We've been given a heads-up that the client's client is in town and they want to show off their equipment, so we need to ensure the airplane puts on its best face. We stop at Canadian Tire on the way to the airport and pick up some supplies. There's a fluorescent green cleaning cloth thing that promises to be like hundreds of tiny plush octopuses cleaning your vehicle. The word-picture is so appealling that I buy it. Who wouldn't want an army of tiny octopuses helping clean her plane? I also pick up a two-pack of Mr. Clean "Magic Eraser," the secret weapon for getting marks and grime out of airplane headliners. My thanks to a particular captain who loved Cheezies for this invaluable cleaning tip, and for much more.
Some days you fly it and some days you scrub it. We spend about four hours cleaning the plane, including wiping grime off the gear, scrubbing down the belly, washing the floor, cleaning all the oily fingerprints out of the cockpit and trying to detail the interior. We also go through the various storage bins to sorting, discarding and organizing our charts and consumables. We're good on sick bags and kleenex, okay on pee bags, and I need to buy more computer screen wipes: these ones are all dried out. One of the EXIT signs is partly held on with clear packing tape and it looks pretty bad. We krazy glue it back on, my coworker holding it in place for a few minutes, because we don't have a clamp. The manufacturer's logo has come off the copilot's yoke, so we krazy glue that back on, too. Now someone's going to tell me that I have to use special airplane glue for that, and that krazy glue voids the warrantee. We don't have a vacuum cleaner, so the crumbs and dust in the cockpit and the seat rails are stuck there for now. We'll get a power washer next time we have it in for maintenance.
The POH for this airplane is little and fiddly with fold out pages. We have that on board of course, but we also have a non-certified copy of the manual that doesn't match the serial number, but which we can read more easily in flight if something comes up that we don't know off the top of our heads. It needs to be hole-punched and put in a binder, so I take it with me to the hotel and punch the holes there.
Company e-mail outlines a 19-page safety assessment document that a new client wants completed before every mission. It demands detailed weight and performance information such as climb gradients for multiple anticipated temperature and altitude combinations. There is page after page of matrices of risk assessments. Crew experience in the given conditions on the given airplane in the given area, and crew experience in a number of broader categories. Number of days on duty. Number of days on rotation. The danger on a one to five scale of conducting a forced approach on the available terrain. I page unbelievingly through the PDF and in my e-mail to acknowledge receiving it, I note that I wish to report a safety hazard: fatigue from having to do all this the paperwork. The boss e-mails back in agreement. I'm not even sure we're joking. Too bad the tiny octopuses can't help with paperwork.
And then I rented Gone With the Wind on the advice of Michael5000. It featured no octopuses.
Additional hint on where I'm going next: the hotel has a different area code from the cab company that will take me there from the airport.