Monday, March 02, 2009

Pushing It

Nothing says welcome back to work like a six and a half hour flight. The sun went down a hours ago and I'm almost at destination. The ATIS winds on the ground are fourteen gusting twenty, not a big deal, but we're making slow progress towards the airport. There's a calculator on the GPS that tells me the wind strength and direction. It's not perfect, because it makes assumptions about the true air speed from the groundspeed on various headings, but it's okay. It tells me we have 40 knots of wind exactly on the nose. How does the wind know to blow exactly from where we want to go?

There's a layer of cloud forming underneath us. I hope it's not low enough to be fog. The night runway isn't the same as the one that has the working ILS at the moment, so an instrument approach would have to be a circling. I don't want to be doing a night circling approach in low visibility.

The clouds are less in the area of the airport and at least the headwind means I can go straight in and get a rapid descent. The reported wind is forty degrees off the runway, and that's about right. I'm down and on and taxiing quickly, because for arcane reasons, probably not related to witchcraft, the customer needs the airplane perfectly stationary by 0415Z. I set the brakes with about thirty seconds to spare. And we thought we were going to be early.

I broke my New Year's resolution, the one about not eating bad chocolate, with a Reese's Peanut Butter cup at 2:30 in the morning. Don't let this be encouragement to anyone else to shirk on their resolutions. I did do over a hundred and fifty push ups this morning. (Spread out over five separate sets, not all at once). Rowr!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would hardly call a Reese's Peanut butter cup "bad chocolate" I would categorize it as very tasty chocolate.

Anonymous said...

So THAT's your secret to unfettered bad-ass arms?

I would have guessed bench-pressing school buses, or the like. Maybe playing catch with an anvil.

Do you like dark chocolate? I regularly receive a 1 kg chunk from the wife's local confectionary. It is gone in a week...

Never found the Bop Ad book. Still looking, but grim. I think Satan (ex-wife) is using it, trying to learn how to read.

Anonymous said...

Nice job on the push ups!

That GPS feature sounds pretty neat. Out of curiosity, what is the make/model of said GPS?

Aviatrix said...

Anonymous #1: Get yourself to some Ghirardelli. That's not as good as it gets, but if Reese's Peanut Butter Cups are good chocolate, the Ghirardelli will be enough of a shock to the system.

Anonymous #2: I like dark chocolate, but not so dark that it loses the creamy texture.

Anonymous #3: Said "GPS" is not an off the shelf model, but forms part of installed equipment worth more than the airplane.

dpierce said...

Dark and creamy? Try Meiji's Black label. (I don't endorse that e-tailer -- they're just the first thing that popped up in Google. But you'll probably find it at any old Asian grocery.)

Paul B said...

Are you able at some time to give us a very vague idea of the sort of stuff your customers do with this electronic kit in the back of the aircraft? (I appreciate 100% that you can't give details)

I assume it has to be some form of "aircraft instrumentation", or maybe "monitoring things from up in the air equipment", or perhaps "things moving fast equipment" otherwise they could do the work a LOT cheaper, a lot more comfortably, and probably far warmer, standing still, down on the ground!

The Flying Pinto said...

I still love Godiva:)

Sarah said...

It didn't count, really. At 2:30am, a Reese's peanut butter cup is food, not candy. The chocolate flavoring is just to accent the pb.

It could be worse. If you had eaten a Hershey's milk choc. bar, that would be desperate survival oriented diet territory.

Anonymous said...

AHH, but if you take that aforementioned Hershey's bar and dip it into Peanut butter you have yourself a makeshift Reese's, but you better be on the treadmill while you're eating it. Discovered on recent climbing trip.

Anonymous said...

@Paul B: some kind of remote sensing gear would be my guess.

I'll be really surprised to see this confirmed or denied, however. :)

There aren't a lot of commercial outfits who do this kind of work and any clarification would constitute something of a flaming datum pointing towards our host.

Matthew Flaschen said...

I agree Aviatrix is being deliberately vague (probably for good reason) about what the company she works for does. However, my impression, from e.g. "We transported some of the customer's equipment and they shipped some by courier. It turns out we're more reliable today [...]" (http://airplanepilot.blogspot.com/2009/02/texas-scares-me.html) is definitely that they are basically an accelerated, personalized, courier service.