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.
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In the real life version of this strip I was sitting in the office with the real Nobu talking about the accident history on one of our pilots while setting up our new safety manual. Some of you might know that I was involved in a helicopter crash many years ago before the invention of Chuck and his friends. I asked Nobu “Have you ever had an accident?”
“Just one” he said.
“Oh yeah? What happened?”
“I accidentally became Director of Operations here.”
And just like that another Chicken Wings comic was written….
It’s always good to be prepared! And Chuck seems to have learned his lesson from the day he broke his glasses. But, all jokes aside, I’m sure some of you have replacement sunglasses stacked away somewhere, right?
I, for one, would really like to hear those screams. Not because I wish any harm upon Chuck or Carl from the FAA, but out of a purely scientific interest if screaming like a little girl is actually possible for grown ups. Because the screams of little girls can be bone-chilling, eardrum-crushing and permanent-hearing-loss-causing indeed!
Here is some interesting trivia that I stumbled across recently, that is only slightly related to todays comic strip. You know, whenever somebody wants to make English sound old in a cartoon or movie, they use “Y” instead of “th”, e.g. in “Ye Olde Shoppe”. I always thought that that was because they really pronounced it as a “Y” back then, but nay! It actually turns out that, in the old days, there was an additional letter, called “Thorn”, which came from the Nordic languages and was pronounced “th”. It looks like a combination of a small p and b: þ. But the first printing type fonts were imported to England from Germany and Italy and didn’t contain that letter, so it they used the “Y” instead. Interesting, huh?
Seems like Chuck has passed! Well, obviously he can’t be that bad of a pilot after all, or the FAA would have pulled his license long ago.
And thanks again Drew for the idea!
For all of you not flying commercially, “the FARS” stands for “Federal Aviation Regulations”. These are the rules all of us fly by and Chuck SHOULD as well. When you start your flight training, your instructor usually doesn’t start teaching you the regulations and about how much you actually need to know until a few lessons in as to not discourage you right away, HAHA!
I remember being somewhat shocked about how many rules there actually are. And I continue shake my head every now and then since the rule books keep getting bigger.
This strip actually came from a time when I was training a new 135 pilot for our company while an FAA inspector was observing me. The AC was not working that day, or just not very well, and we didn’t have our conference room available. So I conducted the training in one of our little offices. I actually got in trouble for doing that since the rules apparently state that the company needs to provide a comfortable environment for classroom training. Of course you have to really look for those rules as they are buried in training manuals and the FAA’s own bible, the 8300 Inspectors handbook. I had never even thought about any of this before since after flying fires in the woods and the desert, ANYTHING with a chair and a little shade is already what we would consider “comfortable” in the helicopter business. But the inspector came from a United Airlines background and wanted me to conduct my training for one guy in a 3-helicopter-company exactly as United does for their 100,000+ crew.
I forgot the exact issue and how it was resolved but it was probably by making sure the inspector didn’t break a sweat next time he came to inspect us …
The FAA doesn’t visit my office that often, but Mike may be able tell a story or two about his interactions with them. But I know how Chuck feels to some extent, because I think similar things whenever I see a police officer. I always think “Wait, did I bring my registration? Do I have my drivers license? What was the speed limit here again? Did I download something illegaly recently? Is the nuclear bomb material still in my trunk or did I remember to put it in the basement?” Things like that.
I am not sure how much I can say to this strip without hurting my position at my day job 😉
Of course this one is totally invented and FAA inspectors and operators work together very closely and professionally to make aviation a safer place for everybody. And of course politics and budgets never get in the way when it comes to operating aircraft safely and efficiently. And of course the FAR’s are totally written for pilots and mechanics to guide them while doing their job and help them without overwhelming them with paperwork…
Ok, let’s see some stories and opinions!
The FAA actually IS here to help. But then, the road to hell is often paved with good intentions (such as helping others, hehe). Mike sometimes complains about how he spends more time in the office on paperwork than actually flying. I think we already did a strip on that at some point… If you fly, I am sure you have at least one FAA story you could share in our forum!
Plug of the day: Todays shout out goes to the guys at Delta Bravo Sierra, an Army related comic strip. They just did a tribute strip to Charles Schultz. Those of us who read our books will know that we like to do that too! 😉