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Preview: You May Fire When Ready Grizzly

You May Fire When Ready Grizzly



The Short Story Source and General Ranting Space of One KW



Updated: 2014-10-04T21:39:35.345-07:00

 



Rescued?! Who the Hell Wants to Be Rescued?

2008-05-13T13:18:58.374-07:00

He came too blearily. This was worse than before. Before he had at least been on his feet, he had at least been mobile. His memory may have been completely fractured but at least there was clarity. Now he just felt groggy, vision blurred, and a throbbing ache at the back of his head. Slowly his senses were coming back, although faded and distant with out real reception. Strangely though, above all else he recognized the bitter taste of gun oil.Like a flash bulb shattering a dark room his mind caught up, painfully. The voice, the sound of footsteps, the second and third man. Bearded faces. A heavy blackjack, stars...Voices. He opened his eyes and immediately regretted the decision. A dimly glowing bare bulb hanging from its fraying cord cast long gloomy shadows over the rusting surfaces of the factory floor. He willed his eyes to focus, his mind reeling, torn between slipping back to the safety of unconsciousness or making an effort to determine where he was. He was alone, he hoped. Left and right glances, the fog slowly lifting. Hollow and distance clanks could be heard, the sound of forlorn machinery groaning against age. He was shackled to a metal chair that was strangely bolted to the floor beneath him. "Ok," He said aloud. "Now what?"As if to answer, thick Russian voices grew closer but strangely muffled. The loud clank of pins sliding and the creak of heavy hinges brought his attention directly to the wall in front of him. As his vision cleared and adjusted for the lack of light he could make out the steel barrier, like a giant bulk head, riveted to girders with a single heavy door. From his rusting gate poured an equal pale gloom to the one above his head, three men stepped out, the same three from before. Two took places at his left and right, their shear bulk made so much more predominant by their heavy winter clothing. The man on his left smiled a crooked, gaping smile, his leather like face drawing to fine lines around his eyes, a long scar running from his forehead parallel to his nose and vanishing in his thick beard. The one on the right was no better only balding, with his scars displayed on across his tattooed hands. What ever was amusing his friend on the other side, he didn't share in the sentiment. No smile graced his lips, only a hard scowl and look of menace flickering behind his eyes. His mouth a razor slit of what could only be furry. In either case, Lefty or Righty as he quickly decided to call them -no formal introduction seemed to be coming- the message was crystal clear. No, they were definitely not here to serve coffee or provide aide. No, they were probably not going to take the shackles off. No, asking wouldn't help much either. Goons, in any language or country are that very thing, goons. Their purpose was intimidation, which was working, or the providers of pain, judging by Righty here, the latter. They simply were not to be reasoned or fucked with.The scrape of another chair being dropped in front of him refocused his attention to the last man. Thinner than the others, but still as heavily dressed and bearded as Lefty, he plopped down, the back of the chair facing his prisoner. Crossing his arms and leaning forward his removed a pair Ray Bans from his face, his cold hard brown eyes scanning his subject. A smile parted across his perfect teeth."Did you really think, honestly, that you could hide even this far away?" His accent a perfect mid-western English. American, couldn't be anything else.Panic and fear instantly paralyzed him. He didn't have a clue who this man was, or why he was strapped to a immobile chair, or what any of the three wanted but his mind had finally shifted into gear and grasped the situation. No, it was something more that had triggered such a state of shock. That voice, rustic and gruff, resonating want and motive set off a string of alarms in his head. He didn't know how or why, he certainly didn't recognize the man’s face, but the voice was a piercing stiletto that drove home to the fiber of his soul. He recognized it instantly and that recognition meant pain an[...]



Cold, And Winter

2008-05-08T16:31:03.273-07:00

"Damn does it ever stop snowing?"The wind raked him again, the heavy coat doing little to stop it. Dark streets of midnight St Petersburg, what the hell was he doing here. No rubles, few dollars American, a fake Russian Id and forged war photo's, created in the back stage of an old abandoned theater, convincing at first glance but ridiculous to the scrutinizing eye, his clothes dirty from fleeing and the heavy wool coat, all he had in his possession."Damn what am I doing here? Damn Damn"The fake id and photos still warm from creation were merely hours old, he didn't even speak Russian! Who were these supposed to convince? Avoiding at all cost anyone who asked questions was the only smart plan he could come up with. It was the only plan period he could come up with. All he could remember, the only though that occupied his mind to shear blindness revolved entirely around that back stage and it's dimly lit room in the wings."What was her name?"He whispered to himself out loud, not intentionally as his mind raced the phrases simply fell out in the open. Dangerous probably, alone at this hour in the middle of a city that would suspect his actions. Americans don't travel at night, alone, poorly dressed for the winter, gloveless and muttering to themselves. What little attention was to be drawn was most likely focused his way and not in his best interest. Eyes from windows were watching."What was her name? Did I even know it?"That forlorn stage, that thick Russian accent, she must have been the only person thus far that he had met who even spoke English, and what a beautiful sound it had been. What little he remembered before stumbling to that place, led by a complete stranger who was either sympathetic to his plight, or leading a lost lamb to an easy slaughter, was that of haze, tattered clothing and a fist full of money that he had no idea how it had come to his pockets. What he did remember apart from the whirl wind of flashes of photo bulbs, props and grungy costuming to sell his part as war fighter, were the piercing blue eyes.Several shots, the mechanical click of the camera and old film plates being slid from the archaic camera frame, the smoke from the photographers hand rolled cigarette, the pounding of Cyrillic keys on the aging type writer, chemical developers, she spoke to him."Here" as she forced a clear bottle in his hands. "Will keep you warm."The dark sultry voice, echoing in his head. Flashes of memory eluded him. The numbing effect of the alcohol, he froze in his tracks, cobble stones under his boots. "What happened next?" His eyes held wide, the fear of a fractured memory creeping in, grow worse. "Damn!"Cloudy and slowly, it came. Like the smoke that lingered in the room long after the papers and photos where placed in his hand, the image came. Wantingly he almost begged for a clear view and vividly it came to answer his call. She sat atop him, stretched across his back on the hard wood floor, her clothes piled loosely near the fading curtain. How white her skin was. Flawless and soft, it almost glowed in stark contrast to the surrounding dark. She moved against him, pressing her body against his chest and whispering softly but cunningly into his ear."Twelve hundred" she pressed into his lobe. Holding herself as if to fight off the very cold that strangled the rest of the world. "Twelve hundred for all. Id's and photo's. Yes?" Almost playfully the words rolled from her tongue. Not even the sound of breathing could be distinguished from her accented grin. "You want to escape alive don't you?" eyes flashing a hint of deception.He watched her, looking down her spine, the white, so unusually bright and yet so cold, her black hair cut short further confusing the skin tone and blurring the lines of what was and what was not before him. How much vodka had he swallowed? Was there even any left in the bottle? He watched her eyes flash, knowing that trust was something he was in short supply of and surviving would be more satisfying than knowing what was going on, damn the facts. That was th[...]



One those days.

2008-05-03T03:18:30.222-07:00

It's an odd feeling when everything starts to catch up. Laundry, dirty car, destroyed apartment, dust, work, sleep (the demand for and not receiving) Something within you begins to rebel. Begins to seethe. Begins to twitch. On a day to day, this happens to everyone. Trouble is, the relief system. Everyone has methods of zoning out, reaching Zen, blowing off steam and stabilizing before acting on such impulses as painting the far wall with the contents of the lottery ladies skull from the local quickie mart. Arguably, at least here such an argument will be made, this is defying a subtle yet necessary natural instinct to weed out from the heard the generally useless. For more than a few thousand years now, man has been slowly carving or modifying this instinct out of his day to day operation, slowly allowing the truly stupid o flourish completely unchecked. This has more than likely resulted an a -less than desirable gene pool- shallow stagnant and screaming for more than a chlorine rinse, an entire flush and drain is actually more in order but the very device that would have otherwise allowed for this has been completely numbed and subdued. Changed from an ax swinging blunt force solution to a mere grind of the teeth, we all, each and every, wait perpetually in line for the hopeless case in front of us. Shedding food stamps for cigarettes and playing the same loosing numbers as they've clung to for untold years, they prowl. Or in the same spirit of useless, the fat man at the burger bar, ordering one of everything followed by a "diet" whatever as if the absence of sugar were any hope at all for saving his lard ass from the imminent heart attack, lurking the shadows of clogged arteries overburdened with excessive blood pressure . We have endured, and coddled these people for far to long. It's either time to start loading some guns or exporting the stupid to a far away country....one with closed borders and a F.E.M.A outpost.

Once the case was made that such folks were needed, the stupid were necessary to carry out the remainder of the jobs that normal or intelligent people were unwilling to do. However to counter this, I submit that the immigrant population into our country, illegal or otherwise, have gladly picked up that torch, which by the way was dropped from the fat stubby fingers of the last cretin, and run like INS and hell were right behind them. Frankly, despite all the politicized bullshit associated with it, I truly believe that if you've come up with a clever way getting into this nation AND found a way to avoid taxation till death all the while benefiting from lazy or over burdened white people, then WELL DONE. You've found a niche and a way to actually produce in life, the same way those who never leave the trailer park or can spell the word career never will or could. I'll gladly make a trade, those who want to work in this nation for those who don't. Each can exchange to the others country. I give the trailer park community a week before they all kill each other with a lack of gun control or social norms to keep them all in check.

Anything it takes get the damn lottery lady out of my way.
Anything it takes to get that fat asshole out of the drive thru.

KW



RUN, DAMN YOU!

2008-04-30T18:40:21.870-07:00

It happens. We get comfortable in our surroundings, our routines become set, we adapt and settle in. Complacency, much like an unchecked vine, creeps in slowly weaving in between the edges, deep into the cracks, ever bonding us to our own conclusions and small windows of the world. Cushions on a couch we’re all snuggled into. There’s nothing wrong it, to some degree it’s a natural thing. Many chalk it up as the career, the spouse, the home, the two point five, the white picket fence and the golden retriever happily waiting, slobbering on an old worn out tennis ball at the gate or drive way for the chance to play. For most people, not only is his normal, it’s a goal. Something to be obtained even against the most impossible or improbable odds, man’s hand extends out to grab this as his own. Who cares in the long run if it matters, if it’s even remembered, its stable and that’s what most people yearn for anyway, stability. Amidst the perceived chaos of jobs and life, which in itself isn’t all that chaotic and can be relatively predicted, kids grow up, go to college repeat what they’ve learned from the previous dreams of yester years generations, you grow old and hopefully not alone, the cycle carries on all the while we convince our self via stress and concern that the stability is the norm we seek and so love. Time rolls on but I’ve gotten off point. That grip, that vine, which binds us so warmly…comfortably, the boat that carries us across the ocean of time and life, safe and sound, with little to worry or care or want for…some of us are busy supercharging the engine! Some of us are busy drilling holes in the hull. Some of us are having fun, remembering that man never accomplished much by sitting in the cave throwing rocks at the sun at dawn to ward off its evil bronzing spirits, nor did we ever win any wars by smoking dope and not taking showers. Some of us are cutting the vines, tearing down the walls, feeding the dog chocolate, setting the couch on fire or seeking other chair like alternatives, living fast on an insane blend of adrenaline, caffeine, rock music, destroyed bank accounts and unadulterated (and sometimes adulterated) pure fun… AND WE’RE DAMNED DETERMINED TO TAKE YOU ALL WITH US!

Sit down. This is going be interesting.




Aches Pains and Lessons Learned

2008-03-31T20:10:24.259-07:00

After spending six months cramped in, out, upside down and sideways around a cockpit while hauling fuel hoses, dealing with Jet setters, in house politics and the stirrings of a potential stalker(Someone else, not you Em), it occurred to me that somewhere through the duration I picked up about five pounds that I didn't previously have, nor wanted. So tonight, after such a long absence of physical effort (at least in the fitness effort direction, all other physical efforts have been purely aircraft related) I've restarted a running routine. Eight laps around an empty flight line during the last hour of slavery when the winds are calm, the sky is wide open, and no one is flying or taxing in. Between myself and whom ever the second man is, we have the terminal building and our attached ramp to ourselves. Time to put it to good use. (I'm sore as hell right now, complacency hurts)Running has always been a good escape for me and these days it's a welcome stress relief. Although this is the beginning night of this new effort, I had previously spend months in the gym, right up till the point when the project got under way. When the work started on the Cessna, the work on my body (and the cancellation of the gym membership) came to a close. Now that she's nearing her completion I can shift focus slightly. Back to the point about stress though. I'm no where near where I wanted to be in my aviation life as I had planned. By now, I had pictured myself at the very least behind the column of a KingAir, building time and paying off loans. If not there, at the controls perhaps of a Canadian RJ. In either case, twas not to be, at least not now at this point. On the positive side, despite my delays I do, and can, claim two points that a great deal of established jet jocks, much to my own surprise, can not boast to.One: I own, not rent, split, fractionally share, or finance my own Aircraft. This very point in and of its self at my age and place in aviation is practically unheard of and I am eternally greatfull for this fact. Many pages could be written about the pure potential that ownership implies. I'll write that book later, something along the title lines of "Luck, Looks and Pistol Whippings: How to own you're own Airplane and make it in Aviation without owing your soul to VISA"Two: I am not burdened down with debt in any form. The majority of young pilots my age, flying any given aircraft at this very moment are strapped for amounts that can range between a few thousand dollars, or (and in the case of a good friend I have here at Lakeland) close too 200,000 plus, tack on interest and you can imagine why so many starting pilots out there are not the happiest of individuals. Trying extending the college roommate experience and live off Ramen noodles a few extra years and you get the idea. And we're all working toward the same goals. Paying jobs. Paying jobs in the field we love, that we are so dedicated to that we are willing to sacrifice relationships...close friends...family...financial stability and uncertainty for years to come...and time in order to obtain. Time is something that every pilot always wants more of. More time to practice important flight maneuvers. More time to dedicate to cross country flights. More time to be inked into the all important log books. Time. Ever single second, even to the most minute click of a stop watch hand or roll of a digital display, in the air, every sweat earned chronological moment counts. Within aviation two roads can be taken to take yourself to the coveted position of Captain, in any airframe, for any company. One route, and the one more vastly popular as the demand for pilots comes to a fevered pitch, is through academy or flight school training. Although quick, and known for producing quality pilots (in most cases) it's also the biggest pitfall. Debt, debt, and more debt will be accrued. The for mentioned friend I have, will start his new life (a change over to Air Traffic Contro[...]



Sun N Fun, Frustration and Falling Short

2008-03-24T19:07:12.292-07:00

After two solid days of sanding the right wing to the point of grinding away my finger prints (BTW now would be a great time to rob a bank I think) and adding up the sum total of the remaining things to be done to bring Checkers back to flying status, I've come to the regretful and sigh inducing conclusion that due to work and the lack of available time to dedicate to the project I will not b making the debut for Sun N Fun. To some degree this is heart breaking, culminating seven months of effort to fall just oh so tragically short. The bird will no doubt be in the sky by the end of April, nothing a good two week of solid full time effort could produce but with the insanity that becomes my place of work during Sun N Fun, and the complete unpredictability of a schedule, it's simply too much for one man to do. The A&P who's over my shoulder on this one is just as swamped as he works a the same place as I. So each day I progress a step further, less added pressure now without a deadline looming.


