Thursday, July 16, 2009

10 Hours Later....

Actually it was more like 5 and 5 hours later. I left good ol' CR around 3pm and arrived in Kansas City close to 8pm, pretty good timing.

Didn't get to do much in KaceyMo, but I did hit up an airport bar (I crashed at Extended Stay near KCI) called "The Final Approach". Alcohol and know it's probably owned by an ex-pilot or something.

While at the bar, I'm downing a Boulevard (Midwestern wheat beer), when I hear the dude next to me mention being a pilot for Continental. I tell him about my gig and he tells me what controllers do to piss them off, and I give the tower side of the story. There was another pilot there who could relate to all the silly stuff those VFR clowns do, it was cool to hear what they had to say tho...

At 6AM I'm up (can't sleep on a cardboard bed with a sheet on it), and I try to get some hood tunes in on the Jetta and my ghetto sound system (tape adapter) refuses to work. So yours truly endured 5 long hours of Kansas scenery and silence/static..and LIVED. I'm the self-proclaimed Kansas Turnpike Champion.

I like my spot here in OKC, waaaaaay better than the one I had last year (Meridian Mansions aka Roach Motel). I'll keep y'all informed.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Happy Trails....and Tweets

Morning folks...

Today will be spent tying up loose ends here in Cedar Rapids, but later this evening I'll be taking the 2nd Most Boring Road Trip ever back to OKC, the scene of my first great FAA victory. I'm gonna be tweeting some things along the way @

Until then, enjoy this "Moment of Zen"

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Time keeps on tickin', tickin....

Into the future...

*blows dust off keyboard*

It's been awhile, so I'll hit the fast forward button for those who accidentally surf here. I certified on Local Control about a month ago (I tell folks when to land, turn and takeoff......with hundreds of people on board).

Iowa FINALLY discovered summertime

Kobe FINALLY got a Shaq-free ring

...and I'm FINALLY over my fear of local control....for now.

More later..

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Did you miss me?

Sorry people...(all 5 of you).

I've been sorting out my new life here in Iowa for the past 5 months, navigating my way through a new city, new culture, new job, new everything. I haven't updated this thing too often, because as a Federal employee...BIG BROTHER is always looming in the background. I'll give you all some shorthand on what's happening.

In November, I certified on GC/FD/CD, which was a monumental achievement, seening as how I had to unlearn everything I learned in OKC. Right now, I'm currently learning the fine art of local control (actually guiding pilots to my airport). MY AIRPORT.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Aside from the Obvious......

Sorry it's been awhile since a brotha updated....but in a brief synopsis, here goes...

Last time, y'all heard from ol' boy....he was embroiled and immersed in the Air Traffic maze that OKC was throwing at me. I was getting hit, and throwing left hooks at any and everything those grumpy, disgruntled retired controller-instructors were throwing at me. Extended downwinds, got you.....wake turbulence calls, I eat those for breakfast...I was pumpin and bangin planes left and right before the final test...the dreaded "PV".

I had a run with my lead instructor the day before (my name had been drawn first to face the FAA monsters in the lab) that in his words, was "flawless".....coming from "Big John" that meant a lot. This guy was an instructor with an unblemished record, and was a veteran of the insane O'Hare Airport...

On PV day...I'm nervous....I didn't get any sleep the night before, because when I did slip into dreamland, I had visions of extended upwinds, traffic calls, and runway crossings. I wore my "money green" old navy polo with the light khaki linen pants...I'm ready to roll. My classmates give me the look...the one a man gets right before he lays on the gurney and gets the needle. I plug in my MP3 and start playing my warm up music..."NBA on NBC", "Ravishing Rick Rude theme" and "I Really Mean It" by Dipset.

I walk down the long hallway to the simulators, looking like a fighter ready for the ring, without the robe and hoodie and trainers of course. Freddie, one of the best students there, was assigned to be my ground, so those ops are covered. I step into lab strips are setup...its just me, Freddie, the FAA lady (cool lady from Detroit) and the ghost pilot.

They ask if I'm ready.....and I am.

First 10 minutes....easy traffic, big boys landing outside of WOODY....a guy comes in for touch-and-goes.....easy...

Then...the storm comes...

About 8 different people call me from airliner goes around.....I freak out....I call departure, and tell them what happened (good awareness). Hell almost breaks loose before the instructor calls A-through-F (Air traffic's signal for, "ok your done"). I brief her, and then I'm told to leave the room for about 15 minutes.

In my mind, my career is over......

All the late nights, early mornings, the studying, the pain the suffering the hard work. GONE.

I ran to the EDS labs, to reply what I did wrong....some of my classmates asked me how it was.

I didn't crash operational runway incursions....was I ok?

After wandering back to the scene of the instructor says "hey, where'd you go , we're looking for you."

I go in with my instructor, sit, down...and wait......for the rest of my career to either begin or end.

"First off.....I passed you..."


Euphoria......naw man...I can't even find a word for this....everything she told me about afterward didn't matter.

I passed...

Right now, I'm in Cedar Rapids.....typing my greatest achievement out onto a blank screen, and I'll give you blow-by-blow deatils of the time until my arrival in the following posts...just know that ya boy is legit!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Cut the ATIS!!!!!!

Okay, after the initial arse-kicking we took in our tabletop labs, things got less crazy, I got my confidence up, and I FINALLY got time to come back and update for y'all...

Basically, in a nutshell, I've been banging Academy lingo into my subconscious, to the point where I DREAM in Academy-speak. (Make straight-in, Runway 34, turn left at taxiway Sonic....)

From where I was a month ago, compared to where I am now is miraculous. We always heard stories about the intensity of phase two, about instructors from Hades, folks leaving problems frustrated and teary-eyed and of course about folks being sent home (jobless!) It's SUPER intense, but hey, if we screw up in real life....someone's mom/dad/brother/sister/husband/wife ain't makin' it home for Thanksgiving, you know what I'm saying?

The one good thing I'm digging about phase two here are the tabletops......we get to practice on toy planes. Yeah you heard me.....toy planes. And it's insanely challenging/fun to apply super-duper pilot lingo to a Fisher-Price lawnmower...but it's awesome. I'll update when I get some breathing room.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Scarred and Battered!

Yeah, this pretty much sums up the coursework we're getting here. I'm getting PWNED by the Academy right now in terms of academics.......only the strong survive!!!!!! I'll report back when I have VFR conditions......