There were a lot of rumors and or notices going around last year when we published this strip in the magazines that the FAA written test questions were going to change. Some guys were worried that everything would get harder and that all of their training materials would suddenly be useless. I kind of had to chuckle a little at those rumors. I don’t think the laws of aerodynamics will be changed by the FAA. This might just be why you should KNOW your stuff if you want to be a pilot, like Julio mentioned, and not just study for the test. It will definitely help you later. The FAR’s did get a little thicker since I started flying however and I was surprised during my latest CFI renewal process how much homeland security stuff I needed to know.
But my question to all you current flight students or flight instructors among our readers is, did the FAA actually end up changing the tests last year? I never followed up on the story …
Avgas and Jet Fuel sure are some nasty chemicals. At least Avgas dries on you very quickly (as the toxic lead gets absorbed into your body most likely) but Jet Fuel stays with you for a long time. I hate that smell. It’s weird how burned Jet Fuel doesn’t smell all that bad but with raw Jet Fuel you can totally imagine that it is not good for you, even if you haven’t done the research just by the smell alone.
I had my helicopter parked on an oil rig one time when a swarm of ladybugs landed (to rest? not sure what the ladybugs were doing 12 miles offshore) on the aircraft and literally covered the whole thing. It was a crazy phenomena but what really freaked me out watching them was that every bug died instantly the second it came in contact with any kind of oil, grease, or fuel on the aircraft (it was an old Twinstar so there was plenty of either fluid every time I flew the thing covering the engine bay and around the transmission). It kind of makes you wonder what all these chemicals do to your body if you are constantly around them being in this business …
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!
You can still take advantage of our 15% OFF YOUR ENTIRE ORDER sale until the end of this coming Thursday. Use our COUPON CODE “THANKS” during checkout. This offer extends to both of our shops.
Please help to keep Roost-Air out of bankruptcy. Hans relies on you!
As somebody who is self employed and works alone in his office all day, I don’t have the benefit of having somebody giving me inspiring pep talks like Chuck does in this strip. Like everything in life, it’s a two-sided coin: I have only myself to rely on for motivation. Many people who are or were self employed too, mention this as one of the biggest challenges. And it definitely is! Especially in times of the internet, where endless entertainment is only a mouse click away. On the other hand, I don’t have a boss bossing me around or coworkers who distract me. There’s no office politics either. I can be as productive as I want to be and all potential benefits of hard work accrue to me.
As for motivation: It started slowly over the years, but I have grown more and more fond of motivational books. When I was young, I was scoffing and secretly smiling at people who read self help books. Imagine that. I was a teenager and young adult who thought he knew it all already. I’m sure I must have been the only one! Anyway, now I like to read the occasional book about how to be successful or on investment etc. and even though I don’t put 95% of what I read in practice, I always feel motivated and energized after reading something like that. That feeling alone, plus the one or two lessons I do take out of a book are more than worth the money.
Some examples of simple lessons would be: “Try to remember more people’s names and faces” (Dale Carnegie – How to Win Friends and Influence People). “Don’t try to beat the market, buy an index fund.” (Burton Malkiel – A Random Walk Down Wall Street). “Eat less sugar.” (Mark Sisson – Primal Blueprint). Etc. etc. Other books I enjoyed were the “Rich Dad – Poor Dad” series or “4 hour work week”.
The latest thing I read and now try to implement is parts of, dare I say my “colleague” Scott Adams (Dilbert), new book called “How to fail at almost everything and still win big.” The big point I took out of that book was to not focus on goals (e.g. I want to lose 10 pounds (which I don’t, my weight is fine, but just as an example)), but to create systems that take willpower out of the equation (e.g. remove all sugar crap from the house and replace it with healthy snacks like nuts, so, when you do get weak, you snack healthy stuff). That way, you don’t feel like “not reaching the goal yet” with one brief moment of satisfaction when you do, but more like successfully using a system every time you apply it.
Does anybody have suggestions for other self help / motivational books? Or do you think that is all bull crap anyway?