KW



Cessna 150 Rebirth

2008-12-09T03:37:29.833-08:00

Getting Closer.
(image)













Ready For White.
(image)














Ready for Registration Number

(image)














Ready for Display. (Note: That's not me in the photo's, that would be the grand master mechanic/renaissance original.)

(image)














Next Steps: Wings, Tail feathers, and interior. Getting Damn Close Folks.

KW



RED!

2008-12-09T03:37:30.014-08:00

(image)














Although she appears a little orange, I assure you, it's the camera settings. She's Red. White to follow, N number in Black, red outline.



He's Still Alive!

2008-03-01T13:17:14.261-08:00

Fuselage: Ready for Paint

Control surface refurbishment: Complete

Landing Gear: Complete and installed

Interior: Boxed and ready to install

Avionics: Gauges refurbished and ready for installation
Radios tested and ready for installation
RNAV gauges calibrated and ready for installation
Transponder/encoder calibrated and ready for installation

Wings: On standby for paint shop. Next to be completed.


Countdown to Final assembly begins.
ETA: 4 weeks to first test flight.
...Here we go ;)

KW



Merry Christmas/ Happy Hanaku...Jewmas (whatever you guys celebrate) Happy Kawanza, or Hooraa (no idea what you guys do)

2007-12-22T20:19:07.063-08:00

Happy Holidays everyone, yep Still Alive!

Congratulations Ash and Mark, hope she's as cute as you are.

(image)
No, I wasn't on the stick in this one ;)


For those curious, the little 150 (Checkers) has her landing gear finished and installed, new tires, and intertubes, new door plexi (windows), new wheel bearings, and a complete avionics package (IFR steam gauges) waiting to be installed. (Bought for 300 smackers/pistol whippings. Why won't the bank tellers just listen and put the money in the damn bag...amateurs.)

KW



Shine On

2007-11-24T08:50:14.861-08:00

For everyone...

As some of you may or may not have noticed the number of posts have significantly dropped off during the course of this past year, partially due to unreliable internet access, partially due to lack of time on my part. So with that being said, it's with a slow and reluctant had that I type this post.

With the added pressure to return to Kentucky for Uncle Sam, and the demands that the project are tolling, splitting time with work and worry, I've determined that making any progressive entries here is just something that's not as feasible as I would like. So I'm temporarily putting a halt to it, instead of letting it hang in the foreground incomplete. The Cessna project carries on of course, and I've more than a few hundred photo's of work completed so far, far too many to start posting with any negotiable story line. Add into the fact that I'm in a time and place where not much is really happening, I've grand ideas that I'm slowly working on getting off the ground but for the most part they're all in development and won't really come to term immediately. So with that, I kindly tip my hat to everyone who kept up with this BLOG. When the plane (Whom I've named Checkers as a tip off to the paint scheme I'm going with) is complete I will start my ramblings again. Cross country adventures with lessons learned from instructing when that chapter starts in my life. Not too distant future mind you, I'm not sitting on my hands down here.

So till then, may everyone's landings be soft and gentle (commercial air or GA) and never mind the large red blinking light on the instrument panel, probably an electrical fluke somewhere.

KW

P.S If there have been no signs of life to this Blog by January '08 someone come down here to Florida and find out what happened to me.

Contact at WhiteKennethE@gmail.com
AIM: AirTransRecon



Fabulous New Jersey.

2007-10-31T13:20:19.101-07:00

Yep...there's nothing to see or do here.

KW



Current Photos

2007-09-25T15:46:12.986-07:00

As Promised, progress so far.

(image)

Shiny from Tip to Tail

(image)

Pilots side, before removal and reconstruction

(image)

After extensive cleaning and re-assembly. Note the lack of 30 year old hydro jello in the hull. Co-Pilot side

(image)
Pilot's side after.

Plenty more where these came from, i's just a pain to upload them to Blogger. Stay tuned.

KW



UPDATES FOR ALL...someone for one or another

2007-09-19T19:01:18.700-07:00

A quick up to speed fill in, since I've been busy/sick/working and haven't been able to keep anyone up to date on the project. Where's the chicken soup man?

The first actual, functional, MOVING (without binding cracking, or causing the comical total collapse of the aircraft) parts have been refurbished and installed. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the rudder pedals....(sounds of crickets)

Ok, nothing spectacular but bear in mind this is probably the most difficult assembly to remove, tear down, clean, sand, paint, semi-reassemble, install, remove, correct small issues and reinstall again of the whole aircraft. This is however a turning point as it marks the end of tearing the plane down and signifies the resurrection has begun. I can't begin to tell you the amount of grim and crude that was removed after 30 years of abuse, but the interior is all shiny bare clean metal, a significant swap from the state it was in when I got her. Pictures to follow shortly, next up is stripping the cowling and tail control surfaces. Working on a paint scheme to follow. Think I've got a named worked up as well.

A note for Ash, the only person from my past who keeps up with this scribbling, Yep I fully intend to put myself inside and go flying in this thing. Yourself and Mark of course can have a ride anytime you like.
(Trust me I'd never get this bird off the ground if the FAA really REALLY didn't think it could fly.)

KW



Ladies and Jiggle Fish

2008-12-09T03:37:30.504-08:00

(If you get the title reference you've just earned ten coolness points)
(image)
May I present for the world's eyes to see, one and all, CESSNA C-150M from way back in 1977....N103LE.

