Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Let’s Go Home…Twice!


I knew that Saturday was going to be killer. We were to take two passengers home that morning, turn around and come back to Bremerton with two different passengers, then head home empty for a few weeks of maintenance.

Three trips back and forth between Seattle. It felt like a typical day with my old job! And even now, I still look back wondering how on earth I survived that schedule for so long (five years!).

For today’s post, I’ll just show you the first leg, from Bremerton to Home. The first time.


It was actually a beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest. After reading the temperatures in Phoenix, I was dreading leaving the 63-degree weather here for home’s sweltering fun.

But it looks weird if I ask to stay another week, so I just went with it.


Of course, we passed through lots of clouds before finally finding perfect Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) up above. It’s a shame to not see the incredible scenery below, because it is breathtaking.


This one just makes me want to burst out into song. I get that way sometimes…


Oops. Man! Sorry.


It’s easy to forget what the sunshine looks like when you’ve been absent from it for a week. As soon as we climbed through about 5,000 feet, we were on top of the dreary weather and got to enjoy the sun all the way home.

Thanks to an awesome tailwind and my being nice on the radio for some shortcuts, our flight time was less than 2.5 hours. Pretty good for this trip!

Gladys is so fast!


Don’t be alarmed, but I am sitting in back for this picture. That’s why it is a shot of the left wing instead of my normal right. Since we had two young guys on board, I swapped them seats so they could each sit up front with the Captain.

They loved it, and it gave me a chance to test our new headset in the back for the passengers. They can put it on and call us up front, if they want. In case walking five feet to tap us on the shoulder is just out of the question. They can even stay on and listen to our Prime Country on Sirius! I doubt that will ever happen, as they’ve already teased us for that musical selection.

I just think they’re jealous.

All of the headset jacks work perfectly in the back for this new headset. The boss will be thrilled!


Eventually, it was time to head back up front so we could begin our descent into The Valley of the Sun. The flight actually felt very fast. Which is good for me, since I get to do this trip twice more today!


This is Cottonwood, which isn’t too far from Sedona. They do sky diving out of here, but we didn’t hear “Jumpers Away” on the radio today.

I didn’t mind. Sky Divers can be so messy to wipe out of an engine, you know?


Ahhhhh, home sweet home. It always feels wonderful coming back, no matter how long I’ve been gone.

And I did miss the sun. It’s been six days without it.

Landing Runway 21.


I got our passengers on their way. Their older brother picked them up. Unloading two tiny backpacks was a breeze. We should travel with kids all the time!

This is our fuel farm, where our line guys hook us up to get jet fuel. We took 416 gallons on here to make the return trip back up to Bremerton.

After the airplane was ready, I was famished! I texted the boss to see if we could run to grab a quick lunch nearby. He said he was running a little behind, so the timing worked perfectly!

Just half a mile from the airport was a Jimmy John’s Sandwich place. (Merrill, you would love it!). So we were able to eat to be ready for our next flight to the Seattle area with happy tummies!


We are based at the perfect location in the middle of the airport. We really love our home hangar and those staffing it. We are always pampered, and you know how I feel about being pampered.

As you can see, Saturdays aren’t a very busy day at our hangar. And it slows down quite a bit in the summer, too, because most people avoid the triple digits like the plague! Smarty pants.


With two people in back, we were soon on our way out! It’s about 3:00 PM now. Perfect timing!


Of course, this airport is always good for some eye candy. This Gulfstream V was waiting to go from it’s own private hangar. We aren’t that bad…at least we share a few large hangars with others.

Some people just don’t like to share.

We were wheels-up and on our way back to the Seattle area. Thanks to the direction of flight and, thus, some headwinds, this flight took about two hours and fifty minutes.

We still made excellent time in a rocket named Gladys.

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