Since Roost-Air is rapidly approaching their 15 year anniversary, we thought we would show you a classic strip “from back in the day” every now and then with a little background information mixed in. Some of those are from pre-website days and are otherwise only available in our first book.
I was flying off-shore at the time and transitioning to an oil-rig off the coast of California which had me transition through Santa Barbara’s airspace. The easiest route was to transition along the shoreline but the tower preferred us to be low so he can route approaching fixed wing traffic on top of us. Well, there is a little hill on the shore between Santa Barbara and Goleta where the airport is, so radio reception and radar coverage wasn’t the best. Yet the tower always made us fly low and squawk a code, but then turn around and complain he wasn’t picking us up. We tried flying further offshore and as high as we could without busting the given ceiling but it never worked quite right. So since they always gave us a really low number to squawk (maybe that is what was assigned to them, not sure how that works), the joke was born inside the aircraft about trying to get a higher number. Of course in the real world we didn’t transmit this part (even though we probably should have just for the fun of it, but I was flying for the government and we all know how much fun can be had while doing that).
This is also one of the first strips ever to use the “Chuck, is that you?” line. It was around this time we decided to just make this a permanent thing. The original idea was to always have Chuck park his pick-up in front of the hangar and Julio complaining about it with the standard line “Move the truck, Chuck!” which is based on a true story. But we could never really fit that in the strips as much and once the radio issue idea came to be we felt it was a much better fit and quite frankly, way funnier. One of my personal biggest wins was the first time I sat around a air tanker base with a bunch of pilots I had never met before a few years later. Somebody messed up on the frequency and a pilot in the ready room yelled out “Chuck, is that you?” which got everybody laughing. I knew then we were on the right track with this punchline and that is why you still see it. The next goal is to achieve notoriety similar to “I’ll be back”, HAHA!
Sorry for the slight delay in today’s update! Yesterday was a public holiday here, so it kinda felt like Monday for me today, and I almost forgot to upload the regular Tuesday strip. Well, better late than never!
It’s important to be precise! Well, sometimes at least, often it’s not. The trick is to know the difference. It’s always funny to watch people who have no sense of proportion and appropriate precision. E.g. when you want to calculate your return on investment on something, and some of your input variables are a wild guess or at least a rough assumption, there is always somebody who then ends up with a dollar figure calculated to the tenth place behind the comma and thinks it’s accurate.
Oh, and talking about writing down sums of money. One of my pet peeves is this: When you write down an even amount here, you put a comma and a dash at the end. E.g. when Americans would write $21.00 we would write $21,- . By the way, I don’t know if this is a European or German thing. Other Europeans, do you also do that?
Anyway, there are some people (some close to me, I won’t name names) who don’t know that that’s supposed to be a comma and think it just means “something to do with money”. So when they write down $21.45 they write $21,45,-! Aaah!! Why? How can you have two commas in one number? Sometimes you even see it on menus of restaurants. For some reason the concept is really hard to explain though to people who do this …
Tomorrow I will pack my bags and head over to Friedrichshafen, Germany, to visit the AERO expo on Thursday an Friday. I’m really looking forward to it! Thanks to everybody who already got in touch with me! We won’t have a booth there, so I’ll be roaming the halls and there’s no fixed place to meet me. But I now have a (rather disorganized) list of people I want to meet, and I am sure somehow we’ll all manage to meet up at some point.
And if you see a short blondish guy with a Chicken Wings t-shirt, chat him up, it will probably be me! Or you can also send me a text on short text to my cell phone (my number is on our contact page here) and I’ll see if we can work something out. See you there!
Sun and sunlight. I vaguely remember seeing something like that in the past. Well, to be honest, yesterday it was sunny here. But before that we had a winter that lasted about 5 months, and certainly felt like 7 months. It’s high time for spring! I think I can imagine now what winter in Finland or Alaska must feel like, and I can’t say I envy the folks up there. I’m more of a spring and summer guy, after all (although I do love skiing!).
So I guess sequestration finally hit Roost Air as well. Or did it? Having flown in and out of Santa Monica myself I know that they just “love” pilots like Chuck over there …
But on a more serious note, we really think that the proposed tower closures will have a profound impact on aviation safety. A lot of “small towers” on that list aren’t all that small and a few of them are feeder airports underneath or around very busy airspace. So please call/write/fax your representatives in the pilot organizations, your senators, whoever you can find to fight this. It will hurt us all if this goes through. This isn’t just about the job loss on the controller side, this is about safety and human lives. There was a reason why those towers were put in in the first place.
In case you haven’t seen the list yet and how many towers are actually on there, here is one of the links: http://www.scpr.org/news/2013/03/19/36446/smaller-air-traffic-control-towers-anticipate-clos/
This one came from a cockpit conversation with one my guys during our annual training at BUR airport. Nobody called themselves an expert but there was a discussion about how much of a mess this would be if we made the SWA flight on final go around plus the guy behind him. Somehow within this barely related discussion I suddenly thought of this strip. It’s weird how and when creativity suddenly hits you. I wrote it on my kneepad while the other guy was flying and here is the result.
As some of you also commented on our last strip, I hope we will end up at the right Oshkosh too! But Mike was already there once, so I bet he knows the way. For me, it’s going to be my first time in that general area of the States. Usually I go visit Mike on the west coast and only maybe transfer in Chicago. I hear Chicago is a beautiful city (I’ll stay there one night), so I’m really looking forward to this trip!
Some people are just a pleasure to work with. My father in law is a good example for that. He’s always thinking ahead and has the right idea and right tool handy at the right time, all the while being unobtrusive and cooperative.
And then, on the other hand, there are people who are well meaning and genuinely attempting to help, who actually slow you down. (No offense, Chuck!)
A friend of mine who flies for the airlines has assured me that that’s not how it really works in London. On the other hand, I remember stories my brother used to tell me about the times he was a UN soldier in Cyprus, where he was part of a mixed special force consisting of British, Argentinian and Austrian troops. Apparently not even a violent riot was enough to keep the Brits from having their tea time with their thermos behind the army truck.
And, as all avid readers of Asterix know, the Britons stopping in the middle of battle for their “hot water with mik” was how the Romans were able to conquer the island!