When I first started flying Skycranes, our training captains all needed to fill out a little report card on “the new kids” after each shift so the office could see how we were are doing in the field. I really didn’t know anybody at the company yet and how exactly it would be to work there. So here I am at my new job, flying with a new training captain who I just met, getting my first “report card” filled out. At the time I didn’t know that he was a really nice guy, great pilot, yet with a very twisted sense of humor. I was sitting next to him as he is writing away on his paperwork looking very concentrated and focused. Suddenly he looks up and with a serious and straight face looked me in the eye asking, “hey is ‘f**ed up’ one word or is it hyphenated?”. My heart dropped. I just started I couldn’t tell if he was serious or not. Turned out he was just joking and I did pretty good on my first shift, but he really had me there for a few moments. And of course everything that happens to me, somehow also seems to happen to Chuck, HAHA. We just had to change the words around a little since we try to stay away from the typical utility pilot language in our strip.
Have we mentioned it already? It’s BLACK FRIDAY! Check out our discounts throughout the whole store. All of our stores will give you 25% off your entire order. Offers will last until Cyber Monday.
I wonder how many “rule number one”‘s there are out there. In aviation, this certainly is the most important one, of course! Unless you’re not on the controls, or a passenger …
Last weekend’s Vienna ComicCon was great, by the way! I have posted a couple of images in our Facebook Group. I later found out that the girl I’m posing with on one of the pictures is a real X-Wing pilot! I wish I had known, I would have asked her for flight lessons …
We all know those people who can’t seem to know what they’re thinking, if they can’t hear themselves saying it first. I admit that I also sometimes find my brain going on in autopilot and only after finishing a sentence, I realize what I have just said. Unfortunately, this happens to me even more frequently when I’m a bit nervous, e.g. when I’m speaking in front of a group of people.
I guess that will make it interesting for everybody this Sunday. Because, as I’ve already mentioned a couple of times, I’ll be attending the Vienna ComicCon this weekend as a guest. And I will be part of a panel with and about Austrian comic artists on Sunday, 13:00.
So, if you’re just now deciding to go, you will have to go on Sunday anyway, because Saturday tickets are sold out. So I’m looking forward to a crowded show and hope I will maybe see some of you there! Cheers!
The top item on the wish list of many people probably is a real aircraft. But if you can’t afford that, there’s always the option to build and fly remote controlled airplanes and helicopters. However, there seems to be a step even cheaper than that, and that’s a remote controlled helicopter simulator. I wonder if mankind goes down this path even further, and we’ll get a remote controlled helicopter simulator simulator.
We thought we would throw in a classic strip again for a change. This one goes back to our roots of having very aviation specific jokes. We since have found ourselves walking a fine balance between not angering the early hardcore “Chicken Wings” supporters and at the same time attracting the aviation enthusiast who is getting, or thinking of getting into the world of aviation but doesn’t have the vocabulary built up yet. As for the accuracy of the depicted meteorological conditions, I have to admit that I have not seen ground fog quite like this before. But very close to it! Flying Frost Control for many years you can see how the cold air settles in the trees and you, in your helicopter, only a few feet above it, are completely fine.
One of the more recent, yet one of the weirdest experiences so far, was a night currency flight I did into Redmond, Oregon KRDM two years ago. We took off out of Bend in clear VFR conditions, then did a few touch and go’s in Prineville, and on the way back we were gonna do one touch & go in Redmond. Yet even though we flew around in VFR conditions everywhere, the ATIS for Redmond kept calling it IFR. We flew towards the airport and saw the runway lights and everything before we even entered the airspace. The only thing we noticed is that the airport appeared to be a little hazy. “IFR? What are they talking about?” we said “Let’s do an approach!” and so we did. We thought the ATIS was broken, since we were able to see the airport, the city next to it, the stars above us, and everything you would need to fly at night. It was late at night and the tower was long closed so there wasn’t any other information backing us up other than what we saw (or thought we saw) for ourselves. It wasn’t until I came to a high hover, getting ready to put the helicopter on the taxiway paralleling the runway, I just about lost all my ground references if it wasn’t for the taxiway light in front of me. What looked like haze from above looking down vertically, ended up as ground fog revealing almost zero visibility horizontally down the runway. It surprised me since I never had experienced this before even though I come from very foggy places. The ground fog layer was literally only 20 to 30 feet thick and the air above it was severe clear.
