Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Leaving Edmonton

The second-to-last chief pilot I spoke to at Edmonton City Centre Airport was not named Steve, but for convenience I'm going to call all chief pilots Steve, and give them a last name corresponding to that I have assigned their airline. Steve Kolinsky was a complete gentleman. He welcomed me in and then kept looking at my resume, the way I keep looking at the weather when I want to go flying, but the weather just doesn't meet my limits. He was looking for another pilot, but I don't have enough multi-engine time to satisfy the requirements of one of his larger charter customers, so if he hired me he couldn't schedule me well. Naturally, he could see that in the first five seconds after he put his glasses on, but we sat down and talked about aviation, and kids these days, and the demise of common sense. He made me like him, and Kolinsky Air. When I have the qualifications, I'll be talking to him again, and if he ever needs a favour from me, he's got it.

I arrived at Edmonton International with all my luggage, so I went first to the airline check-in desk. They were willing to accept the suitcase, even several hours before the flight, so I double-checked that it didn't contain anything I would need in the next few hours, and checked it in. That left me with the bag I've been using to carry my logbooks and certificates around in, my boots, and my computer bag. Edmonton International apparently doesn't subscibe to the worldwide paranoia of unattended baggage explosions, because a business in the lower concourse took my bag and boots into custody for a couple of bucks, leaving me free to convince the Stevage of YEG that I am just the pilot they have been looking for.

That involved a lot of walking: expect a blister update in the next installment. There aren't that many companies based at Edmonton, and it wasn't the best time of day to visit them. My best bet seems to be with Lemming Airlines, who just hired someone and are looking for one more. I didn't get a chance to speak to Steve Lemming, but the woman I spoke to was going to be seeing him shortly, so the handoff may have occurred. I'll call him later and check.

At the end of the office day I still had a few hours before my flight, so I treated myself to a proper dinner. The steak was way past the medium rare I ordered, but it still tasted good and the broccoli was terrific. My tour complete, I unchecked my computer and found a place to plug it in. I had been planning to pay a few bucks to use a wireless hotspot, but the only one available was for Fido subscribers, with no information on how to acquire time on it, so I amused myself by looking through the pictures of airplanes stored on my laptop. The man sitting next to me was also looking at pictures of airplanes on his laptop, and turned out to be a Transport Canada inspector for the Dash-8, B737, and ATR.. After an obligatory mock recoil-in-horror that I am unwittingly talking to a TC official (for which he gave me a nasty face), I told him where I was headed and why. He was taking a different flight to Yellowknife, doing a flight operations inspection. He gave me some advice and some names, and told me where to drop his name for best results.

On the way through security to my flight, I discovered that Edmonton International is not completely behind the times when it comes to paranoid security measures. While I had ensured I had not checked anything that should remain unchecked, I had left one item unchecked when it should have been checked: my Swiss Army knife, veteran of many adventures. While the blades are shorter and possibly duller than the cutlery provided on the flight, it was a prohibited item. I decided it was worth a dollar a day to me, so it is in custody of the YEG information office. My next challenge is to remember to get it on the way out.

The flight to Yellowknife was awesome. I can't even tell you how awesome. We touched down right at sunset, on runway 09, with the wind twenty knots gusting to twenty-five knots, and the B737-200 seemed to be going as slowly as a Seneca before it touched down. I'm about to connect to dial-up at the hotel, to see if I can send this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My younger sister worked two summers in Yellowknife (not in aviation) and loved it -- I hope things go well. It sounds like a promising start to the job hunt (and your modem even worked!).