Monday, October 06, 2008

Cushy Job

This customer on this job asked for two pilots and one airplane, not for the added safety of two-crew operations, but so as not to be constrained by the mere fourteen hours that they're allowed to work each pilot. We joke that we're going to have it easy because we'll only have to work 12 hours a day each instead of our usual duty day of 14, but of course if we're running the airplane 24 hours a day, there will be an overlap so that when I step out of the airplane, the next pilot is ready with weather, paperwork, and a meal in her belly for another six hours in the air. We'll both work close to 14 hour days. I hope the airplane can stand up to not having a break.

On the way to the customer base we determine that we both prefer not to do a lot of night flying and we both like super early mornings. There's such a thing as too compatible. I was hoping she would be a night owl so that she could happily land at 2 am and I could take over for the sunrise shift. But you do what you have to. We'll try to make it fair. I'm PIC on this leg and she falls asleep in the back on the way. We're going to an up north place named after a body of water. It's too specific to name without identifying the customer, so we're back to anonymity. I'm surprised on approach by how beautiful it is here.

The customer is at the airport when we arrive, by coincidence. The similar airplane that was departing as I set up the approach had just finished working for them, and they were there to drop off the crew. My new co-worker becomes my new hero thanks to her tractor-driving and airplane-pushing skills. She puts the airplane in the hangar so the clients can reconfigure it according to their needs and waits around to put it back out again afterwards. She stays up late doing that, so I go to bed to be the early shift. She'll sleep in until around noon and be ready to go when I land.

It turns out that that the client doesn't want night work, anyway, because their personnel aren't keen on becoming nocturnal. So we all get it pretty good. I wake up at four thirty, for take off by six and by one thirty or two in the afternoon I'm back at the hotel. I don't have to go to bed until eight, so I now have six hours off.

While bragging about this it dawns on me that "normal" people get of work at five and go to bed around eleven, so they too have six hours free every day. But it's still a good gig. Lac Nullepart is nicer than it sounds.


Paul Tomblin said...

Maybe I'm missing something, but you said you didn't want to mention the location, but it appears that you mention it in the last sentence?

Anonymous said...

Paul, you're missing something. Lac Nullepart is French for "Lake Noplace", an obvious anonym.

Aviatrix, you've obviously done something right.

Paul Tomblin said...