It's Saturday! Did Everybody Take Stupid Pills or What?

Yes, folks, we have stupidity, cars, SUVs, planes, breaking glass, and all sorts of mayhem in this thread. It’s both better and worse than you fear… bwaHA HAH HA HA!!!

Saturday (yesterday) was the first day of a well-deserved vacation I have needed for a couple months now. I arose early, had my usual breakfast, and called Flight Service for the weather report prior to flying. It was a beeYUUUUtiful day, and the weather briefer was even cheerful and chatty. Got my flying equipment together and went out the door.

Normally, at 7 am on a Saturday morning the drunks, fools, and idiots are sleeping in. But nooooooo, not today. I’m crusing down 45th street on the way to the airport and not only does a guy in a pickup with a shell camper come barreling backwards down his driveway towards the road, he slams on his brakes at the last second - I swear, there was smoke coming from his tires - and I can hear him screaming profanity despite him being in his truck and me being in my car. Well, THAT was a Pleasent Occurance first thing in the morning!

Well, get down to the airport, everything still seems fine - absolutely clear, calm, weather. Fine. A friend who has been having medical problems as well as financial difficulties this past year is waiting for me, hoping for a ride as he is not up to piloting his own airplane today. Fine. While he was taking it easy in the little building there I went out to check out the airplane.

Truth is, it wasn’t my first choice airplane, but that one was in the shop for maintenance/repairs so I was stuck with Bravo. Bravo used to be my favorite, but it’s been rode hard and put away wet a few times too many over the last few years. First thing I notice is that they still have not replaced the handy laminated checklist cards that went missing over a month ago. Instead, they have the relevant pages taken out of the operating manual. Which is all fine and legal, BUT the items are in a completely different order than what I’m used to, and I don’t feel it’s as thorough as the lists that have been updated and improved since the manual was published back in, oh, 1973 or so. The other problem is that if those pages go missing the operating manual in the airplane is no longer complete and the airplane is therefore no longer legal to fly - but who the heck every checks to see if all the pages are there? I do - since I got ramp checked that one time. Garauntee that if those pages go missing they’ll replace the checklist but never check the manual until some poor sap gets checked by the FAA and gets penalized for it. But it’s legal for today, and there’s no reason I can’t check more than what’s on the list, so I proceed to proceed with the preflight.

Well, the avgas they bought has such weak dye in it I can barely see the blue, the engine is down a quart of oil, and some of the baffling around the engine is starting to look worn. But the magetoes and airfilter and all those other bits are still firmly attached (yes, I do check that), no oil leaks, the wiring a bit greasy and gritty but the insulation is intact, and for once the brake fluid resevoir is at the proper level. Alternator belt still firmly attached. Checked the prop for dings and stuff - a few dings and the paint’s wearing off, but nothing major and everything have been “dressed”, no cracks developing anywhere I can see. Nothing leaking out the nose gear. Tires inflated. no grit or water in the gas. Nothing nesting back in the tail section, all the control surfaces move properly. Atennas still firmly attached. Birdshit still dripping down the right side of the vertical stabilizer but no overt signs of corrosion (yet). A few cracks in the fiberglass fairings but nothing structurally serious. The wings look intact. Lots of smashed bugs on everything, but I can still see out the windows. Basically, your typical rental plane. OK, got the quart of oil in (the line guys are helpful in part because I’m nice and polite to them - funny how that works) and my passenger is standing on the wing already, wanting in the airplane. Fine, fine, the airplane’s not perfect but I’ve flown worse. I get in, he gets in.

The complaining starts. His bones and his back hurts. He can’t bend to get into the seat. He doesn’t like how the seat adjusts. He doesn’t like the seatbets. He doesn’t like how the seatbelts adjust. He can’t get the door to close. The airplane is a piece of junk. It’s time to get a new airplane.

I said “If you don’t like the airplane you are welcome to stay on the ground.”

He said “What?”

