Yeah, I know. You live in a land of snow and ice. You have no sympathy for those of us who live below the “Smith and Wesson Line”. Continue reading
It rolls in swirling, mounding, falling. The view through the window into the retardant tank in the cockpit is interesting. Reminiscent of the desert sand, it rolls up into hills, then falls away into valleys.
The color red is a constant companion in my life… Continue reading
After the great “hotel scramble”, the next morning had a truly “brief” briefing. Dispatch sheets were handed out with no fanfare.
My driver had the plane untied by the time I arrived. Continue reading
A “wind event” was forecast. Wind beyond 30 knots grounds the SEATs. Wind that’s really high runs a risk of damage. Wind that is strong makes fires race.
For those reasons, and possibly others…the “powers-that-be” declared that our pair of SEATs be moved 150 nm northwest. Off we went, with predictions of return that evening, or at the latest the next morning….. Continue reading
I realized today, that it’s been almost 4 months on the road this “summer”. I was going along in my mobile home…..
As we were moved to another location. I was happy. Not exactly delirious, but sincerely, truly happy. I laughed as I realized I was “at home”. The 802 was humming along (as 802s do), the air was smooth…(lots of times it isn’t), the scenery was beautiful, and I was in formation with one of my favorite people with which to fly formation….. Continue reading
Decades have elapsed since “the old guys” taught me to fly formation. To me, they were the eyes of age, although I’m sure that present-day me is much older than they were then. I had emerged from medical school, paid down some debt, and as I had been since childhood was smitten with aviation.
Voracious reading had always been my habit. Continue reading
Life around a tanker base, early in the season, is fairly predictable. Morning briefing, a walk for some exercise, a cup of coffee. The view of scenery is one that would make tourist bureaus from the midwest jealous. However, the most urgent matter of the morning is planning lunch. The debate starts at breakfast….. Continue reading
The phone rang. A familiar voice crackled in my ear. “We need you here on Sunday.” I knew it wouldn’t be long before I heard from him. It was that time of year. Continue reading
He smiled at me. Had that award-winning grin. Fate had given him a charm intended to propel him through life at warp speed, with doors opening, opportunities materializing, women swooning, and things in general going his way. He really was cute, all “6 years old of him.”
I’ve had a run of cute little kids lately. I thought I had gotten over my addiction to pediatric anesthesiology, but it has started to become evident that I haven’t.
On those days where the air is like liquid gold….smooth, silky, not a bump anywhere; where the temperatures are cool enough that having to keep a hawk-like watch on the engine monitor isn’t required, but it’s not so cold that shivering is a constant companion….