I got a shout-out on the radio from a controller yesterday! Unfortunately I wasn't in the airplane at the time, but Kitsch passed it on to me via phone last night, so thanks for that :)
I was actually headed west in a different aircraft yesterday, and that's the subject of today's post.
Suppose another operator (who we are pals with) needs a crew member on a jet that Kitsch and I are qualified to fly, but only for for a few days per month. Also suppose "In these harsh economic times blah blah" our flight department could use an extra few thousand bucks a month for vodka and bingo cards and whatnot.
A flashbulb went off in my head: For a monthly fee, Kitsch and I can make ourselves available to fly that particular jet for a set number of days per month. It lets Kitsch and I fly a different airplane from time to time, the other operator gets crew coverage for the few days a month they need it, and the company I work for gets to offset part of our operating cost with the monthly fee we charge the other operator for our pilot services.
See, it's a stroke of genius! Really, it's win-win and it only bites us if both jets need to fly on the same day. That never happens. Well, practically never. Well, what I mean by 'practically never' is 'It happened yesterday'.
Fortunately we had a few days heads-up on the scheduling conflict, so we made a few phone calls and arranged for an outside pilot to come in and save the day for us. The outside pilot is already checked out on our jet, so Kitsch took the outside pilot eastward in our jet, while I went westward in the other jet with the other operator.
Anyway, long story short, that's why I missed my Air Traffic Controller shout-out yesterday - I wasn't in the jet I normally fly. Kitsch assured me that I would have felt like a rock star had I been on board, so that's cool.
I still had an interesting trip yesterday though - the FBO we used at our destination is owned by Wal-Mart, and every employee there is actually a Wal-Mart employee. I asked the line guys to do the Wal-Mart song, but they were strangely shy. I'll have more on that when I upload the vids to Youtube later today :)