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 …
I like how Hans continuously tries to come up with clever ways to keep his employees motivated. I guess if you are cheap, you need to try to be clever. I am not all that sure he is succeeding this time. Of course none of us in the real aviation world have ever dealt with operators that are cheap (*cough cough*) and know that this strip is completely invented.
But let’s do something new here! Post your favorite “motivational” quotes underneath the strip! Let’s see what motivates you!
Ah! Skydiving! It was high on my list of potential hobbies, until I actually tried it. A few years ago, one of our dear readers invited me to a tandem jump (hi Charlie!). That’s one of the perks of drawing a comic in this particular niche, I suppose.
Don’t get me wrong, it was AWESOME. The rush of jumping out of the plane, the free fall, the goofing around with the other skydivers … it’s hard to describe the feeling, and I can imagine it must be so much cooler still when you’re not strapped with your butt to some other dude’s crotch.
But when the chute opened, things took a turn for the worse. At first it was nice to cruise along and watch the landscape from above. But soon, I started to feel motion sickness. What can I say, it’s something I have dealt with all my life, and one of the reasons why I’m not a mariner or aviator. I barely made it to the ground without puking. And the last minute or two were sheer torture.
That’s not to say that I don’t want to try it again some day. Many things deserve a second shot. But, although I know it’s rather safe, as long as you do everything right, now that I’m a father, I have decided to postpone it until further notice. I’ve never been an adrenaline junkie, but now I’m even more risk averse than before. Or maybe that’s just a sign that I’m getting old, haha!
This classic strip idea came from back when I was still very actively working as an airplane mechanic at a little flight school. We were working on all kinds of planes of all shapes and sizes and also had a lot of “squawks” from students that turned out not to be a problem with the aircraft at all (for example, the transponder rarely transmits a return in the “OFF” mode). In the midst of all this small flight school madness I had students and instructors alike stop by on their way back from the flight line (the hangar happened to be between the ramp and the office) and just verbally tell me what they had found wrong on their plane that day. It was convenient for them and who wants to ground the airplane for something that might not turn out to be a big deal, right?! But guess how much of that I remembered if 12 people told me something about 5 different planes all while doing 2 different inspections on 2 more planes?
The other guys and I actually got in the habit of just responding with “Huh! That’s interesting” to every one of the squawks and concentrated on the ones that were written down and came to us through a work order. It was the only way to keep us on track without getting pulled into a hundred different directions. Also, it worked in our favor if something didn’t get fixed and the pilots complained. We asked them “Well, did you write it down?” and they said “No, but you said you’ll take a look” or “you said you’ll fix it”. Then we could say “Did I really say that? Or did I just say – Huh! That’s interesting” ? HAHA
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?
Only a bit more than a day and we will have put 2016 behind us. There’s this meme going round about 2016 being a terrible year. For me personally, it was a pretty good year though! No big illnesses or tragedies in the family, my two kids are happy and healthy, business is going well (albeit still on a comic and graphic artist scale, an investment banker with my income might have already jumped from a skyscraper, but I digress), and life is good in an overall way.
My happy attitude is also helped by my cynicism. Yes, some artists have died, some of which I really liked myself. But celebrities die every year and with the boom in the entertainment industries since the 60s, I think the amount of stars dying each year is bound to go up and up.
Also, because family life takes up the last ounce of energy, I don’t watch the evening news anymore. While I still read the news, my overall level of stress and anxiety has gone down drastically in regard to politics and world events. It might have to do with the fact that I consume less news, or that I consume it on my terms. I don’t know. But breaking the habit of watching TV was one of the best things that happened to me, and I really intend to keep it the way it is, even when the kids have grown more independent and I will have a bit more free time.
The only thing I would have liked to change about 2016 was the amount of sleep I got. But things can only get better in that regard! So yay! Looking forward to 2017!
Anyway, I hope all of you also had a great 2016 and will have an even better 2017! We will see you all on the other side!
I’ve got my snow shovel sharpened, oiled and ready. But temperatures here have risen to cozy 5°C, and yesterday evening we even had 10°C. Not that I miss the snow so much, as long as there is enough in the skiing areas. At least I don’t have to dig out any vehicles and ensure that nobody slips on the sidewalk in front of my house. But I have to admit that I do love a little bit of snow once in a while during the winter. We’ll see! There are still a few months to go!
Merry Christmas everybody! Or shall I say Happy Holidays? I personally have never met anybody who was offended by either. It’s one of those subjects that I only ever read about and can never quite fathom if it really is an issue for some people or not.
Anyway, while my brother temporarily resides in what seems to be the Pakistani part of Sydney, where it’s midsummer right now, and thus is doubly challenged with getting into the Christmas spirit, here in Austria things are getting more and more festive by the hour. I am really looking forward to the big family gathering tomorrow, the people, the food, the singing and to witness the little folk’s eyes light up when they see the Christmas tree. Closely followed by drowning in gift wrapping paper.
That is, if everything goes according to plan. Just ten minutes ago, our younger son threw up all over the kitchen. I hear there’s a stomach bug making the rounds, which apparently made it its mission to create suspense for the children and the parents! Yay! Exciting!
Well, we’ll hope for the best. And I hope you’re having a wonderful Christmas, wherever you are and whatever you wish for, be it excitement, serenity, a feeling of belonging, or simply to survive! Have a big feathered hug from the chicken coop to start!
We’ve actually been getting a little bit of snow here in the last couple of days. Not enough to last until Christmas, of course, but I would guess that the chances for a white Christmas are better than ever this year. Not for my brother though, who just arrived in ‘Straya today. But here in Austria … we’ll see!
Please forgive me for keeping this here short, but I actually have to go and just remembered that I hadn’t uploaded today’s strip yet! So, tada! See you next Friday!!
Not a bad idea, you have to admit. Although pizza tastes good in most conditions, except maybe frozen, I also prefer it to be at least slightly warm.
Thinking about it, somebody should take this idea and create heated mugs. I don’t know how prevalent Christmas markets are in the States. But around here, we have them everywhere. The traditional drink sold at these markets is hot wine punch, based on mostly red wine and spices. I only partake in it occasionally, but it always bothers me that, when you get the mug, the wine is so hot, you can barely drink it andthe mug burns your fingers. Then there’s a brief period when the wine has just the right temperature, not too hot and not too cold. To me, that period usually last for about two small sips. After that, the wine is so cold that it doesn’t taste good anymore. I wonder why there aren’t thermos mugs or something out there. I pay deposit for those cups anyway.