The idea for this strip came from a story a helicopter old timer told me about one of his old logging captains who was really nasty to his copilots and mechanics. Apparently there was a time in this company where the captain was above the law and a flying god who was not to be talked to unless addressed by said captain first. He never cleaned the aircraft or helped and to add insult to injury, he constantly just threw all his trash into the chin bubble because he was too lazy to even take out his own trash. I am glad I never had to work with a guy like that.
But I think in Chuck’s case he had the, in his mind, good intention of throwing the trash out rather than clutter up the cockpit. Yet throwing it out the window might not go over well with most of us. There are actually surprisingly few FAA rules about dropping objects from an aircraft. They simply read almost like “Make sure you don’t hit anybody!”. In Chucks case however, he might run into other city or state laws like littering and such …
Let me start out with wishing all of you a HAPPY 2017! Turning over a new leaf is always exciting! May 2017 bring you great times and adventures! I’ve been very busy in the last couple of days so I didn’t get to blog quite as much. Luckily my brother can take over these duties. We both appreciate everybody tuning in every week and all of your comments / ideas / stories. Please keep them coming!
Before you say Chuck should already know all the parts of an engine, which he probably does, I want to add that today’s strip mainly describes a feeling. It’s that feeling you get (and it happens a lot in aviation but I bet a lot of you working other jobs will be familiar with it as well) when somebody who has no idea what you are doing decides to take it upon himself to help out. It is usually totally unsolicited and most of the time more annoying than helpful. Then you fix what you were working on and they take a lot of credit for helping even though they had nothing to do with the outcome. Most of those individuals seem to also be the “Have you tried turning it off and then back on again?” type of guys as well I have found.
Has this happened to you before?
Flying and working on the Coast of Southern California we used to joke about how easy navigating was around here. Mountains to the right and water to the left, you’re going north. Water to the right and mountains to the left and you’re going south.
Yet some of our students still managed to get themselves lost on their solo cross country. The incident that took the most “un-doing” was when a student landed at the Vandenberg Air Force Base instead of Santa Maria. How she did that we will never know since one is right off the beach with a single space shuttle sized runway, while the other is further inland with intersecting, comparatively small, runways. She had to spend the night there of course and the plane was pretty much taken apart but after a bunch of bitter tears they let her go eventually.
So naturally the next step for us with this simple coastal navigation technique was to have Chuck take it to the next level and actually apply it while circling one of California’s bigger islands off the coast. Although for me personally, my favorite joke in this strip is Chuck conserving electricity by shutting the GPS off in flight to help out the planet…
OH! And have we mentioned this already? The new book is now available here!!!
So, as briefly mentioned last Friday, this is the very last strip of the very first book. We are now over thousand strips further down the road and in the middle of working on the newest book. That’s right! There will be a new Chicken Wings book this summer! We’re not 100% sure when exactly but we are happy to report that the biggest hurdles (printing being the main one in the bunch) have been overcome and that we are now getting closer to finalizing lose ends every day.
You guys helped a great deal with the cover a while back, which we highly appreciate since discussing the cover also seems to always hold us up a bunch. And then there is just some good old procrastination involved as well (“procrastination”, the art of keeping up with yesterday) with the real life changes we went through in the last two years that made the cartoon world having to wait.
As for today’s strip: Since these comics were originally designed to just be passed around the office and were often based on real life events involving real life mechanics and pilots, we had to clean up the language a little in order to be able to have all ages read our stuff. But you can pretty much imagine what originally said on the last panel 😉
This is troubleshooting on the same level of “did you turn it off and on again?” or “Is it plugged in?”. I think we’ve all been there and done that multiple times. At least I can claim that I have never forgot to remove the control lock!
We thought it is time for a new classic. Many jokes have been made in aviation about the “last known position”. This one is our version from back when Chuck first burst on the flying scene. It’s hard to believe he is still going strong and moving forward with his aviation adventures. It’s even harder to believe that he still has a job, but I guess one needs to take into account that Chuck usually means well. We can’t stay mad at him for too long and even Julio seems to forgive most of Chucks missteps, HAHA.
By the way, who of you were around back in the old Black-and-white Chicken Wings days? I think we went online in 2004-ish …
I know a few people with Chuck-like communication habits in real life. Personally, I like to limit my use of all this fancy new ways to communicate. It’s not as bad as my approach towards computer games (which is basically teetotalism), but I pretty much only use Facebook and WhatsApp. Because I work alone in my own office, I need to steer clear of as many distractions and time-wasters as possible. I’m getting sidetracked enough as it is! And I’m sure I’m not the only one with the problem …
Pfew, I tried to come up with a short description of the pitot-static system, to explain to everybody who’s confused about today’s strip what “alternate static air” really means. But during writing I found that I would either have to write a few paragraphs, or spend an hour to make it as concise as possible. Since I’m really under time pressure today, can somebody else maybe explain it in a few words?
Anyway, here’s the link to the relevant Wikipedia Article.
Not to take anything away from the trusted good old Cessna 172, but I suspect what Hans really needs is a bigger and faster airplane to keep up with the competition. Maybe a King Air or a Pilatus. But then, who would fly it? Chuck? Maybe he needs a more competent, yet equally enthusiastic pilot? And the next question is, how much of a plane does a bunch of chickens really need?
Also, one needs to keep in mind that almost all of my expertise comes from an aviation background and less from a Particle Physics background. Maybe a boson, Higgs or otherwise, really IS the answer to Hans’s problem. I really wouldn’t know, but I doubt the Higgs Boson is FAA/PMA certified already …
Always stay polite, that’s half the ticket! And if I may seize this opportunity to brag about my son: He’s not even two years old, but he’s already very polite and (almost) always says please and thank you. Of course he has already realized that his parents sometimes have a hard time resisting when he’s asking for something, and he usually goes for the cute and polite tone of voice instead of being loud and annoying.
The only thing he hasn’t figured out yet is what is in our power to give and what isn’t. For instance, he’s always asking us to see a hot air balloon in the sky. It’s something we saw one day, and he was so fascinated that barely a day goes by without him pointing at the sky exclaiming “Haifon! Bitte!”. Which stands for “Heissluftballon, bitte!”. He’s also asking us for more tunnels on the roads or to make the pigeons coo.
And he also loves all kinds of machinery. Which is funny, because although I am technically interested, I am by no stretch of the imagination a motor freak. But the little guy just loves tractors, cars, excavators etc. and especially has to comment on every motorbike he sees. He also points at almost every plane he sees and says “Uncle Mike!”. Well, we’ll see what the future might bring, but I sure think we have a future pilot of some sort at our hands …