Along with her sister ship 707NC, an even more ripely aged gal from the 70's A CESSNA C-150L (For sale upon completion, with low time 0-200A)

After a disappointing trip to the hills of Tennessee, topped off with questionable driving directions, I returned to Florida empty handed as far as aircraft were concerned. Little did I know that forces were at work in places that probably should not be seen anyway (never mind the man behind the curtain, this guy shouldn't be exposed to the general public at all, curtain or otherwise) and not one but TWO intact, supposedly flyable aircraft had been tracked down, looked over and bought more or less with thin the same three hour span by someone who I had expected to sit back and laugh at my efforts rather than pitching in, my own father. On the contrary the Old Timer pulled out a win from seemingly nowhere...then promptly handed me the bill for both aircraft...ahh the catch.

After recuperating next to an attractive yet heavy handed nurse, a deal was struck between the two parties involved (myself, Hereafter referred to as Aircraft Monkey, and Dad hereafter known as The guy holding the Cash and the Keys) that delivers a complete aircraft to my person, loaded with avionics of my choice (especially since I'm paying for them anyway) for the penance of completing both and selling the other. Still don't know what I've actually gotten myself into, but the short version of the long story is that at 25, I have my own aircraft to do with what I please.

(image) So far, after about a weeks worth of effort I'm removed the interior entirely from 103 including the instruments, rudder pedals and bars (no easy task there) all plastics and anything not riveted to the frame. Just finished cleaning off what little corrosion could be found inside the fuselage and removed the hydraulic fluid that had pooled over the years in the floor boards. Interesting tenancy I've discovered, Hydro fluid degrades into a substance not unlike Jello after a few years exposed to heat and air. Edibility on the other hand is questionable but if you've a sibling or a roommate with a pet you don't particularly care for I suggest giving them a sample first before any experimentation of your own. Remember 9-1-1 is the stateside emergency number, you may want to contact your lawyer as well...just in case.

Stay tuned for more, updates to follow next Tuesday. Along with progress photos. Yes I did get her with wings and tail feathers before anyone asks.

And if someone can tell me where to find carpet patterns for these birds, as well as a headliners and landing gear coverings, I'd be in your debt.

KW



One Step Forward....

2007-08-03T18:49:57.269-07:00

Slight change of plans. Somewhere in the last two weeks I've been talked into an idea that was initially my own quite some time ago but because of the nature of the other parties mind and it's particular quirks of operation, didn't come to full realization until recently.

So let the show begin. This coming Monday I'm loading up in the ze ol' Prelude and heading North to investigate throughly two potential purchases that could make my flying life a little bit easier. Through alot of drinking and web searching (with supportive late night drinking) I've located two OLD school Cessna 150's from the early days of mid 50's and 60's aviation. Tre Cool Oui?

One of these aircraft is challenged to say the least. If a metaphor could be conjured to represent the humorous yet tragic life this poor old testimate to small aircraft has had it would best be put as a retarded monkey hurled from the tree by it's other jolly primate friends anxious to protect the species. That's not to say the little machine doesn't have potential, it's just in really, REALLY bad shape. Flipped over in a storm, both wings are essentially scrap metal. The fuselage is intact for the most part, and includes a supposedly working engine. It would be a monster under taking, includes a distinct lack of instruments, and would demand my utmost attention every waking day if I have any chance of getting it air worthy in the next six months. Not likely the case I'm afraid.

The other, and much improved, aircraft is of the 66 vintage and is described as not needing alot of attention. Some wing damage on both sides but nothing as severe as a flip from a wind storm. Paints shot, engine is in pieces and according o the owners, "She's not really seen the light a day fer 'bout ten year now" PERFECT. It's at least been in some sort of structure and out of the elements. The wings have been taken off and stored at another location but it sounds as if a restoration wouldn't be a monumental effort. No engine (not assembled anyway), but instruments in the panel. At least one step in the right direction.

SO, on this road trip I will seek, I will explore, I will bring a digi-cam and get as much info on these wayward birds as I can. Divert to Louisville eventually and find center with my closest's and if one of these little beasties comes through in spades and I decide to tackle my own aircraft, this blog will become a running journal of the progress made in addition to my stream of clever and wise-assed-ness.

If it all falls through though....gone. ATP academy, without looking back.

Coin is in the air...what will it be?

KW



ALRIGHT, JUST WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?

