Feb 9, 2020 – Exciting Developments

Note of appreciation: Josh and others. Thank you for the feedback I’ve been getting on this blog. It is encouraging to see that what I write occasionally has value. 

What a really great week! In the month where I normally curtail my flying and hunker down to wait for spring, I’m actually ramping up aviation activities.

N833DF is coming back Tuesday! Naturally, it is currently forecast to rain well into the afternoon. The opportunity to get this flight and inspection done that day is in question, and rescheduling it to meet our respective schedules may be a challenge this week. Once again I’ll have to control my deep desire to get the flight done now, balancing the weather risks against schedules. Further delays are possible.

Actually being able to fly will be a last minute decision. I’m booked through the weekend otherwise, and won’t be able to fly during daylight easily. Acknowledge the pressure, verbalize the risk, and defer the flight if I have to.

I’m exceedingly happy that the airplane will be ready to go, in any event. I’ll be ecstatic when I can see it in my hangar and available for my personal use. So exciting!

I want to use the airplane to fly to KSAV for work in March. There will be an inspection after the first flight, but no oil change after the initial break-in flight. If I can get the flight in Tuesday, I can fly off the entire 10 hours this weekend. Then I’ll schedule an oil change with Paul, and be able to fly it to KSAV and back with fresh oil.

Westwind Flying: The planned flight earlier this month was canceled. The airplane was in for ADS-B at the last minute, and it wasn’t completed on time. It is apparently ready now, and I understand that I’ll get a call for one last flight in it later this month.

G280 Opportunity: I am very excited at the prospect of developing a new opportunity to contract fly in the GulfStream 280 aircraft. My friend who has been contracting me in the Westwind is transitioning to a new company that just purchased a G280. As a result, he requested me as his instructor for himself and his co-workers. I’ve scheduled myself to work with him and his teammates in June.

I have no idea wether or not they’ll ever need contract pilots, nor wether or not they’d even consider using me as opposed to pilots they are familiar with. I do know I have made a good impression on my friend. Now I’m going to work very hard to impress the hell out of these guys he works with, and maximize a potential opportunity.

What a cool synergy having this turn of events amplify my motivation to learn and practice how to instruct in both the classroom and sim for this new jet. I think I have the sim stuff down already, as I’ve said before, but practicing the classroom delivery to an empty room has been boring. I’m on it now though! This beautifully timed motivation will be great for me, wether or not I ever get to contract fly with these clients.

Improved schedule for February: The Astra team needed some help this month, and asked my current boss to borrow me. I’m current and a TCE in that airplane, so he asked me if I was interested. I really wanted to be home more than I’ve been, and told him I’d never pass up a chance during this training to be home more. Training in the Astra would be fine for now, and I could practice the G280 on the available days up north.

He set all that up for me, and went further by arranging my March training to be in Savannah instead of DFW. There is just a little more to the story, considering that DFW had some conflicts with bringing me back down in March anyway. What I saw, however, was a program manager who went out of his way to motivate me to continue my progress by meeting as many of my needs as his could while manage his program effectively.

Opportunity to train in Savannah instead of DFW: Providing training in Savannah instead of DFW will be a nice change for me, and my boss knew it. Working in KSAV means I can fly myself down and back, avoiding commercial flying while enjoying my beautiful Twin Comanche. My boss is working to arrange a break in the training schedule that will allow me to fly home for 4 days. I see it as a significant break. I’m flying home to break up my time away; getting to spend some time with my wife; and using my airplane like I’ve been wanting to.

My boss earned major points on all of this. If it ends up not working out the way it is currently planned – I’m ok with that too. I really like the fact that he took the time to do this for me.

Motivation: I said this earlier in this post, but I’m still amazed at the timing of the news that my Westwind friend is becoming my G280 friend. My motivation had been waning working solo to prepare for delivering voluminous classroom training. Couple that with the frustrations of trying to get my own airplane moving and the times I’ve been away from home down in DFW.

I am in a very good place mentally to get this work done. This summer will be amazing.

Fly Safe!

Frank