22 December 2008

Keith Did It!

I'm thinking that will be the new mantra for this ferry trip:
More on that in a sec.

It's raining. It's foggy.
I first brought a helicopter home from Torrance in 1988. Eighteen trips later and I awake to find, for the very first time, rain and poor visibilities. Traffic copters are zipping over the highways, but those folks know where every wire and tower is in the local area. Remember, Ol' Greybeard falls into the category of "Old Pilot" because he most generally avoided being a "Bold Pilot". Takeoff is gonna be delayed today, and may be postponed until much later... forecast winds in the foothills when this stuff blows Eastward are 50 knots. Ouch.

Keith is the new owner of this machine. When we made the arrangement for me to provide ferry services for him he said, "I'll have Mary Ann make your flight reservations, you take care of everything else."
What a deal.
He booked us on Southwest airlines, which brought a smile to my face. But we first flew to Jacksonville, Florida, then to Seattle Washington, then on to L.A..
Incredible, huh?
That's because I just lied to ya. It's not quite that bad. Here's the true story:
We flew to Dallas Love, then to Albuquerque, and then to LAX. We were on airplanes or in airports more than 8 hours yesterday. THANK YOU KEITH! See if I allow Mary Ann to make my flight reservations again in this lifetime! NOT!

Booked into the Ramada, we went and ate Chinese. WARNING: When they say HOT and SPICY in Southern Cal. and you order "General Tso's Chicken", be sure you are in a restaurant where they provide unlimited beverage refills... you're gonna need 'em. I'm ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE I'll be reminded tomorrow of the wonderful meal we had last night!

Back in the motel room we got out charts and started initial planning for today's trip. Keith loaned us his new Garmin 496... nice gesture, huh? We had a 296 set out to bring along with us, but Keith's offer of the 496 was too good to refuse. I bought new batteries for it and Frank got the 496 out of his bag to install them. The Garmin looked like a Christmas tree with no star on top...
NO ANTENNA! New batteries or old, it's worthless to us! KEITH DID IT!

So now we wait and watch. There is a break in the weather forecast this afternoon and I'd like to get started Eastbound, even if we can only make it a short distance.
Please don't worry. I promise decisions will be made with safety utmost on the agenda.

Thanks for the generous offer. I'll keep your phone number at hand, and at minimum would like to buy lunch at some point. Keep your ears open for my ring.

More coming.


OlePrairiedog said...

Wx here for Tuesday - Windy. Partly cloudy with a slight chance of rain showers. Not as cool. Highs in the mid 50s to lower 60s. Southwest winds 20 to 30 mph increasing to 25 to 35 mph in the afternoon. Gusts up to 45 mph.
I'll buy lunch if you can make it, but, be safe rather than push it.

cj said...

GB -

Oh my. I hope things improve both weather wise and otherwise!


Anonymous said...


Try an antenna from a handheld VHF radio on the 496 - I've done that with my 295s, but never tried it on a 486 (I remembered the antenna....)

Nice weather for a little VFR jaunt - as you know "Time to spare, go by air"

Sure, give me a shout, BTW they have a great airport cafe at CHD, it's open until 2-2:30, fuel prices are low.

Good Luck