Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Several poker blogs are weighing in on the IM, Chat Room and other means of communications privy, while the players are at the tables ripple passing through the ether.

Collusion being foremost, general table talk about the hand being played by both those involved in it and those watching. The spice in the argument is the favoritism among various factions.

Neither the arguments presented, pro or con are new. The doubts involved between the players are not new, pro or con. The search is not new. And the solution, pro or con, will not be found.

I received a visitor this evening.

A visitor from the present, that works for an aircraft company in the area. He visited and informed me up front that his wife expected him home for supper. We got to talking aircraft and he stayed for four hours. I think he came home a bit late for supper.

Me? This time I got my supper in first and the dog got left pre-washing. Heh. Loved that.
Sometimes I think that Housekeeper is correct when she swears the dog is spoiled.

I also got an email asking me what time I ate supper.

Humm; well, that depends. I usually like that meal before 1700 hours. Usually somewhere between 1400 and 1700 hours. That’s probably what throws some folks timing off when trying to do business with me.

There’re reasons for that preference, to be sure. And the same reasons apply to preferring breakfast between nine and ten in the morning.

Hope that helped explain some of the timing problems you mentioned in my post the last day or so you were having trouble with. Us single, retired folk can indulge in some preferences. Those conditions allowed plenty of time for me to un-finish a meal, take a two hour and thirty minute ride more or less, and fall asleep before the Martini.

Still it was good to hear from you. You are on my Bloglines lists, so I do get your up-dates the same day you write.

Which is why I’d rather not use Google or MS. They’re a next day sort of thing, it seems. I have a few other writers over there and am slowly getting them transferred back to bloglines.

Talking with my visitor this evening, a name came up. One of those names you place in a room somewhere in the back of your mind and the door to the room is easily opened, but seldom visited.

The name was of a pilot with the St Mary’s group of the company. He was flying for the company before I got there.

One of the jobs that group did, during the season, was to fly boxed salmon from the villages further up the Yukon back down to St Mary’s. The company being a small air-taxi operation flying single engine aircraft for the most part.

We did have a twin, a 310, that we used for God knows what. I’d seen it used to haul med-vac runs, tourists and political candidates, and even the occasional drunken Yupik wanting to go over Norton Sound to Nome.

Anyhow, the name was a pretty good fellow. A voice of advice to newbie’s. with whom he enjoyed mentoring. He got plenty of practice as the company had about an eighty percent turn-over rate on pilots, per year, all things considered.

One day about two months or so after I’d gotten route qualified and was on the job down at Base, I heard we’d lost an aircraft. An aircraft radio on a public channel wasn’t much of a place to be talking company business, don’t you know. So I flew the day away and when I got back to Base most everyone was gone.

The women running dispatch wouldn’t talk to me about anything, so I’m left wondering if the Boss Man had run into a mountain or some such, but the women weren’t wailing or gnashing their teeth. That pretty well ruled that wise out, so I left to find someone to talk.

One of those strange things in my life happened when I finally tracked down some to talk to me about the accident – which proved to be not an accident, even though that’s what it is called. Any how, that strange thing that happened, was I got to talking to a guy that knew about the event, in detail, and the guy, whose name I didn’t know at the time, was to become my boss in another few months.

My life has been filled with these kinds of events; like a B movie or whatever. I’m introduced to a character, lose track of them for a bit and bang, here they come in all their glory. They’re a major part of my life.

The guy’s name turned out to be Ralph (and that is about all you’ll get on that). Ralph told me that the name and a newbie pilot had been sent up river to Marshall to haul a load of salmon back to St Mary’s. Course this was before the snows came and all.

I’ll take another momentary side track right now for a minute. Those of you following along should know that Marshall is somewhat south and east of St Mary’s, up the Yukon. It is also called Fortuna Ledge. The runway is plowed out of the mountainside above the village. None of which has a bearing on the story, other than the fact the freezing facilities were in St Mary’s and thus the use of aircraft flying small quantities of boxed fish.

Anyhow, Ralph tells me that the name was flying along side the newbie on that hot summer day, loaded, if you’ll excuse the wording, to the gills with salmon. It was toward the end of a long flying day, as most of these things seemed to be, and the name tells the other pilot to stay at altitude, which wasn’t all that high in the first place, but tells him to maintain it and he would show him how the experienced pilots flew the same route in the winter and the near white out conditions.

The name then drops down to fifty feet or so above the river and the willows and explains what he’s doing and why on the radio.

The name explains that right here, and dips a wing, you know that you’re getting close to home (St Mary’s) and you know you’re going to have to climb over the river bluff and up the side of the hills to find home. You need to reduce airspeed even though you need to climb, so get it slowed, turn into the hill over that clump of willows and that little inlet there, bring the power in enough to hold your airspeed and the climb. Hold that heading for a minute or so and you come over the road into St Mary’s. They keep that plowed, so it is usually easy to see just after coming over the bluffs and then you can follow that up to the village and make the left and follow the road on out over the hill to the strip.

Well, sir; the name got that running commentary going and all the while suited words to action and acted out each step in real time. The problem, naturally, was he forgot a couple of critical things.

In the winter he didn’t haul fish going in that direction. Matter of fact, he was usually near empty after dropping off the mail and seldom with a PAX, let alone full. Then, because he was on a very short trip, after a normal schedule of flying day behind him, he had re-fuelled with five and a half hours on board. And was far enough from basic flying discipline he forgot, I guess, the most critical thing of all; he forgot Density Altitude, and that he was flying at or near sea level on a day the temperature exceeded ninety degrees.

So, he turned into the hill at low speed, increased the power, climbed the bluffs, came to full power, and reached the critical point all pilots hate.

He ran out of airspeed, altitude and ideas all at the same time.

The aircraft crashed on the road and burned. The name died from burns in a hospital in Seattle sometime later.

From the reaches,

Ten Mile

About tenwhiskey

User tenwhiskey is also the author of this blog. He currently lives in small town Kansas in a semi-retired condition. His kids are married and gone (thank you). An empty nester. Divorced. Very happy with life as it is. Ten Mile maintains a personal blog here, writing of events as they appear to him; commentary, and opinions abound. He deviates into fiction as the mood strikes and creates flash fiction stories and short stories. He will not warn the reader when he drifts from fact to fiction. He feels adults are, generally, smart enough to figure out which is which. He does, however, attempt to make his fiction sound as true to life as possible. You have been warned. He, as time permits, writes and occasionally sells writing. More often than not he gives it away to various non-paying publishers of Ether Magazines, forums or for entertainment on a wall for in need of a hand friends. He likes candy, pies and a certain amount of strife. In the matter of strife - in his yourth on the farm, he became embroiled in a slinging fight. The fight involved lath as a launcher, fresh cow patties as ammo and it was a six way free for all. A little mud only adds (Umm?) a certain taste to life.
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