We are tribal – we live in camps. My tribe is Mac, yours may be PC but as an aviator in the 21st Century your bag like mine must have got progressively heavier over the years. Change is woven into aviation’s fabric and change equates in my office to paper – and lots of it. Are you getting as tired as I am of having to be an administrator of some energy to put it all into the right trays?
Archive for May, 2009
The comparative turning performance of these two and the altitude that they are fighting at means that, given equal pilot skill, the FW190 is doomed. At least that is how I read it. Shame really as the ’190 is my favorite type after (for sheer beauty) the aircraft in the foreground.
Really great use of light in the work, bright up from the cloud deck below and shadow from the sun across the airframe. And for once the flight controls in logical place for the manoeuvre with tip vortices that make sense..
A quick ‘Postcard from the Edge’
‘Cyberabad’ is what they call this place, the monsoon has just started (a little early) so the hot air has a damper feel to it. That would probably explain why we got a good drenching on the way back from the restaurant last night as well.
The Indian Monsoon is the largest weather system in the World and its annual pilgrimage often wreaks predictable havoc on the Indian population. The silver lining is the gift of rain – lots of it, in fact eighty percent of the country’s annual quota of he stuff. Low cloud, flooded runways and an overburdened infrastructure make the sub continent an interesting place to operate during the summer Monsoon. It also brings the Mosquito out in numbers guaranteed to do wonders for your self control.
The new ‘Rhajiv Ghandi’ airport is exceptional, really World class. It just shows what can be done with a clean sheet of paper and a pile of cash.
Next ‘Postcard’ comes from Singapore
Willie has what is looking like an increasingly firm hand on the tiller.
To hear the papers, periodicals and the industry observers talking you would think the airline industry was a basket case fit for the trash can. The questions I ask down the route about our state of health tell me that loads and yields are reasonably good for the time of year. Friends in other carriers report similar but do so in hushed tones and have everything crossed as they speak. There is a sense of foreboding as if we expect the roof to fall in at any time – our Unions are tight lipped and pale after attending meetings with ‘the management’. If we believe our instincts and the mood music emanating from the Head Shed , big changes are on the way…. again. The same is true elsewhere with pilot layoffs and other slimming sessions being the order of the day. Apparently Virgin have lost around 17 pilots from the bottom of their list, the figure would have been greater but for some T & C sacrifices by the workforce.
Deals – we saw loads developing before the Markets started resembling black holes for money. BA/Iberia/AA, BMI/Lufthansa and a number of other flowering romances. How rapidly the scales tip with changing fortunes. Now as the pressure comes on carriers prepare for rocky times ahead; the focus swings toward liquidity, the oxygen essential for survival. In many cases that calls for a change of plan.
Sorry about the interruption in service folks, we had some server problems that have been addressed by David the Apache Guru (thank goodness).
Here is a picture of our Director of Flight Ops on holiday with his Mrs in Chicago recently.
Have you wondered where the passion for flight comes from? What is it that drives us to stuff our head in the clouds and dream of soaring down the footless ravines of air, wheeling among the billowing cathedrals of vaporous cotton wool as they blossom into free form shapes above – every one unique, every one destined to vanish from the azure expanse at the close of the day, as they have done since the beginning of time.
A bit of a clumsy attempt to scale the lyrical heights, but that’s how our imagination and its excesses leave us sometimes. I remember wanting to be up there so badly that it produced a physical pain in my chest akin to lost love. It wasn’t until I started to make my way that the ache began to live in the background; cold turkey would simply never have worked and still those emotions exist to tweak and taunt after even relatively short absences from the sky.
I would be surprised if anyone could make their way to a living in the air without assistance from friends or acquaintances; who among us hasn’t had a helping hand when it was most needed. Without such we will have been at best delayed in our journey – at worst, lost to ground based purgatory.
Giving does seem to be tied inextricably to remembering, there are those I will never forget – Neil East, Sir Phillip Sassoon, Mac McCarthy, Stan Easton, those and others since who either helped me or pointed to the way ahead. Those that extend a hand of help and assistance give more than the sum of their gift, there is a dividend that grows in the heart of the receiver.
Presumably you’re wondering where we’re going with this?