Monday, January 18, 2010

Logistics--January 17, 2010

I wonder if your body and mind expect something because it's coming...and maybe wouldn't otherwise.

My vacation is right around the corner.  And I am more and more ready every day.  Frankly, I am a bit sick of flying!!!  Yup, I said it.  Well, at least the type of flying that we do.

I had another 5.6 hours in the airplane today.  69.8 hours on the month ALREADY.  There were a couple of months last year where I didn't even get that the entire month!!!  So it's nice to have, but it also means that I've been flying a lot.  And it can be cumbersome.

I started taking pictures up in Longview, but we had clouds roll in pretty quickly.  I was only able to get two lines done.  So Matt and I headed 75 miles south for Lufkin, Texas, where we had another flight plan.  We had some clouds on the northern portion of the project, but we were able to get far enough away from them in the southern plans.  North, south, north south.  Same ol', same ol'.

I landed for lunch and fuel at 12:30 at Lufkin.  I knew they had a restaurant on the field, but it was closed seeing as it was Sunday.  I can respect that.  Actually, I was a bit bummed that we were even flying today at all.  I thought I'd have the day off, and I've been cravin' goin' to church.  And we had a church right across from the hotel, too.  I was lookin' forward to that.  But it just didn't happen.  I sure do miss goin' regularly.

It was a quick turn-around with fuel, and I skimped on lunch.  Two granola bars, one banana, and a lot of BBQ potato chips.  Not exactly the lunch I would have liked.  I also downed some apple juice.

Then I went back up in the skies for 2 more hours of flying.

Landed back at Longview.  My head hurt.  The loud noise just got to me today, and different power settings didn't really help.  I had a headache coming on, and I knew it.  Talked to the unbelievably attractive woman at the front desk for a few minutes.  Actually, it was just a nice talk.  I'm always leery of these types, as it's not always a blessing to be hot, but I think we enjoyed each other.  She actually had a personality.  Imagine that.

Went back to the hotel.  I had a yucky headache by now.  I needed food.  But the rest of the guys weren't ready to go yet.

Came back to the hotel, shot off an e-mail to my friend who I plan on visiting in New York in a couple of days.  Said I would be there in just over 48 hours!  So excited!!!  Then I got a call from one of the bosses.  He wanted to set up my flight out of Longview.

The options?  Flying out on Wednesday...and not arriving in New York until late afternoon Wednesday.  Crap.  I couldn't believe it.

Crap, crap, crap.  Not good.

I was planning on leaving Tuesday night.  I NEEDED to leave Tuesday night...for everything up in New York to go smoothly.  Getting in on Wednesday was goin' to screw up dinner and concert plans.  Oh, this was not the news I needed.  Not now.  So frustrating.  I told him I'd look it over and call him back.  But the guys were ready to go to the restaurant now...

Ended up goin' around 5:45.  Headed to a lil' burger bakery joint.  Not too bad.  It was nice havin' six of us.  But halfway through the eating, I had the worst pain in my head.  I NEVER get headaches, but this one hurt.  I wasn't sure if I was goin' to make it through supper.  Man, it sucked.

Came back to the hotel, grabbed some aspirin.  And spent the next few hours trying to get my flight out of here arranged.  I'm really stuck between a rock and a hard place.  It sucks.

The scoop:

I have my 100-hour inspection coming up in 9.5 hours...or 2 full day's worth of work away.  Monday AND all of Tuesday.

The cheap flights out of this airport leave at 7:20 A.M. on Tuesday.  Well before I would be done with flying.

There are flights out of this airport later in the afternoon...but the cost is $650.  $450 more than the morning flights.

The next airport over (an hour away) has a flight that leaves at 12:10 P.M.  I couldn't work on Tuesday if I had to drive there.

The mechanic and the returning vacation pilot are being flown into THIS airport...the tickets were purchased tonight already.  Which screws me out of going to another airport with my plane and having the returning pilot fly it back.  Kind of frustrated about that.

Called the friend and spilled the news.  I was pretty much told not to even come.  Just not worth it.  <sigh>

So I literally spent the entire night trying to figure out how to make this work out.

My only option that I have found:  Grab a one-way rental to Dallas after flying as close to my 100-hour as possible on Tuesday, and try to make a 5:20 P.M. flight.  That would cost me an extra $120 for the 3-hour car rental.  STUPID.  And it would involve a lot of things working out.  Me leaving on time.  The car being at the airport.  The return going smoothly.  Getting close to my 100-hour.  And on and on.

Agh, what to do.

I'm really not too thrilled.  What a night.  I spent a few hours in front of this stupid computer trying to get things worked out.  Not the pre-vacation I was hoping for.  Not the night I had planned.  I had wanted to read and work out.  Things don't always go as planned, that's for sure.

Went to bed at 11:45.  Just to put it behind me.  Tomorrow is another day.

Too bad I know it's goin' to have the same issues.

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