This is one of my favorite strips! It totally falls into the “It’s funny because it’s true” – category as far as I’m concerned. I know I’m not the only one, of all of us who ended up flying for a living, who had a slightly more romantic view on how aviation will be like than what it eventually ended up being.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s still the best job in the world, as far as I’m concerned. But it’s not quite like “Top Gun” sells it on the Silver Screen either. I still remember that first ground lesson after learning all this cool aerodynamic stuff and about the aircraft we were flying, when my CFI whipped out the gigantic FAR book and told me that there are “a few” things in here I will need to know.
It took me forever to get the hang of the FAR 91 regulations and finding my way around in this bullet stopper of a book, and I thought there was way too much paperwork involved in flying. And then I became a commercial pilot. Suddenly FAR 91 alone felt like a walk in the park …
One of my favorite situations always was when I finally landed the helicopter in a parking lot downtown for a construction job after weeks of lift plans, calling authorities, and getting approvals from all kinds of entities. There would always be that one guy who walked up to me saying “Helicopters, huh?! Those things are so cool! You can land just anywhere, huh?”
And in theory, he’s right.
I’m just glad that at least most flight simulators focus on the best part of aviation: THE FLYING!
We really feel kinda sorry for the Boeing guys. There you go, make a great product with a gazillion of parts, only one thing goes wrong and the joke is on you. On the other hand, we’re not sorry enough to let this unique opportunity to crack a joke ourselves go to waste!
I like when a story can be told with just pictures. Mostly because it’s less work for me (ha, sorry little brother!).
I remember when the first flight simulators came out on the C-64 and we only had one kid on the block who had a computer. So we all played the flight sim together. It was some sort of a bomber flight simulator where you flew over Germany and encountered all kinds of planes and V-2 rockets and such. One guy was flying with the joystick, one guy had the keyboard to switch screens and drop bombs playing the co-pilot, and one guy sat in the back keeping score and navigating. And after every mission we switched. Those were the good ‘ol days. Back then even computer gaming was something kids did together!
I can still remember how excited we all were to play a flight simulator on a computer. I am sure our faces were lit up as bright as Chuck’s every morning and often we ended up shut down and upside down just like Chuck here.
But now, after 7000+ fight hours in real life I don’t play the FlightSim much anymore. Mostly cause it makes me feel like I am still at work And if you ask me what most of my pilot friends are playing on the computer is anything at all, the answer is “Silent Hunter”! (which is pretty much the complete opposite of flying and probably for a reason).
I was at the HAI Helicopter convention in Houston last week. This is where the strip was invented 2 years ago and last year we gave it to TAP during this time so they have something helicopter specific for the show.
There are many strips being conceived at the helicopter show with so many pilots getting together at a place that sells beer as you can imagine. For me, the best place to hang out is always the hotel lobby next to the convention hall. That’s where everybody meets to make plans for the evening. Some of the time you find yourself checking your watch and the evening is already over.
Always reminds me of the strip where Chuck comes back from his CFI refresher course….. (see 31/03/2009 “did you learn a lot?”)