Sunday, May 15, 2016

Alarm clocks should not be everywhere.

English: Alarm clock Polski: Budzik
English: Alarm clock Polski: Budzik (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Years ago, I used to work for an engineer (lets call him George) who also happened to be a pilot of a small two engine prop plane.  I liked the person and he was good at his job but part of my job description involved being a passenger in the small plane he flew to a few job sites.  (I usually preferred large multi-engine jets with restrooms where the flight attendant doted on your needs.)  They would probably still have paid me to do my job even if I had used alternate transportation instead of flying with George but I wouldn't have felt right about it.  George liked me to sit in the co-pilots seat because he said my large weight in that seat helped make the plane easier to fly.

I noticed there was what appeared to be some type of alarm clock installed in the control panel.  Later someone told me that George would turn on the autopilot, set the alarm clock and take naps on long flights.  I never noticed George nod off when I was in the copilots seat but he did tell me to keep an eye out for any other plane in the area when I first started flying with him. This kind of worried me slightly because I am essentially blind in one eye and I greatly prefer someone with two eyes looking for any potential crash partners. He did put the plane into a deliberate dive once after I said I didn't give a damn what he did.

I heard numerous flying stories from other employees regarding George which I can't verify such as running out of fuel in flight and clipping power lines because the plane was over loaded.  Apparently he used a credit card once to scrap off accumulated ice from the front window during flight after something failed so he could make an important social engagement.  George is a Korean war vet and a good engineer so I didn't hold minor piloting irregularities against him.


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