Me and Abilicious

Me and Abilicious

Monday, October 17, 2011

One Week from the Greatest Amusement Park Ride Ever

It's a Monday and surprisingly my day has been done since before 11am. We had a test this morning and my last simulator before the flight line will most likely be tomorrow. We only have one more subject, weather, and a test for it on Friday until our Dollar ride a week from today. The last 7 weeks actually feels like 7 seven weeks. It hasn't flown by or seemed to drag on either. I guess that means there's been a good balance of stuff to do and time not doing stuff. And we are no longer the freshman class with 13-01 already more than two weeks into their syllabus. Which is beneficial because I finally feel superior (however slightly) to at least someone. I finally know some things someone else doesn't.

Knowing the flight-line starts a week from today is a little nerve wrecking. We've spent most of our time learning how to stay alive in emergencies and uncontrolled flight and very little time learning the finer points of how to fly. Flying with an emergency, though, is in some ways easier than flying normally. If everything's good you have to adhere to all flight standards, altitudes, flight paths, controller directions, radio etiquette, maps, everything. But once you declare an emergency you're allowed to do whatever you want. Even rob a bank. For instance if I say on the radio, "Cujo 25, 5 miles, request straight-in" the controller can say, "negative straight-in" which means I have to go ALL the way around again unless I say, "Cujo 21 declaring an emergency, fire in flight." Sure, that means my plane's on fire but now I can do a straight-in. Saves time and money. The biggest draw to an in-flight emergency in this plane is the potential to eject.

Some would ask, "why?" As much as they say the captain goes down with the ship, I hope this makes it obvious. Makes this lame. They say you can only eject twice before you're physiologically disqualified from ever flying an ejection capable airplane again. Might as well go one-and-done. Besides, you break one airplane, they just give you another.

Living on base has it's perks, especially for early morning shows, but it also has it's drawbacks. One is engine tests late at night, "they keep crankin it on and crankin it off!" The number 1 drawback is when reveille is played at 7am and retreat at 5pm over the PA loudspeakers. If you're on base in the car when either is played you have to stop the vehicle until it's over. If you're walking you have to stop, come to attention and salute. It's really just an inconvenience but after the first two times you find yourself planning out your whole day to avoid the outdoors from 6:58am-7:02am and 4:58pm-5:02pm. Some people even set alarms. You know you're in trouble if you're halfway between the parking lot and a building when you see some people who were previously walking start sprinting into the nearest shelter. You look around and realize you are the only soul outside for as far as the eye can see. No cars, no people, no dogs, nothing; just crickets. Then you hear the ominous crackle over the loudspeaker and you know your day is ruined. Instead of music someone might as well come on and say, "GOTCHA, SUCKA!" And you know you're being watched. If a group is inside the computer lab and someone starts packing their bags to walk outside at 4:59 pm the gentlemanly thing to do would be to caution the individual from exiting the building within the next 5 minutes. But usually everyone watches the him walk outside then rushes to the windows to watch him get caught. And we all laugh. A good day.