Thursday, January 28, 2010

Back in the Saddle--January 27, 2010

Woke up at 8:30 A.M.  Grabbed some breakfast, headed for the airport.  It's nice only being across the road.

I wasn't too thrilled last night about being back for work.  But once I got rolling this morning, I was pretty much ready.  I won't say eager to fly the whole day...but at least ready to do it.  I faxed over our maps to the Tower this morning, and then I headed for the skies.

I took a plan right over top of Little Rock's main's a fairly busy little place.  So that was fun.  Most of the traffic wasn't called out to me since I was at 4900 feet, but it was still fun to listen to and watch the jets and other traffic take off and land.  I had one King Air level out at 4500 feet because of me...and at the time, I was at 4800 feet.  That was pretty close!  I had him in sight for quite awhile, but it's one of my favorite things to fly close to other airplanes!!!  I love it!

My second flight plan put me in the departure end of both 22 the jets were asked to level off at 4500 feet.  Pretty fun to watch Southwest and the other guys lookin' for me.  I, of course, had them in sight well before they had me, but it's just a welcome change to actually HAVE to listen to the radio.  The day goes by so much quicker.

I landed just before 1:00 at North Little Rock Airport and taxied up to a very empty ramp outside a nice FBO.  All of the other traffic was parked down the ramp, but this facility looked nice, so I tried it out.  I walked in and was welcomed into an office.  "C'mon in!"  Ok, I thought!

"You are the very first customer in our brand new FBO!!!"  No kiddin'!  How about that.  I instantly asked to have my picture put on the wall!  No joke!  The three old men invited me to pull up a chair and sit down.  And we talked for the next 20 minutes about my flying!  They were just as eager as could be.  I was given coffee (and then later some cake!).  I was absolutely catered small-airport fashion.  I loved it.  I can definitely see myself running an airport someday. with anything in life, there is always the other side to the story.  The line guy that fueled me up told me what  a waste it was to spend $3 ($30?) million dollars on this new FBO.  Granted, it WAS nice, but it's always been a relatively unspoken current in me at the waste that goes on with taxpayers' money...especially in aviation.  But I didn't say anything.  I just let him talk.  He said they tore down a perfectly usable building to build this one.  And that he (insert the taxpayers) were paying for it in "more ways than one."  Whatever that meant!

Oh, well, I still liked it.  And two of the guys from inside invited me to their hangar to check out an airplane they were working in.  It was a 1943 Howard.  Up until today, I had never even heard of this airplane, but let me tell you, it was love at first sight.  The attention to detail, the beauty, the aesthetics.  The owner pretty much asked me to get inside!  I didn't hesitate.  I only wish I had had my camera!  It was a picture-perfect restoration...nothing was left untouched.  I was simpy amazed...and the thought of getting my A&P surfaced again!!!  How fun that would be to do work like this.  It was just beautiful.

I couldn't stay long because I still had work to do.  Plus I had a phone call to make, too!  To my realtor!  The bank had come back and said that two offers had been made on the house.  They asked us both for our final offer.  I decided to go for asking price plus $100.  I really want the house.  I just feel good about it.  I told my realtor and then turned the phone off and hit the sky.

I flew another hour, had a spit of rain, and then landed back at Little Rock.  A total of 5.2 hours on my first day back.  Not too shabby.

We went to the famous Whole Hog BBQ where I ordered a way-too-big platter.  Granted, it was GREAT, but I left feeling fat.  Blah.  Food coma.  I hate doing that, and I was pretty mad at myself!!!  It was good, but c'mon.

Spent the rest of the night in the hotel.  Didn't do a whole lot.

My mind is on the house, of course.  I should find out tomorrow whether I am home-owner or not.  Pretty exciting.

Because of my sweet tea, I went to bed at 1:00 A.M.

Oh, and we won't be flying for quite awhile.  We have a very nasty winter storm coming in.  Lots of rain, then freezing rain, then snow.  Tomorrow and Friday.  I should be grounded for awhile.  So it was good to get some time in today.

We'll see what happens!

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