Sunday, December 6, 2009

Girl Scouts, Minus the Thin Mint Cookies

It was an action-packed weekend from Friday on. I headed to the airport to watch some Hawker Beechcraft mechanics finish a few things left on my airplane from our inspection three months ago. The parts we needed were hard to track down, but they finally arrived. Our right hydraulic switch got replaced and passed leak tests during the engine runs, as I am sure everyone will be relieved to know! And we also (hopefully) got our ice bucket fixed to drain water better. Stagnant water inside lines that don't drain eventually lead to a water overflow inside my airplane, and not a good-smelling one, either! Unfortunately, the Japanese designed the drain hole to be level with the drain tube. We also had an oxygen mask holster broken during our inspection, and the part arrived in time to get it replaced now. It was so convenient to have the mechanics come to me at Swift Aviation instead of having to spend $1,000 to fly it down and back from Williams-Gateway Airport in southeastern Mesa. I like when maintenance items are minor enough they can simply bring a bag of tools and fix it on sight! I tell ya, my sweet-talking skills come in pretty handy when negotiating maintenance issues!

I got the airplane fixed just in time for the real fun to begin...on a chilly Saturday morning. A few months ago, I was put in contact with a Girl Scout troop leader who wanted to show her girls a female corporate pilot's airplane. After much planning and anticipation, eight girls and three troop leaders showed up to hear all about flying and to explore my Beechjet. It was a lot of fun to spend a few hours with them. I always volunteer stuff like this to people so I can try to pay back how great I have it! The whole reason I am a pilot today is because a helicopter landed in the playground at school when I was in the first grade. As the pilot talked to us, I thought to myself, "That's it. I want to be a pilot." Other than a short stint in high school of wanting to be a spy (until I figured out that I could fly and be a spy), I have always known exactly what I wanted to be! I hoped this chance to spend time with the Girl Scouts would have a positive impact on them. However, I think the only lasting impression made on them was that our lavatory is considered a passenger seat!

We lucked out and also got to walk through Swift Aviation's Boeing 737-400. They charter it to transport sports teams such as the Suns, Coyotes, Celtics, Kings, and lots of bigwigs. I guess being a Girl Scout gets you special treatment, since I haven't even seen this before! It just made the day that much better. The girls were well-behaved and asked great questions. Their troop leaders were really neat and fun to have around. No one got sucked into an engine on the ramp. The airport police were only called four times. And who knows? Maybe in ten years, one of them will want to be a pilot because she remembers how cool it was to sit in Steve Nash's seat.

1 comment:

  1. i like this story.

    and i still think it's awesome you stuck to your dreams that you had so early on in life!


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