“I said, If you don’t like the airplane you are welcome to stay on the ground.”

That shut him up for about 2.3 minutes. I proceed to go through the start up checklist, you know, master ON, fuel ON, mix RICH, prime 3 TIMES –

“You don’t need to prime it that much!” Much agitated thrashing from the right seat.

:rolleyes: “We’ve tried it your way. When we did so, the airplane would not start. We are going to do it my way because my way works.”

“There’s something wrong with this thing! It shouldn’t take that much! You’re just loading up the engine and fouling the plugs!”

Meanwhile, I am starting the airplane. Get everything set, turn the key, brrrRRRRRRR! Starts right up the first time.

“This engine is running really rough.”

You know, I really should have booted him out. Really. Absolutely. I am trying to do something nice for a grumpy old man who is currently stuck on the ground and has many many reasons to be grumpy and depressed and I’m not looking for even a friggin’ thank you, just a shut the hell up and enjoy the fucking ride.

Here we go, I am proceeding through the checklist like a good little pilot, tuning out the annoying whine next to me going on about how he doesn’t like how I’m doing the run up, the instrument check, the radio check, the brake check… GREAT GOD ALMIGHTY give me an ignorant, terrified, ground-pounder passenger any day over this. I swear, it’s like doctors being the worst patients - pilots are Passengers from Hell.

After that, it’s off to the runway. Which runway? Good question - it’s dead calm so traffic could be coming from anywhere. Can’t see anyone. No one on the radio. I decide to take off facing away from the sun. Amazingly, there are no comments from the right seat about that. Especially amazing since it actually has us taking off opposite the direction we intend to go. Well, we put-put to the runway, I do my final check of everything, and off we go.

First thing I notice is that we aren’t getting the acceleration I’d like. Sure, it’s a summer day, and we have two people in here, but it took a couple hundred feet further to leave the ground than I expected. And while the climb is acceptable it’s, again, not quite what I expected. And while all the engine indicators are in the green, they’re in the high end of the green. Acceptable - but not really what I expected or wanted. I turn to an east heading, still climbing, and like I said, it’s performing acceptably, just not as well as I had hoped. So, I leveled off at 2500 MSL over Route 30, heading towards Valpariso, Indiana and Porter Country Municipal Airport. Again, instead of the 2450 rpm and 100 kts I expected I wound up with 2500 rpm and 95 knots for level flight. How annoying.

Also annoying are the radio transmissions I am hearing. Pops, squeals, and other interference. People “stepping on” each others’ transmissions. People declaring they are landing on runways that don’t exit at the airports they claim to be using. Every doofus and fair weather flyer is up today, and by the sound of it a fair number have their heads up their asses while doing the deed.

The whine in the right seat starts up again. He didn’t like the acceleration. He didn’t like the climbout. The engine is still running really rough. THEN he does a no-no - he starts to reach over and adjust things without asking!!!. I am so fucking sorry this clapped-out rental Warrior does not run with the smooth perfection of your highly tweaked, always-babied Mooney, Mr. Ungrateful, but the fact of the matter is that for the last 30 years this airplane has been bounced off runways by people who don’t know what the fuck they’re doing - i.e. “student pilots” - and it shows in the amount of shakes, rattles, and dents this here airplane has acquired over the decades. Too Fucking Bad. Get your goddamed paws off the controls, I am the fucking Pilot in Command. Got it? I am feeling a red rage come over me and I quash it down because this is NOT the time and place to indulge emtions of any sort.

Nevermind - on theory that half the problem is that he’s feeling old and useless, I tell him to check and see if the navigation radios are working and get them set up for Porter Country approach. THAT seemed to help, but I spent more time than I wanted to keeping an eye on him and a hand on the engine controls so he couldn’t fuck with them without my knowledge. Meanwhile, the yahoos are still imagining runways and at least two of them are broadcasting on the wrong frequencies. I tell Passenger from Hell about the high number of flying idiots and put him on Traffic Watch. Keep him busy. Yes, that seems to be working. My CFI told me there’d be days like this - why is he always right about stuff like that?

Oh, yes, and by the way, with all this going on I have to get ready to land the goddamned airplane. And, oh damn, what IS pattern altitude here? I choose 1800, which is pretty safe anywhere in the local neighborhood, and wait for the broadcasting idiots to let me get a word in edgewise. Eyes outside the cockpit. Someone just announced they’re coming in to runway 12 at Porter County. Porter County doesn’t have a runway 12. It has 9, 27, 18, and 36. What a fucking idiot. Fortunately, an idiot who isn’t at Porter County. I don’t know where the hell he is, but it isn’t here. In fact, this is the ONLY airport I know for sure this guy is not at. Wonderful.

OK, check fuel, extra fuel pump on, enter traffic pattern, slow down, carb heat, slow down, flaps, turn to base, more flaps, more slow down, turn to final, more flaps, more slow down, nose up (not too much!), wheels on the ground - you know, that’s probably the best part of the whole damn flight so far. Off the runway, past the nice shiny Diamond Katana going to runway 36, taxi back to the beginning of runway 27, let Mr. Katana take off, then I take off. Climb out is a little better this time (although still not quite where I’d like it to be). Level off again at 2500 MSL and head west. I’d love to fly more - the air is clear, a see-forever day, but my wallet is thin this week.

My GOD no comments from the right seat!!! I check to make sure the old bastard is still alive and breathing! (He is)

OK, the day is somewhat improving. I am starting to (finally) enjoy myself, which, at a $1.10 a minute (approximately) it’s high time I started to. So, I’m heading for the home airport and, like a good little pilot, announce I’m over Route 30 and I-65 at 2500 MSL when, gosh darn it, I actually am over that intersection at that altitude. A Piper Arrow announces it’s departing runway 8. OK, that’s cool, I’ll land on 8, no problem. Whatever runway folks are using. Then thsi CHIRPY VOICE comes over the radio, talking at autioneer speeds “CessnaXXXXXXtransitingGriffithairpacefromwesttoeastat2500”.

Aw fuck. Sure enough, I turn my head to the left and there’s this big ass twin head straight for us. NOT a little dot growing bigger but a whole fucking airplane with Twin Whirling Blades of Death geting bigger and BIGGER.

Gravity don’t fail me now! Nose down, kick in a side-slip, let’s lose at least 500 feet of altitude in less than 2 seconds, please. Loose bits in the back seat and cargo areas are starting to float, my passenger looks more awake than he’s been the last month, the houses underneath us are now growing rapidly in size, and the airplane rocks a little as the twin goes by overhead. OK, one emergency out of the way. Airspeed well into the caution range, pull up gently, , and level off at 2000 feet. And THAT, boys and girls, is why this pilot practices emergency manuvers on a regular basis.

Comment from the right seat: “I assume you had a good reason for doing that, because I can’t see you don’t anything like that without good reason. What the hell was that all about?”

You know, I could have made some rude comment about female pilots and Cessna drivers, except I am also female and I also fly Cessnas. I settled for screaming out FUCKING IDIOT ASSHOLES LEARN WHY YOU USE A GODDAMNED RADIO AND LOOK WHERE THE FUCK YOU’RE GOING YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE IDIOT in the privacy of my own little cockpit. There. That felt GOOD to get off my chest. I feel (a little) better now.

OK, got my adrenalin rush for the week. Now it’s back to Landing an Airplane. Which was pretty uneventful. It says something when the landing is the easiest part of the flight. Get back to the parking area, park, shut down.

wwwhhhiiiiiIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNEEEEEE: “This airplane is a piece of junk. It’s falling apart. There’s something wrong with it, the engine is too rough --”

“Get out. Get your seatbelt off, and get out. No, you are NOT going to push the plane back. Just go inside. NOW.” But of course he’s a stubborn old man. I had to clamber out and race him around the right wing to get into push-back position before he could. Goddamn fool - having back and knee problems and he wants to shove a 2100 lb airplane around a ramp by himself out of some misplaced chivalery bullshit. Puh-LEEZ!!! FINALLY he wanders back into the little building there and I get to finish securing the airplane and filling out the fucking paperwork required. I walk back to the building, turn in the paperwork, pay for the rental…

“Come here, I want to show you a few things.”

