19 September 2009

"Clear Blue and Twenty-Two"

When I show up for work this time of year the sun is just beginning to duck it's head behind the horizon. I have to do my walk-around quickly if I want to do it without the assistance of the flashlight.
Last night was one of those nearly perfect nights...
What we used to call "Field Grade" weather in the ARMY, 'cause the higher ranking pilots could wait until the weather was perfect to go meet their required flying minimums...
Clear sky, unlimited visibility, and temps conducive to great aircraft performance.

So it's Friday night...
High School sports. Date night. Folks moving around realizing bad weather is just around the corner. I was sure we'd be flying most of the evening, and since the aircraft sat idle my two previous nights
I was looking forward to lighting the fire in two Lycomings and contributing to global warming.

Didn't happen.
The phone rang twice to put us on standby for motor vehicle accidents, and we "stood by" for a few minutes on each before being called and told "NEVERMIND!".
(We never really know why we are not needed, but we know it's either because the patients are not seriously hurt, or they are "DRT"... Dead Right There.)

So for the third night in a row I checked weather and NOTAMS, preflighted the aircraft, briefed the crew and dispatch, then watched TV, surfed the net, told lies to my co-workers, and went to bed for a few hours shuteye while being paid well for wishing I was flying.
It's important to remember-
We're not paid for doing the job. We're paid for knowing how to do the job and being ready to do it when called.
Being idle causes mixed emotions...
When the phone doesn't ring it's a good thing 'cause folks aren't hurting. But it also means you're not feeding all those horses sitting out there on the pad beneath that rotor.
Too many nights like the last few cause bean-counters to begin to question whether you're needed at all.
Back to work tonight... Saturday night. The forecast is for rain and fog.
What a business.

1 comment:

CJ said...

The nature of the beast, my friend. It's either crazy busy or seriously dead.

And you're the second person in the last couple of months to us "DRT" - which I'd never seen before.