19 May 2006

The Real Magic Carpet

It's amazing.

I awoke this morning in the Midwest.
At 1 P.M. I was laying my hands on a brand new helicopter in Torrance, California. I had hoped to spend the night in Tucson, Arizona, but reality got in the way of that plan. More on that in a sec.

I'm still amazed at the technology that can take us from one city and plop us in another, 2000+ miles away, in less than five hours! Think about it:
Our forebears crossed the same country I just flew over in Wagons......at all of 2 miles per hour!
If it rained, they got wet. If it snowed, they were in huge trouble. Instead, I ate my peanuts and drank my diet soda......then took a nap. I stayed warm and dry. How would "the 49-ers" react if they could know how easily we travel?

Back to "the best laid plans".......
I'm hoping to spend tomorrow night in Roswell, New Mexico with "Ole Prairie Dog".
I had hoped to make it to Tucson tonight so the travel day tomorrow wouldn't be so brutal.

But when I checked the engine oil on my preflight on this new helicopter, the oil dipstick, (a self-locking threaded apparatus on this machine), was cross-threaded.
"No Sweat!" says the delivery guy, and promptly brings out the mechanic to remedy the problem. Great!

But when he puts in the new filler tube, it too is boogered up. Drat!
He had to cannibalize a filler tube off another aircraft to get me on my way, and by the time the work was done, I was already two hours behind schedule.

Fifteen minutes out of Blythe, my eyes were getting bleary from fatigue.
I landed at 5:30 P.M. local time, and the gas jockey had already bugged out! His phone number posted on the wall......would have cost half the amount my motel room cost, just to get him to return to the airport.

Lots and lots of accidents happen because a pilot's reach exceeds his grasp...
Something pilots call "get-home-itis". It has caused a lot of bent, expensive metal, and many, many fatalities. I am VERY aware of it.

The gas guy bein' gone was the straw that broke the camels back. I called the motel courtesy car, and here I am, in air-conditioned comfort, while the outside temperature is still right at 100 degrees.

I'll be up bright and early in the A.M., and, after a great night's rest and a full breakfast, try to make up some lost time.

So, O.P.D., you may see me later than you wanted tomorrow night, but at least you'll be looking at someone with a body temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit!

More later, folks. I got some sleepin' to do! (Sorry for the disjointed post.....remember, I AM DOG-TIRED!)

1 comment: