As soon as the main gear and nose gear retracted and latched into the wheel wells, it was as if I had never been on leave at the frontier. Time is a cruel master to those of us who live by the second hand. The ability to disassociate one's self from the clock is, unfortunately, very difficult.

So, I traded a leather (horse powered) saddle for an electric ( jet powered) saddle and am flying leg number two (Sea-Tac to Lost Wages) of a three leg day. The wife of my youth ran the pre-departure checklist before I drove to the airport:

1. Identification around neck.
2. Tie, belt, and epaulets.
3. Wallet with money, pilot license, medical certificate, radio operator certificate.
4. Hat (optional, but I am old school).
5. Flight bag, overnight bag, laptop computer.
6. Geezer glasses, sunglasses.
7. Cell phone.

Several years ago, while my wife was traveling on business, I reported to work sans Captain's epaulets. A flight attendant friend of mine asked me if my wife was out of town. I said,"As a matter of fact, she is... How did you know?" She pointed out my missing epaulets. Yikes! I ran down to the pilot's locker room and borrowed a set of co-pilot epaulets from a friend, since there were no Captains in sight. I doubted the uniform police would actually count stripes, but they would definitely notice missing epaulets. To this day, when I see that flight attendant, I always remind her of the "Day of the Missing Epaulets". Little incidents, such as this, make such sweet memories.

Yep, back in the electric saddle and climbing through 23,000 feet for 29,000 feet. Seattle Center promised higher altitude after we clear traffic ahead. The second hand is ticking...

4/1/2013 14:35:22

Why's the radio operator certificate required?


Leave a Reply.