2007-07-01T08:50:17.813-07:00

Day in the life of a Line guy at *insert company name here as not to be sued*5:00 am: Crawl from bed, half awake, wondering what that damn noise is and why the sun isn't illuminating the world as its contracted to do. Contemplate calling in (even though no one is on station to pick up the phone) and blowing off the day to fly the coast line of Florida, pay extortion like prices for bad breakfast and lunch later but enjoy every second of it.5:15 am: Slam the alarm clock again and repeat the above steps. Add to list critical decision point: Price of AVGAS vs. current bank account. Grit teeth, head to shower, go to work.6:00 am: Meet disgruntled flight crew at front door, stranded from the night before. Demanding as much coffee as you also need in order to function. Weigh options of vacating again in exchange for day of flying.6:20 am: Fellow gas monkey arrives 20 minutes late, believes nothing is wrong with this. Sump storage tanks, note 2 or more gallons of water in Jet Fuel tank 3 from thunderstorm the night before. Think nothing of this as Jet Engines are known to run on crude oil if heated properly. Decide to not tell the flight crew from earlier this fact. Continue sumping, lawsuits are not fun, nor is being bought and sold for cigarettes and the local penitentiary.6:30 am: Complete sumps, begin paperwork8:00 am: Complete paperwork, file paperwork, loose paperwork, hand deliver paperwork to abandoned file cabinet, backlogged 1964. Suggest a new filing system to fellow gas monkey. Abandon idea as realization that more paperwork would be involved in order to start a new system...only to be more confusing than the last. Question ethics of current management and consider implications of accusing *insert company name here* of harsh work environment. Reason: One and a half hours wasted on paperwork, cruelty.9:00 am (Weekends) Begin the mass Gen Aviation landings for the local restaurant. Spend the next few hours on the ramp, marshalling, fueling, remarshing, ducking, refueling, running, hiding, praying that the "international" flight student doesn't kill you with his Cessna 150 via his taxi skills (or lack there of), fueling, swearing at the aviation gods, contemplate RAMP CLOSED sign at the Taxi entrance, neglect to tell tower of this plan, giggle at the ensuing pile up/confusion. Instruct next three arrivals on which airport has the REALLY cheap gas, prominently display wrong name on work shirt that you stole from another fuel monkey earlier in the week. Return to line office, hide in small corner, study for IFR written.11:00 am: See above, only in reverse for breakfast club departures. Prepare for inbound lunch fliers looking for the $100 burger. Remind yourself that as a pilot, you could be doing the same thing, only at another airport. Graciously accept the one dollar tip from the pilot who almost killed you and the entire FBO weekend crew by fast taxing himself inches from the fuel truck "to make it easier on you guys when you top off my bird." Question the current FAA training standards. Blow tip on Rolaids from vending machine.12:00 pm: Check schedule in-between arrivals to note who to call at end of shift for being late. (Plan on it happening) Note the unexplained change that has you working a double on Sunday. Also note lack of managers to justify this small detail. Cancel afternoon flight plans. Swear again at Aviation Gods.12:00 pm: Receive phone call from slacker line monkey (ironically the one from which the afore mentioned shirt was stolen) informing you that he's not coming in and that you're now a solo act till 10pm. Demand head on platter, contents of wallet, first born and ke[...]



The War's not over, but one battle may be won.

2007-07-01T05:53:26.238-07:00

From the AOPA website.

The House got it right; an FAA funding bill that would modernize the air traffic control system, increase airport funding, and do it all within the existing tax structure. And no ATC user fees!

"The leadership of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and aviation subcommittee refused to be bullied by the airlines or accept the FAA's claims of poverty," said AOPA President Phil Boyer. "They took a reasoned, rational look at what needed to be done and how to pay for it, and delivered a solution that promotes the interests of all segments of aviation.

"We will ask AOPA members to let their congressional representatives know that we support the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2007 (H.R.2881)," Boyer said. "And we thank Transportation Committee Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.), aviation subcommittee Chairman Jerry Costello (D-Ill.), and ranking members John Mica (R-Fla.) and Thomas Petri (R-Wis.) for their vision in crafting this bipartisan bill that would ensure America's air transportation system remains the best in the world."

Working within the existing funding structure of aviation fuel taxes and passenger ticket taxes, the bipartisan House bill would provide historic funding levels for the FAA over the next four years.

The long and short of it...

More money to the right places, no user fees, and the airline has to tow their own damn rope as they should.

The downside...
AVGAS taxes will increase, but that's almost a promised event in any government action. It's a small victory for now, but the bill must still be passed. Here's hoping.

KW



AND SO IT BEGINS

2007-06-01T08:37:47.378-07:00

In the world of politics (as well as the world of war) the game is is played and won not by the total destruction of you enemy but instead, by the submission and subjegation of your enemy.

In aviation the battlefields are the airports and airspace, the tactics and weapons, user fees and taxation. And the Air Transport Association has opened with intersting first strike in the open public realm. This slick add has been making apperances across CNN and a few other news organizations. It's cartoony and caters to the un-informed which is a very dangerous thing. If I can't post it here you can find it on YouTube.com

...actually there isn't much you can't see on YouTube come to think of it.

To counter, AOPA has returned fire with their own commercial (which has yet to appear on YouTube oddly) outlining the reality of air traffic delays. It's not slick or cartoony, but instead straight forward and to the point. Link goodness

Between these two commercials and the growing support in both directions, it seems that aviation is getting poised to become a rather heated issue in the not too distant future. Honestly it feels like I'm watchig two presidential campaigns gearing up to slug it out based on the amount of effort that's been placed on these ads. Stay tuned kids, electees come and go, but this will effect flying forever.

KW



WHERE THE DEVIL HAVE YOU BEEN!!!!

