Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Bottom--February 6, 2010

Woke up at 8:30.  No flying for Matt or me today.  Clouds were at 2900 overcast.  But nonetheless, we headed to the airport to scout.  I didn't even take my camera covers off...I started up and headed for the skies.

Sure enough, the overcast was up there all right...but at 2500 feet MSL!  The other guys couldn't even work.  What a day.  I flew down to Saline Regional, did one landing at the very simple airport, and had a pretty stiff crosswind on the way down.  It was rather bumpy on the flight over...very windy...even at 2500 feet.  The landing was ok...but not great.  I overshot the centerline on my turn to final...the winds were out of 340...I was landing on Runway 2.  I had hoped for a pancake breakfast...or at the very least some old guys to talk to...but there wasn't even a place to congregate!  There were several cars outside a hangar, but I didn't want to intrude...although I did think about it.

I taxied back to Runway 2 and took off...right back to Adams Field.

I had a very stiff crosswind for Runway 4L.  The windsock was erect all the way down.  I absolutely love that view, though.  I was pointed way to the left, and yet I was tracking right down the centerline.  I had a nice landing, too...left wheel first.  Very nice.

The rest of the guys went to the mall...I don't do malls.  So I went to the hotel, then walked to Waffle House.  And I was seriously dejected.  I had just read the blog of an airline pilot...and I LOVED his stories and pictures.  Then it hit me...this is becoming more and more common for me!  I am reading about the lives of airline pilots...I just read Sully's book, I read Gann's book, and I am reading airline pilot blogs now.  I guess it's fairly obvious, but I am living through them.  And it hit me today.  It is no different than when I had my ankle surgeries...I found myself spending hours and hours reading nothing but books about runners.  I went through several of them.  I wanted what I craved.  And it was the very thing I couldn't have.

As I walked to Waffle House, I was just at the bottom of the barrel.  I was dejected.  I have applied to more airlines than I can count, and the only one that even acknowledged my existence rejected me...twice.  The blog that I was reading today?  The airline pilot was furloughed after a couple of years.  The FAA just released that bulletin about raising the minimum number of hours to 1500 for a first officer.

And my current life?  I'm just not happy.  I don't have steady friendships.  I'm living a life on the road.  I am living a "Ground Hog Day" lifestyle.  The past few days are just a blur...a never-ending nightmare.  I wake up, I look at the crappy weather, I fly for 30 minutes, I land, I walk to Waffle House, I walk back to the hotel, I get on the internet or read, I get a ride to Boston's for supper, I get a ride back, I spend time on the internet, I go to bed.  I wake up the next day and repeat.  And then again.  And then again.  It's mundane.  It's painful.

I am just not happy.

It didn't help that I saw an American Airlines jet as I left Waffle House.  Agh!!!  I KNOW the grass is always greener on the other side, but that IS what I want!!!  I had gone after my commercial license TO fly for an airline!  It's like chasing a constantly moving rainbow.  It's always there in front of me...but never within reach.

However, I refused to lie in pity.  I came back to the hotel and studied.  Yes, studied.  If I am going to get an interview somewhere, I AM going to be ready.  So I read the first chapter of Everything Explained for the Professional Pilot.  Most is review (which I NEED!!!), but I learned some stuff along the way, too.  Now if I can just hang on to it!

I am going to chase this dream.

Back at home, Dad was working on my house.  He is trying to fix a sump pump problem...and he's pretty frustrated with it.  Sigh.  It's another reason why I wish I could go home.  Just for a bit.  To work on my house.  I HATE having my dad do it.  I know he is willing to, but I just hate it.  I want to be able to do it myself.  I really, really hope I can get a job that gives me flexibility.  NOT being on the road for 7-8 months in a row.  I would take the 6 weeks on, 2 weeks off in a heartbeat.

Oh, the joys of having a house.  I am already putting money into it!!!  (Ok, I knew I was going to have to, but it's begun!  And I haven't even closed yet!).  Mom worked on getting the carpets cleaned.  We'll see how that turns out.

Stan and I walked to Waffle House for supper.  We talked about our job.  Then we went over to Boston's to meet the other guys...then came back to the hotel.  I watched a little bit of basketball, then worked out, then went to bed a little after midnight.

The forecast is calling for low clouds before noon.  Then from noon on, we have a forecast of clouds at 10,000 feet.  I won't lie.  I'm nervous.  I really am.  If we don't finish tomorrow, we are here for awhile's supposed to rain Monday and Tuesday.

I am ready to get out of here.  I am ready to fly.  I am ready to move on.  12 days is way too long for me.

But it might mean ferrying during the Super Bowl...we'll see.

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