Mr. Personality has been back out to the airplane looking for more things wrong with it. :rolleyes: YES, I know the damn airplane isn’t a prime specimen. Give it a rest why don’t you? How about I beat my head bloody against this brick wall over here, huh? I’m sure everything will feel better once I stop doing it.

Anyhow, he offers to take me down to a local restaurant for a bit to eat and a cup of tea. Well, that’s very nice of him. And he needs to gripe and bitch about his life some more, and now we’re on the ground and I don’t have to worry about flying idiots and so forth I’m happy to listen. (Yes, he IS a very good friend of mine, which is the ONLY reason I haven’t booted him in the ass for some of his recent conduct. It’s getting tempting, though). I volunteer to drive. Driving through the parking lot, this big-ass SUV starts to back out of a space directly into my car. With the way clear before me, I stomp on the accelerator and horn. What the fuck IS it this morning? I put on sunscreen, not fucking Invisibility CreamTM. Well we get parked. We get seated in the little cafe. My friend flirts with the waitress. We chat a little with the waitress - she has a niece in a wheelchair and we’re trying to convince her guardians to let her go for a ride in an airplane - being sixteen is hell enough, being sixteen in a wheelchair is just fucking unfair in life. The guardians (grandparents, actually) strike me as being overprotective. Me, I think the girl being the center of attention in a positive way would be a good thing, and there is no lack of volunteers to render whatever assistance is needed to get her into and out of a small plane (and for damn sure we’ll put her in one in better shape than Bravo is right now).

OK, this is turning into a slightly better morning. I drop my friend off back at the airport, and no one tries to t-bone or back into the car on the way there. Maybe things will get better. I go home. The husbaand is now awake and mentions that it’s our turn to bring chopped onions and mustard to the radio control airplane field (yes, we’re heavy into aviation at the Broomstick household - RC is my husband’s thing). Fine. Chop-chop-chop. I packed a cooler with pop and water. I kick back and read a book while the husband busies himself assembling his gear. When he’s ready we load up the car with cooler, lawn chairs, and model airplane bits. We get to the RC field safely. While folks are flying the little planes we can see part of the Gary Air Show flying overhead, including B1’s and stuff (we’re only 10 miles from Gary Airport, and between that and the official airshow location so we see everything going back and forth). Way cool. Great weather. Nice weekend.

continued next post…

But I can tell the husband is grouchy 'cause he hadn’t eaten yet and offer (as a nice wife) to get him a sandwhich to tide him over until the hot dogs and brats are ready. Well, on the way to the corner store to get a sandwhich I get stopped by a train. OK, waiting-waiting-waiting. While I’m waiting I suddenly hear this SREEEEEEEEEEEEEECH of brakes behind me. I look in the rear view mirror. This big-ass SUV Ford Icecapades or whatever the hell they call those things is on my back bumper, driver screaming and gesturing. HELLOOOOOOOOOO! See heap big fucking railroad train in front of my and four other vehicles? What the fuck is it, today? Am I fucking invisible or something?

The goddamned train passes. Fine. I go to the fucking corner store. Fine. I park. Fine. I go to enter the store. As I am entering the store two teeny-boppers are exiting. Both smack into me. :rolleyes: I must be invisible or something. I mean, I joke that I’m so pale as to be transparent but I’m not REALLY transparent! (Am I?) I get the damned sandwhiches requested. I get in the car. I drive back - stopped by another train!!!. AAAAAGH! I am in HELL! I am in fucking HELL! I am invisible and thwartened at every turn! Whaaaaaaaaaa! But I do get back to the RC field in one piece. Find out the hot dogs have been cooked and eaten and there are no more!!!. AND MY ASSHOLE HUSBAND ATE THEM!!! To add insult to injury, the requested sandwhiches are off limits to me because they contain food I am allergic to. So I am standing there with no food I can eat, and sandwhiches everyone else is to full to eat, and I had even brought the fucking onions and mustard and didn’t get jackshit..

