Well, back at the airport, back fueling for the FBO.
Its amazing how quickly you fall back into old routines and how your life can just pick right back up where you left off. This summer's little adventure is already fading fast. The crappy parts slowly getting less crappy in my memory and nostalgia for the good times taking over.
As much as I finished the season hesitant to do it again, I can see recidivism creeping in already.
I definitely miss the flying. I can see already I'm going to have to do something about that. As much as plan A was to spend the winter hunkering down and working at gainful employment and not really worrying too much about a flying gig till spring, I can see that I will need to do something to get back in the air, even if its just recreational. Theres just no way I can go six months without flying...
Its nice however to get back to doing a job that I have a lot of confidence in. Its nice to know what you're doing most of the time, instead of feeling like a tool and waiting for someone to show you how to do something.
Its also nice to get back to the airport and be a part of the bustle of a busy outfit. We've got a couple guys down from injuries and a couple through summer attrition, so I am looking forward to clocking in some good overtime over the next couple of months. God knows, I need the money after this summer!
Came back to see a picture I had emailed back posted on the linecrew room wall and everyone asking about my summer. It was tough admitting that my enthusiasm in the spring for the upcoming flight time was nothing more than a pipe dream... Luckily, I had enough of a positive experience from the rest of the experience I got that I'm not really all that bitter. A few people I've talked to seem to think I should be, but I'll save that for later. Lots of time to be jaded and bitter once I've been kicked a few times. Doing it after the first kick just seems kind of ....weak.
Our outfit is a Union shop and it looks like we are in the process of starting contract negotiations with management. Luckily, I have little involvement, as this is the first union place I've ever worked and frankly, some of the attitudes seem really bass-ackwards to me. Oh well.
Still looking for some part-time work around the airport. I'm working afternoon shifts, from 1400 till 2200. My mornings are pretty relaxed, so it would be nice to spend that time a little more productively as long as I'm going to spend it on the ground. At the same time, its hard to really get motivated to do anything that is non-aviation related and low paying. I think I could spend my time better making myself available for overtime shifts than blocking off all my spare time working for 10 bucks an hour. If I could find something that had an aviation slant to it, and I was getting some valuable experience or knowledge, I'd be ok making crap money.
A lot of my shift is now in darkness, seeing as sunset is around 730 these days, and getting earlier by the day. Since theres not too many people around at those hours, I'm a little freer with my camera, unfortunately, my night pics suck with my old camera. My newer camera is a little better, but it wont fit in my pocket, so I find myself wishing I had it with me a lot of times.
The Lovely Wife and I talked about the whole seasonal-flying thing and although its a pretty good option for me right now, considering the experience and contacts I made this summer. Unfortunately, it also seems like a bit of a slow road to something more year-round. I met quite a few guys this summer that even though they were flying full time, they were only clocking 150-200 hours over the whole summer. As of right now, I don't think I'd go back unless I was assured of at least 400-500 hours, which seems like it might be a bit on the high end for a low-timer, even one who knows how to wield a chainsaw or a weedwhacker.
My dream job right now would be a 206 or a Cherokee, VFR. If we had a chance at some year-round flying I think we'd seriously look at uprooting for a year or two to get that kind of experience. Getting 200 hours a year and spending 5-6 months of the year apart for 5 years in a row is not looking very appealing to us right now. Check back in four months or so when I've worn out my welcome with my Wife ;)
One thing I like getting back to is the food and tips we get as linecrew. When a bizjet or sports charter comes in, they clean out the plane and need to get rid of any catering that they've stocked and their customers haven't eaten. These are folks who think nothing of dropping 10-50,000 on travelling in better comfort and convenience than the scheduled airlines. Another couple thousand dollars on food isn't really a concern for them.
Lots of flights come in with whole trays of cheese, fruit, sandwiches, seafood, etc, that hasn't even been unwrapped. I've seen the price tags for these platters as well. These aren't your 50 dollar costco party platters, a 600 dollar cheese tray is not at all an oddity. We had a nice seafood tray the other day, shrimp as big as bananas, lobster tails and crab claws that were pre-peeled. MMMmmm.
Saw the Dalai Lama land the other day, in a Private, VIP configured 757-200. Wow, the monk business must be pretty good these days! So much for sandals, a robe and a bowl for offerings....