2007-05-28T21:15:53.436-07:00

Hard to believe that a month has more or less vanished since I added any inspiring, yet authentically questionable, words to this blog-o-mine. What have I been doing, where have I been, who's shooting at me, and just what the hell is going on here are all questions I've been rolling around in my own head. So anything that you've got, take a number and have a seat I'll get to your concerns when I figure it out for myself.The last few weeks have been an adventure. Beyond scoring my pilot's license and having a damn good time on clear days, I've been traveling a great deal but more by roads than by air. Something that I've learned is that if you have a pilot's license a 14 hour drive that was already a soul crushing mindless zig-zag of highways becomes an absolute teeth grinding annoyance when you're forced by weather to long haul it from Florida to Kentucky via the great Yankee conduit that is I-75. Alas though because I am a patriot (despite the fact that the Republican party considers me otherwise because I register Independent, part of that “with us or against us mentality”...idiots) I returned to Louisville to do my duty for country and what's his name, that one dude, God or something, and continue my growing legacy with the 123 Airlift Wing...while also having a ridiculously good time with friends and family that I left behind some time ago. My two weeks spent back in the town I love was conveniently scheduled during the greatest horse racing event in the country, the Kentucky Derby! (Crafty planner I am!)If you've never been to the Derby or experienced Louisville the week NAY the month leading up to the race then you, my friend, have no idea what kind of place that city really is when it turns on. Between the Pegasus Parade, the Air Show, Thunder over Louisville, The Great Bed Races (don't ask, I still haven’t figured out what it has to do with the event either) The Great Steam Boat race, the fashion that appears everywhere, concerts downtown, the food and multitude of festivities that can be found from block to another, a better time in another city, save for Marti Gras in New Orleans, is a hard thing to locate. The alcohol flows just as freely. If I didn't have friends and family in the Derby City I would still go there just for this event alone. Speaking of friends and family, I spent this particular trip visiting previously unexplored areas of Louisville that before I would have simply avoided. In my adventures I got to meet a few amazing people, including the guys from the bands that played the Rudyard Kipling till dawn. It was 80’s night at my arrival but despite my lack of tight rolled jeans or custom fit vest complete with funky hair, I managed to fit in nicely anyway. Thanks to Lillyanna for inviting me out and showing me exactly how Old Louisville gets things done. In addition to hoping from place to place, including café 360, as well as the old watering holes down Bardstown road (Oshea’s, Flanagan’s, Molly’s respectively) I also spent a great deal of time with Aaron Mitchell, Jamie, and the rest of the house crew a mere block and a half away from the Downs. During our Derby Party/Cinqo De Mayo celebration I bartended for the back porch event, and raked in more than Aaron and crew spent on the supplies. Job well done, free alcohols to the bar keep, and thank you Jenny G for a solid night of festivities/distraction. Words will never do the Derby justice, it's something must be experienced first hand. Find a friend who loves Horse gambling and get yo[...]



Ahem

2007-04-06T06:16:01.091-07:00

PILOT!

KW



One More Step

2007-04-03T20:46:54.462-07:00

I've got a large binder in front of me that contains every known piece of information related to the aircraft I've been flying since late January, a cessna Skyhawk circa 1964. In it, all the modifications that are known are logged,annotated, reviewed, certified, checked, rechecked, checked again, sent off for DNA analysis, double checked, updated and reviewed by the FAA, A&P Certified Mechanic, Certified Public Accountant, Certified Midget, CIA, FBI, your grandmothers book club, officially licensed spider monkey, reprocessed, rejected, lost, found, relocated and finally signed off by several high ranking, high salary individuals who glanced at the binder for about five seconds to cover their asses and then delivered back to the owner of the aircraft...who still is missing the current weight and balance sheet, the one in it now is off by three pounds...stupid alternators.

What does this all mean, why am I concerning myself with a mountain of paperwork (of which I only need about three or four important sources) ? Why am I going to be up all night tonight and tomorrow reviewing everything I've ever learned about flying since first looking at an aircraft? Why am I dragging this post out to ridiculous proportions? Why am I obsessed lately about orals and their subsequent consequences should I fail to preform (or worse contract something horrible) ? Two Words!

CHECK RIDE

The time has come that I shed the proverbial training wheels and get into the cockpit of an airplane with a total stranger who's not only entrusting his life to my hands he will ultimately decided whether or not I've got what it takes to be a pilot... a private pilot...right after a generous donation of $350 dollars to his bank account...

Moving on. Thursday (April 5th) at 11am I begin the two part FAA check ride that starts with an oral aeronautical exam followed by a practical demonstration of lessons learned and aeronautical knowledge gained during training. This is the big one, this is the license I've been working my ass off for, slaving tables and putting up with the retirement community, gearing my entire life there after, all for the privilege to take to the air in a most unusual fashion, one of which that man was not originally designed for yet over came the bounds of gravity simply because he could. My chance to fly (and legally for a change)

Fortune Favors The Bold.
Wish me luck

KW



Things of Note

2007-03-15T07:21:17.469-07:00

A bright and sunny awaits outside and as I sit here munching on a bowl of cheerio goodness, lamenting the lack of action that was last night, and sorting out what I'd love to do with the day it occurs to me that perhaps, were my soul not worth a just a little bit more to me (worth at least a bottle of Makers Mark) I'd be willing to sell it off for an unlimited supply of Av Gas as my lack there of (and funding to obtain more) so that I could spend more time getting longer flights. The irony here is that I know the exact location of such a source of the 100LL goodness, at the very least a couple thousand gallons, is hiding at an abandoned airfield in a tanker truck that hasn't moved in the last seven years. The catch? It's 14 hours away by car and at least half of that by flight in a 172. Back to the cheerios and the flight guide for phone numbers, IN SEARCH OF CHEAP FUEL!!!

