Thursday, August 23, 2012

A Day Like the Olden Days – Part One


After a few days recuperating in a hotel from our last flight, it was time to hit the road again, Jack.

Today would be the busiest I’ve had with this job. But in my last job, it would have been a typical day. I’m so glad that I have this new job to love and squeeze and call George.


This giant was on the ramp when we left. Believe it or not, but one time this airplane landed here from San Diego. And someone realized that they had forgotten a few dogs back at home. So the pilots got back in the airplane, flew back to San Diego, and returned several hours later with two dogs.

True story.


Luckily, I work for sane people. Who remember to bring their dogs, when necessary.


Today is Saturday, and just this past Monday we dropped people off in Provo for the week. Now it’s time to go pick them up. It is just one of our six airports that we will visit today. I think that’s a record for my new job.


Since Bremerton doesn’t have a tower, we got our IFR clearance from Seattle Center on the ground before announcing to the local traffic that we were departing Runway 19. Luckily, because of the low weather, we didn’t have anyone competing for attention in the traffic pattern today.


And we were soon above the clouds-that-I-love and on our way southeast to Provo.


And, like on Monday, we got killer climb performance out of Gladys. It looks like she was as anxious to get back in the skies as me! It always feels great to start the day with a flight!


An eerie cloud hung over the top of Mount St. Helens once again. Maybe it’s not a normal cloud but an imminent warning for the next time she’s gonna blow?


We passed several town in Ideeho, which I love. This is Boise. Hi, Boise!


But the Jeppesen charts on the iPad (our backup for the electronic charts that Gladys displays) showed us our route. We had to be centered in over Salt Lake traffic, just like on Monday, so they brought us in near Brigham City, then Ogden, then over Salt Lake International before we continued south towards Provo.


Isn’t modern-day farming incredible? I love peering out the window to see all of these crops in action. I come from farming on both sides of my family, so maybe this is just my family talking here.


And soon we were over the Great Salt Lake near Ogden.


Here is Hill Air Force Base, not to be confused with Ogden Municipal Airport just four miles away. I guess lots of people accidentally land at Hill, thinking that it is Ogden. But, for some unknown reason, they are greeted by soldiers with machine guns.

Civilians can’t land at military air bases unless it’s an emergency. And then, they will still be greeted by soldiers with machine guns.

Moral of the story: land at the correct airport.


This is actually a picture of the practice area in which I flew as a student pilot out of Salt Lake International Airport so many years weeks ago. Salt Lake airspace is so busy, so they would kick us out either to the west towards Tooele, or to the north towards Ogden.

Who knows how many turns-around-a-point I’ve done over these fields!


The Great Salt Lake is prettier from a distance. Perhaps because it doesn’t look quite as low from here.


Then we flew directly over SLC on our way south towards Provo. We were high enough to stay out of both the arrivals and departures. Which is good. Airplanes meeting other airplanes in the sky rarely turns out well.


And here we are leaving the Salt Lake valley to enter Utah valley by Utah Lake. It still looks a little green, huh?


OK, a lot green.


We lined up for the visual to Runway 13 then backed it up with the ILS. I love that Provo has a control tower to help us down!


And soon we were landing and taxiing to the ramp at TacAir. Less than a week ago, my family was here waiting for me! How fun!


We passed this pretty Gulfstream IV on the ramp, owned by NetJets. My goodness. Isn’t that a beautiful airplane?


And we made it! Welcome to Provo! Some passengers rode down with us to help pick up the awaiting ones. We literally got fuel and were on our way back to Bremerton.

I’ll share the rest of the day tomorrow. It’s a doozy!

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