"The Bob" complains I don't write enough about flying. And he's entitled to his opinion about how I should manage MY posts on MY blog. I've taken his complaints under consideration and will consult with the owner of the blog about how to proceed. I think the owner and I can come to an immediate consensus. Comforting.
Still, if The Bob would like more flying posts, maybe others feel the same way.
So I drove 90 minutes to the airport yesterday knowing I had nothing scheduled, but hoping once I got there someone would say "Hey GB, c'mon, let's go fly", and I'd have blogging material to satisfy The Bob and others.
I love bein' an airport bum. I wish there was a way to make an income being an airport bum... (Maybe Bozama needs another Czar?)
Even if it only paid minimum wage I'd sign up tomorrow!
Pilots are all interesting folks. All have a zest for life... all spent some discretionary income to learn to fly. All are willing to take the additional risk required by strapping yourself into a small machine and pushing away from Mother Earth.
Some pilots are big risk takers, some are not. Pilots can spot the risk takers amongst our ranks in pretty short order. The old saw "There are OLD pilots and BOLD pilots, but no OLD, BOLD pilots" holds true, so those of us who are not "bold" pilots enjoy being around the bold guys while we can, hoping when they kill themselves they don't carry others with them into the "smoking hole". But all pilots have colorful stories...
Get a pilot started talking and you'll be entertained and educated at the same time.
I'm never bored at the airport. I arrived at the hangar to find Frank and Dr. H. chatting. Both Frank and Dr. H. are former helicopter students of mine. Frank is now a commercial pilot/CFI and owns his own R44, which I am blessed to have easy access to.
Dr. H. is a plastic surgeon. In addition to flying helicopters, he's also a fixed-winger and a glider pilot/instructor. He's also an amateur magician.
We chat about health care reform. We chat about Frank's recent trip to Costa Rica. Interesting stuff.
Dr. H. leaves... he has to go give someone a flight physical.
I walk across the taxiway to Mark's hangar. Mark also owns an R44 and my former student Frank was his primary helicopter instructor. I've also given Mark a little dual instruction and consider him a close friend. Mark owns a construction business and one of his focuses is building hangars. His main supervisor building hangars is Marcia, and she is with him in his hangar. Alongside the two of them is Keith, who has a hangar down the taxiway. Keith is also a former student of mine and also owns an R44, a T28 Trojan, and a
Piper Navajo Chieftain. Keith owns a security company.
Here again, talk turns to politics...
Energy prices going up. Taxes going up. Insurance costs going up.
Where does it end? Who can afford to own an aircraft? How do we continue to fly? And ultimately, what can we do about these questions?
Keith leaves and almost immediately Dr. R. walks in, accompanied by his grown son. Dr. R., a Dentist, owns a large Dental facility across town. Also a former student of mine, he's lost so much weight since I last saw him I don't recognize him right away. "Diet and exercise" he says, and I'm glad to hear that the loss is not because he's deathly ill.
Again, talk turns to politics. Dr. R. is buying gold.
Dr. R. is buying ammunition. Dr. R. says having stores of ammunition will soon be more important than owning gold...
With ammunition you'll be able to buy gold.
We sit at the big table and beers are opened...
Now, for me there'll be no flying tonight, but conversation will become more relaxed, (and may be more interesting).
Jodie drives up in her jeep. In the passenger seat is Sophie, her Golden Lab/Pit Bull mix. Sophie is one solid canine... easily weighs 80 pounds, so it's a good thing she's a sweetie. Jodie is a student pilot, working toward her fixed-wing Private Pilot rating. She grabs a beer, sits, and joins the conversation. Sophie saunters over and plunks against my leg, wanting her ears scratched.
After drinking a beer with us, Dr. R. leaves.
Dr. S., an ER Doc and fixed-wing pilot walks through the door, smiling. He goes immediately to the fridge, grabs a beer, sits and joins the conversation. The five of us talk for over an hour before we finally say our "see ya next times" and head for home.
Dr. H., Frank, Keith, Mark, Marcia, Dr. R. and his son, Jodie, Dr. S., and me...
And the only thing we disagree on about the coming "troubles" is how long it will take to start, and how chaotic it will be when it starts. (Sophie didn't offer an opinion, other than to indicate "ear scratching" was wonderful.)
No one disagrees that it WILL start.
All are working as quickly as possible to prepare.
So Bob, I tried for ya man!
I had high hopes I'd be able to go fling-winging and write here about the joys of watching the shadow of the helicopter recede as we climb out on takeoff.
Didn't happen, Dude.
But I want ya to know, this session was good for me...
Lots of intelligent, interesting people from different walks of life agree with me that we're sitting on a powder keg.
After the Town Hall meetings, do you think our elected representatives have a clue about how working folks in the heartland of the country feel?
I hope so. Last night convinced me more than ever...
Getting their attention is the only way to avoid the explosion.
2010 is right around the corner. Maybe this will get their attention?