I’ve been bored as hell lately. That has been due to a number of factors; namely a very light to non-existent work schedule, lots of rain and inclement weather, a wife that isn’t free to travel or even go to dinner due to senior care for her parents, and an airplane that is still being worked on.

I had just submitted my resume to be considered for some flying out of Lancaster, PA. I figured what the hell – all they could do was say no. I didn’t hear anything, naturally, but also didn’t have any other place to go. I was passing through Newark and decided to change course for a ride up to Lancaster on my Harley Ultra Limited. It was cooler today than it had been recently, but I had my jacket on and was really getting into the ride. Maybe I’ll get a light lunch up there, and then circle back home.

Accelerating westbound on route 273, the Harley was in its element; sounding and feeling good. I had the music going and my helmet visor up, cool wind in my face. I felt my phone buzzing on my belt about the same time as a dark dot appeared in my view, directly ahead. There was no time to react nor identify what it was, but came right at me and into the open face shield above to the right of my right eye.

Riding along at 65 mph or so, I was now being stung repeatedly by a yellow jacket lodged in my helmet. First order of business – CRUSH the little bugger since he was already pissed off and fighting for his life. Second order of business was to bring the motorcycle to the side of the road and ignore the growing desire to get my expensive helmet off without throwing it onto the roadway.

As I released the chin strap on my helmet, the bee fell out to the ground and I pulled it off of my head. There was a growing welt on the side of my face now that was hurting like hell. I had reacted badly to a similar bee sting in my youth, but have been ok the few times it has happened since then. I was concerned with this aggressive attack though, so I decided to stand by the roadside and at least let the wife know what was going on and where I was, in case I did react.

Pulling out my phone to call her, I saw a stream of texts coming through from a number I didn’t recognize. It was one of my Westwind clients looking for a co-pilot for next week, and he needed a quick answer.

The bee sting was lucky because I would not have seen these texts until much later in the day, had I not stopped to fight this yellow jacketed demon. Instead of calling my wife – now I was making arrangements for what would be my second contract flight. My face hurt like hell, but now I was rushing home to get all of my documents submitted and to begin making plans to go.

I’ve been told that it is a good time for me to finish my first book and get it published. I’m considering a structured approach to doing just that for the winter; along with joining a gym.

I’ll be posting on the progress of my airplane very soon, I hope. The custom made parts are with my A&P, and he is presumably making great progress putting it all back together. I sure hope I get it back very soon.

Obviously, I’ll post about the contract flight I’m doing on the 15th/16th. I’m actually sitting in the airport doing this update as we speak. Waiting on my Piedmont buddies to get me to Vermont this afternoon.

Fly safe:  Frank


By fdorrin

Recently rated Gulfstream 280 pilot, working on instructor qualifications. WestWind and Astra corporate jet flight instructor. Contract corporate pilot. Own and operate a PA30 Twin Comanche. CFII; MEI; ME-ATP; SES; Typed in DHC-8, B-25, IAI-1124, IAI1125, G100, G280. Retired engineer / executive - Delmarva Power, Conectiv Energy, and PEPCO Holdings, Inc.