Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Get the Bat Decoder - It's Time to Go Flying!

 Watch for Ninja DC-3's

As pilots, back in the day, we had numerous evaluations by senior officers and check pilots with the organization. I still have a few of the old forms, just for nostalgia. There were the usual performance parameters including "Uniform"  for getting caught out of uniform, especially your cap, was a serious breach of the dress code. I did well on that, actually on all areas except for one fellow who gave just an average rating on punctuality. I asked the guy "why the score? I was early!" He said "I never give anyone all top marks. I said (being stubborn and redheaded) "But I was EARLY, what would I have had to do to get a one"  He said "show up early with donuts". Now, just flying to keep basic currency up, I can rate my own performance using the old form:

Punctuality: I was early. Did I tell you I was early?

Appearance and Grooming: Wearing both socks. Strawberry lip gloss. Collar and cuffs matching.

Medical Fitness - Went through security earlier. X Ray and breast exam now current.

Uniform - Khakis have occupied same room as an iron. T shirt offensive to most liberals.  Felt hat appears as if the dog had gotten a hold of it and there's one burned spot. Crown decorated with fur of some small creature, with two feathers stuck in brim.  Hat looks like a midair between a bird and Rocky J. Squirrel, however it covers the head .

Weather Briefing -Accu-Knee weather says front has passed.  Checked Temporary Flight Restriction information as no desire to fly formation with cute guy in F16 today.

SOP's: Aircraft had neither military or DOD sticker so did not salute. I did salute a 1986 Buick, obviously lacking turn signals, on the drive to the airport, but used proper finger.
System Knowledge: Can still draw out the entire electrical system of a 727 on a cocktail napkin, without alcohol.

Emergency System Knowledge:   They're beeping and they're flashing. They're flashing and they're beeping! I cant stand it anymore, they're blinking and they're flashing.

Preflight: Did not remove small layer of frost from the airplane with an old Lynyrd Skynyrd cassette case (not that anyone has ever done that or anything). Applied equal kicking pressure to both tires. Removed airport cat from wing without bodily injury. Aircraft is departing with same number of parts it landed with.

Use of Checklist: Performed all checklist items. Did NOT heat up metal ends of the shoulder harness with a Bic lighter for the copilot that kept shoving his seat back into the engineers knees HARD!

Takeoff:  Anti-Smash On. Verified  runway is fairly long as opposed to extraordinary wide, prior to adding power.

Risk Management and Judgement - I did not eat an airport burrito prior to takeoff.
Navigation: Pointy end was kept forward at all times. Both plane and pilot.

Lost Procedures - This isn't lost.  Lost is doing this at .82 Mach.

Emergency Procedures - Holy (@*&, the survival kit is out of chocolate!

Approach and Arrival Procedures: Flew entire approach without once saying to Air Traffic Control "Watch this!".

Piloting Technique: Smooth as glass, everyone was comfortable.
Landing: The airplane may be reused.

Bravo Zulu!  All top scores.  I will reward myself with an entry in my logbook and a frosty beverage.


  1. _I did not eat an airport burrito prior to takeoff._

    One of my altitude chamber instructors called this "lubing the tubing". The (all male, of course) group tried it before the chamber ride. Appropriate hilarity and oneupmanship ensued.

  2. Back in the day many, many days ago we made a lot of landings on a dirt strip in a L19 grasshopper, wasn't to sure all the parts were going to stay in place, but we always managed to get it off the ground again.

  3. I always figured you get extra points if the plane can be reused. Well done!

  4. "a midair between a bird and Rocky J. Squirrel"
    I have a piece of jewelry I bought in Salzburg Austria that fits that description. Even wore it on my hat for a while. No Lederhosen, though.

  5. Gotta keep Sir Barkley out of the single malt stash.

  6. Landing score:
    -1 if you bounce more than three times.
    -5 if your first impact is hard enough to tip over patrons' drinks in the terminal lounge.

  7. "...for getting caught out of uniform, especially your cap,..."

    My service days were as a non-com mechanic. Upon leaving the flight line after one very long and windy day (cap now residing against a fence some miles away), I was stopped and chewed out by some guy in an unadorned blue raincoat (AF).

    After listening to his rant, I asked if he had just received the coat from the dry cleaners. He glanced at the brass-less shoulders and wished me a good evening. :)

  8. Wonderful Hump day laughter thank you muchly :)

  9. Too funny, Brigid! You have a way of making even techno-humor funny and accessible to those of us without certain tech backgrounds.

    Hope your week is going well, and prayers are still going out for your big Bro.


  10. Does Barkley know how to refill his drinking bowl when it's empty?

  11. Navigation: Pointy end was kept forward at all times. Both plane and pilot.

    Now, should't that be "pointy ends"?



  12. Hilarity indeed! And an Airplane II reference for bonus points!

  13. Still have the same number of landings as takeoffs? Then you get a gold star.

  14. Wait. That's a lab. I've made an unwarranted assumption. Is he drinking, or have you taught him to puke in the toilet instead of on the kitchen floor after he's gotten into the garbage? Because I'll be seriously impressed if it's the latter.

  15. You have to land it properly. Because THE SURVIVAL KIT IS OUT OF CHOCOLATE!

  16. You might add, "I did not drink a 32 ounce soda half an hour before departure time." Not that anyone I know of has ever done that, especially not on an instrument training flight in actual. I just heard about it. Ramp rumor and all that.

  17. You left one out: Insouciance Quotient: Fully operational.

    That isn't really Barkley, is it?

  18. You have got to be the worlds No. 1 red-headed riot! Simply MAH-velous!

  19. billy harvey - been 10 years or so since I've been in the chamber, they may not have openly discussed it but I guarantee it went on. hehehe

    old okie - The bird dog is a great little airplane. Lucky you!

    Windy Wilson - that might have completed my look however.

    Skip - yes, especially as he always wants the good stuff.

    Bob Easton - great story!

    immagikman - hump day turned into a 14 hour one, but Friday is looming.

    Monkeywrangler - thanks. I'm hanging out with Big Bro for a few days very soon. I'll pass on everyone's well wishes.

    RonF - no, but he figured out how to open the door of the crash pad garage, if it's not locked, to get at the dog park toys stored out there.

    idahobob - I was going to say "good point". but. . .heheheh

    BePrepared - we watched those movies many times during flight training. Good catch!

    daddybearsden - yes, the takeoffs are optional but the landings are sort of mandatory.

    Alma Boykin - that goes right up there with don't eat a chili dog and a Mountain Dew before a half hour of aerobatics.

    Old NFO - hope you are home soon. I'm enjoying the book draft so much.

    Mathew - no, that was sent by a friend, but I DO have a 60's pink bathroom,

    PPPP - and dark chocolate as well!

    MoBro - thanks, there are enough times I have to be serious.


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