He is Chasing Planes Around Already

Judah has the aviation bug… already he has begun chasing planes around. I’ve been doing it for as long as I can remember. Specifically, it may have started when I was single digits sitting in my fathers office watching people fly RC airplanes in a field across the street. The obsession culminated during many summers at Space Camp not learning about poison ivy like most kids.
It’s a common question in the cockpit during a round of self loathing. “Are you going to encourage your kids to work for the airlines?”


If you watch enough daytime TV… you will get cramps

In the morning we sit on the porch in our jammies and eat breakfast while the morning commuters honk at each other. Eight hours later we eat a snack outside and watch them return. Typically, we take a couple walks a day with one of the dogs and make sure the neighborhood is in check. We watch a little TV… “Two hours a day maximum, either educational or football. So as you don’t ruin your appreciation of the finer things.”


Mornings in a Hotel: “Where am I? What Time is it?”

A friend once told me that everyday he wakes up in a hotel it feels like waking up with a hangover. “I’m not sure where I am or how I got here but at least I have my pants on.”

Add in the fact that we stay in a variety of hotels with countless floor plans, alarm clock models and coffee makers and sometimes you’d think you were at a bachelor party the night before.
Throw in a 4:30am wake up call and that bachelor served nothing but “Mind Eraser” shots followed by Jagermeister to chase is all down with.


Maybe cribs should come with a flight attendant call button

I often attempt to “Identify and Cancel” when the baby monitor sounds from across the room. Unlike the airplane, there is only only color for the alarm – Red! No option to prioritize. The alarm is either Red… or Red. It’s too bad the monitor can’t give me a cautionary Yellow and Double Chime for “the diaper is full and it starting to leak around my thigh making my legs feel all sticky”. I’d put down my coffee for a Red warning and a Triple Chime for “a cat has crossed the 33rd parallel and is getting dangerously close to pouncing up into the crib with me.”


I made a burrito and forgot to shave

My job as a pilot is made much easier by checklists and routines. We do the same thing – the same way – every time. Our checklists are written in a way that is intended to flow logically as we set up the cockpit for each phase of flight. It’s the times when something upsets that flow – that checklist items are missed. You’re midway through a taxi checklist and a radio call breaks the cadence of the “challenge and response” and it’s easier (and safer) to start over rather then stumble back into it.


Something I haven’t heard in sometime. “First Available?”

I was asked this last night when looking for a table in Milwaukee. I haven’t heard that in years! It took a second to register what she was asking… and then I couldn’t remember what the alternative answer was. “Um… no. Last available? Er… Whichever is first – as long as it’s not smoking. Well… unless it’s going to be a really long wait. What is the divider between the two availables? If it’s that half wall, I’ll take smoking if I’m within a tables width of the divider. Where are the vents? Are they smoking near the bathroom?

Alert the pitcrew, we’re coming for more fuel

5:30 am show in DC for a 6:15am flight to Kansas City and then Milwaukee for a 3.5 hour sit in the airport before our trip back to DC. And then, back to Milwaukee for the night. During the 3 and a half hour sit, I rested under a CNN airport news network TV reporting on overworked and underpaid regional pilots. I sat  listening to experts compare the experience level of Sully on the Hudson and “commuter pilots.” (I’ve been a commuter pilot for 10 years and have stayed here while watching friends go off to the major airlines with the “experienced pilots” only to get furloughed as those major airlines give more flying to us… the regionals. When hired in 1999, my “Region” was PA. Now it’s the U.S.)

Time for a break from flying

I wonder if other jobs have simulators that workers play while on break. I’m not sure who this guy is – but maybe he has a checkride coming up and his is just ‘training’? I doubt it. We’ve got plenty of aviation geeks that can’t get enough of it. I do like the fact that he carries a joystick with him in his bag for between flight – flights. I will admit that I have, on occasion, found myself playing a few psp flying games while on the pad awaiting a wheels up time – these are games though that involve guns and missles and things I can’t do in real life


sneaky Originally uploaded by stork123 Aside from bluffing my way into free internet access codes at hotels that don’t offer it FREE to crew – I enjoy the free breakfast […]