Since Roost-Air is rapidly approaching their 15 year anniversary, we thought we would show you a classic strip “from back in the day” every now and then with a little background information mixed in. Some of those are from pre-website days and are otherwise only available in our first book.
I was flying off-shore at the time and transitioning to an oil-rig off the coast of California which had me transition through Santa Barbara’s airspace. The easiest route was to transition along the shoreline but the tower preferred us to be low so he can route approaching fixed wing traffic on top of us. Well, there is a little hill on the shore between Santa Barbara and Goleta where the airport is, so radio reception and radar coverage wasn’t the best. Yet the tower always made us fly low and squawk a code, but then turn around and complain he wasn’t picking us up. We tried flying further offshore and as high as we could without busting the given ceiling but it never worked quite right. So since they always gave us a really low number to squawk (maybe that is what was assigned to them, not sure how that works), the joke was born inside the aircraft about trying to get a higher number. Of course in the real world we didn’t transmit this part (even though we probably should have just for the fun of it, but I was flying for the government and we all know how much fun can be had while doing that).
This is also one of the first strips ever to use the “Chuck, is that you?” line. It was around this time we decided to just make this a permanent thing. The original idea was to always have Chuck park his pick-up in front of the hangar and Julio complaining about it with the standard line “Move the truck, Chuck!” which is based on a true story. But we could never really fit that in the strips as much and once the radio issue idea came to be we felt it was a much better fit and quite frankly, way funnier. One of my personal biggest wins was the first time I sat around a air tanker base with a bunch of pilots I had never met before a few years later. Somebody messed up on the frequency and a pilot in the ready room yelled out “Chuck, is that you?” which got everybody laughing. I knew then we were on the right track with this punchline and that is why you still see it. The next goal is to achieve notoriety similar to “I’ll be back”, HAHA!
Well, at least he didn’t miss Delta …
Oh, and in case you haven’t heard yet: We’re having a big drawing contest going on right now! Don’t leave us hanging! We only have one contestant enter so far, and there are at least three prizes to win! So you’ve got nothing to lose!
While Chuck is waiting for pushback, I am here on the backend of our website doing some changes and maintenance. So far, so good! There is still the occasional glitch though, so please bear with me if you spot something that’s not working as it should.
Oh, and a quick heads up: We’re planning a new contest soon! Stay tuned! We’ll probably start in the next couple of days!
We sent this strip to some magazines, but were debating if we should use it on our website, because it’s one of those with pilot gobbledygook that may not be easily understandable for pedestrians. But then we thought, why not! So, if you have no idea what the guy in the tower is saying in the last panel, here’s the explanation:
“ELT” is short for “Emergency Locator Transmitter“, which is a distress radio beacon that activates automatically in case of a crash. It sometimes is set off when a landing is too rough. “CAP” is short for “Civil Air Patrol“, which is the civil auxiliary organization of the US Air Force which engages in Search and Rescue missions (among many other things).
Sorry for the slight delay in today’s update! Yesterday was a public holiday here, so it kinda felt like Monday for me today, and I almost forgot to upload the regular Tuesday strip. Well, better late than never!
I wonder what the odds of Chuck doing a one-in-one were. You might as well buy a scratch-lottery ticket, I assume!
It’s important to be precise! Well, sometimes at least, often it’s not. The trick is to know the difference. It’s always funny to watch people who have no sense of proportion and appropriate precision. E.g. when you want to calculate your return on investment on something, and some of your input variables are a wild guess or at least a rough assumption, there is always somebody who then ends up with a dollar figure calculated to the tenth place behind the comma and thinks it’s accurate.
Oh, and talking about writing down sums of money. One of my pet peeves is this: When you write down an even amount here, you put a comma and a dash at the end. E.g. when Americans would write $21.00 we would write $21,- . By the way, I don’t know if this is a European or German thing. Other Europeans, do you also do that?
Anyway, there are some people (some close to me, I won’t name names) who don’t know that that’s supposed to be a comma and think it just means “something to do with money”. So when they write down $21.45 they write $21,45,-! Aaah!! Why? How can you have two commas in one number? Sometimes you even see it on menus of restaurants. For some reason the concept is really hard to explain though to people who do this …
Tomorrow I will pack my bags and head over to Friedrichshafen, Germany, to visit the AERO expo on Thursday an Friday. I’m really looking forward to it! Thanks to everybody who already got in touch with me! We won’t have a booth there, so I’ll be roaming the halls and there’s no fixed place to meet me. But I now have a (rather disorganized) list of people I want to meet, and I am sure somehow we’ll all manage to meet up at some point.
And if you see a short blondish guy with a Chicken Wings t-shirt, chat him up, it will probably be me! Or you can also send me a text on short text to my cell phone (my number is on our contact page here) and I’ll see if we can work something out. See you there!
Sun and sunlight. I vaguely remember seeing something like that in the past. Well, to be honest, yesterday it was sunny here. But before that we had a winter that lasted about 5 months, and certainly felt like 7 months. It’s high time for spring! I think I can imagine now what winter in Finland or Alaska must feel like, and I can’t say I envy the folks up there. I’m more of a spring and summer guy, after all (although I do love skiing!).
So I guess sequestration finally hit Roost Air as well. Or did it? Having flown in and out of Santa Monica myself I know that they just “love” pilots like Chuck over there …
But on a more serious note, we really think that the proposed tower closures will have a profound impact on aviation safety. A lot of “small towers” on that list aren’t all that small and a few of them are feeder airports underneath or around very busy airspace. So please call/write/fax your representatives in the pilot organizations, your senators, whoever you can find to fight this. It will hurt us all if this goes through. This isn’t just about the job loss on the controller side, this is about safety and human lives. There was a reason why those towers were put in in the first place.
In case you haven’t seen the list yet and how many towers are actually on there, here is one of the links: http://www.scpr.org/news/2013/03/19/36446/smaller-air-traffic-control-towers-anticipate-clos/