Aeronautical Randomness Pilot Lifestyle
Childhood memories
November 15, 2011
1

I met up with my mom and wife after riding Space Mountain for the second time with my five year old.  My two other girls wanted to ride the big rocket ship attraction.  It was early during our vacation day at the Magic Kingdom.

“Are you sure these are your kids?” my mom asked.  “We couldn’t even get you to make the helicopter go up.”

For whatever reason a licensed psychiatrist could probably diagnose, I had completely blocked that out of my head.  Literally, I had forgotten all about it.  When she made the comment, I instantly recalled the traumatic childhood memory.

Growing up, my parents often took us to the Salem Willows in Massachusetts.  There was a helicopter ride I would always beg and beg to take for a whirl.  After my parents paid, I would board the little helicopter and go around in circles.  However, I refused to pull the bar to make the helicopter rise.  While all the other kids shrieked as their choppers went up and down, I spun around close to the ground.  It didn’t matter how many words of encouragement my parents yelled… in my little mind, it wasn’t safe to go up.  I was scared.

I stood there gazing high up at the Astro Oribiter in Tomorrowland.  Today, I fly a real airplane with a hundred and fifty passengers.  I land it in all kinds of crazy weather without even raising my heart rate.  How does a child go from being petrified of a kiddy ride to being an airline pilot?  I love life’s little ironies.

So, be patient with your children.  If they exhibit some odd phobia as a child, they’ll probably overcome it.  I’m certainly proof.

Annual Training

At the end of August, this blog turned a year old.  I also celebrated my first anniversary with Virgin America.

As part of the “celebration,” I needed to attend annual recurrent training.

The first part was classroom training.  After finishing a four day trip, I spent the night in San Francisco.  I spent the next day at the headquarters building in Burlingame.  We covered all the required topics and operated all safety equipment.  The day progressed nicely… the perfect amount of time devoted to all the subjects. (In my career, I’ve sat in some ground schools that were borderline torture.  The instructor kept this one moving!)

Later in September, I traveled to Dallas for my annual simulator training.  Paired with a captain, we covered many of the maneuvers from the check-ride a year ago.  There were no surprises in the training.  The “scenario” was set in Seattle.  It was very similar to what I’ve been doing my whole career.

(Still) Busy Busy

When there’s a lull in posts, I usually start by apologizing for not writing.  Here, I’ll bury the apology at the end of the post.  These are my latest excuses for not writing:

  • I have been very busy with family and working.  I’ve flown three to four trips a month since my last post.
  • I’m running out of things to write!  If something really unique happened, I’d be happy to document it.  But, I don’t want to fill this blog with the same old material in every post.  I’ve flown lots of legs and met some really fantastic people… nothing really new.

So, where do we go from here?  I’ll continue to post… but, probably not as much as the first year.  I really appreciate all the emails asking when I’m going to make another entry.  If you have any specific topics you’d like covered, feel free to contact me.

In closing, here’s a summary of all the traveling (commuting, flying, and vacation) I’ve done since the Hurricane Irene trip.  I haven’t stayed in one place for long!

Data provided by www.gcmap.com:

All the places I've been over the last few months. (multiple times!)

Total miles traveled: 89143 mi

  • DEN SFO 967 mi
  • SFO LAS 414 mi
  • LAS SFO 414 mi
  • SFO SEA  679 mi
  • SEA SFO 679 mi
  • SFO IAD 2419 mi
  • IAD SFO 2419 mi
  • SFO DEN 967 mi
  • DEN SFO 967 mi
  • SFO SEA 679 mi
  • SEA LAX 954 mi
  • LAX  DFW 1235 mi
  • DFW  SFO 1464 mi
  • SFO DFW 1464 mi
  • DFW LAX 1235 mi
  • LAX SFO 337 mi
  • SFO DEN 967 mi
  • DEN SFO 967 mi
  • SFO LAX 337 mi
  • LAX ORD 1745 mi
  • ORD LAX 1745 mi
  • LAX  JFK 2475 mi
  • JFK LAS 2248 mi
  • LAS SFO 414 mi
  • SFO DEN 967 mi
  • DEN DFW 641 mi
  • DFW DEN 641 mi
  • DEN SFO 967 mi
  • SFO IAD 2419 mi
  • IAD LAX 2288 mi
  • LAX JFK 2475 mi
  • JFK SFO 2586 mi
  • SFO DEN 967 mi
  • DEN SFO 967 mi
  • SFO FLL 2583 mi
  • FLL LAX 2342 mi
  • LAX BOS 2611 mi
  • BOS SFO 2704 mi
  • SFO DEN 967 mi
  • DEN LAX 862 mi
  • LAX MCO 2218 mi
  • MCO LAX 2218 mi
  • LAX DEN 862 mi
  • DEN SFO 967 mi
  • SFO LAX 337 mi
  • LAX JFK 2475 mi
  • JFK LAX 2475 mi
  • LAX DFW 1235 mi
  • DFW SFO 1464 mi
  • SFO DEN 967 mi
  • DEN SFO 967 mi
  • SFO FLL 2583 mi
  • FLL LAX 2342 mi
  • LAX IAD 2288 mi
  • IAD SFO 2419 mi
  • SFO DEN 967 mi
  • DEN SFO 967 mi
  • SFO LAS 414 mi
  • LAS JFK 2248 mi
  • JFK SFO 2586 mi
  • SFO DEN 967 mi

About author

Renewed Pilot

I've endured a roller coaster career in the U.S. Aviation Industry. Currently flying the 737 on my third try with the same legacy carrier, I have also flown for a regional, fractional and start-up carrier. My piloting experience includes the 737, A320, 727, Citation Excel, Citation Bravo, Saab 340 and many light singles and twin engine aircraft. I reside in the suburbs of Nashville, Tennessee.

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There is 1 comment

  • Pam Deveau says:

    Do you guys get frequent flyer miles? You should!!!

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