I mentioned in the last post the up and coming financial turmoil slowly boiling in congress, that if unleashed, will be a significant blow, if not total destruction of General Aviation. Many names have been passed around this grand new scheme, User Fees, Fuel Taxes, privatization of the FAA, Operation "Screw the Private and Sport Pilots" and my personal favorite "The continued support of the airline industry despite it's blatant inability to collectively get it's shit together while relying on the government, and now individual pilots, to carry it's burden instead."

The sum total of this proposed new budget for the FAA essentially places the funding out of the hands of the government and into the hands of anything and everything that isn't a major air carrier, I.E GA. I'm still sorting through the details as they emerge but rest assured nothing good can or will come of this plan. News in the coming weeks of what the exact new rules will be regarding the User Fees and additional fuel taxes, when those details emerge I'll bury myself and them and try to determine just what's going on. For more info, visit AOPA's website (Google it, I don't have the link).

On the lighter notes....yep not much going on. I'm ignoring persist ant problems with the car and looking for other pilots my age to hang out with but like me we're all buried in training. Grrr, now I know what medical residence feels like, Social life? Not so much due in at the hanger/Operating Room.

KW



Grind the teeth, Carry On

2007-03-03T06:10:58.082-08:00

There are times when toiling in the slave trade that is work in order to do the very thing you love to do, you find yourself stepping back and asking, “Just why the hell am I doing this again?” Tonight was such a case in point. Amongst the regular faces we see so often at the this particular airside restaurant, there are those nights when a totally different crowd comes completely out of the blue and on those night the most important thing to remember (in my case anyway) is that 100 low lead gasoline is expensive enough o cause even the best of men to commit devious and murderous acts that even Jeffery Dahmer would find to be in poor taste. As such, I must remain on my best behavior in order to reel in enough of the glorious green in the nights earning to keep my ambitious arse airborne. Lest I be left with an unfueled aircraft, an unpaid instructor, and ( and this is probably the more important of the three although debatable if you’re a hardcore aviation addict) food in the stomach. So even though I would love nothing more that to choke to death the two picky whiny mothers and their collective total of five or six urchins, or beat the on the go jet setter, who believes that he or she has walked into a Starbucks rather than a restaurant, with the nearest blunt object I can get my hands on, I must instead remain cool, let the dice roll and play the face of charming, helpful guy who’s trying to better himself though humiliation against his college degree… If the winds don’t lay low tomorrow and allow me to get off the ground, I’m totally going to lose my sh&#^….and take everyone who works with me out with me…. Picked up a new toy however that has brought me a good deal of satisfaction and entertainment. I’ve managed to get my hands on a Garmin GPS 195 and for a mere $150 which beats the bejebus out of the two or three hundred I’ve seen these units sell for. Quite the steal and within flying distance, so I not only got in a few worth while hours, I also had a purpose beyond learning on this particular week. A stones throw from LAL is BOW, that would be Bartow for the not flight oriented. Three runways and class D airspace, nothing I couldn't handle. By air it’s only about five or six minutes away. Of course I didn’t waste this opportunity to fly and so a ten minute there and back again trip turned into something like 1.3 hours in the log book as I stayed up s long as I could before having to report to the aforementioned means to the end. A few cross winds landings, some bumpy air, S turns over a road, steep turns, point turns and stall work, all to keep it fresh in my head and hands. For my next magic trick, a cross country with the instructor on board, hopefully with a little night time wedged in as well in the coming week. Till then, short hops and slinging food. KWStay tuned Kids, next entry I rant about the up and coming proposals for General Aviation Fuel prices by our dear and lovely congress.[...]



SOLO

2008-12-09T03:37:31.852-08:00

I've not updated this blog in some time and it has been with reason. I simply wanted to close off for a time being until the day I could call myself, at the very least, a capable pilot. That day came on the 17 of Feb. Still smiling like ear to ear three days later.February 17, 2007 SOLO I’ve been told that certain experiences in life will never be forgotten, others that can never be described, and still more than can only be appreciated by being there for yourself. I’ve been trying to put into words what it feels like, what one thinks and experiences when, for the first time, they climb into an aircraft and successfully fly it totally reliant upon themselves for the success (not to mention the survival) of the flight. What it is to fly a perfect pattern altitude, to set up each approach and smoothly glide to perfect greased on landings, turn around and do it again just as smoothly, just as effortlessly with out hesitation, without second guessing, for the first time to slip the surly bonds and fly free. I don’t have clue about those perfect pattern altitudes, the text book approaches, or the greased on landings, I can tell you about bobbing up and down within 100 feet, a few S-turns and slips here and there, and wobbling on the mains after the initial contact, and above all I can say it was the most significant and gratifying moment of anything I have ever done. I don’t believe I’ve ever smiled so wide before, or held it for two days straight. I can also tell you about taking the Option for 27 instead of the full stop and making a low pass (maybe 150 ft) at 120 on the airspeed indicator, the instructor didn’t see that coming. Only one sentence I’ve ever heard or read sums up what it is to fly Solo for the first time. “The most fun you can have with your pants on” ‘Nuff said. Total time at Solo 11.9 Total PIC time .5 Total Landings 4+One pass for the fun of it. [...]