This is another of my personal favorite strips. When I was the chief pilot I couldn’t help but cringe every time the FAA inspector called. It wasn’t usually for the reasons they call Chuck and the guy was really nice, but it typically meant more work for me in some form or another. Like every pilot all I really wanted to do is just to go out and fly and not deal with rules and regulations and the associated paperwork. So maybe the “flight” response is more natural for a pilot? As in “Tell the POI, I’m out flying and I’ll call him back!” HAHA!
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And the “Rat Saga” goes on. Looking at all your posts from earlier this week it seems to me that snakes are almost a bigger problem than rats. EEEK! I have never had one in the hangar or inside an aircraft but I did almost get bit by a rattler in Nevada when I was reaching underneath the helicopter to unhook the Bambi bucket. It had curled up on the control head of the bucket in the shade underneath the aircraft and was only inches away from my hand. Never rattled actually, just lunged. It did occur to me that I wasn’t sure who would fly ME out of the desert if I was bitten. We were in the middle of nowhere. Believe me, I was way more vigilant for the remainder of the season. After all that is yet another thing they don’t teach you in flight school …
I am actually not sure we have had Chuck and Julio encounter snakes yet. But it does seem like there might be some potential for a comical situation if they do. Any ideas?
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.