Have you ever lost power to all of your electronic instruments?
I think we’ve been over this before but in my job we have become so dependent on the iPad that it is a minor disaster if it fails. How do we navigate? How do we send our daily flight sheets? How do we do a weight and balance? Luckily everybody I fly with comes from a time where you still navigated with paper maps. Although it does take us a minute to find them and remind ourselves how to use all this stone age equipment, haha.
I might be dating myself here but I still remember when one of the first moving map GPS’s came out not all too long ago. It was a huge box in the tailboom and you had to update it with numerous 3 1/2″ floppy disks every other week. Remember the old floppy disks even? It made the Jet Ranger heavy enough that you could only take 3 passengers instead of 4.
Technology is a great thing and saves a lot of time and energy … as long as it works 😉
Where did the term “Whiskey Compass” or “Schnapps Compass” come from anyways? Was it a WW2 thing?
I love flying Skycranes! They are not a comfortable helicopter to fly in by any means nor do they go far or fast, but boy can they pick up a lot of weight! It’s nice to watch the fire go out when you drop that much water on it per shot. As far as aerial firefighting goes and when utilized properly as a fast moving “initial attack” tool around urban interface, the Crane is absolutely the best helicopter for the job I have ever flown. It works really well here in Greece with the added ability of picking up salt water from the sea.
But now, after almost 3 months on the road, I am happy that today is my last work day I am getting a few day break away from the orange beast. I thought it would be appropriate to post a comic about Cranes to celebrate the occasion.
Orange is actually not the best color for flying around in the smoke I have found btw. We always get all kinds of questions about this helicopter. And most of the time, people even let us finish our sentences, LOL. I’m sure you guys all have met somebody who bombards you with questions without listening to the answers. We also have the guys who come up to us with a question and then proceed to dazzle us with how much THEY know about the machine 😉
Let’s open the blog section for Crane relate questions y’all might have. I’d be happy to answer them.
Sorry for the late upload, guys! I have a construction site going on in my garden that’s keeping me busy. And, as usual with my projects, I underestimated the real amount of work I’d have to put in. I know that I always underestimate the effort, but this time I underestimated how much I underestimated it! Also, the fact that it has been raining every single day in the last weeks didn’t help to expedite the work. Today it has been sunny, so I’ve been working my hind end off to seize the sun.
Anyway, to the real subject: Air Traffic Controllers! They are real people, just like you and me. I’ve even met a few and they all were perfectly nice and normal. Only one thing I noticed: I’m sure I haven’t met a representative sample, but I got the impression that they tend to be a bit on the twitchy side. And one friend of mine, who is one of the most relaxed persons I know, started to become an ATC, but he only lasted a few months. So maybe there really is a certain character trait you need for the job?
Oh, the checkrides. Will they ever end? I don’t think I was briefed correctly when I first got into aviation because if somebody would have told me that I constantly would have to take exams just like in school, only now my job depended on it and my livelihood, I might have chosen another profession. I have had some great examiners in the past though who made the whole checkride a learning experience which in my mind is what an annual checkride is supposed to be. But after many years in aviation, I’ve also had my share of not-so-great-ones. At least I am currently only flying one make/model (as far as the FAA is concerned) which means “only” one to three checkrides a year.
How many exams/checkrides do you all have to pass in one year?
Talking about forces … is anybody else counting the days to the premiere of the new Star Wars movie? Usually, when there’s a movie I look forward to, I try to watch as few trailers and gather as little information about it as possible. But what I have seen so far all looked pretty awesome to me! And the fact that Han Solo makes a reappearance is reason enough to see this one!
I wonder how many “rule number one”‘s there are out there. In aviation, this certainly is the most important one, of course! Unless you’re not on the controls, or a passenger …
Last weekend’s Vienna ComicCon was great, by the way! I have posted a couple of images in our Facebook Group. I later found out that the girl I’m posing with on one of the pictures is a real X-Wing pilot! I wish I had known, I would have asked her for flight lessons …