Saturday, October 23, 2010


It's overlap day: the replacement pilot has arrived and the guy I've been working with all month is going home tomorrow. I have another week or so to go, as our schedules have gone out of sync. We three pilots plus the AME have lunch together, making our food orders based on each other's habitual orders. There's lots of catching up to do. The latest company gossip includes the possibility of getting another type of aircraft. These overlap days are our major means of communication and sometimes the only time I see certain pilots in a year.

No one is flying today so we do errands. A recent first aid kit analysis reveals that the standard kit we have is missing four mandated items: splints, burn pads, paper and pencil. We go over to the pharmacy to stock up. "The airplane is made out of splints," I protest. The damn thing is almost entirely composed of strong lightweight aluminum splints, but I guess we have to be prepared for broken limbs in a situation where it would be simultaneously inappropriate to disassemble the airplane and impossible to summon more thoroughly equipped medical personnel. We buy the required items and go back to the hotel.

We're standing in the corridor discussing ambiguities in the maintenance control manual. Someone is just saying, "for example, if you can't get a hold of the PRM and the HSI is broken but it's day VFR ..." when an airline pilot in uniform steps into the elevator lobby and pushes the call button. Even to my peripheral vision the "hey, they're talking about airplanes!" head swivel by the airline pilot is obvious. He boards the elevator and as the doors close I can hear him being interrogated by others in the elevator, "what airline do you fly for?" It's a boon to be recognizable as pilots only by the way we talk, and not by the way we look.

Before my outgoing colleague goes back to his room I wish him well for his month out, in case I don't see him in the morning before his flight, and ask him if he happened to buy any charts I should know about. Gotcha back!


Ward said...

"Anything worth doing is worth overdoing!"

Anonymous said...

Maybe the airline pilot thought he saw Sarah Conner. That would explain the sudden head swivel.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, he was probably just staring at the green hair.

dpierce said...

> Maybe the airline pilot thought
> he saw Sarah Conner. That would
> explain the sudden head swivel.

Somebody has read the novelization of Terminator ...