Thursday, February 24, 2011

Boy - Rock - Water

It was payday at the airport and another typical day
at the university. Which one of those sounds more attractive? So after finishing my class prep I headed out to the airport.

The combination "boy - rock -water" has an inevitable outcome, as does the combination "boy - money - airplane". What better use for my Flight Instructor pay than to spend a few minutes off the planet? What reasonable mission might I accomplish?

Ah! Here's an engineering question: how far above the house does our wireless router's signal travel? (Our home network is JETNet: my family members' initials are J, E, T, and N.) Would I see "JETNet" on my network list as I flew over?

That sounds like a reasonable question; so reasonable that, as an Affiliate Professor in Computer Science, it should be a tax-deductible flight.

I couldn't find the network, but I don't think I'll write a paper for Nature about it, either.

For many of us, flying "after work" means flying during the freight rush. There were 6 IFR departures and 3 IFR arrivals during my 30 minute flight, not including me, and Rob was busy in the tower. I monitored the tower during my experiment, mostly for amusement. Headed back, I could see the lights of a Gulfstream 200 outbound on the ILS and put my nose on them, which amounted to lag pursuit given the speed difference. Spacing was good, but the tower asked me to do a 360 on 4-mile final to let a SkyWest Brasilia depart. I complied, but was disappointed that they did not say "Thank You."

Even though it was quite dark, it was within an hour of sunset, so I got no night landings. This is a little ironic since it was much darker than the other night when I flew the Cherokee Six for night currency.

This sounds selfish, but I am disappointed to see my piloting skills continue to deteriorate. Not to the dangerous level, but I do find myself forgetting little things that used to happen automatically, the same things I observe in pilots who fly about as much as I do these days. Some things continue to be easy, so I think I have other people fooled, but in my heart I know that there is room for improvement.

Which means I better fly more!

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At February 28, 2011 at 8:45 PM , Blogger Dale said...

Great story. Your words bring a routine flight to vivid life. Nothing like a little 'flight therapy'. Most of my money I spent on flying and the rest I just wasted.



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