Oct 3, 2014 Mistakes in airplanes and automobiles

Lots of folks are asking my wife if I am still having a good time in this job flying Dash-8’s for Piedmont.  The answer is most definitely – YES.  Now that I’m into this, I think people really want to know if I made a mistake in changing careers, given the significant drop in income. I don’t think that I did; my wife doesn’t think that I did; so that answer is – NO. The encouragement  I receive from my friends and fellow pilots is helpful, and show an appreciation for what Bev and I have done.  I would do this again – it is thrilling.

If anything – I feel a bit guilty during the downtime for not being as productive 24×7 as before. I am filling in those gaps though.

Mistakes in airplanes

Back from a 2 day flying a DHC-8 300 with my most challenging Captain. His personality and mine are not perfectly aligned, but we are establishing a rapport of sorts. I had a good time with him, and even learned a few new things this time around.

Doing my PM (Pilot Monitoring) role while he was flying, I gently pointed out a few minor mistakes he had made and he corrected those readily. He expressed appreciation or quietly accomplished the action required. Little stuff, but I felt good about contributing. Mind you – I still make more mistakes than he does; am continually getting better; and admit I am not in his league. We aren’t talking about me at the moment, now are we?

I also had the joy of being told I was WRONG on something a few times (both minor). I held my ground and explained why I thought I was correct. He came right back and confessed – which I thought was very cool. On the last one I told him to hold on a minute – I needed to savor the moment just a bit. We had a good laugh on that one and it showed me he actually was a good sport. Then he did some of the smoothest landings I’ve seen anyone do. Butterfly with slippers landing on a silk pillow. I was impressed and told him so.

Cool thing is that I respect the guy, even though I think he rushes through his procedures for no reason that is apparent to me. In my opinion, there are no points for speed beyond that which is needed to keep a schedule moving. Flying with him will get old for me on long trips until I get more experience. Once I do I think he will be just another Captain I enjoy flying with.

The Captains and Flight Attendants are the best part. They are a diverse group of characters, of which I am one. I look forward to flying with them again, and to enjoy elegant sport of sarcasm in a professional environment. These folks are a riot to be around – and then they fly some amazing approaches in these airplanes as if there was no skill involved.  Good people. Genuine. Willing to accept me and bring me along.

I’m off today and tomorrow.

Talking about good people doing a tough Job

I was driving up from the beach yesterday afternoon after returning from my 2 day. Bev called and told me to watch my speed on the road approaching our house in Smyrna. She had just gotten a ticket – her first in a very long time. During the exchange with the State Trooper, she treated the cop very well and they had a pleasant conversation. Even though she wasn’t feeling well, she thanked him for what he does. Then she called me to warn me.

As I drove up Brenford Road, I slowed the Mustang down to 35 mph even though I only saw a sign that said 50. I took my time looking for the 35 mph sign, but happened upon the State Trooper first. On impulse, I pulled over 20 feet in front of him

I waited for his permission to approach, and when we got together, let him know that I knew he was there because my wife had called. I told him who she was, and he remembered her and recounted their conversation. I let him know I wasn’t bitching about the ticket – either one of us was overdue. In this case though,  I knew he was there and slowed unnecessarily while I surveyed the road for speed signs. I truly believe this road is 50 mph – not 35 mph. Mind you – Bev was doing 60…..  but that isn’t the point at the moment.

He explained that there was a 35 mph sign right before where we stood, but that he would check right away. I thanked him and told him it was no big deal, he was probably right, and that I’d look again later to be sure. It was a pleasant exchange, I suspected he was right as I drove the last 1/2 mile to my home.

Not 20 minutes later he showed up at my house while I was unpacking my car. He got out and told me that he was wrong, and had gotten turned around with respect to where the signs were placed. Apparently he now had to undue several tickets he’d written, including ours. He asked for my Bev’s ticket back, and she brought it out to him.  The good trooper crumpled it up right there.

We promised to watch our speed and had a good laugh. The trooper was right in that the speed really should be lower now with all the new development. It was a lesson learned with a good outcome. We’ll both take it easy and watch for kids.

Very cool exchange with this guy. Pays to have a class act for a wife too.

Fly safe – and drive safe

Frank