There is a learning experience in this story. On a previous flight we flew past an airport that was completely VFR, it was in the middle of the day, yet the ASOS called IFR. We assumed then the weather station was broken, or more likely frozen since it was -20C outside. I just assumed the same thing was happening in Redmond. Another question would be the legal aspect of it all? Did we just bust a regulation going into an airport VFR even though the automation showed it IFR yet we were able to see the airport from over 5 miles away?
We recently stumbled over the Portugal Skyuber story through reddit and thought it was interesting. Personally I have no idea how that would work in the States, or in any other country for that matter. I think you would need at least a commercial rating and then I’m not sure if I would get into a small plane with just anybody. The longer I fly, the more careful I get. What do you guys think?
The regular Uber on the other hand is an awesome idea! They finally made it into Vegas which makes me really happy, since the cabs here were more or less a Mafia-esque monopoly-style operation doing whatever they wanted to do. There were even times when I couldn’t get to the airport (Yes, “ABC Union Cab Company of Las Vegas”, I’m calling you out specifically) because the driver decided to “not accept” the fare since it wasn’t worth his time. Apparently I live too close to the airport. Yet nobody told me of this decision until after I called in for the 3rd time wondering where my cab was. Then there was no excuse or apology.
Another time I had a guy tell me to “get the f… out of my cab” as we arrived at my house because once again the trip wasn’t long enough and the fare not enough for him. Of course this (Union Cab, again) driver waited for me to pay him first before becoming all angry. I could go on but I won’t…
There will be no love lost on my part if all of these guys go broke thanks to Uber. And you can tell that they have already started to pick up their game slightly right when the news broke about Uber.
Back to flying! You think a Skyuber is a good idea, or even possible?
However the Chuck I know won’t just retire quietly and fade away. I am sure you’ll see him doing something else crazy or funny or impressive here pretty soon. Am I the only one who sees a few character traits that are similar to our own Chuck? Also, did you guys know his helicopters all had a little “Captain Chuck” decal on the pilot door?
One of the ratings I have always wanted to get for myself but have never been able to “get around to” so far is a float plane rating. I’m not even exactly sure why I want it so bad but it is probably because of my love for flying and for boats and the perfect combination it might turn out to be. But given my current profession it seems to fall into the “just for me / nice to have” category since it would not further my aviation career in any way. And some of you, if not all of you, might know where those plans often end up. However, I am still planning on getting this rating since I always wanted it, just to have it. Could this be why Chuck also has a certain need to land a plane on the water? We may never know…
Who knows a great school for getting a private float plane rating?
Halloween costumes are getting more and more amazing. The effort some people seem to be putting into trying to look like a corpse is baffling to me. Some people, of course, need more effort than others to begin with. Personally, I think I wouldn’t need a costume this year to look like a Zombie, because I’m just living through the most sleep-deprived stage of my life right now. As some of you may have heard, I’ve become a father for the second time, a few weeks ago. And it’s amazing at how being drained and exhausted, while at the same time being happy can be taken to an even higher level than with one kid.
Well, anyway, we wish all of you zombies, corpses, witches, ghosts and monsters out there, real or not, a very happy Halloween!
Whoever runs their own business or works in the service industry knows that there is nothing more annoying than customers. I kid, of course! Most of them are nice, actually. But even the nice ones have a habit of calling or disturbing you when you’re right in the middle of something. Just like in this case, when the whole crew is busy thoroughly testing the new lounge, a very demanding task, not to be treated lightly!