Monday, December 28, 2009

Lisbon Airport, December 23, 2009, 06:45 am. It looks like it was organized by employees of TAP, Portugal's national air carrier.

I know it's after Xmas, but I'm still full of turkey. Give the vid a minute or two to get endearing.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas one and all! I hope you and your loved ones have a great time celebrating Santa's birthday, and that you get lots of vitally important material possessions under the tree.

It's time to get ready for Christmas turkey, so I'll cut this short. Have a great day!

Friday, December 18, 2009

My beloved bride Lisa says I'm an attention whore. That stings, but it's not entirely inaccurate. For example, yesterday I looked around online and found some pics of myself in flight, which I'll graciously share with you, dear reader. As it turns out, our planes are pretty photogenic and I seem to have a knack for showing up in most of the shots, much like an unwanted wedding guest.

This was taken by a fellow named Steve Homewood, who found us at Oshkosh, back when we had our old paint job. I like this pic because you can see the thrust reverser has just been deployed, which means the 2 pieces of engine cowl have folded out the back of the engine, redirecting the thrust forward to help slow us down. Thrust reversers are cool.

Also note the nose wheel oleo (shock absorber) is pretty compressed - that's cause I'm pushing forward on the controls with a fair amount of force. In the Citation 550, when you deploy the thrust reversers ("pop the buckets"), it will tend to pitch the nose upward. When you are already touched down the last thing you want is to accidentally become airborne again (especially with thrust reversers deployed) so it's part of our SOP to push full forward on the controls once the buckets are out, to keep the nose on the ground where it belongs.

I attended a sim session once as part of my Approved Check Pilot training, and I watched some pilots who had never flown a Citation 550 try to land one without the benefit of the "push forward on the controls once the buckets are out or she'll take off again" training, and it was pretty hilarious. I was just glad they were learning this in the sim rather than in real life - it would have been an expensive lesson.

One last note: The graphic on the tail is a power pole, not an oil well. Our parent company is in the power business, amongst other ventures.

On to the next pic:

That's Kitsch and I in Hilton Head, South Carolina, about to blast off for home. Very popular vacation spot for those who can afford it. I remember this week - it was also the week of the Masters Golf tourney in Augusta, and we did a half-dozen runs to/from Augusta along with this Hilton Head trip.

Next pic:

This was taken by a fellow named Nino Buda, catching us landing back at Pearson, in our shiny new paint job. Shiny!

I love the angle of this one, it makes her look like an albatross or some other huge-winged bird. Good looking airplane, no? You can tell we are landing rather than taking off by the position of the wing flaps - we use 15 degrees for takeoff and 30 for landing, and those barn doors are at 30 in the pic.

On to the next glamour shot:

If you look closely you can see me in the right seat in this pic. Shiny forehead!

This is one of the Bravo's that Kitsch and I fly on occasion. Nino Buda, the same photog as the last pic, clearly has a good camping spot on approach into Pearson.

This is my shiny forehead again, this time as we are coming back from a few days in Greensboro South Carolina.

Last but not least, this was one of my first flights in a Citation 550, flying a Bravo for a friendly competitor a few years ago. This was on takeoff at Pearson - you can see the flaps at 15 degrees, and you can see the nose gear has already retracted while the main gear is still coming up.

I like that people take pics of the jets - they are beautiful machines and it does look pretty cool when we are down low, either arriving or departing. The thing I'm mostly thinking about now is the next time I pooch a landing I'm gonna be worried that some photog out there has captured it and is immediately uploading it to the web for posterity. No pressure, right?