Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Passin' It On--February 28, 2010

Woke up at 7:20.  The usual.  Breakfast, shower, airport.

But we had somethin' a lil' different this morning...an extra pilot!!!  Angel was with us today...his first day on the job.  And I was to be his instructor!  At the airport, I sadly gave away my 2003 Skyhawk SP...and went to the 1974 Skyhawk M model!!!  Agh!  I showed Angel how to pre-flight the airplane with all of our camera gear...in the bitter cold.  It was unbelievably cold this morning!!!  Almost painful on the hands!

We hopped in, and I showed him how to do all of the fancy schmancy intricacies of the computer.  Nothin' too difficult.  We taxied out, and he mentioned somethin' about helpin' him if I saw something that he needed to do!  ha!  He said he hadn't flown a small airplane in quite awhile!  Very well.

Well, the take-off was pretty uneventful.  He can fly just fine (thank goodness!).

We headed the 50 miles out to our first flight line, and I spent the next couple hours teaching him all about flying lines.  Frankly, it's really not THAT difficult, and he picked it up very quickly.  I was happy and impressed.  Makes my job a whole lot easier!  It was awkward, though, just sitting over there as a passenger.  Really, there wasn't much that I could do, though!  He was the pilot.  So that's how it feels.  Hmm.  I didn't like it.

We landed at Lebanon-Jones for lunch.  Today they had lasagna, vegetables, and pie.  What more could a guy ask for?  Seriously, this airport is simply fantastic.  I love the fact that they have lunch every day!  Dave, Jeff, Angel, and I all ate over a nice meal!  If it was like this EVERY day, I could sure get used to it!

Well, we headed back up for the remainder of the window.  It was a bit bumpy, but it sure wasn't the worse that I have seen.  Just mildly uncomfortable.  We talked a bit...Angel used to fly for Mesaba...but he was furloughed.  The guy has 250 hours in a regional jet.  It just boggles my mind this aviation gig.  It's nothing short of poetic/comical/sad how we all end up where we are.  I'm flying with dreams of going to the airlines.  And here is a pilot who has been there and now is "under" me in seniority here.  I don't get it.  I just don't get it.

We headed back to Branson, and that was that!  We (he) had flown 6.6 hours today.  I just sat there!  And outside of calling out large flocks of geese, I didn't do a whole lot.  Oddly enough, though, it can still wear ya down.  I was a bit tired.  Just mentally.

But the day wasn't over.  My airplane was due for a 100-hour inspection today.  So I had to stick around for that.  So from 4:30-8:30, I stayed at the airport, taking off panels and putting them back on.  And I'll be the first to say that I HATE 100-hour inspections.  I just do.  I didn't get hired to do 100-hours.  I got hired to fly.  But sometimes you just have to put your head down and just work.  Tonight was one of those nights.  "Just do it, Andy.  Just do it."  So I did.  Everything was fine on the plane, and it went by relatively easy.  Just long.

I had left the hotel at 8:00 this morning...and I didn't leave the airport until 8:30 this evening.  I don't like days like that.  Well, we went out for food before headin' back, but that turned out to be longer than I expected, too.  The boss and mechanic decided to have some drinks.  14 to be exact.  I was now watchin' over them.  It wasn't that I didn't enjoy their company.  It's just that I just sat in an airplane for nearly 7 hours, I sat in a hangar for another 4, and I was just ready to go back.  I was tired.  And I hated that I was forced to stay out.  The joys of living with others.  I finally made it back to the hotel at 10:30...about 5 hours later than I wanted.

And exhausted.

I did my paperwork and was in bed by 11:15.  I was incredibly tired.

All in all, I logged 72.4 hours this month.  Not bad for only having 26.5 in the first two weeks.  This last week has just been CRAZY in terms of flying.  So much time.

And it looks like another full day tomorrow.  Skies clear.

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