The husband, recognizing the signs of an imminent eruption, gets everyone back at least 10 feet and removes lightweight throwable objects from my vicinity. I am PISSED! I want to go HOME! NOW! I am having a BAD DAY. Everytime I try to do something NICE for someone else something BAD happens to ME. I am FUCKING DISGUSTED. I want to GO HOME –

The husband gets me in the car and drives me home. He says whatever the hell went wrong he doesn’t know but he’s sorry and suggests I go rant on the Internet or something. I tell him I just want to be left alone in the house where no one is going to run over me and there’s lots of food I can eat. Please, he should go back to the RC field and hang out with his friends, just because I’m having a bad day doesn’t mean everyone else should. I’ll just sit here, in front of the computer, stuffing my face. Thank you very much.

Which I did. I screamed in IM’s to a good friend who did the whole “there-there” and comisserating thing (thank you very much) and DID stuff my face. Of course, while doing so I also managed to break my iced tea glass (remember, I did say there was breaking glass in this story) which was just one more fucking irritation in the whole fucking day. So I dumped the busted glass in the trash, the rest of my dishes in the sink and then I –

– yes, really I did this –

– hid under the bedcovers until the husband came home. At which point I related the whole sorry tale to him all over again, then took a nap 'cause I was just plain worn out.

After the nap, I did the laundry. Sad to say, but doing doing the laundry was probably the best thing that happened to me the whole goddamned day. Which is sad. But at least no one tried to run me over on THAT trip!

OK, it’s not as bad as cancer or horrific accidents or HIV or world hunger … but it WAS a really sucky way to start a vacation.

You know, there’s a great deal to be said about hiding under the bedcovers at appropriate times. Accompanied by chocolate and a trashy novel.

Ain’t life grand?

Sounds like someone needs a pint of Rocky Road and a spoon.

Either that, or some really good drugs.

But Rocky Road will kill you slower.

Drugged Rocky Road. Mmmmmmmm.

I’ll never forget the ice cream with valium sprinkles like Mommy served.

Mmm. Rocky road. Mmmmmm.

Hope the next week improves things.


Tastes better too and none of those damn head trips either!! :smiley:

Dove chocolate bars.

Intentionally pointing your nose down, and side-slipping to drop like a friggin’ rock – and to do this by instinct, is something only a fellow pilot (former) can truly appreciate. Well done.

Sorry you had such a shitty day. Your story had me enthralled, by the way, even if it wasn’t a happy story!

You should submit this to Teemings Extras (who would that be?)…

You are amazingly cool.

Also, I have to say :

Greta Garbo, eat your heart out :slight_smile:

I tried] to take stupid pills, but I couldn’t figure out how to open the pack.

That’s OK, dear - we all understand that opening the little packages of stupid pills is even more challenging than properly coding a post. :smiley:

By the way - the husband DID administer ice cream after I got back from doing laundry. Yes, he IS a gem (most of the time).

Question is, did he administer it with a hose, or a spatula, or… oh, crap, is this out loud?


Oh, you’d like to know, wouldn’t you Billy…:dubious:

I got fed ice cream again tonight ( :D!!!), we made it safely to the Appalacians this afternoon, and no one tried to drive over me on the way there, not even that honkin’ big truck behind me all the way from the Cumberland Gap and across Clinch Mountain.

Now, if the weather would just clear up so I can do a little mountain hopping… Well, regardless, I’m getting pampered and >knock, knock, knock< things are looking up.

You know, if the hamsters ate the OP, it would have been the perfect way to introduce this story…