, I put him to work.
I asked him to do a power-on stall. He did pretty well. Then I asked for a power-off stall. He wasn't as comfortable. So I asked for it again. He took it to the first sign of the stall warning horn, then put it back down. Nope, I said. Again. This time we almost got to the break, but he recovered too soon. Again! I showed him how to take it TO THE BREAK. Nothing to be afraid of here. Just keep that ball centered, and let the plane stall! He was still a bit hesitant, so I helped him pull back on the yoke! C'mon now! Again, again. He admittedly hated doing stalls, but I wanted him to be ever confident in this airplane. You HAVE to be proficient all around. With flaps on, we actually got down to below 40 knots on the airspeed indicator...it looked more like 20 from where I was at!!! But time and time again, the airplane behaved just as it should. It broke, we put the nose down, and it flew. Amazing.
After we went back and landed (which we had a VERY hard time finding the airport after dropping below the clouds without a GPS!), I headed for the hotel to pack. And that's what I did for the next couple of hours. I did some laundry, organized everything I had, and prepared to leave! My suitcase was too heavy, though. I just knew it. I did my best to leave stuff behind (food), but it still felt heavy.
Steve took me to the airport, and I went up to the counter to get my ticket. My bag was 55.5 pounds. Crap. I tried shifting items to my crazy full carry-on, but I just didn't have the room. I weighed it again. 51.5 pounds. Not goin' to happen. So I went and mailed home a blanket, two hoodies, and a book. $14.50 to ship them. GRR!!! I wish I had left some stuff behind when I was home last week! It would have sure saved me some money!
I went back up and paid the $25 bag fee. GRR!!! Oh airports. Then I went and waited in the VERY long security line. After about 15 minutes, I shed everything I had on me into three containers. I hate this crap. But I passed with flying colors. I then went and waited the short bit for my flight.
I had a decent flight to Charlotte, North Carolina. I had planned on reading the Aztec POH again, but I ended up talking to the guy next to me the entire trip. He was Muslim, and we talked about our faiths, racism, and everything in between. It was seriously non-stop from about 10 minutes into the flight until we landed. It was enjoyable. He said we should all strive for peace...I said it's virtually impossible with tolerance in our nation. Basically, if you are tolerant of everyone, then you have to agree that you are "tolerant" of someone having the exact opposing belief of you. He concurred. Well, by default, these disagreements are going to butt heads, and tolerance will lead to intolerance of the other person's beliefs (whether abortion, healthcare, racism, murder, homosexuality, religionn, etc.). He then asked me if I believed that his religion would lead to heaven. I flat out told him no. Not in any negative condescending way. But in the I have to go by what the Bible says way. It was just a very real and enjoyable conversation. Oh, I should also mention that he is getting his Ph.D. in Philosophy. I was all over that one.
I landed and had a quick turn-around for my next flight. I was in the very back row next to the engines, in front of the lav, and in seats that didn't recline. ha! Oh, airlines. Oh, and the guy next to me spilled his drink on me jeans. He felt TERRIBLE. He apologized an unbelievable amount of times. Sometimes with 20-minute increments in between! ha! No worries, man. No worries.
Well, I landed in Melbourne, Florida, where I waited about 40 minutes for my ride. It's a nice lil' airport...probably wasted tax dollars, but it was sure nice. They were so on top of their stuff that our bags were already PULLED OFF off the belt by the time we walked to the baggage claim. The guys had unloaded them from the carousel for us! I guess it helps when you only have one flight coming in.
I hopped in the van, and my boss and I headed for Daytona Beach. We ended up getting in a little after midnight. I was in bed at 1:30 A.M. yikes.