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!
In the earlier days of my aviation career I was working as mechanic helper for a little outfit at my home town air field. I actually was more like our Jason character back then with tons of questions (except that I had better tutors than Chuck who actually pointed me in the right direction) coming in early and staying late just so I can hang out at the airport. One of my many jobs there was sweeping and polishing the hangar floors on a regular basis. This was very important not only for professional maintenance reasons but also because one of our senior mechanics in the hangar liked to walk around barefoot in the summer and didn’t want to step on fasteners and safety-wire pieces.
However, I was also able to balance a broom on my forehead similar to what Julio is demonstrating in today’s comic. And of course the moment I first demonstrated this skill to my fellow employees ended up also being the exact moment when the boss walked into the hangar with his boss from corporate. So, once again, can you see how the inception of Chicken Wings was just a matter of time?
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 …
Well, I posted last Tuesday’s strip on reddit, and was consequently schooled that we probably meant “biennial” instead of “bi-annual” and that we’ve got it mixed up. Well, to our defense, we’re both not English native speakers. But, I got curious in the subject and looked it up in the dictionary. It turns out that it’s a rather confusing subject, because both definitions (twice a year and every two years) show up. The same goes for bi-weekly and bi-monthly.
Ah, English. Such a tricky language! One of my favorite oddity is “flammable” vs. “inflammable”, which, apparently, both mean the same thing. Do any of you know other funny glitches in the matrix of English?
Man, is it hot again today! We really have a serious heat wave going on here in central Europe. I’m not (really) complaining, I absolutely prefer heat to coldness. It’s just that sometimes, when it’s too hot, my brain slows down. So, as it’s currently 36°C (97°F) in my office, I can’t be bothered with coming up with a blog right now, I hope you understand! Fortunately, I can’t be swapped out with the comic artist next door!
The Roost Air crew sure knows how to deal with customers. I actually prefer seeing employees having fun at their job, or not being 100% serious all the time to dealing soulless zombies, who had the love for life sucked out of them by the corporate machine. But if I was scared of flying, I would probably prefer them being serious in front of me too.
Well, it seems like Hans found yet another way of trying to save money. I am pretty sure Julio will keep him in line though. I have fought many battles over the years where the owners tried to save money and the mechanics tried to do what is right. I like working for those companies where the mechanics win that particular battle. Stepping over a dollar bill to pick up a dime never pays in the flying business.
I have seen many shady operators in my day I would never work for no matter how much they paid me. It always shocked me how long some of them were able to stay in business especially in a field that is scrutinized as much as aviation is. Have you ever worked for a shady operator?
So Chuck just got back from the Heli Expo 2015 in Orlando and told me about yet another change at Airbus Helicopters, formerly known as Eurocopter, formerly known as Aerospatiale. Now they are changing the name of the iconic helicopter, known in the States as “AStar” or “Squirrel” from AS350 to H125!
Uhm … what?
To me personally, naming a helicopter “Airbus” already doesn’t make sense and we poked plenty of fun at it last year. But even changing the designation? Well, I’m sure the highly intelligent marketing people have a really good reason for this which just isn’t easy to understand for a simple helicopter pilot, and the costs of changing marketing all the way down to re-writing the manuals and checklists will be absorbed somehow… probably by the customer.
Here is the Vertical Magazine article that was the inspiration for the current strip:
If you look on YouTube you will find that people out there are looping Cessna 172’s, yet mostly without chickens in them. So please don’t go out and do that because you’ve read it on Chicken Wings!
I have only done aerobatics in a plane once in a Decathlon. The closest I usually get in a helicopter is doing “Ag-Turns” flying frost and such. Most of my exposure to aerobatics comes from working with Chuck Aaron, the Red Bull helicopter guy. From him I know that, at least in the Red Bull helicopter, it is very important to have the right CG set up to make the show go down properly or it won’t work at all.
I like how Chuck is the “I-don’t-know-what-I-am-thinking-before-I-heard-what-I-was-saying” kind of type 😉
In other news: Our contest is still running! (click here) You have until next Tuesday to submit your Chicken Wings drawing! And it would be nice if everybody else would take a look at all the entries so far and cast their votes via “liking” the ones they like best!
Seems Hans is getting some ideas from the NSA. Of course the equipment he uses looks more like it’s from the era of the Armed Forces Security Agency in WWII. But I admit that that’s more because of my limitations as an artist. You see, it’s a bit of a dilemma that all electronic equipment gets smaller and smaller and looks more and more the same. Nowadays, if you want to draw somebody listening to music, taking a photo, filming or looking something up on the internet, you can do all that by drawing a small rectangle that represents a smartphone. But while on one hand that’s easy to draw, on the other hand, it’s not that easy to actually show what’s really going on. In the days of the grammophone or the ghetto blaster, it was way easier to symbolize somebody as listening to music than nowadays, when people use rice grain sized iPods and pea sized earbuds. Try drawing that without a .18 technical pen and so that you can still see what’s going on!
Oh, and the whole idea of Chuck and Julio building radio controlled cars is based on real life (again). Apparently, after flying day in and day out, my brother tends to gravitate towards hobbies that have nothing to do with aviation!