As a layman, one of the thing that fascinates me most about flying formation is not just how close the planes can get (which is fascinating, of course), but how they manage to fly exactly the same speed. Maybe I’m embarrassing myself now with stupid questions, but how accurate and how sensitive is the throttle of a plane? How precise can you set the speed, and then keep it? With the throttle, you adjust the thrust, not the airspeed, right?
Since I have seen both side of this coin, I do feel for the mechanics. This happened to me plenty of times in my younger years. The pilot landed and walked away while I was there all night fixing the helicopter. And now, almost exclusively working as a pilot, I try not to be “that guy” for that exact reason. Yet there are times, after flying a noisy helicopter all day, looking into the sun, on a busy fire with many aircraft to watch out for, and no air-condition in the aircraft, when you just have to walk away at the end of the day because you would probably do more damage than good if you stuck around trying to swing tools. Also, and this might be an age thing or the fact I have a far better and prettier half, I don’t go chasing girls after a day like that anymore but rather seek a cold beer and then a clean bed pretty much right away.
There is one thing I have always thought is funny about aviation seminars. It’s the difference between mechanic seminars and pilot seminars. I have been to both. On a mechanic seminar, when it was said that it starts at 8 am, it almost always started right at 8 am with everybody sitting down, pencil in hand. On pilot seminars, … not so much. At 8 am they would still be trickling in, find other pilots they know, catch up on the latest rumors, grab another cup of coffee, stand around chatting, until around 8:20 the speaker would try to get everybody to shut up and sit down so we can get started with the meeting 😉
Nobody can tell me we haven’t all been there before! I am certainly guilty and learned many lessons like this the hard way, sometimes over and over. I guess I’m not a quick study. It almost looks like Nobu is getting off easy on this trip by Chuck getting sick. Julio had to endure so much more in the past. We have so many Chuck-airshow-adventures by now I’m starting to wonder if we have enough for a book even 😉
I hope some of you actually get to see the Blue Angels live, if not this weekend then in the near future at least. As far as I am concerned they are a must on every aviation enthusiasts bucket list. Even us rotor-heads all agree that if one must go stuck-wing, this would be the way to travel and the thing to do. Plus those jets are so shiny, I just love them.
The ones among you who are going: Post pictures please! And let us know how you enjoyed the show and what all we missed.
Of course the Blue Angels are one of the main reasons for Chuck to go to Miramar in the first place. I’ve never seen them at a show, but I did see them in real life once. It was 2008 and my wife (at the time girlfriend), my dad and me were visiting the States for Mike’s wedding. After the wedding, the three of us went on a short trip around California.
And just when we were at the scenic spot in San Francisco, where you can get a good view of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Blue Angels were flying across the bay in close formation! It was really cool and I was very excited! When I turned to my girlfriend with a big grin on my face, asking her if this wasn’t absolutely awesome, she said something like “yeah, nice.”
I married her anyway!
Have you ever been riding in a car with somebody who doesn’t pay attention? Think we all might be able to relate to this one. My favorite is when I sit in the back seat and the driver keeps turning around half way to talk to me. So far my scariest experience with was in Athens with the cab driver telling stories, constantly yapping away on one of his two cell phones yelling at the other end in Greek. Finally the other pilot asked the cabby “Hey! Are you a stock broker?”. The guy said “No. Why?”, so he finished it off with “Then get off the phone and drive the damn cab!” Haha!
It seems Chuck has found another victim … I mean … buddy to enjoy the airshow with. Let’s see how Nobu will handle hanging out with Chuck or if he is ready to kill him by the end of the day like Julio is. Who all of you friends of the coop are going to the Miramar show? Unfortunately I will have to skip it since I have to work the weekend with the California Fire Season still being in full swing. I am bummed since I love the Miramar Airshow especially watching the Blue Angels perform. It is probably no coincidence that Chuck also likes the Blue Angels.
Speaking of the Blues: We happen to have a few original “Blue Angels” patches in our other online store AVIATORwebsite if you guys are interested. They are a few extra patches from our friend who makes them directly for the Blues so they usually are not available in stores. Check them out!
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?
It is funny that most of my aviation friends, especially the guys, orient themselves with cardinal headings while most girls I know go more by landmarks. For me personally, it is really tough getting around on the ground in an inner city, especially at night and/or when I mix in a subway ride or two, because I lose my orientation quite easily. The moving map GPS for the car was probably one of the most important inventions for pilots in our century. 😉
I also had a friend who I used to fly with who loved to use aviation speak in his sentences wherever and whenever he could. He was also a movie pilot so it was actually a combination of the two. It drove me nuts at the time especially when he was trying to explain things to non-aviators, but now that he is gone I actually miss it sometimes.
So I guess this would be another strip inspired by real life. 😉
Talking about seeing signs, do any of you (who are old enough, I guess) remember that song “I saw the sign” from Ace of Base? There you go, now you have a stupid song in your head for the rest of the day! You’re welcome!
I wonder if curling is the sport he would pick, but as long as heli skiing is not an Olympic discipline, I can’t think of a more suitable sport. At least he can keep on his sunglasses then!