Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lost Luggage

My flying club gives you a few minutes of free flight time as part of your monthly dues, and even though this week I have seen both the Pacific Ocean and Lake Huron, I hate to pass up free flying. It's the last day of the month...I just had to have that $100 hamburger.

First I flew with a student, then invited him along (as long as he was buying lunch). Oh, and doing the flight planning, too! I also told him to invite some friends, because we were in the Cherokee Six. But nobody could go on short notice.

There's a good restaurant run by one of my former students at Twin Falls, ID.

We had a nice flight to Twin. Dennis enjoyed the 300 horsepower takeoff and did all the navigating, and pretty soon we were hearing "Taxi to the ramp via Alpha, monitor ground." I was looking around as we taxied, and noticed a red Cessna 172 with beacon, landing light, and engine going, and made a mental note to watch in case he tried to take the same taxiway we did. Something didn't look quite right about the airplane but I couldn't determine what exactly it was.

But he was slow to start moving, and we pulled into the ramp as he called "Twin Falls Ground, Cessna xxxWM on the ramp, ready to taxi." While ground gave him the wind and altimeter, I finally figured out what didn't look right: there were two suitcases on the ramp next to him.

"Whiskey Mike," I keyed the mike, "There are a couple of suitcases on the ramp next to you."

"Calling Ground, say again." The controller sounded angry. But I didn't reply.

"Ground, Whiskey Mike, I'm going to, ah, hold position here for a minute."

"Whiskey Mike, roger."

And Whiskey Mike got out of the airplane with the engine running and reloaded his bags. He got out with the engine running.

This time, nothing happened, but a couple of years ago at home a Dakota pilot was mistaken in thinking that the brake would hold, and his airplane made 7 perfect slices in the fuselage of the 210 in front of it before enough other airplane parts merged to stop the whole process. The 210 looked like a fish ready to grill. But the only thing that got grilled was the Dakota pilot, because there was a Fed waiting to fly the 210 as part of a 135 flight check.

If you're going to chew up airplanes, it is usually wiser to avoid chewing up airplanes with Feds on board.

I used to own a Taylorcraft, and I hand propped it many times by myself. Brake on. Left main chocked. Right main chocked. Check chocks. Pull airplane by prop to see if it is movable. Check the throttle. Check the throttle again. Mags on, swing the prop, walk slowly and deliberately to the cockpit. I never had a problem, but I never deviated from the procedure, either.

I was careful. The Cessna pilot was lucky. The Dakota pilot learned a lot during his 30 day suspension.

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At August 5, 2008 at 5:32 PM , Blogger Windsor said...

Dennis had fun on your trip. Thought it was a bit bumpy on the way back though.....

Is he going to be soloing anytime soon?


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