Regarding finishing the paint project and getting my outstanding machine back in proper trim: The long road back from screwing around with trim tabs and ailerons and flight testing and holy cow winds has reached an appropriate end. It has been a long and frustrating process, but everyone involved played their part, and it’s done. The airplane flies straight and true.
Regarding the rest of my life: My wife – my best buddie – is out of town helping others. That’s what she does. That means that even my spare time is spent playing with airplanes, even though there is other stuff to do.
Bev headed out in early February, just as I was developing an awful cold. I went to work because I’ve been sucking it up for 35 years, and thought this new career would be no different. I do feel bad for Captain M, however, since he had to deal with my sniveling and wiping down controls the entire trip. I felt awful. Philly, Bradley, circling approaches, and lots of wind were the order of the day.
For the first time I had a Captain chose to do the landing on my leg. We hadn’t flown together before, and I clearly did not inspire confidence in this case. I’ll work on that. The winds were gusting up to 36 knots, but the crosswind component wasn’t too bad. I didn’t feel well, so it was easier to accept. Doesn’t matter though – my job is to accept it anyway.
The next day was Buffalo and the winds were just as bad, only with snow and a slightly larger crosswind component. The same Captain allowed me to continue on my leg, but couldn’t quite keep his hands off the controls. I’d have been safe, but he’d have been smoother. This guy was good, and he was starting to trust me more. I can work with this. I learned something more about CRM here too. I’m not as good as I think I am – ever.
New day – New trip – New Captain. We go up to Ithaca and we each are dead-heading all over with only this one leg to fly; back to Philly. He gives it to me. Classy. I really like working with this guy I’ve only flown with once. I am experienced – very experienced – yet inexperienced – so very inexperienced. I spend quite a bit of the day talking and listening to Captains and Flight Attendants. I’m having a really good day.
We get home around 7:30 pm and scheduling has maintenance flights for me the next day, reporting at 4am. Captain C is a great brand new Captain I enjoy flying with, and he gets the same message. 5:10 is the first legal time, he tells them, so they change our schedule. The next day is allot of sitting, but the conversation is good and the CRM with this guy is excellent. He willingly shares what he knows, and I willingly share my shortcomings. I’m filling in the missing pieces.
I still haven’t studied, even though CQ could come at any moment.
Captain C and I take a 300 to Charlotte and bring a 100 back. Just us on the airplane. I am blessed to be in this job and around these people. All of them.
I’ve spent the last few days flying in my own airplane with a Commercial Aviation hopeful, another ME pilot with similar experiences to my own, and one of my very best friends who is the most professional GA pilot I know.
I cannot wait for my wife to get home, but in the mean time, I’m flying anything that is on the airport without the doors being locked.