We got everything ready and took off today, but after flying back and forth for about five minutes, before all the green lights were even lined up on the mission, we were forced to abort for poor environmental conditions. I love this plane, because I can carry full fuel and a mission specialist and still land immediately after take off. All airplanes in the fleet are not the same, and one that is heavier empty may require me to fly for about an hour before I'm down to landing weight. I have no ability to dump fuel. In an emergency I could land overweight, and if it was a high quality landing on a sufficient length runway, there would be no damage at all. But the specifications for the aircraft have to allow for the sloppiest normally acceptable landing--I don't know if that's defined somewhere, it's a corner of the envelope I've never elected nor had the misfortune to push--and still land safely at the max allowable weight. So I must legally burn down to that before landing. This lovely, svelte aircraft would let me do touch and goes with my full mission payload. So when the mission specialist calls it, I'm wheels on the ground as soon as the local FSS confirms the runway is mine. It's always the mission specialist's call to land for any mission-related reasons, of just because he or she feels like it, just as he or she can't overrule my decision to land for any safety reason. I don't get to call flights on whims though.
The AME arrives to meet the flight. It's one of the guys I was working with down south, just not the same one as was up here before. They swapped over and used their overlap days to do the inspection. He's here this afternoon just to make sure there is no aircraft reason for the quick return, and to familiarize himself with the working environment up here. I feel like I'm on the Snowbirds or something with this attentive ground support.
Back at the hotel, I have e-mail with an iTunes recommendation, based on my quoting Robert Service. He's right, I like this. I've heard it many times, but never remembered the title or artist at a moment when I was downloading music.
My country is definitely wild and savage. The song goes into my cross country playlist along with all the songs that contain the names of states and provinces or other places I fly over. Yes, my list is heavy on Stompin' Tom. My correspondent reminds me that Stan Rogers also has an aviation connection, as he was killed in the fire on the Air Canada deathwish plane.
Meanwhile iTunes censors the word "Honky" in Honky Tonk Man and Honky Tonk Blues censored. What the heck? How is this a bad word? I believe it's a really old fashioned derogatory term for caucasians, based I suppose on the fact that white people have the biggest noses of any race, but has anyone ever been actually offended by the word? I love reading stories about ridiculous things done in the name of profanity filtering, but I don't like it so much when they affect things I'm trying to look at.
A victory has been achieved against the forces for terrorist infiltration of hotels, as the card encoder works again, and we can all go in and out of our hotel rooms without an escort.