Thursday, March 20, 2008

Or Maybe Not

The PPC plan was for a few pilots from my company to meet in one city, where the airplane was undergoing regular maintenance, then practice up on emergency maneuvers for a few hours, before flying together to another city to do the ride.

When I arrived I was informed that the test flight had revealed an autopilot problem and one engine not producing rated power, so we reviewed the paperwork portion of the exercise, discussed the approaches at the airport where the ride would be, and checked into the hotel. The plan was to wait for the engine to be adjusted, then get in the airplane and fly to another city where we could get good autopilot repairs done.

Overnight an unforecast cold front swept through, blanketing the city in freezing fog, deadly droplets of water that not only obscure vision like regular fog, but are so cold that they freeze into ice on any surface they touched. Maintenance fixed the engine problem, and the airplane returned from the run-up looking like a winning entry in the Qu├ębec winter Carnival sculpture competition. All they had done was taxi outside and run the engines. It would have looked like an uncarved block if we'd actually tried to fly it. Plans in aviation always change. The weather was forecast to linger over much of our route. We all hung around in the hangar for a bit, read our e-mail, and checked the airline schedules for flights home again.

One pilot was nominated to stick around until an engine test flight could be completed, then fly it to another city where autopilot repair could be effected. We will get a different examiner there to do the rides, instead.

So I went home to wait for that to happen. So Disney, isn't it? Facing your fears, only to have the monster evaporate.

1 comment:

nec Timide said...

Interesting, and I'm happy for you.